Lib Dems’ ‘Climate Emergency’ Latest

The LibDems were one of the first parties to jump on board the “climate emergency” bandwagon, although they’ve not always managed to practice what they preach. This LibDem down in Leiston, Suffolk doesn’t seem to have got the memo either, they’ve plastered Lib Dem decals all over what appears to be a gas-guzzling 2004 Land Rover Discovery. Looks far too professional to just be a LibDem superfan, Guido suspects it is a local organiser of some sort…

The EU set a target of 130 g/km CO2 emissions in 2015, this is falling further to 95 g/km in 2021. Meanwhile the Lib Dem Land Rover is happily chugging out a whopping 284 g/km – three times the EU’s incoming target. Some “climate emergency”…

Who Are You LibDem Leaders?

Only one in five LibDems can identify who the likely next leader. Only 1 in 12 normal people can guess who will lead the yellow party…

Brexit Party MEPs Turn Their Backs on EU ‘National Anthem’

Silly season has officially begun with the Brexit Party’s 29 MEPs turning their backs to the EU’s ‘national anthem’ as it played to open a new session of the Parliament in Strasbourg this morning. The Eurocrats were really not happy, with a viably miffed EU Parliament President hitting out at the new MEPs saying “You stand for the anthem of another country.” Getting a bit ahead of himself there, the EU isn’t a country quite yet – despite the best endeavours of those who run it…

Meanwhile the Lib Dems’ 16 MEPs arrived wearing T-Shirts sporting the slogan “Bollocks to Brexit.” Big student politics vibes across the board…

Jo Swinson Apologises for Mailshot Breach

Jo Swinson’s in a bit of hot water after reports her campaign spammed a load of Lib Dem members with a mailshot when they’d specifically opted out of being contacted. No doubt the ICO will take this breach as seriously as if Brexiteers had done it…

Lib Dems Deselect Sarah Olney

Poor old Sarah Olney hasn’t had the best of times since her fleeting stint in Parliament was brought to an unceremonious end in 2017. After being dumped back out by Zac Goldsmith, she got a cushy job as Vince Cable’s Head of Staff, only to lose it after just six weeks. She briefly held on to her bumper £68,000 pay packet despite going part time, only to lose that too after another four months. Then she had a visit from the Old Bill a month later over her criminal breach of spending laws in the 2016 by-election. Her one stroke of luck was that the police bizarrely decided not to press charges despite evidence she had been deliberately dishonest, would they have been this lenient with a Leaver?

Olney was hoping to waltz straight back into the role of Lib Dem candidate for Richmond Park – it turns out the local Lib Dems have other ideas. Despite her only losing by 45 votes last time, they’ve deselected her as the candidate and are forcing her to fight against two other candidates if she wants the position back, including David Campanale, an NUJ rep who works for the BBC. Olney’s website expired last month on ‘Europe Day’ – saraholney.org.uk now redirects to the Kingston Independent Residents Group. Looks like it’s not just the local Lib Dems who are happy to see the back of her…

Jo Swinson Took £14,000 Donation from Fracking Boss

The Lib Dem leadership content is so firmly in the Tories’ shadow that even Ed Davey is writing op-eds about the Tory race rather than the one he’s competing in himself. Meanwhile his rival Jo Swinson has been busy doing a Gove-style hypocrisy tribute act by taking £14,000 in donations from a fracking boss while claiming to have “campaigned tirelessly” for the environment. Awkward…

The number two pledge on Swinson’s campaign website is her environmental credentials, she even boasts about how “she took to the streets with Extinction Rebellion”. Coincidentally as well as taking two donations totalling £14,000 from fracking boss Mark Petterson, she’s also voted against a moratorium on fracking permits, in favour of cutting renewable subsidies and against CO2 targets in the past few years. Sensible positions which will likely be better for the environment in the long run, her own Lib Dem selectorate may not quite feel the same way…

Remainers Overwhelmingly Outspent Leavers on Facebook

Guido reported during the campaign, Change UK were massively outstripping the spending of other parties on Facebook throughout the election. By the last week of the campaign, the Lib Dems caught up with Change UK, followed by the Greens, Labour, then the Tories. In that crucial week, of the parties in England that won seats, the Brexit Party spent the least and won the most…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Vince Cable Handing Over Lib Dem Leadership on July 23rd

Another leadership departure timetable set out today, meaning the Lib Dem leadership race will be entirely overshadowed by the Tory one, much as the announcement today is. Cable’s successor could conceivably even be crowned on the same day as Theresa May’s. Lib Dems didn’t really think this one through…

UK’s Former Chief Civil Servant Endorses Liberal Democrats

If Brexiteers needed any more proof that the senior echelons of the civil service are fanatically pro-Remain, former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell was on hand to provide it this morning in The Times with a gushing endorsement of the Lib Dems. O’Donnell says it’s “deeply disappointing and very annoying” that the split Remain vote could lead to the Brexit Party doing “extremely well”, he says he will be voting Lib Dem and “urges all those who support Remain to do the same”. Telling, but hardly surprising, that the UK’s most senior civil servant under three successive Prime Ministers is coming out with such a full-throated endorsement of Remain…

David Cameron’s hapless former Downing Street head of strategy and embittered Remainer Andrew Cooper has also announced that he’s backing the Lib Dems. Cooper did sit for the Tories in the Lords, he’s now joined Heseltine on the naughty step with the whip suspended. With him on board the Lib Dems are guaranteed electoral success…

Change UK MEP: Vote Lib Dem

It turns out that the two former Tory MEPs who were kicked out of the party after voting to ban the UK from discussing trade in the Brexit negotiations joined ‘Change UK’ last month, not that anyone really noticed. Now Julie Girling, one of those Change UK MEPs, is encouraging constituents not to vote for her own party but for the Lib Dems instead, as they are “clearly the strongest Remain party.” She has issued a press release saying:

“In my view, the best way to get a People’s Vote to stop Brexit is to vote Lib Dem. That will send a very clear message to Mrs May and Mr Corbyn. This is what I will be doing. I urge other Remain voters to vote Lib Dem to stop Brexit.”

Even when the ChUKas do manage to put candidates up, their own politicians are telling voters to vote against them…

She’s not the only one giving surprise endorsements today, former Tory Remainer Nick Boles effectively endorsed the Brexit Party’s candidate in Peterborough:

Evidently not much love lost between Boles and his former Tory MP neighbour Stewart Jackson…

Lib Dems Select Lutfur Rahman’s Protege as MEP Candidate

After their absolute car crash last time the Lib Dems adopted a former Lutfur Rahman-backed candidate, you would think they would be more careful not to select someone associated with the disgraced former Tower Hamlets Mayor in future. Apparently not, as they’ve now selected Rahman’s hand-picked successor in Tower Hamlets as an MEP candidate – Rabina Khan. She’s been on quite a journey:

  • May 2010: Khan is elected as a Labour Councillor in Shadwell
  • Oct 2010: Khan leaves Labour to join newly-elected mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Cabinet
  • May 2014: Re-elected as Councillor for Rahman’s new Tower Hamlets First party
  • April 2015: Lutfur Rahman and Tower Hamlets First found guilty of “corrupt and illegal practices”, THF is disbanded and Rahman’s election is voided although Khan and other THF Councillors keep their seats
  • May 2015: Khan stands in the subsquent Mayoral by-election as Rahman’s chosen successor, losing to Labour
  • Nov 2016: Khan splits from the Rahman-supporting independents to form her own party, the People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH)
  • May 2018: Khan places second in the Mayoral election again but all other PATH Councillors except her lose their seats
  • Aug 2018: Khan dissolves PATH and joins the Lib Dems, along with the now disgraced former PATH councillor Abjol Miah
  • April 2019: Khan selected by Lib Dems as an MEP candidate for London

Only time will tell where Khan’s long and winding political journey takes her next. However, she’ll fit right in in Brussels – an FoI request previously revealed Khan claimed a staggering £1,085 for taxi fares in just 8 months while serving in Rahman’s Cabinet, including £120 for a 1.5-mile trip. From one gravy train to another…

Lib Dem By-Election Candidate Likes His Brexit ‘Hard’*

Readers will remember Ryan Jones, the Lib Dem Newport West Parliamentary candidate, and his mysterious disappearance on by-election night. Now Jones has popped up on his Berlin based stag do wearing a T-shirt proclaiming that he likes his Brexit how he likes his men. Could this be a clue as to what he was up to..?

Congratulations to Ryan and Laura on their wedding…

*According to his best man who bought him the T-shirt.

Lib Dems Already Deploying Dodgy Bar Charts

The Lib Dems are gearing up their local election campaign and that means only one thing – comically distorted and misleading bar charts. A co-conspirator received this classic in Norton ward, Dudley. The Lib Dems haven’t even bothered distorting a previous result this time, they’ve just made up an entirely imaginary chart of what the result “could look like”.

In fact, when Norton was last contested just last year, the Lib Dems were beaten soundly into third place by Labour with just 10% of the vote compared to Labour’s 23%, while the Conservative candidate romped home with 62%. The Lib Dems last won a seat there in 2003 – if Labour are “out of the running”, the Lib Dems aren’t even in the race. Guido has fixed their chart for them:

Lib Dems Get Local Election Date Wrong

The Liberal Democrats have been struggling with numbers recently, getting the date of the elections wrong is however a whole extra level of incompetence. Guido looks forward to Lib Dems getting out their vote on Friday 3rd May…

Steel Facing Disciplinary Investigation Over Paedo Cover Up

After admitting under oath to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that Cyril Smith confessed in 1979 to abusing boys, Lord Steel is in trouble. Jo Swinson says “The party has rightly begun a disciplinary investigation into Lord Steel following his revelations. Clearly this is incredibly serious and he should be suspended while this takes place.” LibDem HQ press office so far unable to confirm situation…

See: Lord Steel Admits Cyril Smith Confessed to Him

Lord Steel Admits Cyril Smith Confessed to Him

Today at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) Lord Steel has admitted under oath that Cyril Smith confessed to him in 1979 that the child abuse allegations against him were true. Steel admitted he still did nothing about it, and made no effort to investigate whether Smith posed any continuing risk to children. Despicable.

Yet on Newsnight last year Steel described the allegations as “scurrilous hearsay” and that he did not know if Cyril Smith was guilty of abuse. That can’t be compatible with what he said today. In In 1988 Lord Steel, know what he did, put Cyril Smith forward for a knighthood. Shameful.

UPDATE: See page 126 in the Inquiry transcript for detail.

Lib Dem Calculations Out By 100,000%

The Liberal Democrats have published a press release claiming that the Government are spending £20,000 per business to promote UK business exports. They were so proud of their number that they used it twice…

How did they calculate it? £2.6 million was spent on DIT’s ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign, which encouraged 130,000 businesses to take steps towards exporting. But 2,600,000 divided by 130,000 is just 20, not 20,000…

This calculation made its way through Layla Moran, the Lib Dem economic spokesperson, and her office, Lib Dem HQ, Lib Dem press office, and their social media team without any of them spotting the glaringly obvious error. Looks like a lot of Lib Dems have been using Diane Abbott’s abacus…

H/t Oliver Cooper

Lib Dems Reverse Referendum Result Because Old People Voted The Way They Wanted

The Lib Dems have decided to flagrantly ignore another result in a referendum they actually called themselves – using the excuse that more old people voted the way they wanted. Richmond Lib Dems held a vote to gauge public support for their plan to reduce speed limits to 20mph across the Borough. Almost 10,000 people took part in the vote, which split 51% to 49% against them…

True to form, the Lib Dems have decided to ignore the result and implement their original plans anyway, barring three minor exemptions. To top it off, the party used the fact that 60% of over-75s supported the proposals as a key excuse for overruling the will of the people of Richmond upon Thames. Guido looks forward to the Lib Dems putting as much importance on the views of old people in every referendum…

Lib Dem Earl Asks What Government is Doing about High Price of Theatre Tickets

The Earl of Glasgow, one of the four hereditary Lib Dem peers, has made a weighty intervention in the Lords… to challenge the Government over what it is doing to tackle the high price of theatre tickets. Good to see the Lib Dems focusing on the issues most important to voters…[…] Read the rest

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