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Covid Inquiry confirmed after 13 months of Lib Dem pressure

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 12 May 2021

The Prime Minister has today confirmed an inquiry into their actions during the Coronavirus pandemic under the powers of the Inquiries Act 2005.

Lessons must be learnt from the mistakes that were made"

Ed Davey

This comes after Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey first called for a full inquiry into the Government's actions during the pandemic 13 months ago in April 2020

The Prime Minister, who has promised an inquiry when pressed by the Liberal Democrats at multiple points, has now confirmed a full inquiry will take place in this session of Parliament to Spring 2022.

Responding to the Prime Minister's Statement, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

"From the failed test, trace and isolate system to the crisis in our care homes Boris Johnson and his Government have no end of questions to answer so I welcome this inquiry in spite of it being 13 months after the Liberal Democrats first called for it.

"This Coronavirus inquiry must have the teeth necessary to hold this government's feet to the fire on their wrong-doings.

"Lessons must be learnt from the mistakes that were made throughout this crisis and the Government must be held to account for their handling of the pandemic."

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey first called for a full inquiry into the Government's actions during the pandemic 13 months ago

We must have a full and properly independent inquiry that has the trust of the public, especially of the thousands of families that have lost a loved one to this terrible disease.

The Liberal Democrats are urging the Prime Minister to meet urgently with families that have lost loved ones to Covid and ensure that the inquiry into the pandemic.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We must rebuild as a fairer, greener and more caring country in the aftermath of Covid.

Boris Johnson has utterly failed to deliver an ambitious programme

So it is crushingly disappointing that the Government’s plans will fail on every account – still failing small businesses and the self-employed, still not rising properly to the climate challenge and still ignoring millions of people caring for loved ones at home.

Their planning reforms will rip powers away from local people and communities in favour of wealthy property developers, threatening our environment and treasured green spaces.

Their cruel asylum plans will stop people fleeing violence and persecution, from seeking sanctuary in the UK.

And long delayed reforms to social care have been pushed back into the long grass once again, despite the pressures we have seen on care homes and carers this last year.

Boris Johnson has utterly failed to deliver an ambitious programme to respond to the real challenges people are facing after this terribly difficult year.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Lib Dem wins

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 07 May 2021

Liberal Democrat have had some great early wins:

  • We have gained majority control of St Albans City and District Council.
  • We made gains in Cambridgeshire and Tunbridge Wells, taking away the Conservatives' majorities on those councils. And more gains from the Conservatives in Oxfordshire, Surrey, Wiltshire Essex, Wokingham, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Shropshire and Devon.
  • We held Orkney, Shetland, Edinburgh Western and North East Fife - re-electing four great MSPs.
  • Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds won in Mid and West Wales.
  • We made gains from Labour in Sunderland, Liverpool, Hull, Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley;
  • We became the largest party on Stockport council and held our councils in Watford, Winchester, Eastleigh, Three Rivers and Cheltenham;
  • Liberal Democrats gained a seat on the Greater London Assembly.
  • In Chesham and Amersham, where there is an upcoming parliamentary by-election, Liberal Democrats finished a strong second to the Conservatives. In Amersham Lib Dems went from 0 seats to a majority on the Town Council.
Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Autumn Conference 2021 Announcement

by Geoff Payne on Tue, 04 May 2021

We have decided that Autumn Conference will take place from 17th to 20th September. It will be held online. That was a very difficult decision to take and we had a very lengthy discussion about it.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Weekly Whip - Lord's Edition

by Humphrey Amos on Fri, 30 Apr 2021

In the Lords we get to grips with the detail of the legislation and improve it; we take part in debates on a whole range of issues; and we question and hold to account government ministers.

For up-to-date information about the work of the Lib Dem group in the Lords, follow us on Twitter: @LibDemLords

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Today Liberal Democrats are launching our new campaign to protect British farmers and maintain our food standards.

The Tories failing to commit to maintaining our high animal welfare and environmental standards"

I am deeply concerned that family farming businesses are at risk as the Tories continue to botch our transition away from the EU agricultural system.

Some farmers even risk losing up to half their entire income as the Government is blundering their way towards a new Environmental Land Management scheme.

Liberal Democrats support this new scheme, but the Tories are being much to slow - they are stubborn and out of touch with farmers.

Meanwhile, they’re failing to commit to maintaining our high animal welfare and environmental standards for imported foods.

This would allow foreign imports to undercut responsible British farmers.

Liberal Democrats back British farmers."

Farmers are the guardians of our landscape, they are the stewards of our countryside and vital allies in tackling the climate and ecological crises.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to maintaining the beauty and biodiversity of our countryside which is why we want to ensure public money goes towards public goods like restoring our peat bogs, creating new natural flood protections and managing land to encourage species recovery.

But the Tories risk forcing our family farmers out of business meaning we lose the very people who need to deliver these public goods.

Liberal Democrats back British farmers. We would:

  • Ensure food imports from trade deals meet the UK’s high animal welfare and environmental standards.
  • Maintaining existing farm payments in full until the new Environmental Land Management scheme is fully rolled out.
  • Enhance and protect the British countryside by supporting the farmers who manage the landscape.

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Government has turned its back on leaseholders

by Daisy Cooper on Thu, 29 Apr 2021

Yesterday the Fire Safety Bill passed through Parliament without vital protection for leaseholders and tenants against exorbitant bills for fire remediation works.

 The government’s failure to address the fire safety scandal properly is now a scandal in itself.

The devastating consequences of this Bill passing cannot be overstated.

Millions of leaseholders, who are already facing financial ruin through no fault of their own, are now landed with the prospect of even more extortionate bills starting to arrive – perhaps within a matter of days.

The cladding scandal has been a protracted nightmare for leaseholders, and the government’s failure to address the fire safety scandal properly is now a scandal in itself.

The government has had ten whole months to break the deadlock and propose a solution that they find acceptable but they have refused to compromise.

Liberal Democrats have led the charge on this issue.

Liberal Democrats have stood up for leaseholders from start to finish against the impacts of this defective Bill, and will continue to do so as the fire safety crisis continues to unfold.

I tabled the original amendment to protect leaseholders and tenants when the bill was first in the Commons.

Liberal Democrats have led the charge on this issue, and we have fought for those affected right till the end of the bill’s passage.

We will continue to fight for protection for leaseholders and tenants

This is a national scandal - every day the devastating impact of the building safety crisis become more apparent.

We will continue to fight for protection for leaseholders and tenants and to highlight the Government’s failure to act.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Weekly Whip - Lord's Edition

by Humphrey Amos on Fri, 23 Apr 2021

In the Lords we get to grips with the detail of the legislation and improve it; we take part in debates on a whole range of issues; and we question and hold to account government ministers.

For up-to-date information about the work of the Lib Dem group in the Lords, follow us on Twitter: @LibDemLords

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Clean up our air to save lives

by Ed Davey on Fri, 23 Apr 2021

Air pollution is an invisible enemy threatening the community spaces we love and the people we care most about.

Our Community Clean Air Fund would let councils and communities invest in the transport systems and options they need.

It kills thousands of people every year and affects the quality of life for all of us.

At the same time, air pollution is threatening our world, with climate change.

After the experience of the pandemic, people want action focused on their community and know that bold action for clean air could bring huge health and environmental benefits - and help kickstart the green recovery and the new jobs we all know are so desperately needed.

Our Community Clean Air Fund would let councils and communities invest in the transport systems and options they need, rather than Whitehall and Westminster dictating what’s right.

The Conservatives’ failure to act is shown by the fact that the UK regularly breaks legal limits on air quality in so many towns and cities, and yet Conservative Council after Conservative Council are running away from taking action to clean the air for local people.

 Liberal Democrats are leading on clean air and the climate.

Conservative Councils and councillors are even voting against local climate emergency plans and blocking new cycling routes.

Liberal Democrat councils are acting and getting things done.

From Lib Dem run Bath Council introducing a clean air zone in the city centre to the Lib Dem Mayor of Watford pioneering new pay-as-you-go bikes, people can see it’s the Liberal Democrats leading on clean air and the climate.

