Councillors Richard Ormerod, David Freeman, Carole Lattin, Rob Hanson & Helen Weston

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Leader’s Black History Month Message - 2022

by Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Fri, 30 Sep 2022

What’s happening in the party? September update

by Mark Pack 🔶 on Sat, 17 Sep 2022

Ed Davey pays tribute to Her Majesty The Queen in Parliament

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 09 Sep 2022

 

It’s a real pleasure to follow the Right Honourable lady, and can I congratulate her on her lovely, heart-warming speech.

Mr Speaker,

Liberal Democrats join Members from all sides of the House in expressing our deepest condolences on the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

We are mourning a profound loss.

The Queen was a formidable monarch, who faithfully served our country for all her life and was loved the world over. She represented not only duty and courage, but warmth and compassion. And she was a living reminder of our collective past, of the greatest generation and their sacrifices for our freedom.

For many people – myself included – Her Majesty was an ever-fixed mark in our lives. As the world changed around us and politicians came and went, she was our nation’s constant. In challenging times, she was always a source of calm and comfort.

And she tied our nations together. Embodying an unwavering pride in our country. Showing us that patriotism is not defined by political allegiance. And reminding us of the many things that bind us all together – even when it doesn’t always feel that way.

We saw this so vividly during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June. I am proud to represent the oldest Royal Borough in England – Kingston upon Thames – and our Jubilee street parties certainly lived up to that status. It was truly wonderful to see such an outpouring of affection from people across Kingston, from all walks of life. School children who baked jubilee cakes. Neighbours who shared bunting. Choirs who sang hymns of praise.

And it was incredibly fitting, wasn’t it, that after so long kept apart by Covid, it was The Queen and a celebration of Her Majesty’s reign that brought our communities back together so joyfully. Just as the whole country is united today so sadly in grief.

The deep mourning across the country now – just like the celebrations of her Jubilee a few months ago – comes not from a sense of duty, but from genuine and heartfelt affection, love and admiration of Her Majesty. It's not because we were her subjects, but because she was truly our Queen. What she meant to us is perhaps best summed up by a phrase on so many people’s lips over the last twenty-four hours:

“I can’t imagine our country without her.”

For almost everyone in the country, she has been there our whole lives. At times of national grief and national jubilation, she has never not been there for us. So it is hard to accept that she is gone. And hard to see how we go on without her.

But we will. Our great United Kingdom has a great future – because The Queen’s spirit of strength, grace and resolve lives on in her people. One of the greatest privileges of being a Member of this House was the chance to meet Her Majesty. Like when she visited Kingston on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee.

Or when I was deeply privileged to sit next to her at lunch at Windsor Castle. I was initially confused by a silver cylinder beside her place setting. I wondered to myself what treasures it might hold. I had my suspicions when, as dessert was served, her beloved Corgis were let in, and nestled themselves around her feet. And the Queen lifted up the lid of the cylinder, plucked out some digestive biscuits, and began sneaking them to her grateful dogs.

Whenever I met her, I was struck by her warmth, her wisdom, and her humour. And I’m looking forward to hearing similar stories from other Honourable and Right Honourable Members as they give glimpses of the wonderful person beneath the Crown. 

Her Majesty will be remembered with honour, as the monarch who guided our country out of the shadow of a terrible war. Who helmed us calmly through troubled waters. And brought us safely into a new millennium.

And she will be remembered so fondly. As the monarch who leapt from a helicopter with James Bond. And showed Paddington where she kept her marmalade sandwiches. 

And, for the Royal Family, she will be remembered simply as a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with them all as they bear this terrible loss.

After a lifetime of dedicated and tireless service to our country and our Commonwealth, Her Majesty has gone to her eternal rest.

May God rest her soul. And may God save the King.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 08 Sep 2022

"We are all deeply mourning the profound loss of a great monarch who served our country so faithfully all her life and who was loved the world over.

"For many people, including myself, The Queen was an ever-fixed mark in our lives. As the world changed around us and politicians came and went, The Queen was our nation’s constant.

"The Queen represented duty and courage, as well as warmth and compassion. She was a living reminder of our collective past, of the greatest generation and their sacrifices for our freedom.

"My thoughts and prayers today go especially to the Royal Family. And they also go to people in every corner of the world whose lives she touched. Today our family of nations is in mourning, as we also remember the steadfastness, resolve and love Queen Elizabeth brought to the world."

Ed Davey
Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Make oil and gas giants pay for freezing of energy bills, not our children

by Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Wed, 07 Sep 2022

While Liz Truss spent the summer focused on Tory infighting, families and pensioners have been worried sick about how they’ll pay their bills. They have been left in limbo by her refusal to set out a clear plan on tackling soaring energy bills.

The whole spectacle just proves how Liz Truss and the Conservatives are completely out of touch with the British people.

But Liberal Democrats have a fair plan to protect people and businesses from sky-high energy bills this winter - and we know how to pay for it.

We would scrap October’s energy price hike, freezing bills at their current level. We’d pay for this by extending and backdating the windfall tax on oil and gas companies’ huge, unexpected profits.

And we’d give small and medium sized businesses direct support with their bills. With grants of up to £50,000 to pay for 80% of rising bills that would be paid for by reversing the Conservatives’ tax breaks for banks.

This is an emergency that is on track to become a catastrophe. We cannot afford to sit idly by any longer. 

But we can’t leave our children to pick up the tab through even more borrowing while letting oil and gas companies off the hook. That’s how Liz Truss would have it. Our plan is a much fairer and more responsible way to tackle this crisis - and the Conservatives must adopt it without delay. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

October 2022 Tabloid Printing

by Harvey Jones on Mon, 05 Sep 2022

The Campaigns & Elections Team are here to help you with all year round template campaign materials - for you to adapt and deliver in your local area.

Our October 2022 template is a tabloid style newspaper.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Energy bailout to save the high street

by Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Thu, 01 Sep 2022

Small businesses are in danger. Our treasured high streets could be turned into ghost towns as local businesses face sky-rocketing energy bills. But Conservative ministers just don’t seem to care.

Local shops, pubs and restaurants up and down the country could all be forced to close their doors - unless the government finally steps up.

We need an energy bailout now to save the high street, protect jobs and keep prices down for families.

Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency Covid-style support scheme to help shops, pubs, restaurants and other small businesses cope with sky-rocketing energy bills by offering grants of up to £50,000.

Because unlike households, businesses are not covered by Ofgem’s energy price cap. Many could see their energy bills rise by almost 400%, with devastating consequences.

Under our proposals, small and medium-sized businesses would be offered government grants to cover 80% of the increase in their energy bills for one year, up to a maximum of £50,000. For example, a typical small restaurant would receive a grant of around £10,000 to help with their bills. The plans would benefit the 1.4 million small businesses across the UK, from high street shops to local pubs and cafes.

The estimated £10 billion cost of the scheme could be met by reversing the Conservatives’ tax cuts for big banks - which are seeing their profits grow with rising interest rates. That would include cancelling the Government’s cut to the Bank Surcharge that is due to take effect in April 2023.

There’s no time to waste. Small businesses need support now. The new Conservative Prime Minister must bring in legislation to protect businesses from soaring energy bills as soon as Parliament returns on Monday - before it’s too late.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Notice of Federal elections 2022

by Jack Coulson on Fri, 26 Aug 2022

The Party website has lots of information in the internal-elections hub.

Timetable

The key dates for these elections are:

  • Opening of nominations: Monday 12th September, 17:00
  • Close of nominations: Monday 26th September, 18:00
  • Deadline for submission of candidates’ manifestos: Friday 30th September, 17:00
  • Despatch of ballot papers: Tuesday 25th October c13:00
  • Close of grace period for lapsing members to vote: Saturday 6th November 14:00
  • Deadline for return of ballot papers: Tuesday 8th November, 14:00
  • Deadline for return of electronic ballots: Tuesday 8th November, 17:00
  • Count and declaration of results: starting Wednesday 9th, 10:00. Aim to conclude by close of play.
Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Why Brighton conference should be in your diary

by Mark Pack 🔶 on Thu, 25 Aug 2022

It’s thirty years since my first autumn federal conference, appropriately also in Brighton. That 1992 conference was the start of the most successful electoral run in our party’s history – record-breaking Parliamentary by-election wins, sweeping local government gains and then a huge leap in the size of the Parliamentary Party as a tired, discredited, scandal-riven Conservative Party lost office.

As part of that run of success, two years later, we were back in Brighton again, as you may have seen from the recently rediscovered BBC footage of a younger version of me (more curls, larger glasses but the same green top that I still have - and can fit into) leafleting alongside one Liz Truss.

Repeating that previous success is our challenge in the next few years – and we’ve already made a tremendous start with our election wins last year and this. Huge thanks are due to all our candidates, agents and helpers for their hard work in making that happen – and to their families and colleagues for tolerating their absences on the campaign trail.

An important part of that success in the 1990s was our party conferences, providing such a great opportunity for us to learn new skills, to set our policy and strategy and to be energised by meeting colleagues from all around the country, and overseas too.

I can’t guarantee that if you come to our Brighton conference this September you will also get to campaign with a future Conservative Party leader. But I can guarantee that you’ll find an excellent conference agenda - both the formal agenda in the main hall of speeches and debates, and the training and fringe meetings that happen alongside it.

This time around we have an advantage – the ability to bring in an even wider range of participants through online access to conference. It’s a huge credit to our conference committee that our return to an in-person conference is being accompanied by a new option for online access. 

Enabling those who cannot afford the time or costs of an in-person conference to still access the event is an important part of making our aspirations on diversity and our commitment to internal democracy meaningful.

This time’s agenda includes debates on Britain’s future relations with the European Union, our pre-manifesto policy overview, action on climate change, the future of our nuclear deterrent and more. Keynote speakers include Kira Rudik, from one of our sister parties in Ukraine, and there will also be a chance for any party member to question Ed Davey in our Leader Q+A session.

More details are on the conference website, where you can also register to attend.

Whether in person or online, I look forward to seeing you at conference, hearing your views and taking part in our debates. Please don’t hesitate to grab me for any questions you have, or drop me an email on [email protected].

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Liberal Democrats stand with the people of Ukraine

by Layla Moran on Wed, 24 Aug 2022

Today is Ukrainian Independence Day.

Liberal Democrats stand with the people of Ukraine.

Their bravery - in the face of six months of brutal atrocities perpetrated by Putin’s regime - is an inspiration to us all.

And as the war in Ukraine continues to wage on, it is incumbent on us in the UK to do all we can to support Ukrainians in their fight for freedom and democracy.

That means stepping up our military support to Ukraine. Giving Ukrainians the tools they need to defend their own territory and resist Vladimir Putin’s invading forces is an absolute necessity. Our resolve must not slacken.

There’s much more to be done in the UK too.

The Conservative Government has rested on its laurels while Putin’s cronies have continued to get away with it.

Too many have escaped sanctions.

And - despite promises made earlier this year - the Conservatives have failed to release the report into golden visas, the permission slip for many oligarchs with links to the Kremlin to treat London as their playground. This was a review commissioned over four years ago. What do the Conservatives have to hide?

We must also use the full force of UK law against Putin’s armies.

We must proscribe Russian military units and mercenary groups that are carrying out atrocities.

By proscribing these groups, they will be branded as terrorist organisations. This will make anyone engaging with them, anywhere in the world, in violation of UK law - putting pressure on those who have dealings with Putin’s mercenaries to pick a side.

And at this dark moment we must renew our commitments of international cooperation and stand with our allies against this horrendous invasion. It’s time to scrap the misguided decision to cut our armed forces by up to 10,000 troops.

The British public have proudly supported Ukraine throughout this conflict - including reaching out to welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms. But there’s more that the UK Government can do - and Liberal Democrats will continue to advocate for stronger support of our Ukrainian allies.

Slava Ukraini!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Federal Elections 2022 - get involved!

by Jack Coulson on Fri, 12 Aug 2022

Serving on a committee is one of many great ways you can support the Party, and we are always keen to encourage new talent. The Party website has lots of information in the internal-elections hub.

We have upcoming Federal elections for:

The rules for the election can be found at the end of the Federal Constitution, you can read them by clicking here.

The Returning Officer has produced regulations and guidelines for candidates and their campaigns. Candidates must read the rules, regulations and guidelines.

The Returning Officer will be requiring candidates to answer a few, set questions in their application. Answers to these questions will be displayed for voters. If you would like to feedback on, or suggest, questions for candidates you can do so by clicking here.

Postal voting

An important update made by Conference to our election regulations is a change to postal voting.

We will be issuing ballots to members by email. If you usually receive a postal ballot, or have opted out of emails from us, you will need to specifically request a postal ballot or update your preferences so that we can email you a ballot. This change is a big step forward in meeting our green goals, also set by Conference.

If you want a postal ballot please use this typeform by clicking here or to update your email preferences contact [email protected].

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Removing the Conservatives from power

by Mark Pack 🔶 on Fri, 12 Aug 2022

With our Brighton conference approaching (agenda and registration here), I’ve recently written the latest report back to conference on the Board’s work. Here is a slightly expanded and updated version of that report.

The next general election

With a new Conservative Party leader nearly upon us, the range of plausible dates for the general election is wide open. As it now may well be much sooner than seemed likely at the time of our last conference, the Federal Board has been reviewing our general election plans.

Preparations are being stepped up across the party. The pre-manifesto document being debated at conference is an important part of that as is Ed Davey’s announcement of a major new package to help people with their fuel bills this winter - axing the planned increase in the fuel bill cap and providing extra help to those most in need.

This all makes now an even more important time for us all to be out on the doorsteps, recruiting new members and campaign helpers. There’s been a clear pattern in our recent electoral successes at all levels that building up campaign organisations well in advance of the formal election campaign is a central element to success.

A Membership Incentive Scheme is in place, with generous additional payments to local parties who recruit or renew party members locally, especially if it is done on direct debit.

Thanks in particular to our wonderful three Parliamentary by-election wins in the last year, when that general election comes, we’ll be a key part of the route to removing the Conservatives from government in Westminster.

That makes the Parliamentary seats in the (variously and flexibility defined) Blue Wall an increasingly important focus for us as the next general election polling day nears. But the majority of our councillors, our members and our voters are outside the Blue Wall.

So it’s not only the target seats for the next Westminster election we need to prosper at. We also need to be winning at other levels of election more broadly. We need to continue the sort of breadth in our recovery we saw in May’s local elections - amazing progress against the Conservatives in the Blue Wall and continuing recovery elsewhere, including up against Labour and the nationalists. Both of these tracks need to be successful for us to be a growing, national party.

That’s why the Board has continued to prioritise investment in the breadth of our campaigns officers network, supporting not only Parliamentary target seats but also progress in other areas too. Thank you to all the other parts of the party who have cooperated on this, giving us a much larger network of staff supporting grassroots campaigning than we had before.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Scrap the energy price hike

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 09 Aug 2022

We need bold and urgent action to help families pay their bills and heat their homes this winter. There is no other choice.

Families and pensioners across the country are in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis. We have already seen energy bills rise by £700 this year. They simply cannot afford another, even bigger rise of nearly £1,500 in October.

This is an emergency, and the Government must step in now to save families and pensioners £1,500 by cancelling the planned rise in energy bills this October.

We need a bold plan to spare families from soaring energy bills.

The Liberal Democrat plan is to cancel the 75% increase in the energy price cap expected to be announced by Ofgem later this month. The Government would instead pay the shortfall to energy suppliers so that they can afford to supply customers at the current rates.

The estimated £39 billion cost should be met by expanding the windfall tax on oil and gas company profits, and using the Government’s higher-than-expected VAT revenues as a result of soaring inflation.

A proper Windfall Tax could raise around £20 billion to help keep people’s energy bills from rising in October. Fossil fuel giants have seen their profits soar. BP and Shell made £29 billion in profits in the first six months of the year alone.

We are also calling for more targeted support for vulnerable and low income households. This would include doubling the Warm Homes Discount to £300 and extending it to all those on Universal Credit and Pension Credit, while investing in insulating fuel poor homes to bring prices down in the long term.

The contest to be leader of the Conservative Party might as well be happening in a parallel universe. Neither candidate has any idea how to help families and pensioners through what could be the toughest winter in decades.

We need a bold plan to spare families from soaring energy bills.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

General Election preparedness

As is our key focus, in our last meeting we continued to discuss our General Election preparedness and planning. 

In summary, our plan builds on what worked in the 2019 general election (and previous plans), changes what didn’t work, and looks to the future for new ideas and approaches. 

The plan is a live document and progress is being made in all the areas, with a relentless focus on ensuring that we can deliver gains at the next General Election: whenever it may be.

Westminster Candidates review

The Committee previously commissioned a review into our Westminster candidate selections. We felt strongly that the recent round of selections have been too slow and cumbersome. Change is desperately needed. 

We are thankful to Alison Suttie and Tim Farron for their comprehensive review, the thirty interviewees and more than 50 others who provided input in writing. The review points to a roadmap for a more efficient future process. 

Candidate selection is a State matter, and we are also thankful to the States for their engagement with the review. We look forward to taking this work forward as a team. The final version of the report will now go to the Joint Candidates Sub-Committee, the appropriate body for cross-state candidate discussions. 

We must not be this delayed again. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Getting ready to remove the Conservatives from power

by Mark Pack 🔶 on Fri, 15 Jul 2022

When will the next general election be?

Sorry, I don’t know. But I do know that the range of plausible dates is wide open - from only a couple of months away through to January 2025. And that whenever the date is, we also have a massive round of local elections in May.

Which is why we need to step up our campaigning, capacity building and planning through the second half of this year. Even if this Parliament goes its full term, the benefits of extra canvassing, member recruitment and training this summer will still be considerable.

We certainly need to be out campaigning, looking at the horror show that is the Conservative Party leadership contest so far - full of candidates who aren’t headlining big issues like fixing the NHS and tackling climate change, but are rushing to the media to talk about restricting the rights of trans people.

Both our elections committee (FCEC) and the Board have recently reviewed our general election preparations, and the team at HQ is revising our contingency plans for a snap election. A pre-manifesto overview of our policy approach is also coming to the autumn’s federal party conference.

It was great to see the huge bump in canvassing as a result of our ‘Big Build’ weekend in early July - and the bump in new leaflet deliverers that came in as a result. Our party membership also not only got a bump from the win in Tiverton & Honiton, but the growth has continued since too rather than fading away as happened with previous by-election bumps.

So I’d encourage everyone in local parties to think about how to up your campaigning plans over the summer, and where we don’t yet have a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) in place to think about talking to your state or regional party about when to timetable your selection for.

Wonderful people

We’ve had a brilliant run of council by-elections already since the May local elections, with a net seven gains (compared to net four gains for Labour). That makes us the best performing party in those contests, and it was particularly good to see Linda Chung win the Hampstead Town by-election - winning the seat from third place and taking it from Labour.

Also deserving particular praise is the first person to top our ‘Golden Mallets’ scheme for people who got the most posters put up in the May elections. Cliff Woodcraft from Sheffield topped the list with an awesome 466 (!) posters. Badges are on their way to all the winners.

Our next big set of prizes is the Party Awards at our autumn conference. Nominations are now open for:

  • The Belinda Eyre-Brook Award
  • The Dadabhai Naoroji Award
  • The Harriet Smith Award
  • The Patsy Calton Award
  • The Penhaligon Award
  • The President’s Award

You can read more and make nominations here.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Autumn Conference 2022 motions selection

by Nick da Costa on Wed, 13 Jul 2022

The Federal Conference Committee (FCC) met on Saturday, 9th July to start its work on the final agenda for Autumn 2022 Conference, which will be taking place in Brighton, with an option for online attendance.

If you haven’t yet registered for Conference, I would recommend doing so here.

At the meeting we discussed several items in relation to future venues and the meeting and motions schedule for 2023 into 2024. As previously reported, we will be returning to York for Spring Conference 17 to 19 March 2023.

The Federal Conference Committee has also continued work with its Working Group on a Hybrid Conference and has put together a technical specifications document which will be used to look at options and software platforms for a future hybrid conference. This was an interesting meeting as we also discussed wider membership engagement at Conference (applicable for in-person and hybrid conference options).

Conference is an excellent way to engage with the membership, to influence the party’s policy and strategy, but also so many other activities. We are looking forward to an exciting fringe programme with a range of different topics and presentations. There will also be the extensive training programme available at Conference – we really do recommend that you look at that. The directory will be published very soon. I am especially looking forward to the return of the Lib Dem Quiz and of course Glee.

The agenda for conference, including the texts of the motions and timings, will be published shortly. As per usual the Conference will include the Leaders Speech, Committee and Parliamentary Reports, the Leaders Q&A and some set-piece speeches; we are also delighted that Kira Rudik, leader of the Ukrainian Holos Party and ALDE Party Vice President, will be joining us at Conference. The further details of these will be announced in due course.

We received 41 policy motions, four business motions, five constitutional amendments and three standing order amendments. As always, unfortunately, time is tight, and we cannot take all the motions submitted.

The FCC wants to extend its thanks to all members to take the time to write and prepare motions; if you are interested in shaping party policy then please do reach out to the FCC via the motions (and/or amendments) drafting service and we will be able to assist you.

From the submitted motions, we selected 18 policy motions, three business motions, four constitutional amendment, and two standing order amendments. There are also slots for two emergency motions.

I have included below the list of motions submitted (please note that some of the naming of the motions may vary between this list and publication of the agenda), who they were submitted by and if not selected, the reason for non-selection. With regards to constitutional and standing order amendments, these are automatically selected; however, ruled either in or out of order.

You may recall from the previous report that we confirmed that there would be a debate on the issue of nuclear weapons at Autumn 2022 Conference, and a nuclear weapons motion has been selected for debate.

Please note that the next set of deadlines are:

Drafting advice deadline (emergency motions and amendments): 22 August at 13.00

Amendments and Emergency Motions deadline and deadline for Appeals against non-selection of motions: 5 September at 13.00

Appeals deadline for Amendments and Emergency Motions: 15 September at 13.00

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Stepping up support for Kinship Carers

by Munira Wilson on Wed, 06 Jul 2022

Each year, thousands of grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and family friends step up to support a child who is unable to live with their birth parents. They deserve more support. 

Yesterday, I introduced the Kinship Care Bill in the House of Commons. This bill calls on the Government to provide all friends and relatives who look after a child who cannot live with their birth parents with an allowance of at least £137 a week: the same level as for foster carers.

Each year, thousands step up to support a child who is unable to live with their birth parents. They turn their lives upside down to provide a child with a loving, stable home, when the alternative is often local authority care.

Government policy treats kinship carers as a Cinderella service"

This often comes at a huge personal and financial sacrifice. Many give up their careers or pension savings. They are left to face the challenge of looking after a child who may well have suffered abuse or neglect.

As the cost-of-living crisis bites, kinship carers should not have to choose between paying the bills and looking after a loved one.

The cost of living is hitting kinship carers hard. A survey by charity Kinship revealed: 

  • 44% of carers surveyed said that they could not pay all their household bills;
  • 18% could not keep up with rent or mortgage payments;
  • 26% could not afford food for their families.

Every child that goes into kinship care instead of local authority care could save the taxpayer more than £35,000 a year. Yet Government policy treats kinship carers as a Cinderella service, denying most of them the support received by foster carers or adoptive parents.

My Kinship Care Bill would:

  • Provide a weekly allowance to all kinship carers at the same level as for foster carers;
  • Give kinship carers the right to paid leave when a child starts living with them;
  • Support the education of children in kinship care, such as by giving them Pupil Premium Plus funding and priority for their first choice of school.

Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers, so we can provide their children with a better start in life, no matter their background.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Celebrating 50 Years of Pride in the UK

by Wera Hobhouse on Fri, 01 Jul 2022

Today, 1st of July, we are marking an incredible 50 years since the first Pride rally took place in the UK.

We have made incredible strides when it comes to protecting the fundamental human rights of those with LGBT+ identities. I am proud that our party has supported LGBT+ rights since its very conception.

We opposed Section 28 in the same year that we formed and were unafraid to call to “Guarantee equal rights for gay men and lesbians through changes to criminal law, anti-discrimination legislation and police practices” in the following General Election. 

