Sunday, August 29, 2021

Davey: Video shows Johnson in true light

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has called out Prime Minister Johnson on his "flippant remarks" at UK's Afghanistan crisis centre. Ed said:

“These flippant remarks show Boris Johnson in his true light, uncaring and unable to master the detail during this awful crisis.

“The emails he refers to are from desperate family and friends worried that the Taliban will kill their loved ones.

“Perhaps if Boris Johnson had understood and planned for the dangers of the Kabul evacuation, thousands of people would not be at crisis point.”

Friday, August 27, 2021

Davey: create safe passage corridor in next 24 hours


Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has called on the Prime Minister to create a safe passage corridor for Afghans in the next 24 hours. He said:

“The deaths of British people and many others in this appalling terrorist attack breaks our hearts. My thoughts are with the families of the victims in this awful moment.
"The Government must do everything it can to secure a safe passage corridor in the next 24 hours to get all those fleeing the Taliban and the terrorists out of Afghanistan safely.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

FSB report: we must avert a jobs crisis in autumn

Responding to the new report from the Federation of Small Businesses, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Trade Sarah Olney MP said:

“With furlough set to expire next month and countless small businesses still uncertain about their future, the Government should have already announced a cut to employers’ NICs to support as many jobs as possible. Ministers should be using every tool at their disposal to support small businesses and avert a wave of job losses in the autumn.

“And thanks to the Government’s terrible EU trade deal, thousands of British exporters are struggling under a mountain of paperwork and red tape. That's not the kind of trading relationship with Europe the Government promised. The very least they can do is stop ignoring small businesses and announce new funding under an expanded SME Support Fund.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Unemployment stats: Figures belie scale of challenge ahead

Reacting to figures released yesterday showing that UK's unemployment rate dropped to 4.7% in Q2 2021 (a decrease of 0.2% on the quarter before), Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

“These figures don’t give us a real picture of what is going on in our economy or the scale of the challenge ahead. 
"The Government needs to listen to the businesses in the hospitality sector who cannot open up fully because staff were forced to move on during the lockdown. Or the countless small businesses who say they’re months away from closing. And the parents worried how they will feed their children and pay their bills if they lose their job when furlough ends next month.
“What the country needs is a long-term strategy to support jobs and businesses into the winter. And the Chancellor must start by extending the furlough scheme into next year to avoid a devastating jobs cliff-edge next month.”

Monday, August 16, 2021

Kabul airport: Create safe corridor to offer a new escape route

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to work with international allies to secure a safe corridor of land in Afghanistan, to allow more people an escape route from the Taliban to an international border. 

Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, said:

"The scenes from Kabul airport this morning are heartbreaking and we must offer a new way out for those desperate to escape the terror of the Taliban.
"A safe corridor of land from Kabul to an international border may offer an escape route from this murderous, tyrannical and barbaric regime. The government must make this their top priority today, and secure such a humanitarian corridor with international allies."
"All those who need to escape the Taliban, especially women and girls, must be given the chance. The Prime Minister needs to show international leadership and start work with our allies on this immediately."

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Davey: PM must hold Westminster leaders crisis meeting on Afghanistan


Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has written to the Prime Minister calling on him to host a "Westminster Leaders Crisis Meeting" on the Afghanistan crisis.

In the letter, leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:

"It is without doubt that we face a crucial point in history and, as a nation, we must act together before it is too late.

"Given the tragedy unfolding before our eyes and the grave threat to national security this raises, I urge you to invite all Westminster party leaders from across the UK to meet with you to discuss our nation’s response to this crisis. It is also right that Parliament is recalled as soon as possible to discuss the UK’s response.

"The UK has a responsibility to the people of Afghanistan and to the international community.

"Now is the time to act - to do the right thing, and bring political parties together in our national interest."

Saturday, August 14, 2021

PCR tests: Disgraceful that companies are profiteering from the pandemic

The government have announced there will not be a price cap on PCR SARS-CoV-2 tests for those who travel.
Instead, the government has only offered a review of private companies who sell PCR tests for holidaymakers and people travelling abroad to see family. 
Responding to the embargoed government announcement, Munira Wilson MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health said:
"It is disgraceful that private companies are profiteering from the pandemic, and this announcement does nothing to stop that. 
"The Health Secretary is merely tinkering around the edges. He needs to stop the dithering and finally introduce a price cap for PCR tests. 
"This is a slap in the face for all those who are desperate see their families abroad for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and those who have saved up for a holiday".

Friday, August 13, 2021

Davey: If the US won’t, the UN must

In light of the rapid Taliban advance since the withdrawal of US ground forces from Afghanistan, the Liberal Democrats are calling for the UN to deploy peacekeepers, to protect Afghan citizens, and for Parliament to be recalled so MPs can discuss the situation.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

“If Donald Trump had made this decision, the whole world would rightly be calling it out. Joe Biden cannot get a free pass just because he is a Democrat.

“Afghanistan is spiralling towards a devastating civil war. Millions of women and girls are facing medieval brutality. International terrorism will thrive under the Taliban. Given the tragedy unfolding before our eyes, Parliament must now be recalled.

“Every effort must be taken to protect the innocent citizens of Afghanistan who have been betrayed by the nature of this withdrawal. If the US won’t, the UN must. The UK Government must use its seat at the table at the UN Security Council to initiate consultations on the deployment of UN peacekeepers in Afghanistan.”

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Biden's comments deeply disappointing

Responding to President Biden's comments that he has "no regrets" on withdrawal, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said: 

"President Biden’s comments are deeply disappointing.
"Women and girls in Afghanistan put their trust in US, UK and other coalition forces. Now, as a direct result of the nature of our withdrawal, they face the terrible prospect of their human rights being routinely violated and their liberties totally curtailed.
"Make no mistake, the UK, US and other NATO countries will bear the responsibility for this betrayal for decades to come. It is a shameful situation."

GDP stats: Massive obstacles lie ahead in spite of growth

Reacting to estimate figures released this morning showing that the UK's GDP increased by 4.8% in Q2 2021, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

"These figures shouldn't lull us into thinking that all our problems are solved. We still face potentially massive obstacles if the Government goes ahead with ending the furlough scheme and the Universal credit uplift at the end of next month.
"Hard pressed families and struggling businesses need more reassurance than improving GDP figures - they need support extended into next year.
"So many people have done the right thing and got vaccinated, but we also need to be aware of the danger of new variants putting renewed pressure on the NHS and demanding yet more sacrifice from everyone."

Monday, August 09, 2021

Tories' record on electric vehicles "frankly embarrassing"

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government as new statistics reveal just 292 new “rapid” electric vehicle chargers were installed in the last three months, in spite of Tory promises to dramatically increase the number of fast chargers.

The news comes as the Prime Minister’s COP26 Spokesperson Allegra Stratton said she was sticking with her diesel car because of concerns about range and recharging - suggesting she would buy an EV if “the stop times for recharging improve so much that it’s half an hour.”

Rapid chargers will charge an EV from 0% to 80% in roughly the same time Ms Stratton desires, rather than the 8 hours that a standard “fast” charger takes.

Earlier this year, the Conservatives cut grants available to new electric vehicle owners and the number of new electric vehicle charging devices installed dropped by 30% last year compared to the year before.

Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport, said:

“Once again the Tories are doing one thing but saying another. They say that by 2030 all new cars sold should be electric, yet they’re doing everything they can to put people off buying electric vehicles. Even the PM’s climate spokesperson says she doesn’t ‘fancy’ owning one.

“For a Government all too happy to grandstand about ambitious climate change targets, their record on electric vehicles is frankly embarrassing and tells you all you need to know about how seriously the Tories are taking the climate crisis.

“Liberal Democrats call on the Conservatives to reverse the damage they’ve done by increasing, not cutting, the Plug-In Car Grant and investing in more charging points - particularly rapid chargers in rural areas.”

IPCC Report: This is a wake up call


Responding to the report released by the IPCC* today, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:

“Climate Change is here, it’s already affecting our communities, the economy and people's lives. Yet the Prime Minister still can’t make his mind up whether he cares about the climate or not. This is a wake up call.

"The UK should lead the world in tackling the climate emergency, instead we're showing other countries that climate inaction is acceptable." 

*The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change.

Friday, August 06, 2021

Alok Sharma's hypocrisy shows Tories' contempt for the rules

Reacting to the revelation that COP26 President Alok Sharma has been allowed to travel to "red list" countries without quarantining, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport Sarah Olney MP said:

"As usual with this Government, it's one rule for them and another for everybody else. While Alok Sharma flies to Red List countries with abandon, hard-working families can hardly see loved-ones or plan holidays as the Government changes travel rules on the hoof.

"People are sick of the Government giving themselves get-out-of-jail free passes while the rest of us stick to the rules. 
“The Conservatives have fallen completely out of touch with the concept of decency and this is another example to add to a catalogue of errors made during this pandemic. Only an inquiry can do the British people justice.”

Energy price cap: government's choice not to delay is "outrageous"


Following the news that the energy price cap will increase by up to £139 a year, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:

“This price cap increase will plunge thousands of low income households across the country into more uncertainty. At a time where Covid-19 has already done so much damage, for the government not to delay this is outrageous.
“If the Tories actually cared about keeping the costs of energy low they would not have scrapped their home insulation programme earlier this year. Their failure to upgrade homes has left those on low incomes at the mercy of energy suppliers who have increased their bills. 
“Liberal Democrats are calling for a long-term home insulation programme to cut energy bills and reforming the price cap to properly target those in fuel poverty.”

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

We are failing the Afghan people

Responding to the continued territory gains by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:

“As the Taliban take swathes of territory on their advance towards Kabul, millions of women and girls are facing the prospect of a new era of injustice, inequality and brutality - while the potential for a new vector of international terrorism forms across Afghanistan.


“Meanwhile the UK is failing to meet its moral obligation to those interpreters who risked their lives supporting our troops, while our international development spending in Afghanistan has been slashed.

“The spectre of a new security threat is looming. The UK government must work urgently with our international partners because right now we are failing to meet our responsibilities to the Afghan people.”