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Local News

  • Article: Aug 17, 2017

    Over the summer, we heard that Philip Hammond was courageously fighting off the more extreme Brexiteers. Supposedly he was looking for a compromise to keep Britain within the customs union and single market as long as possible.

    The rebellion didn't last very long. He has now teamed up with one of the more extreme and ideological supporters of a 'Hard Brexit.

    It is now painfully clear who calls the shots in the Cabinet; it isnt' the Chancellor.

  • Article: Aug 17, 2017

    Ministers have privately admitted that the government may not start negotiating Britain's future trade relationship with the EU until the end of the year, it emerged today.

    This comes despite David Davis insisting back in May that talks on a future trade agreement would take place in parallel with negotiation over the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

  • Article: Aug 17, 2017

    The number of patients suffering the indignity of staying in mixed-sex wards soared to 908 in July 2017, more than double the number in the same month last year.

    In total over 9,000 patients were put in a mixed sex ward over the last year, up 55% from the previous year.

    The figures come after a recent official survey found NHS patients are increasingly dissatisfied with levels of privacy, dignity and well-being in hospital.

    The Liberal Democrats have called on Theresa May to recommit to ending mixed-sex hospital wards, after the Conservative Party's longstanding pledge to end the practice was dropped from its 2017 Manifesto.

    Under Theresa May's watch, we've seen a scandalous rise in the number of patients being forced to stay in mixed-sex wards.

    Men and women shouldn't have to share hospital wards, it's an affront to basic human dignity.

    It's time to end the the continued underfunding of the NHS and care that is putting intolerable pressure on services and leading to these sorts of failures.

    The Conservatives once pledged to end mixed-sex wards, now it seems they've given up.

  • Article: Aug 16, 2017

    The government's plan for the Northern Ireland border after Brexit has more holes in it than a colander.

    It comes after the government admitted EU nationals will still be able to enter the UK from Ireland after Brexit under its plans.

    The government's position paper on Ireland and Northern Ireland states that "it is important to note that immigration controls are not, and never have been, solely about the ability to prevent and control entry at the UK's physical border."

  • Article: Aug 16, 2017

    Real wages fell by 0.5% in the three months to June 2017 compared with a year earlier, figures from the Office for National Statistics today have revealed.

    Average weekly earnings increased by 2.1%, but with inflation standing at 2.6% real earnings still fell by 0.5%.

    This is a direct consequence of the higher inflation we have seen since the EU referendum.

  • Article: Aug 16, 2017

    The events of the last few days have shocked and appalled the entire world.

    Images of Nazis, marching in American streets, terrorist attacks on peaceful protestors. Every world leader should be able to condemn that.

    Donald Trump's response to these tragic events has been shocking.

    He has shown that he is unable to detach himself from the extreme-right and racial supremacists.

  • Article: Aug 16, 2017

    Using an anonymous government source to announce an official position paper on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is shambolic.

    The Leave campaign pledged that Brexit would not leave the border any less open after Brexit, but the government proposals leave the door open to customs checks on larger traders.

  • Article: Aug 15, 2017

    Today, I've challenged David Davis to answer six questions over plans set out on future customs arrangements after Brexit.

    The government is offering two ways forward but won't tell us which it prefers. That's no doubt because cabinet ministers can't even agree amongst themselves.

    These plans are more concerned with papering over the cracks within the Conservative party than protecting our economy.

    All those industries that depend on membership of the customs union, from the car industry to aerospace, still have no clear idea what is coming down the track.

    All they know is that instead of jumping off a cliff in 18 months, the government now wants to do so in a few years' time.

    The government must come clean over the real costs of these plans for British businesses and consumers.

  • Article: Aug 15, 2017

    Brexit Secretary Davis has claimed that lack of clarity over the Government's Brexit plans was a deliberate attempt at "constructive ambiguity" as part of the negotiations.

    You will find it difficult sometimes to read what we intend. That's deliberate. I'm afraid in negotiations you do have constructive ambiguity from time to time.

    Brexit Secretary, David Davis
  • Article: Aug 15, 2017

    Today's news that the Grenfell inquiry will not look into broader questions of social housing policy is a wasted opportunity.

    Disappointingly, the inquiry will only look into the actions of Kensington and Chelsea Council in the run up to the tragedy.

    This inquiry must fully consult the survivors of this terrible tragedy and get to the bottom of why their concerns were not acted upon.

  • Article: Aug 15, 2017

    This steep hike to rail fares will be a bitter blow for passengers struggling with overcrowded and unreliable trains.

    This is the biggest annual price hike in 5 years.

    The fact that fare rises are soaring above wage increases is another sign that people are losing out from higher inflation since the referendum.

  • Article: Aug 15, 2017

    Even if the government's plans for new customs arrangements with the EU were agreed to by the EU, these proposals will only delay the economic pain caused by leaving the customs union.

    The only way to ensure 'free and frictionless' trade with the EU is to remain a full member of the Customs Union and Single Market.

  • Article: Aug 14, 2017

    It has emerged that the joint position on Brexit agreed in an article by Philip Hammond and Liam Fox was not even cleared with Brexit Secretary David Davis.

    The Chancellor and Trade Secretary wrote a joint article for The Sunday Telegraph calling for a time-limited transition after Brexit that would involve leaving both the single market and customs union.

  • Article: Aug 14, 2017

    Today's news that the Garden Bridge project has been officially scrapped is very welcome. The entire project was a "scandalous waste of public funds."

    This is the final nail in the coffin of the Garden Bridge.

    Over £37m has already been spent on this vanity project by the previous Mayor.

    It is a scandalous waste of public money.

  • The Week in Politics - Jo Swinson and Vince Cable
    Article: Aug 14, 2017

    It might be the height of the August holidays, but your Liberal Democrat team have been hard at work - as usual this week. Here's what we've been up to:

    Friday 4th August

    After comments from Sir James Munby - the UK's most senior family judge about a horrifying mental health case, Norman Lamb called for more and better investment in mental health.

  • Article: Aug 14, 2017

    Our research has revealed that almost ten fires a day are being caused by faulty white goods such as washing machines, tumble dryers and fridges.

    A total of 9,574 fires in the past three years have been caused by faulty white goods according to responses Freedom of Information requests from 30 out of 51 fire brigades.

  • Article: Aug 14, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have backed calls by the Chairman of the Parole Board, Nick Hardwick, for urgent action to address the backlog of people serving prison sentences with no fixed release date.

    Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection (IPPs) were abolished in 2012, but there are over 3,000 people in England and Wales still serving them, with many facing long delays for Parole Board hearings.

  • Article: Aug 13, 2017

    Over the summer, we heard that Philip Hammond was courageously fighting off the more extreme Brexiteers. Supposedly he was looking for a compromise to keep Britain within the customs union and single market as long as possible.

    The rebellion didn't last very long. He has now teamed up with one of the more extreme and ideological supporters of a 'Hard Brexit.

    It is now painfully clear who calls the shots in the Cabinet; it isnt' the Chancellor.

  • Article: Aug 12, 2017

    Today, Liam Fox's Department for International Trade has released figures claiming to show that sunglasses, swimwear and ice-cream are all big exports - and that means Brexit is going to be a success.

    He also claims that the sale of £1.4m worth of UK flip-flops are "promising news for trade deals" as is the sale of £3.7m in card-games from the UK.

  • Ed Davey (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Aug 11, 2017
    By Edward Davey MP, Shadow Home Secretary

    I'm not personally one of those who thinks we should weaken encryption because I think there is a parallel issue, which is cybersecurity more broadly.

    Jonathan Evans, former Head of MI5

    That was the former Chief of MI5 Jonathan Evans, speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme and stating that he would not support a clampdown on the use of encryption.