Pride is a celebration of how far we’ve come so I’d be remiss not to mention Lynne Feathersone’s unparalleled work legalising same-sex marriage in 2012.

But we still have so much work to do. In this country, the rights of LGBT+ people are still increasingly under attack. The Home Office has said that hate crimes based on sexuality have doubled in four years. This is simply unacceptable in a modern society.

As Liberal Democrats, we need to not only fight against discrimination wherever we see it, but to create a society in which this persecution cannot exist. We will always uphold the values of individual and social justice, reject all prejudice and discrimination, and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.

LGBT rights are human rights. We will continue to stand up to protect them against the Conservatives.

Thank you to the trailblazers who marched to show the true meaning of LGBT+ joy 50 years ago. Wishing you all a happy and meaningful Pride!

Note: If you attended the first UK Pride March in 1972, please do send your photos to [email protected]

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Liberal Democrats WIN Tiverton and Honiton

by Liberal Democrats on Mon, 27 Jun 2022

The Liberal Democrats have made political history by winning in Tiverton and Honiton.

Richard Foord overturned a Conservative majority of 24,239, the biggest ever!

Richard polled 22,537 votes, winning a majority of 6,144 with a swing of 29.9%.

The extraordinary efforts of Liberal Democrat members and volunteers delivered this historic result and sent a shockwave through British politics.

The last time some areas around Honiton were represented by a non-Conservative, it was before Queen Victoria was on the throne (and that MP was a Whig).

This result should be a wake-up call for all those Conservative MPs propping up Boris Johnson. They cannot afford to ignore this result.

The people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for the country. The public is sick of Boris Johnson’s lies and law-breaking and it’s time for Conservative MPs to finally do the right thing and sack him.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Tiverton & Honiton

by Mark Pack 🔶 on Fri, 17 Jun 2022

We saw last year what a huge boost it gave to the party getting two new excellent MPs elected in Parliamentary by-elections. It’s good for their constituents and also good for the party’s prospects across the whole country.

We’ve also seen this month how Conservative MPs have failed to do what our country needs - to remove Boris Johnson from 10 Downing Street.

Which is why the latest contest in Tiverton and Honiton is so important for us all again. The single most effective thing you can do in the next few weeks to help bring about his demise - and to help the party win in your own patch - is to help Richard Foord get elected on 23 June.

Many of the team have gone straight into this campaign from the May local elections, without the chance to pause for the hoped for break after those. Thank you hugely to everyone who is stretching themselves to give Richard the best of chances of winning.

Thank you too to Jamie Needle and the team in Wakefield, fighting a carefully targeted campaign there which I’m sure will help the continued growth of our council group on Wakefield Council.

Treating our staff well

Some good news to report on party staff: the federal party has been awarded the ‘excellence’ status by the Good Work Standard for how we go beyond legal minimum requirements in looking after staff.

With the amount of change since the 2019 election plus all the strains of lockdowns, it’s been a particularly tough few years for our staff. But standards such as this show how we’re taking seriously making the party a good and happy place to work.

Welcome to Cllr Mike Cox and Chris French

Chartered accountant, local councillor and former Parliamentary candidate Mike Cox has been appointed by the Federal Board as the new chair of our Federal Finances and Resources Committee (FFRC). Mike takes over from Tony Harris, who has stood down as a new academic career has unexpectedly opened up for him.

When Tony took up the post, the party’s finances faced many difficult challenges. Tony has steered us through them and left a clear financial plan through to the next Westminster general election. At the heart of that has been much greater and earlier investment in this Parliament in our support for grassroots campaigning across the country - something we saw the benefits of in this May’s elections.

Thank you to Tony and best of luck to Mike.

Thank you also to Shelley Snelson, who served as Tony’s deputy, a pilot new post the FFRC has been trying out. Due to a change in her job, she is also standing down, and the FFRC will discuss later this year whether to continue, modify or wrap up the pilot.

Welcome also to Chris French, newly elected by the Board as one of the Vice Chairs of the Racial Diversity Campaign (RDC).Chris founded an LGBTQ+ charity and chairs a national one, as well as running a social enterprise consultancy. Best of luck Chris, and thank you for taking on the role.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →