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The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.
Sophie Bell, Julian Huppert etc at start of Watton campaign

Sophie Bell, on the first day of campaigning in Watton-at-Stone by election

Congratulations to Sophie Bell, the newly-elected member of East Hertfordshire District Council for Watton-at-Stone.

Sophie won in a by-election on 23 August 2018 with 67% of the vote, beating the Tories on 30% and Labour on 2.8%

Watton-at-Stone is in the part of East Hertfordshire which is in North East Hertfordshire constituency.

[23 August 2018]


Lib Dems offer to work with Labour to secure final say

Tom Brake, from national party web siteLiberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake has written to Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer, offering to work with his party to secure a final say on Brexit.

The intervention comes as the Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary yesterday confirmed that Labour was keeping the option of a final say on Brexit "on the table." John McDonnell, Labour Shadow Chancellor, has today backed Mr Starmer's position.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

"Just last week we had a Labour MP using the spectre of social unrest to dismiss the idea of granting the public a say on the deal, but now there appears to be a change of heart from some at Labour's top table.

"If that is the case, the Labour party should come out and say it. They should be straight with the public and use their upcoming conference to back a final say on Brexit. But will Jeremy Corbyn allow it?

"Brexit will be a disaster for jobs, the NHS and our environment. That is why Liberal Democrats across the country are fighting for an Exit from Brexit. That is why we are offering to work with Labour, and any other party, to secure a final say on the deal."

[23 August 2018]


Annelise Berendt Furnace

Annelise Berendt Furnace, Liberal Democrat member of Sawbridgeworth Town Council writes on Life as a Town Councillor:

"It is remarkable how much work our local councillors do for their residents and communities, and how readily citizens can engage with them. Five fascinating months as a Town Councillor in Sawbridgeworth have given me a real insight into the contribution councillors make to the life of the community."

Click here to read the complete article



Recent updates from the Liberal Democrats

  • Article: Sep 21, 2018

    The more Theresa May tries to sound defiant, the more desperate she seems.

    After her weak and rattled statement in Salzburg yesterday, Number 10 had little choice but to send her out for a second take today. But this latest attempt to cast herself as a leader who brooks no compromise is utterly unconvincing.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2018

    Gina Miller's Speech

    Gina Miller delivered an impassioned speech on the need to continue with a unified fight against Brexit.

    Let's be clear, in the debate we had in 2016 about Europe, there was scant idealism. Lies were told.

    Miller called on people to put the national interest ahead of political divisions:

  • Article: Sep 16, 2018

    Jo Swinson's Speech

    In her keynote speech Jo Swinson declared that the Liberal Democrats are the only party who will put people at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

    When society demanded better, it was liberals who delivered. The Fourth Industrial Revolution gives us the same opportunity, and Conference - we must deliver again.

  • Article: Sep 15, 2018

    Tom Brake's Speech

    The Liberal Democrat (anti-Brexit) Spokesperson set out a vision for the UK staying in the EU with a real Brexit dividend of getting out of this madness. He also had a few words for some of the individuals responsible for this continued mess:

    On Boris Johnson:

    "If that is our PM's vision of No Deal Brexit Britain, what is the Brexit Britain vision of the man widely tipped to be the future leader of the Tory party, Boris - punishment-beatings, Road to Mandalay, prosecco - Johnson?

  • Article: Sep 15, 2018
    By Nick Hopkinson

    by Nick Hopkinson, Chair, Liberal Democrat European Group*

    Twitter: @libdemeurope and @nickhopkinsonEU

    I have four key messages: 1. Brexit is not a done deal; 2. Brexit can be stopped; 3. The #peoplesvote is theway to #exitfrombrexit; 4. Each and every one of us needs to get behind the Peoples Vote and capitalise on it as the only national party which is wholeheartedly supporting it.

  • Article: Sep 12, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats are opposing Government proposals to:

    • criminalise "reckless" speech,
    • make it a crime just to travel to certain places,
    • criminalise what you read on the internet,
    • give police more power to hold innocent people's DNA, and
    • allow officers to detain people at airports without suspicion.
  • Article: Sep 12, 2018

    The party expects these reforms to raise an additional £15 billion per year, though this is likely to grow as the rate of wealth passed down increases in the coming years.

    Liberal Democrat members will debate and vote on the proposals at the party's Autumn Conference in Brighton next week.

    Proposals include:

  • Article: Sep 10, 2018

    Over a year ago, I started work on making 'upskirting', the practice of photographs up a person's skirt without their consent, a specific criminal offence.

    I'm absolutely delighted that this bill has just been passed by MPs in the House of Commons.

    This bill will protect everyone who chooses to wear a skirt in a public place and give them an option of recourse.

  • Article: Sep 7, 2018
    By Vince Cable

    We returned this week from Parliament's long summer recess.

    I used the break to give some thought as to the role my party should be playing in the British political system.

    The country is bitterly divided over Brexit and the politics of the main parties leaves millions of voters, broadly those in the 'centre ground', feeling ignored while they get on with their internal civil wars.

  • Article: Sep 7, 2018
    By Greg Foster

    THE PROPOSITION

    What are the proposed reforms?
    The introduction of a supporters' scheme. This is expected to be free of charge and supporters will have the right to vote in leadership elections.

    Dropping the requirement for people to have been a member for a certain length of time before they can stand for selection. At present, members must be a fully paid-up party member for 12 consecutive months in England & Wales and nine consecutive months in Scotland before they can be assessed for approval to be Prospective Parliamentary Candidates. Removing the restriction of the party leader having to be an MP. All members and registered supporters would be able to choose from a wider pool of candidates.
    This is arguably the most crucial point in British politics for more than 70 years. Why are we doing this now?
    By engaging our supporters and growing our base, we strengthen our voice against Brexit. These proposals signal our openness to new people and will bring extra energy at a time of national crisis, reinforcing our efforts.

    There is also political realignment, with the emergence of broad campaign groups involving many or all parties, such as the People's Vote and More United. Numerous parties have been labelled as 'centrist', 'moderate' or even 'liberal'. We need to be at the heart of that political realignment and show that the Liberal Democrats are the natural party for people fed-up of the extremes of British politics. The Liberal Democrats are changing British politics. We're opening up our party to new supporters and listening to our members about how best to do it.
    Why have you sprung this on the party?
    These proposals flesh out the strategy passed at the Liberal Democrat spring conference in Southport this year. We passed a motion that promised to "create a political and social movement which encourages people to take and use power in their own lives and communities" and to create "a much larger base of long-term, loyal supporters".
    What data do you have to support this proposition?
    A newly "open" Lib Dem party would be two to three times more popular than it is presently, according to research we commissioned from Data Sciences. The poll has a +/- 2% margin of error.
    Is this just a poor man's Momentum?
    No. This is a much more comprehensive set of reforms that will provide a home for those millions who are uncomfortable with the polarisation of British politics.

    Momentum is a movement of the far left. We are creating a movement for people from the centre who believe in a free, fair and open society and oppose extremism and nationalism.

    We must not be afraid to try something new to attract moderate people who want a better politics.
    Are these proposals set in stone?
    No, this is a democratic party and the leader cannot impose his proposals on it. However, the leader has made a series of recommendations that he believes will open up the party and enthuse membership and supporters.

    There will be a consultation session, led by Vince, at the annual conference in Brighton. There is a consultative fringe meeting at conference solely about the supporters scheme.

    There is also a consultation of all members, which will be published on the Liberal Democrat website shortly after Friday's speech. Its launches on 7th September and will closes on 14th October. When the consultation closes, Vince will ask the Federal Board to commission an all-member ballot. Final proposals will be subject to a vote at conference.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united, and committed to continue to campaign for the UK to remain a member of the EU.

Open means open-hearted, open-minded, forward-looking, mod­ern, green, internationalist and pro-European. We believe Britain is at its best when it is creative, innovative and outward-looking, comfortable in the fast-changing modern world and open to the opportunities and challenges of globalisation and the digital revolution.

Tolerant means diverse, com­passionate and generous. We will always fight injustice and stand up for the underdog, the outsider, the individual, the minority and the vulnerable against the powerful.

United means we will always put the interests of the whole United Kingdom first. We reject the divisions in society, whether between young and old, urban and rural, leave and remain, or between regions and nations. We believe we are stronger - as communities, as a country and as a world - when we work together in our common interest.

If this sounds like you too, join us.