View more tweets

Read this post

View more tweets

Read this post

It's time to restore community policing.

by Ed Davey on Fri, 16 Apr 2021

Everyone has the right to feel safe where they live, and everyone who has been the victim of a crime deserves justice.

But for too long, this Conservative Government has been ignoring victims, failing the police and letting our communities down.

Last year, 1.8 million cases were closed without a suspect even being identified.

And that's why, last year, 1.8 million cases were closed without a suspect even being identified.

Even before the Covid pandemic, too many people felt unsafe in their own homes or walking down their own streets. In fact half of all people never even see police patrols in their local area.

Conservative Ministers like to talk tough on crime, but they have failed to do what works to actually keep people safe. Their unnecessary police cuts have contributed to a rise in serious violence.

Police need the officers, resources and time to focus on preventing and solving crimes.

Police need the officers, resources and time to focus on preventing and solving crimes.

Instead, the Tories want to waste police time chasing centralised Whitehall targets and carrying out pointless, suspicionless Stop and Search.

That's why today, the Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people.

We will do what works to build communities where people are safe and feel safe too.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Weekly Whip - Lord's Edition

by Humphrey Amos on Fri, 16 Apr 2021

In the Lords we get to grips with the detail of the legislation and improve it; we take part in debates on a whole range of issues, and we question and hold to account government ministers. For up-to-date information about the work of the Lib Dem group in the Lords, follow us on Twitter: @LibDemLords

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Congratulations to our Party Award Winners

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 16 Apr 2021

The Leader’s Award, awarded to Prue Bray

Prue has a long history of dedicated service to the Party including being elected to various offices at Local, Regional and State structures that require demonstrating high levels of knowledge, skills and dedication in order to carry out their responsibilities.

She has been PPC for Wokingham and is currently a Councillor there; RCC for South East Region; Chair of ECC 2016 - 2019; member of RPC for some years and became Chair of RPC in 2020.

In all these roles she has demonstrated a high standard of organisational skills and work ethic combined with a thorough grasp of her brief. Her roles have demanded tough decisions and the ability to manage the pressures that accompany this. Her commitment to high standards and expectations of herself and others has been delivered through patience and concern for others. She has been generous in her time, giving advice and support to others whenever called upon.

Prue is a never-failing source of wise counsel. She is always willing to put her long experience in the Party to use in advising others, and is invariably patient, exceptionally hard-working, a true leader and embodies all the values of Liberal Democracy.

Congratulations to Prue!

The Bertha Bowness Fischer Award, awarded to Rebecca ‘Becky’ Grubb

Becky joined the party recently and instantly threw herself into things. She was Secretary of her University Branch in Cambridge, in which capacity she was a huge galvaniser of events, and helped grow the membership. She campaigned vociferously for the local party, as well as organising other campaigners. She was due to stand for election to Cambridge City Council before the pandemic struck. After graduating, she started volunteering in Ed Davey's office, where she broke records for emails logged and going above and beyond the call of duty.

Simultaneously she was elected Non-portfolio Officer for the Young Liberals in which capacity she has used to conduct an enormous review of all young branches in the country, creating a team, calling and interviewing branch chairs. This wide-ranging review of 73 branches was an enormous extra body of voluntary work. 

Becky's story is an important one for several reasons. Firstly she's been a young graduate in an incredibly hostile environment for young people, during this pandemic and under the economic circumstances. She has risen to that challenge with an extraordinary quantity of voluntary work which led to her finding a job and a place in the party. In the circumstances she could be forgiven for thinking, once in a job, she could relax a bit. But she hasn't let up, she's kept working hard and she's taking on more and more responsibilities in trying to help the party.

Secondly, she's shown real grit in starting a new job during the pandemic, taking on the challenges of being a constituency assistant without ever having met any of her colleagues in person.

Thirdly, since she joined the party she's always understood that nurturing its members as individuals is the path to them delivering for the party, growing and is liberalism in action. 

Congratulations to Becky!

The Albert Ingham Award, awarded to Andrew ‘Andy’ Wylie

Andy Wylie is retiring as agent for Watford Liberal Democrats after 40 years of activity in the current party and before that in the SDP in Watford. He has served as a volunteer agent in Watford elections since 1996 and has presided over more than 200 successful election campaigns, including borough, county and mayoral elections. He was agent to Dorothy Thornhill when she won Watford’s first Elected Mayoral contests in 2002, and for subsequent winning Mayoral campaigns. His time as a successful election organiser stretches back to 1986 when he managed the campaign that led to the then SDP/Liberal Alliance gaining its first seat on Watford Borough Council and has played a vital role in the local party’s continuing success.

Andy was also a councillor himself for 17 years, and a cabinet member for the first 10 years of Dorothy Thornhill’s administration, initially for housing and then for finance. As such he played a vital part in turning around a council that had been rated under Labour as one of the worst in the country into a successful, efficient and forward-looking local authority."

Andy’s attention to detail and thoroughness in carrying out the formal duties of agent has meant that we are always in safe hands with the election legalities. He has never pretended to be the all-round-election supremo, although he was an early user of election software and is a doughty committee room organiser. Andy has been a great team player, always encouraging campaigners to bring their own strengths and abilities to the team, whether leaflet-writers, social media experts, or action day organisers. He has enabled energetic and successful campaigning to happen while ensuring the nuts and bolts of the campaign are secure.

Andy is very much an unsung hero – he has never sought any national profile within the party. Yet his assiduousness, thoroughness and efficiency as election agent has been greatly valued by all those in whose election he has played a significant role. It is a measure of Andy’s sense of duty that although he has recently moved away from Watford, he is continuing to serve as agent for this year’s local elections and to help with training whoever takes on these duties in the future.

Congratulations to Andy!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Election Day Nears

by Mark Pack on Fri, 16 Apr 2021

It's time to Take London Forward

by Luisa Porritt on Thu, 15 Apr 2021

Today, I'm delighted to be launching the Liberal Democrat manifesto to Take London Forward.

I will be laying out some of the big changes that are part of my plan, including:

 

Embracing changes brought about by the pandemic:

What would have been ten years of steady change has been accelerated in a year by the pandemic.

The rise of online shopping. The shift towards homeworking. What would have been ten years of steady change has been accelerated in a year by the pandemic.

So we face a choice. Do we try to reverse these big changes? Run promotional campaigns telling people to get back to the office?

Or do we embrace change? Make a plan for it and make it work for Londoners.

 

A plan for a new Flexible Travel Card:

The Liberal Democrats will move with the times, introducing a flexible travel card.

The office isn’t dead, the daily commute is. So why is it that the shortest travel card we can currently get is a seven-day pass?

The Liberal Democrats will move with the times,introducing a flexible travel card.

This will give Londoners the option of buying a four-day pass, saving flexible workers £520 a year and making it more affordable for them to work in the office when they need to.

 

Converting offices to homes:

If people are spending less time in the office, then businesses are inevitably going to see it as an opportunity to reduce the space they need.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to finally fix our housing crisis. More of the same won’t do.

We must challenge ourselves to convert these spaces into quality, affordable, zero-carbon homes.

Rejecting the Silvertown Tunnel on environmental grounds:

The Liberal Democrats will say no to the Silvertown Tunnel.

It’s the Mayor’s dirty little secret… an expensive, polluting new road project that will drive a hole through our zero-carbon ambitions and take funds away from public transport projects we need.

The Liberal Democrats will say no to the Silvertown Tunnel. No to building more polluting roads. And back investment in clean, green public transport projects.

 

We can make our streets safer again.

Bringing back proper Community Policing:

The current Mayor has closed half the police stations in London. We will call a moratorium on police station closures and look to reopen as many of the over 30 closed police stations as communities demand.

By doubling the number of neighbourhood police officers, reopening police stations closed by Sadiq Khan, and putting the focus on building relationships in the community, we can make our streets safer again.

We must bring back proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people.

 

We have a Mayor who has wasted his five years in office, seeking re-election on the basis that he’s not the Conservative candidate.

London is a vibrant, diverse, liberal city. The Conservatives can’t win here.

So if you feel let down by Labour and the current Mayor, send them a message. Tell them you want more. Tell them you want change. Tell them you want something better.

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Remembering Shirley

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 13 Apr 2021

The death of Shirley Williams is heartbreaking news for the whole Liberal Democrats party.

Since the sad news was announced, Liberal Democrat members and figures from public life have been remembering Shirley and paying tribute to her.

We've collected a few of those memories here.

You can also share your memories of Shirley and add your name to the book of condolence here.

 

Our party leaders have paid tribute to Shirley

 

Many of our Parliamentarians said how much Shirley inspired them

 

And some of those who had worked with her over the years also shared their memories

 

Many of our members added their own tributes

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Ramadan Kareem

by Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Mon, 12 Apr 2021

I want to send my best wishes to Muslims in the UK and across the world as we welcome the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is a time of reflection, renewal and generosity. These are much needed in our communities, our politics and all our lives.

A second year observing Ramadan with restrictions on meeting together will be difficult.  Holding an iftar will be different, loved ones will be missed and celebrations will be muted. 

We must all continue to do our part to control and suppress the virus. As we do, we look forward in hope and faith to when we can see loved ones again.

I wish all those observing this holy month a blessed and peaceful Ramadan. 

Ramadan Kareem.


 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

In Memory of Shirley Williams

by Liberal Democrats on Mon, 12 Apr 2021

On behalf of her family, it is with great sadness that we announce that Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, died peacefully in the early hours of Monday April 12th.


Read this article on www.libdems.org →

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 09 Apr 2021

“Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country. We will always be grateful for his amazing service, not least the powerful legacy he leaves to millions of young people who have taken part in his unique Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

“His quiet and steadfast counsel and support of The Queen, is perhaps his greatest if unquantifiable contribution to our nation’s history.

“At this sad time for millions, we should never forget Prince Philip was a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. So our thoughts must be with the whole Royal Family, but in particular with The Queen at this difficult time.”

 

Ed Davey
Leader of the Liberal Democrats


 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

May 6th - Local election event of the decade

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 08 Apr 2021

No such thing as Superheroes? Meet our Councillors and Activists!

This May the Liberal Democrats have one mission - make Britain a fairer, greener, more caring country. And we’ve been doing an amazing job!

Watch our new video to find out more about the achievements of our superhero Lib Dem Councillors and activists!

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

3 reasons why we need more Liberal Democrat Councillors this May

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 06 Apr 2021

Today the Liberal Democrats have launched our campaign for the local elections in England on 6 May.

Vote Liberal Democrat on 6 May and you’ll get a local champion who will get things done in your community. You’ll get a cleaner, greener neighbourhood where recovery comes first and local people are listened to.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Racial injustice is real – and we will keep fighting it

by Wera Hobhouse on Sat, 03 Apr 2021

As the Black Lives Matter protests highlighted so powerfully, too many people’s lives both in the UK and across the world are blighted by discrimination, inequality and injustice. It is unacceptable.

There is still so much to do to tackle racial injustice in our country.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Autism Acceptance Month

by Katharine Macy on Thu, 01 Apr 2021

This motion called not just for support, but for acceptance for autistic people.

This Autism Acceptance Month comes soon after a Young Liberals motion, Autism Support, was passed at Liberal Democrat conference.

This motion called not just for support, but for acceptance for autistic people.

Autistic people are more likely than the general population to have other learning difficulties, mental health illnesses and even physical disabilities.

These create a large amount of barriers for our community.

We also face huge problems in other areas of life.

Only 16% of diagnosed autistic individuals are in full time employment, and 32% in part time employment.

Only 16% of diagnosed autistic individuals are in full time employment, and 32% in part time employment. Yet 77% of unemployed autistic people want to work. We need real action, now.

Only 8% of autistic people feel that their lives have improved in the decade since the 2009 “Autism Act” was passed into law - it doesn’t go far enough.

I’m so pleased that Young Liberals’ Autism Support policy being passed means that the Liberal Democrats will be calling for changes that autistic people have been fighting for for too long.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to provide better guidance on supporting autistic people in the workplace; to cut waiting lists for autism diagnosis by providing more funding; and increase training for teachers about autism.

The motion also calls for a wide range of changes across society. You can find the full motion as passed at conference here.

This Autism Acceptance Month, I’m excited for the road ahead. The road to autism acceptance is long, but it is liberal.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Deliver more leaflets

by Lisa Smart on Tue, 30 Mar 2021

FCEC met last week, immediately after conference and for the final time before the run-in to May elections.

In short, from now to Thursday 8th April, the nominations of thousands of Liberal Democrat candidates are being collected and submitted to local councils across the UK in the biggest round of elections in recent years.

FCEC wishes good fortune to every one of you who is standing and ensuring that everyone in England, Scotland and Wales has at least one opportunity to vote Liberal Democrat this May.

Delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right person

For our part we are learning the lessons of 2019 and, following a significant piece of work looking at how people respond to our messaging, we are developing campaigns promoting those of our policies that will attract more voters to our cause, whilst continuing to champion the causes for which we are already known.

This does not mean that we stop saying what we believe, it just means that we say more about the things we believe that will encourage more people to vote for us.

Equipping you with the best tools

The problems we have faced with IT Systems were discussed and whilst things will not be perfect for May, there have been significant improvements. 

Discussion around how we support local teams with suitable systems is ongoing and consultations with party members and bodies are under way.

Tiering of local parties

The tiering of local parties will be reviewed following the local elections and any changes will be agreed by July. 

The tiering of seats is a qualitative assessment of the electoral success of local parties. It will be reviewed each year after the local elections and is the foundation on which our local, regional and federal development plans are built.

We discussed and agreed that, if a seat is being moved into or out of Tier 1 there will be consultation with the Regional Party and clear communications with the local team.

Campaigning 

This close to polling day, what really matters is more campaigning.

I have been particularly pleased, with restrictions easing near me (always check your local advice) to be able to get back out knocking on doors. Meeting the public really works. 

The doorsteps await!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Party finances and a new HQ

by Anthony Harris on Mon, 29 Mar 2021

New members of the team

Our most recent meeting saw two new members join the committee. Shelley Snelson takes up a new position as Deputy to the Registered Party Treasurer.

In this role Shelley will provide support to the Chair in committee work in particular managing communication to sub-committees, special projects, and communications with the Parliamentary Office of the Liberal Democrats (POLD).

Following the loss of Paul Fox who needed to step down for personal reasons, Dave Hodgson was returned to the committee in a by-election. Don't forget, you can find opportunities to run for committee posts, volunteer elsewhere, and apply for paid positions, on the website here

We welcome both Shelley and Dave to their roles and look forward to working with them.

Lib Dem HQ in Westminster

Many will be aware that the landlord was unwilling to extend our tenancy in Great George Street and hence we needed to seek an alternative location. There has been a lot of debate over the type of accommodation needed following changes to working practices forced on us by Covid-19.

We have been supporting the staff in understanding the financial and contractual elements of the move and are optimistic that, subject to continuing negotiations, we know that we will be able to secure something suitable for the staff and delivering a significant reduction in our fixed cost base.

Annual accounts

Operations updates continue to highlight the pressures on the Compliance team. This year’s financial account for Local Parties, without a requirement for audit, should all now be with Compliance. The focus now is on supporting those who need to submit audited accounts to the Electoral Commission.

Compliance have rolled out significant levels of support to local party officers through their ’28-day Challenge’ in February. There is much work still to be done in managing finances and Compliance through the elections across Great Britain in May.

We remain, as always, grateful for the efforts of local party officers in maintaining compliance and avoiding sanctions.

Financial report

The situation with Covid-19 remains challenging and we are still spending significant effort on understanding the impacts on membership and donations.

We realise that during this election period members will be receiving many requests for support, but if we are to succeed in May then every contribution matters. 

Fundraising

At the last meeting we gave our thanks to Mike German who leaves his role as Party Treasurer after some five and a half years!

The next meeting will see us welcoming Tilly McAuliffe to the committee as the new holder of that position – taking over as we continue to go through challenging times.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Chag Sameach!

by Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Sat, 27 Mar 2021

At sundown tonight, Jewish communities in the UK and around the world will mark the beginning of Passover, the eight-day festival commemorating the liberation of the Israelites after 400 years of slavery in ancient Egypt.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The killing of Sarah Everard shocked the nation. She was described by family and friends as “bright and beautiful”, “kind and thoughtful” and “caring and dependable”. My thoughts have been with Sarah’s family ever since we heard she was missing, and my heart still goes out to them.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

A green recovery with a Sovereign Green Wealth Fund

by Liberal Democrats on Mon, 22 Mar 2021

When Liberal Democrats say put recovery first, we mean creating a fairer, greener, more caring society, and at the heart of this plan is ensuring the recovery is green.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We must win in May to build a more caring country

by Liberal Democrats on Mon, 22 Mar 2021

The economic recovery starts with small business

by Liberal Democrats on Mon, 22 Mar 2021