Tag Archives: munira wilson

2 April 2024 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Government childcare announcement: More Conservative chaos hurting families
  • Only 0.1% of police dedicated to rural crime teams

Government childcare announcement: More Conservative chaos hurting families

Responding to the Government’s childcare announcment, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

This latest Conservative chaos is hitting families hard. Parents are seriously worried about what the Government’s botched childcare expansion will mean for them.

Free hours are no good if parents can’t find a good nursery or childminder for their child – and thanks to Conservative underfunding, more than 3,000 providers have closed in the last year alone.

Instead of plunging families into even more chaos, the Government should take up the Liberal Democrats’ clear and properly-funded plan to ensure all parents can access childcare that is flexible, affordable and fair.

Only 0.1% of police dedicated to rural crime teams

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative government of “neglecting” rural communities as new data reveals that only 258 police officers and staff are dedicated to rural crime teams across England and Wales – just 0.1% of the overall workforce. It means fewer than one in 1,000 police officers around the country are dedicated to rural crime teams.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey will today call for Police and Crime Commissioners to be scrapped so the savings can be invested in frontline policing, including ensuring that every police force has a properly resourced rural crime team. It is estimated the move would save £150 million every four years.

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8 March 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Keegan remarks: Hardly surprising from gaffe prone minister
  • Khan’s Friday fares cut branded ‘pre-election gimmick’
  • McArthur writes to MSPs about timeline for assisted dying bill

Keegan remarks: Hardly surprising from gaffe prone minister

Responding to Gillian Keegan’s remarks at the Association of School and College Leaders conference, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

A Secretary of State talking about assaulting someone should be shocking, but for Gillian Keegan it’s just another day at the microphone.

Gillian Keegan has form and this is the latest gaff from a minister who has a potty mouth, an obviously quick temper and still thinks she is doing a good job. Hardly the qualities we should be instilling in our children.

Khan’s Friday fares cut branded ‘pre-election gimmick’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Friday fares reduction trial has been branded a pre-election gimmick.

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8 February 2024 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • No fault-evictions: PM must deliver on his government’s promises
  • Welsh Lib Dems react to “farcical” rise in train fares
  • Crumbling schools: Govt must stop sitting on its hands and speed up rebuilding

No fault-evictions: PM must deliver on his government’s promises

Responding to figures that show no-fault evictions spiked by almost a third last year, Liberal Democrat Housing spokesperson, Helen Morgan MP said:

Rishi Sunak’s failure to bring forward the ban on no-fault evictions is having devastating consequences for vulnerable families across the country.

No family should lose their home through no-fault of their own. Yet, under this Conservative government that is exactly what they are allowing to continue.

The Prime Minister needs to do something that does not come naturally to him, deliver on his government’s promises.

Welsh Lib Dems react to “farcical” rise in train fares

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have described the latest rise in train fares by the Transport for Wales as “farcical”.

The Welsh Government has announced that rail fares in Wales will rise by 4.9% from the 3rd of March, claiming that the rise was needed to allow Transport for Wales to meet higher costs and continuing investment.

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5 February 2024 – today’s press releases

  • NHS waiting lists: Sunak must reverse cuts to spending
  • OECD Report: UK set for highest inflation levels in G7
  • PopCon event: Blue Wall voters will look on with horror
  • Sunak’s broken promise: NHS waiting lists won’t fall back to pre-pandemic levels until 2030
  • Keegan gives government “good” Ofsted while children taught in crumbling classrooms

NHS waiting lists: Sunak must reverse cuts to spending

Responding to Piers Morgan’s interview with Rishi Sunak, where he admits he has failed to cut NHS waiting lists, the Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Finally Rishi Sunak has admitted he has failed to cut NHS waiting lists, leaving millions of

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22 January 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Panorama Report: Crumbling schools left in the cold
  • Lucy Frazer: Attack on BBC a desperate distraction
  • New: Met Police Officer numbers fall again

Panorama Report: Crumbling schools left in the cold

Responding to the BBC Panorama report which revealed that crumbling schools are plagued by leaks and the cold, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

Thousands and thousands of school buildings across the country are in dire need of investment after years of neglect from this Conservative government.

The lack of Government action is shockingly leaving children in extremely cold classrooms having to wear gloves and hats while attempting to learn.

The Liberal Democrats know that investment in education boosts our children’s futures. The Treasury needs to urgently look at increasing the funding for clearing the backlog of school repairs.

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9 January 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Mental Health: Shocking stats show Govt are failing young people
  • Vennells CBE: Now Dowden needs to explain why he failed to sack her as a Cabinet Office Director
  • Surrey oil drilling given go-ahead: A shameful decision. Local MP, Jeremy Hunt must intervene

Mental Health: Shocking stats show Govt are failing young people

Ahead of Lib Dem MP Munira Wilson’s Bill to introduce mental health professionals into schools, statistics show that 61% of those waiting for mental health support had stopped attending school, college, university, or work.

  • 58% missed more than two weeks of school, 42% missed more than a month and 20% missed more than six months
  • A fifth of young people wait more than six months for help. While waiting, 41% said that their mental health got worse

These statistics show the catastrophic impact the lack of mental health provision is having on young people’s lives in both schools and in the workplace, leaving over half unable to attend.

In response, the Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP will be introducing a bill to the Commons today which intends to give all state schools access to a qualified mental health professional.

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10 November 2023 – today’s press releases

  • GDP Stats: On the no growth path
  • 72 billion litres of sewage pumped into the River Thames in just two years
  • Welsh Lib Dem leader honours the fallen

GDP Stats: On the no growth path

Responding to the latest ONS figures which shows the UK economy stopped growing between July and September, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Conservative chaos has delivered a hammer blow to our economy leading us down a no growth path.

Hard-working families shouldn’t be paying the price of the Conservative party’s economic vandalism.

The Autumn Statement should deliver a proper plan to grow the economy, fix our NHS and help with the cost-of-living crisis. Instead we’re set to see more of this Government’s failed approach.

72 billion litres of sewage pumped into the River Thames in just two years

  • Liberal Democrats uncover “horrifying revelations” from Information Request to Thames Water
  • Twickenham site suffers from almost 1 billion litres of sewage in just one day
  • Local Liberal Democrat MP slams “environmental crime” and demands Thames Water is “ripped up” to form new company

The River Thames has suffered from at least 72 billion litres of sewage discharges since 2020, the Liberal Democrats have discovered.

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5 October 2023 – the overnight press release

IFS Report: Schools are paying for “Government’s economic incompetence”

Commenting on the IFS report being published tomorrow showing that schools costs are growing faster than economy-wide inflation, particularly support staff pay, energy and food costs, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

Today’s IFS report mirrors what I am being told by head teachers day-in and day-out. Schools are struggling to make ends meet.

School trips are being axed, teaching assistants are being laid off and urgent classroom repairs are being ignored as buildings crumble. The lack of proper funding means pupils with additional needs won’t get the

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‘Tutoring for the millions’: Lib Dems plan booster classes for almost 2 million children

Liberal Democrats will offer free small-group tutoring to 1.75 million children a year who struggle with their learning, the party’s education spokesperson will say today (23 September).

It comes analysis by the party shows that more than one in seven teenagers fall behind with English or Maths at secondary school. These 64,000 students meet government reading and maths standards at age 11 but then fail either GCSE English or Maths at age 16.

In her keynote speech at the party’s Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, Munira Wilson MP will accuse Rishi Sunak of letting down these children by “pulling the plug” on school-based tutoring. The National Tutoring Programme ends this year.

She will compare Sunak to Mr Bumble from Oliver Twist for consistently rejecting cries “for more” investment in education when he was Chancellor. Sunak rejected bids from Government advisers and officials for greater investment in COVID catch-up lessons, free school meals and new school buildings.

Instead, Liberal Democrats will call for tutoring to become a permanent fixture in England’s schools. Schools, sixth forms and further education colleges would receive £390 million a year for intensive small-group sessions for students who have fallen behind in class.

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Schools crisis – sheer incompetence

The timing could not have been worse. This is the most stressful part of the school year for teachers and Heads, getting the buildings ready for the new intake, checking all the tech, induction for new staff and planning a term’s worth of lessons. For pupils there is some anticipation and excitement, tinged perhaps with a bit of anxiety, as they prepare to move into a into a new school or a new class next week.

So it beggars belief that the Government should announce this week that a large number of schools in England have defective buildings which must not be used. Oh, and there is no funding to cover the hire and construction of temporary classrooms.

Of course, it would be understandable if this problem had only just come to light, but the Department for Education has known about the potentially defective concrete (RAAC) since 1994, and they knew that the concrete used only has a lifespan of 30 years. It’s a type of lightweight aerated concrete that was presumably cheap to use at the time. In 2018 they sent some vaguely worded warnings to schools but did not provide any advice or means to rectify the fault. So it is not new information that has emerged this week.

And yet some 100 schools were only told yesterday that they have to take immediate mitigating action because of the RAAC in their buildings. In some cases ceilings can be propped up as a temporary measure – although getting that done will be disruptive and will take some time – but others will have to close and replace whole rooms immediately.

Even worse, the list of schools affected will not be published, so parents have to wait to hear from their children’s schools directly about the impact, if any. Dealing with upset and angry parents just gives Heads a further headache. Some children will actually have to decamp to neighbouring schools, which will only add to the disruption.

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9 June 2023 – today’s press release

  • HMICFRS report shows need for return to community policing
  • Softened windfall tax shows Government doesn’t care
  • Government’s mental health plans leave children in 3 in 4 primary schools without NHS support
  • Johnson Honours: Sunak’s so called integrity has been broken
  • Boris Johnson: “Good riddance”

HMICFRS report shows need for return to community policing

Responding to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) State of Policing report, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP:

Sadly, this report confirms what we already knew. The Conservatives have trashed our justice system, from decimating frontline policing to ignoring the courts backlog.

Too many people feel like justice is out of reach when they’re a victim of a crime. Public trust in our very institutions is at stake. The Home Secretary must commit to a return to community policing without delay.

Softened windfall tax shows Government doesn’t care

Responding to the news that Jeremy Hunt will soften the energy windfall, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said:

The families and businesses still suffering so much from high energy bills will not forget the failure of the Conservatives to tax the windfall profits of the oil and gas companies properly.

This out of touch Government has shown yet again that it doesn’t care about people struggling just to get by, or the small business clinging on.

This energy tax failure ranks as one of Rishi Sunak’s biggest personal failures as Chancellor and Prime Minister.

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Mental health support for children neglected by Government

Some years ago Norman Lamb effectively led the Lib Dem campaign to give mental health equal parity with physical health in the NHS. This did lead to some welcome changes in both attitude and provision, including the creation of new Mental Health Support Teams in schools and colleges in England, which were set up in 2018.  Each MHST would cover some 8000 pupils, and the plan envisioned 500 teams in place by the end of 2024, to cover about half of all pupils.

The MHSTs were a welcome addition to the existing acute Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, offering early support and, hopefully, preventing the escalation of problems to the point where a referral to CAMHs would be necessary.

Then Covid struck, and lockdown is known to have had a marked effect on the nation’s mental health, particularly in children, whose normal processes of growing up were substantially interrupted. Sadly, it also slowed down the rollout of the MHSTs.

Munira Wilson, our health spokesperson, has carried on the campaign for children’s mental health provision and has been gaining some traction. In today’s Guardian she reports on research by the Liberal Democrats that reveals the inadequate state of mental health support in schools.

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8 June 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak should put Johnson’s honours list through the shredder
  • Teacher stats expose recruitment and retention crisis
  • £41 million remortgage bombshell predicted for June amid “summer from hell” warning

Sunak should put Johnson’s honours list through the shredder

Responding to the news that Rishi Sunak is set to accept Boris Johnson’s honours list, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

The fact that one of the most scandal-ridden Prime Ministers is now allowed to stuff his cronies in the Lords after a failed premiership tells the British public everything they need to know about this Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson caused crisis after crisis in this country – if Rishi Sunak rewards his failure it’s just proof it is one rule for the Conservatives and another for everyone else. The buck stops with Sunak – he must ensure that Johnson’s honours list is put through the shredder.

Teacher stats expose recruitment and retention crisis

New statistics released today from the Department for Education have shown:

  • More than 100,000 under-40s have quit teaching in the last 5 years.
  • A third of teachers quit within 5 years of qualifying.
  • The number of teaching vacancies has more than doubled in the last 2 years.
  • 22% of maths teachers and 42% of physics teachers have no relevant post-A-level qualification.
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17 April 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Keegan: You don’t need a maths A-level to see that these plans don’t add up
  • Government Pushed to Vote on Banning New Coal Mines
  • Government reported for breaking purdah rules
  • Sunak investigation: Another accusation of a Conservative PM bending the rules
  • Government defeated as Lib Dems win vote to ban new coal mines

Keegan: You don’t need a maths A-level to see that these plans don’t add up

Responding to Gillian Keegan’s morning media round about the Government’s maths announcement, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

Gillian Keegan’s empty words are an insult to millions of people who are looking to the Government for

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28 March 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Number of GP practices falls by over 500 since 2019
  • Lib Dems call for ban on strip searches in schools
  • Coffey attacks farming journalists

Number of GP practices falls by over 500 since 2019

  • Lib Dem Leader launches Local Election campaign calling for a return to “proper local health services” amid GP shortages and appointment delays
  • Rural areas “bearing the brunt of GP practice closures”, forcing people to drive long distances to see a doctor
  • Government on course to break Conservative manifesto pledge on doctor recruitment as GP numbers plummet by over 850 since the last election

New analysis of NHS data by the Liberal Democrats has found there are 547 fewer open and active GP practices in England compared to 2019 – despite rising patient numbers.

At the last election, the Conservative party promised to recruit 6,000 more GPs. However, today’s analysis reveals there are now 850 fewer GPs compared to 2019.

Rural communities are suffering most from GP practices closing. A recent study found 206 villages where patients must travel at least 5 miles to see a doctor – a 12% rise on 2017.

This new analysis of NHS figures follows a research poll commissioned by the Liberal Democrats which reveals over a quarter (29%) of UK adults have tried and failed to get a face-to-face GP appointment in their local area over the past twelve months.

Embarrassingly for the Government, GP practices are even closing in the Heath Secretary’s own constituency, with a Cambridgeshire practice serving thousands of local people due to close its doors this month.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 29th March), Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will launch his party’s local election campaign in Hertfordshire, where he will call on the Government to invest in local health services. The South of England is the worst part of the country for GP appointment problems, where over 1 in 3 people tried and failed to secure a GP appointment last year.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to recruit 8,000 more GPs and have set out plans to give patients a legal right to see a GP within 7 days. It would be achieved through increasing training places for GPs, a programme to retain experienced doctors and staff, and launching a recruitment drive to encourage those who’ve left the NHS to return.

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Soaring teaching vacancies show Conservatives failing children

Responding to a new report by the National Foundation for Educational Research showing that the number of teaching vacancies has risen by 93% since 2019, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

The soaring number of unfilled teaching posts is yet more proof that the Conservatives are failing our children badly.

Millions of children are being taught by someone who isn’t an expert in their subject, all because the Conservatives are missing their own recruitment targets and driving thousands of teachers out of the profession. It’s just not good enough.

Investing in schools and teachers is vital for giving every child the

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Coram Childcare Survey: Time to invest properly in our children’s future

In response to the Coram Family and Childcare annual survey which showed an increase of 5.6% in part-time childcare costs and 7% fewer local areas reporting sufficient childcare places for children under two, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

The huge increase in costs of childcare is hitting cash-strapped young families who are already facing a cost of living crisis.

The UK already has some of the highest childcare costs in the world. Parents up and down the country are struggling to afford their nursery fees, while for others the crippling costs of childcare mean they simply can’t afford to

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1 March 2023 – today’s press releases

  • PAC NHS report: Targets simply aren’t worth the paper they’re written on
  • Lockdown files: Rees-Mogg got Covid test couriered to own home
  • St. David’s Day – Welsh Liberal Democrats Call on Other Parties to Back Bill to Make St. David’s Day a public holiday
  • Hancock messages “lay bare the chaos at the heart of the Govt”
  • PMQs: Sunak refuses to cut energy bills
  • Hancock messages: How many more ministers received priority tests?
  • Williamson’s text solidifies his place as one of the worst Ministers to grace Government

PAC NHS report: Targets simply aren’t worth the paper they’re written on

Responding to the embargoed Public Accounts Committee report which finds the first year of NHS England’s three-year recovery programme is already falling short of expectations, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

It‘s broken promise after broken promise when it comes to this government and the NHS.

The public has lost all faith in the Conservative government and can now see that its targets simply aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

Lockdown files: Rees-Mogg got Covid test couriered to own home

Responding to reports in the Telegraph that Jacob Rees-Mogg had a Covid test couriered to his home by health officials during a national shortage, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

This is yet more evidence that it’s one rule for Conservative ministers and another for everyone else.

The Covid inquiry must look into reports Conservative ministers were able to get priority access to tests at a time of national shortage. Rishi Sunak must also confirm what he knew about this scandal. The public deserves to know the truth.

St. David’s Day – Welsh Liberal Democrats Call on Other Parties to Back Bill to Make St. David’s Day a public holiday

This St David’s Day, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their calls for the day to become a public holiday in Wales urging other political parties to back a Bill they have put to parliament that would allow the Senedd to designate the day as such.

St David’s Day is currently only a patron saint day and does not have any legal standing. Meanwhile, in Scotland and Ireland St Andrew’s Day and St Patrick’s Day respectively are already public holidays.

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11-12 February 2023 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Childcare: Conservatives have turned their backs on families
  • Sharpe report: Boris Johnson must now also face the music to answer questions

Childcare: Conservatives have turned their backs on families

Responding to reports that the Treasury is considering expanding its free childcare offer, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Parents should never be forced out of work by a lack of affordable childcare. If the Treasury wants to help more parents back to work, it should simply implement the Liberal Democrat plan for childcare that is flexible, affordable and fair.

Crucially, that must include raising the rates paid to providers match the actual

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Lunchtime debate: What do you think about Maths to 18?

Rishi Sunak is setting out plans to force everyone in England to study Maths until they are 18.

The BBC quotes the PM:

In a world where data is everywhere and statistics underpin every job, our children’s jobs will require more analytical skills than ever before,” he will say.

And letting our children out into the world without those skills, is letting our children down.

Just half of 16 to 19-year-olds study maths, according to Mr Sunak – but this figure includes pupils doing science courses and those who are already doing compulsory GCSE resits in college.

Apparently no new qualifications are planned, and students will not be forced to do the A Level, so this seems at the moment to be more soundbite than policy. It’s designed to appeal to older Conservative voters who think that education has gone to the dogs since they stopped making you recite your times tables every morning.

I was thrilled to be able to ditch Maths for my final year at school, but I had to do the Scottish Higher in 5th year (when I was 17). I managed to scrape a B for my Higher, but it was pure hell. While I was always good at arithmetic, I really struggled with Calculus and anything other fairly basic Trigonometry and Geometry. Forcing me to take Maths for an extra year, when I was going to be studying languages and social sciences would have been completely counter-productive.

I am all for encouraging numeracy and analytical skills, especially in girls, but it seems to me that a one size fits all policy wouldn’t work. For some people, forcing them to study Maths all the way through school might be at the expense of a qualification that enhances their career and life chances.

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Munira Wilson challenges Government on free school meals

It was Nick Clegg who introduced free school meals for all 5 to 7 year olds, while the Conservative partners in the coalition, notably George Osborne, resisted the proposal.

You might be surprised to learn that school meals date back over a century, although access and the quality of provision was variable until the 1944 Education Act. That required all Local Education Authorities to provide school meals for all, free to those who met certain poverty criteria, plus free school milk for all. It also laid down nutritional requirements for the meals.

Since then the requirements have been gradually eroded, in spite of numerous research findings which show the health and economic benefits, as well as educational ones, of providing universal access to nutritious meals to all children.

Maggie Thatcher was famously tagged “Milk snatcher” when, as Education Secretary, she removed free school milk in 1971. Then the Education Act 1980 removed the requirement to provide meals to all children unless they qualified for free meals. School canteens were given over to private contractors or simply turned into teaching spaces, packed lunches became the norm and nutritional guidelines withered.

It took a celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, to lead the campaign for good food in schools and for a while things started to look better for the health of the nation’s children. But by 2019 60% of schools were still not meeting food standards.

And it took a celebrity footballer, Marcus Rashford, to shame the Government into extending free school meals into the holiday periods during Covid.

But it is a constant struggle between those who care about the impact of poverty on education versus those who worry about the “nanny state”.

Munira Wilson, our Education spokesperson, has consistently challenged the Government on its current provision of free school meals, achieving front page coverage.  Her latest campaign is seemingly quite a modest one – to ensure that all children who are eligible for free school meals under the current rules actually get them. It seems, astonishingly, that nearly a quarter of a million children go without because they haven’t been registered. She claims this should be an automatic process rather than one relying on opt-ins.

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11 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Welsh Liberal Democrats Statement for Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday
  • GDP stats: People will never forgive this Government for crashing our economy during a cost-of-living crisis
  • Conservative stealth cuts leave up to 110,000 children without a free lunch
  • Dominic Raab behaviour: Cabinet Office must investigate immediately

Welsh Liberal Democrats Statement for Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

Today and on Sunday we pay tribute to all who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country during its darkest hours.

Their sacrifice has allowed us to live in a society based on both freedom and liberty.

Today we think of not only the lives that were lost, but of the wish of survivors of both World Wars that we should strive to build a world free of war and violence.

This year as we remember those who fought for freedom and liberty during previous conflicts, many of us will also be thinking of the brave men and women of Ukraine, who are at this very moment standing in face of tyranny with winter approaching.

We remain ever thankful to those who stood to protect our country. We will remember them.

GDP stats: People will never forgive this Government for crashing our economy during a cost-of-living crisis

Responding to the latest GDP figures which reveal the UK economy contracted 0.2% in the third quarter, marking the first step towards recession, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Today’s figures show the Conservative Government is leaving our economy smaller and all of us poorer.

People will never forgive this Government for crashing our economy during a cost-of-living crisis and putting up their mortgages by hundreds of pounds a month. The Conservative party can never again claim that they are the party of sound money.

Ministers must now do whatever it takes to protect households from the economic downturn they have caused, starting with a mortgage protection fund to ensure nobody loses their home this winter.

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9-10 November 2022 – the press releases…

Apologies, press release fans, as I got rather caught up in the drama of the US midterms yesterday. So, without further ado…

  • Gavin Williamson anti-bullying video exposes ‘rank hypocrisy’ of Conservative Government
  • Lib Dems: Strip Gavin Williamson of his knighthood if found guilty of bullying
  • Sunak failing the next generation as he refuses to protect education budgets
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats respond to Nurse Strike Action
  • The Government have failed cancer patients
  • Home repossessions increase significantly as budget sets off a mortgage ticking time bomb

Gavin Williamson anti-bullying video exposes ‘rank hypocrisy’ of Conservative Government

Responding to the resurfaced Government anti-bullying video recorded by Gavin Williamson MP during his time as Secretary of State for Education, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, Munira Wilson MP, said:

This exposes the rank hypocrisy and double standards at the heart of this Conservative government.

Gavin Williamson himself admitted that bullying is never acceptable.

Schools rightly have a zero tolerance approach to bullying. But once again it seems it’s one rule for Conservative ministers and another for everyone else.

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Sarah Olney (and other Lib Dems) on the problem of night flights

Sarah Olney was granted an adjournment debate yesterday, so took the opportunity to visit an issue that plagues her constituency – aircraft noise, especially at night. She was joined by her neighbouring MP, Munira Wilson, whose Twickenham constituency is affected even more. Christine Jardine and Wera Hobhouse also chipped in. Who knew so many Lib Dem constituencies had this problem?

You can read the full debate in Hansard, but here are some highlights.

Sarah Olney:

Night flights are the most intrusive form of aircraft noise and there is clear evidence that they harm both the physical and mental health of residents who live under flightpaths. This summer, the delays and chaos at Heathrow airport resulted in an increased number of flights landing through the night. For my constituents and for many others across west and south-west London, that disturbance resulted in countless sleepless nights.

This disturbance is completely avoidable. Night flights are by no means essential for airport operations. These flights can and should be moved and it is within the Government’s remit to ensure that that happens.

I therefore have two asks of the Department for Transport. My primary call is for a ban on scheduled flights at Heathrow airport between 11 pm and 6 am.  That is the only way we can be sure that residents will not continue to suffer from noise disruption. If the Government will not commit to that, they must commission a full independent analysis of the impact of night flights on the health of local communities, the environment and the UK economy to inform future policy development.

Munira Wilson:

My constituency of Twickenham is, of course, that bit closer to Heathrow and further along the flightpath, so I wholeheartedly welcome and support the two asks that she is making of the Minister today about trying to balance the economic benefits of night flights against the health risks and the distress that they cause to constituents. Does she agree that the Government could start by looking at extending the night-time restriction to 10 pm, from 11.30 pm, given the large number of frequent late-night departures that are blighting my constituents’ sleep?

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Reactions to the churn

So Kwasi Kwarteng is out and Jeremy Hunt is in. How long can Liz Truss last after today’s extraordinary moves?

Prominent Lib Dems have, of course, been giving us their take on the news:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think we can see a clear message here!

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25 August 2022 – today’s press releases

  • GCSEs: Government deserves an ‘F’ for letting down pupils
  • Missing: UK’s Foreign Secretary. Last seen leaving G20 early
  • Dentist crisis escalates as new data reveals drop in NHS dental appointments

GCSEs: Government deserves an ‘F’ for letting down pupils

Responding to today’s GCSE results, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

The Conservatives have fiddled the figures and failed our young people yet again. Ministers have thrown into question thousands of students’ futures by taking their grades away to correct two years of exam chaos.

Young people receiving their results today faced unprecedented disruption to their studies. The Government deserves an ‘F’ for letting down these pupils, their parents and their teachers since day one of the pandemic.

This uncaring Conservative carousel of Education Secretaries cannot be trusted with our young people’s future any longer. We need proper investment in helping children recover lost learning from the pandemic, and we need them gone.

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17 August 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Inflation figures: People will never forgive this Government for abandoning them
  • Thames Water hosepipe ban: slap in the face for millions of people
  • “Nasty party”: Kwarteng must clarify Truss’s shameful ‘graft’ comments
  • 75,000 A-Level grades set to be deflated under Government’s exam plans
  • Councillor Sykes welcomes change in law barring sex offenders from standing for or holding elected office

Inflation figures: People will never forgive this Government for abandoning them

Responding to inflation reaching 10.1% this morning, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Britain is heading for the worst economic crisis in a generation, yet the Prime Minister has clocked off early whilst Sunak and Truss are too busy squabbling amongst themselves.

Families and pensioners will never forgive this Conservative Government for abandoning them in the middle of a cost of living catastrophe.

The answer is staring Conservative MPs in the face but they refuse to act. Energy bills must be frozen immediately or else millions of people will be plunged into financial devastation this winter.

Thames Water hosepipe ban: slap in the face for millions of people

Responding to the news that Thames Water will enforce a hosepipe ban, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:

This is a slap in the face for millions of people when Thames Water is losing a quarter of all their water to leaks.

Their gross negligence to fix leaks is set to inflict hosepipe ban misery across the South. We wouldn’t be in this mess if Thames Water bothered to invest properly. Instead, water companies are choosing to pay themselves billions of pounds in profits and reward their CEOs with insulting bonuses. Thames Water is putting profit above the public and environment.

Ministers are to blame for letting profiteering water companies get away with it. Under this Government, our rivers have become polluted with sewage and water pipes rusting with leaks.

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Munira Wilson shortlisted for Ethnicity Awards: Please vote for her

Congratulations to Munira for being shortlisted in the public service or campaigner category of the 2022 Ethnicity Awards. She faces stiff competition. You can vote for her here. The citation reads:

Liberal Democrat MP Munira Wilson has been serving as the Lib Dem Spokesperson for Education since 2021, using her political platform to campaign against violence, advocate for mental health services, and speak out on behalf of refugee rights. Her own mother fled her homeland of Zanzibar during the revolution, becoming stateless. Munira stated that ‘I couldn’t have become an MP without their hard work and I don’t see why I should turn around and deny that opportunity to other people who want to come do that.’

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Another day of chaos

A Twitter round up, including a great question to the PM from Munira Wilson and a punchy interview with Christine Jardine.

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Reactions to the Sue Gray report

Ed Davey spoke in the Commons following the Prime Minister’s statement on the Sue Gray report.

As you might expect, other Lib Dem MPs also expressed their anger.

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