Tag Archives: tessa munt

Cole-Hamilton challenges Ruth Davidson to disown Tessa Munt’s Tory opponent for foul mouthed independence rant

The chair of the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ election campaign Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called on Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson to disown the Conservative MP for Wells who has been caught in foul-mouthed tirade against a young person.

The Sunday People has the details:

A Tory MP blasted a Scottish girl who said she would vote for independence in a second referendum, saying: “Why don’t you f*** off back to Scotland.”

James Heappey, 36, fighting to stay MP for Wells, Somerset, has apologised, insisting he was joking.
He asked sixth-formers at nearby private Millfield school how they’d vote in a new Scottish referendum

When one Scots girl said she’d back independence, he lashed out.

Over the weekend, Conservatives in Midlothian complained (justifiably) about the behaviour of SNP activists who were basically obnoxious. When anyone on whatever side uses unhelpful language, it just ramps up the tension some more and it’s not fair on those of us who want to see a civilised political environment.

Alex said:

Ruth Davidson needs to immediately disown the actions of her Conservative MP colleague.

Once again a senior Conservative manages to help the SNP by being obnoxious.

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Was this the funniest moment of the coalition?

Four years ago this week. Enjoy:

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Liberal Democrat MPs with the best real-life experience

The Express has an interesting article listing the MPs who have, it says, the best real life experience.

Two Liberal Democrat MP appear on the list.

They are:

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“Tories running dirty tricks call campaign against Lib Dems”

Tessa Munt photo by Keith EdkinsThat’s the headline in today’s Mirror newspaper:

The Tories have launched a nasty dirty tricks campaign in a knife-edge constituency ahead of the next election. Conservative activists are ringing voters in marginal Wells and pretending to be calling on behalf of the respected local Lib-Dem MP Tessa Munt. They then ask the voters if they wanted to see David Cameron or Ed Miliband as Prime Minister at the next election. The calls were all made from a number in Southend, Essex. The Mirror has confirmed that

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Tessa Munt: Find new abuse inquiry Chair from abroad and involve public in selection

To me it had been clear that Fiona Woolf should step down as Chair of the Inquiry into historic sex abuse ever since it became clear that she had been on dinner party terms with Sir Leon Brittain. It’s not that she had done anything wrong, but it was clear at that point that it would be very difficult for everyone to have confidence in her impartiality. Once the victims had said that they didn’t support her continuing in the role, it was only a matter of time before she resigned, as she did this evening.

Back in July, Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt revealed that she had been sexually abused as a child. Tonight, she discussed Fiona Woolf’s resignation and what should happen next on Radio 4’s PM programme.

You can listen to discussion on the whole issue here from the start of the broadcast, or go straight to Tessa at 36:50.

Sad it’s come to this, but it might have been anticipated. She supported a lot of things that the previous interviewee, representing the victims, had said.

She was asked where she thought we should go next.

Tessa suggested that the pubic should have a role in choosing the next Chair. She suggested using social media to get potential names and then allowing people to express concerns which could then be investigated before any appointments were made. She said that we shouldn’t entertain the idea of people’s reputations being trashed on Twitter, but if people had serious concerns, they could be looked into. There needed to be a lot more transparency in the process.

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LibLink: Tessa Munt – Why I’m boycotting Israeli goods and services

Tessa Munt photo by Keith EdkinsTessa Munt, Lib Dem MP for Wells in Somerset, has explained over at her own website why she’s taken the decision to boycott Israeli goods and services:

This summer, the majority of people I meet out and about are disturbed, upset and angry. It’s clear that Israel has crossed a line. It’s not ok to drop bombs on civilians and the sight of parents carrying the remains of their small children in plastic bags is sickening. Bombed hospitals and schools, an entire population stunned and damaged is criminal. It simply cannot be justified.

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Tessa Munt speaks out about being sexually abused as a child

Tessa Munt photo by Keith EdkinsThe Western Daily Press has the story:

An MP who campaigned for an inquiry into historical paedophile allegations has revealed how she was sexually abused as a child.

Tessa Munt told how she kept silent for decades about the abuse because she feared she would not be believed.

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The tale of Nick Clegg and the naked Legends of Somerset

Legends of SomersetFrom the Wells Journal:

WELLS MP Tessa Munt has shared naked men with leading Liberal Democrats in Parliament – in the form of naked calendar Legends of Somerset.

Her party leader, Nick Clegg, and fellow MPs David Heath of Somerton and Frome, Don Foster of Bath, Simon Hughes of Bermondsey and Old Southwark, David Laws of Yeovil and Jeremy Browne of Taunton, all agreed to have their photo taken with the hit charity calendar.

The calendar is being sold here to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Here’s how it got …

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One further member of the Liberal Democrat Voice Roll of Honour

Earlier this month Lib Dem Voice ran a series of posts under the heading ‘Liberal Democrat Voice Roll of Honour 2013’ (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

One submission reached us too late to be included, but given that we all need to be cheered up today, we decided to share it with you.

Harold Woodman

For delivering in the Wells constituency come rain or shine. He delivers many thousands of leaflets / publications each year.

One special task that he undertakes is that …

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How can we do politics better?

There’s been a spate of articles and comments by Liberal Democrat politicians which, at a guess, isn’t co-ordinated, but they all address the same themes – the problems with the way that we do politics and lack of trust in politicians and institutions.

Paddy Ashdown told the Times (£), reported also for free in the Guardian that public faith in British institutions was “crumbling into dust” with some very harsh words for the BBC and NHS:

The BBC is revealed as an organisation which can’t manage its own affairs, misspends public money and seems to have been complicit in aggrandising

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LibLink: Tessa Munt: “You don’t have to love the Tories to work with them”

In the Daily Mirror, MP for Wells, Tessa Munt (and potential candidate to be Deputy Leader?), has been taking our case to its readers;

We’ve delivered more policies we’ve been working on for some time – like free school meals for primary school children, a supermarket Ombudsman and shared parental leave.

Most importantly of all, we’ve done even more to make our tax system fairer – taking the low paid out of paying income tax altogether and nailing an agreement to give workers a bonus of over £700 in April next year by raising the point when you start paying tax.

Posted in LibLink and News | 19 Comments

Poppy’s pawlitical perspective: Working for Tessa Munt MP and entering Westminster Dog of the Year

Poppy at laptopMy name is Poppy and I have the privilege of working in Tessa Munt’s office and I thought readers would enjoy my take on what is my most exciting week at work to date!

The Monday reshuffle was exciting stuff, I was monitoring twitter all day – that Tim Farron gave me all the updates I needed! I am especially pleased for Susan Kramer going to Transport, we need more girlies in Government. Today I have been working on some messages about what we have done in Government.  I started as an apprentice for Tessa so I really like the jobs campaign…also I am enjoying keeping more of what I earn and have bought myself a new sparkly collar this week as I have a special event to go to. Tomorrow I have been given the day off to prepare for my special day on Thursday, where I will be leaving Somerset for the first time and going all the way to London to compete in Parliamentary Dog of the Year!

When the boss lady asked me to go I was thrilled! She said I deserved to go as I have done an excellent job at keeping morale up in the office as well as getting ‘Team Tessa’ fitter. The pressure is high because the Tories always win and I want to be the first Liberal Democrat doggie to win the crown for us. You can help me do this by voting for me here

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Vote for the Westminster Dog of the Year

Call the Feline Rights Commission! How, in these equality sensitive times, did anyone think it appropriate to set up a beauty contest for MPs’ dogs whilst ignoring all the much-loved cats in MPs’ homes?

Last year’s winner of the Westminster Dog of the Year even got interviewed by Andrew Marr! Where’s the fairness in that? When did you last see him talking with a cat?

Of course, while dogs are owned by their humans, cats own people.  So getting my fellow moggies to express our collective opposition to such undeserved canine fame is like – well – herding cats. But a tactical Early Day Motion from a cat-loving Parliamentarian would not go amiss (can you hear me, John Hemming?)

But – I am a Liberal Democrat cat, so I am used to forcing my political loyalties to overcome my distaste. I therefore feel obliged to draw your attention to two of the entries.

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Tessa Munt and Tim Farron on Chris Huhne’s downfall

Reaction to Chris Huhne’s shock decision to plead guilty to perverting the course of justice over a 2003 speeding case and to quit as MP for Eastleigh has been rolling throughout the day.

Here’s two of Chris’s backbench colleagues on today’s events. First, Lib Dem MP for Wells, Tessa Munt, who praised his work as a “fantastic constituency MP”:

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Jo Swinson, Julian Huppert & David Laws top Lib Dem members’ reshuffle promotion wish-list

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

LDV asked: Which backbench Lib Dem MPs who are not current ministers would you like to see promoted? (Please write-in.) (NB: I’ve set the cut-off for inclusion in this list at 5 individual mentions.)

    Jo Swinson 77
    Julian Huppert 73
    David Laws 66
    Tim Farron 25
    Duncan Hames 21
    Simon Hughes 19
    Andrew George 16
    Tessa Munt 16
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LDVideo: Tessa Munt in fit of giggles in Commons as Minister sits on Davey

Well, there’s a headline you probably didn’t expect to read today.


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Have your say on our Rural Policy paper

It is my firm belief that local people know the area they live in best, village to village, town to town.

I have been asked to have a think about what policy changes should be made so that people in rural areas get a fairer deal and the resultant rural policy paper will be presented at Autumn Conference. Clearly, we must be realistic – none of us expects to have major services (such as hospitals) on our doorstep. However, it seems to me that there are some areas of Government policy which could reflect rural needs more effectively.

I chose …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 16 Comments

In other news…

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

  • Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt is taking on sexism in the BBC: ‘The BBC must ensure there are more women presenters and executives working on its radio network if it is to justify its licence fee, MP Tessa Munt said today after she found that in some cases there were fewer female voices than 25 years ago.’
  • The FT reports how Danny Alexander, Lib Dem Treasury chief secretary, has highlighted a crackdown on high pay in the public sector: Danny has
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    PMQs: Miliband hoist by his Balls’ petard

    Let’s start with what Ed Balls, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor said in the Guardian on January 14th:

    My starting point is, I am afraid, we are going to have keep all these cuts. There is a big squeeze happening on budgets across the piece. The squeeze on defence spending, for instance, is £15bn by 2015. We are going to have to start from that being the baseline. At this stage, we can make no commitments to reverse any of that, on spending or on tax. So I am being absolutely clear about that.

    So, it was something of a surprise when Ed …

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    The Independent View: MoD suppresses Lib Dem review and spending information on Trident ahead of Parliamentary decision

    Liberal Democrats can be rightly proud of their record on challenging like-for-like Trident replacement and keeping Britain’s nuclear weapons near the top of the political agenda – certainly during the last general election campaign. But now it looks as though their coalition partners are moving to stifle the gains they have made. Not only has the Defence Secretary announced the suppression of the Lib Dem-led Trident Alternatives Review. He is also making a mockery of the delayed Trident replacement decision – scheduled for 2016 – by committing to spend £6 billion before that decision date. This is hardly fair play …

    Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 18 Comments

    PMQs: Miliband misses a golden opportunity

    LibDem Julian Huppert started Prime Minister’s Questions with a zinger today. He said that jobs and growth depend on consumer confidence, and asked if, therefore, the PM thinks that telling 25 million people that they have no job security and could be fired tomorrow will help consumer confidence (this refers to the proposal from Tory businessman Adrian Beecroft). David Cameron had no answer but instead, as always, threw his briefing notes at the questioner (metaphorically speaking).

    I should also mention, en passant, that Julian asked for suggestions for his first question via Twitter. Good man.

    After the MiliCam exchange, I was …

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    Poverty and achievement: breaking the link – Sarah Teather’s speech to conference

    Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Children and Families, gave this speech yesterday to Liberal Democrat conference:

    “Education… beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.“

    The quote is from HoraceMann, the great 19th century American reformer. But it speaks to the instincts of liberals here with as much resonance as then.

    The scandal is that though it should be true, it isn’t.

    You will hear many people talk this week about the shocking state of the nation’s finances that was Labour’s legacy. I want to talk about another …

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    End of term report for Lib Dem MPs’ Class of 2010

    As the House of Commons rises this Tuesday, the BBC’s Gavin Stamp gives new MPs of all parties his end-of-term report.

    Here’s what he has to say about the new Lib Dem intake:

    New entrants were small in number but still accounted for almost one in six of the Parliamentary party.

    No new MPs made it into the ranks of ministers or were asked to head up a series of backbench committees designed to help the party retain an independent voice on issues outside the coalition.

    However, Gordon Birtwhistle and Duncan Hames became parliamentary private secretaries, the latter also finding time to

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    Julian Huppert MP writes: Under-18s must have the right to choose their future

    Our constitution has many interesting anomalies, but to me one of the most obvious has always been the way we treat the ‘nearly-adults’ in our society. Our 16 and 17 year olds are subject to a whole set of rules that are thrown out of the window when they turn 18; similarly, they are unable to do a whole set of things that they are suddenly allowed to on that most auspicious day. We don’t let these nearly-adults vote, have credit cards or bind themselves into a credit agreement. They can, however, commit themselves to an extended period in the …

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    Liberal Youth: appealing to Lib Dems everywhere

    Conferences are a foundation stone of being a Liberal Democrat. There have been some really huge and important ones – Brighton, 2002, where we laid out a principled position on Iraq; Llandudno, 1981, where Shirley Williams and David Steel spoke passionately in favour of an alliance; Sheffield, 2011, when we opposed the NHS reforms. Conference is the best way for the membership to exert their influence over the leadership. Past leaders, from Steel to Ashdown, from Kennedy to Clegg, have often feared Conference for the skill and passion with which it has put its arguments. And so the tradition of …

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    In other news…

    Good news on human rights:

    Lib Dems thwart Tory hopes of human rights convention withdrawal
    Decision will infuriate Tory rightwingers unhappy at what they believe is Strasbourg judges’ interference in UK rights

    Chris Rennard writes in The Guardian:

    Those seeking a fairer voting system may be rather more dismayed if the Guardian is correct that there are difficulties getting Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg working together in support of the referendum. Political rivalry over other issues should not prevent all supporters of reform from campaigning for a cause on which they agree. Lessons should be learned from the Scottish referendum in 1997

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

    The Independent View: We cannot have back-door Trident replacement

    Delaying the decision, on whether or not to replace Trident, until 2016, has been the best bit of news to come out of the coalition government. This was announced, to the delight and relief of many, in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) last October.Of crucial importance, it makes Trident a general election issue – a fact, as Nick Harvey has stated, ‘of huge political significance’. Indeed, it holds out the possibility of defeat for a new generation of nuclear weapons. Given that the majority of the population has for some time backed scrapping Trident, this …

    Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , and | 21 Comments

    LDV survey: The new Lib Dem MPs who’ve impressed party members the most

    Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 660 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

    LDV asked: Which of the newly elected Lib Dem MPs has genuinely impressed you to date?

    Our sample of party members could tick as many (or few) of the 10 ‘newbie’ MPs as they liked. Here are the top five:

    • 45% – Julian Huppert, Cambridge
    • 17% – Tessa Munt, Wells
    • 17% – Duncan Hames, Chippenham

    Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

    Tessa Munt cleared of council tax fraud allegations

    In July the Mail on Sunday reported allegations that Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt had falsely claimed a council tax discount. As the BBC now reports:

    Wells MP Tessa Munt has been cleared of allegations of falsely claiming a single occupier council tax discount.

    The Lib Dem has always denied any wrongdoing over newspaper allegations she had friends living with her.

    Hat-tip: Jonathan Calder

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

    Tessa Munt on being a newbie MP: “It’s a very serious job, but I’m having a ball.”

    As this BBC Somerset report excitedly notes, Tessa Munt is “the first Liberal Democrat MP for Wells since World War II”, having defeated Tory incumbent David Heathcote-Amory in May.

    You can read here about how she’s settling into her new office (“The most important thing for me was making sure we were actually accessible from ever single part of the constituency”), furnished with recycled fittings (“I did actually do a raid on some of the outgoing MPs offices. … I don’t frankly mind if my box files are second hand.”).

    And as for how she’s taken to the …

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