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Liberal Democrats are changing the narrative

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Sky and the BBC have led with our story all day, we are cutting through.

 

 

It is clear Ed Davey and our Lib Dem team have sent a shockwave through politics, the blue wall isn't just on notice, it has been shaken to its foundations.

 

 

Our MPs have done an excellent job of celebrating our success in the media...

 

 

Political commentators have been absolutely blown away by our fantastic result, some, like Jim Pickard from the Financial Times were massively shocked...

 

 

There is no underestimating how historic this result is, the Liberal Democrats have shown that Boris Johnson’s Government even at the height of its popularity is not untouchable. Their Blue Wall is beginning to crumble.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We won Chesham and Amersham!

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Liberal Democrats showed that we are a force to be reckoned with.

Last night Liberal Democrats gained a 25% swing in Chesham and Amersham electing our 12th MP, Sarah Green. 

We struck at the heart of the Conservatives’ blue wall and took one of their safest seats.

Liberal Democrats showed that we are a force to be reckoned with. We have a team to match anyone.

Their blue wall isn't just on notice; it has been shaken at its foundations by the Liberal Democrats.

Our huge triumph in Chesham and Amersham has shown that the Liberal Democrats are a serious and credible opposition to this Convervative party.

Their blue wall isn't just on notice; it has been shaken at its foundations by the Liberal Democrats in both the Chesham and Amersham by-election and the last set of local elections.

If this swing were to be achieved across the country in a General Election, the Lib Dems would claim 44 seats from Boris Johnson's party.

On our incredible gain in Chesham and Amersham, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

"This is a huge victory for the Liberal Democrats. The people of Chesham and Amersham have sent a shockwave through British politics.

We were told it was impossible for any party to beat the Tories here in Buckinghamshire. We were told this seat was too safe and the Tories too strong.

This Liberal Democrat win has proved them utterly wrong.

Across the south, the Tory Blue Wall is beginning to crumble. Here and in great swathes of the country, only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives and breach their Blue Wall."

The people of Chesham and Amersham have sent a shockwave through British politics.

 

Sarah Green will be a great local champion for the people of Chesham and Amersham, and the Liberal Democrats will be a strong voice for everyone who feels let down and taken for granted by this dreadful Tory Government.

This amazing win will strengthen our fight to safeguard our precious natural environment and build a fairer, greener, more caring country.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Chesham and Amersham

I’m writing this month’s report before we know the result. But we do already know that we’ve had the best candidate in Sarah Green, run the best campaign and had an awesome amount of help from people all around the country.

That would all be impressive even in normal times, but coming off the back of the huge May elections and while we’re all still dealing with coronavirus and lockdowns, that’s been an amazing achievement.

And there’s still time to make it into a winning achievement. Here’s how to help.

Westminster selections are up and running

New Parliament, new name: this time around we are ‘tiering’ our seats, so the most winnable seats (aka target seats, aka key seats) are now called Tier 1 seats. Selections have started up, with advertisements going out to people on the approved list and appearing on the members-only section of the main party website.

It’s important that we all encourage talented people we know to think about applying, and for many seats there will still be time to go through the approval process.

As a recent internal survey suggested, vanishingly few people are asked to run by fellow party members, particularly potential candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds. There is power in asking!

A lot of effort is going into ensuring we continue the very welcome improvements in the diversity of our Parliamentary Party secured at the 2019 election. We need to do that to properly live our values - and it’s a handy bonus that the evidence shows that more diverse teams make for more effective teams too.

One of the new things for this Parliament is Project Stellar: a support package for our top candidates from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Anyone selected in a Tier 1 seat from such a background can automatically qualify for this support, and depending on the numbers, we may also be able support candidates in Tier 2 seats in this way too.

The exact details of the programme are currently being developed, ready for it to be launched later in the year as the first selections start coming through.

If you are interested in playing a hands-on role in making our party overall more diverse, inclusive and equitable, please do consider volunteering for our new working group on these issues.

Learning the right lessons from the May elections

There’s much we need to learn from both what went well and what didn’t in the May elections. That’s the way to continue to improve and to extend a run of what is now three years in a row of making net gains in council elections. With local elections right across Scotland and Wales next year, as well as many in England too, we really need that three years in a row to become four.

So I’m glad to report that the Federal Communications and Elections Committee (FCEC), chaired by Cllr Lisa Smart, met earlier this month and agreed a series of mini-projects to dig into particular areas of success and concern.

Part of that involves listening carefully to the wonder band of 178 people we’ve identified who did the most canvassing for the party in the May elections - speaking to an average of 1,000 people each in the six weeks up to polling day! Thank you to each and every one of those 178. That’s a group of people with invaluable collective insight into what did and didn’t work, both in terms of political messaging and organisation. Those are the sorts of grassroot voices that the Thornhill Review into the 2019 election rightly concluded we need to listen to more.

New committee chairs

Federal Conference Committee has a new chair, Nick Da Costa. He was elected by FCC members following Geoff Payne standing down earlier this year.

The Federal International Relations Committee (FIRC) has a new chair too, with Phil Bennion replacing Jonathan Fryer, who sadly died earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Bess Mayhew, chair of the Federal People Development Committee (FPDC), will be taking maternity leave and so the committee has elected Mary Regnier-Wilson to fill that gap.

Congratulations to Phil, Mary Nick, and double congratulations to Bess.

One other face will be changing later this year. Isabelle Parasram has a new job which means she will need to stand down as Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities. A by-election will be held later this year to fill her post.

June Federal Board

Our latest meeting should have happened by now, but the Board decided to postpone it until after Chesham and Amersham polling day in order to free up more time for campaigning.

When we do meet this Saturday, we’ve got a very full agenda, including reviewing progress on developing the party’s strategy, discussing the party’s finances and hearing from Dorothy Thornhill on how she thinks things are going with implementing the 2019 election review which she chaired. This continued involvement of Dorothy is important to ensure we break the pattern of so many previous election reviews not getting the follow-up they needed. As part of our strategy discussion, we’ll look at plans to submit a conference motion for this autumn.

We will also be reviewing progress on the Steering Group pilot one year on, and decide what to do next. We’ll also be looking at business to submit to the autumn party conference, such as a request from Young Liberals to change their age limit rules and changes to the party’s complaints process. Also in the mix are plans to implement the Party Body Review Group report. It set out an exciting set of changes to better support and involve party bodies.

I’ll update this report with our decisions once the Board has met. In the meantime, questions are as ever very welcome via [email protected].

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

ALDE Congress Online

by Phillip Bennion on Tue, 15 Jun 2021

At the weekend we met with old friends and new from our European sister parties for ALDE Congress, albeit via a Zoom link, as the Congress was online for the first time. It was my privilege to lead a diverse Lib Dem delegation of around 40, which in addition to the official categories for diversity, included several UK nationals resident in the EU and a few EU citizens resident in the UK.

Ahead of the Congress we had met to propose amendments and again to discuss the amendments tabled by other delegations. These are negotiated in the “Working Groups”, which usually take place onsite at the beginning of Congress. Online they were held several days in advance of Congress and a high proportion of delegates were unavailable. Some were unaware that this was the real forum for debate. The procedure is not unlike the European Parliament Committee stage where the political groups negotiate compromise amendments. At the final plenary voting session there is no debate and delegations work to voting lists.

The Working Groups did not go to plan, as the scheduled sessions of two and a half hours each ran to 6 and 5 hours respectively. Even delegates who started the sessions were often not there by the end. I was sat with original text on one screen, amendments on another, proceedings on my iPad, delegation WhatsApp and the voting platform both on my iPhone plus a print-out of our voting line.

The four Resolutions that we were entirely opposed to all fell or were withdrawn. One was a detailed political programme resembling an election manifesto. Our colleagues from the Netherlands (D66) proposed to delete the entire motion on the grounds that it was not appropriate to replace our entire political programme via a Congress motion from one or two delegations. We would have taken a similar view if such had appeared at our Federal Conference. Another was a resolution that would have made ALDE a party of individual members, rather than of national political parties. This was contrary to EU funding rules and systems. A third called for a European Army and the fourth called for health to become largely an EU competence; causing us real difficulties over the NHS when we re-join the EU. Don’t worry! These all fell.

We also faced a couple of resolutions where we had fundamental problems, but they were not beyond saving with some radical amendment. One was on LGBT+ rights and religion. I delegated David Chalmers and Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett to deal with the issue. With skilful rewording they turned the text away from finger pointing at particular religions to one based on principle. The negotiations with the movers were also not straightforward. David and Adrian did a great job.

The other called for the entire economy to be subject to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). I had drafted a compromise with Billy Kelleher MEP of Fianna Fail which was to use an expert panel to advise on which sectors should be added to ETS, but the movers stuck to their purist vision. I decided to play hard ball and advised our delegation to support the Swedes in removing the paragraph altogether. The deletion passed in the Working Group but had the effect of shaking the movers to accept the compromise, very late in the day, at the final vote. I was too slow typing “abstain” into the WhatsApp group but the deletion fell by one vote anyway and my compromise text sailed through.

Urgency resolutions were discussed, amended and passed during the Congress itself on Belarus, Ukraine/Crimea, antisemitism, land expropriation in South Africa and the Northern Ireland Protocol. Our delegates, including Joyce Onstad, Markus Gehring and Hannah Bettsworth made some telling interventions to improve the texts.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Priti Patel is turning her back on refugees

by Alistair Carmichael on Tue, 15 Jun 2021

Priti Patel says refugees should come to the UK through safe and legal routes, and is threatening to punish any who don’t.

The Conservative Government is failing to provide any safe and legal routes for refugees to take.

But at the same time, the Conservative Government is failing to provide any safe and legal routes for refugees to take.

The Government’s latest figures show that just 353 refugees were resettled in the UK in 2020-21 – a drop of 93% since the previous year.

The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need, but now the Conservatives are turning their backs on refugees.

Their failure to provide safe and legal routes is pushing desperate, vulnerable people into the hands of people smugglers and human traffickers.

Priti Patel’s tough rhetoric and cruel policies only increases their profit margins. “We thank your government for our full pockets,” one smuggler told the Guardian recently.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to make an ambitious, ten-year commitment to resettle 10,000 vulnerable refugees a year from Syria and other dangerous conflict areas. Because that’s how we will actually combat these criminal gangs and prevent people from making dangerous attempts to cross the Channel and the Mediterranean.

We are calling on the Government to make an ambitious, ten-year commitment to resettle 10,000 vulnerable refugees a year

And what about the people who do come to the UK seeking sanctuary, having left their homes fleeing war or prosecution? They should be welcomed with compassion, not kept in limbo for months while their claims are processed.

Those same statistics reveal that 50,084 asylum seekers have been waiting more than six months for a decision from the Home Office – a number that has doubled on Priti Patel’s watch. That’s the scandal she should be tackling, but none of her endless series of cruel proposals will actually help solve it. In fact, they’ll just cause even longer delays.

The Home Office is clearly not fit for purpose. So instead of making it harder for refugees to claim asylum, let’s take these decisions away from the Home Office altogether.

A new arms-length, non-political agency should take over, with the staff, training and resources to process applications quickly, decide cases fairly, and get them right first time. And let’s finally lift the ban and give asylum seekers the right to work. They should be enabled to contribute to our society, not trapped for months on just £5.66 a day.

Liberal Democrats are fighting to fix the broken asylum system, so that everyone can have confidence in it, and everyone’s rights and dignity are respected.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Unpaid carers mustn’t be ignored any longer

by Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Fri, 11 Jun 2021

Many congratulations to Nick da Costa who has been elected as the new chair of Federal Conference Committee (FCC), following Geoff Payne's decision to stand down earlier this year.

Nick is a councillor in Haringey as well as an experienced FCC member, bringing to the role a great understanding both of how conference works and of what we need to do as a party to win.

In his new role, Nick will also therefore be taking over from Geoff on the Federal Board and Steering Group.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Have your say on the disciplinary process

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 04 Jun 2021

We want your views on how to improve the party’s independent complaints process.

Any organisation with a hundred thousand members will have conflicts: what matters is how we deal with them. Wherever possible the process needs to be quick and effective – and it must always be transparent, fair and independent of political influence. It is key that if someone actions are damaging to other party members or members of the public, they can’t expect to be protected by who they know or what role they hold in the party. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Happy Pride Month

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 01 Jun 2021

Something special is happening in Chesham and Amersham

by Liberal Democrats on Sat, 29 May 2021

The campaign is growing rapidly and this is a seat with a lot of potential.

We came a strong second here in 2019. We have lots of local representation and a base of voters we can build on.

And the reception on the doors has been phenomenal.

We need you to play your part:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Conservatives are failing to protect nature

by Sarah Olney on Wed, 26 May 2021

The Conservatives' Environment Bill will fail to protect British nature and our beautiful landscapes.

We are already living in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Our waterways are in a poor condition with just 14% in good condition. More than 40% of native species are in decline.

This is an embarrassment - as the Government claims to be increasing ambition and pushing for nature-based solutions in the run-up to both COP26 and the Convention on Biological Diversity, we're failing to get our own house in order.

More than 40% of native species are in decline."

We must significantly increase our protections for nature and biodiversity in this country, including our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We need a strong independent body with the powers and resources to hold the Government to account.

Alongside the Environment Bill being debated today, the Government have proposed a mass change to planning law. The Bill would deny Councils the ability to block new developments for environmental reasons. The Conservatives' plans would rip power away from communities and silence local environmental groups to allow developers to build as they please.

The Conservatives' plans would rip power away from communities"

We should have expected nothing less from a party which has taken over £11 million in donations from developers.

That's why I tabled an amendment to stop reckless developments harming nature and reducing biodiversity.

My amendment would give real teeth to the currently toothless Environment Bill and arm Councils with the power to protect wildlife and green spaces. The Conservatives voted against giving communities extra power to protect nature and improve biodiversity.

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Looking back at Spring Conference

by Geoff Payne on Wed, 26 May 2021

Federal Conference Committee met on 25th May 2021 to consider the feedback from Spring Conference. It was an overflow meeting to deal with the business that could not be considered at the last meeting, which was constricted to facilitate campaigning for the Local Elections.

We discussed the feedback that we received from Spring Conference. We were very happy with it overall. We had attendees from 26 countries. The average person spent 15 hours at conference. In total, there were over 13,000 votes cast and over 17,500 chat messages. We came within 3% of our record attendance for a Spring Conference.

When asked whether they had had a good time, expressed as a mark out of five, over 88% marked conference as 3 or above, 66.5% as 4 or 5. 72% rated Hopin as good or very good and 92% of people had no major technical issues. 92% liked the balance of debates and speeches and 84% thought the auditorium experience was good or very good. 71% thought the fringe sessions were good or very good. 82% thought the registration price was about right and 95% were more proud or had the same feelings of pride about the party after conference as before. We were grateful to all of those who took the time and trouble to let us know their views. We have taken them on board.

The experiences of the exhibition were a lot more mixed. We recognise that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to recreate the experience of a physical exhibition online. We talked about ways to improve the exhibition experience. We talked about playing more exhibitor videos in the auditorium (and we are making those free for Autumn Conference), extending the sessions for the exhibition so that some overlap with the auditorium as at a physical conference, and encouraging exhibitors to use the chat feature to make their stalls more dynamic.

Turning to motions, it was proposed that we discontinue the practice of name blind selections. It was suggested that knowing from where prospective motions derived would allow the committee to take positive steps to select an agenda from more diverse sources, allowing us to counter the inbuilt bias towards motions written by those more familiar with the process, such as parliamentarians or FPC members. For example, a motion from a Local Party or an SAO could be preferred to one from a spokesperson on the same subject (given that many motions are regularly submitted from the Parliamentary Party).  It was also observed that many people place their motions in the public domain anyway, which can defeat the object.  On the other hand, name blind submissions can counter unconscious bias. The committee had a full discussion and there were many contributions. The vote was very tight. Overall, the majority was persuaded that ending name blind submissions would make for an agenda more likely to represent a wider range of more diverse sources of ideas in the party, and that was something that the committee wanted to encourage.

We decided that we would reserve speaking slots for guest speakers from the European Union and/or other European nations. We considered a number of really good suggestions from the International Office. Watch this space for further details.

Planning for Autumn Conference 2021 will now get underway in earnest. The deadline for drafting advice is 16th June and for motions, 30th June; both at 1pm. FCC will meet in July to select the agenda.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Local lockdowns by stealth are completely irresponsible

by Munira Wilson on Tue, 25 May 2021

Changing policy by stealth is completely irresponsible.

Changing policy by stealth is completely irresponsible.

Matt Hancock should have made clear the changes he was making to guidance in advance and communicated it to the public and local officials.

He needs to make clear the situation immediately to Parliament.

Clarification on the new rules in these areas is now needed, not only for residents but for those that would normally travel to the affected areas.

People cross these invisible boundaries every day for medical appointments or to go shopping.

Clarification on the new rules in these areas is now needed.

The Government urgently need to make it clear whether they should avoid travelling to or through these areas and under what circumstances this is now permitted.

It is now critical that the thousands of key workers that travel to these areas everyday, but live elsewhere, should be made eligible for vaccination.

Surge vaccination in these areas for residents is key to slowing the spread of the virus but to slow it further it must be extended to anyone who works there too.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

One year on from George Floyd's murder

by Ed Davey on Tue, 25 May 2021

Today marks one year since George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was brutally murdered by a police officer on the streets of Minneapolis.

George’s murder — and the wave of protests it sparked — forced us all to confront the racial injustice that Black people face every day.

George’s murder — and the wave of protests it sparked — forced us all to confront the racial injustice that Black people face every day.

The past twelve months have brought watershed moments.

The Black Lives Matter movement rose to prominence around the world.

It inspired many of us to have difficult but important conversations about race — myself included.

And in April, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of George’s murder.

Although Chauvin’s guilty verdict is a step in the right direction, we are still a long way from achieving racial justice.

As Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison said, we should not call this “verdict justice… because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice.

It’s clear there is still so much to do — and that this is not a uniquely American problem.

We will keep working to combat racism — whether conscious or unconscious, individual or institutional — wherever we find it.

Here in the UK, far too many people’s lives are blighted by discrimination, inequality and injustice.

From the appalling Windrush Scandal and the disproportionate impact of the Covid pandemic to the over-representation of Black and mixed-race people in prison, there is still so much more we all must do to address institutional racism.

I’m proud that Liberal Democrats exist to fight for justice, liberty and equality.

And at our Autumn Conference last September, we passed a motion entitled ‘Racial Justice Cannot Wait’ that affirmed that Black Lives Matter and our commitment to achieving racial justice.

We are continuing our campaign to abolish the Conservatives’ cruel and discriminatory Hostile Environment, end the disproportionate use of Stop and Search, and establish a comprehensive Covid-19 Race Equality Strategy.

And we will keep working to combat racism — whether conscious or unconscious, individual or institutional — wherever we find it.

We mustn’t let George Floyd’s memory fade.

We must hold onto the outrage we felt at his murder, and continue to channel it into action for positive change.

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

No amount of tough talk and bluster from the Home Secretary can hide the fact that she has utterly failed to get a grip on the UK’s broken immigration system.

Priti Patel has been talking tough about immigration for ages, while failing miserably to make the system fairer or more effective.

Years of Home Office failure, coupled with hostile policies and rhetoric from successive Conservative Home Secretaries, have shattered public confidence.

Instead of fixing the broken system, Priti Patel is pressing ahead with damaging plans that will create more chaos and make it harder for British employers to recruit the workers they need.

She talks about a new ‘digital border’, but apparently forgot to mention that the existing project is years behind schedule and more than £170 million over budget.

And she is refusing to provide safe and legal routes for vulnerable refugees to come to the UK, even as she invokes our proud tradition of offering sanctuary to those in need.

Priti Patel has been talking tough about immigration for ages, while failing miserably to make the system fairer or more effective.

As she said today: enough is enough.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Sixty six children have died since the outbreak of violence last week.

We cannot afford yet another return to a status quo which will only lead to more innocent deaths in the future.

Every death was completely preventable.

And while a ceasefire is welcome, we cannot return to a status quo.

We need to take meaningful action now to prevent innocent deaths in the future.

The potential evictions, demolitions and settlement expansions in the West Bank - which are breaches of international law – must be stopped.

The status quo arrangements in Jerusalem must be restored.

It is vitally important that the Palestinians are able to fulfil their democratic right through new elections including all Palestinian parties.

In this context, Hamas, as well as the Israeli authorities, must forgo violence and oppression and allow a legitimate political process to be pursued.

 The UK Government must work with the international community to facilitate the reconstruction of negotiations.

To address these issues, we need a process – but meaningful peace talks have not meaningfully taken place for years.

So it is now time for the UK Government to work with the international community to facilitate the reconstruction of negotiations, negotiations which must take place between two equal partners.

Above all, there must be an injection of new hope into a conflict which has been hijacked by the extremes.

The strongest card the UK can play is to recognise the state of Palestine, which will ignite the flames of hope and bring greater balance to future negotiations.

I urge the Government to do the right thing.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Weekly Whip

by Peter Munro on Wed, 19 May 2021

Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop-shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come.  

For up to date information from the Lib Dem Whips Office, follow us on Twitter: @LibDemWhips  

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia 2021

by LGBT+ Liberal Democrats on Mon, 17 May 2021

The theme of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is resisting, supporting and healing together.

Pre-pandemic there were reports that hate crimes were on the rise.

As we start to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, it perfectly encapsulates many of the needs of LGBT+ people in 2021.

It’s now a cliche to say that our “return to normal” can’t be a return to the way that things were before, but it’s true.

Pre-pandemic there were reports that hate crimes were on the rise, homophobic hate crimes up 19% year-on-year and transgender hate crimes up 16%.

As we start to head back out again, we need to be mindful that things need to change.

Resisting homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is essential both at home and abroad.

Domestically, trans people face a barrage of obstacles and harassment in our media, and have been routinely let down by our government.

In ILGA-Europe’s latest ranking of LGBT+ rights in the region, the UK has fallen from its top spot to just 10th position owing to failures in this area.

On the topic of legal gender recognition and bodily integrity, the UK ranks a miserable 19th.

We need to keep pushing for reform of the Gender Recognition Act, which LGBT+ Lib Dems have written about at length here.

Internationally, we need to keep up pressure on other governments to pursue a much more liberal approach.

Resisting homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is essential both at home and abroad.

That’s not just something that takes place at international summits, but through supporting activists on the ground and at local level too, as many Lib Dem Councillors are doing via our Protect Our Twins campaign in response to abuses against LGBT+ people in Poland.

But that’s not all - we also need to keep up the case for a pro-LGBT+ and humanitarian asylum policy.

Many of us were horrified last week to read the devastating case of Alireza Fazeli Monfared who was killed just days before he was due to leave Iran.

The UK must play its part and be a safe haven for those in need.

Supporting LGBT+ voices, be they in our media, politics or community is vital too.

In too many workplaces, LGBT+ people still face barriers.

As reported in Stonewall’s reported in 2018 report, more than a third of LGBT+ people have hidden the fact that they’re LGBT+ at work for fear of discrimination, and nearly two in five bi people aren’t out to anyone at work.

In addition, there is evidence for a shocking LGBT+ pay gap to the sum of almost £7000 a year.

This problem is compounded when other factors like gender, race and disability are added in.

Fighting for the rights of LGBT+ people, particularly in this area, is a real bread and butter issue.

And in our media and in our politics we need to confidently support our trans siblings who are under sustained attack.

An attack on one part of the LGBT+ community is an attack on all of us.

An attack on one part of the LGBT+ community is an attack on all of us.

For the past 12 months health has dominated our headlines and national conversation like never before.

So how can we incorporate healing and caring into our fight against intolerance?

We can start with campaigning for better access to inclusive and respectful health and social care for all LGBT+ people.

This could apply to trans and non binary people interacting with the care service, to LGBT+ people feeling the need to go “back in the closet” as they enter elderly care.

This is an upcoming generational challenge, and we need to ensure dignity for all is at the heart of social care reform.

Similarly, we need to keep pushing for better mental health and homelessness support - two areas that particularly impact LGBT+ people.

We can all play a part in challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

As the Albert Kennedy Trust’s latest report makes clear, there is much to be done - but also much that sits within our power to do.

From challenging prejudiced attitudes among our friends and family and to showing your solidarity to advocating for the big changes we need to see, we can all play a part in challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Progress is not inevitable. but fighting for it is hardwired into our liberal values.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Thank you for your election efforts

by Mark Pack on Thu, 13 May 2021

A great team effort

We’ve had a huge set of elections in difficult circumstances. It was a massive combined effort of volunteers and staff, candidates and agents, helpers and donors, to get several hundred Liberal Democrats elected. Thank you to everyone who played their part in an impressive team effort.

Commiserations too for everyone involved in campaigns that didn’t make it this time. Many of our very best Parliamentarians, council leaders and other elected officials have lost elections on the way to their successes. I hope that when you have had a chance to rest and catch up on life outside politics, those examples encourage you to continue your commitment to our party.

A special thank you to retiring councillors who were expecting to stand down last May and had to hold on for another year. Your continued commitment over that extra year is much appreciated.

Thank you too to the many volunteer agents who haven’t quite yet been able to stop electioneering. Getting those election expense returns sorted is an important task!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →