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Your chance to decide the future of the Lib Dems

by Sal Brinton on Fri, 24 May 2019

As you know, Vince has now formally announced his resignation, and, as your President, I am triggering the process for the election of his successor as Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

I'd like to take a moment to thank Vince for all he's done since he was elected leader in 2017. He's been a steadying influence when it was most needed - and that's led to us gaining new MEPs (exact number to be announce tomorrow evening!) and almost 800 councillors. Thank you, Vince.

The time to join the Lib Dems is now.

The time to join the Lib Dems is now. Not only are we riding high after our amazing local election results and European election campaign, but you also get a say on the future of our party.

Anyone who joins by 7th June gets a vote and it couldn't be easier to get involved - it takes just 5 minutes to sign up. Membership starts at as little as £1 per month and you get a huge variety of benefits such as:

It couldn't be easier to get involved - it takes just 5 minutes to sign up.

  • Come to conference and decide party policy
  • Exclusive party training events
  • Discounts and deals only available to members
  • Stand for the party at local, Welsh Assembly/Scottish Parliament, Westminster or European level
  • And more - you can read more here:

Why join the Lib Dems?

Get involved today. Join the biggest, strongest Remain party - become a Liberal Democrat member now.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Together, we have rebuilt the Liberal Democrats.

by Vince Cable on Fri, 24 May 2019

Last night, the British people finished voting in the European elections. The fallout is there for all to see, with the Prime Minister finally conceding this morning that she has reached the end of the road.

Our campaigning over the last three years has kept the cause of remaining in the European Union alive, and I now believe we have a strong chance of stopping Brexit.  When the votes are counted on Sunday, I expect us to do well.

I want to thank the volunteers who have made that possible. I was very touched while campaigning around the country by the enthusiasm and optimism of our members and supporters.

I will be proud to hand over a bigger, stronger party on July 23rd.

Many who kept going through difficult years for the party are now enjoying our resurgence as a major national force.

Our long and proud tradition of success in local government was revived this month by the best local election results in our party’s history. In the last two years, we've gained 780 more council seats and 15 new councils.

And membership is at record levels with a strengthening base of supporters amongst students and young people.

Together, we have rebuilt the Liberal Democrats. I couldn't be more grateful.

I said earlier this year that the time would soon come to hand over the leadership of the party to a new generation. That process begins today: I will be proud to hand over a bigger, stronger party on July 23rd.

If you want a say in choosing my successor, join the Liberal Democrats by the 7th June. Membership starts at as little as £1:

Join now

Or, if you're already a member, take a minute to ask your friends and family to join us:

Ask people to join

There are major challenges ahead. One is to win, finally, the battle to stop Brexit. Our campaigning has given hope; now we need to secure a referendum in Parliament, and then win it.

Another is the opportunity created by the conflict and decay within the two main parties to build a powerful, liberal, green, and social democratic force in the centre ground of British politics. We are now in an excellent position to lead such a movement.

As we do so, I am confident that we will regain ground at Westminster, with a big group of MPs and more influence on the national stage.

Thank you, as ever, for your support over the last two years.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Brexit has ended another Prime Minister's career

by Vince Cable on Fri, 24 May 2019

This morning, Theresa May rightly recognised that she has reached the end of the road.

But a new Prime Minister won't solve Brexit. Neither will a General Election. Leaving the EU without a deal will cause our country untold harm and widen the gap between the richest and poorest in society.

That leaves only one way forward - stop Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats have been fighting for you - not politicians - to have the final say on Brexit for almost 3 years. We're gathering steam every day.

We stormed the local elections, cementing our place as the biggest, strongest Remain party. And now we're on course for a solid result in the European elections when they are announced on Monday.

A new Prime Minister won't solve Brexit. Neither will a General Election.

Brexit was the end of this Prime Minister. It will likely be the end of the next unless they put the Brexit deal back to the people.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to securing a People's Vote - whoever gets the keys to Number 10. Join our campaign today.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

And polls have closed!

by Dan Schmeising on Thu, 23 May 2019

That's that - polls for the European elections are now closed!

We've fought so, so hard - we're incredibly proud of each and every single one of our candidates, campaigners and voters. 💛

In the last 6 weeks, we've:

🔶 Fought a large-scale campaign that went toe-to-toe with Labour, the Conservatives and Nigel Farage's Brexit Party
🔶 Delivered over 12 million letters
🔶 Reached over 2.5 million people via social media - on polling day alone
🔶 Made over 30,000 calls to voters
🔶 Knocked on thousands of doors
🔶 Nearly tripled our standing in the polls - from 7% to 20%:

This couldn't have happened without our amazing members and volunteers. They've worked their socks off - and if the polls are right, we're on course for some amazing results on Sunday night.

We've picked up some pretty significant momentum since our amazing local election results at the start of the month. And we've got big things in the pipeline - why not join us today and be part of what's to come?

Membership of the party is great value - it starts at just £1 a month. Take 5 minutes now and join the biggest, strongest Remain party - it'll be worth it, promise 😊

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Just 6 hours left to vote!

by Dan Schmeising on Thu, 23 May 2019

We've had an amazing campaign - and now it's nearly over. You've got until 10 tonight to get out and cast your vote for the Liberal Democrats to stop Brexit!

We're the biggest, strongest Remain party - and we're on course for an amazing result. These European elections are your chance to send a message to the pro-Brexit Labour and Conservative parties - we just want it to stop.

The Tories are in a mess. They're too busy fighting amongst themselves to do anything about Brexit. Theresa May's "new" Brexit deal went down like a cup of cold sick across Parliament - the only sensible way out of Brexit now is a People's Vote.

But the Labour party is fighting tooth and nail to stop that happening. Jeremy Corbyn has aided the Tories on Brexit every step of the way. He's ignoring Labour supporters up and down the country who want an exit from Brexit - and they're joining our campaign instead.

The Labour party is fighting tooth and nail to stop a People's Vote happening

Our message has been clear: bollocks to Brexit. (Sorry to Nigel Farage for offending his delicate sensibilities.) Brexit is a national embarrassment - and we've been fighting hard to stop it for almost 3 years. I'm proud that we've taken a stand for the future of our country.

But now it's down to you. Only your vote has the power to make a difference and send pro-Remain Lib Dem MEPs to Parliament. Stop Brexit - be a Lib Dem voter today.

Help us get the Remain vote out - let us know you've voted:

I've voted!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Tomorrow, my first ever vote is going to be a vote for the Liberal Democrats to stop Brexit.

Just in case the ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ campaign slogan didn’t make it clear enough; every vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to Stop Brexit and remain in the European Union. They’re the biggest remain party and were the first to call for a People’s Vote back in 2016.

I wasn’t old enough to vote in the referendum. I didn’t get the chance to make my voice heard. So tomorrow is my first chance to vote against Brexit. That’s why my first ever vote will be for the Liberal Democrats.

I’ll be voting to protect opportunities for young people like myself; to make sure EU funding can continue to reduce regional inequality like we feel in my home of Shropshire; and to safeguard our public services, jobs, and economy.

My first ever vote will be for the Liberal Democrats.

Any Brexit, whether it’s Labour red or Tory blue, will devastate our country.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party can no longer claim to be the party of young people, or of those left behind by Westminster politics, or of working people. By backing and “bailing out” a Tory Brexit, they’ve abandoned us.

And the Tories? For the sake of settling internal disputes over Europe, they’ve risked the future of our country and enabled the rise of nationalistic, divisive politics from the likes of Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson. It’s a disgrace.

The Lib Dems are at 19% in the polls - the biggest, strongest remain party. If all Green Party voters lent their vote to the Lib Dems in this election we could elect more remain MEPs who are committed to fighting the climate emergency, including one in every single region. The Liberal Democrats lead on green issues. Laws introduced by Lib Dems have helped to tackle plastic waste, air pollution and much more.

Any Brexit, whether it’s Labour red or Tory blue, will devastate our country.

Tomorrow, you and I have the chance to reunite our country and build a Britain that’s truly internationalist, open and liberal. Join me in voting for the Liberal Democrats, to help our country heal and prosper at the heart of a dynamic European Union.

It’s simple: you can find your polling station on your poll card or online below. You don't need your polling card to vote:

Find my polling station 

The Government's website has more info if you need it:

Find out more

On the ballot paper there’ll be a long list of parties, but you only get one vote. Make sure you put your cross in the box next to the Liberal Democrats. It only takes five minutes to vote.

It’s your chance to truly shape the future of our country, to stop Brexit and to vote for real action to combat the climate crisis.

I’m excited to cast my first ever vote in a European election tomorrow. I’m voting Liberal Democrat – will you join me?

Help us get out the Remain vote - let us know you've voted:

I've voted!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

I'm proud to have been the anti-Brexit Spokesperson for a party that has been unequivocal about Brexit for three years.

Meanwhile, like many people, my colleagues and I have attempted to decipher Corbyn’s riddles and work out exactly what the Labour position is on Brexit.

Labour, Conservatives, UKIP, or the Brexit Party: they all want Brexit.

We've urged him to back us on key votes.

We've tabled amendments to give the people the final say on May’s shambolic deal, inviting him to join us in the voting lobbies.

We've marched on the streets. But all the time, we've been left wondering. Where’s Jeremy Corbyn?

And it’s not just Labour. Labour, Conservatives, UKIP, or the Brexit Party: they all want Brexit.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We have GoD on our side in the European Elections!

by Greg Foster on Wed, 22 May 2019

1. Lord Heseltine, Tory peer

The former Deputy PM endorsed us in the Sunday Times. He immediately had the whip suspended, which as Twitter pointed out was a bit suspect:

2. Andrew MacKinlay, former Labour MP

Andrew was MP for Thurrock for 18 years and a Labour member for 52. But he endorsed us on Monday, slamming Labour's refusal to oppose this Brexit shambles. He even came and spoke at our final rally last night - catch up here!

