Tag Archives: wendy chamberlain

5 April 2024 – today’s press releases

  • NICs: Prime Minister is still peddling this deception
  • Chamberlains’s Carer’s Leave Bill to come into force
  • 91,000 people call 999 or turn to A&E after struggling to get GP appointment
  • Rennie: Fall in modern languages teachers jeopardises vision for Scotland
  • Blackie: ‘My top priority: fix the Met’

NICs: Prime Minister is still peddling this deception

Responding to the changes to National Insurance (NI) and freezing of income tax thresholds coming into force tomorrow, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, Sarah Olney MP said:

The Prime Minister is still peddling this deception and voters will see straight through it.

Hammering the public with unfair stealth taxes and then claiming people will be taking home more in their pay packets is frankly offensive.

This is an out of touch Prime Minister leading a directionless Conservative government with his party more interested in clinging on to power than ensuring people are better off. They do not deserve to be in power for a moment longer.

Chamberlains’s Carer’s Leave Bill to come into force

The “landmark” Carer’s Leave Bill introduced by North East Fife MP and Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain will come into force on Saturday 6th April.

The Bill will give an estimated 2.4 million carers across the UK a statutory right to take five days of unpaid leave per year. Carer’s UK have described this as a ‘landmark’ piece of legislation which would help carers to better balance work and care.

Wendy Chamberlain introduced the Carer’s Leave Bill in June 2022 after winning a place in the Private Member’s Bill lottery. The Bill enjoyed cross-party support and was passed on 19 May 2023. The legislation comes into effect on 6th April 2024

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20 March 2024 – the overnight press releases

  • Chamberlain to lead debate on electoral fairness and calls out attempts to “rig the rules”
  • PAC report on Social Care: Too many vulnerable people struggling to get the care they need
  • McArthur sets out response to embargoed climate report
  • Rennie comments on new claims from Pregnant Then Screwed

Chamberlain to lead debate on electoral fairness and calls out attempts to “rig the rules”

Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain MP will lead a debate in Westminster Hall on Wednesday about strengthening electoral fairness and preventing parties from “rigging the rules,” following recent moves by the Conservative Party to introduce certain changes ahead of the upcoming General Election.

The debate will take place in Westminster Hall tomorrow (Wednesday) and is expected to begin at 11am. Ms Chamberlain will pick up on a variety of changes recently introduced by the Conservatives, including compulsory Voter ID requirements and almost doubling the spending limit for UK elections to around £35 million.

In November, the UK election watchdog, the Electoral Commission, said it had “not seen evidence” to support changes to spending limits.

Ms Chamberlain’s debate comes just one week after her party called for the Conservatives to return donations from Frank Hester, a Tory party donor who reportedly said that the MP Diane Abbott made him “want to hate all black women.”

Speaking ahead of the debate, Ms Chamberlain said:

I am concerned that some of the latest moves by this Conservative Government represent a desperate and dirty attempt to rig the rules in their favour because they know they’ve lost the support of the public.

Last year, thousands of people were denied at a voice at the local elections because of the Voter ID rules ushered in by the Tories. Hundreds of thousands of people now risk being turned away at the next election at a cost to the taxpayer of £120,000,000 over the next decade.

Their unjustified doubling of the national spending limits points to the Conservatives Party’s eagerness to design the system and play it to their advantage. We also know from the Frank Hester scandal that they will excuse the inexcusable if it means bringing in big money and clinging onto power.

Liberal Democrats have been and continue to be long-standing advocates for fairness, transparency and electoral reform. I want to show that our politics should not be tilted towards those with the deepest pockets, and that we need constructive discussions about how to make the system better and work in the interests of all.

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12 March 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Stuart’s failure to call out racist Hester comments “jaw-dropping”
  • 1,197 suspected drug deaths in 2023
  • Firefighters face risks as government fails to deliver RAAC register
  • Welsh Lib Dems call for more support for childcare sector in Wales
  • Care leavers shouldn’t be forced to “bear burden of proof” when it comes to accessing housing support
  • Blackie calls on Susan Hall to disown racist Frank Hester remarks

Stuart’s failure to call out racist Hester comments “jaw-dropping”

Responding to Graham Stuarts’ comments this morning on Times Radio where he refused to say Frank Hester’s alleged comments were racist and refused to say the money should be returned, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

Graham Stuart’s refusal to call out these racist comments was simply jaw-dropping.

The Conservative Party has flat out refused to return these donations despite these comments being inexcusable. How low can you go?

Rishi Sunak can bunker down and hide in Downing Street as long as he wants but every day he doesn’t return this money is another damning blow to the Conservative Party’s credibility.

1,197 suspected drug deaths in 2023

Responding to new Police Scotland figures showing that there were 1,197 suspected drug deaths between January and December 2023, which is a 10% increase compared to 2022, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

When 100 people a month are dying in Scotland’s drugs deaths emergency, we need to be open to anything that will save them. Each represents a life cut short and a family torn apart by grief.

These numbers are already going in the wrong direction and with the SNP and Greens having pushed through a budget that delivers a real-terms cut to drug services, I am extremely concerned that problems will simply get worse.

Every tool at our disposal needs to be used to reduce harm and save lives. That includes protecting the drug and alcohol budget, integrated drug checking facilities and preparing now for a network of safe consumption rooms because help can’t just be limited to Glasgow.

Well-meaning words won’t stop people dying. Humza Yousaf and his government must deliver swift change and ensure they never take their eye off the ball again.

Firefighters face risks as government fails to deliver RAAC register

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today urged the Scottish Government to compile a complete list of buildings where the dangerous bubbly concrete known as RAAC is present, as a minister conceded that the presence of the material could present safety implications for firefighters responding to incidents.

In response to a parliamentary question from Mr Cole-Hamilton, community safety minister Siobhian Brown admitting that “Where the material is in poor condition there could be greater risk of weakness or collapse”.

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11 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • Lee Anderson: PM cannot govern his own party let alone the country
  • David Neal: Home Office in a state of disrepair
  • Frank Hester: Sunak must return donations and rule out peerage
  • “Early childcare the key to fighting poverty” – Welsh Lib Dems push for fully integrated childcare system in Wales

Lee Anderson: PM cannot govern his own party let alone the country

Responding to reports that Lee Anderson will defect from the Conservatives to Reform, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

Rishi Sunak’s authority lies in tatters after the man he personally appointed to be Deputy Chairman of the Conservatives has defected to another party. This is a Prime Minister that cannot govern his own party let alone the country.

Even now Sunak is too weak to rule out Nigel Farage joining the Conservative Party. It just shows that there is now hardly a cigarette paper between the Conservative Party and Reform.

David Neal: Home Office in a state of disrepair

Responding to the comments made by the former Independent Borders Inspector David Neal to the BBC, the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

These comments confirm what we already suspected – the Home Office is in a state of total dysfunction and disrepair.

Nothing is working how it should. Now, we don’t even have a Chief Inspector to provide the scrutiny that is so desperately needed.

To think that this Conservative Government can push forward with their failing Rwanda policy while ducking accountability is disgraceful. The Home Office cannot just withhold reports and information that they don’t like.

At the very least, its implementation should be delayed until the Government can get its act together and appoint a Chief Inspector.

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Lib Dems react to Budget

Well, there you go. Another Conservative budget served with more invective directed against the Lib Dems than you might expect. You would be forgiven for thinking that they were frightened of us in the Blue Wall. Tim Farron was quick to jump in on Twitter:

The Chancellor wouldn’t waste his breath slagging off the Lib Dems if he wasn’t terrified of losing to us.

A speech carefully crafted into soundbytes for social media. Lots of impressive sounding numbers, but being a big number doesn’t mean it’s an adequate number. It’s so annoying when politicians of all flavours do this. Here’s £xoo million to build y million houses. Why don’t they express themselves in terms that actually reflect the human impact and the scale of the problem?  Because their solution is simply not good enough.

Anyway, what do our leaders make of the electioneering effort put in by Jeremy Hunt today? Ed says that it’s time to just get on with the Election:

This is a bottom-of-the-barrel Budget from a Conservative government that has given up on governing. Rishi’s recession is being followed by Hunt’s hangover, with years of unfair tax hikes while local health services are stretched to breaking point.

This Budget had nothing to offer for people seeing their mortgage soar due to Conservative chaos or being left waiting for months in pain for NHS treatment.

The public will see this for what is: a desperate last throw of the dice by a Conservative government that has neglected the NHS, trashed the economy and overseen a record fall in living standards. It couldn’t be clearer that we need a general election now so voters can finally kick this tired and out-of-touch government out of office.

The thing is, people still feel under a lot of economic pressure. They blame the Government for it and that is bound to affect their vote.

By-election winner Helen Morgan echoed Ed’s message:

Don’t be fooled by the Chancellor’s efforts to pull the wool over people’s eyes. This budget won’t touch the sides for people facing soaring mortgage bills, paying more at the fuel pump, and seeing the cost of going to the shops rise every week. We need a General Election now.

Helen also mentioned a crucial omission:

The Chancellor spent a lot of time listing parts of the country today (notable exception of Shropshire). Yet the Budget itself includes NO mention of rural areas and NO mention of farming. Further proof the Conservatives don’t care about the countryside.

Alistair Carmichael says that voters are past listening to the Conservatives;

The Chancellor has tried to paper over a Tory recession and Tory tax hikes which have hit families across the country. Ministers have searched for election gimmicks but voters are past listening. Few would take this government at its word after years of falling living standards.

Wera Hobhouse was right to point out that the extension of the Household Support Fund for 6 months was far from enough to tackle poverty when the safety net has so many holes in it that it is barely there any more:

I am glad that the Chancellor has heeded my calls to extend the Household Support Fund in today’s Spring Budget. But for the thousands in Bath who rely on its support to put food on their plates and heat their homes – a sixth month extension simply doesn’t cut it.

Wendy Chamberlain did highlight one Lib Dem win, though:

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6 February 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak interview: Most people worry when they are hit with a surprise £1,000 bill, the PM does not even register it
  • PopCon: Tory MPs at launch pocketed £85,000 in severance payments
  • Dental plan “too little too late” for people desperately queuing in Bristol
  • “No child deserves to go hungry”- Welsh Lib Dems
  • Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds urges for more support for rural GP’s
  • “Simply papering over the cracks in our services”- Welsh Lib Dems

Sunak interview: Most people worry when they are hit with a surprise £1,000 bill, the PM does not even register it

Responding to the Prime Minister’s interview this morning, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

Rishi Sunak either does not care or does not get it. As the Prime Minister buries his head in the sand and pretends everything is fine, people across the country are suffering.

Most people when they are hit with a surprise £1,000 bill worry about how they are going to make their next mortgage payments or put food on the table for their children.

Instead, the Prime Minister does not even register the significance of that amount of money. Out of touch does not even begin to describe Sunak.

The Prime Minister’s cold soundbites that everything is working simply do not survive contact with reality.

PopCon: Tory MPs at launch pocketed £85,000 in severance payments

The Conservative MPs at today’s Popular Conservatism launch pocketed almost £85,000 in taxpayer-funded pay-outs, analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The Liberal Democrats said, “This is not popular Conservatism, it’s economic vandalism.”

Liz Truss pocketed a £18,660 taxpayer payout despite previously criticising “handouts” to help with the cost of living, while Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed £16,800 despite attacking the size of the state. Other Conservative MPs who attended the event, including former Chief Whip Wendy Morton, former Home Secretary Priti Patel and ex-education minister Andrea Jenkyns, all took severance payments worth thousands of pounds. In total Conservative MPs at the event pocketed £84,955 in taxpayer-funded payouts.

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Listen to Wendy Chamberlain on being Chief Whip, and less exciting topics

Our Chief Whip, Wendy Chamberlain, has been talking with Iain Dale.

Wendy talks about her role as Chief Whip and how she tried to keep the Parliamentary team in line, especially during Covid. Iain Dale also asked her about her childhood in Greenock and her career in the police – and her love of shinty.

She then discusses her entry into politics, with the added complication that her husband is a member of the SNP. Fortunately, their differences on Scottish Independence don’t seem to have undermined their marriage.

Wendy became an MP within four years of joining the Liberal Democrats. They chat about her predecessor in North East Fife, Stephen Gethins, for whom both have a lot of respect.

I do genuinely believe that it is an enormous privilege to be elected as an MP to represent somewhere. The day you forget that is the day you potentially start to lose your reason for being there.

Iain Dale asked her about the challenges of “juggling so many balls” – the constituency, the Commons and specific party roles. She said:

There’s no doubt that being the Whip means that I am predominantly in Westminster from Monday to Thursday as well as being a Scottish MP –  which means that once I’m here I’m here so it’s not like you can just pop up the road. So, yes, it does potentially limit your time and I try to keep Sunday as a family day, but the reality is that media requests, looking at what we are doing the next day and all those kind of things …

Worth a listen.

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22 November 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Cameron HMRC scrutiny: Zahawi scandal mark two
  • Autumn Statement a deception after years of Conservative tax hikes
  • Ed Davey slams “Hunt hoax” over £200bn stealth tax grab
  • Welsh Lib Dems urge Welsh Gov to make sure that building remediation costs aren’t being forced on residents
  • Conservative giveaway to big banks set to cost taxpayers £22 billion

Cameron HMRC scrutiny: Zahawi scandal mark two

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an ethics advisor probe after reports that David Cameron is being looked into by HMRC.

The party said it is important to know whether this reported scrutiny was disclosed when Rishi Sunak appointed him to the Lords and throughout the vetting process.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

This looks like the Zahawi scandal mark two. Yet again, it appears Sunak has appointed a cabinet minister being looked into by HMRC.

The Prime Minister must ask the ethics advisor to investigate these reports as a matter of urgency. Serious questions need answering over whether this reported HMRC scrutiny was disclosed as part of the appointment and vetting process for Cameron’s seat in the Lords, and whether Sunak was aware when he appointed him.

Far from looking to kick sleaze out of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister seems to have sought to bring even more in from the outside.

Autumn Statement a deception after years of Conservative tax hikes

Responding to the Autumn Statement, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

This is a deception from Jeremy Hunt after years of cruel tax hikes on hard-working families from this government.

Conservative chaos has sent mortgages and tax bills soaring, today’s announcements won’t even touch the sides.

Worse still was the deafening silence on health. These dismal forecasts show the economy is on life support and reducing NHS waiting lists is the shot in the arm needed.

It is a no-brainer that we need people off waiting lists and back to work, yet this Conservative government simply doesn’t care.

Today has been more stale nonsense from a Conservative government out of touch and out of ideas.

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20 November 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak removes NHS from top 5 pledges
  • Ethics advisor must investigate David Cameron’s appointment
  • Lib Dem Peer’s Bill to end conversion therapy

Sunak removes NHS from top 5 pledges

Responding to Rishi Sunak’s speech this morning, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said:

By officially de-prioritising the NHS and omitting it from his top 5 priorities, Rishi Sunak has shown yet again just how out of touch he is.

The Prime Minister clearly doesn’t care about the millions of people across the country on hospital waiting lists or the families and pensioners struggling to get appointments with a GP or dentist.

Shockingly, the Prime Minister doesn’t even understand the link between a better health service and a stronger economy.

Any strategy for economic growth must have a strategy for better healthcare, yet the Conservatives clearly don’t understand that.

Ethics advisor must investigate David Cameron’s appointment

The Liberal Democrats have written to Rishi Sunak’s ethics adviser, calling on him to launch an investigation into David Cameron’s appointment as Foreign Secretary.

It comes as Cameron is set to officially take up his peerage in the House of Lords today.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain has raised five key questions in a letter to the ethics adviser Laurie Magnus. These include whether David Cameron will be publishing a full list of ministerial interests as soon as he is appointed, and if he will be placing his investments into a blind trust to prevent conflicts of interest. Currently it is expected that David Cameron won’t have to publish his register of interests until January.

Failure to prevent any conflicts of interests would risk breaching the ministerial code, which requires ministers to be transparent about their private financial interests to avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

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Alex and Wendy go paddleboarding – the new Scottish Liberal Democrat broadcast

Last night the new Scottish Liberal Democrats PPB, featuring Alex Cole-Hamilton and Wendy Chamberlain was broadcast. Enjoy

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29 September 2023 – today’s press releases

  • IFS comment: People are sick and tired of this unfair, irresponsible government
  • Sunak scrapping winter fuel allowance a “slap in the face” for pensioners

IFS comment: People are sick and tired of this unfair, irresponsible government

Responding to the IFS’s comments that this will be the biggest tax-raising Parliament on record, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, Sarah Olney MP said:

This Conservative government crashed the economy and is making the public pay the price. This is the same party which promised not to raise people’s taxes and is now taxing families through the nose.

Despite this, Ministers have given tax cuts to the big banks, failed

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14 September 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Crumbling Hospitals: Lib Dems call for Rishi Sunak to explain why he ignored crumbling hospitals
  • Sunak breaches rules again: Same old sleaze and scandal as Boris Johnson
  • Liberal Democrats urge the Government to act on Voter ID Scheme

Crumbling Hospitals: Lib Dems call for Rishi Sunak to explain why he ignored crumbling hospitals

Following the report that Rishi Sunak blocked plans to rebuild hospitals with crumbling concrete three years ago, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

This new revelation is a disgrace. The Prime Minister has put the public’s health and safety at risk for far too long.

It’s

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10 July 2023 – today’s press release

Privileges Committee: Sunak must back amendment on sanctions for Dorries and Rees-Mogg

The Liberal Democrats have called on Rishi Sunak to confirm that he will support potential sanctions against Nadine Dorries, Jacob Rees-Mogg and five other Conservative MPs for undermining the Commons’ partygate investigation into Boris Johnson.

It comes ahead of a debate in the Commons on the Privileges Committee report this afternoon, including on a Liberal Democrat amendment that would refer the seven MPs for potential sanctions.

If passed, the amendment would refer the seven MPs back to the committee, to decide whether their conduct amounted to contempt of Parliament. If …

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6 July 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak must show some backbone & commit to voting to suspend Pincher
  • Horizon deal: Refusing to sign up would be “needless act of self-harm”
  • Layla Moran calls for sanction of Hong Kong officials
  • Covid inquiry court ruling: Victory for transparency and humiliating defeat for Sunak

Sunak must show some backbone & commit to voting to suspend Pincher

Responding to the news that the House of Commons standards committee has said Chris Pincher should be suspended, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

Chris Pincher adds his name to the long list of disgraced former Conservatives caught up in sleaze and scandal.

After missing so many vital votes in Parliament, Rishi Sunak must finally show some backbone and confirm he will vote to suspend Chris Pincher.

Sunak promised to govern with integrity, he must vote with it.

Horizon deal: Refusing to sign up would be “needless act of self-harm”

Responding to reports that the UK and EU have reached a draft deal on Horizon Europe but that Rishi Sunak has not yet signed it off, Liberal Democrat Europe Spokesperson Layla Moran MP commented:

Refusing to sign up to research cooperation with Europe would be a senseless act of self-harm.

We’ve seen too many false dawns over Horizon Europe, every day that is wasted means more scientists deprived of funding.

The Government has trashed our relationship with Europe, put up needless trade barriers and prevented scientists from cooperating on everything from tackling climate change to curing cancer.

It’s vital that Rishi Sunak approves this deal as soon as possible – it’s a no brainer.

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5 July 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Ed Davey warns social care “avalanche” threatens to bury NHS as figures reveal hospitals hardest hit by delayed discharges
  • Ofwat chief exec admits water bills will go up: Time for a proper regulator with teeth
  • Sunak has “thrown in the towel” one year on after resigning from Johnson government

Ed Davey warns social care “avalanche” threatens to bury NHS as figures reveal hospitals hardest hit by delayed discharges

  • Ed Davey gives speech to LGA Conference warning of impending catastrophe for NHS unless government fixes social care crisis
  • New analysis reveals hospitals lost 128,000 bed days in May to delayed discharges, up 40% compared to last year
  • NHS trusts hardest hit by delayed discharges include Liverpool, Leeds, East Sussex and Surrey
  • Lib Dem Leader calls for a Carer’s Minimum Wage to fix social care staffing crisis

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will tomorrow warn that a social care “avalanche” is “threatening to bury the NHS”, in a speech to the Local Government Association’s annual conference.

It comes as new research has revealed the hospitals hardest hit by delayed discharges, with thousands of bed days being lost because medically fit patients are stuck in hospital waiting for care.

The House of Commons Library analysis commissioned by the Liberal Democrats reveals the NHS lost over 128,800 bed days to delayed discharges from hospital in May, up 32% on the same period last year. The vast majority (82%) of bed days lost involved patients who been stuck in hospital for three weeks or more.

The NHS trusts with the highest number of bed days lost to delayed discharges were Liverpool University Hospitals (8,146), East Sussex (4,505), Leeds Teaching Hospitals (4,370), University Hospitals Sussex (4,450) and Frimley in Surrey (3,748).

Delayed discharges take place when medically fit patients are unable to leave hospital, often due to a lack of social care.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the introduction of a Carer’s Minimum Wage, £2 above the minimum wage, to tackle huge shortages in the social care sector. This would help address the staggering 165,000 vacancies in social care, which are leaving far too many patients stranded in hospitals waiting for the care they need.

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17-18 June 2023 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Partygate video should make Ministers “sick to their stomachs”
  • Apology is too little too late

Partygate video should make Ministers “sick to their stomachs”

Responding to the new Partygate video, as seen in The Mirror, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

Conservative MPs and Ministers should be sick to their stomachs seeing this new Partygate footage.

While families grieved and NHS staff worked on the front line, Conservative Campaign Headquarters partied. What’s worse is the current Prime Minister granted Boris Johnson’s request to give some of these people honours.

There are thousands of families out there who deserve an

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Sarah Olney and Wendy Chamberlain challenge Sunak at PMQs

The Lib Dem success at PMQs continues with two of our number challenging Rishi Sunak today.

First up Sarah Olney:

Under the Conservatives, so much of the UK’s potential is going untapped, with anaemic growth, falling living standards and declining international competitiveness. Just this morning, a solar power company developing an innovation from Oxford University said that the UK is the “least attractive” market in which to base its business due to a lack of incentives. That is a home-grown company that could have provided well-paid green jobs—lost to this country thanks to the Government’s lack of an industrial strategy. Why does the Prime Minister think that each week more and more promising businesses choose to leave the UK?

The Prime Minister
The hon. Lady obviously missed the comments by the International Monetary Fund yesterday upgrading our growth performance, she obviously missed the survey of thousands of global chief executives just recently placing the UK as their No. 1 European investment destination, and it sounds like she also missed my trip to Japan last week, when we announced £18 billion of new investment in the UK economy.

Then, on the day when Rishi Sunak declined to order an investigation into Suella Braverman’s conduct over her speeding issue, Wendy Chamberlain asked if he would support her bill ensuring that ministers were properly trained in ethical standards an compliance:

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23 May 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Debt Figures: Proof of more Govt economic mismanagement
  • Raab must stand down now and trigger by-election
  • Braverman: Sunak’s endless dither and delay must end now
  • Dentist Numbers: Sunak must correct the record

Debt Figures: Proof of more Govt economic mismanagement

Responding to the latest debt figures which show the UK borrowed more than expected last month, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

These figures continue to show the mess caused by the Conservative Government’s economic mismanagement. The British taxpayer is still feeling the hit from Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget.

It is frankly shocking that the Government has still not put people first by putting a proper windfall tax in place and reversing its unfair tax cuts for the big banks.

It is safe to say that the Conservatives can never be trusted to run our country’s economy ever again.

Raab must stand down now and trigger by-election

The Liberal Democrats have called on Dominic Raab to stand down now and trigger a by-election, warning that the people of Esher and Walton deserve better than a “bully MP who has thrown in the towel.”

It comes after the Liberal Democrats overtook the Conservatives to become the largest party on Raab’s local Elmbridge Council at the local elections on 5 May, gaining six councillors.

The Liberal Democrats topped the poll in the Esher and Walton constituency at the local elections, gaining 41% of the vote compared to 31% for the Conservative Party.

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22 May 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Braverman: Sunak’s silence speaks volumes
  • Natasha Asghar – Conservatives clearly see Wales as a secondary thought

Braverman: Sunak’s silence speaks volumes

Responding to reports that Rishi Sunak has met with Sir Laurie Magnus, but not yet decided whether he will order an investigation into concerns that Suella Braverman has broken the Ministerial Code, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

For a Prime Minister who promised integrity, Sunak’s silence speaks volumes. He has had ample time to contact his ethics advisor and announce an investigation.

His inability to act is a clear failure of leadership. Sunak and his entire cabinet cannot keep

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20-21 May 2023 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Ethics adviser must investigate Braverman
  • Braverman: By refusing investigation, Sunak is stealing page one from Johnson’s playbook
  • Coffey must apologise for the sewage scandal
  • Sunak must explain Braverman scandal in Parliament tomorrow

Ethics adviser must investigate Braverman

Responding to reports in the Sunday Times that Suella Braverman asked Home Office civil servants to help her avoid a speeding fine and points on her licence by arranging a private one-to-one driving awareness course, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Once again for the Government, it’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

Suella Braverman may be in the driver’s seat at the Home Office but that doesn’t give her any excuse to appear to duck the law.

Braverman should be urgently investigated by the Ethics Adviser and add her name to the nearly endless list of Ministers who have had to undergo the same.

Time and time again we are seeing a conveyor belt of Conservative politicians run roughshod over the rules and drag our politics into the gutter. Now, the buck stops with Rishi Sunak himself to stop the endless headlines of sleaze and scandal.

Braverman: By refusing investigation, Sunak is stealing page one from Johnson’s playbook

Responding to the news that Rishi Sunak has so far refused to open an investigation into Suella Braverman, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

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Carer’s Leave Bill – a Lib Dem success

Our Bill to provide some support for carers has just passed its final stage in Parliament.

The Carer’s Leave Bill will give a statutory right to over 2 million carers to take five days of unpaid leave per year from their employment. It’s not a lot but it is definitely a step in the right direction, recognising the immense pressures on family members and others who provide substantial unpaid care to people with extra needs.

So congratulations to Wendy Chamberlain in the Commons and Chris Fox in the Lords for successfully steering the Bill through.

Chris Fox says:

I have had the privilege to hear first-hand from unpaid carers what a difference this Bill will make. I am proud to support it and hope that it will help millions of unpaid carers better balance work and care.

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Lib Dems challenge coronation arrests

Back in the 1930s, there was a deep suspicion amongst courtiers of broadcasting royal events on the radio. They worried that the events would be demeaned by men listening to them in public houses with their hats on. Ninety years on, these courtiers would have been utterly disgusted at the prospect of women watching last Saturday’s coronation (as I did) on their phones on sunbeds in Spain, one pina colada to the good.

I hadn’t intended to watch any of it while I was away on my first ever girls’ holiday. Truth be told, I’d had trouble even mustering up indifference. However, one of our party had a friend participating and she wanted to see if she could spot him.

So I managed to marvel at some of the proceedings, including Penny Mordaunt’s impressive sword-holding while dressed as every Tory Boy’s Thatcherite fantasy.

However much I like the spectacle, I am far from convinced that a hereditary monarchy, even one with few powers, is the best way for our country to be governed. I am not too exercised by the question, though, as there are many more pressing things – including giving people the Parliament they ask for – that need to be done.

I totally get why protesters from the organisation Republic might want to make their point by protesting in the run up to the coronation. They have every right to do so in a democratic society. Yet heavy handed action by the Police saw protesters, and in one case a royal fan who was there to enjoy the day, arrested and deprived of their liberty for hours.  A retrospective expression of regret by the Police is just not good enough.

The events showed the flaws in the recently passed Public Order Act, exactly as our people in Parliament had warned as it was debated.

As you would expect, Lib Dems have been highly critical of the arrests. Alistair Carmichael, our Home Affairs spokesperson, said on Twitter:

Tim Farron said that tolerating protest would be the “most utterly British thing imaginable:

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24 April 2023 – today’s press releases

  • 51 million GP appointments lasted less than 5 minutes in past year
  • Five times Sunak betrayed British businesses
  • Sewage vote: Judgement day for Conservative MPs
  • Raab Urgent Question: Lib Dems challenge PM to come clean over advice on bullying complaints

51 million GP appointments lasted less than 5 minutes in past year

51 million GP appointments in the last year lasted less than five minutes, new research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The figures also reveal a postcode lottery with more than 21% of GP appointments in some areas lasting five minutes or less.

The party warned that the government’s failure to recruit more GPs has meant patients are “waiting for weeks to get an appointment only to be rushed through in a matter of minutes.”

The Commons Library analysis is based on NHS figures for the year between March 2022, when the data was first published, and February 2023. It provides a figure for the first time on the number of five-minute GP appointments over an entire year, broken down by local area.

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20 April 2022 -today’s press releases

  • 4.3 million anti-social behaviour reports go unattended by police in past five years
  • Lib Dems demand food summit in Downing Street to tackle “tsunami” of rising food prices
  • Welsh Health Statistics – Emergency Social Care Plan Needed
  • Raab Report: More dither and delay

4.3 million anti-social behaviour reports go unattended by police in past five years

  • Over 2,000 incidents of anti-social behaviour went unattended by police each day last year
  • Some police forces attending fewer than one in five (19%) incidents
  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey calls for “return to proper community policing” with more bobbies on the beat

A staggering 4.3 million reports of anti-social behaviour have …

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18 April 2023 – today’s press releases

  • ONS pay-squeeze figures: The Government simply doesn’t care
  • Rise in faulty sewage monitors as water firms accused of “covering up environmental scandal”
  • Prepayment meters: This half-measure is an insult
  • Lib Dems launch digital campaign on A to Z of Conservative sleaze and scandal
  • Calls For Welsh Labour to Take Stronger Action on Coal Mining Following Successful Lords Vote

ONS pay-squeeze figures: The Government simply doesn’t care

Responding to the latest ONS unemployment and earnings figures which saw average pay fall by 2.3% in the year to December 2022 to February 2023, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

This is a damning verdict on the Government’s attempt to end the cost of living crisis.

Jeremy Hunt is the latest out of touch Conservative Chancellor to completely fail on rising prices.

The Conservative party’s gross mismanagement of the British economy has lead to inflation rising and growth plummeting. People need urgent help with rising food and energy bills, yet the Government simply doesn’t care.

Rise in faulty sewage monitors as water firms accused of “covering up environmental scandal”

  • Almost 2,300 sewage monitors found to be faulty – over one in six of all monitors
  • Number of sewage discharges potentially much higher than feared
  • Lib Dems accuse water companies of covering up environmental scandal by failing to fix monitors

New analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed water companies are failing to monitor hundreds of sewage discharges in coastlines and rivers.

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17 April 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Keegan: You don’t need a maths A-level to see that these plans don’t add up
  • Government Pushed to Vote on Banning New Coal Mines
  • Government reported for breaking purdah rules
  • Sunak investigation: Another accusation of a Conservative PM bending the rules
  • Government defeated as Lib Dems win vote to ban new coal mines

Keegan: You don’t need a maths A-level to see that these plans don’t add up

Responding to Gillian Keegan’s morning media round about the Government’s maths announcement, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

Gillian Keegan’s empty words are an insult to millions of people who are looking to the Government for

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A duo of Lib Dems at PMQs highlight GP shortage and medicine issue

Lib Dems are doing very well at Prime Minister’s Questions at the moment. Yesterday, we had two questions to Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab in Rishi Sunak’s absence.

First up, Sarah Olney carried through the theme of the day – GP shortages, highlighting the impact:

From Hansard:

In a shocking article in Surrey Live last year, it was reported that staff at a GP practice in Walton were left in tears and “crumbling under pressure” owing to the increased workload caused by staff shortages. Is that any wonder when there are 850 fewer GPs in the country than there were in 2019? What does the Deputy Prime Minister say to patients left in pain and staff left in tears—including some in his own constituency—as a result of the Government’s failed promise to recruit more GPs?

The Deputy Prime Minister

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29 March 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Only 2% of car thefts resulted in a charge last year
  • Government criticised for having no dedicated team working on water pollution
  • Ethics adviser must investigate Sunak over wife’s shares in company benefiting from government scheme
  • PMQs: Raab challenged over GP crisis in his own constituency

Only 2% of car thefts resulted in a charge last year

  • Home Secretary blasted as “asleep at the wheel” as tens of thousands of car thefts go unsolved
  • Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing with known officers on the beat to clamp down on crime.

New research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has shown that just 2% of car thefts in England and Wales result in a charge.

The official Home Office data, analysed by the House of Commons Library, revealed there were 100,000 car thefts in the the first three quarters of 2022.

Of the instances of car theft, an eye-watering 68,800 went unsolved. And – of those cases who did have a suspect – just 2% resulted in a charge.

Analysis of the statistics shows that the number of car thefts rose by over a third in the past year when comparing the same time period in 2021 to 2022, up from 74,605 in the first three quarters of 2021 to 97,225.

Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing with known officers on the beat to clamp down on crime.

Analysis by the House of Commons Library found that the number of community police officers have fallen by more than 4,000 since 2015 across England and Wales.

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24 March 2023 – today’s press release

Truss Honours: Rishi Sunak must block immediately

Responding to the leaked names on Liz Truss’ Honours List, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

Handing out more expensive gongs to Conservative allies is a truly remarkable way to reward the shortest tenure as Prime Minister in British political history.

Truss and her Conservative colleagues trashed our economy and left millions in misery.

Those selected for honours are the very people who helped plunge the country into chaos and crisis.

Rishi Sunak must block these Honours immediately as allowing Truss to dish out positions of influence shows a stunning lack of humility.

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Casey Report: This must be a precipice moment

Responding to the Casey Report, Liberal Democrat MP and Former Police Officer Wendy Chamberlain said:

This report is an important step towards justice for the Everard, Smallman and all of the other families of women and other victims who have suffered because of the failings evident throughout the Met.

It’s clear that despite repeated reviews and reports that the force’s toxic culture has never been properly addressed. This time, it has to be.

Leadership in the Met and the Home Office must view this as a precipice moment. The Home Secretary must take personal responsibility for this and draw up an urgent plan,

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