Tag Archives: wera hobhouse

9 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Settled Status figures show need for automatic right to stay
  • Publishing Russia report top of the list for intelligence committee
  • Lib Dems: Consequences of Chancellor ignoring our high streets already clear
  • Govt must foot the bill to keep TV licences free for over 75s
  • Ministers must act to ensure public can have confidence in NHS Test and Trace
  • As the country opens up Test and Trace is more important than ever

Settled Status figures show need for automatic right to stay

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need, as new Home Office figures reveal thousands are being refused and millions await a final decision.

The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics, published this morning, reveal 2,300 people have been refused Settled Status, 1.4 million have only been granted temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’ and 250,000 are still waiting for a decision.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

EU citizens in the UK have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for far too long. They are our families and friends, our colleagues and carers. They must have the right to stay.

Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised to automatically guarantee the rights of EU citizens to stay, but they have broken that promise.

With so many people being refused Settled Status, granted only temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’ or still waiting for a decision, it’s clear that the Government’s scheme is anything but automatic.”

And without physical proof of their rights, EU citizens will be at the mercy of the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment. They must not become the victims of a new Windrush-style scandal.

Liberal Democrats are fighting for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need.

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25 June 2020 – the overnight press release

PM must show global leadership in tackling the climate emergency

Responding to the publication of the Climate Change Committee’s annual report to Parliament, Liberal Democrat Climate Emergency Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

The climate crisis is doing irreversible damage to our planet. As this report shows, we need greater Climate Action Now so we can protect our planet for future generations.

Since the Conservatives adopted a net-zero target last year, we have seen agonisingly little progress. This Government are all talk and no action when it comes to the climate emergency .

With the UK taking a leading role at COP26, the Prime Minister must

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+++Wera Hobhouse pulls out of party leadership race

This was tweeted by Wera Hobhouse a few minutes ago:

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Wera Hobhouse: Our party is in desperate need of reform

Our party is in desperate need of reform.

We have overlooked the importance of winning locally. We have sacrificed our local government strongholds on the altar of national government dreams.

In doing so, we have carelessly damaged our local government base in many areas. We have assumed we can win new MPs without winning locally first. The 2019 election shows that we can’t.

As has been said in the 2019 General Election Review: ‘The overarching conclusion … is that had we made much better decisions in 2019 we might have gained a few more seats, but not many more.’

Part of this is that we hadn’t rebuilt enough support locally to win nationally.

For too long we have given priority to Westminster, its national policy interests and the messaging that goes with it.

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Wendy Chamberlain leads parliamentary debate on electoral reform

Every night, House of Commons business closes with an adjournment debate for half an hour. It’s a half hour in which an MP raises an issue and a Government minister has to respond.

It was worth staying up last Monday night to watch Wendy Chamberlain lead a debate calling for electoral reform. She made a brilliant case both for PR and votes at 16. She was supported by Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine and Layla Moran.

You can watch the whole thing here – and it is worth doing so to see how well they make the case – and how the Government Minister responding is all over the place, presumably because she knows fine that they were right.

Here are some key highlights thanks to Make Votes Matter:

 

You can read the debate in Hansard here and Wendy’s speech in full is below:

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Wera Hobhouse: “Let go of the coalition once and for all”

I’ve launched my new campaign video today: we need a new direction, it’s time to let go of the coalition.

I was a councillor in Rochdale during the coalition — I saw its impact. But for our party, it has meant almost irreparable devastation. More than 2,500 councillors and 49 MPs were wiped out and it rocked the very foundations our party was built on.

It’s not to say that the coalition was all bad – equal marriage and pupil premium are just two of the many life-changing ideas implemented by Lib Dems – but some serious mistakes were made. We have acknowledged that – now it is time to well and truly move on.

The Liberal Democrats are not halfway between the Conservatives and Labour. We are a progressive, centre-left party, and we must fight for our values and beliefs from there.

We need a new direction; we must let go of the coalition and aspirations to return. We must get back to our liberal roots, serving our local communities, which is what we have always done best.

That’s where I will take the Liberal Democrats as leader.

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5 June 2020 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • Lib Dems: Ministers must commit now to any recommendations from inequalities inquiry
  • ONS figures highlight the devastating COVID-19 care home crisis
  • Lib Dems call for legally binding targets to restore natural world
  • Lib Dems: Extend Brexit transition now

Lib Dems: Ministers must commit now to any recommendations from inequalities inquiry

Responding to the announcement that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission will lead an inquiry into the racial inequalities exposed by the coronavirus outbreak, Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

The consequences of the coronavirus crisis are exacerbated for some communities by the existing inequalities in our society. The announcement that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission will investigate the disproportionate impact the virus has had on people from different ethnic minorities is particularly welcome considering Public Health England’s report earlier this week offered no proposed Government action.

The EHRC’s Inquiry will set out clear recommendations and Ministers must commit now to following them. The Liberal Democrats want to see a government-wide plan to tackle BAME inequalities, with a review by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to determine whether its funding is adequate. Once the Inquiry has been carried out, the Government should set this in motion with their recommendations.

Too many individuals have lost their lives to coronavirus, and we know that a disproportionate number of those we have tragically lost are from BAME communities. It is clear that not only does the Government need to do more to tackle the spread of the virus, but it also needs to do more to tackle the injustice and inequality in our society.

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Daily View 2×2: 5 June 2020

2 big stories

Yesterday, the New York Times published an opinion piece by the junior US Senator for Arkansas, Tom Cotton, which called upon President Trump to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act to

employ the military “or any other means” in “cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws”

by way of an overwhelming show of force against protestors. Why is this important? Because Tom Cotton is a potential Republican nominee for the Presidency in the not that distant future.

It would be fair to say that there was a backlash, as the editorial page editor himself admitted.

There is a valid question to …

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21 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 1)

And if you thought that yesterday was intense…

  • Lib Dems: Tackling the climate crisis is at the heart of coronavirus recovery
  • Govt must reimburse missed tuition to student nurses called up to the frontline
  • 51,906 asylum seekers trapped on just £5.39 a day during coronavirus crisis
  • EU Settled Status deadline must be scrapped, as grants crater during coronavirus crisis
  • New stats show damaging impact of Priti Patel’s nasty immigration rhetoric

Lib Dems: Tackling the climate crisis is at the heart of coronavirus recovery

The Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for their calls for local authorities to be empowered to enact measures that would help tackle the climate emergency as well as recover from the coronavirus crisis.

The cross-party letter sent to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick states “we cannot simply return ‘back to normal’” and that “tackling the climate emergency is at the heart of our recovery”.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Climate Emergency, Energy and the Environment Wera Hobhouse initiated the letter, putting forward measures that include incentivising councils to support sustainable travel, revitalising high streets and allowing local authorities to close streets to traffic at allocated times.

Following the letter, Wera Hobhouse said:

We cannot return to ‘normal’ following the Covid-19 crisis. The measures introduced by the Transport Secretary to promote the use of sustainable transport are welcome, but without cross departmental buy-in they will fail to have a lasting impact on how we travel.

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Lib Dems lead cross-party call for clarity on coronavirus loan scheme

The Liberal Democrats are leading a cross-party call for the Business Secretary to provide clearer guidance to lenders regarding Business Interruption Loans, following reports that lenders have been slow to approve loans to struggling businesses due to extensive due diligence processes.

Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse has been joined by over 20 MPs from across the political spectrum in writing to the Business Secretary to call for the additional guidance.

The letter asks that the Government sets out the “minimum level of due diligence required” to underwrite loans, criteria which would enable lenders to process applications at a faster pace. …

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YouGov poll on Lib Dem leadership: Ed Davey is a country mile ahead (contains caveats)

Embed from Getty Images

Stephen Bush has written the following on the New Statesman “The Staggers” blog:

Ed Davey is on course to win the looming Liberal Democrat leadership election, a YouGov poll for the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Party Members Project, run out of the University of Sussex and Queen Mary University has found. YouGov asked members to choose between a field of Ed Davey, Layla Moran and Daisy Cooper, the new MP for St Albans, all of whom are widely tipped to stand. In that field, Davey wins outright in the first round, with 52 per cent of the vote against Moran’s 24 per cent and Cooper’s 9 per cent.

I did a little light Googling to see if I could find the data on this poll.

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24-26 January 2020 – the (long) weekend’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats welcome Citizens’ Assembly
  • Liberal Democrats: Sadiq Khan’s mass surveillance roll-out unacceptable
  • Ministers must explain soaring cost of HS2 to Parliament
  • Government must review assisted dying laws

Liberal Democrats welcome Citizens’ Assembly

Ahead of the first meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, set up by House of Commons Select Committees last year, Liberal Democrat Climate Action Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

The climate crisis is doing irreversible damage to our planet. The UK must cut its emissions to net-zero, be it by improving how we heat our homes or cutting emissions from flying.

This Citizens’ Assembly could help the government take the difficult decisions

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15 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems question FlyBe bailout
  • Tory minister wrong to promote flying in the face of climate emergency
  • Ed Davey calls for better support for bereaved families at PMQs
  • Government must repeal unlawful Snoopers’ Charter
  • Lib Dems: Prime Minister must now keep his promise to protect Erasmus
  • Lib Dems: PM agrees to work with Lib Dems on human rights abuses in Syria

Lib Dems question FlyBe bailout

Responding to news that the Government intends to bail out Flybe, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson, Munira Wilson MP, said:

Flybe provides a vital service in connecting many regions of the UK which are otherwise hard to travel between, not least

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10 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Fight against upskirting is far from over
  • Nine prisons overcapacity by more than 50%

Lib Dems: Fight against upskirting is far from over

Responding to data revealing that incidents of upskirting have been reported to the police at a rate of almost one a day since it became a specific sexual offence, Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, who originally proposed the Bill, said:

This horrifying statistic serves to show how necessary a change in the law was. Victims across the UK were failing to get justice and perpetrators of the crime were walking free.

The change to make upskirting a specific sexual offence

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10 December 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems: Brexit is already costing our public services more than £350 million a week
  • Swinson warns of Johnson threat to human rights
  • Business backs the Liberal Democrats
  • Lib Dems are listening to Gen Z’s climate emergency fears

Lib Dems: Brexit is already costing our public services more than £350 million a week

The Liberal Democrats have revealed that Brexit is already costing the government £380–470 million a week – money that could have been spent on the NHS instead.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has estimated that GDP is £55–66 billion lower this year than it would have been without Brexit, mainly …

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9 December 2019 – today’s press releases

Apologies to our regular readers for the temporary disappearance of this regular feature – I was away and had some surprisingly poor internet access. Anyway, on with the show…

  • Liberal Democrats set out ambitious spending plans to tackle the climate emergency
  • Lib Dems: Brexit leak on Northern Ireland checks shows Johnson is lying to the public
  • Lib Dems: Johnson refusing to look at picture of sick child shows mask has slipped
  • Question Time debate shows Jo Swinson is a next generation leader

Liberal Democrats set out ambitious spending plans to tackle the climate emergency

The Liberal Democrats have …

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Lib Dems announce war on plastics

Yesterday, the Liberal Democrats will set out a raft of policies as part of a radical plan to end the UK’s addiction to plastic.

These policies include:

  • Requiring all retailers to reduce the amount of plastics and non-recyclable packaging they use
  • Implementing a deposit return scheme
  • Ending plastic exports abroad by 2030

Following this announcement, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change, Wera Hobhouse said:

The UK produces 2.26 million tonnes of plastic packaging every year, but less than half of this is being recycled. The Conservatives have claimed they will cut plastic pollution but all they have done in reality is attempt to get

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18 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems respond to campaign groups’ call to ban fracking

Responding to campaign calls from Friends of the Earth and others for the next government to ban fracking, Liberal Democrat Climate Emergency spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives sold a lie when they announced a ban on fracking. A moratorium is not a ban. The Tories cannot shake off their shocking record on the climate emergency on the eve of an election.

Liberal Democrats are clear that embarking on a whole new front of carbon-based fuels and energy production would do nothing to help meet our climate commitments.

This election gives the

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9-10 November 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

That’s rather embarrassing, in that I managed to fall asleep mid-edit. So, time to catch up…

  • Lib Dems respond to Conservative announcement on GP appointments
  • Lib Dems: Boris Johnson should call Cobra meeting over flooding emergency
  • Labour People’s Vote promise rings hollow – Lib Dems
  • Labour People’s Vote promise rings hollow – Lib Dems
  • Lib Dems: Manifestos must receive OBR scrutiny

Lib Dems respond to Conservative announcement on GP appointments

Responding to the Conservative Party’s announcement today on GP appointments, Luciana Berger, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, said:

This latest Tory announcement isn’t offering any real solutions to the current

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Liberal Democrats set out bold green plan to build a brighter future

The Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to tackle the climate emergency by generating 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030 and insulating all low-income homes by 2025.

As one of the party’s key priorities in their ‘Plan for a Brighter Future’, the Liberal Democrats have committed to raising the energy efficiency standards for new homes alongside investing £15 billion over the next Parliament to retrofit 26 million homes. This would save the average household £550 a year on energy bills.

The party has also announced a Liberal Democrat government would prioritise accelerating the deployment of renewable power generation, …

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2-3 November 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems lodge election debate complaint with ITV
  • Lib Dems: Dithering Labour leadership shows they’re not fit for office
  • Lib Dems: Labour have no plan to tackle the climate emergency
  • Election debates should be set independently – Liberal Democrats

Lib Dems lodge election debate complaint with ITV

The Liberal Democrats have lodged a formal complaint to ITV for excluding Jo Swinson from their election debate and warned “failing to have Liberal Democrats in the debate is misrepresenting the current political reality.”

In a letter to ITV Chief Executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, the President of the Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton said “voters of this country deserve …

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31 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future.
  • Brexit hinders growth in green, clean cars
  • Davey: Labour’s spending plans “can’t be squared with the cost of Brexit”
  • Self-harm and assaults in prisons preventing rehabilitation
  • Lib Dems: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson both unfit for office

Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future.

Today, Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats are launching their slogan for the General Election campaign: Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future, alongside a campaign poster launch.

This election is a once in a generation opportunity to reshape our politics, and give hope to the millions of people who want a fairer, brighter future.

The Liberal Democrats’ slogan reflects a positive …

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Wera Hobhouse highlights women’s mental health

Yesterday, Wera Hobhouse led a Commons debate on women’s mental health.

Before the debate, she wrote for Politics Home about the responsibility MPs have to strengthen these vital services:

Whether it’s desperation over housing, Universal Credit, or Personal Independence Payments, the numbers of people struggling have increased dramatically, exacerbating mental health issues.

And for women, these problems are increasing.

More women – one in five – experience common mental health disorders like anxiety and depression compared with men, according to the charity Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk.

Young women are even more vulnerable with 26 percent at risk of these kinds of mental health problems — three times more than young men.

She outlined why it’s so important to make sure women have access to treatment for eating disorders at an early stage:

Many health professionals still reach for the scales when faced with an eating disorder, despite existing guidelines clearly advising against solely using weight for a diagnosis. Girls are turned away even when they are clearly suffering because they aren’t ‘thin enough’.

For over a year, I have been campaigning to #DumpTheScales – demanding shorter waiting times for adult sufferers and more education in medical schools around these deadly disorders.

We need to treat eating disorders as a mental health issue, not just a physical health issue.

And she looked at why women find it difficult to seek help for mental ill health:

A mother may be afraid to ask for help if she fears her children could be taken away. Services often fail to recognize the trauma that women experience through separation from their children, for example through extended stay in medical facilities.

We must think about what models work to support the wellbeing and mental health of women who are carers and mothers.

Mental health is complicated, and we don’t have all the answers yet. However, only by having open conversations about the problems can we can find lasting solutions.

Ultimately, as an MP, my colleagues and I have a responsibility to identify these solutions and safeguard them in law.

Only through strong laws can we build a society where equality, and wellbeing, is guaranteed for everyone.

You can watch her speech here. Unfortunately, the embedding was not working at the time of writing.

Here’s the text of her speech with the interventions:

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30 September 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

I allowed myself to be distracted yesterday… you know how it can be sometimes, so it’s time to catch up…

  • ‘Out of touch’ Tories plough money into roads despite people and planet crying out for public transport investment
  • Brexit renders spending promises impossible – Davey

‘Out of touch’ Tories plough money into roads despite people and planet crying out for public transport investment

Following Sajid Javids announcement of £25bn investment in roads, Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport, said:

Just as people are starting to become aware of the damage we’re doing to our planet, the Conservatives have committed to spending £25

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Wera Hobhouse’s speech to Conference

Yesterday, climate change spokesperson Wera Hobhouse delivered this keynote speech to Conference. Here it is in full.

Good morning everybody

It is wonderful to see you all here at the start of a great conference.
We are in a very good place.
Look at what we have achieved since our last conference only 6 months ago.

Number of councillors UP
Number of MEPs UP
Number of MPs UP
Membership UP
Polling UP.

Is there anything that can stop us now?

Here is an easy question: Who in this Hall is a Liberal Democrat?

And who in this hall believes the Climate Crisis is the biggest challenge of the future and we have a moral duty to solve it?

Think about it.
This is who we are.
Being a Liberal Democrat and being an environmentalist go hand in hand.
Our values for a free open tolerant and globally fair society place us right in the centre of the fight against global climate chaos.

