Thu 14th

Dinner time

It seems Lib Dem local parties in the North East have developed a knack of organising fundraising dinners. Last autumn, Gateshead hosted Simon Hughes and Sunderland hosted Wendy Chamberlain MP. Coming shortly to Newcastle is Vince Cable but last week, Sunderland hosted another dinner with Jamie Stone MP as the guest speaker. Jamie is one of the Lib Dem MPs I barely know. He was elected many

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

It's pretty clear that the NHS is at the top of most voters' priorities, with big concerns about access to GPs, lengthy waiting lists, and a sense that it has been starved of funds and resources. To add to the NHS's problems, the country has very poor levels of health with an ageing population, which are big drivers of demand on the NHS. It is sometimes described as a national sickness rather than a health service. This has much wider economic and social impacts, not least in the number of people unable to work because of health issues. Many different ...

Posted by Robin Stafford on Liberal Democrat Voice

At Conference, members will have the chance to approve updated rules to the party's Independent Complaints process. These changes are informed by feedback from complainants, respondents and people involved at all stages of the complaints process over the last few years. They aim to clarify parts of the process that were unclear, simplify much of the language used and ensure that the Complaints process is well-run. But we appreciate that reading two extremely long documents to compare for changes is an arduous task – and often won't explain why we made many of the changes. We also appreciate that most ...

Posted by Candy Piercy on Liberal Democrat Voice

The French rolling stock manufacturer Alstom has been revealed as the company behind the planned open access railway between Euston, Shrewsbury and Wrexham. An announcement on the company's website says: The proposal envisages a service of five trains per day in each direction Monday to Saturday, with four travelling both ways on Sundays. Trains will stop at Gobowen, Shrewsbury, Telford Central, Wolverhampton, Darlaston, Walsall, Coleshill Parkway, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes on their journey between Wrexham General and London Euston. It also says that the service, which will be known as the Wrexham, Shropshire and Midlands Railway, could be begin as ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Thu 14th

Who are the extremists?

The Guardian reports on the latest initiative by the UK Government that will ban ministers and civil servants from talking to or funding organisations that undermine "the UK's system of liberal parliamentary democracy". However, not everybody is happy with the new definitions, not least the government's own terror watchdog and Muslim community groups: Michael Gove, the communities secretary, will tell MPs on Thursday that officials should consider whether a group maintains "public confidence in government" before working with it. Groups that will be effectively cancelled by ministers for falling foul of the new definition will be named in the coming ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Embed from Getty ImagesLiberal Democrat leader targets senior Tory seats at UK general election runs the headline on the Financial Times interview with Ed Davey today. Older Lib Dems will immediately be put in mind of the 2005 general election, when the party boasted of its 'decapitation strategy'. The seats held by a number of leading Conservatives had been chosen as targets and we expected to deal a mortal blow to the Her Majesty's Opposition on the night. In the event, David Davis, Oliver Letwin, Theresa May and the rest survived. It was our Labour targets (Cambridge, Hornsey and Wood ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

On the day after the Rochdale by-election Rishi Sunak stood outside No 10 and gave a speech about countering extremism. It was one of those speeches that it was difficult to disagree with, but it was designed as a softener to today's announcement about the Government's new definition of extremism. The definition is not only controversial in its own right, but is also accompanied by instructions to civil servants which are open to a range of interpretations. According to the new definition, extremism is the promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance, that aims to: ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice

Michael's ward surgeries take place today and every Thursday during school term time. They are as follows : Thursdays at 5.45pm prompt - West End Campus (come to reception area of St Joseph's RC and Victoria Park Primary Schools) Thursdays at 6.30pm prompt - Harris Academy reception area All welcome - no appointment necessary!

Posted by Bailie Fraser Macpherson & Cllr Michael Crichton on Councillors Fraser Macpherson & Michael Crichton - working for the West End