Tag Archives: vince cable

Cheers, Vince

His successor will be announced soon, but we really need to say a massive thank you to Vince for the work he has done over the past two years.

He took on a party which was not in the best place. He leaves a party which is rejuvenated, united, determined, confident and has given up equivocation and nuance in favour of a give zero hoots attitude that has paid dividends in terms of the number of members, councillors and MEPs we have.

I have had my disagreements with Vince during his time as leader. I felt that the emphasis on a supporters’ scheme was misplaced when what we actually needed to be doing was to tell our story better. But he did take the time to seek out views in the party and listen to people. Leaders are always going to do stuff that activists don’t like. It goes with the territory. Whoever wins today is going to annoy me at some point – and one of the candidates has been a really good friend for the best part of two decades.

Vince has consistently been the grown up of British politics for way beyond these past two years to be honest. He knows everything and everybody and has been essential in developing the cross party working that’s been going on over Brexit. He has laid the foundations for collaboration that could put paid to this Brexit disaster once and for all. And it is his strong friendship with Chuka Umunna, forged in the years they faced each other at the Dispatch Box when Vince was Business Secretary, that facilitated Chuka joining us.

And he has been really clear about the behaviour we will not tolerate in the Lib Dems. Last Summer he wrote that bigots of any kind are not welcome in our party:

The lazy use of group stereotypes should be unacceptable to us all. But we must not be blind to the fact that these issues affect our party as well.

The Liberal Democrats have always been at the forefront of the fight for equality, and we have a record on these issues of which we’re very proud.

But sadly, the truth is that a very small minority of our own members do hold some views that are fundamentally incompatible with our values.

Our party’s constitution is clear:

We reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.

As a liberal, I respect people’s rights to hold different views to my own, but my message to everyone is that racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, sexism, transphobia and bigotry are not welcome, and not tolerated, in the Liberal Democrats.

We should also say thank you to his wife, Rachel Smith, who has travelled the length and breadth of the country with him. Being a leader’s spouse is not an easy job.

On a lighter note of my favourite Vince moments was when he turned up at Not the Leaders’s Speech in Bournemouth in 2017. In a tradition dating back to the coalition years, certain of the Awkward Squad don’t bother with the Leader’s Speech at Conference. They gather in a hostelry and watch it on Twitter, working out at which point they would have walked out had they been in the hall. To be fair, the potential for walking out has significantly reduced in recent years, but anyway. It turned out that following a motion on pubs, a photo-op had been arranged with Vince for after his speech. In the same pub as NTLS.

Posted in Op-eds | 1 Comment

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 …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | Leave a comment

Vince Cable: Why I changed my mind on assisted dying

In the final of our three MPs’ speeches in favour of assisted dying, Vince Cable explains what prompted him to change his mind on the issue.

I thank the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Nick Boles), my right hon. Friend the Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) and others for giving us the opportunity to debate this subject. Members have spoken movingly and from experience about their views.​

I am someone whose views have radically changed. Until recently I was a vehement opponent of assisted dying, but I have changed my views and think I should explain why. That change is partly based on an understanding of why I was previously opposed to it, which was due to my own personal experiences. Two of those experiences were relevant, and I think they will resonate with many Members of the House.

One experience concerned my elderly mother who descended, as many do, into confusion and dementia, compounded by mental illness and depression. One week she would say, “Please, please end my life. I am a burden. I want to go”, but a few weeks later she would be enjoying the simple pleasures of life. I could see all too clearly that under a permissive system of assisted dying, people like my late mother would be extremely vulnerable.

My conviction at that time that assisted dying was the wrong route was compounded by my experience with my late wife, who contracted breast cancer and had a very long illness. She eventually died at home with good palliative care, surrounded by a loving family. She was vehemently opposed to assisted dying and wanted to live her life to the full. I guess that I took the view that that was her choice but should also be everybody’s choice.

I came to realise, however, that there are very different situations we need to understand. One thing on my conscience is that in my 20 years as an MP, two constituents came to see me to request help and political support for a campaign in the High Court to be allowed to die through assisted dying and, although I expressed sympathy, as one would expect, I declined to support their campaign. I was very wrong to do so. Both suffered from motor neurone disease, and I think many of us know of such cases. One has surfaced today: a man called Richard Selley in Perth, in Scotland, who is fighting for the right to assisted dying. I think we all know the nature of this condition. Although some people live with it, Professor Hawking being a famous example, in most cases it involves the physical degeneration of all bodily functions combined with absolute clarity of mind and very great suffering. It seems to me that we should consider the position of those living with it and similar conditions.

The argument that is deployed against doing so is that hard cases make bad law. That was quite well summarised by Lord Sumption, who gave the Reith lectures a few years ago, when he said assisted dying should be criminalised but that the criminal law should be broken. That is a somewhat strange way of putting it, but essentially what I think he was saying was that we should keep the law but turn a blind eye to exceptions and treat them compassionately.

I have thought about that argument, but it seems to me that the evidence is very strongly against it for a variety of reasons. However sensitive the Director of Public Prosecutions or the police might be—I am sure they are; the 2015 guidance is very humane—the sheer process of going through a criminal investigation and a caution is deeply traumatic, and probably the most difficult period of any person’s life. It is probably also difficult for the police who have to implement it.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 12 Comments

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

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 5 Comments

18 June 2019 – today’s press releases

Cable: Looks like Boris will lie down and let Heathrow expansion happen

Responding to the publication of Heathrow’s plan for a third runway which will include diverting rivers, moving roads and rerouting the M25 through a tunnel under the new runway, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Twickenham MP Vince Cable said:

Expanding Heathrow is the wrong decision for the country and for South West London, where air pollution, air traffic noise, and congestion are already a blight. Heathrow’s plan all but confirms this.

The economics of Heathrow expansion also look questionable at best while it will do nothing for regional economies. Above

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

11 June 2019 – today’s press releases

Regular readers may wonder where this feature disappeared to over the past week or so. The answer, North Macedonia and Georgia, and fascinating both countries were too. But there’s always a point where you have to come home…

Davey: MI5 revelations “a shocking breach of civil liberties”

Responding to today’s High Court hearing over MI5’s collection and storage of bulk data, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

These revelations represent a shocking breach of civil liberties by one of the agencies tasked with safeguarding them.

The Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed giving MI5 powers to collect bulk communications data,

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

Vince Cable and Humaira Ali on Eid

As always, my admiration knows no bounds for those who manage to cope with the Ramadan fast during the long northern days of Summer.

I hope that everyone celebrating Eid today has happiness and peace.

Vince Cable gave his last Eid message:

And over on the Lib Dem website, Humaira Ali wrote about Islam as a liberal religion:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Vince: Trump is damaging our traditional alliance with America

I’m proud of Vince for not going to the State Banquet in honour of Donald Trump tonight.  I am horrified that the biggest welcome our country has is being given to this racist misogynist who has the absolute nerve to slag off London’s mayor as he comes in to land. Trump is an utterly graceless individual.

Vince Cable set out why he opposes Trump’s visit in an interview with BBC News.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

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

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 7 Comments

+++Vince to hand over to new Lib Dem Leader on July 23rd

So Theresa May isn’t the only leader to resign today.

Vince has just sent this message to party members announcing that he will be handing over to his successor on 23rd July.

The difference between the two departures is that Vince is going as part of a managed transition first announced nearly 9 months ago and is going out on a high. We’ll see just how high on Monday when we know all the results of the European elections.

Vince deserves our thanks for taking on the challenge of leadership and building on what Tim Farron had started. When we think of the bloody mess we were in after the last European elections, we can see how far both men took us.

Here is Vince’s email.

Dear Member,

Last night, the British people finished voting in the European elections. We have fought a very strong campaign and when the votes are counted on Sunday, I expect us to do well.

I want to thank the volunteers who have made that possible I was very touched while campaigning around the country by the enthusiasm and optimism of our members and supporters.

Many who kept going through difficult years for the party are now enjoying our resurgence as a major national force.

Our long and proud tradition of success in local government was revived this month by the best local election results in our party’s history. In the last two years, we have gained 780 more council seats and 15 new councils.

And membership is at record levels with a strengthening base of supporters amongst students and young people.

Together, we have rebuilt the Liberal Democrats – thank you.

I said earlier this year that the time would soon come to hand over the leadership of the party to a new generation. That process begins today: I will be proud to hand over a bigger, stronger party on July 23rd.

If you have friends who would want to vote in the election to choose my successor, urge them to join by Friday 7th June. Every new member can help shape our future.

There are major challenges ahead. One is to win, finally, the battle to stop Brexit. Our campaigning has given hope; now we need to secure a referendum in Parliament, and then win it.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments

22 May 2019 – today’s press releases

It’s not easy being in a political party’s Press Team when the governing party is in meltdown. After all, Theresa May is seemingly holed up in 10 Downing Street, a chair wedged under the door handle to prevent anyone from getting in. The Leader of the House is gone, and who knows if she’s merely the first of many?

And all this on the eve of European Parliamentary elections in which the Conservatives are expected to take a kicking not dissimilar to that the Liberal Democrats took in 2015…

  • Lib Dems: Botched Apprenticeship Levy implementation hurting most disadvantaged
  • Gove clutching at straws with

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

This is Vince Cable’s Election

Yesterday we were privileged to welcome Vince Cable to Liverpool. It will be one of his last visits as Leader as he intends to step down to allow a contest for a new Leader to take place in June.

I want to put on record just how much I think the Lib Dems owe to this man as we face what is probably the most amazing electoral turnaround (in a positive sense) in our history.

In 2015 we came close to becoming irrelevant. Under Tim Farron we weathered that storm and that was no mean feat. We got our membership base up and steadied the ship. Instead of facing the loss of even more councillors and activist we dug in and strengthened our position in local elections. We did marginally but surprisingly well in the General Election of 2017 increasing our number of MPs from 9 to 12 and crucially getting back into Parliament three heavyweights: Vince himself and the probable contenders for his job next month, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson. Tim did us well despite a General Election stumble over one aspect of his beliefs. We should continue to thank him for that.

Then Vince stepped in. He knew he was a caretaker and we knew that he knew! We were content with that because the Lib Dems needed settling down before a leadership election not least because the two probable contenders needed time to re-establish themselves.

Vince brought five things to us:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

21 May 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Moran: Let’s hope more Universities follow Oxford’s diversity drive
  • Hobhouse: End short prison sentences to cut crime
  • Cable: Stop Brexit altogether to end turmoil for British business
  • Chancellor’s warning must trigger No Deal U-turn
  • Cable: Lib Dems “now indisputably the strongest remain party”
  • Lamb: Govt must end abuse of our most vulnerable
  • With no guarantee of a People’s Vote the PM will get no support from the Lib Dems
  • Jenny Randerson: Brexit endangers devolution settlement

Moran: Let’s hope more Universities follow Oxford’s diversity drive

Responding to the news that Oxford University is set to overhaul its recruitment processes, and will commit that at least 25% of students will be …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

WATCH: Lib Dem Stop Brexit rally with Tim, former Labour MP backing Lib Dems, Layla and Vince

Well that came round quickly. Although not a minute too soon for my feet and my back and my knees. I am knackered physically and emotionally but there’s just two days left in what should be the most important election of our lifetimes. As Tim Farron says, it’s our chance to change the Brexit story from how we deliver Brexit to how we stop it and bring the nightmare to a close.

So it was (allegedly) the last big Lib Dem rally of the campaign, although my spies tell me that something pretty good is planned for tomorrow.

Watch here – and fast forward through the first few minutes of silence and intermittent chatter.

It’s been a wee while since we were treated to a good old fashioned Farron barnstormer. He talked about his son studying for his history exam, about the cold war. Tim said to him that thanks to the EU, six countries which once had nukes pointing at us are now sitting round the table arguing about fishing quotas. If there were no other reason to stay in the EU, that would be enough, he said.

Yesterday, former Thurrock Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay announced he would be voting for the Lib Dems because of the inability of the Labour Party to prevent a damaging Brexit. Tonight he took the floor at the rally. He likened it to making an offer about a house and then discovering it had dry rot or asbestos and then deciding against it. Despite his great affection for Labour in his half a century of membership, he slammed the lack of clarity about whether it backs a People’s Vote.

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

Vince: Lib Dems snapping at heels of Brexit Party

Vince Cable was on the BBC News Channel’s Ask This last night talking about how the Lib Dems would have liked to have been part of a Remain Alliance but it didn’t work out. He said we were best placed to stop Farage’s Brexit Party from winning the election. Watch here:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Liberal Democrats storm the Rock (very genteelly)

As part of the European election campaign, Vince Cable visited Gibraltar a few days ago, accompanied by our lead candidate in the South West and Gibraltar, Caroline Voaden, former MEP Sir Graham Watson, and Luke Stagnetto, the Gibraltar-based list candidate.

Here’s how the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation covered it…

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

18-19 May 2019 – the weekend’s press release

Cable: We are the stop Brexit party

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning, ahead of this weeks European elections, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

I think it is now quite likely we will get the People’s Vote that we are fighting for and it can be done by October.

We are talking about having a referendum on the terms of Brexit, now knowing what it entails.

It’s absolutely clear that no Brexit at all is the best option and that is what a vote for the Liberal Democrats is for.

We are the stop Brexit party.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

17 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Vince Cable visits Gibraltar ahead of EU Elections

Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, is visiting Gibraltar today as part of the Liberal Democrats’ EU Election campaign.

Mr Cable will be meeting trade unions and businesses from both sides of the border as well as Gibraltarian politicians, including the Chief Minister of Gibraltar.

Ahead of the visit, Vince Cable said:

The folly of Brexit could hardly be more starkly obvious or more keenly felt than in Gibraltar. By leaving the European Union, we enable Spain to make ever more outrageous demands about Gibraltar with no British voice at the table to speak for

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

16 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Another slightly startling day, with today’s BMG Research poll showing the Liberal Democrats with 18% if a General Election were to take place today, up ten percentage points in just five weeks… Don’t get vertigo, everyone…

  • Lib Dems call for EU-wide fracking ban
  • Lib Dems call for creation of youth council
  • Chris Grayling botched his probation reforms just like he botches everything
  • Brexit threatens UK’s ability to monitor climate change
  • Welsh Lib Dems condemn praise for Tommy Robinson

Lib Dems call for EU-wide fracking ban

The Liberal Democrats have today committed to campaigning for an EU-wide ban on fracking because of its negative impacts on climate …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | Leave a comment

10 May 2019 – today’s press release

Change UK MEP backs Lib Dems as ‘strongest Remain party’

Julie Girling, who has served as a South West Member of the European Parliament for the last 10 years, is calling on Remain voters to back the Liberal Democrats in the European elections.

Ms Girling was elected twice to the European Parliament for the Conservatives, before leaving them over Brexit. Ms Girling is widely respected across parties and recently announced that she was not going to be a Change UK candidate for the European Elections.

Julie Girling said:

The Liberal Democrats scored a huge success in last week’s local elections,

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

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 …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 3 Comments

WATCH: Unleashed – the Lib Dem campaign to stop Brexit

This morning, my family’s postal votes arrived. I’ve had a postal vote ever since I didn’t vote in the 1997 election because I was too busy helping in a target seat. I suspect Mrs Pankhurst would have approved, but I was determined that I would never again fail to have my say.

Never has that vote felt more precious. I want this country to say very clearly on 23 May that we want to stop Brexit, that we want to stay part of the remarkable institution which champions peace, human rights and democracy.

Many other postal votes will have landed on doormats today. So it’s pretty convenient that the Lib Dems kicked off their European campaign with a staggering display of both passion and competence.

People woke up this morning to a bloody good write up in the Guardian.

Buoyed by strong results in last week’s local council elections, and unencumbered by the nuance of Labour’s position, Cable insisted the Lib Dems were the best-equipped party to challenge the message of Nigel Farage at the poll later this month.

“We are clearly the best organised, we have been leading the People’s Vote argument for three years and we’ve been the pro-Europe party for 50 years. We are credible and people recognise our unwavering clarity and commitment.

“We are taking it very seriously, we have a high-pressure social media campaign where we are doing more than Farage’s people,” he said, adding, “we are out of the traps early, and expect to do well.

And he outlined why we are the best place to deliver the maximum remain vote.

He has faced criticism for failing to make the media impact of his predecessor, or improve the Lib Dems’ poll ratings. But he hailed last week’s strong local election results as evidence that a steady approach of rebuilding the party from the bottom up is finally paying dividends.

“Infrastructure and organisation really does matter,” he said. “The lesson for other parties is you can’t function without that. There is no future sitting in London sending out messages.”

The manifesto launch tonight was brilliant. Four speeches. All passionate and delivered with heart. Sal Brinton talking about how the Lib Dems had stopped the Tories using Brexit legislation to undermine the NHS.

Ed Davey talking about the importance of stopping Brexit so that Britain can be a powerful force in the EU in the fight against climate change. I actually got a bit sad when he was speaking because he did so much to combat climate change in government and then the Conservatives, left to themselves, have unravelled so much of it.

He also spoke about the importance of co-operation across the EU to tackle crime. Why, he said, do Brexiteers like criminals so much.

Jo Swinson gave a totally heartfelt speech about a visit to Bucharest. Her wonderful dad, Peter, was there to help the Romanians prepare for EU membership. She told how he had taken her to the People’s House, an outrageous structure built as a vanity project by Romania’s dictator while so many of his people lived in destitution and absolute poverty.  She talked about the role of the EU in bringing peace across Europe, in Northern Ireland, bringing former enemies together.

The EU has been at the forefront of promoting human rights, liberal values and democracy, she said. The EU is the hope that made once warring countries work together and which is the cornerstone of the Good Friday Agreement. In a time of “strong men” leaders, now is not the time to be turning our back on European leaders who share our liberal values.

There are more relaxing ways to spend your 76th birthday. I thought Vince was actually going to cry when the audience sang Happy Birthday to him, but he went on to deliver a fantastic speech highlighting the clear Stop Brexit message that is driving the Lib Dem campaign. He said that nobody, not even the most ardent Brexiteers, were doubting that we would be worse off if we left the EU. The only thing is that these Brexiteers weren’t going to be the people who paid the price. It would be people much poorer and more vulnerable than they were.

The Lib Dems, he said, will be unapologetic about backing the four freedoms. The right we have to work and live across Europe was championed by Mrs Thatcher. The current Conservative Party has moved so far to the right that they are disowning the single market Thatcher created.

He said that while the Lib Dems will campaign to stop Brexit, this election is about returning a group of Liberal politicians from across Europe who will lead the fight against populism.

He highlighted the crucial EU role in making the likes of Google pay their taxes.

We won’t solve the Trump problem, he said, by grovelling to him and throwing him lavish state visits, but by standing up to him as part of the EU.

He set out our unique pitch – as the biggest and best organised of the Remain parties who has been fighting for for EU values for 50 years.

Watch the whole thing here

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 8 Comments

Vince Cable’s message for a peaceful Ramadan

Over on the Lib Dem website, Vince Cable has wished Muslims a peaceful Ramadan:

Across the country, British Muslim communities will be taking time aside to engage in acts of charity, prayer and self-reflection.

The contributions of British Muslims to Britain are ever-growing; adding to the richness and diversity of our nation. However, we are witnessing a worldwide resurgence of exclusionary, right-wing nationalism that has led to acts of terror against the Muslim community. We demand better.

The attack in Christchurch earlier this year was a reminder that we must do all we can challenge those who seek to erase or limit religious freedoms. As a party we have adopted the APPG on British Muslim’s definition of Islamophobia: we all have a shared duty to challenge hate and intolerance.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Cable calls for criminal investigation into Williamson’s conduct

Embed from Getty Images

Following the sacking of Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary over the Huawei leak, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable has called for a thorough criminal investigation into breaches of the Official Secrets Act. He said:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 38 Comments

Vince to stand down as MP if Parliament runs its course to 2022

Just after Jo was on Marr this morning, Vince popped up on Pienaar’s Politics.

He used the opportunity to say, unsurprisingly, that a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to stop Brexit. Finally, we have a slogan that means something and is in keeping with the zeitgeist. Once we are all sick to the back teeth of hearing it, it will just be starting to cut through to the general public, so prepare to hear it a great deal.

In fact, if any Lib Dem fails to say that within 5 seconds of opening their mouth at the moment, they are not doing their jobs properly.

It was the main theme of our launch the other day – and the New Statesman even described that event as “slick.” It’s a long time since anything we did has been called that.

Vince added that with our campaign infrastructure and momentum from the local elections, we have a big advantage over Change UK.

On that Change UK memo earlier in the week in which they set out their mission to crush us, he said that we have good working relations with them at informal levels, but he reckons that they will see the advantage of working together when they hit the realities of our electoral system.

As that New Statesman article said:

It (the timing of the Change UK launch in Bristol on a day Parliament was sitting) demonstrates one of the implicit arguments that the Liberal Democrats will make as to why they are the best vehicle for Remainer outrage – because they have the know-how and experience to actually get MEPs elected and to make a splash in a way that Change UK do not.

But they also have another ace in the hole – the looming local elections this Thursday. These were seats last contested in 2015, a disastrous night for the Liberal Democrats on which they lost 51 MPs; but more importantly for our purposes they also lost 658 councillors and control of four councils.

They are not going to make those losses up overnight: the difficulty minor parties have is what takes years of work to acquire can be lost in the time it takes to say “rose garden”. But frankly they will be doing pretty poorly if they can’t at least make enough of those losses back that they won’t be able to declare themselves the winners of the local elections and the most well-placed pro-Remain party to give the big two a fright.

Now the Labour-supporting New Statesman is hardly likely to want to up the prospects of Change UK, but even taking that into consideration, they’ve added weight to the point that Vince was making about our expertise and experience making us better placed for success.

Vince also told Pienaar that his decision on whether to stand again for his Twickenham seat would depend on when the General Election was. If it was on its scheduled timetable for 2022, he wouldn’t fight the seat again. If he did, he’d be 84 at the end of that Parliament.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 38 Comments

Vince Cable declines invitation to State Banquet for Trump

Embed from Getty Images
Vince Cable has today declined an invitation to a state banquet with Donald Trump.

In a letter to Palace staff organising the impending state visit in June, Mr Cable said:

I have taken the view that as a party leader I should not support state visits where the government of the day has issued invitations inappropriately.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 59 Comments

15 April 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

My apologies for the delay in getting these to you – a combination of jet lag caused by a five hour time difference and family stuff is complicating things…

Tories must enact wholescale reform to fix rental market

Responding to the news that landlords will lose the right to evict renters without a reason at the end of their fixed-term tenancy, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson Tim Farron said:

The housing crisis has left many renters at the mercy of their landlords in an unfair and distorted rental market. Section 21 notices have allowed landlords to turf out tenants without reason, leaving many too

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

LibLink: Vince Cable: May’s local elections should be about housing, social care and the environment. Not Brexit

In an article for Politics Home, Vince Cable sets out what should be the priorities for this year’s local elections:

The first is housing. The dearth of affordable housing for purchase or rent is an issue almost everywhere, and is felt by young people in particular. The depletion of the stock of council housing through ‘right to buy’ and the lack of social house building because of central government restrictions has contributed to extreme problems, including homelessness, at the bottom of the housing ladder. Yet good councils have used the planning system and their borrowing powers to get housing, especially social housing, built and have made sure that there is a safety net of hostel accommodation for the homeless (as I have recently seen in York, Watford and Somerset with Lib Dem-led councils).

A second is social care. It is now generally recognised that many of the pressures with in the NHS are caused by the inability of cash-strapped local councils to provide adequate social services support – through domiciliary care or residential homes – resulting in ‘delayed discharge’ (it used to be called ‘bed blocking’) for many sick and elderly people. The failure of central government to confront the social care issue is resulting in mounting problems, and local government is bearing much of the burden.

Thirdly, there is the environment. Those who are motivated by the big environmental issues of the day – climate change, plastics recycling and air quality – realise that local communities and individuals can and do make a contribution in either direction.  Environmentally aware local councils are rightly declaring climate emergencies; there is a race to install electric charging points for zero emission vehicles; and recycling rates and methods are under scrutiny.

But the b-word will get in the way – which will also be good for us.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 25 Comments

9 April 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Cable: Brexiters losing argument and votes
  • Schools resorting to desperate tactics to tackle funding emergency
  • Cable: IMF report should put to bed Brexit fantasies
  • Govt must bring together all MPs to agree to a People’s Vote

Cable: Brexiters losing argument and votes

Following the votes in the House of Commons tonight, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Parliament has now taken back control and the UK is on course for an extension to Article 50 and European Parliament elections.

Brexiters are losing the argument and losing votes in the Commons by healthy margins.

The Prime Minister must now show leadership by offering a People’s

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarnvelope2003 25th Aug - 5:44pm
    Apart from LDV everybody seems to be impressed by Boris Johnson's energy and enthusiasm, even surprisingly the local Methodist preacher. The idea of a pact...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 25th Aug - 5:32pm
    @Nonconformistradical, I am sorry that you don't like the terms left and right, but there is a common understanding of what they mean ( and...
  • User AvatarRoger Lake 25th Aug - 5:30pm
    Dear Michael BG, we do seem to have got in a tangle, but I believe we're on the same side! I will expand my two...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 25th Aug - 5:28pm
    Great Miranda - it will be even more touching when your committee sorts out maternity leave for candidates. I first raised this as a (twice)...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 25th Aug - 5:06pm
    @ John Harris "They also want to give the Scots chance of another referendum." Do you mean like we want to do on the EU,...
  • User AvatarPeter Wrigley 25th Aug - 5:01pm
    Thanks for all these comments, most from people who know far more about railways than I do, and most opposed to HS2. I'm disappointed to...