Let me remind you of the preamble of our constitution.
‘The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair free and open society in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty equality and community and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty ignorance or conformity.’

We fundamentally believe that all people are equal and have an equal right to freedom and prosperity.

That freedom and prosperity for all has to be fought for and safeguarded because it is easily threatened.

Nobody can be free who lives in poverty, nobody is free when displaced or threatened by war.
The Climate Crisis will affect us all. If we allow it to get worse it will create huge global inequalities.

Some parts of our planet will be much worse hit than others, creating extreme poverty and hardship, displacement and possibly war.

We Liberal Democrats make no distinction between people on the basis of race gender or religion.
It matters deeply to us how other people are doing not just in this country but anywhere in the world.

That is what makes us an internationalist party. People in China or Argentina or Nigeria or Iran are our neighbours.

That is why we call out against human rights abuses wherever we witness them.

And that is why we feel particularly called upon to avert a climate catastrophe.

This is our call!

This is who we are!

This is why each and every one of us should be proud to be a Liberal Democrat!

The rise of populist and nationalist leaders across the world directly threatens our democratic values.

It threatens the institutions that have guaranteed our rules based international order.

But additionally what is staring us in the face now is that these populist nationalist leaders also threaten our efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

Whether it is Trump or Bolsanaro or Putin or any other dictator across the world, they all actively encourage activities that create environmental chaos, division, social instability and economic disruption.

Because these are the conditions on which they thrive.

Populist leaders create and deliberately exaggerate the fear of foreigners.
They use this fear for their own personal and self-centred ambition.
Fear is a powerful emotion that blocks out any rational argument.

We cannot ignore the huge dangers to international peace and cooperation that these authoritarian leaders pose.
Climate breakdown will play into their hands.
The potentially huge displacement of people give the perfect excuse for populist leaders to shut down the borders and pull up the draw bridge.
The cry of each and every one of these leaders is ‘my country first’.
They do not care about anyone else.

Look at the devastating destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
It would be naïve to think Bolsanaro turns a blind eye for mere short term financial gain, and has no regard for the long- term global implications of such destruction.
More important to realise is that burning down the rainforests and exacerbating the climate crisis is consistent with his disruptive political agenda.
It matters to stand up against these populists and nationalists.
Not just because of the threat to our open society but because of the threat to our planet.

We must fight this.
That is why we are in politics.
That is why we are Liberal Democrats.

Our Liberal Democrat resurgence in the local and European elections give me great hope.
There are millions of people who will not lie down in the face of populism and nationalism.
We must stand with them, and lead them.

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18 July 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

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

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

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16 July 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Umunna: Ministers asleep at the wheel in the face of online shopping time bomb
  • New Lib Dem leader to hold Brexit talks with Barnier
  • Lib Dems: New PM must not delay Domestic Abuse Bill

Umunna: Ministers asleep at the wheel in the face of online shopping time bomb

The introduction of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) will lead to two-factor authentication for all online purchases. The aim of this is to cut down on fraud and improve digital security, however the Government have failed to both support retailers or inform consumers about this change.

Furthermore, it is estimated that around 2 million people do not have …

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11 July 2019 – today’s press release

Lib Dems: Appoint more female and BAME judges

The Liberal Democrats have called for clear “targets with teeth” for improving judicial diversity, as new figures show that just 7% of court judges are BAME and 32% are women.

The statistics, published today by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and the Senior President of Tribunals, show that:

Of the 39 Court of Appeal judges, only 9 (23%) are women and just 2 (6%) are BAME.
Of the 97 High Court judges, only 26 (27%) are women and just 3 (3%) are BAME.
Of all 3,210 court judges, only 1,013 (32%) are …

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10 July 2019 – the overnight press releases

Lib Dems: Govt squandering progress on climate change

Responding to the Climate Change Committee’s 2019 Progress Report to Parliament – detailing how the UK Government is “lagging far behind, what is needed” to meet the old climate change targets, let alone the new net-zero emissions target for 2050 – Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

This report shows that this Conservative Government is all talk and no action when it comes to climate change. They’re off-track, but instead of reversing their most damaging decisions such as effectively banning on-shore wind, slashing subsidies to solar power and scrapping the zero-carbon

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9 July 2019 – today’s press releases

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

Labour are still a party of Brexit

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

Labour are still a party of Brexit.

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

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