by Ed Davey on Wed, 28 Oct 2020
Families across the UK have had an extremely difficult year being separated from their loved ones. They deserve a Christmas that is as normal as possible.
So far, Boris Johnson's government has been badly prepared and slow to act at every stage throughout the Covid-19 crisis. That can't happen again, especially for Christmas.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Lisa Smart on Mon, 26 Oct 2020
This committee knows that to get ourselves back to winning ways, we need to be ambitious going forwards and honest about the recent past.
In that vein, this month we discussed the internal investigation we commissioned into the Liberal Democrat response to the Unite to Remain campaign, and its structural and electoral implications for the Party.
The discussion was frank and robust, and it was agreed that we must ensure that lessons are learned and in particular that prior to any future negotiations we must have a clear objective together, with protocols established to protect the democratic, administrative and political interests of the party, and full administrative support for the negotiation team.
Speaking as the Chair of the FCEC, I am keen to highlight my, our, commitment to making sure that these recommendations translate into real action.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Alex McBeath on Mon, 26 Oct 2020
by Alistair Carmichael on Fri, 23 Oct 2020
If ever there was a time for us to act in support of Hong Kongers, it is now.
Many Hong Kongers have suffered grave persecution at the hands of the Chinese Regime.
With repeated reports of police brutality, the UK has a moral and legal duty to stand with Hong Kongers and ensure no one is left behind to suffer under the Chinese Communist Party.
My Bill to grant all Hong Kong Citizens a pathway to UK citizenship was due to have its second reading today but unfortunately we ran out of time. It has now been postponed to 15 January 2021 – just two weeks before the government’s recently announced (but still not detailed) visa scheme is due to come into force.
This issue may have been postponed but it will not go away until we win justice for Hong Kongers with BNO Passports.
By expanding British National Overseas (BNO) status to all Hong Kongers, the Bill goes well beyond the Conservative Government’s current citizenship commitments, which extend only to specific groups currently eligible to claim BNO status.
This clear route to citizenship for all Hong Kongers will strengthen the UK’s historic bond with the people of Hong Kong and show our continued commitment to the Joint Declaration, something that the Chinese regime has utterly betrayed.
We also need to make sure that the citizenship offer is affordable.
The Home Office’s claim that it will only cost £250 is deceptive given the upfront costs of the Immigration Health Surcharge.
The UK has a moral duty to act.
We urge the Conservatives to do the right thing for all of the people of Hong Kong and back this Bill.
In addition, we need to see measures to put in place an international lifeboat system as a matter of urgency, should the situation deteriorate further.
Read this article on www.libdems.org →
In recent months it has become politically fashionable to stand with the people of Hong Kong, but people fighting for their rights and for democracy need more than words. I was proud to introduce the Hong Kong Bill this year - time for the government to take it up and act. https://t.co/Cc1zGyPpog— Alistair Carmichael (@amcarmichaelMP) October 13, 2020
by Christine Jardine on Thu, 22 Oct 2020
Despite the massive effort people have made to fight coronavirus it’s clear that the road to recovery is going to be rockier than we first feared.
With millions of workers worried about their livelihoods, the British people deserve a Government that listens to their concerns and does everything in its power to protect them. Sadly, this isn’t the case.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Mark Pack on Wed, 21 Oct 2020
by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 20 Oct 2020
The Conservatives have continually promised to back British farmers throughout the Brexit process, but their failure last week to uphold our high food standards reveals just how hollow those promises were.
Our high agricultural standards must be protected in international trade deals and after the transition period.
Farmers across the country are incredibly worried about the future - they're worried that the UK is about to be flooded with poor quality food and drink, undercutting their high quality produce.
The Conservatives voted against protecting our farmers and food standards last week, bringing us a step closer to this worrying reality.
The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for our farmers. If the Government doesn't protect our food standards, they will only sow more uncertainty and worry for our farming industry.
We strongly believe that our high agricultural standards must be protected in international trade deals and after the transition period.
That's why today, our Liberal Democrat Peers will be fighting to stop the Government from undermining British Farmers.
Our Lords will be fighting for a National Food Strategy, better climate policies and to give the Trade Commission teeth with statutory footing and the ability to report on the agricultural and food impacts of every international trade agreement.
Read this article on www.libdems.org →
By voting against food standards and animal welfare in the #AgricultureBill, the Tories have sold out British farmers - all so that they can secure easier trade deals post-Brexit.— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) October 13, 2020
Liberal Democrats stand with farmers across the UK and will continue fighting to protect them. pic.twitter.com/HoyZR7NuwA
by Alistair Carmichael on Mon, 19 Oct 2020
Conservative MPs have rejected all 10 cross-party amendments to the Government’s Immigration Bill passed by the House of Lords earlier this month, including three from the Liberal Democrats.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Peter Munro on Mon, 19 Oct 2020
by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 15 Oct 2020
Today, Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael led cross-party opposition to the Government’s Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill, calling a vote against the legislation in the House of Commons.
Writing in the Independent ahead of the debate, Alistair set out our concerns:
“The Bill gives vast powers not only to the security agencies but also to a questionable collection of public bodies. There are no real limits, weak safeguards and inadequate oversight.
“The Bill has no limits on the types of crime that could be authorised. Murder, torture – it is all on the table as written. Nor is there any independent approval of a decision to authorise a crime – or even a requirement for police or prosecutors to be informed about it at all...
It is essential that there is a clear legal basis for the actions of government agents. It has been lacking for far too long.
The Tories are using their majority to ram through things that no responsible Government should do
This Bill, however, is not fit for purpose. Parliament must stand up to this disturbing government overreach, and anyone who cares about the rule of law must oppose this Bill as it stands.”
The Liberal Democrats voted against Third Reading, but most Conservative MPs backed it and Labour abstained, so the Bill passed by 313 votes to 98.
Following the vote, Alistair said:
“This is a dangerous Bill from a Conservative Government that is careless with our rights and freedoms.
“We all understand the need for MI5 and the police to authorise undercover agents to do things that would, in normal circumstances, be illegal. If the Government had restricted itself to that, it would have resounding cross-party support.
“Instead, the Tories are using their majority to ram through things that no responsible Government should do. They are trying to award far too broad powers to far too many parts of government, with virtually no safeguards.
“That’s why the Liberal Democrats worked cross-party to try and fix this law. With the Government blocking our amendments, we had no choice but to vote against the Bill.”Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Kirsty Williams on Thu, 15 Oct 2020
I am pleased to announce today that in Wales we have secured free school meal provision for all school holidays until at least Easter 2021.
The coronavirus pandemic has presented countless challenges this year, but with the Welsh Government now guaranteeing £11 million for these provisions, we can help support those who look to school for more than just education.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Ed Davey on Thu, 15 Oct 2020
People across the country have endured terrible hardships over the past six months. They’ve lost loved ones, lost livelihoods and been cut off from friends and family.
We have made huge sacrifices and played by the Government’s rules - we deserve to have confidence that these rules will work.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Don Foster Of Bath on Thu, 15 Oct 2020
I have a bill going through the House of Lords right now, the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill.
It requires the Government to ensure (with certain reasonable exceptions) that all fuel poor households are properly insulated and heated to achieve Energy Performance Certificate band C by 2030, and all other households by 2035.
These are already Government targets, but my Bill merely puts these targets into law.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Ed Davey on Thu, 15 Oct 2020
The Government have completely lost control of coronavirus across vast swathes of the country, and the situation in London is looking very difficult.
In the north of England, and now in London, the sacrifices of millions of people have been squandered by this Government.
by Wera Hobhouse on Wed, 14 Oct 2020
On behalf of the Liberal Democrats, I have written to Equalities Minister Liz Truss calling on her to stop all forms of hair discrimination.
We must combat racism wherever we find it in our society, and this all-too-prevalent form of prejudice must end.
Read my letter in full...Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Ed Davey on Mon, 12 Oct 2020
People across this country have endured terrible hardships over the past six months: losing loved ones, losing livelihoods and isolating from friends and family.
People are angry to see their hard work and sacrifices utterly wasted by the incompetence of Boris Johnson.
That’s why people are so angry to see their hard work and sacrifices utterly wasted by the incompetence of Boris Johnson.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Daisy Cooper on Sat, 10 Oct 2020
We want the Government to commit to three steps which will make a world of difference to struggling families and help end child hunger:
The coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on the issue of child hunger. But this is not a new problem, and it will not go away when we finally beat this virus. We need the Government to commit to practical and long-term measures, to stop any child going hungry, on any day of the year.
All too often, families with children simply do not have enough to eat
Each year as the school holidays approach, many parents dread the fact they will have to find an extra £30-40 per week to buy meals for their children which are usually provided at school. With further local and national lockdowns rumoured, parents now also have to worry about how their child will access a free school meal if their school has to close.
There have been widespread reports that foodbank usage has soared during the pandemic and that all too often, families with children simply do not have enough to eat. But even before the pandemic, many parents would skip meals so they could afford to feed their children during the school holidays.
In England, every child in reception, year 1 (age 5-6) and year 2 (age 6-7) is entitled to a free school meal. However from year 3 onwards (age 7-8), eligibility is based on whether the child’s parents or guardians are in receipt of certain benefits.
With regard to Universal Credit, a child may only be eligible for a free school meal if their household income is less than £7,400 a year after tax (and excluding any benefits). We believe that threshold has been set too low and means that many children who are living in poverty are missing out on a free school meal altogether.
The Children’s Society estimated that more than a million children living in poverty in England are missing out on a free school meal - and in over half of these cases it is because they are not eligible for them.
Following a fantastic campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford, the Government performed a u-turn and agreed to provide a ‘COVID Summer Food Fund’ - food vouchers during the school summer holiday, for children who are usually entitled to benefits related free school meals.
More than a million children living in poverty in England are missing out on a free school meal
While this was a welcome relief for many struggling families, it didn’t go nearly far enough. Many families who needed the vouchers missed out under the scheme, and the Government have made no commitment to extend this in future school holidays or if schools have to be closed during periods of lockdown.
We are calling for a plan to tackle child hunger - both during the pandemic and afterwards.
We will be writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, calling for him to make funding available in the Spending Review this autumn, to extend Free School Meals to every child whose parents are in receipt of Universal Credit, and to provide vouchers to every child who usually gets a FSM during school holidays and lockdown.
We will be reaching out to charities and campaign groups to work with us on this and calling on MPs from other Party’s to support us too.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Munira Wilson on Fri, 09 Oct 2020
This World Mental Health Day, it’s more important than ever that we take the time to reflect on our wellbeing.
The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated mental ill health for many people across the UK, and although tackling Covid-19 is the most critical battle our health system is facing right now, it’s crucial that we remember to take care of our mental health too.Read this article on www.libdems.org →
by Alexander McBeath on Fri, 09 Oct 2020
by Daisy Cooper on Fri, 09 Oct 2020
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to extend access to Free School Meals to all children whose families are on universal credit, and guarantee food vouchers to those children when schools are closed for holidays or during periods of lockdown.
Coronavirus has shone a new spotlight on the issue of child hunger - but this is not a new issue
The coronavirus crisis has shone a new spotlight on the issue of child hunger, with demand for food banks soaring and almost a fifth of households with children unable to access enough food in the first weeks of lockdown.
However this is not a new issue - and sadly, it will not go away once we’ve beaten the virus.
Every year many parents feel a real dread as the school holidays approach, at the idea of having to find an extra £30-40 per week to buy meals for their children which are usually provided at school. Now the same parents are worried that access to free school meals will be put at risk if schools have to close for further lockdowns.
Many children living in poverty also miss out on free school meals altogether, because the earnings threshold for eligibility is set too low.
We are calling on the Government to take the following steps to help stop child hunger for good, in the Comprehensive Spending Review this autumn:
Please join us in calling on the Government to stop child hunger.Read this article on www.libdems.org →