Tag Archives: tom brake

18 July 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

There was a bit of a glitch yesterday, as the press releases ended up in my spam folder for some reason. Things seem to be back to normal, so the usual service resumes here…

  • Welsh Lib Dems – time to embrace zero-carbon housing
  • Lib Dems: EU resolution a vital step in UK’s duty to stand up for people of Hong Kong
  • Davey demands urgent action as knife crime epidemic continues to spread
  • Umunna: OBR report shows No Deal Brexit would be unforgivable
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s ‘fishy tales’ have no plaice in Number Ten
  • Lib Dems: Milestone victory to block no-deal
  • Gauke talks the talk but can’t walk

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15 July 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Law Centre closures show legal aid cuts have gone too far
  • Lib Dems: Honouring Turing ‘a painful reminder’
  • US trade deal delay more evidence of Brexit false promises
  • Home Office accused of deliberately lying to deport slavery victims

Law Centre closures show legal aid cuts have gone too far

Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Jonathan Marks QC has called on the Conservative Government to reverse £500 million of legal aid cuts, as new figures showing that the number of legal advice centres has halved since 2014.

The figures, reported by the Guardian today, show that the number of Law Centres in England and Wales has fallen …

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13-14 July 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

FSB no-deal warning reinforces Tory irresponsibility

Responding to the warning this morning on Sky from the Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for small businesses in the UK, Liberal Democrat Business and Treasury spokesperson Chuka Umunna MP said:

The uncertainty of Brexit hangs over all businesses in the UK. Small businesses spent millions preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU on the 29th March this year, but they do not have the resources to do so again.

The Conservatives have failed to put the interests of the country ahead of the

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9 July 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Labour are still a party of Brexit
  • Prisons inspector reveals Tory neglect
  • Northern Ireland votes mark historic step towards equality
  • Cable: We must continue the fight to stop no deal

Labour are still a party of Brexit

Responding to the reports that Jeremy Corbyn has finally agreed that the next PM must put their Brexit deal or a no deal exit to a People’s Vote, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Labour are still a party of Brexit.

Jeremy Corbyn can pretend all he likes that the Labour Party are finally moving towards backing the Liberal Democrat policy of a People’s Vote, but it is clear

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8 July 2019 – today’s press releases

Two today, with two more embargoed until after midnight (we’ll publish them in the morning)…

Labour heads towards another Brexit fudge

Responding to the latest potential shift in Labour Brexit policy, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The unions seem to have moved to a position to support Liberal Democrat policy to stop a Tory Brexit. However, a Labour Brexit would be no better. Labour must rule out their Brexit-supporting leader negotiating their own Brexit deal.

Liberal Democrats have been clear for three years on our policy for Brexit. We will keep fighting to stop Brexit.

Even now, after millions of remainers have deserted

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1 July 2019 – today’s press releases

‘No-deal war chest’ shows Hunt lost all sense of reality

Responding to Jeremy Hunt’s proposed ‘£6 billion war chest’ to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Jeremy Hunt’s ‘no-deal war chest’ is no more based in fact than the mythical promises that were made during the referendum. £6 billion is nowhere near enough to protect the people of Britain from a no-deal Brexit.

Jeremy Hunt keeps promising that he will mitigate the effects of no-deal on British business, but what he could do is just not throw our economy under the bus in the first place.

It is

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29 June – 1 July 2019 – the weekend and overnight press releases

Labour leadership tone deaf to a People’s Vote

Responding to Len McCluskey’s comments on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokespeson Tom Brake said:

No matter how loudly some in the Labour party demand that the leadership change its position on Brexit, it is clear it is still falling on deaf ears.

It is insincere to only offer a People’s Vote if it’s a Labour deal on the table. Any Brexit plan must go back to the British public.

Any Brexit deal, whether negotiated by Theresa May, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn will be bad for our country. It will damage

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26 June 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Giving revenge porn victims anonymity is long overdue

Responding to reports that the Government is considering granting anonymity to victims of revenge porn in prosecutions as part of a review of image-based sexual abuse laws, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Revenge porn is a despicable form of abuse. Guaranteeing anonymity for victims is a change that is long overdue.

The Liberal Democrats led the fight to outlaw revenge porn in 2015, but prosecutions are still far too low.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats tabled legislation to extend anonymity to victims back in 2016, but the Conservatives

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12 June 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Leaked memo confirms no-deal Brexit medicine fears
  • Farron calls for new deal to fix broken social care system at PMQs
  • Lords pass Lib Dem law to raise age of criminal responsibility
  • Lib Dems: We must ensure next PM cannot shutdown Parliament

Leaked memo confirms no-deal Brexit medicine fears

Responding to a leaked Cabinet note revealing the UK will not be ready for a no-deal Brexit by October 31st because is will take “six to eight months” to build up supplies of medicines, Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said:

This Government document will be extremely concerning to people who rely on medicines like insulin to stay

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30 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems urge ‘No to No-Deal’ coalition

The Liberal Democrats have today reached out to MPs from across the political spectrum in a bid to form a ‘No to No-Deal’ coalition ahead of the Conservative Party leadership contest.

The move comes as a host of Conservative Party leadership hopefuls, including Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, have said they would be willing to leave the EU without a deal if they become Prime Minister.

Tom Brake MP, the Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson, has written to MPs representing the Conservatives, Labour, SNP, Change UK, Plaid Cymru and the Greens in order to form a …

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28 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Winning is, it has to be admitted, so much better than losing, but the ramifications of the European Parliamentary elections keep coming. A block of sixteen MEPs are a significant factor in choosing who leads Europe for the next five years, and Liberal Democrats have an opportunity to be heard at the top table, with seven Liberal members of the European Council.

And today’s press releases give you a flavour of the possibilities…

  • Corbyn remains a block to Labour support for a People’s Vote
  • Catherine Bearder elected to lead Lib Dem MEPs
  • Prime Ministers meet to discuss election result

Corbyn remains a block to Labour

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20 May 2019 – today’s press release

  • Prime Minister’s Deal is dead – Tom Brake
  • Further Gender Identity Clinic delays unacceptable
  • Davey: Govt is failing in its duty to protect the public
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats only chance for 2nd remain seat

Prime Minister’s Deal is dead – Tom Brake

Responding to comments made by Matthew Hancock, the Health Secretary, on the Today Programme, that the Government will bring forward its bill on exiting the EU, Tom Brake, Lib Dem Brexit Spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister’s deal is dead. They can bring forward votes on that deal and a speculative bill every week, for the rest of the year – it will still fail

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15 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Brexit vote shows Tory and Labour talks are pointless

Responding to the announcement from Downing Street that MPs will vote on Brexit legislation in June, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

It is now clear that nothing whatsoever has come of the Tory and Labour Brexit talks. These negotiations are yet another example of pointless and irresponsible time-wasting by both the government and the official opposition.

The Liberal Democrats have been fighting Brexit for nearly three years and are the strongest party who support remaining in the EU.

To get our country out of this mess, orchestrated by Theresa May

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13 May 2019 – today’s press release

No denying Brexit made Honda factory vulnerable

Responding to Honda’s announcement that its plant in Swindon is set to close with a loss of 3,500 jobs, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

No matter how hard the Conservatives try to spin this news, there’s no denying that Brexit made Honda’s factory in Swindon more vulnerable to closure.

This decision is a body-blow for the thousands of workers who now face redundancy, not to mention the huge risk posed to the rest of the car industry, for which there is no Brexit ‘dividend’.

People deserve better than this. They deserve an opportunity to reject

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11-12 May 2019 – the weekend’s press release

Farage tantrum shows he hasn’t got the answers

Responding to Nigel Farage losing his cool on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Be it the 2016 or 2019 incarnation of Nigel Farage, he is still shamefully looking to point the finger rather than take responsibility. Just scratch beneath the surface and it is clear he doesn’t have the answers on Brexit, never mind a manifesto.

A vote for Farage, the Tories, UKIP, or Labour at the European elections is just a vote for Brexit and the years of damaging uncertainty that comes with it. If

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9 May 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dem manifesto sets out vision for the UK in the EU
  • Swinson: We need to give our economy a new purpose
  • Corbyn has trashed the hopes of Remainers
  • Lib Dems are strongest Remain voice for Peterborough (covered here)

Lib Dem manifesto sets out vision for the UK in the EU

The Liberal Democrats will today launch their manifesto for the European elections, setting out a vision for the UK inside the EU.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable, who will be joined by colleagues at the launch in London this evening, said the manifesto is a “blueprint for what the UK …

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7 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Rise in school exclusions is the symptom of broken schools system

Responding to today’s publication of Edward Timpson’s report into school exclusions, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

Exclusion, whether temporary or permanent, should always be a last resort. And it should never be done under the radar.

But this report does nothing to address the reasons why headteachers consider excluding the pupils they find difficult. Off-rolling pupils is not the cause of our problems. It’s the symptom. The result of the perverse incentive to secure a better Ofsted grade or climb up the league tables.

This problem can’t be dealt with

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30 April 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Four Seasons collapse shows social care crisis unfolding on Tory’s watch
  • Gosport investigation vital to ensure justice is done – Lamb
  • Free sanitary products to be available in Welsh colleges
  • Lib Dems: A vote for Labour is a vote for Brexit

Four Seasons collapse shows social care crisis unfolding on Tory’s watch

Responding to the news that one of Britain’s largest care home groups, Four Seasons Health Care, is on the brink of administration, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said:

For the many thousands of residents and staff at the Four Seasons Health Care, the news that the group is set to go into administration

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In full: Cable and Brake’s letter to Corbyn calling for Labour to back a People’s Vote

Vince Cable and Tom Brake have written to Jeremy Corbyn ahead of today’s NEC meeting urging Labour to back a People’s Vote in their European Elections manifesto.

There has so far been little enthusiasm for a confirmatory ballot from Labour’s leadership, although the vas majority of their members and many of their MPs back it.

One thing worth mentioning, though – even if Labour grudgingly agrees to some sort of confirmatory referendum, they are unlikely under Corbyn’s leadership to back Remain. In contrast, the Liberal Democrats will enthusiastically and unequivocally campaign to stay in the EU. So, if that is what you want, Labour Remainers, you need to vote for us both in the locals and especially in the European elections.

Here is Vince and Tom’s letter.

 

29/4/2019

Dear Jeremy,

Tomorrow the NEC will be debating Labour’s European election manifesto.

We are sure that you would acknowledge that Brexit has been the single most divisive issue the country has faced since the Iraq War, if not before. Brexit continues to split the country North and South and young and old.

The Liberal Democrats believe that a confirmatory referendum is our only hope of getting closure on this issue and starting to heal this rift. The result would establish once and for all whether the ‘will of the people’ is really to leave the EU with the PM’s deal (which one poll suggested only 1 person in 7 supports) or any other deal agreed with the EU or instead to remain in the EU.

For this reason, we urge you to push for the inclusion a confirmatory public referendum in your European manifesto. We believe this would also be supported by a majority of Labour MPs, trade unions and Labour members.

We would of course work with the Labour party, other parties and individual MPs to facilitate the passage of the relevant legislation.

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13-14 April 2019 – the weekend’s press release

Two old parties hopelessly divided ahead of Euro elections

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake has accused Labour and the Conservatives of being “hopelessly divided” and said only the Liberal Democrats have a “clear offer” ahead of European elections.

The comments come after Iain Duncan Smith called on the Prime Minister to resign and Jeremy Corbyn was warned by Labour’s MEP group leader that he must back a People’s Vote or lose a generation of young people.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said:

At this time of national crisis, people are demanding real leadership. However, the Tories only offer internal party plotting while

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11 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Extension offers a lifeline out of Brexit chaos

Responding to the reports that the UK and the EU have agreed a “flexible extension” of Brexit until 31 October, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The British people have been given a lifeline. The Conservatives have dragged the country into chaos, but the extension agreed in the early hours of this morning offers a route out from the Brexit mess they have created.

A flexible extension until 31st October is long enough to hold a People’s Vote. The Prime Minister must now show leadership by handing the decision back to the

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6-8 April 2019 – the weekend (plus) press releases

Tories guilty of ‘shocking intransigence’

Responding to comments from Andrea Leadsom on the Marr show, Liberal Democrat spokesperson Tom Brake said:

What we saw this morning from Andrea Leadsom was shocking intransigence.

There is absolutely no clarity on what sort of deal the government is seeking with Labour and no real plan to move forward.

The country will never accept backroom deals done at the 11th hour to push through Brexit.

It is time for the Conservatives to compromise and by giving the people the final say in a vote on their deal with an option to stay in the EU.

Jaguar

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5 April 2019 – today’s press releases

It’s been a pleasant evening in our small, but perfectly formed, village. There’s been beer, some splendid homemade sausage rolls, and a quiz (our team won!). Sadly, the real world has a nasty way of reasserting itself…

  • Brake: Yet another desperate move from a failing PM
  • Pupil Decelopment Grant Access extended to support more families
  • Breakdown of talks with Corbyn signals closing time for May’s Deal

Brake: Yet another desperate move from a failing PM

Responding to the news that the PM has written to the EU calling for a short extension of Article 50, already rejected by the EU, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom …

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3 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Antwerp yesterday, a Cold War exhibit at the National Archives this evening… anyone would think that there was an issue with Europe at the moment. Three press releases this evening for your delectation and delight…

  • Liberal Democrats “raring to go” with European election manifesto
  • Cross-party statement on People’s Vote and revoking Article 50
  • Swinson condemns anti-LGBT laws in Brunei
  • Liberal Democrats “raring to go” with European election manifesto

    The Liberal Democrats are “raring to go” for a European election with the party’s Brexit spokesperson confirming the drafting of a manifesto has already begun with a “vision for the UK inside the EU” while party members

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2 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Today’s press releases are brought to you from Antwerp, as your columnist enjoys possibly one last trip as an EU citizen…

  • Lib Dems table composite amendments to end Brexit impasse
  • Lib Dems: We must ensure all children receive an education that meets their needs
  • Lib Dems: Gisela Stuart Not Fit for FCO Wilton Park
  • Lib Dem victory on Mental Capacity Bill
  • Callous Tories could strip people of voting rights
  • Cable: PM piles more logs on the Brexit log jam

Lib Dems table composite amendments to end Brexit impasse

Today (2nd April) the Liberal Democrats are tabling amendments, working cross-party, to break the deadlock in Parliament by ensuring any Brexit voted through Parliament goes back to the people, with a People’s Vote.

The Liberal Democrats will table composite amendments to reflect Brexit motions voted on last night and the Prime Minister’s deal.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

It is time for MPs to come together and build a majority to end the impasse. That is why Liberal Democrats are seeking to add a People’s Vote to any Brexit motions so that the deadlock in Parliament is broken and the people can decide on the path the country takes.

Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for a People’s Vote for nearly three years, always believing that the people, not politicians, must have the final say.

Adding a People’s Vote to any of the motions voted for last night or the PM’s deal provides the quickest and safest way out of this unholy mess.

Lib Dems: We must ensure all children receive an education that meets their needs

Following the announcement of Government proposals that will see a requirement for home-educated children to be registered with their local authority, affecting almost 60,000, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Parents can decide to home school children for any number of reasons and most do a brilliant job. But undeniably, they need more support.

Yet councils cannot offer this support if they don’t know where children are. A child who has never been on the school roll may simply be unknown to the local authority.

If we want to ensure all families provide their children with an education that meets their needs, then these proposals are a welcome first step.

Lib Dems: Gisela Stuart Not Fit for FCO Wilton Park

Today Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson, has written to the Prime Minister to ask her to reconsider the suitability of Ms Stuart as Chair of Wilton Park, an Executive Agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

This comes following Vote Leave’s decision to drop their challenge against the fine of £61,000 imposed on them by the Electoral Commission for spending offences during the 2016 EU referendum.

Commenting on his decision to write to May on the matter, Mr Brake said:

Ms Stuart was the Chair of a campaign that broke the law. She cannot now continue as head of Wilton Park: a body which promotes good governance across the world on behalf of the UK.

In any other job you would not stay in post if you risked bringing the organisation into disrepute, so why is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office any different? The Prime Minister must act.

Ms Stuart’s role as Chair of Vote Leave and her refusal to apologise for the campaign’s illegal activities make her position at Wilton Park completely untenable.

Liberal Democrats demand better. I have urged the Prime Minister to review Ms Stuart’s appointment in light of the revelations about Vote Leave. British Government appointments must always be spotless. It is not clear this appointment passes that test.

Lib Dem victory on Mental Capacity Bill

Today the House of Commons is debating the Mental Capacity Bill which now includes huge concessions the Liberal Democrats secured from the Government.

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1 April 2019 – the overnight press releases…

Lib Dems introduce no confidence legislation to solve Brexit impasse

Today Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson, Tom Brake MP, will present a bill which would require the Prime Minister to resign should the House of Commons pass a motion of no confidence in her.

Speaking ahead of the Bill’s presentation, Tom Brake said:

As the Prime Minister continues to ignore Parliament’s rejection of her deal, it becomes increasingly clear how blinkered she has become.

With rumours of a fourth vote on the Prime Minister’s deal and no commitment from May that she will respect the indicative votes this week, it becomes clear that the House

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30-31 March 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Lib Dems: Stop and search is not the answer

Responding to the announcement that Police in England and Wales will be given greater stop and search powers to tackle rising knife crime, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Yet again, the Tories are trying to tackle knife crime on the cheap. It won’t work.

More random, suspicion-less Stop and Searches, carried out disproportionately on people from BAME communities, are not the answer. They will not only consume police time and erode trust in the police, but have little impact in actually preventing people carrying knives.

What we really need is

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29 March 2019 – today’s press releases

It’s been a slightly hectic day today, but I’ve got my nomination papers in – I’m running for re-election to my Parish Council in mid-Suffolk. Have you got yours in yet? Time’s running out…

Cable: Only route out of this crisis is a People’s Vote

Responding to the vote on the Government’s withdrawal agreement losing by 58 votes, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Today’s outcome was entirely predictable.

No amount of parliamentary trickery can breathe life back into May’s deal. The only route to resolve the crisis is a final say with the option to Remain in the EU.

A

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23-24 March 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Cable: We are now a Remain country

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable today kicked off the ‘Put It To The People’ march by declaring to supporters that the UK is a “Remain country”.

The Liberal Democrat leader joined hundreds of thousands of supporters, including Liberal Democrat campaigners, MPs and Peers, who descended on London from as far as Redruth in Cornwall to Wick in Scotland.

Speaking at the march, Vince Cable said:

We are now a Remain country. 60% now want to Remain and reform from within. Nearly 90% of young voters who weren’t allowed to vote in 2016 would

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UPDATED: Bercow rules out a third attempt by Theresa May to get her Brexit deal passed – how should the Liberal Democrats respond?

In dramatic scenes in the House of Commons, The Speaker, John Bercow, has ruled that Theresa May can’t hold a third vote on her Brexit deal without major changes to it. This appears to leave only five options;

  • No deal;
  • No Brexit;
  • Seek a long extension to allow time to negotiate a new deal;
  • Prorogue Parliament to allow a new session in which the deal can be brought back, and;
  • A General Election

Here’s some early reaction from the Party…

UPDATE – we’ve now received the official press comment…

Responding to the decision by Commons Speaker John Bercow to rule out the Conservative Government holding another vote on …

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    John Marriott Just add: ...and west of Reading to your last sentence! I agree with David Evans and disagree profoundly with Laurence Cox. There MUST...
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    Well said, John. Like my old friend I'd love to know what experience Mr Pugh and Michael 1 have of being candidates, of fighting and...
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    Michael BG, Why do you ask such extremely loaded questions? David and John are talking about local government by-elections where no leaflets and little effort...
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