Our £20 billion Community Clean Air fund will target all transport emissions affecting local communities and the climate, with emergency 3 year plans to transform people’s local transport options, including:

  • New walking and cycling routes (£5.5 billion)
  • New light rail and tram projects (£4.5 billion)
  • Expansion of bus routes - old ones restored and new introduced (£5 billion)
  • Hydrogen bus revolution - to convert bus fleets to hydrogen (£2 billion)
  • New council-led clean air zones for congested towns and cities (£2 billion)
  • Extra electric vehicle charging points (£1 billion)

With air pollution causing 40,000 early deaths a year and transport now the country’s biggest source of carbon emissions, our strategy will not only boost to the nation’s health, but also tackle the climate emergency too.


 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Conservative development cuts are shameful

by Layla Moran on Thu, 22 Apr 2021

The Conservatives are cutting our commitment to overseas aid at the time it is needed most.

We’re in the middle of a global pandemic – global problems need global solutions. Instead, the Conservatives are shirking their moral and legal responsibilities.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Overseas Operations Bill: Support Our Armed Forces

by Jamie Stone on Wed, 21 Apr 2021

Today the Government is seeking to reverse Lords amendments to the Overseas Operations Bill that add important provisions to properly support our Armed Forces. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Carers deserve better than 5p more per day

by Ed Davey on Mon, 19 Apr 2021

Being a carer can be rewarding and full of love.

900,000 full-time unpaid carers rely on Carer’s Allowance

But it’s far from glamorous. It can be relentless and exhausting.

900,000 full-time unpaid carers rely on Carer’s Allowance – but at just £67.25 a week, it’s not nearly enough.

More than a third of those on Carer’s Allowance are struggling to make ends meet.

Many have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.

Increasing Carer’s Allowance by 5p a day is an insult

The Government’s decision to increase Carer’s Allowance by 5p a day is an insult to the millions of people looking after their loved ones.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to immediately raise Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year.

I’ve been a carer for much of my life.

First as a teenager, nursing my mum during her long battle against bone cancer.

Later for my Nanna, organising her care and trying to make her last few years as comfortable as we could.

And now as a father, as Emily and I care for our disabled son John.

I know how tough it can be.

We are calling on the Government to immediately raise Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year.

Whether you are the parent of a disabled child, a young carer or you look after an elderly family member, Coronavirus has made it even tougher.

Most carers are spending even more time looking after loved ones during the pandemic.

Most haven’t been able to take a single break since it started. Most are simply exhausted.

I am determined that the Liberal Democrats will lead the way to a more caring society as we emerge from this pandemic.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

It's time to restore community policing.

by Ed Davey on Fri, 16 Apr 2021

Everyone has the right to feel safe where they live, and everyone who has been the victim of a crime deserves justice.

But for too long, this Conservative Government has been ignoring victims, failing the police and letting our communities down.

Last year, 1.8 million cases were closed without a suspect even being identified.

And that's why, last year, 1.8 million cases were closed without a suspect even being identified.

Even before the Covid pandemic, too many people felt unsafe in their own homes or walking down their own streets. In fact half of all people never even see police patrols in their local area.

Conservative Ministers like to talk tough on crime, but they have failed to do what works to actually keep people safe. Their unnecessary police cuts have contributed to a rise in serious violence.

Police need the officers, resources and time to focus on preventing and solving crimes.

Police need the officers, resources and time to focus on preventing and solving crimes.

Instead, the Tories want to waste police time chasing centralised Whitehall targets and carrying out pointless, suspicionless Stop and Search.

That's why today, the Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people.

We will do what works to build communities where people are safe and feel safe too.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Weekly Whip - Lord's Edition

by Humphrey Amos on Fri, 16 Apr 2021

In the Lords we get to grips with the detail of the legislation and improve it; we take part in debates on a whole range of issues, and we question and hold to account government ministers. For up-to-date information about the work of the Lib Dem group in the Lords, follow us on Twitter: @LibDemLords

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Congratulations to our Party Award Winners

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 16 Apr 2021

The Leader’s Award, awarded to Prue Bray

Prue has a long history of dedicated service to the Party including being elected to various offices at Local, Regional and State structures that require demonstrating high levels of knowledge, skills and dedication in order to carry out their responsibilities.

She has been PPC for Wokingham and is currently a Councillor there; RCC for South East Region; Chair of ECC 2016 - 2019; member of RPC for some years and became Chair of RPC in 2020.

In all these roles she has demonstrated a high standard of organisational skills and work ethic combined with a thorough grasp of her brief. Her roles have demanded tough decisions and the ability to manage the pressures that accompany this. Her commitment to high standards and expectations of herself and others has been delivered through patience and concern for others. She has been generous in her time, giving advice and support to others whenever called upon.

Prue is a never-failing source of wise counsel. She is always willing to put her long experience in the Party to use in advising others, and is invariably patient, exceptionally hard-working, a true leader and embodies all the values of Liberal Democracy.

Congratulations to Prue!

The Bertha Bowness Fischer Award, awarded to Rebecca ‘Becky’ Grubb

Becky joined the party recently and instantly threw herself into things. She was Secretary of her University Branch in Cambridge, in which capacity she was a huge galvaniser of events, and helped grow the membership. She campaigned vociferously for the local party, as well as organising other campaigners. She was due to stand for election to Cambridge City Council before the pandemic struck. After graduating, she started volunteering in Ed Davey's office, where she broke records for emails logged and going above and beyond the call of duty.

Simultaneously she was elected Non-portfolio Officer for the Young Liberals in which capacity she has used to conduct an enormous review of all young branches in the country, creating a team, calling and interviewing branch chairs. This wide-ranging review of 73 branches was an enormous extra body of voluntary work. 

Becky's story is an important one for several reasons. Firstly she's been a young graduate in an incredibly hostile environment for young people, during this pandemic and under the economic circumstances. She has risen to that challenge with an extraordinary quantity of voluntary work which led to her finding a job and a place in the party. In the circumstances she could be forgiven for thinking, once in a job, she could relax a bit. But she hasn't let up, she's kept working hard and she's taking on more and more responsibilities in trying to help the party.

Secondly, she's shown real grit in starting a new job during the pandemic, taking on the challenges of being a constituency assistant without ever having met any of her colleagues in person.

Thirdly, since she joined the party she's always understood that nurturing its members as individuals is the path to them delivering for the party, growing and is liberalism in action. 

Congratulations to Becky!

The Albert Ingham Award, awarded to Andrew ‘Andy’ Wylie

Andy Wylie is retiring as agent for Watford Liberal Democrats after 40 years of activity in the current party and before that in the SDP in Watford. He has served as a volunteer agent in Watford elections since 1996 and has presided over more than 200 successful election campaigns, including borough, county and mayoral elections. He was agent to Dorothy Thornhill when she won Watford’s first Elected Mayoral contests in 2002, and for subsequent winning Mayoral campaigns. His time as a successful election organiser stretches back to 1986 when he managed the campaign that led to the then SDP/Liberal Alliance gaining its first seat on Watford Borough Council and has played a vital role in the local party’s continuing success.

Andy was also a councillor himself for 17 years, and a cabinet member for the first 10 years of Dorothy Thornhill’s administration, initially for housing and then for finance. As such he played a vital part in turning around a council that had been rated under Labour as one of the worst in the country into a successful, efficient and forward-looking local authority."

Andy’s attention to detail and thoroughness in carrying out the formal duties of agent has meant that we are always in safe hands with the election legalities. He has never pretended to be the all-round-election supremo, although he was an early user of election software and is a doughty committee room organiser. Andy has been a great team player, always encouraging campaigners to bring their own strengths and abilities to the team, whether leaflet-writers, social media experts, or action day organisers. He has enabled energetic and successful campaigning to happen while ensuring the nuts and bolts of the campaign are secure.

Andy is very much an unsung hero – he has never sought any national profile within the party. Yet his assiduousness, thoroughness and efficiency as election agent has been greatly valued by all those in whose election he has played a significant role. It is a measure of Andy’s sense of duty that although he has recently moved away from Watford, he is continuing to serve as agent for this year’s local elections and to help with training whoever takes on these duties in the future.

Congratulations to Andy!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Election Day Nears

by Mark Pack on Fri, 16 Apr 2021

It's time to Take London Forward

by Luisa Porritt on Thu, 15 Apr 2021

Today, I'm delighted to be launching the Liberal Democrat manifesto to Take London Forward.

I will be laying out some of the big changes that are part of my plan, including:

 

Embracing changes brought about by the pandemic:

What would have been ten years of steady change has been accelerated in a year by the pandemic.

The rise of online shopping. The shift towards homeworking. What would have been ten years of steady change has been accelerated in a year by the pandemic.

So we face a choice. Do we try to reverse these big changes? Run promotional campaigns telling people to get back to the office?

Or do we embrace change? Make a plan for it and make it work for Londoners.

 

A plan for a new Flexible Travel Card:

The Liberal Democrats will move with the times, introducing a flexible travel card.

The office isn’t dead, the daily commute is. So why is it that the shortest travel card we can currently get is a seven-day pass?

The Liberal Democrats will move with the times,introducing a flexible travel card.

This will give Londoners the option of buying a four-day pass, saving flexible workers £520 a year and making it more affordable for them to work in the office when they need to.

 

Converting offices to homes:

If people are spending less time in the office, then businesses are inevitably going to see it as an opportunity to reduce the space they need.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to finally fix our housing crisis. More of the same won’t do.

We must challenge ourselves to convert these spaces into quality, affordable, zero-carbon homes.

Rejecting the Silvertown Tunnel on environmental grounds:

The Liberal Democrats will say no to the Silvertown Tunnel.

It’s the Mayor’s dirty little secret… an expensive, polluting new road project that will drive a hole through our zero-carbon ambitions and take funds away from public transport projects we need.

The Liberal Democrats will say no to the Silvertown Tunnel. No to building more polluting roads. And back investment in clean, green public transport projects.

 

We can make our streets safer again.

Bringing back proper Community Policing:

The current Mayor has closed half the police stations in London. We will call a moratorium on police station closures and look to reopen as many of the over 30 closed police stations as communities demand.

By doubling the number of neighbourhood police officers, reopening police stations closed by Sadiq Khan, and putting the focus on building relationships in the community, we can make our streets safer again.

We must bring back proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people.

 

We have a Mayor who has wasted his five years in office, seeking re-election on the basis that he’s not the Conservative candidate.

London is a vibrant, diverse, liberal city. The Conservatives can’t win here.

So if you feel let down by Labour and the current Mayor, send them a message. Tell them you want more. Tell them you want change. Tell them you want something better.

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Remembering Shirley

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 13 Apr 2021

The death of Shirley Williams is heartbreaking news for the whole Liberal Democrats party.

Since the sad news was announced, Liberal Democrat members and figures from public life have been remembering Shirley and paying tribute to her.

We've collected a few of those memories here.

You can also share your memories of Shirley and add your name to the book of condolence here.

 

Our party leaders have paid tribute to Shirley

 

Many of our Parliamentarians said how much Shirley inspired them

 

And some of those who had worked with her over the years also shared their memories

 

Many of our members added their own tributes

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Ramadan Kareem

by Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Mon, 12 Apr 2021

I want to send my best wishes to Muslims in the UK and across the world as we welcome the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is a time of reflection, renewal and generosity. These are much needed in our communities, our politics and all our lives.

A second year observing Ramadan with restrictions on meeting together will be difficult.  Holding an iftar will be different, loved ones will be missed and celebrations will be muted. 

We must all continue to do our part to control and suppress the virus. As we do, we look forward in hope and faith to when we can see loved ones again.

I wish all those observing this holy month a blessed and peaceful Ramadan. 

Ramadan Kareem.


 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

In Memory of Shirley Williams

by Liberal Democrats on Mon, 12 Apr 2021

On behalf of her family, it is with great sadness that we announce that Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, died peacefully in the early hours of Monday April 12th.


Read this article on www.libdems.org →