Tag Archives: uk government

Yet more chaos in Downing Street

Yet another week where the Prime Minister has floundered, and the country has struggled.

The week started with a Tory former chief whip urging Boris Johnson to withdraw an insinuation about the Labour leader Starmer refusing to prosecute the serial sex offender Jimmy Savile and which saw scenes where Starmer was accosted outside Parliament.

The UK Statistics Authority last week officially rebuked Boris Johnson and Priti Patel for misleadingly claiming that crime had fallen, following a letter of complaint by Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng then claimed this weekend that fraud isn’t something people experience in their day-to-day lives.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats show there were 100,393 fraud offences referred to the police in London last year, 8,957 fraud offences in Surrey which is home to Kwasi Kwarteng’s constituency of Spelthorne, and 11,829 fraud offences in Essex which includes Priti Patel’s seat of Witham.

Boris Johnson refused to agree to correct the record, after being challenged to by Ed Davey at PMQs on Wednesday.

Sir John Major’s keynote speech at the Institute for Government on Thursday was damning, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Lib Dems react to PM speech

As soon as Boris Johnson started speaking, I was infuriated.

Nicola Sturgeon manages to get a signer there for every briefing. And she does hers live.

Boris’s was pre-recorded. Why not have a signer in the room with him so that, whatever channel you watch, you can understand what is being said?

It’s not the first time I’ve been infuriated by his government over the past week. The misjudged, mixed messaging. One minute people were doing great for obeying the guidance, the next they were getting too lazy at home. Then the briefing that lockdown was going to be lifted on Monday leading to a whole clutch of “we’re being set free” headlines. It’s not what you need in the middle of the greatest crisis we  have faced in generations. People need to understand exactly what they need to do.

That’s why the new slogan is so terrible.  Nobody knows what “stay alert” means in practical terms. Everyone will tell you something different. If you had something like stay 2m apart, wash your hands, wear a mask in confined spaces, you know exactly what to do. Not only that, but when the other UK governments hear about it on in the press, it’s clearly not been well discussed.

So how have senior Liberal Democrats reacted to the PM’s speech?  So far we have been asking careful questions about issues like care homes, PPE and testing. I sense a more critical tone now.

Ed said that the PM’s statement had more confusion that clarity:


This is the first time we’ve seen divergence between England and the other nation states of the UK.

As liberals, we should welcome this, given that we get what devolution means. We should respect the devolution settlements that give different parts of the UK the powers to do what is right for them.

But that means that all the governments have to clearly show that the decisions they make are governed by the science.

Willie Rennie said tonight:

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LibLink: Christine Jardine – Balance of Scottish power

Until the Summer, Christine Jardine was deep at the heart of Government as a special adviser on Scottish media based in Downing Street. She’s now returned to Scotland and full time Liberal Democrat politics.

This week, in the Scotsman, she argued that over reliance on land based wind farms can hurt the communities where they are based and predominantly benefits the landowners who pocket the subsidy and don’t pass it on to local people. She argued that more attention should be given to offshore and tidal projects, like the one Scottish Secretary Mike Moore was so enthusiastic about a few …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

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