Lib Dems: Appoint more female and BAME judges The Liberal Democrats have called for clear "targets with teeth" for improving judicial diversity, as new figures show that just 7% of court judges are BAME and 32% are women. The statistics, published today by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and the Senior President of Tribunals, show that: Of the 39 Court of Appeal judges, only 9 (23%) are women and just 2 (6%) are BAME. Of the 97 High Court judges, only 26 (27%) are women and just 3 (3%) are BAME. Of all 3,210 court judges, only ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

Spinney Hill Park is a Victorian park that still remembers the farmland it once was. Long ago entirely surrounded by housing, it now finds itself at the heart of the city's Muslim community. There is a good history of it on the Parks & Gardens site.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

So, I had an article in the Irish Times yesterday: It was a topic that had been on my mind for a while - the massive expansion in the non-aligned vote, and what that means for the calculations of both sides on a potential future united Ireland. I'm glad to say I've had a lot of positive commentary on the piece, and the few negative remarks were generally directed at things that were not in the article. And I woke this morning to the tragic news that Noel Whelan, who I wrote a book with back in 2003, has died ...

Thu 11th

All those Focuses

After the Gateshead Lib Dem exec meeting last night a number of us headed to Consett for the much sought after job of carrying quarter of a tonne of paper up a flight of 21 stairs to the Lib Dem office and print shop. Excellent exercise! Think of the thousands of Focuses we will be producing with all that paper!

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

I attended the Gateshead Lib Dems Local Party executive meeting last night. One of the items on the agenda was the selection of a Parliamentary candidate for Blaydon. The executive agree to start the process of selecting a candidate. We will be looking for a hardworking candidate who will take the battle to Labour in the constituency Labour have taken for granted for decades.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

Monday 8th July 2019 - after delivering a pile of leaflets for the police commissioner election, I headed to the Baltic Art Gallery for a councillors' briefing. It turned into a useful opportunity to bend the ear of Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, about his cabinet reports to full council.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

One question we have to address as a party, locally and nationally, is how to allow grassroots energy to contribute to coherent and effective campaigns. Energised by the EU election result, the Islington LibDems are in top form. We did extremely well last May and there is a palpable sense of optimism and determination in the borough. Local activists led by chair Pierre Delarue and deputy chair Katherine Pollard have been holding lots of events, drinks, brainstorms and sessions to discuss next steps. How do we harness this power and start to get on a general election footing? One of ...

Posted by James Burstall on Liberal Democrat Voice

Welcome news from Parliament regarding civil liberties in Northern Ireland: The vote today on marriage equality sends a powerful message of acceptance to the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland, and gives hope that further progress can and will be achieved. — Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) July 9, 2019

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

On Tuesday, the Lord Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, asked the following question in the House of Lords: To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Project 17's report Not Seen, Not Heard: Children's experiences of the hostile environment. Liberal Democrat Lord Roger Roberts responded with a speech fully in support of protecting children seeking asylum in this country, extracts of which are here: I want a world fit for children to live in, a world where the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is respected in all parts. We talk of so many people ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 11th

My tweets

Wed, 12:27: RT @tgeducation: More interesting analysis from @nwbrux on the shifting sands of identity in Northern Ireland and the possible consequences... Wed, 12:56: Yup. Wed, 13:15: RT @georgeeaton: The most troubling thing about Kim Darroch's resignation is the terrible precedent it sets. Wed, 13:43: RT @SebastianEPayne: Whitehall sources told @FinancialTimes that Sir Kim watched Mr Johnson in the televised debate on Tuesday evening and... Wed, 14:22: RT @rowena_kay: This is *horrific*. Wed, 15:08: RT @JohnDoyleDCU: Excellent and thoughtful piece from @nwbrux in todays @IrishTimesOpEd . Before a referendum on Irish unity or 'union of... Wed, 15:13: RT ...


Will the Dutch Mark Rutte stay on being the only European Prime Minister who, sitting alongside President Trump during an official White House visit, dared to loudly and unambiguously contradict The Infallible Donald, and on US-EU trade relations no less? The Women's Football World Championship showed that resisting (longer than others) an American onslaught is a Dutch speciality, but we would like some allies. The British political reactions to the affair of the ambassadors leaked email comments about the Trump White House showed outsider Tory leadership contender Jeremy Hunt standing up for the ambassador sending his candid "long telegrams" just ...

Posted by Bernard Aris on Liberal Democrat Voice

This blog is a week late – but I've been busy! I wanted to highlight the Lords' Economic Affairs Committee report published July 4th. This cross-party group of Peers calls for an immediate investment of £8 billion pounds into our care services "to restore social care to acceptable standards". North Devon, as many areas of the country, has an ageing population. Many move here to retire, and then as they enter their twilight years increasingly rely on stretched care services. I have been meeting with care providers and care users – there is a lot that needs improving in North ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice

Years, no decades, ago a boss of mine gave me some advice. "Never put anything in writing that you're not happy to see on the front page of the New York Times". I confess to not having followed that advice consistently. But then again, I'm not the UK ambassador in Washington. Very few, if anyone, [...] The post Why the ambassador was right to go appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Joe Zammit-Lucia on Radix

Following concerns recently from residents about flooding on the rail bridge south of the Botanic Garden/Vernonholme on Riverside Drive, I raised the matter with the City Council and have received the following feedback from the environment supervisor in Neighbourhood Services : "I checked the bridge ... the drains are currently running clear and the road leading down to the bridge is also clear of any build up of detritus apart from half a dozen pine cones. The bridge itself and the road leading down to Riverside does have a severe build up of detritus. This is due to the bridge ...

It is the first duty of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to stand up for our national interest. Yesterday, Boris Johnson failed the first test as to whether he was capable of standing up for the UK, when he failed to back our ambassador to the United States in the row about his assessment of the Trump administration. As a result the Ambassador's position became untenable and he had no choice but to resign. Will a Boris Johnson premiership make us a supplicant to Donald Trump? Are we about to become the 51st state of the United States? ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black