Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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Business Backs the Liberal Democrats

by Sam Gyimah on Tue, 10 Dec 2019

The economy usually features heavily in election discourse.

But this time the two main parties have opted for silly economics instead. It’s either pursuing a Brexit that we know will damage the economy or a reckless spending plan we can’t afford.

But you can’t fool business. Over 60 business leaders have named us as the ‘only party who have set out a credible plan for future prosperity’.

Among those leaders is Charlie Bigham, founder of the same-named ready-meal brand. He said:

“I’m joining dozens of entrepreneurs and businessmen, as well as the Economist, in supporting the Liberal Democrats. Their plans for business and the economy are the best on offer.

And former President of the CBI, Sir Michael Rake, said:

“The Liberal Democrats have ploughed a lonely furrow in being the only party truly reflecting the interests and importance of the business community to a successful, inclusive economy.”

We’re the only party that’s offering a credible plan. We will create an environment to help businesses build prosperity and create jobs. This will be underpinned by a stronger economy within the EU.

This general election, there is only one party that will create a strong and fair economy.

Vote Liberal Democrat. Together, we can build a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Brexit Already Damaging Public Services

by Sir Ed Davey MP on Tue, 10 Dec 2019

"Johnson's Brexit lies have caused huge damage to our public services already."

Boris’s lie on the side of a bus was an even bigger whopper than we thought. Not only does Brexit not mean an extra £350 million a week for the NHS...

In reality, it means £350 million a week less.

And that’s before we’ve even left.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has estimated that our GDP is £55–66 billion lower this year. Why?

You guessed it - Brexit.

Business investment in the UK has fallen by 3% since the end of 2017. And for those not affected by Brexit? The other G7 countries have seen it grow.

Based on the IFS figures, we have calculated that public sector spend is £20.3 – £24.3 billion lower this year than it would have been.

This equates to £380 – £470 million a week. All of that money could actually have been spent on the NHS. Johnson’s Brexit lies have caused huge damage to our public services already.

If he wins a majority on Thursday, his disastrous hard Brexit will suck even more money out of our economy and our public services.

We are the only party who can win seats from the Tories and deny Boris a majority.

That’s why every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Boris, stop Brexit and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus from higher economic growth to build a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our plan to stop Brexit immediately after election

by Jo Swinson on Tue, 10 Dec 2019

"We are the only party standing up for Remainers."

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Boris and stop Brexit.

The more Liberal Democrat MPs we have in Parliament, the stronger our hand will be in stopping Johnson’s catastrophic Brexit plans. We have legislation ready to go to secure a People’s Vote with the option to stay in the EU

As soon as Parliament returns, we would introduce two bills. The first would be a “Paving Bill” to begin the referendum process with the Electoral Commission. The second would be on the referendum itself.

The greatest political decision in decades cannot be allowed to happen on Johnson’s terms. Polls consistently show that there is now more support to remain in the EU than to leave. 

"We will continue to fight tooth and nail to keep the UK in the EU."

Our vision for a fairer, brighter future is as a part of the EU. More people are agreeing with us than ever before.

But we need as many MPs as possible to support these bills. The more Lib Dems there are, the stronger the chance of securing a People’s Vote becomes. 

We are the only party standing up for Remainers. 

We have laid amendments to secure a People's Vote 17 times. We have voted in favour of a People’s Vote at every opportunity. We have been leading the fight to stop Brexit for over three years.

And we will continue to fight tooth and nail to keep the UK in the EU. With enough MPs, we can pass this legislation and put Brexit back to the people.

For the future of our country – vote Liberal Democrat to stop Brexit and build a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Seven Reasons to Vote Liberal Democrat on Thursday

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 10 Dec 2019

This Thursday marks one of the most important elections in a generation. If Boris Johnson wins a majority, he will push through his disastrous Brexit plan. He will also plunge us headfirst into some of the most extreme economic policies in decades.

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This won’t just ruin Christmas, like forgetting the stuffing or not taking your stockings down before lighting the fire. It will be disastrous for our country for decades to come.

A Johnson government is for life, not just for Christmas.

We plan to stop him, and you can help us do it. All it takes is your vote - a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Johnson.

But it’s also so much more than that.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is also a vote to:

 

1. Stop Brexit

We are the only party that is committed to stopping this disastrous Brexit. The Tories will push through Johnson’s awful plan, and the Labour Party is not a Remain party.

But we are.

We have fought tirelessly for a People’s Vote for the last three years. We will continue to push for a second referendum on the biggest democratic decision in our lifetimes.

A vote for us is a vote to truly end Brexit, once and for all.

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2. Build an economy that works and is for everyone

When we stop Brexit, we will receive a Remain Bonus of £50bn. This is how we have created our brilliant, fully-costed manifesto.

But the numbers don’t work for everyone...

The Institute for Financial Studies (IFS) reported that neither Labour nor the Tories manifestos are “credible.”

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The Tories plans for financial responsibility would have to be torn up so they can fulfil their pledges. This means more taxes or more borrowing.

Labour’s manifesto would try to drag Britain back to the 1970s.

No thanks. To both.

The Liberal Democrats are now the only party with credible, sensible and fair plans for our society.

 

3. Build a brighter future for our children

We are the only party that is truly committed to our younger generations. How?

By investing an extra £10bn in schools and recruiting 20,000 new teachers.

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We will fight to give every child the very best start in life.

 

4. Build a fairer society that works for everyone

We are the only party that truly understands the needs of families across the country. We will help to fight against inequalities by giving free childcare after 9 months to all.

Not only that, but we understand the needs of individuals, too. We will give every adult £10,000 to spend on skills training over their lives.

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Sounds like Christmas come early!

 

5. Build a brighter future for the NHS

The NHS is under real threat. Johnson is Trump’s poodle - when commanded, he will obey. Trump has said that the NHS is on the table for a trade deal.

He might have denied saying this during his recent visit. But if there’s one thing we know about Johnson and Trump it’s that they lie like it’s going out of fashion.

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If Johnson wins a majority, we could lose our NHS. This is unthinkable.

The Liberal Democrats will protect and reinvest in our NHS. We will make mental health issues as urgent as physical ones and ensure that our vulnerable are looked after.

We will fight to save our incredible NHS and to transform its mental health services.

 

6. Build a brighter future for our planet

We are at a crossroads for our world. We can fight to save it now, and fight hard. Or, we can let things continue and create an unmitigated disaster for future generations.

Guess which one we’d rather do?

We will generate 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030. Not just that, we will insulate all low-income homes by 2025, too.

We will also ban single-use plastics within three years. The Lib Dem-created 5p tax on plastic bags was the warning shot. Now we have declared full war on plastic.

Plastic, you’re done.

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Without our planet, there is nothing. We must fight to save it now, and that’s just what we’re going to do.

 

7. We will fix our broken politics

The last three years have been a waking nightmare. May and Johnson’s tinpot Tories and Corbyn’s cronies have plumbed new depths. Rather than fighting for a fair, open society, they have pushed their own extremist agendas.

The sense of duty is non-existent. The rhetoric is offensive. The politics is abysmal.

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We demand better. We will push for a proportional representation voting system and an elected House of Lords. Not only this, we will fight back against Johnson’s appalling attempts to take votes away from the vulnerable.

Politics is for everyone and should work for everyone. We will fight to make that happen.

 

So if you care about building a fair, open society that works for everyone, rather than being dragged back into the past, there’s only one choice this Thursday.

Vote Liberal Democrat. Help us build a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Even The Tories Don’t Trust Boris Johnson

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 10 Dec 2019

Our plan for tackling the climate emergency

by Liberal Democrats on Mon, 09 Dec 2019

The Tories have banned on-shore wind, slashed support for solar power and cancelled the Green Deal. They are persistently hindering and delaying climate action.

The Liberal Democrats will make real change happen. We will build a world with clean air, clean waters, and where wildlife can flourish. 

We have a clear, ambitious and realistic plan to cut most emissions by 2030 and get to net zero by 2045.

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Generate 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030

We will generate 80% of our all our electricity from renewables by 2030. That means onshore and offshore wind, solar and marine power. 

This includes the extra demand for electricity in the future as we transition out of fossil fuels. We will also reinstate the Green Investment Bank and support community energy.

 

Retrofit 26 million homes by 2030

We will bring in an ambitious program to retrofit existing homes to the highest energy efficiency standard feasible.

Not only will this tackle the climate emergency, but it will save money for families everywhere, cutting £550 off the average energy bill.

 We will prioritise all fuel poor homes, retrofitting all of them by 2025. All landlords will be required to reach minimum levels of energy efficiency as a requirement for renting out.

We will create incentives for all homeowners to convert their homes through a new Green Deal. 


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Ensure all new cars sold are electric by 2030

In 2030, there will be no sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles. We will replace petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles, reducing air pollution and improving standards of health.

Instead, we will encourage the rapid take-up of electric vehicles by legislating to end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and small vans, including hybrids, by 2030, and accelerate the installation of charging points.

 

Plant 60 billion trees a year 

Planting trees is one of the most viable ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere and is vital for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Only 1,420 hectares of trees were planted in England in the year to March 2019, 71% short of the Conservative government’s target of 5,000 hectares for the same period.

The Liberal Democrats will undertake the largest tree-planting programme in UK history.

 

 

Ban all single-use plastic within three years

We will ban non-recyclable single-use plastics and replace them with affordable alternatives, aiming for their complete elimination within three years.

This is a first step towards ending the ‘throwaway society’ culture and part of our ambition to end plastic waste exports by 2030. 

Under the Liberal Democrats, no plastic put into a bin in the UK will end up in our oceans. By declaring war on plastic, the Liberal Democrats will ensure a brighter future for our planet.

 

 

Spend £100 billion tackling the climate emergency

We will spend £100 billion tackling the climate emergency and cut greenhouse gases in every sector of the economy to achieve net-zero emissions. 

We have a fully-costed, bold plan to protect our planet now and for generations to come.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a government that will take the climate emergency seriously and build a brighter, greener future.

Read our full plan for tackling the climate emergency here.  

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Each of them are driving populist, nationalist and authoritarian values. It’s no surprise that Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump have such a special relationship.

Their unholy alliance has the potential to risk Britain's future. With the three of them working together to stitch up our democracy, it’s important that we stop Boris in his attempt to creep back into No. 10.

At the start of the election campaign, Trump not only endorsed Johnson for Prime Minister but also openly urged Farage's Brexit Party to work with Boris' Conservatives in their pursuit of a hard Brexit.

Labelling them an ‘unstoppable force’, it’s clear why Trump wants this pact to work; by getting Boris to crash the UK out of the EU, he’ll finally be able to get his hands on our NHS and Boris will become his poodle.

Shortly after receiving Trump's advice, Farage announced that the Brexit Party would be standing down in 317 seats across the country for the Conservatives. In a press conference, Nigel admitted that it was to save the Tories from large-scale losses to the Liberal Democrats.  

The best way to defeat this unholy alliance is to vote Liberal Democrat so we can stop Boris and stop Brexit.

Now, with the news that four Brexit Party MEPs have quit the party and urged voters to support the Tories, it’s clearer than ever: the Conservative Party and the Brexit Party are one and the same.

Britain deserves better than this right-ring stitch up.

By conspiring together like this, Johnson, Farage and Trump are pushing our country towards a far-right movement that is closed off and stuck in the past.

But we can stop them.

It's not too late to prove Farage wrong and take seats off the Tories up and down the country. The best way to defeat this unholy alliance is to vote Liberal Democrat so we can stop Boris and stop Brexit.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our Campaign Video

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 06 Dec 2019

What a year we've had!

2019 has been a record year for membership. People from all parties and none have joined our campaign to stop Brexit.

We deserve better than two old parties who take our country for granted.

We won the Brecon and Radnorshire Parliamentary by-election in the summer, cutting Boris Johnson's majority.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Plan for Business

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 05 Dec 2019

Our country and our businesses deserve better than a choice between a hard Brexit under Johnson or the hard left under Corbyn.

Both parties would damage businesses through their plans to end free movement and deprive our fast-growing businesses of the talent they need to compete globally.

The Liberal Democrats are the natural party of business, with a clear plan to stop Brexit, save free movement and focus on addressing the real issues facing our economy.
 
We will build a brighter future by securing the UK’s place as a global research powerhouse, supporting our entrepreneurs, and creating good jobs in new and growing industries.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

What Boris Johnson would do to Britain

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 05 Dec 2019

There are just days to go until the UK goes to the polls in the 2019 general election. Now, more than ever, it's crucial that we stop Boris Johnson in his pursuit of a hard Brexit and a far-right Conservative government.

If you weren't already convinced, here are just a few things Johnson would do to Britain if he manages to stay in No. 10 and why we must stop him. 

1. Crash us out of the EU

We know that any form of Brexit would be damaging to our country, and so does Boris Johnson. But because he only cares about himself, he's continuing to push for a hard Brexit at any cost. 

In fact, it's been confirmed that the Conservatives would not extend the EU transition period beyond 2020, meaning that a catastrophic No Deal Brexit is still on the table and could happen in just over a year's time. 

The Liberal Democrats are clear: we want to stop Brexit, stay in the EU and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus in public services and tackling inequality.

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2. Risk a border across the Irish Sea 

Despite saying that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea, Boris has (unsurprisingly) gone back on his word. 

By even considering this border, he is compromising the Good Friday Agreement and risking our country's security - all for his bad Brexit deal. 

3. Increase child poverty

In a report released by the Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank, it was revealed that child poverty risks reaching a record high under Johnson's Conservative plans - rising from 29.6% in 2017-18 to 34.4% in 2023-4. It's a damning indictment of the Tories’ heartless welfare policy.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty by 2023-24, making it the most progressive of the three main parties.

In stark contrast to the Boris Johnson's plans, Lib Dem policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in povery by 2023-2024.

We would scrap the cruel two-child limit, benefit cap and bedroom tax, and invest in free school meals and childcare for millions of families.

4. Damage our NHS

If Boris Johnson wins a majority, he'll be desperate for a trade deal with Donald Trump, and Trump has repeatedly made clear in the past that everything, including the NHS, will be on the table in future negotiations.

We need to protect our NHS, and that starts with stopping Brexit and protecting free movement for the thousands of people who come to work in our services from across the EU.

But instead of battling this staffing crisis, Boris Johnson wants to make it worse. His Nurse Tax will seriously affect the NHS’s ability to recruit the nurses from the EU that we desperately need to address current shortfalls.

Liberal Democrats would stop Brexit and save free movement for the 65,000 EU citizens working in our health service.

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5. Ruin our economy with Brexit

The Conservatives' spending plans have been blasted as not credible by the Institute for Financial Studies, and it's clear that no party's economic plan is even remotely plausible while it includes pursuing Brexit. 

By failing to come clean with the electorate and ignoring the Brexit black hole his policies would leave in the public finances, Boris Johnson is once again misleading the country on the damage that Brexit could do. 

Liberal Democrats will work to build fairer economy by stopping Brexit and providing free childcare from 9 months and giving every adult £10,000 to spend on skills & training throughout their lives.

6. Stop the UK from leading on climate action 

The UK should be leading the world on tackling the climate crisis. Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged and we are responsible for that damage.

Young people have taken to the streets because they’re so worried that the Conservatives are failing to act, yet with Boris skipping the recent Channel 4 climate debate, it's clear that he doesn't take the topic seriously. 

Only the Liberal Democrats can build a brighter future for our planet, with our bold plans to achieve net-zero by 2045, generate 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030, insulate every home, plant 60 million trees a year and more

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7. Ignore the needs of working families 

Parents struggle to find childcare to look after their kids until they get home from work, both in term-time and in the school holidays. But Boris Johnson’s childcare offer through the Conservative manifesto is an insult to these families.

Boris Johnson's additional childcare provisions work out to just £1 a week for every primary school child in England.

Despite promising £250 million a year on expanding childcare provisions for primary school children after school and in the school holidays, this works out to just £1 a week for every primary school child in England. This is equivalent to just 16 minutes additional childcare a week.

Liberal Democrats have a plan to build a brighter future for every child. We will give parents 35 hours a week of high-quality free childcare from the day they go back to work to the day their child starts school, including the school holidays.

We will also give every child the best start in life by recruiting 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools.

But we can stop him. 

Britain deserves a brighter future than the one on offer by Boris Johnson. We can take seats off the Tories up and down the country. So on 12 December, vote Liberal Democrat to stop Boris and stop Brexit.  

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

As a Party we are clear: people with disabilities must have the opportunity to fully participate in every aspect of society

3rd December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A day set aside to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities.

Let us use today to increase our understanding of disabilities which can be physical, mental, sensory or cognitive.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The 12 Lies Of Brexit

by Liberal Democrats on Sun, 01 Dec 2019

World AIDS Day - 1st December

by Jo Swinson on Sun, 01 Dec 2019

Today we stand together as a global community to mark World AIDS Day.

AIDS is a global health challenge and there are currently more than 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK. 

As a nation, we have made great strides in minimising the physical, psychological and societal impact of HIV. And thanks to the hard work of researchers, our understanding of HIV has grown significantly.

However, the shame, stigma, and isolation associated with HIV and AIDS has not gone away. No one should ever feel alone because of their HIV status, yet 1 in 5 people living with HIV in the UK say they feel this way.

We must be clear; there is no shame in an HIV diagnosis. There is no shame in getting tested. And there is no reason why HIV should stop you from living a full and happy life.

This year, the government committed to ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030 yet support for people living with HIV has been eroded. Many people report feeling isolated and unable to find the help they need. And we are yet to secure universal access to HIV prevention medication such as PrEP. This not good enough.

This year’s theme, “Rock the Ribbon Together” is our collective opportunity to show our support for those living with HIV and AIDS and I’ll be wearing my ribbon with great pride.

I’d like to end by thanking the many researchers, activists, and doctors working to improve the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS. Let us all work together to end HIV transmissions for good.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Brexit Means Criminals Evade Justice

by Christine Jardine on Sat, 30 Nov 2019

New analysis has revealed how much UK police rely on vital EU crime-fighting measures.
Yet Boris Johnson’s reckless Brexit plans threaten to cut the UK off.

Over the past five years, UK police forces and prosecutors have used the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to arrest over 6,600 criminal fugitives.

This includes:

  • 140 for murder or manslaughter
  • 136 for child sex offences
  • 152 for rape
  • 12 for terrorism

The research also shows that UK police accessed a crucial EU-wide crime database 603 million times in 2018. This database gives real-time access to records on wanted criminals, missing persons and lost or stolen items. This includes firearms and passports.

In short, if Johnson’s Brexit goes ahead:

  • Up to 6,000 criminals could evade justice
  • Our police would be locked out of EU crime database used 1.6 million times a day
  • Brexit would undermine the UK’s ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime

Brexit would be a disaster for our safety.

Thousands of dangerous criminals could escape justice. Not only that, the UK’s ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime would be seriously undermined.

The only way to ensure vital police cooperation with Europe is by stopping Brexit.

We intend to do just that. Then, we will build a brighter future and keep our communities safe.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

10 lies from Boris Johnson's LBC interview

by Liberal Democrats on Sat, 30 Nov 2019

Boris Johnson's interview with LBC exposed yet again how Boris Johnson can’t be trusted and is simply not fit for the office of Prime Minister. 

Whether it was on nurses, hospitals or Brexit, Johnson spent an hour lying through his teeth. We've highlighted ten of his mistruths... 

1. 50,000 new nurses

Johnson continues to peddle the Tory fantasy that they will recruit 50,000 new nurses. He clearly can’t do basic maths when 19,000 of this figure is comprised by nurses who already work in the NHS.

On top of this, figures earlier this week revealed that 1,116 EU nurses have left the NHS so far this year and EU staff at Johnson's local hospital are feeling anxiety over their future here because of Brexit.

2. 40 new hospitals

The Tories are not going to build 40 new hospitals. Johnson admitted today that re-building an old hospital will be classified as a new one. The pledge is simply false.

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3. Trade deals

Johnson claimed that there are up to a dozen trade deals ready to go after Brexit. Given the Conservatives have abjectly failed to rollover the trade deals it said it would over the past three years, he just cannot be trusted.

Liam Fox promised 40 trade deals, instead the Tories have only delivered 18.

4. Social care

Johnson claimed the £1 billion of funding the Tories have announced for social care will stop people having to sell their home to pay for care.

But this money is simply a sticking plaster for the day-to-day operation of our social care system which is at breaking point. He has no plan for a long-term solution.

5. Comments on single mothers

Johnson claimed that the quotations used of his insulting and offensive comments on single mothers were distorted, even though he has a history of misogynistic and sexist comments. He plays fast and loose with his words and it has real damaging consequences.

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6. Free press

The day after the Tories petulantly threatened to review Channel 4’s licence, Johnson claimed he wants to protect a free press. The Tories have also refused to allow a Mirror reporter onto their campaign bus.

Trying to intimidate the media like this is straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook and has no place in an open and inclusive democracy.

7. Cutting business rates

Johnson said that the Tories will cut business rates in the next Budget, but his manifesto promises a review. Which is it? Liberal Democrats have promised to scrap business rates and replace them with a commercial landowner levy.

8. Working class people

Boris Johnson said he doesn’t care that Dominic Cummings thinks the Tories have a problem with working class people. It comes after a Spectator column from Johnson surfaced in which he called working class men "drunk, criminal and feckless."

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9. Police cuts

Johnson denied that the police cuts in London were the fault of the Conservative Government. But the Tories have drastically cut police numbers, leading the Home Office to admit that the cuts had “likely contributed” to the rise in serious violent crime.

10. Greggs

Boris Johnson previously said he was ‘made of Greggs’. But given he couldn't name the price of a sausage roll, it would appear he's never set a foot in one.   

Voters: there is another choice. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can stop Boris, stop Brexit and build a brighter future. Join us today.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Every child deserves the best start in life.

That’s why children’s charities have asked every party leader how their policies will help children and generations to come.

Here are five things the Liberal Democrats will do to build a brighter future for every young person:

1. Stop Brexit

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Brexit is a disaster for our young people. It limits our ambitions and our horizons.

Outside the EU, the UK can no longer take part in the Erasmus student exchange programme for schools, colleges and universities.

Brexit makes our children less safe. The European Arrest Warrant lets us track down people accused of crimes against children if they move abroad.

Brexit will make us poorer. If Boris Johnson wins this election, his ‘die in a ditch’ Brexit policy means we could crash out of the EU’s trading bloc in 2021. That would harm our economy and increase debt – meaning we have less to spend on our children and young people.

Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit so we can spend our £50 billion Remain Bonus on public services, like our schools, and tackling child poverty.

2. Free childcare

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Under the Conservatives, the gap between the performance of richer and poorer children at nursery school is widening.

They’ve turned their backs on families. Working parents can get 30 hours a week of free childcare, but only when their child turns 3 – and it doesn’t cover the school holidays. It’s been so underfunded that some providers have had to close.

Liberal Democrats will provide free, high quality childcare for every child from when their parents go back to work to the day they start school.

The Liberal Democrats' plan includes 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, for every child from 9 months to school age.

We’ll pay childcare providers properly, so that every child has a high-quality place.

3. Reverse school cuts

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Our schools and colleges should be world-class. But instead, they’re falling behind.

Teaching assistants are being sacked. Cash-strapped councils struggle to help children with complex needs. Some schools aren’t keeping their doors open for a full five-day week.

The Conservatives are failing our children. They have cut school budgets to the bone.

By stopping Brexit, Liberal Democrats can use the Remain Bonus to reverse school cuts with an emergency cash injection.

By 2024, we’ll spend £10 billion a year more on schools, so we can employ 20,000 more teachers.

Children should come home from school happy, healthy and with all the skills they need to succeed.

4. Invest in Children’s Centres

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Local councils’ budgets have been slashed – but more children than ever need their support. Councils are spending more on helping children in crisis, so they’ve got less to spend on stopping children getting into crisis in the first place.

Children’s centres provide vital support for children and their families in the first years of life. They give advice to parents on how to manage behaviour. They give free post-natal checks for new babies. They’re a safe space for toddlers to play.

Liberal Democrats will support our most disadvantaged young children, by spending an extra £1 billion a year on children’s centres.

5. Support children in poverty

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Under the Conservatives, almost 30% of children were in poverty in 2017/18.

The Tories botched the roll out of Universal Credit and they made brutal cuts to benefits in 2015.

Liberal Democrats will support children in poverty. We’ll scrap the two-child limit and the benefits cap and let families where both parents work keep more of their money.

That’s why the independent Resolution Foundation says that our manifesto does more to help child poverty than both Boris Johnson's Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.

Under the Liberal Democrats, 600,000 fewer children will be in relative poverty than under Boris Johnson.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can win seats off both the Conservatives and Labour – so we can stop Boris Johnson, stop Brexit, and build a brighter future for our children.

Want to help us?

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our Commitment to Community Policing

by Brian Paddick on Fri, 29 Nov 2019

Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their local streets. So many communities feel exposed and vulnerable.

The Conservatives’ cuts to police numbers have contributed to a rise in violence and decimated community policing. 47% of people say they never see police foot patrols, up from 30% in 2014-15.

The Tories and Labour made big promises on police numbers, but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them. Police officers are leaving in their droves because they are not being properly rewarded for putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. We need to encourage experienced officers to stay, as well as recruiting the extra officers we need.

The other parties just don’t get it.

But we do.

We’re committing £1 billion a year to fund our police force. That’s £250 million more than Labour or the Tories…

Every year.

That’s enough for two officers in every ward, and to provide an immediate 2% pay-rise for our hard-working cops.

We’re the only party willing to put our money where our mouth is. We’ll back our bobbies with money, not just words.

We are the only party that will make our communities safer by stopping Brexit. Then, together, we will build a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

US Pushing for Chlorinated Chicken Trade

by Matt Underhill on Thu, 28 Nov 2019

"We must stop Boris Johnson ramming through a damaging Trump trade deal."

The US trade team is offering PR tips on how to force chlorinated chicken down our throats.

That tells you everything you need to know.

Leaked documents from the US-UK trade deal talks have revealed the truth. The US team agreed to share their “public lines” on chlorine-washed chicken.

Why? They argue it’s to “inform the media narrative.”

In reality, it’s “how to sell the lie.

These trade talks hang in the balance due to Brexit. US negotiators had ‘the most angst’ about EU limits to the use of chemicals in food production. They want a no-deal Brexit so we can break from EU regulations on food standards.

The Tories’ desperation for a trade deal with Donald Trump risks leading to lower standards for the food on our tables. A hard Brexit means fewer regulations and standards on the quality of our food.

This will not just be damaging to our health. It will be incredibly damaging to our food production industries, too.

We must stop Boris Johnson ramming through a damaging Trump trade deal. It will do great damage to both British consumers and farmers.

We will stop Boris, stop Brexit and uphold our world-leading food standards.

Our country’s health is at the heart of our vision for a brighter future.

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The UK has the fifth largest economy in the world, but one in five of us lives in poverty.

Yet instead of addressing inequality, the Tories’ heartless welfare policy has led to soaring levels of poverty across the country. 

That's why Jo Swinson's Liberal Democrats have come up with a bold plan to tackle inequality across the UK. As the Resolution Foundation recognises, Liberal Democrats have the most progressive manifesto of all the major parties, focused on ensuring everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.

1. Jo will Stop Brexit

Any form of Brexit, whether it’s hard or soft, Conservative or Labour, will be bad for jobs, the economy, the NHS, and our environment.

It is also a sad fact that those who are the most in need of support in Britain today will be hit hardest by Brexit.

That’s why Jo has been fighting hard over the past three years to stop Brexit. With Jo as Prime Minister, we will stop Brexit on day one of government. By doing this, we won’t just grow the economy faster, but we’ll generate a £50 billion Remain Bonus that we can invest in public services and tackling inequality across Britain.  

2. Jo has a plan to tackle the mental health epidemic

Our NHS is the envy of the world, but our mental health service is not.

Waiting times are being missed, people are not being referred for the treatment they need, and often action is taken only when at crisis point, or too late.

We are fighting to invest £11bn into mental health services, making them more accessible for everyone. In addition, prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions will be available for free on the NHS.

The Conservatives have given mental health care lip service for years – what is needed now is urgent action to help those most in need. Jo’s plan does just that and will help alleviate suffering throughout Britain.

3. Jo is ready to lead on climate action and tackle fuel poverty

We are the last generation that can stop irreversible climate change, and we are running out of time. The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a radical, credible and detailed plan to tackle the climate emergency.

Jo will jump-start an economy-wide programme to tackle the climate emergency. Across a five year parliament, we will spend and invest an extra £100 billion of public finance on climate action and environmental preservation. 

We will also make a £15 billion investment to make every building in the country greener, with an emergency ten-year programme to save energy, end fuel poverty and cut household heating bills by an average of £550 per year.

3.5 million households are saddled with exorbitant fuel bills due to poor quality houses. This needs to change. We will incentivise households to upgrade their homes and also provide fully subsidised home upgrades to those in fuel poverty. By prioritising fuel-poor households, all low-income homes will be insulated by 2025.

4. Jo will transform our education system

Education ensures children have the best start in life, yet years of Conservative cuts have resulted in understaffed and underfunded schools.

We're fighting to reverse frontline school cuts since 2015 with an emergency cash injection of £4.6 billion next year. By recruiting 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools, we will reduce inequality across the UK so that every child can have the best start in life, no matter what their background.

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5. Jo will build a fairer economy

Working hard should mean you are able to build a good life, but for too many people that’s not the case. In an ever changing workplace people often need to develop new skills, but the cost of courses and qualifications shuts too many people out.

Having already fought for shared parental leave and gender pay gap reporting, Jo is determined to go further and build a fairer economy.

With her plan to provide free childcare from 9 months and give every adult a £10,000 Skills Wallet to spend on skills & training throughout their lives, Jo will transform our economy and help everyone build good lives and brighter futures for their families.

 

 

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The Problem With Boris Johnson

by Jo Swinson on Thu, 28 Nov 2019

"Boris Johnson only cares about Boris Johnson."

When I meet children and teenagers in schools, they often ask me what you need to be good at to become a politician.

And my answer is always this:

Being able to write a press release and understand legislation is important for the job. But you can learn all of that.

What matters the most – and is almost impossible to learn -- is caring.

Caring about the people in your community and in your country, so that your decisions are based on what you genuinely believe to be best for them.

I say it is impossible to learn, which perhaps is just as well.

I am not sure Boris Johnson has time for lessons on caring alongside his “technology lessons”.

Boris Johnson only cares about Boris Johnson.

And he will do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to get what he wants.

This is a man who decided which side to support in the EU referendum by game-playing whether it would get him the keys to Number 10.

His life has been about becoming Prime Minister. Not out of some deep-seated desire to make people’s lives better, but out of some sense of Etonian entitlement. Because it’s what people like him get to do.

And you cannot trust a word Boris Johnson says - the man will say anything if it means getting what he wants.

He lied to the 3 million other EU countries citizens in the UK when he told them he would guarantee their right to stay.

He lied when he said that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea.

He lied to the Queen to unlawfully shut down our democracy.

He lied when he said over and over that we would leave the European Union by 31 October.

He lied when he said he would rather be dead in a ditch than ask for an extension to Article 50.

"We are the only party that can win seats off Johnson and Farage’s hard-right cabal."

Well, there might not be a ditch, but Boris Johnson has dragged the office of Prime Minister through the mud.

Johnson cannot be allowed to win a majority.

We have a different vision for our country. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that will build a fair, open society for both our generation and the next.

We are the only party that can win seats off Johnson and Farage’s hard-right cabal.

Together, we can prevent a damaging Tory majority.

Together, we can build a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →