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.