The Liberal Democrats have fought for an open, tolerant and united Britain, often as the lone voices of dissent on issues the political establishment didn’t care about. We campaigned for the rights of British passport holders in Hong Kong and for Gurkhas who had fought with the British Armed Forces. We were pro-environment long before it was fashionable and against the Iraq War when the other main parties voted in favour.
In 2010 we joined the government, putting the country first at a time of crisis in order to bring stability to the economy. By doing so we not only rescued the economy but were able to create opportunity for people by cutting taxes for working people, legalising same-sex marriage, improving mental health funding, increasing renewable energy and targeting extra money at the poorest school pupils.
But we were in government with a party that doesn't share our values at a time when there was very little money to go around, so in order to do all that we had to make compromises – some of which made us pretty unpopular – and at last year's general election we got a kicking for it.
But since last year you have seen what happens without us. A Conservative-only Government showing its true colours: reckless, divisive and uncaring; targeting the working poor, the BBC and junior doctors. And worst of all, through Brexit, they have allowed all the good work we did to rescue the economy to be undone.
People have been let down for decades by short-termist politicians who put the needs of one part of society above the rest. Now, in the wake of the Brexit vote those divisions are more exposed than ever before. With our country facing huge challenges – from inequality and injustice to an NHS in crisis and an economy in jeopardy – we are left with a reckless, divisive and uncaring Conservative Government and Labour fighting among themselves with no plan for the economy or the country.
That’s why the Liberal Democrats are needed more than ever. We are the real voice of opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government and the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united.