Catch up on our rally

3. Gus O'Donnell, former civil servant

Gus, former head of the civil service and cross-bench peer, wrote for the Times to endorse us. He was very clear - we're the biggest, strongest party of Remain and if you want to stop Brexit you need to vote Lib Dem.

4. Julie Girling, independent MEP

Writing for her blog, Julie said that we're the only party with the infrastructure to send MEPs to Brussels who'll make a difference. She agrees - a vote for the Lib Dems is the most effective way to win a People's Vote.

5. Matthew Parris, former MP and columnist

Speaking on Newsnight, he condemned the Tories' unceremoniously chucking of Michael Heseltine. Then, he endorsed us and urged Remainers to do the same:

6. Michael Cashman, Labour peer

Lord Cashman's endorsement was succinct, so we'll let him do the talking for us:

7. Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian prime minister and leader of ALDE, the EU liberal group

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We want an EU-wide ban on fracking

by Wera Hobhouse on Wed, 22 May 2019

Throughout our history, the Liberal Democrats have lead the way on green issues. The 1979 Liberal/SDP manifesto called for a “war on waste and pollution” and highlighted “the need to reserve the natural environment for future generations.”

Forty years later, our 2019 European manifesto is no less radical. Just last week, Vince Cable announced our commitment to campaign for an EU-wide ban on fracking.

The Lib Dems know that for real change, we need to work together. Without working with our friends across Europe, we have no chance of effectively tackling our climate crisis.

We’re the party that can take on the Brexiteers, the populists, the climate science deniers.

That’s why we’re fighting to stop Brexit. Without a seat at the table, Britain won’t be able to push for the radical, large-scale, progressive change the EU needs to embrace if we’re going to properly address this climate emergency.

Alongside the fracking ban, we’re calling on the EU to:

  • Adopt a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050
  • Increase their standards of and investment in energy efficiency
  • Implement an EU-wide action plan on deforestation
  • Take immediate action to tackle the use of plastics
  • So much more… you can read our full manifesto here.

We know it’s ambitious. That’s why we need the whole EU to pull together – Britain cannot go it alone if we’re going to protect our planet for future generations. When we Stop Brexit, we’ll remain part of the strongest international team against climate change.

With Lib Dem MEPs in the European Parliament, we’ll be able to call for real, meaningful change in EU environmental policy. As well as being the largest Remain party in the country, we’re also the party with the strongest record on green issues and solid, radical, evidence-based environmental policy. We’re the party that can take on the Brexiteers, the populists, the climate science deniers.

By voting Lib Dem this Thursday, you’ll be part of the team that is fighting to Stop Brexit, and fighting to save our planet for the generations to come. Pledge your vote today.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Tim Farron, Layla Moran and Vince Cable spoke at our last rally of the EU elections in London this evening. And they were joined by a special guest - Andrew MacKinlay, former Labour MP for Thurrock. 

Read their barnstorming speeches and catch up on the action here:

TIM FARRON

What you do in the last few hours matters massively.

Our message of Remain is matter.

Our place in the EU is synonymous with Britain being part of the biggest peace process in the world.

If we do well in the European elections, it changes everything.

The dominant narrative of the Brexit debate that has played out in the press for the last three years changes. It is no longer the story of how we deliver Brexit, it is the story of how we stop Brexit.

In the last four years, we have rebuilt this party, growing back members, supporters, MPs, councils and councillors. We now have just 48 hours to save this country.

I am here so I can say to my children that I did everything I could to save this country.

Be a patriot. Vote Liberal Democrat.

The decisions I made and we made in June 2016 - and in the years - since mean that I can turn to my children and say I did my best for you. 

But imagine how good it will feel if you can all turn to our children and say I did my best for you - and we won.

That is in touching distance in the next 48 hours

If you vote Liberal Democrat you can change the story. If you change the story you can change the future of this country.

It is easy to mistake the patriot and the nationalist. A patriot loves their country. A nationalist hates their neighbour.

Be a patriot. Vote Liberal Democrat.

Across the country, we are coming across people who have never voted Lib Dem before, because of the passion of our message and the credibility of our cause.

Every time someone tweets that they are voting Labour or Tory, think how much it would take for you to not vote for the party you love.

But there are things that change.

Here is a parliamentary colleague, Andrew MacKinlay, who did just this.


ANDREW MACKINLAY

After Christmas last year, I let my membership of the Labour Party lapse after 52 years, 18 of which was as an MP.

I made a similar decision when I resigned from Parliament 9 years ago, I decided to resign from frontline politics.

Until that result in June 2016.

I was not prepared to acquiesce in silence in the face of such national self-destruction.

Against the backdrop of that vote being orchestrated, funded by people of whom we know very little.

Month after month, I waited with bated breath for the official opposition to demand a People' Vote.

But we waited in vain.

What is Jeremy Corbyn's problem with a People's Vote?

It seems to me common sense.

We make decisions all the time and then change our minds.

We instruct surveyors and architects to review our decision after we put an offer on buying a house. If they come back and find the structure isn't sound and the attic is rotting, we have the option to back out. 

Sensible people would think again. 

The British people are entitled to think again.

I'm tired of waking up and listening to Barry Gardiner and Emily Thornberry speaking on Radio 4, using the words 'let me be clear' and then never be clear.

What is Jeremy Corbyn's problem with a People's Vote?

It's hardly surprising; they are led and appointed by Jeremy Corbyn, who just a few hours after the referendum result was demanding that the Article 50 letter was sent, showing so much ignorance of what was at stake.

Even up to last Sunday morning, I was hoping for the Labour party to back a People's Vote.

But Labour have run out of time. 

Proud Europeans, it is now make your mind up time.

The position of the Labour Party is incoherent, inconsistent.

The only vehicle to support this Thursday are the Lib Dems.

I invite those pro-European Labour voters to reflect with me - there is now an opportunity to strike out and to get that realignment of the centre-left.

It is a chance to stop apologising for Europe. I believe in Europe. I don't want to apologise for Europe. I want to proclaim it as a force for good, for the arts, for employment rights, for conflict minimisation and conflict reconciliation, including in our own neighbourhood across the Irish Sea.


LAYLA MORAN

This time two years ago, when the snap election was called, I was utterly convinced I was not going to be elected.

I’d decided I was going to step back from politics.

I’d gotten a job offer as a deputy head, and I told my to-be boss that “if you want to make some money, bet against me – there is no way in hell I am going to overturn a ten thousand Conservative majority in one go."

But I did.

People now think that my constituency, Oxford West and Abingdon is a haven of pro-European voters. It’s really not though. We have dyed-in-the-wool leavers – like much of the country.

It was where Tim Farron met a Leaver on the campaign trail and they discussed their differences. They ended up hugging it out.
Because we’re all exhausted by Brexit. We all want to just make it stop.

I’m full of nostalgia today. I’m wearing the same dress I wore to launch the People’s Vote campaign.

Because us Liberal Democrats - we've been there from the beginning.

We were a lone voice in June 2016, in the aftermath of the referendum result, when we called for a People’s Vote. We didn’t do it because it was popular. We did it to stay true to our pro-European values.

And we’ve never wavered.

Theresa May says we’ve already had a referendum. She forgets that the referendum had less than 2% between the result. She forgets that a year later we had a general election – one that delivered so indecisive a result that we had a hung parliament.

We were a lone voice in June 2016, in the aftermath of the referendum result, when we called for a People’s Vote. We didn’t do it because it was popular. We did it to stay true to our pro-European values.

And under her stewardship, the country has become more and more divided.

Today the Prime Minister said in a press conference, 'look across the world at the health of Liberal Democrat politics'

Indeed, Prime Minister.

If you look, you will see the best local election results we've ever had – in Leave and Remain areas, in the North and South of the country, among men and women, young and old – every type of voter is saying to the two main parties, you are a disgrace.
The Liberal Democrats are flying high.

In Oxford West and Abingdon, we had LOADS of paper candidates that were accidentally elected a few weeks ago.

And if I had that conversation with the head teacher a few weeks ago, I wouldn't have been able to say don’t bet against me.

I would bank on the Lib Dems to come through right now.

To the people waving EU flags tonight – I love that flag. I grew up the daughter of an EU Commission official. My parents live in Brussels, my grandmother is in Greece.

I am actively seeking my Greek passport because of Brexit. I don't want to have to.

Because I am European.

We are all European. We deserve our place in the EU.

We have 48 more hours. Go out and campaign, in the European elections – not just for your future but for our children’s future and our country’s future.


VINCE CABLE

Thank you to everyone that has been part of our European election campaign and our campaign to secure a People's Vote. 

I want to take tonight to first thank Tim Farron. He was the person who made the brave choice three years ago, in the aftermath of the referendum result, to commit our party to a People's Vote.

Since then, we've been the party of remain, the party fighting to stop Brexit.

Our European election campaign has been a journey, aptly described by the big campaign rallies we've had. 

The first, when we launched our election campaign and before the local elections results had come in, the press asked me how our party would be anything other than completely humiliated by Change UK.

At our manifesto launch, the press were slightly nicer, after our spectacular local election results. 

Although they struggled with our slogan - Bollocks to Brexit.

But I've checked and it has a long and distinguished history. It means nonsense.

I've been travelling around the country, hearing from voters. I've been mobbed by a hen party in Malaga, nurses in Liverpool, commuters in Birmingham.

Around the country, people are with us.

The stop Brexit message has resonated with millions.

And it's clear why. 

Today, the heart of the British steel industry, British Steel is being put into administration, because they have lost their market in Europe.

In Birmingham, they are very worried about Jaguar Land Rover.

On Monday, the report on the health service came out. It is being hollowed out - there is a desperate shortage and the nurses we brought in from Europe are going home - because they feel they are not wanted any more.

Brexit is doing huge damage to our health service - that people thought they were saving.

It is extraordinarily sad.

There are also many positive reasons we want to get our wonderful MEP candidates elected to Brussels.

Around the country, people are with us.

There is an international climate emergency. If you try and tackle climate change at a national level it won't work. You have to do it from a position of strength to challenge China and the other large polluters.

We stand together as a liberal movement against the appalling trend of populism.

We also want to work with our colleagues in the European Parliament and make Europe safe and secure in a dangerous world of Trump and Putin, Facebook and Google. Now, the EU can exercise serious discipline, we need to stand up to bullying. The EU can do this when we can't.

I am then debating Trump's little helper - Nigel Farage.

There are some important things you can do.

Tomorrow we are campaigning in Islington - we are looking for the last few Labour voters in London.

After that, I am then debating Donald's little helper - Nigel Farage.

Then we are campaigning. Flat out. Non-stop. For 48 more hours. Liberal Democrats are good at campaigning to the last minute. And you can be part of it - and help stop Brexit.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

No guaranteed People's Vote? No support from us.

by Vince Cable on Tue, 21 May 2019

Theresa May got up and gave another Brexit speech earlier and confirmed what we already knew. She's going to put the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to Parliament - with some minor changes.

Amongst those, she offered a vote on a People's Vote - but only if the bill passes its second reading.

Liberal Democrats are clear. We want to stop Brexit. We won't vote for any deal that doesn't promise to give the people the final say.

Theresa May is offering this because she's running scared. She knows we're on the march and closer to ever to securing a People's Vote. She accidentally admitted as much by a Freudian slip in her speech:

On Thursday, the people of the United Kingdom have a chance to tell this shambolic Tory government: we've had enough. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to remain in the European Union. We've been fighting to stop Brexit for almost 3 years - and we aren't going to back down now.

Help us put an end to this national embarrassment. Pledge your vote to the Lib Dems on Thursday 23rd May.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

On Friday 17th May, I visited Gibraltar with our lead South West England candidate, Caroline Voaden.

Gibraltar's part of the South West of England constituency in the European elections. We've always had strong support there, receiving over 67% of the vote there last time around in 2014.

We're set for a strong result - sending both Caroline Voaden and Martin Horwood, our first and second South West candidates, to the European Parliament

Voters in Gibraltar are worried. Leaving the EU leaves them with no voice at the table - especially concerning at a time when Spain is making more and more outrageous demands.

The 33,000 people who live here could not be clearer that they want to remain British. Brexit puts their future at risk. 13,000 people cross the border with Spain every day - and can only do so because of free movement.

But the people of Gibraltar are an afterthought to Theresa May. She's still trying to push through her hard Brexit deal, despite Parliament rejecting it 3 times.

Liberal Democrats demand better for Gibraltar. We know how essential our membership of the EU is for people living on the Rock. It's one of the many reasons we're fighting to stop this national embarrassment.

The 33,000 people who live in Gibraltar could not be clearer that they want to remain British. Brexit puts their future at risk.

The Conservatives are tearing themselves apart trying to push Brexit through. They've been aided every step of the way by Jeremy Corbyn's pro-Brexit Labour party. The Lib Dems are the biggest, strongest party of Remain. We've been fighting for a People's Vote since the day after the referendum - leading the opposition both inside Parliament and out of it.

Every vote for us on Thursday 23rd May is a vote to stop Brexit. We're set for a strong result - sending both Caroline and Martin Horwood, our second candidate, to the European Parliament. We have an opportunity to send a message to Labour and the Tories - Britain demands better than Brexit. Say you're with us - be a Lib Dem voter on Thursday:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Corbyn's catastrophic Brexit strategy is plodding on. Rather than acting in the interest of the country, he's working to stitch up a Brexit behind closed doors with the Tories.

He's ducking his commitment to a People's Vote. When asked today, he wouldn't even rule out abstaining on Theresa May's Brexit deal when it goes through the Commons in June. That's voting with the Tories without having to say he did.

In fact, we did some research a few days ago. We found 29 different occasions that Labour has voted with the Government on Brexit.

We've had enough of Labour's "constructive ambiguity". Liberal Democrats demand better for the millions of Labour supporters who want to stop Brexit.

We're talking to hundreds of thousands of people across the UK. We're telling them the truth - Labour is a pro-Brexit party. We've put together a dossier of Corbyn's voting record on Brexit - have a look here:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We've got more momentum than Labour 👀

by Greg Foster on Mon, 20 May 2019

There's been a clear pattern emerging in recent opinion polls - and it keeps getting better and better for us as time goes on.

Labour is sinking lower and lower - and the Lib Dems are on the up:

13th May

The response our campaign is getting makes it clear why this is happening. Labour is a pro-Brexit party, and Remainers have had enough.

14th May

They've started attacking us more and more recently. It's pretty obvious that we've got them rattled as we go up and they go down:

18th May

But as you can see, it's not exactly working out for them:

18th May

To the point that the most recent polls have us in second place above them:

18th May

The message is clear - Remainers can't trust Labour. Corbyn wants Brexit. More and more people who want to stay in the EU are switching to the Liberal Democrats as the biggest, strongest Remain party.

We believe that there's no deal better than our membership of the EU. We've been fighting to stop Brexit since the day after the referendum result. And our line is totally clear - every vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to stop Brexit.


We've come a long way since the day after that awful result in 2016. Now, a majority of the public backs our stance of a People's Vote. Politicians from all parties and none have joined our campaign. And on Thursday, we have the chance to send Labour and the Conservatives a message they can't ignore - we want an end to this national embarrassment.

Say you're with us. Pledge your vote to the Lib Dems on Thursday 23rd May and help us stop Brexit.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

New Resources for local parties

by Greg Foster on Mon, 20 May 2019

We've release a whole range of new resources for local parties, covering everything from template emails, digital campaigning resources, template press releases and recruitment materials.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Welcome to all our new members!

by Aleisha Stansfield on Sat, 18 May 2019

It’s been an exciting few weeks for the Lib Dems. Fresh off the back of our big local election wins, we’re going into the European elections polling higher than we have in nearly a decade, and our campaigns around the country have well and truly taken off.

And what’s even better, is we have loads of new members to share the joy with!

We’ve had people joining left right and centre – literally. Joining from Labour, the Tories, or from never having been a party member before. But they do have one thing in common: they’re joining the Lib Dems to Stop Brexit.

It seems like every other tweet we see is someone proudly announcing they’ve joined the Lib Dems. So without further ado, let’s say hello to some of our new members…

We feel it too, Flo. Welcome aboard!

You’re not alone, James. We’ve seen a massive influx of members since the local elections – and this wave of new members still hasn’t stopped! Welcome to the party 😊

We’re seeing plenty of Labour members leaving behind Corbyn’s Brexit mess. Welcome to the party that says it loud and clear: we will Stop Brexit.

Yep, you heard that right. Membership starts at just £1 a month! And for that you get all the benefits of being a member: attending our events, voting in leadership elections, policy debates, and selections, standing for election… the list goes on and on. Thanks for joining, Louise 😊

Spot on, Libby. The Lib Dems are the biggest remain movement in the country. We’re the only remain party putting up a real challenge to Farage and his gang of Brexiteers.

The Labour party are on the same side as Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson – they want Brexit. Thanks for joining the largest, strongest remain party in the country, Jay. It’s great to have you onboard.

#bollockstobrexit has been doing it for a lot of people. We have the strongest pro-EU message going in these European elections. We couldn’t be clearer: every vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to Stop Brexit and remain in the European Union.

If you want to be part of the movement that stops Brexit, join the Lib Dems today. The Lib Dem surge won’t be stopping any time soon - you’ll be joining a friendly, fast-growing, fiercely pro-EU team. Membership starts at just £1 a month, and if you join before midnight on 4th June 2019 you’ll be eligible to vote in our upcoming leadership election.

To all our new members; thank you for joining. We can’t wait to stop Brexit together.

And if you’re still on the fence? Listen to all the lovely people who’ve just joined us, for a huge range of reasons. Don’t hesitate; join the Lib Dems today.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Brexit will hit young people hardest.

by Dan Schmeising on Fri, 17 May 2019

Brexit is a national embarrassment - and it's going to hurt young people more than anyone else.

It leaves us weaker in the fight against the climate crisis.

It strips our universities of millions of pounds of funding.

It takes away our right to live in, work in, travel in and fall in love with the 27 other countries of the European Union.

Both the Conservative and Labour parties want to take that away from us. Theresa May is pandering to climate science deniers on the hard Tory right.

Jeremy Corbyn is ducking his responsibility to millions of Remainers who voted for Labour in 2017. He's refused to unequivocally back a People's Vote. He's repeatedly told us free movement will end. His shadow ministers brag on panel shows that Labour's "bailing the Tories out":

We are the next generation. It's the responsibility of politicians to build a better future for us. But the Tories and Labour have ducked that responsibility to chase a hard, damaging Brexit instead. They're letting young people down.

That's why I'm joining young people up and down the UK and voting for the Liberal Democrats - the biggest, strongest Remain party. 

That's why I'm voting to stop Brexit on Thursday 23rd May.

We can send a message to the Tories and Labour that we won't be ignored. We can get back to fixing the inequality rife in society. We can secure Britain's place in a greener future, in an EU that's carbon-neutral by 2045. Help us get there - share our video now:

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Our message is clear - every vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to stop Brexit. Say you're with us next Thursday. Let's stand up for young people - and put an end to this national disaster.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The scandal of BAME mental health inequality

by Isabelle Parasram on Fri, 17 May 2019

When I began to look into the topic of BAME mental health, what surprised me was how little research had been done into it. There is even less when it comes to intersectional groupings. Even with the information that there is, it’s not widely accessible or ‘showcased’. I got the impression, from an initial trawl of the Internet, that the subject isn’t deemed to be particularly ‘headline grabbing.’

PTSD is higher in women of black ethnic origin and this is related to the higher levels of sexual assaults that they experience

However, I know, from anecdotal evidence and my engagement with some of the key thought leaders in the realm of mental health, that there is inequity that needs to be evaluated and addressed.

I’ve heard from people like:

Ameen Marquis, a Head Teacher who is a regular speaker on male BAME and child migrant/refugee mental health

Patrick Regan, founder of urban youth work charity XLP and mental health charity, Kintsugi Hope

 

Aasiyah Faryal, a presenter and producer who speaks about her experiences of mental health in the Arab and Asian community

In addition, after many hours of reading research papers, Government reports and statistical analyses, I’ve come up with some facts that should be ‘headline grabbing’ but are nowhere near the front page*.

 

  1. PTSD is higher in women of black ethnic origin and this is related to the higher levels of sexual assaults that they experience[1]; however, women of black ethnic origin are less likely to report or seek help for assaults or trauma.[2]
  2. Women of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin are at an elevated risk of schizophrenia.[3]
  3. BAME people are more frequently subjected to involuntary psychiatric hospitalisation than others, particularly young, black men.[4]
  4. Black adults have the lowest treatment rate of any ethnic group, at 6.2% (compared to 13.3% in the white British group).[5]
  5. People from black ethnic minority backgrounds to have a higher prevalence of psychosis compared with the white majority population.[6]
  6. More than one in five Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people (22 per cent) have experienced an eating disorder in the last year compared to 11 per cent of white LGBT people.[7]
  7. Particular communities at higher risk of attempting to take their own lives include 8 per cent of Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people, 11 per cent of non-binary people and 8 per cent of LGBT disabled people (compared to one in twenty within the general adult population).[8]
  8. Asylum seekers and refugees are more likely to experience poor mental health than the local population, including higher rates of depression, PTSD and other anxiety disorders.[9]
  9. Asylum seekers are five times more likely to have mental health needs than the general population and more than 61% will experience serious mental distress.[10]
  10. More than half of trafficked children (56%) screen positive for depression, a third (33%) for an anxiety disorder and a quarter (26%) for PTSD.

The Liberal Democrats have been fighting for parity between physical and mental health services for a long time and our pledge is to fund mental health provision through adding 1p in the pound to income tax.

This is core to our beliefs.

So, as voters, members, supporters and candidates, what can we do to make a difference when it comes to the treatment of BAME groups within the mental healthcare system?

As Liberal Democrats, let’s be the ones exposing the scandal of BAME mental health inequality and leading change in this area.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Join the Liberal Democrats - we are committed to improving mental health provision and are committed to ending the stigma and shame that too often surround discussions on mental health. If you’re already a member consider joining Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality and benefit from being part of a team that is committed to change making in this area.
  2. If you have any expertise in this area, contribute to policy making by joining a policy working group or working on a Motion on this subject.
  3. Connect with mental health charities and activists in your area and support their cause by campaigning on local BAME mental health issues.
  4. Write to your local newspaper about how this has affected you or people you know.
  5. Contribute to radio and telephone call-in shows and comment on the subject.
  6. Contact me to participate in/attend a panel discussion I’m organising in relation to migrant women this Summer (details to be announced shortly).

When I’ve spoken to people who’ve been personally affected by the ‘patchy’ levels of quality in BAME mental healthcare, I’ve been struck by three things that seem to affect BAME groups more than others:

  1. The social isolation they’ve experienced within their own communities
  2. The stigma attached to having a mental illness from their own communities
  3. The perception, by healthcare professionals, that they would largely ‘…be looked after by their own’.

Something has to be done about this - and it has to be done now.

As Liberal Democrats, let’s be the ones exposing the scandal of BAME mental health inequality and leading change in this area.

 

[1] Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, M.J., Walters, S.G., Merrick, M.T., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 summary report. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/ [Accessed 23/08/16].

[2] Ullman, S.E., & Filipas, H.H. (2001). Predictors of PTSD symptom severity and social reactions in sexual assault victims. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 14, 369–389.

[3] Kirkbride, J.B., Barker, D., Cowden, F., Stamps, R., Yang, M., Jones, P.B. & Coid, J.W.(2008). Psychoses, ethnicity and socio-economic status. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 193(1), 18–24.

[4] Modernising the Mental Health Act Increasing choice, reducing compulsion: Final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 - December 2018

[5] Lubian, K., Weich, S., Stansfeld, S., Bebbington, P., Brugha, T., Spiers, N. … & Cooper, C. (2016). Chapter 3: Mental health treatment and services. In S. McManus, P. Bebbington, R. Jenkins, & T. Brugha (Eds.), Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital.

[6] Qassem, T., Bebbington, P., Spiers, N., McManus, S., Jenkins, R., & Dean, S. (2015). Prevalence of psychosis in black ethnic minorities in Britain: Analysis based on three national surveys. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50(7), 1057–1064.

[7] LGBT in Britain: Health Report – Stonewall, 2018

[8] LGBT in Britain: Health Report – Stonewall, 2018

[9] Fazel, M., Wheeler, J., & Danesh, J. (2005). Prevalence of serious mental disorder in 7,000 refugees resettled in Western countries: A systematic review. The Lancet, 365, 1309–1314. Tempany, M. (2009). What research tells us about the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Sudanese refugees: A literature review. Transcultural Psychiatry, 46, 300–315.

[10] Eaton, V., Ward, C., Womack, J., & Taylor, A. (2011). Mental Health and Wellbeing in Leeds: An Assessment of Need in the Adult Population. NHS Leeds.

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

by Lynne Featherstone on Fri, 17 May 2019

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

But we fight every day against discrimination and inequality.

The Liberal Democrats have always pushed for a fairer and more equal society. I was the originator and architect of the same-sex marriage act, which legalised same-sex marriage in the UK in 2013 when I was the minister for equalities in the Home Office. We have always fought for equal rights for all LGBT+ members and we continue to do so today.

Currently, our MPs, Peers and members are fighting for many issues, including:

  • trans people being able to change their legal gender
  • Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) to include teaching about LGBT+ relationships
  • gender-neutral bathrooms, gender-neutral school uniforms, and an ‘X’ option on passports, official documents and forms for those who do not wish to identify as male or female.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to protecting LGBT+ rights and remaining in the European Union

But the legislation that protects LGBT+ individuals in the UK is under threat.

And all because of Brexit.

The European Union’s treaties and laws protect multiple LGBT+ rights under Article 10:

“Members of the European Union shall aim to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.”

And Article 19

“The European Council…. may take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.”

This Article has meant the right to same-sex marriage, the right for same-sex couples to adopt and the integration of anti-discrimination legislation in employment.

I was the originator and architect of the same-sex marriage act, which legalised same-sex marriage in the UK in 2013

The EU guides with forward-looking and progressive suggestions.

But Brexit threatens the progress we have made and the further progress we could make.

The Liberal Democrats want to stop Brexit. The Conservatives have proven again and again that they do not know what they’re doing. Labour have failed the millions of their supporters who want to see Brexit stopped. We are the only party who could secure Britain’s continued presence within the EU.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to protecting LGBT+ rights and remaining in the European Union

A vote for Lib Dems is a vote for Remain.

Pledge your support here:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The final stretch of the European elections - our strategy

by Rhiannon Leaman on Thu, 16 May 2019

We've seen some incredibly exciting polls on the weeks since the local elections.

We’ve got the message, the momentum and the membership.

It’s clear that we are the biggest and strongest Remain party, and we are on course to elect many more MEPs.

But it is important to view these polls in the context of the D’Hondt voting system.

D’Hondt is a very distant cousin of proportional representation. There is no option for opting for more than one party on the ballot paper.

We're doing better than any of us could have expected, but many of the seats that are looking good for us are within the margin of error.

These could be the difference between us getting 5 MEPs - or double that.

Everything is on the line.

To be confident of delivering the results I know we can, we need to spend this last week keeping to the plan that has got us here.

Here’s the game plan.

1. Make sure people know that the Liberal Democrats are fighting to stop Brexit.

There are still too many voters who don’t know what we stand for.

We have made significant progress in the last few years – but we need to keep going.

Keep reminding people, a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit. Voting Liberal Democrat is saying Bollocks to Brexit.

In fact, do it right now:

Facebook

Twitter

WhatsApp

2. Remember that every vote makes a difference

Many of the seats we are hoping to win will come down to a handful of votes - because of the reality of D’Hondt.

Every vote cast in the European elections will make a difference - so do not forgot to get your vote in the ballot box.

3. Getting out the Vote

The very best thing you can do to convince people to vote for us and get them to turn out to voting is speaking to them in person.

Turnout in European elections is notoriously low.

We know that the Brexit Party will get their supporters out – and we need to as well.

Make a plan to remind your friends and family that it's polling day soon and they have a chance to vote for an unashamedly Remain party.

And head to a campaigning event near you, and help teams on the ground reach voters that need a nudge to lend us their vote.

Find your nearest event here:

Find events

5. Recruit a new member

If you find anyone that might be open to it, ask them to join our party.

We are the biggest and best party starting up for Remainers - and every new member and supporter swells our ranks and allows us to shout with a louder voice.

We are growing every day – more than 3,000 people have joined us since the local elections.

Find out more about joining us here: LINK

And as an added bonus, members joining before 7th June, get a vote in our upcoming leadership election- if that would sweeten the deal for anyone you know.

6. Donate

Finally, donate to our campaign.

We've had so many people giving generously to our campaign - and we could not be more grateful.

This election is unique in that the spending limit, whilst incredibly stretching for our party, is very limiting for others.

We are not bankrolled by super-wealthy donors or by the trade unions. Everything we spend, from printing leaflets, to advertising online, is funded by our generous members.

The playing field has been levelled - and it truly shows.

Anything you can give to help us match the spending of Labour, the conservatives and the Brexit Party is very gratefully received - and know that every penny you give is going straight into powering our campaign to stop Brexit.

We're into the final week of the campaign and we're riding an exciting wave. We need to keep going with what is working, so we can deliver a powerful result.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →