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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.

Liberal Democrat vote share up in local elections

LibDEm Press vote share

Here in Hertford and Stortford the Liberal Democrat vote share jumped by 10 points in the local elections on 4 May, in line with the national trend. We came second to the Conservatives in total votes cast. That's a good start for the General Election 2017.

Vote Liberal Democrat in the General Election to stop a hard Brexit

Tim Farron addresses pro-EU rallyYou can help our campaign in Hertford and Stortford, by volunteering or donating. Become involved and help the Liberal Democrats stop a hard Brexit, and instead keep Britain open. tolerant and united.

Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.

Labour won't win any seats off the Conservatives.

But there are dozens of Conservative seats, including Hertford and Stortford, where the Lib Dems are the challengers. The only way to stop Theresa May winning a majority is by the Lib Dems winning in those seats.

The only way to prevent a Conservative majority is by voting Liberal Democrat.

Help us to mount a strong campaign here in Hertford and Stortford by volunteering or donating.

Campaigning in Hertford and Stortford

Canvassing 22 April 2017

Canvassing in Bishop's Stortford

The planned-canvassing session in Bishop's Stortford East had a different energy following the news of the General Election. Lots of people who normally vote Conservative or Labour were expressing support for the Liberal Democrats because we are opposing hard Brexit.

If you'd like to join in campaigning, or would be willing to put up a poster, please visit our volunteer page, or click to donate.

Petitioning for Road Safety for Bishop's Stortford Residents

London Rd petition

Local LibDem campaigner, Mione Goldspink has launched a petition to cut the speed limit to 20mph in a dangerous stretch of the London Road, in Bishop's Stortford. A recent tragic fatal accident on this thoroughfare has served to remind everyone of just how hazardous this route can be for pedestrians. To sign online, click here.

LibDems react to Theresa May's Brexit speech

Tim Farron - key Europe planTim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has criticised the Prime Minister for declaring that she is taking Britain out of the Single Market and denying the British people a say on the final deal in her speech on 17 January.

Tim Farron said: "Theresa May has confirmed Britain is heading for a Hard Brexit. She claimed people voted to Leave the Single Market. They didn't. She has made the choice to do massive damage to the British economy.

"Theresa May also made clear that she will deny the people a vote on the final deal. So instead of a democratic decision by the people in the country, she wants a stitch-up by politicians in Westminster. The people voted for departure, they should be given a vote on the destination. This is a theft of democracy.

"This speech was a mixture of vague fantasies and toothless threats to our nearest neighbours. At the moment Britain needs friends more than ever, she has succeeded in uniting the rest of Europe against her.

"When it comes to British prosperity and British democracy, she is waiving the white flag from the White Cliffs of Dover.

"Only the Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united, and are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit government."

Here in East Herts, Brexit brings significant threats - to the tight connections with the rest of the EU through Stansted Airport, to the livelihoods of people commuting into London and working in the finance sector, to workers from other parts of the EU who are filling skills shortages in our hospitals.

If you too are worried about this: join the Liberal Democrats and make a difference, and read more about the LibDem plan for Europe.

[more news]

Recent updates from the Liberal Democrats

  • The Liberal Democrats have compiled the list of the biggest blunders of the Battle for Number 10 and the questions that May and Corbyn have failed to answer.

    Jeremy Corbyn:

    • Corbyn committed a whole new £3bn+ a year unfreezing working age benefits. There's nothing in his manifesto costings to uprate benefits. How is he paying for it?
    • He didn't answer the question on why someone who is worried about Brexit should vote for Labour over the Liberal Democrats.
    • Labour could have voted for unilateral rights for EU citizens to stay in the UK. They didn't. They voted for Article 50. Why didn't he stand up for the 3m EU citizens that call the UK their home?

    Article / May 29, 2017
  • Increasingly people are saying that the Liberal Democrats are now the only genuinely pro-business party. Over fifty business leaders recently signed a letter to The Times endorsing the Lib Dems1 and the party has published a manifesto specifically aimed at entrepreneurs (you can read that here).

    And one business sector more than any other is turning to the Liberal Democrats - the Tech community - reflecting a passionate commitment to free trade, freedom of movement and an open, inclusive and tolerant society.

    Article / May 29, 2017
  • The Tories seem to think - if we ignore any difficult question - we don't have to tell the public the truth. If they cannot tell us even the most basic things why should we trust them at all.

    Theresa May seems to be hiding their real agenda from the public.

    The Tories cannot tell us anything about their plans and they are doing it on purpose. They hope to secure a colossal majority and then to take the country for a ride. We cannot let this happen - our schools, hospitals and social care are at risk

    Article / May 29, 2017
  • It comes after Amber Rudd said the Conservatives did not know what a future cap on social care costs would be, while refusing to rule out that it could be as high as £200,000 or £300,000.

    The analysis reveals that:
    • If a cap was introduced at £200k, the costs of care for those with long-term conditions could wipe out over half of the value of an average family home

    Article / May 29, 2017
  • Vince Cable

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has published a damning analysis of the Labour and Conservative manifestos, saying that neither party "has set out an honest set of choices."

    It says plans in the Conservative manifesto could do "serious damage" to the quality of public services such as the NHS and schools, while Labour's tax rises may not raise anything like the tax revenues they have claimed.

    The IFS has also previously stated that the revenue raised by the Liberal Democrats' income tax rises, at around £6bn per year, is "more certain" than the revenue raised by Labour.

    Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said:

    "Both the Conservatives and Labour are hiding the real impact of their plans from the public.

    "Theresa May's plans would decimate our public services while Jeremy Corbyn's plans would decimate household finances.

    "On top of that Labour has voted for Theresa May's Brexit plans that will damage the economy and mean billions of pounds less funding for our schools and hospitals.

    "The British people don't have to accept this dismal choice, a brighter future is possible.

    "The Liberal Democrats will put a penny on income tax to rescue the NHS and social care, and protect our economy and public services by fighting to stay in the single market and customs union."

    Article / May 29, 2017
  • The Schengen Information System (SIS II) is an EU-wide database on organised criminal and terrorist suspects across 28 countries, including 35,000 people wanted under a European Arrest Warrant. It includes alerts on suspected 'foreign fighters' - people who have travelled to Syria and elsewhere to fight for ISIS.

    Article / May 29, 2017
  • Nick Clegg

    Nick Clegg has accused Theresa May of putting national security at risk by pursuing an extreme Brexit that will see Britain locked out of an EU police database used by UK police and security services 16 times a second.

    The Schengen Information System (SIS II) is an EU-wide database on organised criminal and terrorist suspects across 28 countries, including 35,000 people wanted under a European Arrest Warrant. It includes alerts on suspected 'foreign fighters' - people who have travelled to Syria and elsewhere to fight for ISIS.

    • UK police and security services queried the database over half a billion times in 2016 - equivalent to 16 checks a second.
    • 53 people are detained and questioned under anti-terrorism laws at ports and airports every day, where they can be checked against the database by UK Border Force officers.
    • In April 2016, the UK received 25 hits on alerts issued by other participating countries in relation to individuals who could pose a risk to national security.
    • The UK would lose access to the database under Theresa May's plans to leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Unless this position changes, UK authorities will see their access to the database cut off on 29th March 2019.

    Nick Clegg has challenged Theresa May to answer three vital questions:

    1. How will we maintain access to SIS II without accepting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice?
    2. What contingency plans has she put in place to mitigate the loss of this information on the movement of terrorist suspects across the continent?
    3. How will we issue instructions to other EU countries to stop and question terror suspects if we are no longer part of this system?

    Nick Clegg commented:

    "Theresa May's extreme approach to Brexit will have the direct consequence of severing our ties to a fantastically useful weapon in our armoury against terrorism.

    "By refusing to accept a role for the European Court of Justice in policing this European-wide database, she has ruled out our future participation it.

    "It is hard to overstate the importance of this database. We check it 16 times a second, looking for security threats that have been flagged to us by other European countries. And we use it to tell other countries to stop and question people who we think are potential terrorists.

    "This is euroscepticism gone mad. If she fails to back down, Theresa May's approach to Brexit poses a direct threat to our national security."

    1. The second-generation Schengen Information System allows police forces to share real-time 'alerts' on suspects, vehicles, firearms, and other property. The system contains some 66 million reports, including information on 35,000 people wanted under a European Arrest Warrant, as well as alerts on suspected foreign fighters and missing people. It also plays an important role in counter-terrorism operations by allowing suspects under surveillance by intelligence agencies to be flagged on the system.
    2. SIS II alerts are made available to the police through the Police National Computer (PNC) and to Border Force officers at the immigration controls at our ports of entry. In the year ending 31 December 2016, a total of 19,355 people were stopped and questioned under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 at ports and airports in Great Britain. This is equivalent to 53 people a day.
    3. The UK only gained access to SIS II in April 2015. Since then, it has rapidly become the second-largest user of the database. Much of the UK's access is automated: for example, suspect vehicles filmed on police Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras are checked electronically against the database. UK police and security services queried the database over half a billion times in 2016 - equivalent to 16 checks a second.
    4. Due to the sensitive nature of the data held on SIS II, access is limited to EEA countries that abide by the rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ is the guarantee that EU citizens' data isn't wrongly added to the system or misused as a result. Theresa May has insisted that the UK must leave the jurisdiction of the ECJ when we leave the EU. Unless this position changes, UK authorities will see their access to the database cut off on 29th March 2019.
    5. Since the UK connected to the new system in April 2015 these alerts have been available in real time to officers on the ground via the Police National Computer. Further details of the UK's use of SIS II are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/521926/The_UK_s_cooperation_with_the_EU_on_justice_and_home_affairs__and_on_foreign_policy_and_security_issues.pdf
    6. Statistics on the use of SIS II across the EU are here: http://www.eulisa.europa.eu/Publications/Reports/SIS%20II%20-%20Statistics%202016.pdf
    7. UK authorities queried the SIS II 513,349,896 times in 2016. This is the equivalent of 1,408,658 queries a day, 58,694 queries per hour, 978 queries per minute, or 16 queries per second.
    8. These UK queries generated alerts on 28,472 persons of interest along with 113,414 vehicles and 1,768 firearms.
    9. The UK is the second biggest user of SIS II after France. Across the whole of the EU, the system was queried almost 4 billion times in 2016.
    10. Julian King, the Conservative UK EU Commissioner for the Security Union, has described SIS II as "the biggest and best EU-wide law enforcement database we've got."
    11. The European Commission has recently published proposals to strengthen SIS II in the wake of the Paris attacks by combining it with EU criminal records and fingerprint d
    Article / May 29, 2017
  • School dinners

    Scrapping free school lunches would waste £2,474,003 spent upgrading kitchens in Hertfordshire

    Plans by Theresa May to axe free school lunches would waste the £2,474,003 invested in Hertfordshire to upgrade school kitchens, according to the Liberal Democrats.

    It comes after figures revealed 34,532 children in Hertfordshire are set to lose out under the Conservative proposals.

    When in government, the Liberal Democrats invested £160m upgrading school kitchen facilities to enable them to prepare hot lunches, including £2,474,003 in Hertfordshire.

    Liberal Democrat candidate for Hertford and Stortford, Mark Argent, commented:

    "The Liberal Democrats in government invested £160m to give schools the kitchens they needed to ensure that no infant would go hungry, including £2,474,003 in Hertfordshire

    "This policy was extremely successful and guaranteed that local children received at least two of their five a day in their school lunch.

    "But now Theresa May is threatening to throw that money down the drain.

    "A Conservative measure designed to save money will waste money. Not only is it heartless, it is bad economics.

    "I challenge my Mark Prisk to say whether, if elected, he would vote against their own party to ensure that children in Hertford and Stortford receive a decent lunch.

    "The Liberal Democrats will protect free school lunches for infants and ensure all primary school children can get a healthy, free lunch a day."

    Article / May 29, 2017
  • Under Theresa May's proposals, many would end up paying far more for their care. Families deserve to know now what the Dementia Tax will mean for their homes, finances and relatives. The Liberal Democrats will keep campaigning to scrap the Dementia Tax and ensure no-one has to worry about catastrophic costs to pay for their care.

    Article / May 28, 2017
  • Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has launched a national movement calling on people, irrespective of their party affiliation, to stop the Conservatives' planned Dementia Tax.

    It comes alongside Liberal Democrat research that reveals that across England, 9 out 10 homes could be eligible for sale to meet Theresa May's Dementia Tax.

    Article / May 26, 2017

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.

Liberal Democrats are back: standing up for local people and fighting against hard Brexit. We're winning by-elections across the country and our vote was up significantly on 4 May: support us on 8 June.

Lib Dem by-election wins 2016-17