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Catch all the news and gossip from Spring Conference. Tweet about #LDconf and post your comments here.
Jeanne Tarrant, new Pastoral Care Officer at the Liberal Democrats, gives an update on her first weeks in the role.
I have now been in post for two months and it has been both busy and exciting. In the initial 2-3 weeks, I undertook an analysis of the Party’s processes for receiving and managing complaints. Analysing, how the constituent parties manage complaints and how the different procedures, rules and constitutions relate to each other. I met with many people as I could, to gain an understanding of the processes, the responsibility for implementing them and when and how the rules are used. I have enjoyed meeting lots of different people to obtain their views on how the Party works.Read more
I have been a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Abolition of the Death Penalty since 2010. At the time it was excellently chaired by Alistair Carmichael, who then became the first-ever Chief Whip for the Liberal Democrats in Government. I remember speaking to Alistair and saying that I was keen to be Vice-Chair of the APPG and do my bit for a cause close to the heart of so many Liberal Democrats.Read more
It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for: National Apprenticeship Week 2014! This year, it is even more important that we talk about NAW and spread the word #NAW2014. Since 2010, the Liberal Democrats in Government have helped to create an amazing 1.6 million new apprenticeship starts – more than double the number under Labour. As a party, we are extremely dedicated to keeping the number of apprenticeships growing and as Government Apprenticeship Ambassador it is a matter very dear to my heart.Read more
Nick Clegg has lamented the Tories' inconsistency and hostility towards raising the income tax threshold.
Following his speech at the Royal United Services Institute this morning, Clegg was asked about the progress of talks with the Conservatives about raising the tax threshold in the next Budget.Read more
Disabled people who want to stand for election as a councillor or MP, including the 2015 General Election, can benefit from a grant to help cover any additional costs they may face.
The Access to Elected Office for Disabled People Fund has been extended by an extra 12 months to the end of March 2015 and provides cash grants to help with any supplementary costs that a disabled candidate might face when standing for election (such as extra transport or sign-language interpreting).
Ahead of the crucial Euro-elections on 22nd May, Liberal Democrats as the party of ‘In’ are strongly making the case for Britain remaining in the EU. This is primarily about jobs, but another reason #whyIamIN is that we need to work with our European partners to tackle cross-border crime.
Criminals don’t stop at our borders, and neither should our efforts to catch them. Those efforts are facilitated by European police and court cooperation measures, of which the flagship is the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).Read more
When we came into office in 2010 we made it a priority to end the abhorrent practice of child detention for immigration purposes. This is something we had committed to in our 2010 manifesto; under Labour many thousands of innocent children were detained – in some cases for months on end, in prison-like conditions.
I had the pleasure of being the first Liberal to ask a question of a Liberal at PMQs since Lloyd George, and it was there that Nick announced that we would end child detention.Read more
Dr Julie Smith, chair of the recent Lib Dem Defence policy paper and member of the Manifesto Working Group, shares her views on the threats the UK faces in the 21st Century, and how to address them:
Defence is a crucial attribute of the state and Liberal Democrats take this very seriously. We recognise, however, that the threats the UK faces in the 21st Century are very different from those of the past. Yet too often debates on defence seem to reflect old, Cold War thinking. Too often Labour and the Conservatives seem to seek a role for the UK that is no achievable even if it were desirable – the capability for the UK to rule the waves, playing the deputy to the US sheriff.Read more
There is still time to book your place at the Business Lunch and Q&A with Vince Cable MP in York on 7th March 2014.
The event is jointly hosted by the Liberal Democrats and the Yorkshire Institute of Directors and supported by the National Asian Business Association.Read more