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March for Europe, 9 September 2017

Brexit rally 2017-09-09Among the people from Hertford and Stortford Liberal Democrats at the March for Europe on 9 September were Paul Eldred, Carole Luck and Mark Argent.

New leader

Vince Cable

Vince Cable, new Liberal Democrat leader

The new Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, been quick to challenge both the Conservatives and Labour over Brexit.

He's said very clearly that Brexit can be stopped, and that there is a sizeable group in both the Conservative and Labour parties who are keen for the UK to remain in the Single Market, and the Customs Union and to preserve collaboration on research with our European partners. Fifty Labour MPs defied their leadership to vote in favour of staying in the single market: he urged Tories to have similar courage and promised to reach out to MPs on the right and the left to work together.

Recognising the growing pressure for an "exit to Brexit" he repeated the Liberal Democrat commitment to a referendum on the terms of the proposed deal.

He added that "Voters should be asked 'Do you wish to accept what is coming down the track, jumping off the cliff and hoping there's a tree to catch you or do we want to stay within the European Union?'"

More: BBCThe IndependentInews

Thank you gathering

Thank you event in Hertford

Some of the Hertford and Stortford Liberal Democrats who gathered in Ware for a "Thank You" party soon after the 2017 General Election with candidate Mark Argent.

Hertford Castle by Election (9 March)

Freja Waterhouse (Freja Waterhouse)

Freja Waterhouse

Congratulations to Freja Waterhouse for her achievement in the Hertford Castle by election on 9 March. She received more than double the proportion of votes Liberal Democrats gained in this constituency in the 2015 General Election

LibDems react to Theresa May's Brexit speech (17 January 2017)

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.

(Theresa May's speech led to many people joining the Liberal Democrats. Hertford and Stortford LibDems gained 18 people in the two days following this speech, and it sparked an article in the Observer)

Success in Richmond Park

Sarah Olney, Nick Clegg, Caroline Pidgeon

Sarah Olney with Nick Clegg and Caroline Pidgeon

The Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney won the by election in Richmond Park on 1 December.

The campaign focussed on Brexit and Sarah promised that she will vote against the triggering of Article 50 if elected. Tim Farron had already said that we would fight any snap election on a commitment to reverse Brexit, and Sarah's election has the potential to focus concerns around Brexit.

Coming on the back of a sustained series of victories in council by-elections, this result, overturning a majority of 23,000, is a clear indication that the Liberal Democrats are bouncing back.

Click here for more, or for Sarah Olney's victory speech.

[December 2016]

Protesting at Hockerill Crossroads

hockerill pollution 3

Hertford and Stortford LibDems at Hockerill Junction

Hertford and Stortford Liberal Democrat members have been tirelessly protesting and petitioning local residents t get the East Herts district council to take ACTION about the appalling levels of pollution at Hockerill Crossroads. This dangerous blackspot was identified as long ago as 2009 by the Conservative-controlled council and was therefore designated as an AQMA (Air Quality Management Area). Nine years on, Nitrogen Dioxide levels in the area were shown to be almost double what is legally allowed.

We are calling on the council to urgently do something to change this unacceptable risk to local residents' health and well-being. You can sign our petition here.

To read more about our ideas about how to improve the situation, click here.

[November 2016]

Campaigning in Witney

With Liz Luffman in Witney

LibDems from Hertford and Stortford with Liz Leffman

On Saturday 8 October 2016 some of us went to join in the campaign to get Liz Leffman elected in the Witney by-election, caused by the resignation of David Cameron as an MP.

It was an exciting day: more than 370 LibDems were out campaigning that day alone, offering the chance to connect with LibDems from across the country.

In the end the result was a leap from 7% of the vote in 2015 to 30%, with the Tory vote share falling from 60% to 45%. That's enough to register shock over the harsh tone of the 2016 Tory party conference, and rumours of a "hard Brexit".

Liberal Democrats remain committed to seeking a future for the UK within the European Union and a good result here would help pull things back towards finding a healthy future in Europe.

[October 2016]

East Herts District Council By-Election in Puckeridge - An encouraging result

Sara Mihajlovic

Sara Mihajlovic, working with a resident

On 16 September 2016, Sara achieved 18% of the vote in the by-election in Puckeridge, caused by the resignation of Conservative councillor James Cartwright. This is more than double the share of the vote achieved by Liberal Democrats in Hertford and Stortford and North East Hertfordshire constituencies in the General Election, and a remarkable result in a ward where we had not put forward a candidate in recent elections.Well done to Sara and the team for all their hard work.

[September 2016]