Monday, November 13, 2023

Liberal Democrats are making the case for a different road in Gaza


What horrific images we have seen unfold on our TV screens these past few weeks. The shocking terrorist attacks by Hamas. The bombing of so much of Gaza. The innocent Palestinians left without even food or water including premature babies dead or on the brink of dying. Families mourning loved ones, or fearing for those being held hostage.In the face of this dire situation, Liberal Democrats are making the case for a different way.We are clear that Hamas cannot be allowed to remain in charge of Gaza. We are concerned that a military solution to eliminate them will not work. And we believe that, with this humanitarian disaster, with over 200 still being held hostage by Hamas, and with the risk of escalation across the region, now is the time to try a new approach.We’re calling on the UK Government to back an immediate bilateral ceasefire, to achieve a political solution.As Ed Davey has set out, a ceasefire cannot be about freezing the conflict, leaving Hamas in charge of Gaza. That’s unacceptable. It must be contingent upon both parties. And it cannot be the end goal - that must always be two states and a lasting peace.Ed and I have met countless individuals over the past few weeks - diplomats, faith leaders, organisations working to support community cohesion, families of those being held hostage and countless others.At every meeting we have attended, it has been clear to us both that the UK simply cannot allow this situation to return to the status quo ante. We simply cannot risk going through all this again.So we choose to centre a two-state solution. Because only a lasting peace can deliver the security which both Palestinians and Israelis deserve. So that Palestinian and Israeli children can grow up free of this awful cycle of violence and tragedy. And that is what Liberal Democrats will keep advocating for, in the House of Commons and across the UK.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Workplace harassment: Wera Hobhouse's Bill makes progress

 The Liberal Democrat MP for Bath writes:

Friday, October 27, 2023

Gaza: a message from our party leader


Saturday, October 14, 2023

Council By-Election Quarterly Review (July to September 2023)

The Lib Dems are having a remarkable year in council by-elections!This report rounds up our performance between July and September. Once again we were first in terms of net gains and share of the vote increases. Overall 51 council seats were contested. We made 8 gains and successfully defended 5 wards - while only losing 1 ward during this period (to an independent candidate - we didn't suffer a single loss to another political party).This gave us a net result of 7 more Lib Dem councillors. This is comfortably the best performance of any party (the Conservatives, Labour and Nationalist parties all went backwards). Our gains came from the Conservatives (5), Labour (2) and 1 from the Vectis Party in the Isle of Wight. 

Friday, July 07, 2023

Protest against bus cuts


The revised parliamentary boundaries have been ratified by Westminster. Rhos will be in the expanded Brecon constituency at the next general election.

In the meantime, bus travellers have complaints against Westminster, the Welsh Labour/Plaid government and the Neath Port Talbot county borough council over cuts to bus subsidies and therefore reduced services. So Neath party members are encouraged to join this leaflet distribution.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

End puppy smuggling


Andrew George, former MP for St Ives, writes:

Conservative MPs voted against a bill to combat puppy smuggling and live farm animal exports again .
Labour, with Liberal Democrat support attempted to reintroduce animal welfare legislation which had been dropped by the Cons, in contradiction to their manifesto promise.
The RSPCA’s head of public affairs, David Bowles, said: “It’s terrible news for animals and we are calling on the UK government to rethink and bring back all the proposals contained within the binned bill back by other means. We cannot go on allowing cruel practices such as the live exports of animals for slaughter and the puppy import trade.”
We won't give up and will find other ways of passing laws to give animals the protection they need and deserve.
I hope you support too

Friday, May 26, 2023

Neath Port Talbot cabinet post for local Liberal Democrat

 The council includes the following in the media release which followed Wednesday's AGM:

the council’s Liberal Democrat and Green Group, led by Coedffranc West member Cllr Helen Ceri Clarke, became full members of the Rainbow Coalition having previously supported it on a confidence and supply basis.

