Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall

Three council by-elections in the week the Lib Dem leader announced when he's standing down, and all three with Lib Dem candidates. That is one up on last time these wards were contested, hooray. Norbury and Pollards Hill, Croydon Guy Burchett stood for the Liberal Democrats. Wingate, Durham Edwin Simpson stood for the Liberal Democrats and what a good thing he did: Wingate (Durham) result: LAB: 64.1% (-11.7) LDEM: 22.8% (+22.8) NEP: 10.3% (+0.1) FBM: 2.8% (+2.8) Labour HOLD. No Con (-14.0) as prev. FBM: For Britain Movement — Britain Elects (@britainelects) March 14, 2019

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Vince writes on the Liberal Democrats website this evening I indicated last year that once the Brexit story had moved on, and we had fought this year's crucial local elections in 9,000 seats across England, it would be time for me to make way for a new generation. I set considerable store by having an orderly, business-like, succession unlike the power struggles in the other parties. So I wanted you, our members, to know that, assuming Parliament does not collapse into an early General Election, I will ask the party to begin a leadership contest in May.The votes on the ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

I've often joked that when last year Vince Cable talked about standing down as party leader once Brexit is resolved, that would mean he stays as leader until at least 2047.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Most of the trackbed has been used for a cycle route, so there is not much dereliction to enjoy. But you have to admit Salvation Army Halt was a great name for a station.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

EXCLUSIVE: Sir Vince Cable to step down as Liberal Democrat leader in May — Claire Ellicott (@ClaireEllicott1) March 14, 2019 Sir Vince said he was announcing his departure now to pave the way for a leadership contest so a 12-week leadership contest can begin in May. 'I wanted to set it out so that there's an orderly process of succession and the next generation can come through rather than chaotic power struggles you're seeing inside the Tory party and Labour party so I wanted us to do better than that,' he said. His decision to step down will mean ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Speaking after the Labour Party failed to back a People's Vote and the House of Commons voted for an extension of Article 50, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said: "Labour have predictably let down the cause of a People's Vote this evening. This was their first chance to stand up and be counted, but instead they sat on their hands. Brexit remains in chaos with the government having faced heavy defeats this week. "The Commons has agreed by a large majority that Article 50 will have to be extended. With the hallowed exit date of March 29 more ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Thu 14th

Six of the Best 856

David Boyle on the latest Brexit manoeuvres: "It is a bit like voting against global warming, or turkeys voting against Christmas. To really avoid it, you have to act." "Most noticeable ... was the amount of the discussion, in a body responsible for a service to consumers - patients - about how to give the consumers what they do not want. The whole thrust of large parts of the meeting was on how to steer patients away from doctors, away from accident and emergency, away from outpatients." Peter West attends a meeting of his local clinical commissioning group's governing body. ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

From BBC News:The Liberal Democrats are investigating former leader David Steel over remarks he made to a child abuse inquiry about the late MP Cyril Smith. Lord Steel said he asked Smith in 1979 about claims he abused boys at a Rochdale hostel in the 1960s. He said he came away from the conversation "assuming" that Smith had committed the offences. But he claimed it was "nothing to do with me" as it had happened before Smith joined the party.I blogged about David Steel's appearance before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse yesterday. But it seems that Lord Steel ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Following the massive vote in the House of Commons to ask for an extension of the Article 50 period, it is looking very likely that the European Parliament elections in late May will see the UK participate. That could still not yet happen if a new Brexit deal is agreed (and, it's worth remembering that "agreed" doesn't just mean "agreed between the warring factions of the Conservative Party" but also "agreed between the UK and the rest of the EU"). But it's now looking very much more likely. Which means the public will after all get a public vote on ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Labour's recently announced policy that they will support a referendum on the Brexit deal did not last long. Labour MPs have just been whipped to sit on the fence on a vote to delay Brexit to allow for a referendum, thereby allowing the Conservatives easily to defeat the call. I wonder what those misty eyed Corbynistas who defend his every action (and inaction) are thinking about him now? I did

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

Most of us use them at one point or another. They are a familiar sight in car parks across Shropshire. They are not particularly pretty. But they are useful and they help boost recycling. They are the 120 recycling bring banks around the county. We have five in Ludlow. But not for much longer. With its thirst for saving money and disinterest in recycling, the council is planning to take away all the bring banks to save £237,000 a year. The cabinet meets to discuss the withdrawal next Wednesday. I'll bet my last empty recyclable baked bean can on the ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

The current political climate, with the two main political Parties further apart in their ideologies and policies than they have been for many years, together with the division engendered by Brexit, afford a great opportunity for the party to reinvigorate its place and image with the electorate. To date, the Party has not persuaded the electorate that its Liberal values and principles make it their natural political home. Supporting Remain has not delivered a magical formula. The spectre of a new independent party should be a wake-up call to all Liberal Democrats. The Party is too often seen as excluded ...

Posted by Almona Choudhury on Liberal Democrat Voice

Neville Chamberlain wasn't a bad minister; in fact he was an effective Minister of Health in the 1920s and a National Government Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 1930s, but his reputation took a dive after his premiership 1937-40 and the publication pseudonymously of the book 'Guilty Men' in 1940. (It was subsequently revealed to [...]

Posted by haroldwoodcitizen on Harold Wood citizen's Blog

The European elections on May 26 are primarily seen as a problem best avoided for Britain on its way out, and an untimely complication for a people's vote to remain. Even Remainers are surprisingly shy about them. Conventional wisdom says that the UK must first sort its membership question before a possible participation in these elections should be considered. I am arguing for the exact opposite. A passionately fought election campaign for the UK seats in the European Parliament would be the meaningful People's Vote. It would force the British public to have an overdue debate at a moment when ...

Posted by Arnold Kiel on Liberal Democrat Voice

Welcome to LDN #122, including Layla Moran on where the party should go next, exclusive survey results on what Liberal Democrat members think of The Independent Group and whether or not the party should seek a deal with it, and some great campaign videos from around the country.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Conference this weekend is due to vote on Vince Cable's proposed expansion of both the electorate and potential pool of candidates for Lib Dem leadership contests (in case anyone hadn't noticed already from the parade of leadership-supportive articles on LDV so far this week). I call it that, rather than a supporter's scheme, because I think that is the real heart of what is controversial about what is proposed. Thus far, criticism of Vince's proposal has centred around entryism, and I have to say I share those concerns, despite the assurances that these concerns have been addressed. We must assume ...

Posted by Andy Hinton on Liberal Democrat Voice

Earlier today the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Jo Swinson tweeted the former Liberal Party Leader and Liberal Democrat peer David Steel is facing investigation.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Britain's Brexit drama rolls on to wards a destination that nobody knows. Anything from a dropping out without a deal (notwithstanding MPs trying to vote away the possibility) to a further referendum looks feasible, none of the many options looks probable. Earlier this week I visited a small food manufacturing business that exports about half ... Continue reading The ERG and Labour are the authors of Britain's Brexit chaos

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

News of volunteering opportunities in fundraising, employment, IT and partnership building from our friends at the Federal Finance and Resources Committee A NEW ROLE FOR SUPER-FUNDRAISERS: THE TREASURER'S AMBASSADOR The party must prioritise fundraising to ensure we can make a powerful electoral impact, creating a level playing field with other parties. The Federal Treasurer, Lord (Mike) German, is keen to bring in the professional fundraising expertise which we know some members have and are able to offer on a flexible volunteer basis. We're seeking a small number of skilled and practised fundraisers who are confident with major donor relationship-management and ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

Responding to the Chancellor's announcement on police funding in his Spring Statement, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said: "Faced with the current epidemic of knife crime claiming the lives of so many young people, the Government's response today is shockingly inadequate. "The Conservatives have cut £1 billion from police budgets since 2015, and now they offer just £80 million back. They have taken 5,000 police officers and 2,600 community support officers off the streets, and now they offer to fund some extra overtime. "This is an insult to our hard-working police and an insult to the victims of ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Responding to the figures showing the number of crimes related to knives and other offensive weapons dealt with by the courts has reached a nine year high, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse:"Both the Justice Secretary and the Prisons Minister have admitted that short prison sentences don't work and actually increase the risk of re-offending. So why are so many young people still being sent to prison for a few months for carrying knives? "These pointless sentences do nothing to deter young people and offer no chance of rehabilitating them. Instead, they cost millions and only worsen the crisis of ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Thu 14th

More Brexit Logic?

Following yesterday's Parliamentary votes, we now face the following 1. We cannot have a no-deal Brexit because Parliament has voted against it 2. We cannot have no-Brexit because the referendum voted for Brexit 3. Therefore, we have to have Brexit with a deal, but 4. We can't have Theresa May's deal because Parliament has voted against it twice 5. The groups opposing Theresa May's deal are: The ERG/DUP who want to remove the Northern Ireland backstop The Labour party, (maybe plus SNP and Lib Dems), who want a customs union 6. To get her deal through Parliament, Theresa May needs ...

Posted by Geoff Crocker on Liberal Democrat Voice

"If they support us, why don't they join us?" That question has regularly come up in various forms during the debates ahead of this weekend's Lib Dem spring conference and the proposals to create a registered supporters scheme (background here). The implication is that if someone really supports the party, really wants us to do well and really does exist, they should join us. What, alas, has been rather little mentioned, though, is the evidence. Because there's good, solid evidence about not only why committed supporters of parties decided not to join them, and also why they make those decisions. ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Thu 14th

The Brexit Delusion

Brexiteers say about the consequences of Brexit, "I don't care, we voted for out and that's what should happen". I detect also that they know it's the best way to annoy the establishment and all those politicians who have "messed up their lives". It started with picking on foreigners for taking our jobs and destroying our culture but morphed into finding a scapegoat for all our troubles. UKIP has piled up all their pet hates onto one handcart and labelled it Europe. The EU is not a perfect soul mate (it has its demons) but in the current world it's ...

Posted by Ken Griffin on Liberal Democrat Voice

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey yesterday tabled a Bill to exempt members of the British Armed Forces and their families from "exorbitant" immigration fees. There are several thousand Foreign and Commonwealth nationals serving in our Armed Forces. Under the Immigration Rules, those who have served for four years or more are entitled to apply for indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK upon discharge, and to sponsor applications for their partners and children. However, the fees for these applications have more than doubled since 2015, and now stand at £2,389 per person. This means that the ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Thu 14th

My tweets

Wed, 12:10: RT @AlbertoNardelli: NEW: The EU thinks that delaying Brexit makes sense only in three scenarios: 1) prepare for no deal 2) to ratify the... Wed, 12:29: RT @dannyctkemp: 'I have drawn you a unicorn'. Tusk's Instagram scores again 🦄 Wed, 12:56: RT @michael_deforge: Mark Twain didn't learn to read until he was 63 Stanley Kubrick was only 41 when he faked the moon landing Paul McCart... Wed, 15:29: RT @RTENewsPaulC: Lots of head scratching at the European Parliament on UK border proposals - MEPs wondering why British Govt treating NI d... Wed, 15:29: RT @hayward_katy: The UK ...

On Saturday I was at a Lib Dem Women event for International Women's Day, and in a few of the excellent breakout sessions, found myself sitting next to a highly engaged and articulate woman who I presumed was a Councillor or PPC. It transpired that she was not even a member of the Lib Dems, but "still considering" whether to join, due to time constraints and not being sure if she was ready to commit. When I mentioned the prospect of a Supporters' Scheme her eyes lit up. "That sounds ideal," she said. It's not the first time I've met ...

Posted by Liz Jarvis on Liberal Democrat Voice

A batch of volunteer roles requiring specialist skills has just been advertised by the party. They are a great way to help the party and to get more involved if you wish, so here are the details: A NEW ROLE FOR SUPER-FUNDRAISERS: THE TREASURER'S AMBASSADOR The party must prioritise fundraising to ensure we can make a powerful electoral impact, creating a level playing field with other parties. The Federal Treasurer, Lord (Mike) German, is keen to bring in the professional fundraising expertise which we know some members have and are able to offer on a flexible volunteer basis. We're seeking ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

It is still pantomime season in the House of Commons, with one EU leader suggesting that MPs were now sitting aboard the Titanic voting in favour of the iceberg getting out of the way. Meanwhile, one of the chief architects f Brexit, Nigel Farage, who only a few years ago told the Daily Mail that he was "53, separated and skint", adding: "There's no money in politics" is now raking in the cash. As the Guardian reports, Farage added nearly £400,000 last year to the coffers of a company that has acted as a repository for the former UKIP leader's ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

The Children's Rights Alliance for England just published their 2018 report into the State of Children's Rights. Their report outlines "systemic failures to protect children in England". They write: National and local government is failing to protect children in England whilst policymakers focus on Brexit, leaving children traumatised, powerless and vulnerable to abuse in many areas of their lives. CRAE have used new data, gathered through Freedom of Information requests, in writing this report. It has been thirty years since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was adopted by the United Nations, yet the UNCRC has ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice

I heard an amazing radio interview a couple of weeks back with two voices from the past, Joe Haines and Bernard Donoughue from Harold Wilson's kitchen cabinet. What, they were asked, would the great fudger Wilson have done if he had been Theresa May? The answer was as clear as it was elegant - he [...] The post Voting against a no-deal Brexit is a bit like voting against climate change appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Radix


It was an extraordinary day at the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse. As the Guardian tells it: Lord Steel, the Liberal Democrat peer, has admitted believing in 1979 that child abuse allegations against Sir Cyril Smith were true, but did nothing to assess whether he was a continuing risk to children. The former Liberal party leader said the late MP for Rochdale confirmed in a conversation that reports of child sexual abuse in the media were accurate. But rather than suspend and investigate the MP, Steel allowed him to continue in office. Smith stepped down as an MP in ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England