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.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

The New Green Liberal Democrat Executive

The Green Liberal Democrats elected their new executive committee at Lib Dem Spring Federal Conference in York last weekend.


Chair: Keith Melton
Honorary Treasurer: Jordan Summers
Vice Chair Policy: Kevin Langford
Vice Chair Organisation: Anne Robson
Vice Chair Communications: Jules Ewart & George Miles
Vice Chair Campaigns: Jed Marson
Youth Officer: VACANT

Local party secretary Frank Little writes:

It is sadly typical of our times that no younger person has come forward to work to further the development of the organisation. 

Friday, March 31, 2023

Tory MPs vote for 15 more years of sewage dumping


New regulations passed by Conservative MPs will allow water companies to continue dumping sewage into our rivers and seas for another 15 years.

In the last two years water companies in England dumped raw sewage 775,568 times lasting 5,768,679 hours.

The new legislation set a target of an 80% reduction in phosphates in rivers by 2038. Phosphates are naturally occurring minerals found in human waste and can lead to a dramatic growth in algae and deplete oxygen levels when they are dumped in rivers.

This is a pathetic target which allows water companies to get away with a staggering 15 more years of shameful sewage dumping. This is a betrayal of the British public who rightly want tougher action against water companies.

The water companies that are responsible for dumping sewage into our rivers, lakes and coastal waters every day, now have 15 years to clean up their act. Meanwhile their top execs have paid themselves £51 million, including £30.6 million in bonuses over the last two years.

Conservative MPs should be ashamed of themselves. It will be swimmers and treasured wildlife which pay the price for the flimsy target. Water company execs will be cheering this through parliament.

Liberal Democrats proudly voted against these unacceptably weak targets.

Friday, March 03, 2023

Let down by Labour/Plaid cooperation

 The current emergency in our A&E departments is directly linked to a failure to reform social care.

Reforming social care was a key promise of the Labour and Plaid Cymru Co-operation Agreement, yet things appear to be worse than ever.
We need action now.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Save families in Neath and Port Talbot from £500 energy bill rise in April

Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats demand that the Government cancel plans to hike the average household energy bill by £500 in April, and bring in a tax on the “bonanza bonuses” of oil and gas bosses.

The party is calling for cuts to people's bills instead, combined with a new energy support package for businesses and essential public facilities,

In April the Conservatives are planning to hike the energy price guarantee by £500. 

The Liberal Democrats' plans would mean that in Neath Port Talbot the average household would be £410.64 better off. In total, Neath Port Talbot would save a huge £26,202,586.

Local Lib Dems see new price hikes now as a “hammer blow” to families and businesses already struggling and that action is needed now to save people from a “cost of living cliff-edge.”

Nationally, the Liberal Democrats have set out their plan to tackle the energy crisis including: 

1. A windfall tax on oil and gas companies to raise billions of pounds

2. A cancellation of the Governments £500 energy bill rise in April 

3. A one-off bonus tax on oil and gas executives

4. Doubling the Warm Homes Discount to £300.

5. A U-turn on plans to slash energy bill support for businesses, leisure centres, schools and hospitals by 85%, and instead extend current levels of support for another six months.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey added:

“Rishi Sunak must act now to save families from a cost-of-living cliff edge, by cutting energy bills instead of increasing them. People deserve a fair deal - with a large cut to their energy bills, paid for by a proper windfall tax and a one-off levy on the bonuses of oil and gas bosses.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Lib Dems in parliament force government retreat on sewage

 This message came through tonight from Richard Foord, our MP for Tiverton:

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Lost £4.3 bn, recovered only a fraction


By the end of last year, the authorities had recovered only £18m of the money lost over fraudulent PPE contracts.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Ambulance targets in Wales are not being met


Sign here to back our five-point plan to solve ambulance waiting times in Wales: