My thoughts, as I'm sure are yours, are with His Majesty the King, Her Majesty’s other children, her grandchildren and all those close to her at this difficult time.
At the deferred Spring Conference, held online today, of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, policies on biofuel, on young people in care and on campaigning were decided. An emergency motion agreeing the main thrust of the Welsh Government's Senedd reform proposals, but with objections to the voting method and selection of constituencies, was also passed. The motions are set out here.
Whether you agree with Brexit or not, you should be aware that this repressive legislation militates against any protest which makes a noise.
- Frank Little
Responding to the news that the Home Office is planning to reopen Campsfield House in Kidlington as part of their Rwanda Plan, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon Layla Moran said:
Marking the first anniversary of the Liberal Democrats winning the Chesham and Amersham by-election on 17th June 2021, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
"This is one anniversary Boris Johnson won't be partying about in Downing Street.
Responding to the Government's announcement that the Plug-in Car Grant will no longer be available for new electric cars, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:
"It beggars belief that this out of touch Government is scrapping these grants for new cars while petrol and diesel prices are soaring and electric cars remain unaffordable for so many.
“Britain is gripped by a cost of living emergency where families are struggling to fill up at the pumps. We should be slashing VAT on electric vehicles, not cutting the Plug-In Car Grant.
“This is the wrong move at the wrong time. The Conservatives are doing everything they can to put people off owning an electric vehicle and it frankly makes a mockery of their pledge to end new sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2030.”
Responding to the tweets from the Government's new cost of living Tsar, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:
The Liberal Democrats have criticised Brandon Lewis' refusal to commit to publishing the government's full legal advice around its plans to overhaul the Northern Ireland protocol.
It comes after Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael raised the issue in Parliament last week and demanded the government publish its legal advice in full.
Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:
“The refusal to publish this legal advice looks like yet another attempt to cover up Boris Johnson’s repeated lies and law-breaking. The government must come clean and publish what legal advice was received and who from in full.
“The public deserves full transparency over the legality of plans to rip up the Northern Ireland Protocol and risk a trade war with our closest neighbours. If Conservative ministers have nothing to fear, they have nothing to hide.”
The Liberal Democrats have joined with Liberal parties from across Europe to condemn the British government's proposals to scrap the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The annual ALDE Congress last weekend in Dublin called for genuine, workable solutions to the Protocol as opposed to the current ideological approach.
This initiative was proposed jointly by the Liberal Democrats, Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party and Ireland’s governing party Fianna Fáil, and supported by sister Liberal parties across Europe.
Liberal Democrats are urging the UK Government to abandon its plans for domestic legislation overriding the Northern Ireland Protocol - warning that it is a breach of international law, and would result in a trade war during the cost of living emergency.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
“At a moment when the UK should be working in lockstep with our allies in the face of Russia’s aggression, unilateral action on the Protocol would ignite a diplomatic firestorm.
“As well as being a clear breach of international law and hurting our global reputation, such a move would be deeply damaging domestically too - not least in Northern Ireland, where it would be destabilising.
Naomi Long, leader of the Alliance Party, said:
“The Alliance Party very much welcomes this positive gesture of solidarity from our liberal sister parties in Europe, which makes clear the opposition right across Europe to the UK government's retrograde threat of unilateral action over the NI Protocol.
“The Protocol makes the best of a bad situation for Northern Ireland by providing a necessary new set of rules governing the trade divergence resultant from a reckless hard Brexit, pushed by the Conservative Party and the DUP. Any changes to the Protocol must be accomplished through pragmatic engagement and partnership between the EU and UK government. The correct channel for this is the EU-UK Joint Committee and will not be achieved by any partner acting alone.
“Unilateral action will only undermine trust, heighten political tension in Northern Ireland and risk provoking a trade war.”
Responding to the news that Conservative MPs have voted to keep a lawbreaker in Number Ten this evening, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
"Conservative MPs are now fully responsible for the Prime Minister’s behaviour. They have narrowly voted to keep a lawbreaker and liar in Number 10.
Army logistic personnel should run travel command centre to keep airports, roads and ports moving
More flight cancellations on the way and motorways tipped for deadlock
The Liberal Democrats have called for the army to be brought in to help solve unprecedented levels of travel disruption as queues at airports up and down the country reach critical mass going into the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
With families facing their bank holiday getaway being cancelled or heavily delayed, the party has urged the Government to call on the Armed Forces “best and brightest” to run point on logistics. This would include the running of a command centre to sort out airports, keep roads moving and get ports unblocked.
It comes after the party’s transport spokesperson called for an emergency COBRA meeting to be convened in order to formulate a plan to break the deadlock.
Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:
“The chaotic scenes at airports up and down the country have been nothing short of a complete disaster. Families’ half-term getaways have been thrown into disarray and now they face the prospect of a long-weekend spent sleeping in airports and sitting in traffic jams.
“We need drastic action now to tackle this travel carnage and break the logjam. That’s why drafting Britain's best and brightest logistics minds from the army to get things moving again is a no brainer.
“Conservative Ministers need to get a grip on this chaos at the eleventh hour to save the Jubilee weekend. Empowering the army to run point from a command centre would do just that.”
Responding to the news that Lord Geidt has judged there to be a "legitimate question" over whether Boris Johnson broke the Ministerial Code following his Partygate fine, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:
"This scathing criticism shows even Boris Johnson’s own ethics adviser no longer trusts him to tell the truth. He is not fit to hold public office.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has accused Rishi Sunak of treating family carers with “disdain,” after they were left out of the government’s cost of living package.
The Carer’s Allowance was excluded from the list of benefits qualifying for additional support under the plans set out by the Chancellor.
It comes as new analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows unpaid carers are facing a cut to the Carer’s Allowance of £207 each this year once soaring inflation is factored in. It means the country’s one million unpaid carers receiving the Carer's Allowance are facing a combined hit of £193 million this year.
The Government is increasing Carer’s Allowance by 3.1% from £67.60 a week to £69.70, or an increase of just 30p a day, despite inflation rocketing to 9% in April.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for the Carer’s Allowance to be increased by £1,000 a year.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
“Rishi Sunak is treating family carers with utter disdain by refusing to offer them extra support.
“Family carers are facing huge pressures right now as petrol prices, energy bills and food prices all go through the roof. They are playing a vital role caring for loved ones, but their only reward from this Conservative government is to see the Carer’s Allowance slashed by over £200 this year.
“It is typical of the Conservatives who time and again have ignored the plight of family carers and treated them like dirt.
“The Chancellor needs to make one more U-turn and give unpaid carers the extra support they deserve.
“Unlike this out of touch government, the Liberal Democrats will stand for carers with our calls to increase the Carers’ Allowance by £1,000 a year.”
Responding to Lord Geidt's powers being published which show that the ministerial code has been watered down, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:
"This is an appalling attempt by Boris Johnson to rig the rules to get himself off the hook.
"It seems the Conservatives have learnt nothing from the Owen Paterson scandal.
"The Prime Minister shouldn't be allowed to decide on his own punishment - with zero accountability. This is making him judge and jury in his own case.
"If the privileges committee finds Boris Johnson lied to Parliament, surely Conservative MPs will have no choice but to sack him."