Tag Archives: tory sleaze

30 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Zahawi – Sunak must withdraw Conservative Whip
  • ONS winter survey: A damning verdict on the Government’s record

Zahawi – Sunak must withdraw Conservative Whip

The Liberal Democrats have written to Rishi Sunak calling on him to withdraw the Conservative whip from Nadhim Zahawi.

In a letter to Sunak sent today, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said that Zahawi has shown he is not fit to represent his constituents, and that if he refuses to resign as an MP then he should have the Conservative whip withdrawn.

It comes after Nadhim Zahawi refused to apologise for failing to come clean about his tax affairs and …

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28-29 January 2023 – the weekend’s (other) press releases

  • Richard Sharp: Publish Boris Johnson’s hidden register of interests

    Richard Sharp: Publish Boris Johnson’s hidden register of interests

    The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to publish Boris Johnson’s internal register of ministerial interests including details of the personal loan he received.

    It comes as the Sunday Times reports that Boris Johnson was formally told by the Cabinet Office to stop asking Richard Sharp for “advice” about his “personal financial matters.

    It is reported that details about the loan were included in Johnson’s own declaration in the internal register of ministers’ interests, parts of which are not made public.

    Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy

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26 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Welsh Government Not Monitoring GP Waiting Times
  • HMRC and Zahawi investigation: Sunak must rule out a stitch up
  • £220,000 Johnson bailout fund for “cost-of-lying crisis”

Welsh Government Not Monitoring GP Waiting Times

  • Information obtained by the Welsh Liberal Democrats shows the Welsh Government has no idea how long waiting times for GPs are across Wales.
  • The Welsh Liberal Democrats claim this hinders the Welsh Government’s ability to see where resources should be directed to help local health boards.

The Welsh Government is not collecting data on how long GP waiting times are across Wales according to information uncovered by the Welsh Liberal Democrats. This is despite …

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25 January 2023 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Zahawi: Raab must bring in law to stop baseless legal threats
  • Sunak holding “Hideaway Day” at Chequers with scandal-hit Cabinet
  • New sewage target passed in Parliament which allows 15 more years of harmful waste in rivers
  • Conservative MPs vote to cover up the truth about golden visas

Zahawi: Raab must bring in law to stop baseless legal threats

The Liberal Democrats have written to Dominic Raab, calling on him to “urgently” bring in a new law to stop journalists and campaigners being silenced through legal threats.

It comes following numerous reports that Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi used the threat of legal action against campaigners and journalists who raised questions about his tax affairs.

The government has previously promised new legislation to tackle the use of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs). Last year in response to a consultation on the issue, Dominic Raab warned these sorts of legal threats can have a “chilling effect” and “stifle legitimate reporting and debate,” with “media and others intimidated into abandoning critical stories in the face of crippling legal costs.”

Raab also previously said that “it is wrong that unscrupulous individuals and corporations are able to exploit our laws and our courts in this jurisdiction with claims designed to muzzle respected journalists, academics and campaigners.”

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to bring in new anti-SLAPP laws as quickly as possible, and to clarify if they would prevent Cabinet Ministers such as Nadhim Zahawi from behaving in the way which has been alleged.

The party is also calling for the current investigation by the ethics adviser to look into the use of legal threats by Nadhim Zahawi.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said:

Dominic Raab has rightly warned about the chilling effect that the threat of legal action can have on media scrutiny and exposing corruption. It’s now time to put his money where his mouth is by finally bringing forward tough new laws to tackle these baseless legal threats.

It is particularly worrying that Nadhim Zahawi reportedly used the threat of legal action against those raising questions about his tax affairs. We need to know whether the new rules the government is proposing in this area will tackle such behaviour by Cabinet Ministers in future.

The current inquiry into Zahawi by the ethics adviser must also look into this issue, and whether legal threats were used in an attempt to cover up the truth. It can’t be one rule for Conservative ministers and another for everyone else.

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25 January 2023 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • Zahawi: What more will it take for Sunak to do the right thing
  • Govt lags behind key 20,000 police officer pledge by over 3,400
  • Powys Patients Waits in English Hospitals Raised in the Senedd
  • Wagner Group: Rishi Sunak must order an immediate inquiry

Zahawi: What more will it take for Sunak to do the right thing

Responding to the growing calls for Rishi Sunak to suspend Nadhim Zahawi as Conservative Party Chairman, including among his own party, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said:

Every day that Nadhim Zahawi clings on does more damage to Rishi Sunak’s credibility.

The Conservative Party is stuck in an endless cycle of sleaze and chaos, while the country suffers from a cost of living and NHS crisis.

What more will it take for Sunak to finally do the right thing and sack Zahawi, or at least suspend him for the duration of this investigation?

He promised his government would have integrity and accountability, but instead once again it’s one rule for them and another for everyone else.

Govt lags behind key 20,000 police officer pledge by over 3,400

New Police uplift statistics from the Home Office have revealed that the Government would need to double its police recruitment efforts in the next three months to meet its 20,000 targets as it lags behind by 3,427.

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservatives for being on track to break their key 2019 manifesto promise to recruit 20,000 new police officers by the end of March 2023.

The Government’s flagship crime policy lags behind the total by 3,427 – with only 3 months left to go.

Analysis from the Liberal Democrats shows to meet the target of 20,000 by March 2023, the Government would have to hire 130% more officers each month, up from 494 extra officers a month over the last six months to 1,142.

The most recent statistics reveal that 17 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales have failed to recruit a single new officer in the last 2 months.

Responding, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

The Conservatives are too busy dealing with sleaze and scandal to properly tackle crime festering in our communities. They are letting down people across the country with their failure to recruit police officers and tackle crime.

Victims right across the country will be left without confidence in this Government and it’s all because of these broken promises and failures.

Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing where people feel safer in their areas and the Government is focused on cutting crime instead of squabbling in Downing Street.

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23 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Strip Boris of ex-PM £115k allowance until he comes clean
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats Respond to Building Safety Announcement

Boris Johnson should be stripped of the ex-PM allowance of up to £115,000 a year until he answers questions about his financial arrangements while he was Prime Minister, the Lib Dems have said.

This comes further to successive reports regarding ‘credit facilities’ which Johnson secured while he was in Downing Street, reportedly facilitated by Richard Sharp who was subsequently appointed as BBC Chair.

The Lib Dems have warned that until Johnson comes clean about these facilities, whether there was any conflict of interest with the …

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20-22 January 2023 – the weekend’s press releases (part 2)

  • Zahawi: There must be an independent investigation to get to the bottom of this
  • Cleverly: Dog ate my homework type excuses simply won’t wash with the public
  • Boris loan: He must come to Parliament to explain his murky finances
  • Jane Dodds Responds to Cancelation of Young People’s Village at the Royal Welsh Show

Zahawi: There must be an independent investigation to get to the bottom of this

Responding to the latest statement from Nadhim Zahawi on his tax affairs, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said:

Zahawi and his Conservative Cabinet colleagues are arrogantly trying to brush this under the carpet.

There are facts that still

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25 November 2022 – today’s press releases

Apologies, press release fans, but broadband to my village was lost due to a BT fault this evening. It’s supposed to be restored in a fortnight’s time, so I’m reduced to the internet equivalent of two tin cans and a length of string temporarily.

  • Sunak reappoints controversial Trade Minister he sacked last month
  • Raab allegations can’t be swept under the carpet

Sunak reappoints controversial Trade Minister he sacked last month

The Liberal Democrats have demanded that reappointed Trade Minister Dominic Johnson urgently publishes his Register of Interests, warning that he has a duty to be “open, transparent and accountable” and avoid a conflict of …

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8 November 2022 – today’s press releases

It’s been another day in which the apparent total lack of understanding of governance has been the undoing of another Conservative minister, and today’s press releases reflect how quickly that can play out…

  • Williamson comments: Independent Cabinet Office investigation needed now
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats Only Party in the Senedd Making a Stand on Human Rights
  • Gavin Williamson resigns: Sunak’s integrity left in tatters

Williamson comments: Independent Cabinet Office investigation needed now

The Liberal Democrats have demanded an immediate independent Cabinet Office inquiry into remarks made by Gavin Williamson, in which he told a senior civil servant to “slit his throat.”

It comes after Number 10 confirmed today Rishi Sunak has full confidence in Gavin Williamson.

The Liberal Democrats said a full and independent inquiry must be carried out immediately by the Cabinet Office Propriety and Ethics team, and the findings must be made public.

Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

The Conservatives must not be allowed to mark their own homework. We need an independent inquiry now to address these damning allegations about Gavin Williamson’s conduct.

Anything less would be an abdication of leadership from Number 10, and make a mockery of Sunak’s promise to govern with integrity.

The findings must be made public – if the Conservatives have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.

Every day this scandal drags on means more endless infighting while the Conservatives fail to tackle the pressing issues facing the country.

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7 November 2022 – today’s press release

‘Full Confidence’ in Williamson shows same old Conservative sleaze

Responding to the news that Rishi Sunak has ‘full confidence in Gavin Williamson despite knowing about the complaint made, Liberal Democrat Cheif Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

Different Prime Minister, same old Conservative sleaze.

If Rishi Sunak, had any sense of public duty, he would sack Gavin Williamson now. In any other workplace, someone who behaved as he did would have been rightly dismissed for gross misconduct.

Instead Williamson is being let off the hook by a Prime Minister happy to let his integrity be brought into question on a

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18 October 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Triple lock: Truss looks set to betray struggling pensioners in the middle of a cost of living crisis
  • Lib Dem Amendment Put to Vote to End Sleaze in Parliament
  • Anti-sleaze amendment passed to stop MPs “marking their own homework”
  • Calls for Action as Drug-Related Deaths in Wales Rise to Highest Level Ever
  • Welsh Government Must Act to Stop the Brain Drain of Doctors in Wales

Triple lock: Truss looks set to betray struggling pensioners in the middle of a cost of living crisis

Responding to the Prime Minister’s spokesperson refusing to say the Government is committed to the triple lock pension, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Work and Pensions Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

Liz Truss has trashed the economy and now looks set to betray struggling pensioners in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

This Conservative Government’s botched budget has already sent mortgage bills spiralling. It would be a kick in the teeth for millions of people if Truss now backtracks on her triple lock promise. The British public will never forgive the Conservative party if they break this promise.

This chaotic Government has to go. Britain needs a general election before Liz Truss and her Conservative Ministers do anymore damage.

Lib Dem Amendment Put to Vote to End Sleaze in Parliament

The Liberal Democrats have today led a cross-party Parliamentary effort to finally end the practice by which MPs are allowed to vote on motions regarding their own misconduct.

The Lib Dem Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain is today putting an amendment to a vote on the Government’s motion on standards, which the Government has tabled to implement recommendations from the Standards Committee, later this afternoon.

This practice was notoriously brought to attention by the Owen Paterson scandal, when he voted against his own suspension from the House of Commons in 2021 – a saga which ultimately resulted in a Liberal Democrat victory in the North Shropshire by-election.

The amendments, which have support from Conservatives (David Mundell, Alicia Kearns), Labour (Kim Leadbeater, Cat Smith) and the Green Party (Caroline Lucas), would prohibit members from voting on anything concerning their own conduct.

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1 July 2022 – today’s press releases

  • VAT cut: Ministers need to stop dithering and act now
  • Suspending Chris Pincher should never have taken this long
  • Concern Over Cardiff Council Plans to Tackle Begging
  • Southwark Liberal Democrats Demand More Ambition in Plans to Tackle Air Pollution

VAT cut: Ministers need to stop dithering and act now

Responding to reports the government is considering cutting VAT, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Families across the UK are facing a cost-of-living emergency. Ministers need to stop dithering and act now.

Liberal Democrats have been calling for an emergency VAT cut for months. It was a key part of our successful by-election campaign in Tiverton and Honiton. Families need it, businesses need it, and voters clearly support it. So why haven’t Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak done it already?

The sad truth is that we have a Government has no plan and a Prime Minister too busy fighting with his own party to help the British people.

Suspending Chris Pincher should never have taken this long

Responding to the news Chris Pincher has had the Conservative whip suspended, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

It should never have taken Boris Johnson this long to act and withdraw the whip.

Once again it seems Johnson has had to be forced into doing the right thing

There can be no more cover ups or excuses. If this investigation confirms these serious allegations, Chris Pincher will surely have to resign.

The Liberal Democrat Voice team have recently started to receive more press releases from Council Groups around the country, perhaps a sign of greater confidence and ambition, and we’ll try to publish some of them going forward…

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Parish resigns decently over indecency in the Commons

In what is possibility the most honest resignation in recent times, Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton has taken the Chiltern Hundreds.

In a government led by Boris Johnson, who has been widely accused of lying, his resignation has been honest and frank. Although Parish was initially was looking for tractors while on the Conservative benches, he found something that entertained him more. Then he went back again. He told the BBC:

“I did get into another website that had a very similar name and I watched it for a bit, which I shouldn’t have done.

“But my crime – biggest crime – is that on another occasion I went in a second time.”

He is victim of his own misfortune and he had to go voluntarily or be dismissed. He chose not to hang on. It is rare now for MPs to resign with decency, even if they are resigning for indecency.

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Jardine bill to force Sunak to reveal family tax arrangements

The Liberal Democrats have drawn up draft legislation to force the Chancellor and any other government ministers to reveal whether they or their spouses claim non-domiciled status or have holdings in overseas tax havens.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine MP has drafted the Ministerial Tax Residency Status Bill and will present it to the House of Commons once Parliament has returned from Easter recess.

It was recently revealed that Rishi Sunak was listed as a beneficiary of tax haven trusts set up in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands and held by his wife Akshata Murthy – just days after it emerged she was using her non-domiciled status to avoid paying taxes in the UK.

Ed Davey has written to the Cabinet Secretary and to Lord Geidt, the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, calling on them to investigate whether Sunak has broken the Ministerial Code.

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Chamberlain: Ending corruption and sleaze vital to democracy

The government has been mired with sleaze. The Conservatives attempted to keep Owen Paterson as an MP and thankfully failed. Boris Johnson is the first prime minister to be interviewed by the police under caution. He is dodging the question of whether he will resign if he is fined over partygate.

Yesterday, the Lib Dem Spring Conference voted for a package of reforms. These include putting the Ministerial Code into law and making sure it is fully independent of the prime minister; appointing an Independent Adviser to oversee the Code and launch their own investigations; and introducing a range of sanctions for those found to have broken the Ministerial Code.

Sanctions could include apologies, fines, and demanding a minister’s resignation.

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Email on Number 10 drinks party “adding insult to injury” – Ed Davey

Responding to reports by ITV News that Downing Street staff were invited to a drinks party in the Number 10 garden during the national lockdown on May 20 2020, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This is yet more evidence that while the vast majority of people were sticking to the rules, those in Number Ten were breaking them.

It is a kick in the teeth for everyone who has sacrificed so much during the pandemic, from those who weren’t able to visit loved ones in hospital to nurses left wearing binbags as PPE.

To add insult to injury, on

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Scrapping of crony committee – Wendy Chamberlain hails a “victory for democracy”

Responding to the government tabling a motion to scrap its proposed new standards committee, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain, who led yesterday’s emergency Commons debate on standards, said:

“It is a victory for democracy and decency that the government has finally scrapped their crony committee for good.

“This reflects the strength of feeling shown by MPs across the political spectrum at yesterday’s emergency debate.

“But this U-turn comes too late to undo the damage done to Boris Johnson and his government’s reputation. People won’t easily forget that the Tories tried to …

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Lib Dems demand public enquiry into Tory sleaze ahead of Commons debate

Last week, Wendy Chamberlain secured a parliamentary debate following the fiasco over the standards process votes. Here she is proposing it:

And later she spoke to Sky News:

Ahead of tomorrow’s debate, the party has given an indication of what we hope to achieve.  We have called for an independent public inquiry into government sleaze and allegations of political corruption, warning that Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are “releasing sewage into our rivers and sleaze into our politics.”  The inquiry would look into various scandals including the awarding of lucrative Covid contracts to those with political links to the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson’s failure to declare that holidays abroad and the redecoration of his Downing Street flat were paid for by party donors, and last week’s attempt to block the suspension of former Conservative MP Owen Paterson after he was found to have breached lobbying rules.

The inquiry would have the power to summon witnesses and require them to give evidence under oath, including current and former government ministers and officials, and demand the disclosure of any relevant official documents and communications.

The party is also demanding that any MPs under investigation for breaking parliamentary rules should be barred from taking part in Commons votes on disciplinary issues.

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How YOU can send the Tories a message from North Shropshire

It’s time to fire up the risographs, dust off the rosettes, and hit the doorsteps.

The sleaze scandal that has engulfed the Tories this week has reminded members up and down the country why Boris Johnson’s Government must be beaten. Politics must be better than this.

And the North Shropshire by-election is a great chance to send them a message they can’t ignore – and help cement the party back on the political map.

There was much speculation in the media yesterday about a possible “unity independent anti-corruption” candidate. On Friday morning, Labour ruled this out – so it’s not an available option.

This constituency is fertile territory for the Lib Dems. Labour may have finished second by default in 2019, but things have changed since then.

Most importantly, we have an enthusiastic and energetic local team who have picked up the baton to take the fight to the Tories. They’re the opposition on Shropshire Council and they deserve our support.

In May we finished second across North Shropshire – winning twice as many votes as Labour or the Greens. We came within a whisker of electing five councillors, with Labour nowhere. A casual glance at the seat’s profile makes clear Labour could never win here.

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