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John Ruybal 2016-07-12
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The Liberal Democrats just pulled an absolute blinder on the Theresa May.

If you hit a bad page on the party s website, instead of your classic page cannot be found message, this appears.

It s definitely a lot funnier than the Conservative s 404 page, which is just sneaky.

Though at least the Tories tried – it looks like the Green Party are participating in a throwback to the 1990s with their web design.

Well done Lib Dems – you may not be winning the political game, but your banter is top class.

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Randy Rowald 2017-05-12
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p A future Liberal Democrat government is something you can only really imagine when enjoying loads of drugs, which is quite a coincidence as the party has said it would legalise cannabis in the UK -- should it somehow manage to win enough votes to get its ideas past the hopeful whiteboard stage.

That's according to Lib Dem candidate for Cambridge Julian Huppert, who said: "The current approach is a disaster for young people, whose mental and physical health is being harmed by an increasingly potent product.

There are no age checks, and no controls on quality or strength."

The idea is to regulate the market so that the stronger skunk strains favoured by dealers fade away, creating a safer product in a regulated market, shitloads of tax money and a series of licensed cannabis shops around the country where people can buy without fear of getting knifed for the rest of their money and whatever's in their rucksack.

It would be sold to over-18s only and would reduce crime, save police time, earn money and make everyone happier in the fantasy alternative universe in which the Lib Dems sweep to power next month.

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Kay Pry 2020-09-25
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Stress and anxiety-related absence among NHS staff soared after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, new analysis shows.

More than half a million (510,281) days were lost to absence due to anxiety, stress, depression or other psychiatric illnesses in May 2020, the month that followed the worst of the pandemic so far in terms of death rates.

Those issues accounted for more than a quarter (28.3%) of all absences, and represented a 37% increase on the days lost in the previous year, when 371,242 full-time equivalent days were lost.

The Liberal Democrats said official figures showed thousands had “endured life-altering trauma and immeasurable excess stress” while working under strict Covid protocols and watching many patients die.

The party, which analysed the figures, urged the government to respond with proposals to provide “world class” mental support for health and care staff.

Lib Dem members are expected to pass a motion at the party’s conference on Friday pushing to strengthen services for “under pressure and overstretched” staff, including ancillary workers such as porters and cleaners.

They will demand that the Covid-19 support hotline is available 24/7, to scrap HR practices which encourage staff to work when they are not feeling up to it, and to introduce an “occupational health passport” so workers do not have to relive mental health traumas when they change jobs.

Lib Dem health spokesperson Munira Wilson said: “This dreadful pandemic has taken more than just a physical toll. 

“It has had hugely negative consequences for people’s mental health too. 

“As these figures make clear, this has been especially true for health and care workers, who have been on the front line of the crisis. 

“Thousands have endured life-altering trauma and immeasurable excess stress.  

“Even before the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of days were lost each year due to absence related to mental health conditions.

“To ensure our health and care service is resilient going forward, we need to expand the support available.

“These dedicated staff keep our healthcare system running 24/7 and we need to make sure they have 24/7 support too.

“As well as a hotline that operates all day, every day, the Liberal Democrats want to see effective signposting to mental health support and the scrapping of HR practices that penalise people seeking treatment for mental ill health.” 

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Wayne Chapple 2017-05-15
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p Only caveat is they need to actually get in power...

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to end the "Orwellian nightmare" of mass-snooping powers in the Investigatory Powers Act ahead of their manifesto launch.

They will propose to roll back state surveillance powers by ending the indiscriminate bulk collection of communications data and internet connection records.

The party also committed to fighting Conservative attempts to undermine encryption, which it warned will put people's online security at risk.

It comes as a recent leaked draft document from the Home Office has revealed that government aims to be able to access anyone's communications within 24 hours and to bring an end to encrypted messages under the recently passed Investigatory Powers Bill.

Under the plans, companies would be legally required to introduce a backdoor to their systems so authorities can read all correspondence if required.

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Thomas Cann 2020-08-27
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Former government minister Davey was elected the Liberal Democrats' new leader on Thursday morning, defeating Layla Moran.
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Bill Davis 2020-09-27
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Too many voters think the Lib Dems are “out of touch”, Ed Davey will warn party members on Monday. 

In his first speech to the party’s conference as leader, Davey will say “listen to what people are really telling us” and “change”.

The Lib Dems went into the 2019 election with high expectations of picking up a significant number of seats on the back of pro-Remain sentiment.

Jo Swinson, who led the party into the election, claimed she has a realistic chance of becoming prime minister. In the event, Swinson lost her seat and the party dropped from 12 to 11 MPs.

Davey will tell party members: “We have endured three deeply disappointing general elections, in five tough years.

“At the national level at least, too many people think we’re out of touch with what they want. 

“The answer is to listen to what people are really telling us. And to change.”

He will use his speech to be the voice of the UK’s nine million carers, drawing on his own life story.

Davey will talk about being a teenage carer for his mother as she battled bone cancer after his father died when he was four, as well as the challenges of caring for his disabled son, John.

He will tell parents of disabled children and young people caring for their parents: “I understand what you’re going through, and I promise you this: I will be your voice.”

And he will also speak of caring for his grandmother, and the challenge of getting her into a good, affordable home to “make her last few years as comfortable as we could”.

The speech, which will be delivered online, will criticise Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying the government has not “risen to this challenge”.

“If you judged the UK’s response to this crisis solely on what the government is doing, it would be easy to despair,” he is expected to say.

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Julie Romero 2020-08-26
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The new leader of the Liberal Democrats will be announced on Thursday morning after a three-month contest between Ed Davey and Layla Moran.
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Bart King 2020-10-11
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Ministers have been urged to toughen rules around racist hair discrimination which causes “ridiculous” stress and anxiety and can harm Black people’s education and work outcomes.

Equalities minister Liz Truss was urged to toughen guidance for schools and workplaces to stop “appalling” cases of Black people being sent home from school because of their afros, or turned down for jobs because they have braids or cornrows.

The Liberal Democrats also urged Truss to launch a review of whether the law needs to change to stop “unacceptable” discrimination in school and work hair policies, which are “all-too-prevalent”.

It came as HuffPost UK heard stories of Black people who suffered hair discrimination at school and work that caused so much anxiety that it affected exam results and how they go about their jobs.

MORE Young Black Brits On Growing Up With Hair Discrimination: ‘It Stays With You’

 

‘How can you have a rule that’s just for Black and mixed race people?’

Ruby Williams was repeatedly sent home from school because of her afro hair and recently received an £8,500 out-of-court settlement after her family took legal action against the Urswick school in Hackney, east London.

Her natural hair was judged to breach school policy which stated that “afro style hair must be of reasonable size and length”.

Ruby's hair the first time she was sent home from school, aged 14 in 2016

Ruby’s mother, Kate Williams, said that at the same time other pupils were allowed to grow their hair as long as they want it, dye it blue and red, or add extensions. 

Boys were allowed shaved heads, tramlines and other hairstyles which may not be allowed at other stricter schools.

“Their only issue was natural afro hair, you couldn’t make it up,” she said.

“I know myself, I’m a teacher, I knew straight away you cannot have a rule that just applies to afro hair.

“Because who has afro hair? Black and mixed race people have afro hair.

“How can you have a rule that’s just for Black and mixed race people?”

Williams took the case to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, eventually winning the settlement after battling the school for years.

But she told HuffPost UK that the saga caused so much stress and anxiety that Ruby, who was a “model student”, got worse GCSE grades than predicted.

Ruby became so stressed that she once “lost it” when a photo of her with her afro was taken off a classroom wall by a teacher despite the fact that she was following school rules and had her hair tied back at the time, and she eventually became an intermittent “school refuser”.

Ruby’s mother also had a “complete breakdown” as her daughter intermittently refused to go to school because she struggled so much with going from the “teacher’s pet” to getting in trouble “and being highlighted”.

Ruby’s mother said: “She was a model student and she went from that to staring in the mirror every morning, looking at her hair, not knowing what to do.

“She was ridiculously stressed out and that impacted on the whole family. Every morning was a nightmare.”

Williams added: “It was the worst time of my life, I had a complete breakdown in the middle of it.

“It was horrendous, it’s hard to explain how much stress it brought into her life and our lives as parents and our extended family and support network, it was awful.” 

When she finished her GCSEs, in which she achieved good grades – but below her predictions – Ruby chose to leave Hackney for a “bog standard” sixth form in nearby Haringey.

“She was clever enough to go to top sixth forms but she lost all her confidence and she didn’t want the stress of going somewhere highly academic, in case she turned wobbly again,” Williams said.

Williams, whose 18 year-old daughter is now at Manchester University, backed the Lib Dems’ call for stronger guidance but said she wanted it to be put into law so schools can be held accountable.

Following Ruby’s case, Hackney council drew up guidance to make school hairstyles “more flexible and inclusive”, but Williams insists that without a legal change “they have no clout”.

Ruby in spring 2020, in her final year at school

“They can’t force any of the schools in Hackney to follow this guidance,” she said.

“This needs to be in statutory education law. It needs to be part of the statutory duties of schools, because if it was the Department for Education could have sorted this out for us four years ago, in 2016 when they first got involved.

“They couldn’t do anything and they were very apologetic.

“All they could do was force the school to give us a complaints panel.

“But what they should have been able to do is to write to the school and say: you’re breaking equalities and education law, stop it.

“It should be the DfE’s job to keep children safe in schools and the government should give them that power.”

 

‘As if I’m an animal in a zoo’

Julia Ogiehor revealed the different kinds of hair discrimination that she has faced in her office job and said the new guidance would help Black people get jobs and then “thrive and progress”.

She has faced a situation where a boss has “pulled my braids and asked if my hair is real”, and said colleagues crowd around her desk and stare at her if she changes her hair “as if I’m an animal in a zoo”.

Julia Ogiehor (left) with braids

Colleagues also “don’t seem to understand” when they ask to touch her hair and she refuses, and she has had colleagues ask “how often I wash my hair”.

“I’ve had to in the past, whenever I have had braiding, and I’m going into work for the first time, I’ve had so much anxiety about the reaction that I’ve had to send a picture to my team in advance or tell my manager separately that I don’t want attention drawn to it,” she said.

“It gets to the stage where I get so much anxiety that I don’t want to change my hair too much because I can’t deal with it.”

Ogiehor reveals she is now in a situation where she will refuse to take a job “if it means I have to change my hair”, and that discrimination is so common that Black women have a technique known as “a dive” – to move out of the way as soon as someone reaches for their hair.

“It’s definitely a racial thing,” she said.

“If you are still not used to a Black woman having afro hair one day, braids another and straight hair another day, then you haven’t been paying attention.”

Julia Ogiehor with her afro tied back

Ogiehor, who is a Lib Dem councillor in Muswell Hill, north London, went on: “Having this guidance would remove that extra layer of stress - you are going to an interview, you are stressing about doing well, it would be nice to remove to that added pressure of: will they judge me according to my hair?

“It would be nice to go into work and know that you don’t have to do these mental gymnastics of how to approach everyone zooming in on you and making you the centre of the office, like at a zoo, with everyone crowding around your desk looking over you.

“In an interview, it would help you be more confident and that would make you more likely to get a job.

“The more confident and comfortable you are in your work environment, the more likely you are to thrive and progress.

“It’s just one less thing to worry about - it doesn’t go far enough in dealing with many of the microaggressions people with colour face in the workplace, but it’s one small step in helping deal with that stress.”

 

‘This is racial discrimination, pure and simple’

Lib Dem equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse has written to Truss demanding action to stop “appalling cases of Black children being sent home from school because of their afros, Black boys being told to cut off their dreadlocks, Black women being turned down for jobs because they wear their hair in braids or cornrows, and Black employees being told to chemically straighten their natural hair”.

She told HuffPost UK: “No one should have to endure discrimination of any kind. Yet hair discrimination remains a major issue in the UK today, as Black people face pressure - both official and unofficial - when it comes to hair styles.

“This is racial discrimination, pure and simple. It is unacceptable and it must stop.

“The Liberal Democrats want to see new guidance for schools and employers to prevent hair discrimination in policies and practices to help eliminate this prejudice from our society.”

The party is also calling for an awareness campaign to support schools and workplaces ensure their policies are not discriminatory, and to help people who have experienced hair discrimination uphold their rights.

Truss was also urged to start a review to determine if additional changes, including potential legal changes, are needed to tackle hair discrimination. 

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Robert Carter 2017-05-15
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p The chance of the Lib Dems managing to get a parliamentary majority are slim at best.

Even the party's most die-hard supporters can't deny that fact.

Still, the yellow party isn't letting that get in the way of their election campaign, promising to us all that a Lib Dem government means less spying on you and me.

According to The Guardian, the Lib Dems are very much against the recently enacted Investigatory Powers Act (aka the Snooper's Charter) which MP Alistair Carmichael referred to as a "full frontal assault" on the rights of British citizens.

They even went so far as to refer to it as the digital equivalent of hiring a private investigator to follow everyone in the country and document everything they do.

Specifically the party is against storing peoples' 'connection records' (documenting which sites you visit, but not the pages within the site itself) and communications data - which only refers to the context of the conversation rather than anything that was actually said.

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Justin Cornell 2016-10-11
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In a small bit of good news, however, there is a group of people who self-identify as concerned about the climate.

In addition to answering questions about their view on climate science and policy, the participants were asked about their political affiliations, which were divided into four categories based on strong or moderate affiliation with one of the two major parties.

Barely more than half of liberal Democrats say that there's a scientific consensus.

Less than a third of moderate Democrats do, and only about 10 to 15 percent of all Republicans do.

None of these issues are at all scientifically controversial, yet only 11 percent of conservative Republicans felt that we understand the cause.

Here, only 55 percent of liberal Democrats agreed.

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Steven Condon 2020-08-27
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Sir Ed Davey has been elected as the fifth Liberal Democrat leader in as many years.

Davey overwhelmingly beat the challenge of Layla Moran to succeed Jo Swinson as party leader after Swinson dramatically lost her East Dunbartonshire seat in last December’s election.

The result was announced at a virtual event in central London due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Davey, who was already acting leader, won 42,756 votes, comfortably beating Moran, who garnered 24,564 on a turnout of 57.6%.

The Liberal Democrats won just 11 seats last year. An internal inquiry into the party’s poor performance likened the campaign to a “high-speed car crash”, and the new leader will be aiming to turn the party’s fortunes around.

Speaking at the result declaration, Davey said: “I’m determined our party backs a Britain that works with other countries across the world for peace and prosperity.

“But it is my love of our party that makes me recognise that we have to change.

“We have to wake up and smell the coffee. Nationally, our party has lost touch with too many voters.

“Yes, we are powerful advocates locally. Our campaigners listen to local people, work hard for communities and deliver results.

“But at the national level, we have to face the facts of three disappointing general election results.

“Nationally, voters have been sending us a message. But we have not been listening.

“It is time for us to start listening. As leader I am telling you: I have got that message. I am listening now.”

At a Lib Dem hustings chaired by HuffPost UK’s Ned Simons on Friday, Davey promised he would promote Moran if he was crowned leader.

The Kingston and Surbiton MP is an experienced politician and former cabinet minister who entered the Commons in 1997.

He was a business minister under former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg during the coalition years, and then moved to the job of energy secretary in 2012.

Davey has temporarily co-led the party with Lib Dem peer Baroness Sal Brinton since Swinson stepped down in 2019.

As the months-long contest drew to a close, with voting finishing at 1pm on Wednesday, Davey said: “The next leader faces a huge job to rebuild the party, take on the Conservatives and get the party winning nationally again.

“This contest has put both candidates through our paces and made sure that the victor is battle-tested for this tough job ahead.”

He beat the challenge of Oxford West and Abingdon MP Moran, who entered the Commons in 2017.

Liberal Democrat members had been able to vote for their preferred leader from July 30.

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Michael Hurlock 2017-05-21
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p The Liberal Democrats have launched their 2016 election campaign in earnest with an unveiling of a poster attacking prime minister Theresa May's alleged adoption of Ukip values.

The party, led by MP Tim Farron, hosted the launch of the poster in which May wears the face of former Ukip leader Farage alongside the mantra, 'vote her, get him'.

The creative looks to underline a similarity in values between the parties, with the Lib Dems looking to remind voters that it is the party that will reject "May and Farage's extreme version of Brexit".

Don't settle for Nigel Farage's vision of Britain by voting for Theresa May.

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 20, 2017

Party treasury spokesperson Vince Cable said at the launch: "To understand what is going on you have to listen to the voices of the people who are Mrs May’s cheerleaders and admirers.

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Jimmy Richmond 2018-03-23
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It has been Liberal Democrat policy right from the beginning.

Yet now Remainers across the political divide are slowly coalescing upon a “deal or remain” referendum as one of the few avenues to oppose Brexit without outright demanding for the referendum vote to be annulled.

Today, Owen Smith has become the latest to demand the British people get a final say on the final deal.

It is a very politically-attractive strategy: they can legitimately dodge accusations that instead of frustrating democracy, they’re in fact demanding more of it.

Free trade agreements don’t happen quickly, as Remainers rightly argued in the referendum.

The “final deal” will certainly not be available by March 2019, never mind months prior to that in time for a referendum.

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Roy Shannon 2017-12-28
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Lib Dem MPs have called for a ban on private companies carrying out benefit eligibility tests on behalf of the government.

The party’s work and pensions spokesman Stephen Lloyd - who has a disability - has called for an immediate end to private sector involvement in tests for sick and disabled people, which he says have “undermined the principles of the welfare state established by Liberal reformer Sir William Beveridge”.

Despite receiving contracts for personal independence payment (PIP) tests and work capability assessments (WCA) worth hundreds of millions of pounds from the DWP, the Lib Dems say large multinationals including Atos, Capita and Maximus have consistently failed to meet government standards.

“Just over 70 years ago, the great Liberal reformer William Beveridge set out the foundational principles of our modern welfare state,” Eastbourne MP Lloyd told HuffPost UK.

“He called for a social contract between citizen and state, and a minimum standard below which no individual should ever fall.

“Today these principles are under threat from the privatisation of benefit tests, which continue to cause immeasurable suffering.

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Cornell Lopez 2019-06-14

Liberalism is still alive in the UK – but it’s time to wake up and time to turn an inclination into a movement, Lib Dem member Adam Kirby writes

HuffPost is part of Oath.

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Select 'OK' to continue and allow Oath and our partners to use your data, or select 'Manage options' to view your choices.

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William Ewing 2017-05-19
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p Online companies could face fines or prosecution if they fail to remove illegal content, under Conservative plans for stricter internet regulation.

The party has also proposed an industry-wide levy, dubbed a "Twitter tax", to fund "preventative activity to counter internet harms".

Labour said it had "pressed for tough new codes" in the past but the government had "categorically refused".

The Liberal Democrats said more needed to be done "to find a real solution".

The Conservatives said the levy, proposed in their election manifesto, would use the same model as that used in the gambling industry, where companies voluntarily contribute to the charity GambleAware to help pay for education, research, and treating gambling addiction.

If they failed to do so, the government would have the power to impose an industry-wide toll.

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John Ruybal 2016-07-12
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The Liberal Democrats just pulled an absolute blinder on the Theresa May.

If you hit a bad page on the party s website, instead of your classic page cannot be found message, this appears.

It s definitely a lot funnier than the Conservative s 404 page, which is just sneaky.

Though at least the Tories tried – it looks like the Green Party are participating in a throwback to the 1990s with their web design.

Well done Lib Dems – you may not be winning the political game, but your banter is top class.

Kay Pry 2020-09-25
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Stress and anxiety-related absence among NHS staff soared after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, new analysis shows.

More than half a million (510,281) days were lost to absence due to anxiety, stress, depression or other psychiatric illnesses in May 2020, the month that followed the worst of the pandemic so far in terms of death rates.

Those issues accounted for more than a quarter (28.3%) of all absences, and represented a 37% increase on the days lost in the previous year, when 371,242 full-time equivalent days were lost.

The Liberal Democrats said official figures showed thousands had “endured life-altering trauma and immeasurable excess stress” while working under strict Covid protocols and watching many patients die.

The party, which analysed the figures, urged the government to respond with proposals to provide “world class” mental support for health and care staff.

Lib Dem members are expected to pass a motion at the party’s conference on Friday pushing to strengthen services for “under pressure and overstretched” staff, including ancillary workers such as porters and cleaners.

They will demand that the Covid-19 support hotline is available 24/7, to scrap HR practices which encourage staff to work when they are not feeling up to it, and to introduce an “occupational health passport” so workers do not have to relive mental health traumas when they change jobs.

Lib Dem health spokesperson Munira Wilson said: “This dreadful pandemic has taken more than just a physical toll. 

“It has had hugely negative consequences for people’s mental health too. 

“As these figures make clear, this has been especially true for health and care workers, who have been on the front line of the crisis. 

“Thousands have endured life-altering trauma and immeasurable excess stress.  

“Even before the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of days were lost each year due to absence related to mental health conditions.

“To ensure our health and care service is resilient going forward, we need to expand the support available.

“These dedicated staff keep our healthcare system running 24/7 and we need to make sure they have 24/7 support too.

“As well as a hotline that operates all day, every day, the Liberal Democrats want to see effective signposting to mental health support and the scrapping of HR practices that penalise people seeking treatment for mental ill health.” 

Thomas Cann 2020-08-27
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Former government minister Davey was elected the Liberal Democrats' new leader on Thursday morning, defeating Layla Moran.
Julie Romero 2020-08-26
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The new leader of the Liberal Democrats will be announced on Thursday morning after a three-month contest between Ed Davey and Layla Moran.
Robert Carter 2017-05-15
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p The chance of the Lib Dems managing to get a parliamentary majority are slim at best.

Even the party's most die-hard supporters can't deny that fact.

Still, the yellow party isn't letting that get in the way of their election campaign, promising to us all that a Lib Dem government means less spying on you and me.

According to The Guardian, the Lib Dems are very much against the recently enacted Investigatory Powers Act (aka the Snooper's Charter) which MP Alistair Carmichael referred to as a "full frontal assault" on the rights of British citizens.

They even went so far as to refer to it as the digital equivalent of hiring a private investigator to follow everyone in the country and document everything they do.

Specifically the party is against storing peoples' 'connection records' (documenting which sites you visit, but not the pages within the site itself) and communications data - which only refers to the context of the conversation rather than anything that was actually said.

Steven Condon 2020-08-27
img

Sir Ed Davey has been elected as the fifth Liberal Democrat leader in as many years.

Davey overwhelmingly beat the challenge of Layla Moran to succeed Jo Swinson as party leader after Swinson dramatically lost her East Dunbartonshire seat in last December’s election.

The result was announced at a virtual event in central London due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Davey, who was already acting leader, won 42,756 votes, comfortably beating Moran, who garnered 24,564 on a turnout of 57.6%.

The Liberal Democrats won just 11 seats last year. An internal inquiry into the party’s poor performance likened the campaign to a “high-speed car crash”, and the new leader will be aiming to turn the party’s fortunes around.

Speaking at the result declaration, Davey said: “I’m determined our party backs a Britain that works with other countries across the world for peace and prosperity.

“But it is my love of our party that makes me recognise that we have to change.

“We have to wake up and smell the coffee. Nationally, our party has lost touch with too many voters.

“Yes, we are powerful advocates locally. Our campaigners listen to local people, work hard for communities and deliver results.

“But at the national level, we have to face the facts of three disappointing general election results.

“Nationally, voters have been sending us a message. But we have not been listening.

“It is time for us to start listening. As leader I am telling you: I have got that message. I am listening now.”

At a Lib Dem hustings chaired by HuffPost UK’s Ned Simons on Friday, Davey promised he would promote Moran if he was crowned leader.

The Kingston and Surbiton MP is an experienced politician and former cabinet minister who entered the Commons in 1997.

He was a business minister under former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg during the coalition years, and then moved to the job of energy secretary in 2012.

Davey has temporarily co-led the party with Lib Dem peer Baroness Sal Brinton since Swinson stepped down in 2019.

As the months-long contest drew to a close, with voting finishing at 1pm on Wednesday, Davey said: “The next leader faces a huge job to rebuild the party, take on the Conservatives and get the party winning nationally again.

“This contest has put both candidates through our paces and made sure that the victor is battle-tested for this tough job ahead.”

He beat the challenge of Oxford West and Abingdon MP Moran, who entered the Commons in 2017.

Liberal Democrat members had been able to vote for their preferred leader from July 30.

Jimmy Richmond 2018-03-23
img

It has been Liberal Democrat policy right from the beginning.

Yet now Remainers across the political divide are slowly coalescing upon a “deal or remain” referendum as one of the few avenues to oppose Brexit without outright demanding for the referendum vote to be annulled.

Today, Owen Smith has become the latest to demand the British people get a final say on the final deal.

It is a very politically-attractive strategy: they can legitimately dodge accusations that instead of frustrating democracy, they’re in fact demanding more of it.

Free trade agreements don’t happen quickly, as Remainers rightly argued in the referendum.

The “final deal” will certainly not be available by March 2019, never mind months prior to that in time for a referendum.

Cornell Lopez 2019-06-14

Liberalism is still alive in the UK – but it’s time to wake up and time to turn an inclination into a movement, Lib Dem member Adam Kirby writes

HuffPost is part of Oath.

Oath and our partners need your consent to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads.

Oath will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.

Select 'OK' to continue and allow Oath and our partners to use your data, or select 'Manage options' to view your choices.

Randy Rowald 2017-05-12
img

p A future Liberal Democrat government is something you can only really imagine when enjoying loads of drugs, which is quite a coincidence as the party has said it would legalise cannabis in the UK -- should it somehow manage to win enough votes to get its ideas past the hopeful whiteboard stage.

That's according to Lib Dem candidate for Cambridge Julian Huppert, who said: "The current approach is a disaster for young people, whose mental and physical health is being harmed by an increasingly potent product.

There are no age checks, and no controls on quality or strength."

The idea is to regulate the market so that the stronger skunk strains favoured by dealers fade away, creating a safer product in a regulated market, shitloads of tax money and a series of licensed cannabis shops around the country where people can buy without fear of getting knifed for the rest of their money and whatever's in their rucksack.

It would be sold to over-18s only and would reduce crime, save police time, earn money and make everyone happier in the fantasy alternative universe in which the Lib Dems sweep to power next month.

Wayne Chapple 2017-05-15
img

p Only caveat is they need to actually get in power...

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to end the "Orwellian nightmare" of mass-snooping powers in the Investigatory Powers Act ahead of their manifesto launch.

They will propose to roll back state surveillance powers by ending the indiscriminate bulk collection of communications data and internet connection records.

The party also committed to fighting Conservative attempts to undermine encryption, which it warned will put people's online security at risk.

It comes as a recent leaked draft document from the Home Office has revealed that government aims to be able to access anyone's communications within 24 hours and to bring an end to encrypted messages under the recently passed Investigatory Powers Bill.

Under the plans, companies would be legally required to introduce a backdoor to their systems so authorities can read all correspondence if required.

Bill Davis 2020-09-27
img

Too many voters think the Lib Dems are “out of touch”, Ed Davey will warn party members on Monday. 

In his first speech to the party’s conference as leader, Davey will say “listen to what people are really telling us” and “change”.

The Lib Dems went into the 2019 election with high expectations of picking up a significant number of seats on the back of pro-Remain sentiment.

Jo Swinson, who led the party into the election, claimed she has a realistic chance of becoming prime minister. In the event, Swinson lost her seat and the party dropped from 12 to 11 MPs.

Davey will tell party members: “We have endured three deeply disappointing general elections, in five tough years.

“At the national level at least, too many people think we’re out of touch with what they want. 

“The answer is to listen to what people are really telling us. And to change.”

He will use his speech to be the voice of the UK’s nine million carers, drawing on his own life story.

Davey will talk about being a teenage carer for his mother as she battled bone cancer after his father died when he was four, as well as the challenges of caring for his disabled son, John.

He will tell parents of disabled children and young people caring for their parents: “I understand what you’re going through, and I promise you this: I will be your voice.”

And he will also speak of caring for his grandmother, and the challenge of getting her into a good, affordable home to “make her last few years as comfortable as we could”.

The speech, which will be delivered online, will criticise Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying the government has not “risen to this challenge”.

“If you judged the UK’s response to this crisis solely on what the government is doing, it would be easy to despair,” he is expected to say.

Bart King 2020-10-11
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Ministers have been urged to toughen rules around racist hair discrimination which causes “ridiculous” stress and anxiety and can harm Black people’s education and work outcomes.

Equalities minister Liz Truss was urged to toughen guidance for schools and workplaces to stop “appalling” cases of Black people being sent home from school because of their afros, or turned down for jobs because they have braids or cornrows.

The Liberal Democrats also urged Truss to launch a review of whether the law needs to change to stop “unacceptable” discrimination in school and work hair policies, which are “all-too-prevalent”.

It came as HuffPost UK heard stories of Black people who suffered hair discrimination at school and work that caused so much anxiety that it affected exam results and how they go about their jobs.

MORE Young Black Brits On Growing Up With Hair Discrimination: ‘It Stays With You’

 

‘How can you have a rule that’s just for Black and mixed race people?’

Ruby Williams was repeatedly sent home from school because of her afro hair and recently received an £8,500 out-of-court settlement after her family took legal action against the Urswick school in Hackney, east London.

Her natural hair was judged to breach school policy which stated that “afro style hair must be of reasonable size and length”.

Ruby's hair the first time she was sent home from school, aged 14 in 2016

Ruby’s mother, Kate Williams, said that at the same time other pupils were allowed to grow their hair as long as they want it, dye it blue and red, or add extensions. 

Boys were allowed shaved heads, tramlines and other hairstyles which may not be allowed at other stricter schools.

“Their only issue was natural afro hair, you couldn’t make it up,” she said.

“I know myself, I’m a teacher, I knew straight away you cannot have a rule that just applies to afro hair.

“Because who has afro hair? Black and mixed race people have afro hair.

“How can you have a rule that’s just for Black and mixed race people?”

Williams took the case to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, eventually winning the settlement after battling the school for years.

But she told HuffPost UK that the saga caused so much stress and anxiety that Ruby, who was a “model student”, got worse GCSE grades than predicted.

Ruby became so stressed that she once “lost it” when a photo of her with her afro was taken off a classroom wall by a teacher despite the fact that she was following school rules and had her hair tied back at the time, and she eventually became an intermittent “school refuser”.

Ruby’s mother also had a “complete breakdown” as her daughter intermittently refused to go to school because she struggled so much with going from the “teacher’s pet” to getting in trouble “and being highlighted”.

Ruby’s mother said: “She was a model student and she went from that to staring in the mirror every morning, looking at her hair, not knowing what to do.

“She was ridiculously stressed out and that impacted on the whole family. Every morning was a nightmare.”

Williams added: “It was the worst time of my life, I had a complete breakdown in the middle of it.

“It was horrendous, it’s hard to explain how much stress it brought into her life and our lives as parents and our extended family and support network, it was awful.” 

When she finished her GCSEs, in which she achieved good grades – but below her predictions – Ruby chose to leave Hackney for a “bog standard” sixth form in nearby Haringey.

“She was clever enough to go to top sixth forms but she lost all her confidence and she didn’t want the stress of going somewhere highly academic, in case she turned wobbly again,” Williams said.

Williams, whose 18 year-old daughter is now at Manchester University, backed the Lib Dems’ call for stronger guidance but said she wanted it to be put into law so schools can be held accountable.

Following Ruby’s case, Hackney council drew up guidance to make school hairstyles “more flexible and inclusive”, but Williams insists that without a legal change “they have no clout”.

Ruby in spring 2020, in her final year at school

“They can’t force any of the schools in Hackney to follow this guidance,” she said.

“This needs to be in statutory education law. It needs to be part of the statutory duties of schools, because if it was the Department for Education could have sorted this out for us four years ago, in 2016 when they first got involved.

“They couldn’t do anything and they were very apologetic.

“All they could do was force the school to give us a complaints panel.

“But what they should have been able to do is to write to the school and say: you’re breaking equalities and education law, stop it.

“It should be the DfE’s job to keep children safe in schools and the government should give them that power.”

 

‘As if I’m an animal in a zoo’

Julia Ogiehor revealed the different kinds of hair discrimination that she has faced in her office job and said the new guidance would help Black people get jobs and then “thrive and progress”.

She has faced a situation where a boss has “pulled my braids and asked if my hair is real”, and said colleagues crowd around her desk and stare at her if she changes her hair “as if I’m an animal in a zoo”.

Julia Ogiehor (left) with braids

Colleagues also “don’t seem to understand” when they ask to touch her hair and she refuses, and she has had colleagues ask “how often I wash my hair”.

“I’ve had to in the past, whenever I have had braiding, and I’m going into work for the first time, I’ve had so much anxiety about the reaction that I’ve had to send a picture to my team in advance or tell my manager separately that I don’t want attention drawn to it,” she said.

“It gets to the stage where I get so much anxiety that I don’t want to change my hair too much because I can’t deal with it.”

Ogiehor reveals she is now in a situation where she will refuse to take a job “if it means I have to change my hair”, and that discrimination is so common that Black women have a technique known as “a dive” – to move out of the way as soon as someone reaches for their hair.

“It’s definitely a racial thing,” she said.

“If you are still not used to a Black woman having afro hair one day, braids another and straight hair another day, then you haven’t been paying attention.”

Julia Ogiehor with her afro tied back

Ogiehor, who is a Lib Dem councillor in Muswell Hill, north London, went on: “Having this guidance would remove that extra layer of stress - you are going to an interview, you are stressing about doing well, it would be nice to remove to that added pressure of: will they judge me according to my hair?

“It would be nice to go into work and know that you don’t have to do these mental gymnastics of how to approach everyone zooming in on you and making you the centre of the office, like at a zoo, with everyone crowding around your desk looking over you.

“In an interview, it would help you be more confident and that would make you more likely to get a job.

“The more confident and comfortable you are in your work environment, the more likely you are to thrive and progress.

“It’s just one less thing to worry about - it doesn’t go far enough in dealing with many of the microaggressions people with colour face in the workplace, but it’s one small step in helping deal with that stress.”

 

‘This is racial discrimination, pure and simple’

Lib Dem equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse has written to Truss demanding action to stop “appalling cases of Black children being sent home from school because of their afros, Black boys being told to cut off their dreadlocks, Black women being turned down for jobs because they wear their hair in braids or cornrows, and Black employees being told to chemically straighten their natural hair”.

She told HuffPost UK: “No one should have to endure discrimination of any kind. Yet hair discrimination remains a major issue in the UK today, as Black people face pressure - both official and unofficial - when it comes to hair styles.

“This is racial discrimination, pure and simple. It is unacceptable and it must stop.

“The Liberal Democrats want to see new guidance for schools and employers to prevent hair discrimination in policies and practices to help eliminate this prejudice from our society.”

The party is also calling for an awareness campaign to support schools and workplaces ensure their policies are not discriminatory, and to help people who have experienced hair discrimination uphold their rights.

Truss was also urged to start a review to determine if additional changes, including potential legal changes, are needed to tackle hair discrimination. 

Justin Cornell 2016-10-11
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In a small bit of good news, however, there is a group of people who self-identify as concerned about the climate.

In addition to answering questions about their view on climate science and policy, the participants were asked about their political affiliations, which were divided into four categories based on strong or moderate affiliation with one of the two major parties.

Barely more than half of liberal Democrats say that there's a scientific consensus.

Less than a third of moderate Democrats do, and only about 10 to 15 percent of all Republicans do.

None of these issues are at all scientifically controversial, yet only 11 percent of conservative Republicans felt that we understand the cause.

Here, only 55 percent of liberal Democrats agreed.

Michael Hurlock 2017-05-21
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p The Liberal Democrats have launched their 2016 election campaign in earnest with an unveiling of a poster attacking prime minister Theresa May's alleged adoption of Ukip values.

The party, led by MP Tim Farron, hosted the launch of the poster in which May wears the face of former Ukip leader Farage alongside the mantra, 'vote her, get him'.

The creative looks to underline a similarity in values between the parties, with the Lib Dems looking to remind voters that it is the party that will reject "May and Farage's extreme version of Brexit".

Don't settle for Nigel Farage's vision of Britain by voting for Theresa May.

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 20, 2017

Party treasury spokesperson Vince Cable said at the launch: "To understand what is going on you have to listen to the voices of the people who are Mrs May’s cheerleaders and admirers.

Roy Shannon 2017-12-28
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Lib Dem MPs have called for a ban on private companies carrying out benefit eligibility tests on behalf of the government.

The party’s work and pensions spokesman Stephen Lloyd - who has a disability - has called for an immediate end to private sector involvement in tests for sick and disabled people, which he says have “undermined the principles of the welfare state established by Liberal reformer Sir William Beveridge”.

Despite receiving contracts for personal independence payment (PIP) tests and work capability assessments (WCA) worth hundreds of millions of pounds from the DWP, the Lib Dems say large multinationals including Atos, Capita and Maximus have consistently failed to meet government standards.

“Just over 70 years ago, the great Liberal reformer William Beveridge set out the foundational principles of our modern welfare state,” Eastbourne MP Lloyd told HuffPost UK.

“He called for a social contract between citizen and state, and a minimum standard below which no individual should ever fall.

“Today these principles are under threat from the privatisation of benefit tests, which continue to cause immeasurable suffering.

William Ewing 2017-05-19
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p Online companies could face fines or prosecution if they fail to remove illegal content, under Conservative plans for stricter internet regulation.

The party has also proposed an industry-wide levy, dubbed a "Twitter tax", to fund "preventative activity to counter internet harms".

Labour said it had "pressed for tough new codes" in the past but the government had "categorically refused".

The Liberal Democrats said more needed to be done "to find a real solution".

The Conservatives said the levy, proposed in their election manifesto, would use the same model as that used in the gambling industry, where companies voluntarily contribute to the charity GambleAware to help pay for education, research, and treating gambling addiction.

If they failed to do so, the government would have the power to impose an industry-wide toll.