From City A.M. this evening: Sangeeta Siddhu-Robb, a millionaire businesswoman, was yesterday forced to drop out of the race to be the Liberal Democrats' [London] mayoral candidate, after it was revealed she had delivered a public antisemitic tirade in 1997. ... Liberal Democrat insiders have said Siddhu-Robb was chosen for the party's shortlist for her potential to inject the party with sorely needed funding, meaning she effectively "bought her way in". This confirms my view that the unsuitability of Siddhu-Robb as a candidate should have been revealed before her name reached the selection committee. The report goes on to quote ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Staggering job losses show need to extend furlough Responding to ONS figures showing that the economy shed 695,000 jobs between March and August this year, Liberal Democrat Economy Spokesperson Christine Jardine said: These staggering job losses are yet more evidence of why the Chancellor should be extending the furlough scheme, which has so far protected 10 million jobs, until the middle of next year. People have a right to expect that their Government will stand by them in exactly the way that Rishi Sunak promised when he said he would "do whatever it takes. The Liberal Democrats' are clear that ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

I have been to Meadow Lane Lock and found the start of the Grantham Canal on the opposite side of the Trent. This video takes you a whole lot further, following the remains of the canal as far as Cotgrave.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

[IMG: Folkestone and Hythe District Council logo (Folkestone and Hythe District Council logo)] Chris Philp MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF 14th September, 2020 Dear Minister We are writing to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the manner in which Folkestone & Hythe District Council appears to have been disregarded in any decision-making to house asylum seekers at the Napier Barracks in Folkestone. To add insult to injury we have now been advised that the decision has been made and no-one has had the courtesy to advise the council and its members. The ...

The party's website carries a report from the Communications and Elections Committee by Lisa Smart and Iain Donaldson. We reproduce the report in full here: Last week we officially welcomed our newest member – Director of Strategy, Research and Messaging Mimi Turner. Mimi provided for us her perspective on the Party's strategic and campaigning position, as well as an initial summary of what we might do differently in future. There is much to be done but we are excited by the steps the Party is taking to get more Liberal Democrats elected and our newly elected Leader's listening tour. We ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice

I am now a "LibDem nutter". Apparently for backing a Treaty that Boris Johnson recommended to the British people only nine months ago. I need another beer... — Tim Montgomerie 🇬🇧 (@montie) September 15, 2020 Four years ago, after a meeting of Corbyn supporters had booed the name of Sadiq Khan, I wrote a post saying Corbyn's revolution was following the logic of all revolutions. In it I quoted the philosopher and broadcaster Bryan Magee: There is a situational logic to revolutions. Disparate groups unite to overthrow an existing regime, but once they have succeeded in doing so the ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

I had set aside today for some internal Liberal Democrat stuff but, for reasons beyond my control, it was cancelled. What to do instead on what turned out to be such a lovely day? Well, another bus ride seemed like a good idea, as Ros was speaking in the Agriculture Bill debate and really didn't need my presence. And, having dropped me off at Needham Market, it was time to pump some more money into the public transport sector. I hadn't actually ridden on a train since the original lockdown, so the short journey to Ipswich seemed like a gentle ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

We've been to Bruges twice in the last few days, parking both times in the Zilverpand car park, which is nice and central. Overlooking the escalators between level -1 and level -2 of the car park are two rather interesting art works - one showing, er, people on an escalator, the other showing a rural local scene with a white bird in the foreground. (Just to add confusion, the second picture is shown in the first picture, but on the wrong side of the escalators - it's actually on the right-hand wall as you go down.) Both appear to be ...

Image: Financial Times One of the challenges facing Leavers during the EU referendum campaign was to provide evidence of cast-iron, certain, undeniable benefits of Brexit. For all the generalised talk about "sovereignty", "making our own laws" and "freedom from unelected bureaucrats" no-one was able to point to any unarguable benefits. Kate Hoey, in an interview with Andrew Neil in which she was challenged to provide evidence that leaving would make the country better off, admitted as much when she replied with "probably not better off as such..." In the four years since one might have imagined that such benefits would ...

Posted by Andrew on A Scottish Liberal

Lib Dem conferences come with quite a lot of paperwork, which makes the Liberal Democrat conference app very handy to help keep on top of all the information.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Red faces at BBC Shropshire today. I have a soft spot for Shrewsbury bus station, as it's where you set off for Church Stretton, Stiperstones and Bishop's Castle, but it will be good to see the Severn made navigable again this far upstream. To be serious for a moment, you can read about the now defunct Severn Navigation Restoration Trust online. Thanks to a vigilant reader.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Tue 15th

Six of the Best 959

"The party needs a degree of national strength and purpose if it is to present a convincing local challenge anywhere. To do so it needs to champion causes that the Conservatives and Labour are ignoring, but which are both popular and highlight the party's values. Matthew Green on the Liberal Democrats' search for a strategy. "Britain is a country where food poverty is an almost invisible national scandal. Almost invisible because, although we see the food bank boxes at the end of the supermarket checkouts when we shop, the people who are going hungry tend to tuck themselves away. The ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading the site is all they want to do – and that's fine, we're grateful for people taking the time to read the site. You can though help us continue to produce interesting content for a growing audience. Here are four simple ways: 1. Let us have your tips for stories. Perhaps there's something outrageous going on in your local council? Or you're an expert in a particular area and have spotted a story other people have missed? Or ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice

Yesterday I held my six-weekly 1:1 with a senior officer of the Council. I only get an hour and as you might guess I have a lot to ask and discuss. I use the time to highlight issues because the ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

The genesis of the "law breaking" part of the Internal Market Bill can be traced back to Theresa May's actions as PM. The following words were said to Theresa May at the time by Sir Ivan Rogers, former British Ambassador to the EU. He reported his statement to her to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons: You have made three commitments in good faith to different audiences, but they are not really compatible with each other. You have said to the Irish... under no circumstances will a hard border be erected across the island of Ireland. You ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice
Tue 15th

Two views of one event

Yesterday the Commons debated the Government's bill to allow the UK to break the law, though only in "a very special and limited way." Here's the Guardian's Sketch-writer's report on the opining of the debate: This was Boris [Johnson] at his very worst. Normally Johnson has little trouble in dealing in bullshit and lies: in fact he has made a career out of it. Yet right from the very start, he appeared nervous and defensive, even though a near empty chamber saved him from having to take too many embarrassing interventions from both the opposition and Conservative benches. Instead, what ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal

To be a Liberal Democrat in Britain is to experience long spells in the political wilderness, interspersed with short intervals of relevance. After passing through most of 2019 in one of those intervals of relevance, the party is well and truly in the wilderness now. What should it do? It is worth asking what is ... Continue reading The Lib Dems search for a new strategy

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal
Tue 15th

My tweets

Mon, 12:56: RT @ChristabelCoops: THREAD: The UK is not the only place seeing a recent sharp rise in Covid cases. Difference is *just like last time*... Mon, 16:05: Thread. Mon, 17:11: RT @Jemima_Khan: Damning: "The Brit gov made poorer decisions based on poorer advice founded on poorer evidence sampled by poorer testing w... Mon, 17:25: A giant flying penis, with bells on Mon, 18:05: RT @ConsEurope: CGE members Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC & @SHKMEP in The @Independent today. "The government - led by Boris Johnson - needs t... Mon, 18:08: RT @BBCBreaking: Astronomers exploring whether gas discovery ...

One of the classic right-wing populist tricks is to convince voters that they are not part of the elite establishment, and that another group is. Conservative MPs, city bankers, editors of right-wing newspapers, offshore billionaires, are not the establishment: it's 'the liberal elite' who are the corrupt and arrogant establishment, against whom Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and their fellows have been defending 'the people'. Charles Moore was attacking the establishment in the Spectator the other week. That's a former editor of the Daily Telegraph (when he was Boris Johnson's boss), educated at Eton and Cambridge, now appointed to the Lords, ...

Posted by Lord William Wallace on Liberal Democrat Voice

i) births and deaths 15 September 1945: birth of Clive Merrison, who played Callum in Tomb of the Cybermen (Second Doctor, 1967) and the Deputy Chief Caretaker in Paradise Towers (Seventh Doctor, 1988). 15 September 1961: birth of Colin McFarlane, who played the oice fo tthe Heavenly Host in Voyage of the Damned (Ninth Doctor, 2007), General Pierce in Torchwood: Children of Earth (2009) and Jonathan Moran in Under the Lake / Before the Flood (Twelfth Doctor, 2014) 15 September 1993: birth of Fady Elsayed, who played Ram Singh in Class (2016). 15 September 1995: death of Alan Bromly, director ...


Leading Belgium's #COVID19 task force, Federal Minister Philippe De Backer from our sister party, Open VLD, has shown leadership and resilience in the face of crisis. I thought that our readers might be interested to see a liberal response to this crisis.

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

Alzheimer Scotland's Memory Walk is back for 2020 on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September and this year it is a little different! This year won't be your average walk in the park - we'll be going virtual. It'll be your walk, your route, your way. The Memory Walk is an opportunity to come together with friends and family to show your support for people living with dementia. Find out more at

Tue 15th

A very Tory exemption

Government rules on Covid-19 restrictions in England are confusing enough, without a series of bizarre exemptions that have added to a sense the absurd. It is bad enough that children are included in the so-called rule of six, whereas in Wales, those under the age of eleven are not, without bringing the hunting set into it as well. As the Guardian reports, UK Ministers have determined that grouse shooting and hunting with guns in England are among outdoor activities exempted from the government's "rule of six" coronavirus regulations: Confirmation that the latest health protection regulations permit groups of up to ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black