Tag Archives: sky news

Ed Davey calls for action to help those struggling with rising bills

As inflation falls to 6.8%, Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey appeared on Sky News this morning to give our party’s reaction:

While it was positive news that prices aren’t using quite so fast, he said, but they are rising fast,  faster than they are in many other countries and faster than they have for many, many years.

Families and pensioners when they go and do their shopping, when they get their energy bill, when they pay their mortgage, their rents, they are still seeing them go up by huge amounts. And what is worrying Liberal Democrats today is that this month’s inflation figures will be used to calculate rail fares for next year and we are calling for a freeze as some way of helping people who are really really struggling.

Challenged that the Government has to balance the books, Ed said that we always do balance the books and go to the country with a fully costed manifesto, compared to the Conservatives who have been reckless with Government money and that’s why the country is in such a mess.

I listen to Conservative ministers and they seem so out of touch with the realities that most families and pensioners are facing. When we talk about these sorts of figures they seem quite complacent and give themselves a pat on the back when families are really struggling out there. I just want a Government that seems to care a bit more and this lot just don’t.

Let’s just pause a minute there. This “families and pensioners” phrase irks me a bit. It isn’t quite as bad as the awful “hard working families”, but it completely ignores a huge swathe of people who are struggling just as much as the soft Tory voters in the blue wall seats we are going after. They like the “families and pensioners” language because it has a comforting ring of deserving poor about it but that’s no excuse.

We need to make sure that the young people struggling to get by on low incomes, earning less and getting less in benefits despite living costs being just as high feel included, or the growing number of single person households with only themselves to rely on.

What’s wrong with just using people? Our mission as Liberal Democrats is to build a fair, free and open society where NO-ONE is enslaved by poverty, ignorance and conformity and our language should reflect that universality. We have so many good ideas that would help all people who are struggling so it seems a shame to limit our language.

Rant over and back to the interview. Ed was challenged that our plans to help people were not realistic. He said:

The real world is that the economy is struggling and we need to get people back to work. If you took up Liberal Democrat ideas to boost the economy, you would get more people using public transport which is more important for our economy, for the environment and so you have many benefits.

I just think the Government is so out of touch. They don’t seem to get how the combination of  price rises, mortgages, rents, energy bells railway fares, is hitting people.  We’ve calculated that a commuter family is going to be clobbered by an extra bill of £300 every month due to the combination of mortgage, food and rail fares. This is a huge amount and when I hear government ministers saying they can’t do anything. They could do something but they don’t. The fact that they don’t backs up my argument that they are out of touch and don’t care.

He was asked whether the energy price cap should be rethought as it harmed competition:

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On the road

Beth Rigby, the Political Editor at Sky News, has been chatting with Ed Davey.

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Ed Davey calls for extension of Warm Homes Discount scheme to help poorest with soaring energy costs

On Trevor Phillips on Sky this morning, Ed Davey did a fantastic job of taking down the Conservatives over their “cruel” cuts to Universal Credit.

As a former Secretary of State for Energy, he speaks with some authority on rising fuel prices and how to help the poorest through that.

He called for the Warm Homes Discount, currently worth £140 to those on certain benefits or low incomes to be doubled or tripled and for eligibility to be extended.

He also highlighted how he had continued the insulation programmes in place when he took over, but the Conservatives had failed to keep that work going.

He was also asked about the story this morning that the UK Government had not paid France what it owes for border work. Ed spoke about how people needed safe and legal routes to come to this country to settle as refugees or to be reunited with family.

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Ed Davey’s first big interview – hear what he has to say on Lib Dems’ relevance, Europe and climate protests

Following on from his first big speech, to ALDC Conference, yesterday, Ed Davey gave his first big interview on the Sunday media round, to Sky’s Sophy Ridge.

What, she asked, was the point of the Lib Dems?

We stand for key principles on civil liberties, social justice, the environment.

We are not getting that through to voters

We need to listen and understand why people don’t think that they are on their side.

He talked about how he started his listening exercise by doing a 3 hour lunch shift in a Stockport fish and chip shop. He argued that this listening exercise is the way we can make ourselves relevant to people.

Sophy Ridge asked what was our single radical policy to cut through to people.

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Is Vince Cable right to say that there is a 20% chance Brexit won’t happen?

Vince Cable told Sky News’ Niall Paterson this morning that there was a 20% chance that Brexit wouldn’t happen. He said:

The government is of course pressing ahead with negotiations but the sheer complexity, the practical difficulties, the fact that government is internally divided – we may get to the middle of next year and find this is just a horrible mess and there will be a growing political mood in the country and in parliament to find a way out and that’s why we think at the end of the day the public should have a choice as to whether they want to go ahead with Brexit when we’ve discovered what it’s about or whether they want an exit from Brexit.

I’ve been thinking for some time that we need a bit of a better roadmap to show the public exactly how it is possible to get out of this mess. Half the country, if it’s watching the news at all, is doing so from behind a cushion but is shrugging its shoulders because it thinks the course is set and that a damaging Brexit is inevitable.

I think that’s partly why Lord Kerr’s intervention the other week was helpful because it reminded people that Article 50 was revocable. We can actually get out of this mess if we want to. And he should know, given that he wrote the clause in question. Let’s remind ourselves of what he said:

It is not irrevocable.

You can change your mind while the process is going on.

During that period, if a country were to decide actually we don’t want to leave after all, everybody would be very cross about it being a waste of time.

They might try to extract a political price but legally they couldn’t insist that you leave.

Vince mentioned the practical difficulties and the “horrible mess” of it all. This was evident in the entirely divergent positions proffered by Ruth Davidson and Liam Fox just half an hour apart this morning.

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Vince on Sky News: We’ve got to stop extreme Brexit

Vince Cable gave his first big interview as probably-the-next-leader of the Lib Dems to Sophy Ridge on Sky News this morning. You can read the full transcript but here are some of the highlights.

It was, as you would expect, a reasoned, calm and accomplished performance. He certainly comes across as the grown-up in the room.

First of all, he was asked about austerity and whether or not it could continue. You could, he said, spend more money wisely:

I think what there is a big public mood for, and I think it’s right, is that we shift the balance and instead of just cutting, cutting public spending we have people willing to pay more tax and indeed my party campaigned in the general election saying a penny in the pound on income tax for the health service and I think people are up for that kind of change.  Similarly public sector pay, I mean you can’t just have unlimited public sector pay but we should be lifting public sector pay above the present cap which pushes people’s incomes down in real terms and again we argued in the election for a phased increase and so at least people’s pay – teachers, nurses – is protected in real terms.  I would also argue that it makes sense to use government’s borrowing capacity at very low interest rates to do more investment, you know, social housing, infrastructure – these are things that we could do very sensibly within sound public finance.

Asked about tuition fees, he says that we need to look at how the system has worked, but there are bigger priorities for education at the moment. He also pointed out that more needs to be done for the young people who don’t go to university. I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from him on that in the meantime.

Well the Labour party have a ridiculously populist programme which doesn’t really stand up to investigation.  I mean if you don’t have any form of fees, who pays for universities?  How do you end this discrimination between the 40% of students who go to university and who would be subsidised as opposed to the 60% who don’t?  So that would be highly inequitable.

But we have to be careful of doing things for populist reasons:

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WATCH: Tim Farron talking about need to properly fund social care

Tim Farron was on Sky News earlier talking about the crisis in social care. Watch his interview here.

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WATCH: Tim Farron on Sky News: “It’s a dark day”

Tim Farron was on Sky News this evening just before MPs voted for the final time on the Article 50 Bill before it goes to the Lords. He could not conceal his anger at the Tory and Labour MPs who had simply given the Government carte blanche to pursue a hard Brexit that “wasn’t on the ballot paper.” He called those MPs who had defied the Tory and Labour whips noble and suggested that history would be kind to them.

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Tim Farron is on Murnaghan on Sky News this morning, starting at 10 o’clock

Tim Farron will be appearing live on Murnaghan on Sky News this morning. The programme starts at 10 o’clock and continues until noon. No doubt the vote on the Syrian air strikes will come up in conversation.

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In which Tim Farron shows excellent judgement

Tim Farron was interviewed on Sky News today from beautiful Kendal and did a fantastic job of talking up the party’s chances, saying Britain needed “moderate, sensible, compassionate” Liberal Democrats in government, deflected the leadership speculation stuff and showed excellent judgement when confronted with Paddy’s rather intemperate interview of a couple of weeks ago. He also talked about the difference Liberal Democrats can make in power, citing the example of his local Lib Dem councillors building 1000 council houses, making a massive difference for 1000 families despite the opposition of the Tories.  Enjoy:

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Clegg’s #asktheleader session

Sky News have put all their Stand up and be Counted #AsktheLeaders sessions on their website. Nick Clegg’s is here.

I felt he was best at making it more like a conversation with the young people, listening to what she had to say. He was also much more confident on the facts and details on all the issues, particularly housing and the NHS.

As for the others, Natalie Bennett’s heart is in the right place but her party’s policies are not well thought through and I didn’t need to listen to her for half an hour to find out that she’d push for action on the environment and climate change in a hung parliament. I suspect every woman in the country was briefly on her side when she described how being denied a bike at the age of 5 because she was a girl made her a feminist.

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Nick Clegg on Sky News Ask the Leaders event today

AsktheleadersUpdate: After some confusion it seems that Nick will now be appearing later. David Cameron has also agreed to appear later today.

Sky News is running an Ask the Leaders event today, with young people asking the questions. The Q&A sessions with each leader (Miliband, Clegg and Bennett, but not Cameron, it seems) will be shown live on Sky News for 30 minutes followed by 15 minutes on Facebook. Nick Clegg’s turn comes at 12 noon.

You can watch live updates or get involved on #AskTheLeaders or on the Stand Up Be Counted

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Lib Dem Peers try to make revenge porn a criminal offence

Next Wednesday, 22nd October, the House of Lords will debate the following amendment  to the Criminal Justice Bill which, if passed, would make revenge porn a criminal offence. It follows :

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Paddy Ashdown warns of national civil revolt as gap between Westminster elite and people grows

Nick Clegg used strong language earlier. However, that sounded like sweet nothings compared to Paddy Ashdown’s comments on the Murnaghan programme earlier. You can read the whole transcript here, but here are some of the highlights:

PM and Miliband should play Join the Dots in a darkened room

An interesting turn of phrase here as Paddy tells the two “old party” leaders to take a reality check:

Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron are already running away from the promises they made.  Mr Cameron didn’t seem to realise that when he made that promise he may not be able to carry his MPs with him and is now amending it so that it is somehow tied to English parliaments and English votes – we’ll come on to that in a minute.  Mr Miliband by the way, Labour didn’t even want to have devo max, they didn’t want it, they didn’t want it, they didn’t want it and then at the very end in a panic they accepted it without accepting it’s implications and now they are running away from it too.  Look, I suggest these two old leaders go away into a quiet room, these two leaders of the old parties, go away into a quiet room this afternoon and play a game of join the dots because if they don’t realise that there is something very close to a national citizens revolt against Westminster – it may be that the Scottish revolt, near revolution, may go away but I rather doubt it listening to Mr Salmond earlier on and his, in my view, entirely justifiable anger.  Now join that dot with the other dot, Farage and UKIP running a campaign against Westminster and the Westminster elite and you’ve got to realise that this is a profoundly dangerous moment, a moment by the way that I’ve been warning was coming for ten years now as the gap between government and governed grew.  To renege on a solemn promise like that will destroy Westminster’s legitimacy and reputation in Scotland and will do the same in England too and the consequences of that are very great.

I’m slightly more sceptical of Salmond than Paddy. The First Minister accused Cameron of breaking a promise that hadn’t been made on Friday, stoking the fires of frustration amongst independence supporters. It seems that what Paddy and Nick are trying to do is to insert some backbone into Cameron and Miliband but there is no real sign at the moment that they are not going to deliver on the powers for Scotland. I think Paddy is right to call on them to reiterate that that will happen and that the process is completely separate from the English  issue. He’s just trying to block of any potential escape routes, but I think he needs to be careful not to over-egg the pudding. It’s perfectly fair, though, to eviscerate Cameron for his political ambush of Miliband.

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Farron on Murnaghan on Lib Dems standing up for Britain’s interests, the price of government and whether the UK is a Christian country

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 11.32.57Tim Farron has just been on Sky’s Murnaghan show, talking about a variety of issues from the European elections – what can the Lib Dems do to stop annihilation was the introduction. Here are the highlights:

The first question was whether we are paying price for going into government

If you stand for election there’s an occupational hazard you might get elected and that is what you should want if you believe passionately that Britain and the world should operate in a different way.

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Vincent McKee suspended from the Liberal Democrats

Following today’s story on Sky News alleging that Dr Vincent McKee has committed fraud,

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said:

With the support of the Federal party, the regional party launched an immediate investigation.

Mr McKee has been suspended from the party, pending the outcome of further investigations. The party will work with all other authorities involved in this matter.

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Why there were no Lib Dems on Sky News’s Sunday Live with Adam Boulton

An interesting posting yesterday evening from Katie Snape on the Boulton & Co blog:

It’s 7pm on Saturday, I’m late for a friend’s wedding and I’m still waiting to find out whether I can send a satellite truck to Wiltshire for an interview with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. How hard can it be? His special adviser says he wants to do it but apparently I’m waiting for clearance from Downing Street. I’ve left a message for No 10’s Head of Broadcast, he texted back and two hours later, I’m still waiting.

I started the week bidding for

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Sky News leads with ‘exclusive’ voodoo poll as broadcaster’s credibility slumps

Exclusive: Support For Clegg’s Lib Dems At 8% screams Sky News’s report marking the 100 days of the Coalition. Disaster! Woe! Panic!

Erm, except Sky News isn’t reporting a poll conducted by a reputable polling organisation of a representative sample of the British public. I mean, you didn’t seriously expect journalistic integrity and news values from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News-lite, did you?

The figure of 8% support for the Lib Dems is the result of a Sky News Panel survey. The surveys are open to any viewer to join and answer. Sky makes no claim that its Panel is representative, …

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Rules agreed for leaders’ TV debates – and Clegg to open the batting

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is to speak first in the first debate, hosted by ITV, while Gordon Brown and David Cameron will do so in the subsequent debates, on Sky and the BBC.

From the BBC:

Three major broadcasters – the BBC, ITV and Sky – have agreed on the rules for hosting party leaders’ debates in the run-up to the general election.

The three 90-minute sessions will begin by focusing on domestic policies, international affairs and the economy.

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Sky’s general election coverage will boost social media campaigning

Candidates who make extensive use of social media will receive a boost to their election campaigns, courtesy of Sky News’s plans to feature such material in a set of special constituency pages being created for the election.

Each constituency will have its own page and those pages will pull in feeds from candidates. Sky is asking for information on candidate blogs, Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts, In addition, Sky will also pull in photos from Flickr and films from YouTube if they are tagged with the names of both the constituency and the candidate. (Let’s hope Sky are remember to …

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