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News from our Parliamentary Candidate

Email: ellen@swwiltslibdems.org.uk

South West Wiltshire Prospective Parliamentary Candidate - Ellen Nicholson

  • Wiltshire Liberal Democrats ()
    Article: May 25, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    The Liberal Democrats have written to Andrew Murrison urging them to "end the distractions" and support calls for scandal-hit Dominic Cummings to go, so the country can focus on the coronavirus emergency.

    In the letter, Liberal Democrat South West Wiltshire councillors and spokesperson Ellen Nicholson for South West Wiltshire urges all Conservative MPs to "put the interests of your constituent's first, end the distractions and join the growing number of Conservative MPs who are calling for Dominic Cummings to go."

    The call comes alongside Liberal Democrat demands for an independent inquiry into the Government's handling of the coronavirus crisis, while several Conservative MPs have also broken cover to call for Dominic Cummings to quit, amid claims he broke coronavirus lockdown rules twice.

    Liberal Democrat spokesperson Ellen Nicholson for South West Wiltshire said:

    "People right across South West Wiltshire have made incredible sacrifices to stop the coronavirus. Even if the Prime Minister keeps his blinkers on, Andrew Murrison cannot be oblivious to how angry people are with this scandal.

    "Each minute this scandal is allowed to drag on is another minute the Government is distracted from upscaling Britain's testing capacity, securing PPE for frontline workers and preventing the tragic deaths in our care homes.

    "Andrew Murrison must put the health, wellbeing and economy of our country before efforts to save the Prime Minister's adviser."

    Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey added:

    "By failing to act, the Prime Minister undermines his own authority to lead the country through this appalling crisis, bringing his own judgement into question.

    "The Prime Minister must come clean about what he knows and terminate Dominic Cummings' contract. It is now clearer than ever that, once we are through this crisis, there must also be an independent inquiry to review the Government's actions."

  • coronavirus anxiety
    Article: May 23, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Responding to a GMB survey that reveals four in five UK workers are worried about returning to work during the coronavirus pandemic, Liberal Democrat Business Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

    "The Coronavirus crisis is leaving the most vulnerable at risk. Absolutely no one should be left suffering panic attacks with worry and being forced to go into the workplace until it is safe.

    Liberal Democrat spokespoerson for SW Wiltshire, Ellen Nicholson said "Anxiety and worry is present across society at the moment, coronavirus has impacted so many people, not just those who are concerned about their safety returning to work, but those who have lost jobs and income as aresult of the pandemic".

    "Any easing of the lockdown can only happen once the Government delivers a comprehensive strategy to test, trace and isolate to prevent a new surge. Sadly, the Prime Minister is creating more confusion than clarity by badly communicating his Government's plans.

    "The Government is asking a lot of the public during this crisis, and the British people deserve clear, honest answers. Ministers must ease concerns by urgently setting out how they will support employers to adapt and create a safe work environment."

  • Extension of transition ()
    Article: May 20, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Responding to the UK Government's publication of legal texts for negotiations with the EU, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

    "The warnings from experts couldn't be clearer, there is not enough time for the UK to secure a deal with the EU.

    "The UK government's draft trade agreement published today was too little too late. Boris Johnson should have published those texts months ago.

    "At a time when our NHS, economy, and food supply chains are already overstretched, the UK government must do all they can to prevent any further pressure on these vital systems.

    "They must secure an extension to the transition period now. Liberal Democrats will continue to urge them to do the right thing and ensure the UK does not crash out without a deal in place."

  • Online voting ()
    Article: May 17, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats are calling for the new online system enabling MPs to vote remotely to be made permanent, after the successful first vote under the system this week.

    The system, using the online "MemberHub" portal, has been introduced in the House of Commons as a temporary measure to allow MPs to vote on legislation and other motions from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

    However, Liberal Democrat Political Reform Spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain says making it permanent would "put an end to MPs having to choose between going into Parliament when they're ill or leaving their constituents unrepresented on key votes."

    The Party believes permanent remote voting would remove the reliance on pairing agreements, which have proved controversial such as when a Conservative MP voted in a knife-edge Brexit vote in 2018 despite being paired with former Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, away on maternity leave.

    The Liberal Democrats will submit their proposals for remote voting as an alternative to physical voting to the House of Commons Procedure Select Committee's inquiry on procedure under coronavirus restrictions.

    Wendy Chamberlain, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Political Reform, said:

  • Wiltshire Council
    Article: May 10, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats are at the forefront of cross party calls for urgent additional funding for local authorities going "above and beyond" in their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

    In a letter to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the cross party group of more than 20 MPs highlight the pressures cash-strapped councils are under, with a funding shortfall of £5 billion at a time when they are being asked to rapidly scale up support for the most vulnerable.

  • Article: May 6, 2020
    By Liberal Democrats

    The Coronavirus crisis has left millions of families facing financial hardship, with unemployment rocketing up.

    Without the Jobs Retention Scheme, it would have been worse.

    That has enabled around 6 million employees to be "furloughed", staying at home, safely, with most of their wages paid by the Government.

    But the Government is now talking about ending the scheme. With the scheme due to end on 30th June, many businesses are set to start consulting on mass redundancies next week.

    And the Chancellor has yet to say what will happen next.

    If this support is stripped away overnight, millions more could become unemployed.

    That is why - working with businesses - Liberal Democrats have created a new plan to protect employees, their families and the businesses they work for.

    Our plan includes keeping some furlough payments as lockdown is eased so businesses can recover. The shadow of the lockdown will be long, and the 'new normal' will be challenging for businesses.

    The Liberal Democrat Job Protection Scheme will help businesses to rebuild, stop job losses and stop unnecessary damage to our communities.

    The plan includes:

    1. A "Safe to Return to Work Scheme" providing new wage subsidy for all employees coming off furlough, with:

    ●50% of salary paid during the first month in work, after furlough.

    ●40% of salary paid during the second month in work, after furlough.

    ●30% of salary paid during the third month in work, after furlough.

    The current £2,500 cap under the Job Retention Scheme would be reduced in line with these percentages.

    The scheme would begin from 1st July, or if lockdown ends later, as soon as it has been eased.

    If a company commits to employing the staff member for at least 6 months, this new 3 month wage subsidy could be paid upfront, to ease cashflow further.

  • Testing and Tracing ()
    Article: Apr 23, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Responding to the Health Secretary's press conference where he announced a move towards tests for all essential workers, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

    "NHS and social care workers are protecting us and putting themselves on the line every single day. They need us to protect them.

    "The move towards tests for all essential workers is a welcome step, but the Government should have already started tracing weeks ago. Ministers must also face up to why the UK is still using less than half its coronavirus testing capacity.

    "Our priority must be protecting the most vulnerable in our society. We can only do that with even larger numbers of people working on tracing, including using local tracing experts, and setting out plans to support people as they isolate."

  • Warminster Hospital
    Article: Apr 22, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson
    The Lib Dems have launched a campaign calling for a 'Frontline Support Package' a five-point plan to give frontline workers the support they need and the recognition they deserve as they get us through this appalling coronavirus crisis.

    Acting Leader of the Lib Dems Ed Davey thanked the "army of workers protecting us" in hospitals, care homes and hospices and asked the Government to support these "coronavirus heroes" properly.

    The package proposed by the Lib Dems includes measures to scale up the procurement of PPE, a frontline service reward and a deployment allowance of £29 per day in line with the Operational Allowance Armed Forces personnel deployed to dangerous areas receive.

    Acting Leader of the Lib Dems, Ed Davey, said:

    • "In our hospitals, care homes, hospices and in the wider health and care sector an army of workers are protecting us in this national struggle. The Lib Dems believe the Government must support these coronavirus heroes properly."
    • "The top priority for frontline staff is protection. We should never ask our military to risk their lives without the proper kit and we shouldn't be leaving health and care workers without sufficient protective kit either. It is simply unacceptable that so many key workers do not have the equipment they need to protect them from coronavirus in the line of duty. The Government must do far more."

    Lib Dem spokesperson for South West Wiltshire, Ellen Nicholson, added:

    • "When the country emerges from this crisis we must properly recognise those who were willing to serve and make a sacrifice just as we do with military forces. The Government must look at creating a frontline service reward similar to the deployment allowance frontline troops receive."
    • "Key workers on the frontline every day, undertake acts of bravery both big and small to save lives. The Lib Dems and I are campaigning so they get the protection and support now - and get the recognition and thanks they deserve when the epidemic has passed."
  • Writing
    Article: Apr 19, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    An open letter to Andrew Murrison MP regarding issues related to the coronavirus

    Today (19th April) I have written to local MP Andrew Murrison raising key issues relating to the coronavirus outbreak. I am sharing a copy of the text of the letter below.

    OPEN LETTER TO ANDREW MURRISON MP

    19th April 2020

  • NHS in Wiltshire
    Article: Apr 8, 2020
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Fewer people are using our local Minor Injury Units (MIUs) during the pandemic, so the Bath Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has taken the opportunity to close them.

    Lib Dem Health expert Cllr Gordon King said: "This appears to go against government advice that people should attend their nearest MIU rather than going directly to A&E during the current crisis. I have asked the CCG to revisit this decision."