Cllr Hunt said after the AGM: “I am humbled to have been given the leadership of the council for 2023/24 and our Rainbow Coalition welcomes the Liberal Democrat and Green Group as full members.

Cllr Cen Phillips takes over in the Cabinet from [Dyffryn Independent] Cllr Peters with a new title of Cabinet Member for Nature, Tourism and Wellbeing while existing Cabinet Member [Independent] Cllr Jeremy Hurley adopts the new title of Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economic Growth.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Our Carer’s Leave Bill has just passed its final stage in Parliament

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Ed Davey: the man behind the politician

 An interview by Zoe Williams, published in the Guardian, reveals the personal side of Ed Davey. The article details the many trials and tribulations Ed and his wife Emily have had to overcome in their political careers. There are political insights:

They have a good ground game, the Lib Dems, and they’re scrappy: even accounting for the way all parties manage expectations before local elections, they sailed way over their targets. “Our central scenario was about 250 [councillors] in five councils; we ended up with over 400 in 12 councils. So we’re pretty happy,” he says. They made 704 gains in the 2019 local elections, so this is shaping up into a solid recovery after the party’s post-coalition doldrums. “Because the next election is all about getting rid of the Tories …” he begins, and maybe I smirk a bit because he stops – he’s the last man standing of the Lib Dems who served in the coalition cabinet, so fierce anti-Tory rhetoric is still faintly incongruent – “… that is exactly my mission.” Will this party ever enable another Conservative government? “This is really important: we will not put the Conservatives back into government or do any deal with them. What. So. Ever. Personally, I’ve fought them all my life: I fought them in government, I’m fighting them now. They’re beyond the pale, as far as I’m concerned.”

Of his time in government, working with Conservatives:

“I didn’t trust them an inch. I didn’t trust George Osborne an inch. We didn’t tell people how much we were fighting the Tories, that was by design, from Nick [Clegg]. He wanted to show that coalitions work. I argued that we should show the bit of the Liberals that’s anti-establishment, that’s reformist, that’s internationalist. But he was the leader. We served at his pleasure.”

He names a few big wins over the Conservatives from those years: the Liberal Democrats successfully locked in the government’s offshore wind contracts, so Osborne couldn’t rescind them after 2015, as he tried to; they stopped the Tories freezing benefits when inflation was running at 5%. “I believe in our environmental stuff, I believe in our political reform, I believe in our internationalism, I believe in civil liberties, I believe in our support for public services, I believe we’re caring, that’s who we are. And we weren’t showing it enough. We’re not going to make that mistake twice.”

Monday, May 08, 2023

England local council elections: an incredible set of results

Friday, May 05, 2023

Council gains in England "way above expectation"

 The Guardian reports:

Ed Davey has hailed what he called “ground-breaking results” for the Liberal Democrats in local elections, as party activists predicted they were on track to oust large number of Conservative MPs in so-called “blue wall” seats.

In early results, the Lib Dems defeated the Conservatives to win control of Windsor and Maidenhead council, Theresa May’s home territory.

Across England the party had gained nearly 60 seats, with the bulk of the Lib Dems’ target areas still to count, and maintained control of seven other councils.

“These are groundbreaking results for the Liberal Democrats, far exceeding the expectations,” Davey, the Lib Dem leader, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “We’ve been beating Conservatives, and I think it’s going to get worse.”

Lib Dem campaigners had anticipated a reasonable number of gains before the vote, but emphasised the context that the last time these seats were contested, in 2019, the party won more than 700 councillors against the Conservatives under Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

On Friday morning, Lib Dem officials said the party had performed “way above expectations” and seemed set to win a swathe of seats and councils in blue wall seats, mainly affluent, commuter belt areas where the Conservatives have traditionally dominated.

See also Mark Pack's rolling news.

Saturday, April 08, 2023

Flying start to 2023

 [Data from ALDC}

In total 38 principal council by-elections were contested in the first quarter of 2023. The Lib Dems are net up by 5 seats, while the Conservatives are down by 9 councillors.