Tim Farron responds to stunning Richmond Park by-election win

The Liberal Democrats have won the Richmond Park by-election following a swing of 21.7%.

Folllowing the victory Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

“The message is clear: The Liberal Democrats are back and we are carrying the torch for all of those who want a real opposition to this Conservative Brexit Government.

“We are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united, and the only party that has said, loudly and proudly, that we want Britain to remain a member of the Single Market and that we want the people to be given the final say over the Brexit deal. That message has been resoundingly backed by the people of Richmond Park.

“This was a remarkable, come-from-nowhere upset that will terrify the Conservatives. A year and a half ago, their man won by nearly 40% and had a majority of more than 20,000. In one fell swoop we have wiped that out completely.

“If this was a General Election, this swing would mean the Conservatives would lose dozens of seats to the Liberal Democrats – and their majority with it. No one believes the Labour Party will win any seats off the Tories – and the SNP could only possibly take one off them. But there are dozens in our reach. So, as this by-election has demonstrated, the only way to prevent a Conservative majority at the next election is to vote Liberal Democrat.”

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Suspended Labour Councillor has been paid £6k and attended one meeting must resign

Nottingham’s Liberal Democrats have hit out at a local councillor who has attended just one meeting in the last six months. Cllr Ilyas Aziz, who was suspended from the Labour Party in April for allegedly making anti-Semitic remarks on Facebook attended a meeting in September, the first time since his suspension.

Nottingham Lib Dem Spokesperson Barry Holliday said: “Turning up for one meeting and claiming over £6000 is a disgrace. The people of Radford and Park have been robbed of democratic representation and charged for the privilege. Cllr Aziz should resign and do it now. He should also examine his claims and his conscience.

“Labour have been inept in dealing with this. They’ve spent six months dithering about two Facebook posts. If they can’t make a decision about two Facebook posts in that time, how on earth are we supposed to have faith in their decision making abilities for our city? Nottingham deserves better.

“Radford and Park only has two thirds of the democratic representation it should have. It is supposed to have three local councillors but only has two. Where has Councillor Aziz been? We’ve not seen him at local surgeries, council meetings or even out and about in the ward. All we have had is radio silence. In fact, so far his only comment has been ‘no comment’.

“The Conservatives are providing ineffective opposition and we need Labour to be held to account. While they are riding roughshod over our democracy, the Conservatives seem willing to sit on their hands, keep silent and let it happen. We need effective opposition in Nottingham – at the moment our local democracy is being seriously disrespected.”

This story was covered by the Nottingham Post, their story is here – http://www.nottinghampost.com/suspended-nottingham-councillor-who-has-missed-almost-all-meetings-has-been-paid-more-then-6k/story-29801547-detail/story.html

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

“Our council needs an opposition that actually does something’ – Barry Holliday

Nottingham Liberal Democrat, Barry Holliday, has called for “better opposition and better scrutiny” of the city council’s activities after it was revealed that Nottingham City Council has remained the most complained about authority in the county.

The Local Government Ombudsman’s report showed the council clocked up 105 complaints last year. Nottingham Lib Dem spokesperson, Barry Holliday said:

“This isn’t good enough. 52 out of 55 councillors are Labour and right now they are too busy fighting with themselves over who should lead their party nationally. Meantime the three Conservative councillors are so silent I’m concerned that they’ve been fitted with a TV-remote style mute button.

“We have an incredible city and fellow residents deserve better. Part of that relies on a governing party that isn’t navel gazing. The other part of that requires an opposition that actually scrutinises what the ruling body on the council does. At the moment, neither of those essential elements of local democracy are functioning properly and it’s clearly having an impact on local residents.”

The Liberal Democrats have seen a huge jump in members locally. Since the 2015 General Election, membership has risen by over 150% in the city and continues to rise.

“While the Conservatives fail in their elected duties to hold Labour to account, we will continue to help people on a local level and help them with the various issues they face” said Barry.

If you have an issue you’d like the Lib Dems to help with please use our online contact form – http://nottinghamlibdems.org.uk/en/views

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Tories give discrimination helpline contract to inept G4S

Hate crimes up 42%, but Tories give discrimination helpline contract to inept G4S

A lifeline for people facing human rights issues and discrimination is set to be privatised. With hate crimes up by 42% since the EU referendum result, the Conservative government is privatising the EASS (Equality Advisory and Support Service).

After a tendering process, they are awarding the contract to G4S. The same company which has demonstrated shocking track record of human rights breaches, and for failing government contracts wasting millions in taxpayers’ money. Prime Minister May wishes to put them in charge of the national helpline responsible for providing support to people facing discrimination, something which is deeply concerning considering their history.

Nottingham Lib Dem spokesperson, Barry Holliday, said:

“This would be like putting BP in charge of enforcing environmental protections.

On top of that it appears that the government may have failed to follow all the necessary steps before awarding the contract to G4S. Online campaign group SumOfUs are currently trying to fundraise to bring a legal case to reverse the decision to award G4S the contract.

With G4S’s very public failings, surely the company has no business anywhere near a contract like this. They bungled the Olympics security contract, recently left a dialysis patient stranded at home after taking over the contract for patient transport in Kent, and in Lincolnshire; G4S control room staff were suspended for making bogus 999 calls to improve their perceived performance. Even more seriously, they stand accused of assaulting children in a UK young offenders’ unit, torturing prisoners in South Africa, and putting the life of an unborn child at risk while deporting a wheelchair-using pregnant woman.

Now the Conservatives want that same company to run a helpline to support those facing discrimination or human rights abuses. It beggars belief!

Theresa May must step in to prevent this contract being handed over, and proper due-diligence checks should be made before awarding such a sensitive contract over to a private company.”

For more info / sources:

Increase in hate crimes, National Police Chiefs’ Council – http://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/hate-crime-undermines-the-diversity-and-tolerance-we-should-instead-be-celebrating-1

EASS to be privatised, Access All Areas – http://www.accessaa.co.uk/g4s-to-run-government-discrimination-helpline/

Medway youth jail scandal, The Guardian – https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/09/scandal-of-g4s-run-medway-youth-jail-deepens-as-five-further-people-arrested

G4S scandals, International Business Times – http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/g4s-scandals-london-2012-security-fiasco-jimmy-mubenga-death-1440233

SumOfUs campaign against G4S – https://actions.sumofus.org/a/don-t-hand-the-government-s-discrimination-helpline-over-to-g4s

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Barry Holliday condemns the Saudi-led airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Yemen

Nottingham Lib Dem spokesperson Barry Holliday condemns the Saudi-led airstrike on Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Hospital in Abs, Yemen

The Liberal Democrats have always passionately supported international humanitarian law; in which it states that it is a war crime to deliberately attack a hospital or other medical unit, whether it is civilian or military, due to their special protected status.

All parties in the Yemen conflict have been repeatedly given the GPS location information for the hospital in Abs by MSF. However, despite this an MSF hospital was struck recently on 15th August, by the Saudi coalition forces. Eleven people were killed, including an MSF staff member, and a further 19 were injured. This horrific act took place less than 48 hours after the Saudi coalition struck a school killing 10 children.

Barry said “This attack is abhorrent, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. It could constitute a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law. I urge total transparency from Saudi led coalition forces in the coming months. We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life could be dismissed by those responsible.”

The hospital has treated 4,600 people since July 2015, and MSF supports an emergency room and maternity unit [source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37083035] in the hospital. At the time of the airstrike there were 23 patients in surgery, 25 in the maternity ward, 13 new-born infants and 12 other children in the hospital. Meanwhile, King Salman of Saudi Arabia rewarded all military personnel involved in the Yemen campaign by giving them all an additional month’s salary.

Barry continued “I call for the Prime Minister, to condemn this attack and to suspend arms sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while a full independent international investigation in to this alleged war crime takes place, and those responsible are held to account under international law.

In addition, I call on all Yemeni warring parties to respect civilians, health facilities, and medical staff, as required under International Humanitarian Law.”

As a result of this attack MSF have announced they will be evacuating it’s staff from all hospitals in northern Yemen as it cannot get assurances that it’s hospitals would not be bombed again.

More info:

Doctors without borders statement – http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/yemen-airstrike-msf-supported-hospital-kills-least-11-wounds-least-19

Tim Farron MP condems attack – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/15/saudi-led-air-strike-yemen-hospital-kills-at-least-seven

MSF pulling out their staff – http://www.muslimpress.com/Section-world-news-16/105574-doctors-without-borders-is-pulling-staff-after-hospital-bombings-in-yemen

Nottingham Lib Dems condemn similar attack in Afghanistan – http://nottinghamlibdems.org.uk/en/article/2015/1116201/nottingham-city-liberal-democrats-condemn-the-u-s-led-air-strike-on-doctors-without-borders-msf-hospital-in-kunduz-afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment