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News from the Liberal Democrats

  • Jul 31, 2014:
    • Free school meals will help boost learning

      Free school meals will help boost learning in schools, according to a review of pilot schemes.

      Trials for the school meals scheme, which comes into effect in September, show that infants from poorer backgrounds perform better in the classroom.

    • A UK ban on animal tests

      Liberal Democrat Minister for the Home Office Norman Baker has said that he wants to see an end to all animal testing in the UK.

    • Julie Pörksen writes: Winning a ward the size of Luxembourg

      Kate Cairns was elected in a landslide victory in the Berwick constituency ward of Longhoughton last week, called after the passing of a much respected longstanding independent councillor. From a standing start - we didn't field a candidate in the county council elections last year - we took almost 50% of the vote, with the Tories coming a poor second with less than half our vote, an independent and UKIP followed the Tories and Labour were nearly wiped out with 3%.

  • Jul 30, 2014:
  • Jul 27, 2014:
    • Tim Gordon writes: Taking action after the Gurling Review

      The recent elections that we went through were tough - both for those who stood and lost their seats but also for all those who worked hard, all across the country, to fight the election. We owe a huge thanks to everyone involved - whether member, candidate, activist or staffer. Nick appointed a review group, headed by James Gurling, to look into the lessons that we could draw from the campaign. This report, based on feedback from hundreds of people across the Party, is available here.

    • Should we pull the plug on Russia's World Cup?

      Today Nick Clegg raised the question on whether Russia should host the World Cup in 2018, considering the events taking place in Ukraine.

  • Jul 25, 2014:
    • Berwick Liberal Democrats storm to victory

      The Berwick Liberal Democrats stormed to victory in the rural ward of Longhoughton (Northumberland CC) today as Kate Caines gained the seat.

    • An update on what Ed Davey's been up to

      I write this while on a visit to India. A few weeks ago I was in the US, and I've just left China. Why? These three countries are the world's biggest emitters and the series of meetings I'm having all focus on paving the way for a global climate change deal next year. In the UK, and with our partners across the EU we are gaining momentum for an ambitious deal, which I hope will result in a domestic EU target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. But, the EU acting alone will not be enough - we need to take the rest of the world with us.

    • Vince Cable: We are on track to eliminate the deficit in 2017/18

      Vince Cable writes about the good news regarding the rise in Britain's economy:

    • Economy now bigger than pre-crash levels

      Liberal Democrats have cleared up Labour's economic mess with GDP now above pre-crash levels, new figures show.

      The UK economy is now larger than before the financial crisis in 2008 according to ONS quarterly data released today.

  • Jul 24, 2014:
  • Jul 23, 2014:
  • Jul 22, 2014:
  • Jul 21, 2014:
    • Labour backs free school meals

      Over the weekend, Labour agreed to back the Lib Dem proposals for free school meals.

    • End FGM and forced marriage within a generation

      Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg, will speak at the Girl Summit on Tuesday, a summit with the aim of ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage within a generation.

      At the Summit, Nick will announce a package of measures to help end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

      It is estimated that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM and that around 20,000 young girls are at risk of being cut every year.

  • Jul 20, 2014:
    • New rules to provide greater choice and more innovative pension products

      New rules which would provide greater choice and more innovative pensions products, are expected to be announced this week.

      The coalition wants to encourage pension providers to develop new retirement income products that are tailored to the needs of the individual consumer and which offer more choice, freedom and flexibility.

  • Jul 19, 2014:
    • Education programme launched to tackle online piracy

      Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has welcomed a new programme designed to crack down on online piracy.

      The new scheme called Creative Content UK, will promote legal entertainment online and warn Internet users whose connections are being used to illegally share films and music.

  • Jul 18, 2014:
    • Review of the 2014 European & Local Elections Campaign

      After the elections in May, the Leader tasked a group with reviewing the elections, assessing what worked and what didn't, and produce recommendations to improve our campaigning for the future.

      On Monday, the Review Group presented our findings to the Leader and later to the Federal Executive. I am pleased to say that they endorsed both the report and its recommendations, and we will now set about putting them into practice well in advance of next year's elections.

    • Liberal Democrats Review of the 2014 European and Local Elections Campaign

      Following the May elections, the Leader tasked a group with reviewing the elections, assessing what worked and what didn't, and produce recommendations to improve our campaigning for the future.

      Our recommendations are available to party members and can be read below.

  • Jul 17, 2014:
  • Jul 15, 2014:
  • Jul 14, 2014:
  • Jul 10, 2014:
    • Julian Huppert MP writes: Emergency comms data legislation

      As a Liberal, I care passionately about civil liberties, privacy, and the need to limit abusive state surveillance.

      But I also know that there is a need for the police and intelligence agencies to have the tools to do the job we give them - as long as they are carefully controlled, appropriately used, and proportionate to the threat faced.

  • Jul 7, 2014:
    • David Laws MP writes: Submit your ideas for our next manifesto
      When Nicky Jones came along to our Manifesto Roadshow in Yeovil last November, she shared with us her experiences as a carer. I was struck by her tremendous sacrifice in supporting her father, and by her plea for the Liberal Democrats to stand up as the "party of carers" and to offer them more support.
  • Jul 3, 2014:
    • Paul Burstow writes: The Carers Bonus shows our commitment to promoting the wellbeing of carers

      Just as public services, communities and workplaces have seen a shift in how families are supported to balance childcare responsibilities with busy working lives, we now need a similar shift to meet the care needs of a rapidly growing older population too.

      Thanks to the Liberal Democrats the Care Act and Children and Families Act have both extended the rights of carers of all ages, but there is still much more to be done to recognise the hidden treasure that are carers.

  • Jul 1, 2014:
    • Ben Stoneham writes: Scrutinising the Consumer Rights Bill

      Today the Lords starts its scrutiny of the Consumer Rights Bill which has its second reading before going onto to clause by clause attention in the autumn. This is a Lib Dem Bill put together by Ministers Jo Swinson, Jenny Willott and Vince Cable.

  • Jun 26, 2014:
    • Call Clegg

      Nick Clegg takes your questions every Thursday from 9am on live LBC.

      Watch the latest episode here.

  • Jun 19, 2014:
    • Sally Hamwee writes: Proud of Lib Dem ideas in the Serious Crime Bill

      This week the Serious Crime Bill started in the Lords. It is primarily aimed at cracking down, in various ways, on organised criminal gangs. Organised crime remains a significant problem in the UK. There are perhaps as many as 5,500 organised groups operating in the UK, causing huge suffering through activities such as drug and people trafficking, and making an enormous financial impact: they cost the UK an estimated £24 billion a year.

  • Jun 12, 2014:
    • Call Clegg 12th June

      Nick takes your questions live on LBC for this week's Call Clegg.

      Watch the show here:

  • Jun 4, 2014:
    • Mark Williams MP writes: Finally Reforming Child Neglect laws

      Today finally, after months of wrangling and patient but determined campaigning, the proposals set out in my Child Maltreatment Bill have been announced in the Queen's Speech, as part of a Serious Crime Bill which the Government will be taking forward.

    • Baroness Sal Brinton writes: When pageantry precedes politics

      As I write this, the military band is just arriving outside my office. Well, all right, outside the House of Lords, to entertain the waiting crowds prior to the Queen's arrival. I feel sometimes that we've got the balance between pageant/history/tradition slightly out of kilter on days like this. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the marching bands, the Queen in her regalia reading out the Government's legislative plan for the coming year.

  • May 30, 2014:
    • James Gurling: Review into the Local and European election campaign

      As Chair of the Party's democratically elected Campaigns & Communications Committee, Nick Clegg has today asked me to conduct a review into the Local and European election campaign and result. I will be joined in doing this work for Nick by a small group comprised of Cllr Abi Bell - Leader of the Party Group on Hull City Council, Cllr Ruth Dombey - Leader of Sutton Borough Council and George Lyon - former MEP for Scotland.

  • May 26, 2014:
  • May 20, 2014:
  • May 19, 2014:
  • May 8, 2014:
    • Call Clegg 8th May

      Watch as Nick takes your questions live on LBC for this week's Call Clegg.

  • May 6, 2014:
    • Nick Clegg welcomes the Jewish Manifesto

      Nick Clegg has welcomed the Jewish Manifesto for the European Elections published by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

      The manifesto was produced in consultation with various Jewish communal bodies in the UK, and concluded following a discussion of our 300 Deputies at the most recent full Board of Deputies meeting.

    • Nick Clegg launches Lib Dems' local election campaign

      Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg launched the Liberal Democrats' 2014 local election campaign, highlighting how Liberal Democrat majority councils have frozen council tax and protected vital services.

      He also unveiled a dossier loaded with more than £500m worth of vanity projects and elaborate expense claims amassed by Tory and Labour-run councils.

  • May 1, 2014:
  • Apr 25, 2014:
    • Lib Dem Win in East Cambridgeshire

      Yesterday the Liberal Democrats stormed to victory in Sutton, East Cambridgeshire. Lorna Dupre gained the seat previously held by the Conservative Council Leader. Cllr Dupre came from third place in 2011 to take 50.9% of the vote (an increase of 27%). The Conservative and Labour candidates saw large drops in their support. The Tories dropped to second with 27.2% (-19.2%), UKIP who did not stand in 2011 came third with 15.8% and Labour came in last with 6.1% (-23.6%).

  • Apr 24, 2014:
    • Nick Clegg launches the Lib Dem campaign to keep Britain IN Europe

      Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today launched the Liberal Democrats' 2014 European election campaign. The Liberal Democrats are now the only party truly campaigning to keep Britain IN Europe. Back our campaign here.

    • The fight is on

      
Today, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will launch the Liberal Democrats' 2014 European election campaign at a rally in Colchester.

      The Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain IN Europe and protect 3 million British jobs. With UKIP trying to pull us out of Europe, and David Cameron and Ed Miliband too scared to mention Europe, it is Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats who are standing up for British interests and British jobs.

  • Apr 23, 2014:
    • Nick Clegg: We need to sweep away Edwardian rules

      Today, Nick Clegg spoke at the launch of the Cityfathers, a new forum for working fathers, on the need for radical change to create equal opportunities in our parental leave system.

      Nick commented on the importance of change in modern society, where we now have the highest female employment rate on record. More parents choose to both earn and share childcare responsibility, but there is still an assumption that it is the father who works and the mother who cares for the children.

  • Apr 17, 2014:
    • Martin Horwood: Lib Dems clamping down on the arms trade

      I am confident that Lib Dems will be united in welcoming today's news that Vince Cable has put out a call for evidence on a new register of arms brokers. The proposed register would introduce tougher regulations on the arms trade and is yet another historic victory for the Lib Dems in government.

      Arms brokers act as intermediaries in many arms deals by bringing together potential buyers and sellers in return for a cut of the transaction. Currently UK companies require a license before they can export military goods, but brokers are somewhat of an unknown entity. Under the proposals all brokers will have to appear on a public registry, with possible requirements to attend training courses and suitability assessments.

  • Apr 15, 2014:
  • Apr 10, 2014:
    • Multi-million pound boost for growing businesses

      Nick Clegg has today announced an extra £300 million to help growing businesses and create tens of thousands of jobs across England.

      The £300 million forms part of the Liberal Democrat's Regional Growth Fund, which is now being delivered in Government. The Fund is designed to unlock billions of pounds of private sector investment and create sustainable employment and growth in a wide range of sectors across the country.

  • Apr 7, 2014:
  • Apr 2, 2014:
    • Vince Cable writes: UK manufacturing and the case for Europe

      Seven years ago the financial crash seriously damaged the British economy, causing the deepest recession in decades. The wreckage laid bare the urgent need to invest in manufacturing, boost exports and, crucially, create a genuine partnership between industry and government to ensure long-term investment. In government, we have promoted a new industrial strategy to give manufacturers, in particular, the stability and support necessary for them to grow and create skilled jobs.

  • Apr 1, 2014:
    • Labour councillors refuse to offer sanctuary to Syrian refugees

      Nick Clegg has spoken out after it was revealed Sheffield's Labour Council Leader has refused to help vulnerable women and children refugees from Syria.

      It has emerged that Council Leader Julie Dore has contacted the Home Office to refuse the request for Sheffield to take part in the Coalition Government's Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme. The decision was apparently taken by Labour councillors behind closed doors and without any consultation.

    • Nick Clegg blocks Tory wind farm ban

      Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has blocked a Conservative plan to cap onshore wind generation.

      In practical terms, that would have meant no new onshore wind projects would have been supported by the Government.

  • Mar 29, 2014:
    • Nick Clegg: this weekend is one our country should never forget

      In the first few moments after the House of Lords voted in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry, finally passing the legislation into law, I joined the celebration outside Parliament. Crowds had gathered, the choir was singing and the mood was jubilant. You could see in people's faces and hear in their voices just how important that moment was, and today, we'll see it again.