Tag Archives: suella braverman

Braverman’s article: a catalyst for Islamaphobia

In my previous blog post, I delved into the concerning issue of escalating Islamophobia, a problem that appears to persist despite efforts for progress

The Telegraph, a prominent newspaper, boldly declares on its front page (£), “Islamists are now in control, says Braverman amid speakers row.

This headline raises a critical question: What defines an Islamist, and how does one distinguish them from an average Muslim? Many Muslims grapple with this challenge daily as they seek to integrate into modern Britain, only to face fear weaponisation by politicians like Suella Braverman.

Reflecting on Sir Lindsay Hoyle, I perceive him as a good man who perhaps erred in the SNP’s opposition day. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the constant threats faced by MPs, exemplified by the tragic murders of Sir David Amess and Jo Cox, both victims of extremism regardless of their ideological alignment. The Conservative Party seems to be on shaky ground, with Rishi Sunak’s declining popularity and the realisation that a return to power may take a generation. Suella Braverman’s potential leadership bid hints at a shift towards the right, a move that, as a Muslim, fills me with apprehension.

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Yesterday’s ugly scenes show why the Conservatives must be beaten

I so wish that the focus of yesterday’s marches had been on comforting all those affected by the horrific events in Israel and Gaza and calling for more international effort to find a lasting peace in that region. It’s really important that a relatively small number of ultra right wingers don’t detract from that.

However, the right wing thuggery can’t be ignored, especially as they were emboldened by Suella Braverman’s comments this week.

Those right wing extremists don’t reflect our country. They may think they have the blessing of the Home Secretary but most British people find them utterly repulsive. If Sunak can’t fire Braverman for inciting them because he’s too scared of the right wing extremists in his own party, I despair.

And if he can’t fire her before Wednesday’s Supreme Court judgement on Rwanda flights could give her an excuse to resign in high dudgeon, then he really needs to have a word with himself.

The consequences of such divisive tactics on our society are there to see and I don’t think the majority of reasonable people in the country will want to see more of that on our streets.

The suffering of our fellow human beings in Gaza prompted hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets of London, overwhelmingly in peace and solidarity. I have been on such marches before. It does worry me though, that people continue to chant things that people will read as anti-semitic or to appear to display support for an organisation who murdered, kidnapped and tortured. Why do that? I’ve always thought that if a marginalised group tells you that the use of a particular phrase is a specific attack on them, you need to find a more inclusive way to make your point and this is no different.

Words really matter. Most people on these marches just want to see peace and an end to human suffering. These events always attract a few people who have more extreme views than that and expressions of hate need to be dealt with, wherever they come from.

Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael spoke of the importance of minding our language.

The horrific cases of antisemitism and support for terrorist organisations that we have seen on the streets of London today need to be totally condemned. It has no place in our society.

Likewise, the violence of the far-right mob earlier and their disrespect of Armistice Day must be utterly condemned. These people are a disgrace towards everything that they claim to represent.

The police need to be commended for their professional and brave work in dealing with these most challenging of circumstances. We should all extend them our gratitude for keeping us safe.

Those who have participated in this hate and disorder should feel the full force of the law.

Many communities are rightfully anxious and fearful right now. We should all be mindful of our words and actions so that we do not stoke further divisions and tensions.

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9 November 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Sharp rise in mortgage arrears should “ring alarm bells in Downing Street”
  • NHS waiting lists: Sunak’s pledge lies in tatters
  • Welsh Lib Dem leader gives her reason for voting for Senedd Gaza ceasefire motion
  • Braverman: What on earth will it take for Sunak to do the right thing?

Sharp rise in mortgage arrears should “ring alarm bells in Downing Street”

There has been an 18% rise in homeowners in mortgage arrears over the past year, the latest UK Finance figures have revealed.

The data shows there were 87,930 homeowners in mortgage arrears worth at least 2.5% of their outstanding loan in the third quarter of 2023, up from 74,420 in the same period last year.

The Liberal Democrats said the figures show families are facing “mortgage misery” and reiterated their calls for a Mortgage Protection Fund, with targeted support to prevent people losing their home, funded through scrapping tax cuts for the banks.

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

This sharp rise in mortgage arrears should be ringing alarm bells in Downing Street.

The Conservative Party crashed the economy and is now forcing ordinary families to pick up the tab.

Homeowners facing mortgage misery should be offered a rescue scheme, with targeted support to protect those most at risk of losing their home. It is the least this government could do after the economic damage they have caused.

NHS waiting lists: Sunak’s pledge lies in tatters

NHS waiting lists have reached a new record high of 7.8 million. It means that the waiting lists have grown every month since Rishi Sunak made his pledge in January that they would fall.

Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP said:

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Suella Braverman must go

My first reaction – several years ago – to one of Suella Braverman’s pronouncements was one of exasperation and incredulity. But it was accompanied by a conviction that not even right wing Tories were going to support her extreme views. I was, of course, wrong.

She not only proposes cruel treatment for vulnerable, underprivileged and desperate people who are either citizens or who want to be one, but she is now doing so from one of the most powerful positions in Government. She wants rough sleepers to die in the cold (it is apparently a lifestyle choice), she wants to imprison people escaping war in unsafe conditions, or alternatively to deport them to a country where they have absolutely no connections, she wants to prevent legal forms of protest that we so value in a democracy, she wants us all to lose the protection of the European Court of Rights, and so it goes on and on …

And now some think she is deliberately courting trouble by posting a highly controversial article in the Times, attacking the Met Police, without getting it signed-off by No. 10. Whatever her motivation, her Cabinet position is now at risk, but that could leave her free to challenge the leadership.

Ed Davey has come out with some very strong words about her:

Suella Braverman is not fit to hold the office of Home Secretary. She divides communities with reckless abandon, playing a personal political game with no care for the consequences suffered by the people she is supposed to protect.

She is the most dangerous and divisive Home Secretary of modern times. This country will be safer without her in post.

This is a situation of the Prime Minister’s own making. He appointed her knowing she had previously broken the Ministerial Code yet he was too scared to stand up to her.

What more will it take for the Prime Minister to do the right thing? It is time for us to move past her pathetic failings and for her to go. Rishi Sunak needs to find his backbone and sack her.

Other Lib Dems have added their thoughts.

Here is Alistair Carmichael in the Commons.

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8 November 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Ofwat on exec pay: Toothless regulator needs to ban bonuses
  • Health Secretary must be accountable for mouth cancer link to lack of dental care
  • Braverman article: Home Sec is running a leadership campaign, not her department

Ofwat on exec pay: Toothless regulator needs to ban bonuses

Responding to the latest announcement by the water industry regulator Ofwat, which rules out banning executive bonuses despite the sewage scandal, Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:

The British public will be reading this and screaming at regulators to just get on with banning these insulting bonuses.

Every penny spent on exec bonuses is less money being used

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Rivers of Blood Mark II

There has been a lot of publicity this week about Tory factionalising and Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s apparent positioning for the party leadership, after the Tories’ expected 2024 GE loss of power.

However, there has been a lot of muddle in the media about which faction proposes what and why. What is really going on ? Clearly if Braverman’s far right platform is to be opposed, what exactly are we opposing ?

The start point is to remember that the jostling of Tory MPs is missing the point. The competition is between different sets of interests, which MPs attach themselves to in order to advance politically. Each set of interests has their own narrative (sincere or not) as to why the UK is seemingly in steep decline and why the Tories are currently unpopular.

There is a group of interests that broadly revolve around international finance, the City and global investment groups. They support privileges for investment banks and are unfussed about monopolies, or high state debt. Sunak vaguely might be placed here.

There is a Thatcherite free market group supported by industry and commercial interests; many being victims of monopoly and fiscal problems. Folks might put Liz Truss in this group.

There is a small military-orientated group, and a small social libertarian group which are both rather limp politically.

Braverman is closer to the expanding Neo-Conservative group, supported by think tanks in Washington DC. They are unfussed about BOTH markets and monopoly finance, sanguine about fiscal risks, and are supported by groups linked to global wars of choice, and by US/UK armaments interests. It is funded via opaque donation intermediaries (although leaks have shed light on the actual international donors).

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If we want to cut violent crime, we need to cut stop and search

Yesterday Suella Bravermen wrote to police forces across England and Wales to encourage them to use stop and search powers more. She says that this will help tackle violent crime.

In fact, it will waste police time on trivialities instead of catching dangerous criminals.

Stop and search isn’t well focussed on finding criminals. Only just over one in ten stops leads to an arrest. In fact a 2019 study found that ‘Overall, our analysis of ten years’ worth of London-wide data suggests that although stop and search had a weak association with some forms of crime, this effect was at the outer margins of statistical and social significance.’ In fact, Braverman’s policy of increasing stop and search had no effect on violent crime trends.

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23 May 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Debt Figures: Proof of more Govt economic mismanagement
  • Raab must stand down now and trigger by-election
  • Braverman: Sunak’s endless dither and delay must end now
  • Dentist Numbers: Sunak must correct the record

Debt Figures: Proof of more Govt economic mismanagement

Responding to the latest debt figures which show the UK borrowed more than expected last month, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

These figures continue to show the mess caused by the Conservative Government’s economic mismanagement. The British taxpayer is still feeling the hit from Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget.

It is frankly shocking that the Government has still not put people first by putting a proper windfall tax in place and reversing its unfair tax cuts for the big banks.

It is safe to say that the Conservatives can never be trusted to run our country’s economy ever again.

Raab must stand down now and trigger by-election

The Liberal Democrats have called on Dominic Raab to stand down now and trigger a by-election, warning that the people of Esher and Walton deserve better than a “bully MP who has thrown in the towel.”

It comes after the Liberal Democrats overtook the Conservatives to become the largest party on Raab’s local Elmbridge Council at the local elections on 5 May, gaining six councillors.

The Liberal Democrats topped the poll in the Esher and Walton constituency at the local elections, gaining 41% of the vote compared to 31% for the Conservative Party.

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22 May 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Braverman: Sunak’s silence speaks volumes
  • Natasha Asghar – Conservatives clearly see Wales as a secondary thought

Braverman: Sunak’s silence speaks volumes

Responding to reports that Rishi Sunak has met with Sir Laurie Magnus, but not yet decided whether he will order an investigation into concerns that Suella Braverman has broken the Ministerial Code, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

For a Prime Minister who promised integrity, Sunak’s silence speaks volumes. He has had ample time to contact his ethics advisor and announce an investigation.

His inability to act is a clear failure of leadership. Sunak and his entire cabinet cannot keep

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20-21 May 2023 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Ethics adviser must investigate Braverman
  • Braverman: By refusing investigation, Sunak is stealing page one from Johnson’s playbook
  • Coffey must apologise for the sewage scandal
  • Sunak must explain Braverman scandal in Parliament tomorrow

Ethics adviser must investigate Braverman

Responding to reports in the Sunday Times that Suella Braverman asked Home Office civil servants to help her avoid a speeding fine and points on her licence by arranging a private one-to-one driving awareness course, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Once again for the Government, it’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

Suella Braverman may be in the driver’s seat at the Home Office but that doesn’t give her any excuse to appear to duck the law.

Braverman should be urgently investigated by the Ethics Adviser and add her name to the nearly endless list of Ministers who have had to undergo the same.

Time and time again we are seeing a conveyor belt of Conservative politicians run roughshod over the rules and drag our politics into the gutter. Now, the buck stops with Rishi Sunak himself to stop the endless headlines of sleaze and scandal.

Braverman: By refusing investigation, Sunak is stealing page one from Johnson’s playbook

Responding to the news that Rishi Sunak has so far refused to open an investigation into Suella Braverman, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

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Carmichael: Sunak is stealing from Boris playbook over Braverman

Today’s Sunday Times (£) reports that Home Secretary Suella Braverman tried to get civil servants to arrange a private driving awareness course so that she could get out of paying a speeding fine and having points on her licence. This, the paper says, contravenes the Ministerial Code as she asked civil servants to help her out with a private matter.

When the civil servants refused to help, she turned to a political aide who tried to persuade the course provider to agree to the arrangements.

After the requests were refused, Braverman, 43, who is a barrister and in charge of law enforcement, pulled out and opted to take the three points on her licence.

The revelations raise questions about whether she breached the ministerial code by directing civil servants to help with her personal affairs, and whether she has complied with the Nolan principles of public life — seven ethical standards which anyone working in public life is expected to adhere to. They are also written into the ministerial code.

Rishi Sunak’s claims of integrity in his government are compromised by his refusal to order an investigation into the Home Secretary’s conduct. Our Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said that this was straight out of Boris Johnson’s playbook:

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3 April 2023 – some reflections as the day ends…

Tomorrow sees the deadline for nominations for local elections in England and, like many of you, my nomination papers are with my local District Council for inclusion on the ballot on 4 May. We take on a serious responsibility, especially for those of us with prospects of victory, as representing our communities is not to be taken lightly, regardless of the level and scale of that position. But, whether you’re a target seat candidate, or an incumbent, or even just a name on a ballot paper, thank you in anticipation of what you’ll be doing over the next thirty-one days.

It’s been a testing few weeks for the Scottish Nationalists, with a leadership contest which exposed the philosophical divides within their ranks, and a new Leader who has attracted much ad hominem criticism from, it must be said, the usual English media suspects. I don’t pay enough attention to Scottish domestic politics to really know whether or not Humza Yousuf is up to the job, but he has a huge challenge on his hands following on from Nicola Sturgeon, whose leadership transcended the ideological question marks within SNP ranks.

I’m an agnostic on Scottish independence (sorry about that, Caron) as I respect the notion of self-determination. I’ve always said that independence comes with a price in terms of “blood and treasure” and, if Scots are allowed to make a properly informed decision and vote to go ahead, then so be it. That said, one does wonder if the SNP would long survive a victory given the loss of the one obvious factor which currently unites them.

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Let’s take a stand at conference against the cruel Braverman Bill

The Conservatives are intent on dragging our country off a cliff with their Small Boats Bill. As Liberal Democrats, we must do everything in our power to stop it – starting at Conference this weekend.

Suella Braverman’s Bill says that anyone who enters the UK via a small boat will be immediately detained and deported to another country as soon as possible. Just like their botched Rwanda plan, this is immoral, unworkable and incredibly expensive for the taxpayer.

We all want to tackle people smuggling and prevent people from making dangerous attempts to cross the Channel, but this bill will do nothing of the sort. The Conservatives are still refusing to provide safe and legal routes to sanctuary in the UK. Instead, they are demonising vulnerable people and giving impunity to the real criminals – human traffickers.

At the same time, they are stripping back hard-won protections for the most vulnerable. The ban on child detention was a Liberal Democrat policy that we proudly put into law in 2014 – now under threat from this government. Important legal limits on how long pregnant women can be detained are also at risk.

The consequences go even deeper. By using the bill to exclude certain groups of people from accessing their rights – whether it is the protections under the Modern Slavery Act, the Human Rights Act or the European Convention on Human Rights – the Conservatives are setting a dangerous precedent.

They are acting like they can pick and choose what rights our government must protect, while also picking and choosing who can stand up for their rights if they are harmed. Small wonder, then, that backbench Conservative MPs are rumoured to be plotting to use this legislation to push for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights. Their dangerous rhetoric has only been emboldened by the Home Secretary.

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Tom Arms’ World Review

UK

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s “Stop the Boats” policy is in danger of being torpedoed by the European Convention on Human Rights. But then Ms Braverman may have an answer to that problem: Withdraw from the convention and the jurisdiction of the administering European Court of Human Rights.

The Illegal Migration Bill – as it is officially called – is aimed at stopping the estimated 50,000-plus people who are expected to cross the English Channel in small boats this year. It is one of the five cornerstone goals of Rishi Sunak’s premiership.

A key element of the policy is that any small boat refugee crossing the channel to seek asylum in Britain will be detained for 28 days without access to the law. At the end of that period, if they are not granted asylum, they will be flown to Rwanda or transported back to their home country. There will be no right of appeal and anyone deported will be banned from future asylum applications.

Most legal eagles agree that the proposed law is a breach of the International Convention on Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights which binds the British government to protect people (including refugees) from being killed or subject to inhumane and degrading treatment. It also exposes the Home Secretary to the charge of unlawful imprisonment and the denial of basic legal rights.

In anticipation of these obstacles, Ms Braverman has said that the European Court of Human Rights is “at odds with British values” and the “will of the British people,” thus raising the spectre of British withdrawal. It was British lawyers in the early post-war years who were largely responsible for drafting the European Convention of Human Rights and establishing the court. For their template they used Magna Carta and the 1689 English Bill of Rights with the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, the US Bill of Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights thrown in for good measure. Ms Braverman would appear to be “at odds” with legal history.

Ukraine

Russian missile attacks on Ukraine reached new levels this week and raised the danger levels at Europe’s largest nuclear reactor at Zaporizhzhia.  The missiles temporarily knocked out the outside power source which was needed to cool the reactors.

Power was restored on Thursday, but this was the sixth time that outside power has been cut off and workers have been forced to switch to emergency diesel generators to protect the reactors. Rafael Grossi, the head of the UN’s International Atomic Entergy Agency, said: “Each time this happens we are rolling the dice. One day our luck will run out.”

He accused the international community of complacency over the fate of the Zaporizhzhia power plant and urged the Russians, Ukrainians and all other interested parties to “commit to protect the supply and safety of the plant.”

Not all, nuclear experts agree with Senor Grossi’s dire warning. Some say that the reactors have been shut down to such an extent that they require little or no power to stay safe. They all agree that the ones in greatest danger are the Russian soldiers guarding the site and the Ukrainians working there.

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8 March 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Braverman’s dangerous rhetoric trashes Britain’s proud legacy
  • Ed Davey raises deadly ambulance delays at PMQs
  • Suella Braverman: Lib Dems demand inquiry into potential breach of ministerial code
  • Steve Brine must stand down from Health Select Committee amid sleaze scandal

Braverman’s dangerous rhetoric trashes Britain’s proud legacy

Responding to comments made by the Home Secretary this morning on the government’s small boats proposals, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

Suella Braverman can’t even answer basic questions about her flawed, callous and inhumane policy.

To suggest that those who oppose these divisive plans are somehow betraying Britain is stooping to a new low. It is

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1 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • BP profits demonstrate utter incompetence of government
  • Hotels for migrants in non-Tory areas is “party first, country last” approach
  • Matt Hancock should lose his MP salary while he’s in the jungle

BP profits demonstrate utter incompetence of government

Responding to the news this morning that BP has announced £7.1bn in underlying profit, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

These profits demonstrate the complete and utter incompetence of this Conservative government. As families and pensioners across the country struggle to pay their energy bills, BP are posting unimaginable profits raking off the backs of hard-working people.

Liberal Democrats proposed a strong windfall tax over a year ago, yet the Conservatives have only attempted an incredibly weak version. Clearly, they’ve been too busy with their own chaos to act.

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31 October 2022 – today’s press releases

  • COP27: Boris Johnson embarrassing Rishi Sunak into attendance
  • Braverman: One rule for Conservative Ministers and another rule for everyone else
  • Scandal-ridden Home Secretary has no credibility left
  • Suella Braverman Risks Inciting Violence – Jane Dodds

COP27: Boris Johnson embarrassing Rishi Sunak into attendance

As Rishi Sunak refuses to confirm his attendance at COP27, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change, Wera Hobhouse MP said:

It shouldn’t take Boris Johnson going to COP to embarrass Rishi Sunak into doing the right thing.

He must immediately confirm his attendance at COP27 and appoint a climate minister to the Cabinet.

We cannot wait another second to tackle the climate crisis. Rishi Sunak must act before he destroys our country’s reputation and the planet even more.

Braverman: One rule for Conservative Ministers and another rule for everyone else

Responding to the Home Secretary’s letter to the Home Affairs Committee, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Wendy Chamberlain MP, said:

This was not a one-off error, the Home Secretary has admitted breaking the rules on an industrial scale. Deliberately sending a sensitive government document to a friend without clearance is completely beyond the pale.

If the Home Secretary wants to maintain even a shred of her dignity and credibility, she must resign now and apologise for her violations of the public’s trust.

Unless Suella Braverman resigns for the second time, the Conservatives will be putting their own party ahead of this country’s security. By reappointing her, Rishi Sunak showed there is one rule for Conservative Ministers and another rule for everyone else.

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28-30 October 2022 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems call for Suella Braverman to hand over texts and emails for future inquiry
  • Jane Dodds – The Housing Sector in Wales is Broken
  • COP27: Nadine Dorries as the voice of reason?
  • Liz Truss phone hacking story: Urgent investigation needed
  • Suella Braverman: Government must publish legal advice on detention of asylum seekers

Lib Dems call for Suella Braverman to hand over texts and emails for future inquiry

The Liberal Democrats have written to the Home Office Permanent Secretary, asking him to facilitate the handover of Suella Braverman’s text messages, WhatsApps, and emails for use in any future inquiry into her misconduct.

Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael raised concerns that the embattled Home Secretary could take advantage of a loophole exploited by Boris Johnson during an inquiry into the funding of the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat. The former Prime Minister claimed that he had been unable to hand over important messages because he had changed his phone.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael said:

We need an independent inquiry with access to all the relevant evidence, to establish the true scale of Suella Braverman’s rule breaking.

We saw how Boris Johnson and other Conservative ministers have tried time and again to duck accountability and cover up the truth.

Suella Braverman must be required to hand over all relevant evidence now before it is too late.

It took less than a day for Rishi Sunak’s government to be mired in the same old Conservative sleaze. His promise of ‘integrity’ was broken within hours of entering Downing Street. If he was serious about integrity he would commit to an independent inquiry now.

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27 October 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Shell profits: Lack of proper windfall tax an insult to families struggling to pay bills
  • Suella Braverman: Sunak must correct record if he misled Parliament
  • Shell rebate shows government’s windfall tax is failing
  • COP27: Rishi Sunak must not turn his back on progress

Shell profits: Lack of proper windfall tax an insult to families struggling to pay bills

Responding to Shell announcing £8.2bn ($9.5bn) in the third quarter, around double last year’s, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

The Conservative government’s refusal to properly tax these eye-watering profits is an insult to families struggling to pay their energy bills.

Even the CEO of Shell has admitted that oil and gas companies should be taxed more to help protect vulnerable households.

It’s time Rishi Sunak introduced a proper windfall tax and used the extra money to support people facing heart-breaking choices this winter.

Innocent families and pensioners should not be left to pick up the bill for this Conservative government wrecking the economy.

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26 October 2022 – today’s press releases

Apologies for the lateness of the hour – I was trawling through my ballot paper for the Party’s internal elections…

  • Braverman appointment: Lib Dems call for Cabinet Office inquiry
  • Cancer diagnosis postcode lottery revealed as over 60,000 wait more than two weeks in August alone
  • Fiscal plan delay leaves families in a cloud of uncertainty
  • Concerns Over Welsh Government Housing Targets
  • PMQs: PM refuses to commit to 40 new hospitals
  • Scrapping triple lock would be a betrayal of pensioners

Braverman appointment: Lib Dems call for Cabinet Office inquiry

The Liberal Democrats have called for a Cabinet Office inquiry into the appointment of Suella Braverman to Home Secretary after she was sacked for breaching the ministerial code.

Liberal Democrats Home Affairs Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Suella Braverman’s appointment makes a mockery of Rishi Sunak’s claims to be bringing integrity to Number 10.

There must be a full independent inquiry by the Cabinet Office into her appointment, including any promises Sunak made to her behind closed doors.

If it is confirmed that Suella Braverman repeatedly broke the ministerial code and threatened national security, she must be sacked.

A Home Secretary who broke the rules is not fit for a Home Office which keeps the rules.

Cancer diagnosis postcode lottery revealed as over 60,000 wait more than two weeks in August alone

  • 108 NHS trusts miss the two week cancer referral target (72% of all trusts).
  • Top 10 worst places for cancer referrals revealed.
  • Lib Dems call on the Government to bring forward an urgent plan to improve cancer care after NHS targets missed.

New analysis of the latest NHS data by the Liberal Democrats has revealed the worst places in the country to see a cancer specialist within two weeks after being referred by a GP.

A staggering 62,360 people had to wait more than two weeks to see a cancer specialist after a GP referral in August alone.

Despite the Government setting a target of 93% of patients seeing a cancer specialist after a referral, just 30 NHS trusts met the target. Some trusts only managed to see one third of people in time, as a post-code lottery is revealed.

The Liberal Democrats have revealed the top 10 worst places for cancer referrals in the country. Norfolk and Norwich NHS Trust is the worst, where only 34% of people were seen within two weeks of a referral.

Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

This grim postcode lottery is a national scandal. The evidence tells us how critical a speedy cancer diagnosis is yet thousands of people are left waiting far too long. The sheer number of people anxiously waiting is completely unacceptable.

Our health services cannot be ignored any longer. The Government must prioritise resources to clear record backlogs, slash dangerously long ambulance waiting times, and solve the healthcare postcode lottery.

All we’ve had from this Government is broken promise after broken promise. It is time for real action.

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Calls for inquiry into Braverman return as home secretary

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The Guardian reports that both the Liberal Democrats and Labour have called for an inquiry into the reappointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary:

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This fantasy government is now the stuff of nightmares

When we were children, we played games of fantasy. Believing we were nurses, fire fighters, astronauts. As adults we still play games, not always acting like we are grown up. The Conservative Party has become adept at this. It previously appointed a prime minister who fanaticised that rules didn’t apply to him. Its current fantasy prime minister claims she is running the country. And too many the party fanaticises that no matter what it does, people will still vote it into power.

Yesterday, the Conservative fantasy turned into farce. A pantomime. Party managers’ attempted to whip Tory MPs into voting in favour of fracking by turning it into a vote of confidence on Liz Truss. That failed big time, with around 40 Tory MPs failing to vote. Fracking is a contentious issue but for a prime minister to stake her job as prime minister on it when it was known that many Tory MPs will not support it was one of the most ill-considered decisions of modern government. And, as it proved, the stuff of nightmares.

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Tory Leadership ballot – battles recommence

So we are down to six:

  • Kemi Badenoch
  • Suella Braverman
  • Penny Mordaunt
  • Rishi Sunak
  • Liz Truss
  • Tom Tugendhat

Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi did not make the cut.

What does this mean for Liberal Democrats? We are conflicted here – which contender would be best for the country and which would be better for our party’s electoral prospects?  Boris Johnson was a disaster for the country but a huge asset to us in recent by-elections, but that is, of course, is no reason to want him to stay in post.  I would certainly put integrity and decency in a Prime Minister at the top of my requirements, even though it would probably produce an upswing in Tory support.

Sadly, those on the more centrist or liberal wings of the Conservatives, that is, those we have most in common with, simply won’t find enough support these days in either the Parliamentary or wider party membership. Tom Tugendhat, a liberal Conservative, is likely to reach peak support in the next day or two.

Instead cultural warriors like Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman and Liz Truss represent the beating heart of the Conservative party – who will the MPs coalesce behind?

But what of Penny Mordaunt? – described as the dark horse of this contest. She is seen by some as a social liberal, but economic conservative, who seems to stand outside the normal rhetoric.

And then there’s Rishi Sunak, in a class of his own. Too many right wing connections, too much reckless spending during the pandemic (though matched by beneficial furlough schemes and, close to my heart, the Cultural Recovery Fund), too little understanding of the impact of his actions on the poorest members of our society, and too much money of his own – no wonder he appeals to the Tory faithful.

What’s your take on the race?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 49 Comments

21 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Pay rises without cash mean more cuts to schools and the police – Davey
  • Government must be clear higher debt won’t mean cuts to vital public services
  • Delyn MP must end ‘saga of scandals’
  • PM must announce a full investigation into potential Russian interference of our democracy
  • Braverman must apologise for endorsing Cummings

Pay rises without cash mean more cuts to schools and the police – Davey

Responding to reports that nearly 900,000 public sector workers will receive a pay rise out of existing departmental budgets, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

Accepting the independent review body’s pay recommendations was the very least the Chancellor could do. Yet, as overall budgets remain unchanged, the reality is our schools, police and wider public services will struggle to meet this award without significant cuts elsewhere in their budgets, including redundancies.

And utterly failing to recognise the outstanding effort of social care staff during the COVID-19 crisis is simply not acceptable. Councils and the wider care sector must be properly funded.

Since the early days of this pandemic, Liberal Democrats have been the first to argue for a better deal for NHS and care staff, yet Ministers seem to think that warm words and hand claps are sufficient. Boris Johnson should be ashamed for neglecting NHS and care staff again.

Government must be clear higher debt won’t mean cuts to vital public services

Responding to ONS statistics showing that Government borrowing for June was £35.5 billion – around five times more than the same month last year – Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

In an unprecedented economic challenge like the coronavirus pandemic people must come before the numbers. Any Chancellor should go beyond normal borrowing to help protect peoples’ health and livelihoods.

What the Government must now make clear is that, after Covid, higher debt will not and must not mean cuts to vital public services or less investment for our crumbling infrastructure – especially in the parts of the UK that need it most.

Liberal Democrats stand firm that we must grow our way out of this crisis with a Green Recovery Plan that will invest billions to transform our economy, fight climate change and create millions of good-quality jobs.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 9 Comments
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