Theresa May is under pressure to publish secret legal advice that is believed to state that parliament could still stop Brexit before the end of March 2019 if MPs judge that a change of mind is in the national interest... The prominent lawyer Jessica Simor QC, from Matrix chambers, has written to May asking her to release the legal advice under the Freedom of Information Act. Simor says she has been told by "two good sources" that the prime minister has been advised "that the article 50 notification can be withdrawn by the UK at any time before 29 March ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Sat 7th

Six of the Best 731

"The way to influence the Conservatives and Labour on Europe isn't to join them, it's to scare them but joining a clearly pro-European party and helping it achieve greater political success." Nick Clegg's call for pro-Europeans to join Labour or the Conservatives is bad anti-Brexit tactics, argues Mark Pack. It also shows an extraordinary lack of gratitude to the Liberal Democrat activists who put him where he once was. Joris Luyendijk lived in the UK for six years. He left feeling disappointed, hurt and immensely worried. "The Strange Death of Liberal England is now alive and real in a way ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Shirehall is putting forward proposals to change the parking regime across the county. It proposals will lower some costs and significantly raise others. According to the council leader Peter Nutting, the aim is to raise more than £2 million to pay for cash-strapped services. That's on top of the £2.4 million the council already makes across the county. The proposals don't work for Ludlow. The last day to respond is 17 October, just ten days from now. The council has four online response surveys. Many people have found these difficult to use, especially as the council has not produced a ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

New polling commissioned by the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) shows that Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon is the most popular of the groups leaders with London voters. Both Labour and Conservative voters gave Caroline Pidgeon the highest ratings, beating their own party's group leaders. Here's the percentage of voters saying that they think each person is doing a good job: Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem) – 11% (7% amongst Conservatives, 12% amongst Labour, 27% amongst Lib Dems) Sian Berry (Green) – 9% (5% Conservatives, 14% Labour, 11% Lib Dems) Gareth Bacon (Conservative) – ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

I was an odd 15-year-old boy. I was bright at an age when it doesn't pay to be intelligent, and I wasn't interested in football or computer games at an age when it really does. I was interested in history, ... Continue reading →

Posted by acidandamnesty on underthewesternfreeway

Second paragraph of third story ("The Known of Kensal Rising" by Josh Appignanesi - one of the prose pieces, most are in comics format): "It's all right, Dad," I said. "You don't have to take that tone with me. Just... tell me how you are." We had stopped walking. There was a moment like a short folding in time. From beneath a furrowed brow, without making any sound, he said, "I'm just so fucking lonely." A collection of short pieces about London, of which the two standouts are "The Court" by Neil Gaiman and Warren Pleece, and "I Keep Coming ...

This year is the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which was contained in a letter from the then British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, to a leading member of the country's Jewish community, Lord Rothschild, and in which the British Government, headed by David Lloyd George, said that it viewed with favour the establishment of a [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

CrowdTangle's free Chrome extension (not to be confused with the same firm's paid-for services) lets you easily see how much social media sharing any web page has had.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

On Thursday I attended a meeting of the Gateshead Newcastle Partnership at the Civic Centre. One of the issues to consider was the proposal for a temporary urban garden at Hillgate, on the Gateshead Quays, which will coincide with the Great North Exhibition next year. Much of the garden will be built from disused shipping containers. There will be the inevitable shops, bars and cafes

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

I paid a visit to Chase Park in Whickham yesterday to have a look at the results of the renovation work that has now been completed. I was here a couple of weeks ago at the official re-opening event but as I had a stall to run and a goat to look after, I did not get to see the improvements. Yesterday I was able to walk around the park and see for myself what's been done. Everyone can be justly

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

Thanks to those of you who commented on this entry and emailed me and tweeted me and (in some cases) phoned or even spoke to me in person! All the conference feedback that I have received has now been compiled into one document and passed on to the relevant person for discussion at the FCC debrief meeting in a couple of weeks. I've had acknowledgement of receipt, so it's definitely in and none of you need to fret. I'd like to especially thank the people who said such useful things about disability access issues. I can't promise they will all ...

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Cllr Claire Young at the Yate and Chipping Sodbury drop-in Now that the drop-in events on the new housing proposals have come to an end, you can see all the materials used at them here. The proposals for the Yate/Sodbury area include housing coming round from north of the football club down towards the top of Nibley, employment to the west of the current business parks along Nibley Lane and then mixed housing/employment in the land between Nibley Lane and the railway arches. If these and the Coalpit Heath proposals go ahead, there would be very little separating the villages ...

Posted by Paul Hulbert on Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington

When I'm not doing politics, I spend my time living the good life, growing my own food and doing my bit to protect the environment by living more sustainably. During the general election, this was the issue on which Labour chose to attack me. As is so often the case with all those "socialists" from relatively well-heeled backgrounds, they talk the talk of living in a particular way, but don't

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

The British DreaRT @SimonNRicketts: Go here and put your slogan in. Watch it fall off the wall behind Theresa May. Marvellous. [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Sat 7th

My tweets

Fri, 16:05: LSE BREXIT - How ready is the UK for Brexit?: 9% Seems about right. Fri, 16:13: The Intimate Adventures Of A London Call Girl, by Belle de Jour Fri, 23:32: RT @indiaknight: You shouldn't say "I'm providing calm leadership". It's like saying 'I'm sexy' or 'I'm clever' or 'No flies on feisty me!' Sat, 10:45: Is drive-by sex toy hacking a wake-up call for Britain's internet security? Headline of the year!

This is the seventh of my posts based on a recent tour of the eastern half of the USA. I visited a number of sites relevant to African American history. To mark Black History Month, I am relating some of the things I saw, in the order I saw them. When I started planning my US trip, I had two items high on my bucket list which I wanted to tick. One was the Rosa Parks museum (of which more later in this series) and the other was the Motown museum in Detroit. I was extremely excited to visit the ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice

He may have courted Nigel Farage during his election campaign and even tolerated him in the White House, he may even have urged the UK to vote to leave the EU and promised that once we have done so then there will be a quick trade deal between our two countries, but Donald Trump and his country are no friend of Brexit when it comes to protecting their own interests. Further evidence of that is to be found in today's Independent, where it is reported that the US has objected to a deal between the UK and EU to divide ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

My daughter, Maelo Manning, protesting outside the new Playboy club in 2011 When the Playboy club reopened in London in 2011 I was adamant that my daughter and I would be there together with other feminists to register our protest. What good is it being a feminist mother if I can't point to what is the antithesis of feminism? Playboy fulfils the criteria and I know what I am talking about because I was once an admirer of the empire. When I was growing up in Asian in the 1970s and early 1980s there were two very rich Western men ...

Posted by Jane Chelliah on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas

Commenting on reports that the MoD are considering cost-cutting plans to the Royal Navy which could see HMS Albion and Bulwark taken out of service, Paddy Ashdown, former Lib Dem Leader and Royal Marine, said:"This is not yet a decision but it soon could be, if the government is allowed to get away with cuts which would betray the best traditions of our past and damage our ability to defend ourselves in the future. "It is time for those who value Britain's contribution, both nationally and internationally, to the preservation of peace to make sure this disastrous decision is never ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Martin Horwood, the former Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham who nearly regained his seat in the 2017 general election, has decided not to stand next time: We ran a tremendous campaign in Cheltenham earlier this year, bucking the national trend by increasing our vote significantly and making this one of the most winnable Liberal Democrat / Tory marginals in the whole country, so I understand why the local party will want to crack on with selecting a candidate as soon as possible. But the timing isn't right for me. Luckily, the Liberal Democrats have many able campaigners locally and nationally ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Commenting on reports that Theresa May has postponed a planned visit to China because Beijing has chosen to prioritise a visit by Donald Trump, Lib Dem Leader Vince Cable said: "This postponement shows Britain is well down the list of Chinese priorities. All those promised free trade deals that we were told would be easy seem to be gradually disappearing."

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Responding to the news that the European Medicines Agency has issued a tender for temporary workers to deal with loss of staff as they prepare to leave London after Brexit, Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: "It is clear that uncertainty over where the European Medicines Agency will be based in the future, as well as being damaging for UK science which will lose hundreds of highly qualified medical professionals to Amsterdam or another European capital, is hurting the Agency."They are having to work much harder to hold on to staff here as the agency prepares to leave the ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Once again the Labour Party have ignored the fact that they control the council and have allowed officers to carry the can for the fiasco on William Brown Street The shambolic behaviour of Liverpool Council in the licensing and controlling ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?