by Dan Schmeising on Mon, 02 Aug 2021
Anyone who was at the last two Liberal Democrat conferences should remember the two debates that were held on the party’s position on the future relationship between the UK and the EU. In a passionately argued debate last September, conference resolved that the party should support a longer-term objective of UK membership of the the EU, but we rejected a proposal for an immediate campaign to reverse Brexit, which, it was argued, was more likely to alienate voters sick of the recent history of Brexit-inspired division and bitterness. Conference also called for the closest possible alignment between the UK and the EU on trade, security, environmental, social, judicial, educational and scientific issues.
Read this article on www.libdems.org →
We aim to construct a ‘roadmap to rejoin’ that ultimately convinces the electorate that membership of the EU is in the UK’s best interests
by Kath Pinnock on Thu, 22 Jul 2021
We all remember seeing the horrific scenes of the burning tower at Grenfell on the news over four years ago.
The tragic loss of 72 lives was a dark moment for our country and the cladding scandal that emerged emboldened me to stand up for the rights of all those living in unsafe buildings.
That event also was a lightning rod for the wider public and put a sharp focus on the quality of housing that many people live in – particularly in more densely populated urban areas.
millions of leaseholders now find themselves stuck in limbo and facing huge bills"
It was later found that the Grenfell tower was covered in unsafe, flammable cladding and lacked a whole host of basic fire prevention measures. Once again, we saw the dangers of developers putting profit ahead of safety.
Across the UK there were calls for swift action to support leaseholders to remove this dangerous cladding from their buildings. However, at both a Westminster and Devolved Government level, the response has been sluggish.
Due to Government inaction, millions of leaseholders now find themselves stuck in limbo and facing huge bills, often in the high tens of thousands of pounds, to remove this dangerous cladding.
They are unable to move or sell their property due to the cladding, leaving millions trapped as Mortgage Prisoners. Despite strong community action, and attempts to rally leaseholders together, the situation continues.
It’s appalling that the burden of responsibility is being placed on these innocent leaseholders, rather than the building owners and developers who cut the corners in the first place.
The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to End the Cladding Scandal for good."
The Conservatives strategy for dealing with this is to bury their heads in the sand and pretend everything is fine. They can announce big schemes all they want, but unless they listen to the concerns of leaseholders and shift the financial burden onto building owners – millions of men, women, and children will continue to suffer.
That is why I have been working tirelessly in Parliament to champion the voices and rights of leaseholders.
"Leaseholders have done everything right and nothing wrong yet they are being expected to pay for the failures of construction, of developers, and of materials manufacturers" @KathPinnock #EndOurCladdingScandal— Lib Dem Lords (@LibDemLords) July 20, 2021
Working alongside other peers, I have tabled 8 amendments to various bills on this issue and am working closely with Liberal Democrat MPs to keep applying pressure on the Government to change tack.
The most recent of these amendments was debated yesterday, but sadly the Conservatives once again voted it down. Their refusal to even explore what additional support we can give shows they simply don’t get the scale of the issue – or how it is affecting people.
For the sake of all those families who have seen their livelihoods destroyed we must act. We owe it to them to ensure they do not lose out due to developer greed.
The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to End the Cladding Scandal for good.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Mark Pack on Wed, 21 Jul 2021
Being involved in politics should be fun and rewarding. But it can be stressful and at times any of us may need to turn to others for help or support.
Often that support can best come from colleagues in your local party or a party body you are active in. But sometimes help is needed elsewhere, and this piece sets out the main places to turn.
For the most serious situations, all our members can access a 24x7 support helpline on 0800 028 0199. It is run by Health Assured, an independent health and wellbeing specialist. (When asked which organisation you are from, say the Liberal Democrats.)
Members can also download the My Healthy Advantage app from the Google Play store or the Apple App store to access a range of supporting materials. For people without smartphones, there is also a web-based version. For the registration code for the app and for web-based access details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Health Assured service is provided to support members, regardless of whether the issue is a party-related one or not.
Health Assured has a robust and thorough safeguarding procedure which covers in detail the steps to be taken in the event of risk being identified. All helpline staff receive training and regular updates on their safeguarding/risk policy and procedure. In all instances, Health Assured respects their client’s right to confidentiality but also recognises the need and reserves the right to breach confidentiality in exceptional circumstances in line with the data protection legislation.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Nicholas da Costa on Wed, 14 Jul 2021
Federal Conference Committee met via Zoom call on Saturday, 10 July for the agenda selection for our Autumn Conference 2021. The meeting was a lengthy one, which was in part due to the large selection of motions received.
A few announcements before the report; as you may be aware Geoff Payne, departed the FCC in early May, and I am delighted to have been elected the new Chair of FCC. All of us wish Geoff the very best for the future. A recount was held for the vacant place on the Committee, and I am delighted that Keith Melton has joined as our new member of the Federal Conference Committee. Chris Adams has also been elected in the vacant Vice-Chair position and will take responsibility for the General Purposes Sub Committee.
This Autumn conference will be held online, via our third-party provider, Hopin. You will be able to find more information about the virtual conference. If you are planning to attend conference, we highly recommend taking part in the interactive exhibitions and the fringes.
If you haven’t yet registered for Conference, I would recommend doing so here.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Mark Pack on Fri, 09 Jul 2021
Sarah Green’s brilliant victory in Chesham and Amersham shows the huge political opportunity for us - as long as we can continue to apply the lessons from our 2019 election post-mortem.
As part of this, a trio of motions have been submitted for our autumn federal conference. One is from the Federal Board (FB) on the party’s strategy. The other two are from the Federal Policy Committee (FPC), on the party’s values and our policy platform. Hopefully all three can be debated in sequence, so we agree values, strategy and platform in a joined-up way.
Also submitted are changes to implement the major improvements proposed by the Party Bodies Review Group. These will make it easier to create, run and make a success of party bodies, replacing our current AO/SAO structure with one, simple system. That will help us involve more people in our work, and build a larger, healthier party.
Among the other party business for conference is a set of rules for electing Isabelle Parasram’s successor as Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities. Having consulted with the Chair of the Federal Appeals Panel, who will be the returning officer, it’s clear we need to have conference agree rules on nominations and campaign limits before a contest can be sensibly run. The Board will be putting options on both to conference so members can choose.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Jack Coulson on Tue, 06 Jul 2021
Party Awards recognise publicly those who have given the party outstanding service and commitment in the past year. They are presented at Conference and each winner receives a trophy to keep.
We present three awards at Spring Conference, and five at Autumn Conference. You can nominate someone by clicking here. The upcoming awards are:
Eligibility: open to any Party Member elected to public office and who has demonstrated excellence and commitment.
Criteria: the winner will be recognised for outstanding commitment and service to the Party. Local, regional and state parties should be seeking to nominate people who deserve recognition for their hard work, long service, and demonstrable dedication to the party, at whatever level. It is expected to be special awards to be awarded from the Party for whom public recognition is overdue. Nomination portal
Background: this award is named for Harriet Smith, who campaigned and worked tireless for the Party, notably alongside Paddy Ashdown, with the Federal Conference Committee, and in the Bath party. A beloved figure, she is also missed from the Conference revue and by the team at the Liberator Magazine.
Eligibility: open to any Party Member never elected to public office.
Criteria: the Harriet Smith Award shares its conditions with the President’s award. Nomination portal
Background: this award is named for legendary campaigner Belinda Eyre-Brook, whose achievements with the Party include being Ed Davey’s agent in 1997, overturning 15,000 Tory Majority and establishing one of the party’s longest serving MPs.
Eligibility: given to recognise and celebrate the efforts of people working for our elected representatives in their local areas - from local party employees, to political assistants to council groups, to people working in MPs’ constituency offices.
Criteria: the winner of this award will care about their local area and be committed to the success of Liberal Democrats within it. Turning local political priorities into electoral success, and priorities for elected officials is a key part of the work of successful local Party figures - as is linking with the national party. Nomination portal
Background: this award is named for the ‘Grand Old Man of India’, Liberal MP, and joint founder of the Indian National Congress, Dadabhai Naoroji. His work highlighting the reality of British rule over India and campaign for justice is an example to us all and his place in history, as the first non-white and first Indian Parliamentarian, is assured.
Eligibility: presented annually to the local Party that has done most to promote ethnic minority participants to elected office as Councillors, Assembly Members, Members of Parliament or Members of European Parliament.
Criteria: this award is designed to encourage local parties to work towards the goal of increasing their ethnic diversity to more accurately reflect the areas they represent, and to recognise those that already make a great effort to involve different communities in their work. Nomination portal
Background: this award is named for former MP David Penhaligon, a cherished former stalwart of the Cornish Party who took the seat of Truro in 1974. David was a prominent figure in the party and the nation and will always be remembered for his succinct advice to local campaigners: “‘stick it on a piece of paper and stuff it through a letterbox’.
Eligibility: any local Party
Criteria: presented to the local party anywhere in the world which demonstrates the most impressive increase in membership and exemplary activities to deliver and involve members and supporters. It recognises the hard work done to build a Party which is attractive and effective at a local level. Nomination portal
Background: one of our more recent awards, the Patsy Calton is named for the former MP for Cheadle and is presented (and judged) by Lib Dem Women. Patsy was a hugely respected Parliamentarian and her legacy also lives on through her eponymous award given by Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Eligibility: exceptional women ranging from Councillors, to members, to Parliamentarians.
Criteria: awarded to those who have achieved more for their constituents, the underprivileged in society, or perhaps even taken on government and changed things for the better. More information about the award and Lib Dem Women can be found here. Nomination portal
More details about the individual awards and who is eligible can be found here.
Candidates must themselves be party members, and be nominated and seconded by two party members.
Nominations will close on Monday August 16th at 17:00.
All nominators will receive confirmation of their nomination shortly thereafter. If your nominee is selected for an award, they and you will be informed by September 10th.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Alistair Carmichael MP on Mon, 05 Jul 2021
As you may have noticed, this Conservative Government doesn’t like to be challenged.
Just look at how angry and red-faced Boris Johnson gets at Prime Minister’s Questions every week. Just listen to how often Ministers rail against lawyers and the courts, because judges sometimes rule against them. Just remember how they refused to do interviews with journalists who might dare to ask difficult questions.
Read this article on www.libdems.org →
MPs vote today on Priti Patel’s Protest Crackdown Law
by Christine Jardine on Tue, 29 Jun 2021
Why support them for this long and then not see them through to the end?
Furlough is beginning to taper away and the business rates holiday is also coming to an end on July 1st. However, restrictions are set to remain in place until 19th July.
This Government seems incapable of hearing the many voices telling them loudly and clearly how desperately small businesses need support to help them cope with the extra period of restrictions, and beyond.
It is completely incomprehensible that the Chancellor is prepared to end so many of the support mechanisms before firms even have a chance to open their doors and start trading.
The Chancellor has taken his eye off the ball and needs to come up with a long term plan before it is too late.
Why support them for this long and then not see them through to the end?
The black-hole in business support they have created is particularly unfair to the night-time economy, which is being forced to set aside thousands of pounds before able to welcome a single customer.
The Chancellor has taken his eye off the ball and needs to come up with a long term plan before it is too late.
Thousands of closures and job losses are at stake.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Henry McMorrow on Thu, 24 Jun 2021
Right now, with the party riding high and the summer months ahead, is the perfect time to be recruiting new members to help build your teams ahead of the next elections.
Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Mark Pack on Mon, 21 Jun 2021
What a brilliant result! We had the best candidate in Sarah Green, ran the best campaign under James Lillis's direction and had an awesome amount of help from people all around the country.
That would all be impressive even in normal times, but coming off the back of the huge May elections and while we’re all still dealing with coronavirus and lockdowns, that’s been an amazing achievement.
It's also an achievement that sets us up for more success in the future - as the acres of media coverage demonstrate.
New Parliament, new name: this time around we are ‘tiering’ our seats, so the most winnable seats (aka target seats, aka key seats) are now called Tier 1 seats. Selections have started up, with advertisements going out to people on the approved list and appearing on the members-only section of the main party website.
It’s important that we all encourage talented people we know to think about applying, and for many seats there will still be time to go through the approval process.
As a recent internal survey suggested, vanishingly few people are asked to run by fellow party members, particularly potential candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds. There is power in asking!
A lot of effort is going into ensuring we continue the very welcome improvements in the diversity of our Parliamentary Party secured at the 2019 election. We need to do that to properly live our values - and it’s a handy bonus that the evidence shows that more diverse teams make for more effective teams too.
One of the new things for this Parliament is Project Stellar: a support package for our top candidates from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Anyone selected in a Tier 1 seat from such a background can automatically qualify for this support, and depending on the numbers, we may also be able support candidates in Tier 2 seats in this way too.
The exact details of the programme are currently being developed, ready for it to be launched later in the year as the first selections start coming through.
If you are interested in playing a hands-on role in making our party overall more diverse, inclusive and equitable, please do consider volunteering for our new working group on these issues.
There’s much we need to learn from both what went well and what didn’t in the May elections. That’s the way to continue to improve and to extend a run of what is now three years in a row of making net gains in council elections. With local elections right across Scotland and Wales next year, as well as many in England too, we really need that three years in a row to become four.
So I’m glad to report that the Federal Communications and Elections Committee (FCEC), chaired by Cllr Lisa Smart, met earlier this month and agreed a series of mini-projects to dig into particular areas of success and concern.
Part of that involves listening carefully to the wonder band of 178 people we’ve identified who did the most canvassing for the party in the May elections - speaking to an average of 1,000 people each in the six weeks up to polling day! Thank you to each and every one of those 178. That’s a group of people with invaluable collective insight into what did and didn’t work, both in terms of political messaging and organisation. Those are the sorts of grassroot voices that the Thornhill Review into the 2019 election rightly concluded we need to listen to more.
Federal Conference Committee has a new chair, Nick Da Costa. He was elected by FCC members following Geoff Payne standing down earlier this year.
The Federal International Relations Committee (FIRC) has a new chair too, with Phil Bennion replacing Jonathan Fryer, who sadly died earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Bess Mayhew, chair of the Federal People Development Committee (FPDC), will be taking maternity leave and so the committee has elected Mary Regnier-Wilson to fill that gap.
Congratulations to Phil, Mary Nick, and double congratulations to Bess.
One other face will be changing later this year. Isabelle Parasram has a new job which means she will need to stand down as Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities. A by-election will be held later this year to fill her post.
Our latest meeting should have happened the Saturday before polling day, but the Board decided to postpone it until after Chesham and Amersham in order to free up more time for campaigning.
When we did meet, it was for a very full day-long agenda, including reviewing progress on the party’s strategy, discussing the party’s finances and hearing from Dorothy Thornhill on how she thinks things are going with implementing the 2019 election review which she chaired. This continued involvement of Dorothy is important to ensure we break the pattern of so many previous election reviews not getting the follow-up they needed. As part of our strategy discussion, we finalised our plans to submit a conference motion for this autumn.
We also reviewed progress on the Steering Group pilot one year on. We decided to make some changes to how the pilot works, such as improving the flow of information from the Steering Group meetings to the full Board. We agreed to ask Autumn Conference to approve a plan to consult with stakeholders about the future structure of the Federal Board and bring plans to Spring Conference next year, continuing the Steering Group pilot in the meantime.
One reason for picking spring next year is to give enough time to properly explore variations and put a considered set of plans to conference. The other is that we have a very large volume of other business to put to this conference. The items the Board agreed to go ahead with submitting include enacting the changes proposed by the Party Body Review Group, proposals to improve the complaints system, a request from Young Liberals to change their age limit and election regulations for the post of Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 18 Jun 2021
Sky and the BBC have led with our story all day, we are cutting through.
Boris Johnson's Tories have suffered a humiliating by-election defeat as the Liberal Democrats secured a historic win in Chesham and Amersham.— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 18, 2021
Read more about this story: https://t.co/CDnq3O0H7C pic.twitter.com/T2lHLYjeXJ
Chesham and Amersham by-election won by Lib Dems, overturning majority of more than 16,000 in a constituency that had always been Conservative https://t.co/R2wl4dp9Mq— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 18, 2021
Want to see what happens when you try to write the Lib Dems out? pic.twitter.com/zfpU7jYFng— John Leech (@johnleechmcr) June 18, 2021
It is clear Ed Davey and our Lib Dem team have sent a shockwave through politics, the blue wall isn't just on notice, it has been shaken to its foundations.
Lib Dems win Chesham and Amersham byelection in stunning upset https://t.co/Wg3cjqa0xA— The Guardian (@guardian) June 18, 2021
Lib Dems Score Stunning By-Election Victory Over Boris Johnson's Tories In Chesham And Amershamhttps://t.co/7BASI8hjbj— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 18, 2021
Chesham & Amersham by-election win for Liberal Democrats is set to kill off Boris Johnson's planning reform https://t.co/B6MuQpIm6V— i newspaper (@theipaper) June 18, 2021
Our MPs have done an excellent job of celebrating our success in the media...
“The Conservatives are doing well in the polls but the lead is fragile”— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) June 18, 2021
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey tells #BBCBreakfast he visited the Chesham and Amersham constituency 16-times during the by-election campaign.
More: https://t.co/TojV7zboRp pic.twitter.com/S0m6vUaQAh
Tories seem confused how they lost such a blue seat. Some answers: our candidate @SarahGreenLD talked & listened to people; activists & local party @calibdems worked hard to get the message out; and we didn’t take votes for granted. More reasons in my interview with @SkyNews 👇 pic.twitter.com/iuIBivF8wf— Daisy Cooper MP 🔶 (@libdemdaisy) June 18, 2021
Political commentators have been absolutely blown away by our fantastic result, some, like Jim Pickard from the Financial Times were massively shocked...
can’t believe I’m actually writing this but the Lib Dems now have a majority of over 8,000 in Chesham and Amersham https://t.co/BGgipJ9uOZ— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) June 18, 2021
NEW: If you’re waking up you’ve missed a truly sensational by election result.— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) June 18, 2021
Lib Dems GAIN Chesham and Amersham. It’s been Conservative since 1974. It had a Tory majority of 16000+. Now a Lib Dem maj of *8028*.
That’s a swing to the Lib Dems of 25.2%.
This a stunning victory for Lib Dems & a humiliating defeat for Tories. Seat which has been Conservative since it’s creation 46 years & is deep in Tory blue wall turns yellow.— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) June 18, 2021
Lib Dems deal major blow to Tories with win in Chesham & Amersham by-election https://t.co/83IBpE66MC
A stat to remember: there are 89 parliamentary seats where the Lib Dems are in second place and 79 of them are held by the Tories.— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) June 18, 2021
Why the Tories should be worried by the Chesham and Amersham by-election— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) June 18, 2021
6 key lessons
There is no underestimating how historic this result is, the Liberal Democrats have shown that Boris Johnson’s Government even at the height of its popularity is not untouchable. Their Blue Wall is beginning to crumble.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 18 Jun 2021
Liberal Democrats showed that we are a force to be reckoned with.
Last night Liberal Democrats gained a 25% swing in Chesham and Amersham electing our 12th MP, Sarah Green.
We struck at the heart of the Conservatives’ blue wall and took one of their safest seats.
Liberal Democrats showed that we are a force to be reckoned with. We have a team to match anyone.
Their blue wall isn't just on notice; it has been shaken at its foundations by the Liberal Democrats.
Our huge triumph in Chesham and Amersham has shown that the Liberal Democrats are a serious and credible opposition to this Convervative party.
Their blue wall isn't just on notice; it has been shaken at its foundations by the Liberal Democrats in both the Chesham and Amersham by-election and the last set of local elections.
If this swing were to be achieved across the country in a General Election, the Lib Dems would claim 44 seats from Boris Johnson's party.
On our incredible gain in Chesham and Amersham, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
"This is a huge victory for the Liberal Democrats. The people of Chesham and Amersham have sent a shockwave through British politics.
We were told it was impossible for any party to beat the Tories here in Buckinghamshire. We were told this seat was too safe and the Tories too strong.
This Liberal Democrat win has proved them utterly wrong.
Across the south, the Tory Blue Wall is beginning to crumble. Here and in great swathes of the country, only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives and breach their Blue Wall."
The people of Chesham and Amersham have sent a shockwave through British politics.
Sarah Green will be a great local champion for the people of Chesham and Amersham, and the Liberal Democrats will be a strong voice for everyone who feels let down and taken for granted by this dreadful Tory Government.
This amazing win will strengthen our fight to safeguard our precious natural environment and build a fairer, greener, more caring country.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Phillip Bennion on Tue, 15 Jun 2021
At the weekend we met with old friends and new from our European sister parties for ALDE Congress, albeit via a Zoom link, as the Congress was online for the first time. It was my privilege to lead a diverse Lib Dem delegation of around 40, which in addition to the official categories for diversity, included several UK nationals resident in the EU and a few EU citizens resident in the UK.
Ahead of the Congress we had met to propose amendments and again to discuss the amendments tabled by other delegations. These are negotiated in the “Working Groups”, which usually take place onsite at the beginning of Congress. Online they were held several days in advance of Congress and a high proportion of delegates were unavailable. Some were unaware that this was the real forum for debate. The procedure is not unlike the European Parliament Committee stage where the political groups negotiate compromise amendments. At the final plenary voting session there is no debate and delegations work to voting lists.
The Working Groups did not go to plan, as the scheduled sessions of two and a half hours each ran to 6 and 5 hours respectively. Even delegates who started the sessions were often not there by the end. I was sat with original text on one screen, amendments on another, proceedings on my iPad, delegation WhatsApp and the voting platform both on my iPhone plus a print-out of our voting line.
The four Resolutions that we were entirely opposed to all fell or were withdrawn. One was a detailed political programme resembling an election manifesto. Our colleagues from the Netherlands (D66) proposed to delete the entire motion on the grounds that it was not appropriate to replace our entire political programme via a Congress motion from one or two delegations. We would have taken a similar view if such had appeared at our Federal Conference. Another was a resolution that would have made ALDE a party of individual members, rather than of national political parties. This was contrary to EU funding rules and systems. A third called for a European Army and the fourth called for health to become largely an EU competence; causing us real difficulties over the NHS when we re-join the EU. Don’t worry! These all fell.
We also faced a couple of resolutions where we had fundamental problems, but they were not beyond saving with some radical amendment. One was on LGBT+ rights and religion. I delegated David Chalmers and Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett to deal with the issue. With skilful rewording they turned the text away from finger pointing at particular religions to one based on principle. The negotiations with the movers were also not straightforward. David and Adrian did a great job.
The other called for the entire economy to be subject to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). I had drafted a compromise with Billy Kelleher MEP of Fianna Fail which was to use an expert panel to advise on which sectors should be added to ETS, but the movers stuck to their purist vision. I decided to play hard ball and advised our delegation to support the Swedes in removing the paragraph altogether. The deletion passed in the Working Group but had the effect of shaking the movers to accept the compromise, very late in the day, at the final vote. I was too slow typing “abstain” into the WhatsApp group but the deletion fell by one vote anyway and my compromise text sailed through.
Urgency resolutions were discussed, amended and passed during the Congress itself on Belarus, Ukraine/Crimea, antisemitism, land expropriation in South Africa and the Northern Ireland Protocol. Our delegates, including Joyce Onstad, Markus Gehring and Hannah Bettsworth made some telling interventions to improve the texts.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Alistair Carmichael on Tue, 15 Jun 2021
Priti Patel says refugees should come to the UK through safe and legal routes, and is threatening to punish any who don’t.
The Conservative Government is failing to provide any safe and legal routes for refugees to take.
But at the same time, the Conservative Government is failing to provide any safe and legal routes for refugees to take.
The Government’s latest figures show that just 353 refugees were resettled in the UK in 2020-21 – a drop of 93% since the previous year.
The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need, but now the Conservatives are turning their backs on refugees.
Their failure to provide safe and legal routes is pushing desperate, vulnerable people into the hands of people smugglers and human traffickers.
Priti Patel’s tough rhetoric and cruel policies only increases their profit margins. “We thank your government for our full pockets,” one smuggler told the Guardian recently.
That’s why the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to make an ambitious, ten-year commitment to resettle 10,000 vulnerable refugees a year from Syria and other dangerous conflict areas. Because that’s how we will actually combat these criminal gangs and prevent people from making dangerous attempts to cross the Channel and the Mediterranean.
We are calling on the Government to make an ambitious, ten-year commitment to resettle 10,000 vulnerable refugees a year
And what about the people who do come to the UK seeking sanctuary, having left their homes fleeing war or prosecution? They should be welcomed with compassion, not kept in limbo for months while their claims are processed.
Those same statistics reveal that 50,084 asylum seekers have been waiting more than six months for a decision from the Home Office – a number that has doubled on Priti Patel’s watch. That’s the scandal she should be tackling, but none of her endless series of cruel proposals will actually help solve it. In fact, they’ll just cause even longer delays.
The Home Office is clearly not fit for purpose. So instead of making it harder for refugees to claim asylum, let’s take these decisions away from the Home Office altogether.
A new arms-length, non-political agency should take over, with the staff, training and resources to process applications quickly, decide cases fairly, and get them right first time. And let’s finally lift the ban and give asylum seekers the right to work. They should be enabled to contribute to our society, not trapped for months on just £5.66 a day.
Liberal Democrats are fighting to fix the broken asylum system, so that everyone can have confidence in it, and everyone’s rights and dignity are respected.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Fri, 11 Jun 2021
People looking after their loved ones too often feel forgotten.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Mark Pack on Fri, 11 Jun 2021
Many congratulations to Nick da Costa who has been elected as the new chair of Federal Conference Committee (FCC), following Geoff Payne's decision to stand down earlier this year.
Nick is a councillor in Haringey as well as an experienced FCC member, bringing to the role a great understanding both of how conference works and of what we need to do as a party to win.
In his new role, Nick will also therefore be taking over from Geoff on the Federal Board and Steering Group.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 04 Jun 2021
We want your views on how to improve the party’s independent complaints process.
Any organisation with a hundred thousand members will have conflicts: what matters is how we deal with them. Wherever possible the process needs to be quick and effective – and it must always be transparent, fair and independent of political influence. It is key that if someone actions are damaging to other party members or members of the public, they can’t expect to be protected by who they know or what role they hold in the party.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 01 Jun 2021
Pride Month is a time of LGBTQ+ celebration, activism and commemoration.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Liberal Democrats on Sat, 29 May 2021
The campaign is growing rapidly and this is a seat with a lot of potential.
We came a strong second here in 2019. We have lots of local representation and a base of voters we can build on.
And the reception on the doors has been phenomenal.
We need you to play your part:Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Sarah Olney on Wed, 26 May 2021
The Conservatives' Environment Bill will fail to protect British nature and our beautiful landscapes.
We are already living in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Our waterways are in a poor condition with just 14% in good condition. More than 40% of native species are in decline.
This is an embarrassment - as the Government claims to be increasing ambition and pushing for nature-based solutions in the run-up to both COP26 and the Convention on Biological Diversity, we're failing to get our own house in order.
More than 40% of native species are in decline."
We must significantly increase our protections for nature and biodiversity in this country, including our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We need a strong independent body with the powers and resources to hold the Government to account.
Alongside the Environment Bill being debated today, the Government have proposed a mass change to planning law. The Bill would deny Councils the ability to block new developments for environmental reasons. The Conservatives' plans would rip power away from communities and silence local environmental groups to allow developers to build as they please.
The Conservatives' plans would rip power away from communities"
We should have expected nothing less from a party which has taken over £11 million in donations from developers.
That's why I tabled an amendment to stop reckless developments harming nature and reducing biodiversity.
My amendment would give real teeth to the currently toothless Environment Bill and arm Councils with the power to protect wildlife and green spaces. The Conservatives voted against giving communities extra power to protect nature and improve biodiversity.
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