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Recent updates
  • House of Lords ()
    Article: Jan 22, 2020

    Liberal Democrat peers yesterday helped to inflict another defeat on the Conservative Government in the House of Lords, this time on a vote to protect child refugees.

    By 300 to 220, the House of Lords passed an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill to maintain the rights of unaccompanied refugee children elsewhere in Europe to be reunited with their family members in the UK.

    This marks the fourth government defeat on the Bill, after the Lords passed three amendments yesterday: one moved by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and two to prevent Ministers from instructing lower courts to ignore legal precedent.

    The Bill is set to return to the House of Commons tomorrow, when the Conservative Government is expected to try to overturn these amendments - against opposition from Liberal Democrat MPs.

    Following the vote, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Hamwee, who argued for the amendment in the House of Lords, said:

    "Liberal Democrats will not stand by while the Conservative Government uses Brexit to undermine the UK's proud tradition of providing sanctuary to some of the world's most vulnerable people.

    "I am proud that Liberal Democrat peers have, along with the tireless campaigner Lord Dubs, passed this crucial amendment to uphold our commitments to child refugees.

    "I hope that MPs will resist government pressure to overturn today's vote in the House of Commons."


  • Lords logo
    Article: Jan 21, 2020
    By Mark Pack Author, 101 Ways To Win An Election

    A party press release brings the news of a welcome vote in the House of Lords:

    The Liberal Democrats defeated the Government on a vote in the House of Lords to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

    The Lords passed an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, moved by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates, by 270 votes to 229. It would give EU citizens in the UK the automatic right to stay, rather than having to apply to the Home Office, and would ensure they can get physical proof of their rights.

    Following the vote, mover of the motion and Liberal Democrat Peer Jonny Oates said:

    "This amendment simply seeks to uphold the promise repeatedly made by Boris Johnson that the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK would be automatically guaranteed.

    "It would remove the risk that those who failed to meet the cut off deadline would be automatically criminalised and subject to deportation.

    "It was very disappointing to see the Conservatives vote against protecting the rights of millions of people who contribute so much to our society, our economy and our communities.

    "Liberal Democrats will always champion the rights of EU citizens in the UK and hold the Conservative Government to account for the promises they've made."

    Full text of the amendment:

    Leave out Clause 7 and insert the following new Clause-

    "Rights related to residence
    (1) The Secretary of State must by regulations make provision implementing-
    (a) Article 18(4) of the withdrawal agreement (right of eligible citizens to receive a residence document),
    (b) Article 17(4) of the EEA EFTA separation agreement (right of eligible citizens to receive a residence document), and
    (c) Article 16(4) of the Swiss citizens' rights agreement (right of eligible citizens to receive a residence document),
    including making provision for a physical document providing proof of residence.
    (2) Subsection (1) applies in the same way to-
    (a) persons within the personal scope of the withdrawal agreement having the right to reside in the United Kingdom, and
    (b) persons to whom the provisions in paragraph (a) do not apply but who are eligible for-
    (i) indefinite leave to enter or remain, or
    (ii) limited leave to enter or remain,
    by virtue of residence scheme immigration rules (see section 17)."

    The Guardian explains what happens next:

    Ministers are likely to overturn the defeat when the bill returns to the Commons on Wednesday. If the defeat is reversed, peers will then have to decide whether to accept that, when the bill goes back to the Lords during "ping pong", or whether to try again to pass the 'physical document' amendments. Peers have the power to ask the Commons to 'think again', but they almost always back down if the Commons insists on its version of the bill.

  • Article: Jan 21, 2020

    Responding to the Government's announcement of new counter-terror legislation, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

    "If you could stop terrorism by passing illiberal new laws, the Conservatives would have ended it ages ago.

    "It's less than a year since the Conservatives passed their last piece of unnecessary, reactionary legislation in the name of combatting terrorism, and they're already proposing another one.

    "We need policies based on evidence, not cheap headlines. Judges already have the power to lock up terrorists for life; tying their hands with mandatory minimum sentences simply won't help. And polygraphs simply aren't accurate or reliable enough for such critical decisions.

    "Liberal Democrats will always stand up for human rights and civil liberties. We will continue to oppose authoritarian laws that do little to make us safer, but a lot to undermine essential British freedoms."


  • Article: Jan 20, 2020

    Responding to the European Commission warning that Brexit trade talks could be delayed until March, Liberal Democrats Brexit spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

    "It has become increasingly obvious that the arbitrary deadline Boris Johnson has set for negotiating the future relationship between the EU and UK is woefully unrealistic.

    "With business already in uproar about the Tories' plans to end pan-European regulatory alignment, the Prime Minister is steering the UK towards some heavy storms.

    "People deserve better than a future where a Prime Minister willingly threatens jobs, the environment and the NHS. It is essential that the transition period can be extended to prevent this devastating prospect."

  • House of Lords ()
    Article: Jan 20, 2020

    This afternoon, the Liberal Democrats defeated the Government on a vote in the House of Lords to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

    The Lords passed an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, moved by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates, by 270 votes to 229. It would give EU citizens in the UK the automatic right to stay, rather than having to apply to the Home Office, and would ensure they can get physical proof of their rights.

    Following the vote, mover of the motion and Liberal Democrat Peer Jonny Oates said:

    "This amendment simply seeks to uphold the promise repeatedly made by Boris Johnson that the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK would be automatically guaranteed.

    "It would remove the risk that those who failed to meet the cut off deadline would be automatically criminalised and subject to deportation.

    "It was very disappointing to see the Conservatives vote against protecting the rights of millions of people who contribute so much to our society, our economy and our communities.

    "Liberal Democrats will always champion the rights of EU citizens in the UK and hold the Conservative Government to account for the promises they've made."

  • Trowbridge Sports Centre ()
    Article: Jan 20, 2020
    By Wiltshire Council
    Following a series of investigations and enabling works, the 'dry side' of the centre, which includes the sports hall, small sports hall, squash courts and dry change area will open during normal opening hours from 20 January. People will be able to access this part of the centre to the left-hand side of the building, with clear signage in place to help guide them.
  • Climate Crisis
    Article: Jan 19, 2020
    By David Becket in Liberal Democrat Voice

    The Liberal Democrats let the EU Remainers down, right from the 2016 Referendum.

    On Nick Clegg's recommendation the architect of our disastrous 2015 election campaign was appointed as chief of strategy for the remain campaign. The result was entirely predictable.

    The party then spent four years in the wilderness. A steady, but uninspiring, leadership from Vince and hard work from our local government activists saw the party slowly improve its position.

  • LD demand better
    Article: Jan 19, 2020

    Responding to new statistics revealing knife crime is at a 10-year high in England and Wales, Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

    "With knife crime at its highest in a decade, the Conservatives' approach to knife crime has clearly failed.

    "They have unnecessarily criminalised thousands of young people, made them more likely to offend by locking them up on pointless short sentences, and undermined trust in the police through a surge in suspicion-less Stop and Search.

    "Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to stop wasting money trying to seem tough on crime, and instead spend it on the things that actually make our communities safer. We need more community policing, more youth services and a proper public health approach to serious violence."

  • Lib Dem Leadership ()
    Article: Jan 18, 2020
    By Liberal Democrats

    The Liberal Democrats have today agreed the timetable to elect the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

    At a meeting today of the party's Federal Board in London, the party agreed to open nominations for candidates on the 11th of May and close them on the 28th of May.

    The ballot will then open on the 18th of June and close on the 15th of July, after which the party will announce the next leader.

    In the meantime, Ed Davey MP and Party President Mark Pack will continue as joint acting leaders of the Liberal Democrats.

    Speaking after the meeting, Liberal Democrat Party President Mark Pack said:

    "I want first to thank Jo Swinson for her determined leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

    "The Liberal Democrats are the home for everyone who shares our vision of an outward-looking, caring country that celebrates diversity and benefits from high-quality public services.

    "With our party membership at record levels, I urge everyone else who shares our values to join us in the coming days and vote in the leadership election."

  • Article: Jan 18, 2020
    By Liberal Democrats

    Responding to the Chancellor's comments today, warning manufacturers that "there will not be alignment" with the EU after Brexit, Acting leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    "Major industries across the country have time and again made clear that pan-European regulatory alignment has been a success in supporting the creation and retention of millions of jobs.

    "To risk all that in favour of narrow, ideological ends is a real slap in the face. It is the height of irresponsibility for which the British public will be forced to pay.

    "Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose Brexit and hold this shambles of a Government to account. The Chancellor must take the blinkers off and pay attention to industry."