28 January 2019 – today’s press releases

Never let it be said that we’re not public spirited here at Liberal Democrat Voice. So, for those of you who haven’t filed your Self Assessment tax return for the year ended 5 April 2018, the deadline is just seventy-two hours away. Don’t delay, don’t let it peck away at you! Meanwhile, back on Planet […]

Never let it be said that we’re not public spirited here at Liberal Democrat Voice. So, for those of you who haven’t filed your Self Assessment tax return for the year ended 5 April 2018, the deadline is just seventy-two hours away. Don’t delay, don’t let it peck away at you!

Meanwhile, back on Planet Zog…

  • Lib Dems: Culture in our schools system is toxic
  • Lib Dems reject Tory Immigration Bill
  • Ed Davey: Labour abstention on Immigration Bill “pathetic” (see here)
  • Govt defeat in Lords shows backstop tinkering will not work
  • Lib Dems: Britain deserves a better opposition as Labour U-turn on Immigration Bill
  • Swinson: Proxy voting a baby step in bringing Parliament into the 21st century

Lib Dems: Culture in our schools system is toxic

Responding to the Department for Education’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy that was published this morning, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Although any changes that improve the learning environment for children and working conditions for teachers are to be welcomed, we won’t see any fundamental changes in schools under this government.

For years teachers have faced real terms cuts, feeling undervalued and overworked whilst battling funding cuts and swelling class sizes. The problems that we see in our education system won’t go away until the government reverse these cuts and invest properly in the education of our future generations.

The culture that exists, of endless testing, Ofsted and league tables needs to be abolished – it’s toxic and we must instead focus on pupil and teacher well-being.

Lib Dems reject Tory Immigration Bill

Liberal Democrat MPs will today vote against the Government’s Immigration Bill, because it “fails to establish an immigration system to replace free movement” and grants “excessive powers to the Government to make changes to immigration law without primary legislation”.

The Liberal Democrats have tabled a reasoned amendment to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, which has its Second Reading in the House of Commons this evening.

Ahead of the vote, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The Windrush scandal and countless other failings show that the immigration system is not fit for purpose.

The Tories shouldn’t even be thinking about extending it to cover millions of EU citizens before they have fixed the existing problems, starting by scrapping Theresa May’s hostile environment and taking responsibility for immigration away from the Home Office.

Govt defeat in Lords shows backstop tinkering will not work

Responding to tonight’s Government defeat in the House of Lords by 152 votes, Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords Dick Newby said:

Over the past 8 weeks, we have moved no closer to having a Brexit outcome which can command a majority support in the Commons.

Theresa May is irresponsibly running down the clock whilst, as confusion continues to reign, businesses and individuals are voting with their feet. For Ministers to encourage filibustering in the House of Lords shows how desperate they are to scaremonger people into supporting the Prime Minister’s defeated deal.

This tactic hasn’t worked – tonight’s vote demonstrates that and is another clear rejection for the Government, showing that tinkering around the backstop will not get their deal the support it needs tomorrow. The only real alternative way out of this mess is a people’s vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

Lib Dems: Britain deserves a better opposition as Labour U-turn on Immigration Bill

Responding to the Immigration Bill passing its second reading this evening, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The Government’s Immigration Bill is so bad that even MPs from their own party joined the Liberal Democrats in the ‘No’ lobby to vote against it this evening.

But the most bizarre element of today’s debate was Labour’s U-turn on the Bill – from their original plan to abstain, to a mid-debate decision to vote with Liberal Democrats, against this Bill.

It is beyond belief that some Tory MPs were more organised on opposing the Government’s hostile immigration policies than the Labour shadow cabinet. Just like on a People’s Vote, when it comes to the crunch, Jeremy Corbyn and co are absolutely useless.

Britain deserves a better opposition, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. We will continue to fiercely oppose Tory plans to end free movement and fight for a People’s Vote and an exit from Brexit.

Swinson: Proxy voting a baby step in bringing Parliament into the 21st century

Responding to the motion on proxy voting being passed in the House of Commons this evening, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

The motion passed this evening is very welcome and long overdue. No Member of Parliament should have to choose between ensuring their constituents are represented on important votes and caring for their newborn child.

The vote today marks a baby step in the right direction in bringing Parliament into the 21st century.

“Pathetic”

It’s not often you get a one-word quote from a politician. “Pathetic.” This was Ed Davey’s reaction to the news that Labour were to abstain on the Government’s Immigration Bill. This Bill ends freedom of movement, rolling out the Hostile Environment on an industrial scale to EU nationals, not just those who are already here […]

It’s not often you get a one-word quote from a politician.

“Pathetic.”

This was Ed Davey’s reaction to the news that Labour were to abstain on the Government’s Immigration Bill.

This Bill ends freedom of movement, rolling out the Hostile Environment on an industrial scale to EU nationals, not just those who are already here but those we desperately need to come here and work in the future.

A £30,000 salary requirement to take up a job here will obliterate our health and social care services. It is so short sighted.

This Bill is brutal, inhumane and exactly what you would expect from the Tories. It is to be opposed with passion.

We’re obviously voting against it. Labour initially said they were going to abstain. When a number of Labour MPs said that they would vote against, this was revised to a one-line whip. A one-line Whip is pretty much “turn up if you feel like it.”

This does not save Labour’s face.

Part of the reason we are in this mess is because people didn’t robustly stand up to the Daily Mail and UKIP and their revolting prejudice against immigrants. Nobody was making the positive argument for immigration and challenging the awful stuff in the media. Labour’s equivocation is disgraceful.

This Bill needs to be opposed. The Immigration Rules as they are are horrific. They need to be ripped up and we need to start again and build a system that has fairness and dignity and respect at its heart. It needs to welcome the fact that people fall across with people from the other side of the world and celebrate the fact that they want to live together in this country. It needs to enthusiastically welcome the workers we desperately need to keep our farms, hospitals and care homes, our universities, our businesses and our hotels and restaurants.

This government gets away with such egregious things because Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party lets it. On Brexit, on immigration, on everything, Labour should be piling on the pressure. Tory Whips should be tearing their hair out on every vote. They shouldn’t be putting their feet up knowing that they are not seriously under threat. No minority government should ever feel so comfortable.

You can certainly see where Mitch Benn is coming from.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

19 December 2018 – today’s press releases

As displacement activity, as opposed to actually doing something practical as the country careers towards a cliff-edge Brexit, arguing about whether or not Jeremy Corbyn called Theresa May “stupid woman”, or said “stupid Tories” or “stupid people” seems to hit the spot. * deep sigh * It’s so much more courteous down the corridor in […]

As displacement activity, as opposed to actually doing something practical as the country careers towards a cliff-edge Brexit, arguing about whether or not Jeremy Corbyn called Theresa May “stupid woman”, or said “stupid Tories” or “stupid people” seems to hit the spot.

* deep sigh *

It’s so much more courteous down the corridor in the House of Lords…

And the Press Team are still hard at work…

  • Tory immigration plans would bring chaos, not control
  • Corbyn must apologise for PMQs remarks
  • Cable: EU planning reinforces PM must rule out no-deal

Tory immigration plans would bring chaos, not control

Responding to the Government’s immigration white paper, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

These Tory immigration plans would bring chaos, not control. Does anyone really believe that the Home Office can cope with a massive new temporary worker scheme? It already can’t cope with managing non-EU migration.

Every year, tens of thousands of employers would for the first time have to apply for visas – with all the costs, bureaucracy and delay the Home Office specialises in.

Britain’s immigration system isn’t broken because of the EU, it’s broken because Home Secretaries like Theresa May pandered to populism and failed to do their day job.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. We recognise the huge benefits of immigration and would fix the system so it works for everyone, not least by scrapping the Conservatives’ shameful hostile environment.

Corbyn must apologise for PMQs remarks

Responding to reports that in Prime Minister’s Questions the Leader of the Labour Party called the Prime Minister a “stupid woman”, Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse said:

If the allegations are true, it is frankly disgraceful behaviour by Jeremy Corbyn. This is unacceptable from anyone, let alone the leader of a political party.

Parliament must be held to the highest standards. Sexism in any work place is not acceptable and it is time Jeremy Corbyn left the 1980s behind.

Young women from up and down the country will have watched this exchange today and it is no surprise so many of them are put off participating in politics. If the allegations are true, Jeremy Corbyn must apologise.

Cable: EU planning reinforces PM must rule out no-deal

Responding to the European Commission’s plans for a no-deal Brexit, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

The European Commission should not be playing the same game of chicken as the UK Government.

We cannot allow British citizens in Europe to lose their right to live and work in the EU. Nor can we allow the damage that a no-deal Brexit would inflict on the UK economy and the EU alike.

It doesn’t need to be this way. I disagree greatly with the Prime Minister on a range of issues, but surely she would not allow the country to fall off the cliff with a no-deal Brexit? It is in the power of the Government to stop it happening.

The people deserve the option to say no to this mess and no to Theresa May’s discredited deal. That is why the Liberal Democrats are fighting for a People’s Vote, including the option to remain in the EU.