Sal Speaks!

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

At Conference I marked your – our members and supporters – amazing contribution over the last six months since Spring Conference and I want to repeat my thanks to all of you in this newsletter.

We asked you to all go on the Stop Brexit march on 20 March to make it clear we are the strongest Remain party. You did that.

It was my privilege to help lead thousands and thousands of Liberal Democrats along with Vince Cable at that march that had over a million people on the streets of London.

We asked you to go out and give us the best results ever in the local elections. You did that.

We made over 700 gains, and now control 18 councils. We’re still making gains in by elections too.

We then said please go out and campaign for our best ever European Elections results, in a snap election, with very little time. You did that. 16 MEPs.

And then we said (after all of that!), please go and help Jane Dodds and our Welsh colleagues in Brecon and Radnorshire.

So you did that too!

Jane Dodds MP has said she could not have won without all the help you provided.

You see, I knew. I knew that your attitude and approach to life had changed. And all we needed to do was to get out there and make sure that people in our local communities felt the same.

And they did.

After the Euro elections, the press said this was a flash in the pan. They said that within weeks we’d plummet back in the polls.

But now, their view has changed. Why?

Because our poll rating has strengthened and solidified. Against all the pundits’ expectations. But they don’t know the reaction we were all getting on the doorsteps from people who have, for years, said: “I would vote for you if I thought you could win”. Well, 20% of voters believe we can and will win, and, more importantly, believe that Jo Swinson can be our next Prime Minister.

In the brief time that Jo has been Leader, she has transformed the public view of the Lib Dems as a fighting force, a realistic opposition to both the Conservative and Labour parties, both of whom are in terminal decline because of continued in-fighting. And now she is very clear in the current catastrophic crisis in a General Election there is only one option to remain – Revoke Article 50!

Jo said to us on the day you became Leader that this would be a roller coaster ride – she’s right, it is thrilling, exciting, awe-inspiring, and we are behind you all the way!

And we must not forget those who kept the faith and kept us going. And I want to pay tribute especially to Tim Farron and Vince Cable, both of whom had a really tough time as Leader holding us together and rebuilding and preparing us for the success we have had this year. I thank them both for that selfless dedication when perhaps only we believed the Liberal Democrats had a future and the outside world just mocked and derided us.

I also want to thank the many staff who worked against all the odds too. People assume that HQ is this large monolith filled with hundreds of people. Not true. Our few staff are brilliant. Not only doing the job they are paid to do, but also during elections, especially General Elections, redeployed into tasks that keep our successful campaign show on the road.

Together we can transform our country. See you on the campaign trail!

Dangerous extremists?

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The last 24 hours have been a bit, well, odd.

Most of the British political establishment seems to be whipping themselves into a frenzy over our member’s decision to revoke article 50 if we win the next election.

First, an audience member at #BBCQT asked this:

Our second audience question tonight is about the Lib Dems. #bbcqtpic.twitter.com/r4i50WolIz

— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) September 19, 2019

And then Emily Thornberry decided to compare us to the Taliban:

Comparing a UK political party to the Taliban is ludicrous. Emily is the shadow foreign secretary, and should use language that reflects the importance of that role. https://t.co/NA7Yo9fWWF

— Jo Swinson (@joswinson) September 20, 2019

Ever since, Lib Dem member’s have been responding with good humour, pointing out all of the ways they’re definitely dangerous extremists, led by our candidate in Richmond Park & North Kingston:

Seriously? I’m an accountant and mother of two – fond of reading, baking and a little light leaflet delivery, and the BBC is encouraging people to ask if I’m actually a #DangerousExtremist ? 🙄 https://t.co/ZcGUdW9oBF

— Sarah Olney (@sarahjolney1) September 20, 2019

Lib Dem Voice Editor, Caron Lindsay showed off her vicious attack dog:

I am a blogger who likes books, wine and chocolate and write with this vicious beast on my lap. #dangerousextremisthttps://t.co/BEUz9PfkSspic.twitter.com/GItANjo1Z3

— Caron Lindsay 🔶 (@caronmlindsay) September 20, 2019

Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton showed off his love of subversive literature:

I try to get home for dinner most nights, enjoy a good day on the beach, read Sci-Fi novels from time to time and secretly overheat pans just so I can plunge them into a sink of water and pretend that I’m a blacksmith. I am, without question, a #dangerousextremisthttps://t.co/GsFQ2gStzY

— Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP🔶 (@agcolehamilton) September 20, 2019

John Martin was, rightly, suspicious of his wife’s intentions:

My wife is pretending to read a magazine whilst getting tea ready. She’s done a bit of gardening and says she may have an early night. I’m not falling for it though. I’m fairly convinced she’s a #DangerousExtremist#DangerousExtremist

— JohnMartin🔶#FBPE🎪 (@its_johnmartin) September 20, 2019

Ed Thornley’s cookie habit is definitely very suspicious:

I’m a history fan with a tendency to wax lyrical about the pros and cons of Crusade era weaponry, a general dog obsession and unhealthy relationship with chocolate chip cookies.#DangerousExtremisthttps://t.co/BVbMTTFi3m

— Ed Thornley 🔶 (@edjthornley) September 20, 2019

Helen is cooking something up:

I’m just baking some cakes for the local food bank cake sale that they are having tomorrow, totally #DangerousExtremisthttps://t.co/oKYvIcjh8p

— Helen🔸#FBPE #RevokeA50 (@brightsider123) September 20, 2019

And we all know that Angela can do some serious damage with those knitting needles. She’s basically Zorro.

I had to put down my knitting and make myself a nice cup of tea while trying to decide if I had become a #DangerousExtremist . I think I need some fresh air, feeling a little faint. https://t.co/66uczyMzaq

— Angela Akehurst 🇪🇺🇬🇧🔸 (@AngelaEAkehurst) September 20, 2019

And our Head of Membership is clearly planning something:

I build model tanks for fun and am super into trains.

I have two cats that I refer to as my children and treat accordingly.

I also have a borderline dangerous (for my waistline anyways) obsession with cheese. #DangerousExtremisthttps://t.co/cWUst2AiAK

— Greg Foster 🔶 (@LibFozzy) September 20, 2019

In all seriousness though, we’ve been campaigning to stop Brexit for three years.

Brexit will make the UK poorer, less safe and more isolated from the rest of the world.

So we’ve said, if there is a general election and we win a majority, we will revoke article 50 and stop Brexit on day 1 – and if you want to know more about why, you can find out more here.

If you agree with us, apparently you too are a dangerous extremist 🙄

So why not have some fun, and share your dangerous, extremist tendencies on Twitter using the hashtag #DangerousExtremist, we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

11 days left to be nominated for a Federal Committee!

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

There are just 11 days left to get your nominations in for the candidates you’d like to see elected to party committees.

If you need a reminder of which roles are up for election, here it is:

Top of the bill is Federal President, to take over from Sal Brinton on 1 January and serve for 2020, 2021 and 2022. This is a major role chairing the party’s Federal Board, protecting and representing members, and acting as guardian of the party’s interests. Hustings will be held throughout the country during the two-month campaign, and candidates may raise and spend £20,000 campaigning for the job.

The party’s senior Federal Committees for the next three years are also up for re-election: Federal Board members (15); Federal Policy Committee members (15); Federal Conference Committee members (12); and Federal International Relations Committee members (6).

These elections will run concurrently with the Presidential election. There are no hustings or campaign budgets for committee places, but candidates are entitled to submit a short manifesto which will be posted on the election pages of the party website and on a ‘click-through’ when members cast their votes.

Members in England, Scotland and Wales will each also elect one State Representative to the Federal Board.

We are also electing our delegation to our European party’s ALDE (Alliance of Liberal Democrats in Europe) Council (6 representatives – including one from each state and one under age 26). It’s also worth noting that if there is a General Election in the near future, then our delegation may well increase in size – so we will likely need more than just 6 candidates!

Members in Scotland will also be electing the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ party committees for 2020 on a broadly concurrent timetable and using the same online voting platform.

Members in Wales will be electing the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ party committees this autumn, but their own rules may mean a slightly different timetable and they will be using the same online voting platform.

You can find out more about all of these roles, the process, rules and of course, how to get nominated here: www.libdems.org.uk/internal-elections

This year, we are also trialling online nominations.

To nominate someone online, you’ll need your Unique Nomination Code, which can be requested here: www.libdems.org.uk/nomination-form

Once you have it, you’ll be sent a link to a form where you can nominate as many candidates as you like (with their consent of course!). We hope that this will make it easier than ever before for candidates who can’t make it to conference to get nominated.

Nominations close at 5pm on Monday 30th September – so if you do want to stand, you’d better start gathering signatures soon.

Members will start to receive ballots by email (except for those without email addresses, who will receive a postal vote) on the 28th October and the results in all of the elections are expected on the 19th November.

If you’re planning to stand in this round of elections, then I wish you the best of luck.

If you aren’t, then I hope you are able to attend one of the Presidential election hustings and to cast your vote for, what I am certain will be a fantastic slate of candidates.

Willie Rennie’s conference speech

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

What an amazing week we have had.

Hearing about our 700 council gains. 15 European gains.

Chuka, Sarah, Angela, Philip, Luciana and Sam joining from the Conservatives and Labour. The Brecon win for the wonderful Jane Dodds against the Conservatives.

It’s happening in Scotland too. Councillor Fiona Dryburgh left Labour to join us. And Councillor Mark McGeever left the Conservatives to join us.

And there will be more to come. We are on the up and you better get used to it.

When you look at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, the answer has to be Jo Swinson

It’s time for the old to make way for the new. When you look at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, the answer has to be Jo Swinson. So Boris and Jeremy watch out, Jo is on the march.

We must stop a no-deal Brexit, but we also must stop Brexit. Full stop.

We knew straight away that we would need to escape this looming chaos. And we were right.

The value of the pound has plummeted. The cost of imports is up. Prices are up. The cost of your family holiday is up. The economy sluggish. Business investment cut.

And now we have the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson held hostage – a prisoner – of Nigel Farage.

We see what they are doing. They are doubling down for No Deal. They are expelling their moderates. But in Scotland, no Conservative MPs have been harmed in the making of this dogma.

Not one has rebelled. It’s not good enough. Scottish Conservatives, you have to stand up and be counted like Amber Rudd, or forever be condemned as a waste of Scottish space.

That is why Liberal Democrats stood firm. We are pro-immigration and pro-business.

We said stop Brexit. Unpopular at first, but we believed that to be right so we stuck to what we believed.

And it is the Liberal Democrats who speak for those millions of people who voted Remain and want to stop Brexit.

My message to those Remainers in Scotland thinking of backing independence is simple: Believe. Have hope. There is another way.

We can keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom in Europe

We can keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom in Europe.

Some think independence would allow us to escape Brexit. But it will simply add to our woes. All the chaos of Brexit multiplied and multiplied again. We need to learn the lessons of Brexit, not repeat the mistakes.

Our ties with Europe are deep and valuable. Our ties in the UK are even deeper and even more valuable. Cutting those ties with Europe after 40 years is torture. We should only imagine the pain of breaking 300-year-old ties.

And it would be the vulnerable who would suffer most, just like Brexit. So don’t cut and run. Don’t snatch for independence.

So those people – and more – can rely on the Liberal Democrats to speak for them. We are the only party in Scotland to stand up for the majority of people in Scotland. We are pro UK. We are pro EU. We are progressive.

Scotland should come with us and win that tussle for the soul of these islands. Be part of the change. Be part of stopping Brexit. Be part of the winning team.

In the eight years I have led our Scottish party we have achieved for our country:

  • We campaigned and badgered the Scottish Government to take extra steps on early years childcare and on mental health.
  • We got them to bring in a pupil premium and free school meals.
  • We have been the strong liberal voice on the age of criminal responsibility and gender recognition, even when the SNP have lined up with the conservative mindset.
  • We worked across parties to increase the powers of the Scottish Parliament as steps on the way to a more federal country.

And we have challenged the SNP when they have tried to impose centralisation on our police and cut the links between the police and the community. People can’t depend on the SNP.

The SNP have taken their eye off the ball on Scottish public services to focus on independence

They have taken their eye off the ball on Scottish public services to focus on independence.

With the chaotic performance of the Conservative Government at Westminster, the SNP have evaded the spotlight of scrutiny.

But that will change. We are watching you and we are not impressed.

And I tell you this: all the things we want to do for education and mental health; investing in people so they can be all they can be; standing up for liberties; this can’t be left to the SNP.

Even when they take our ideas they tend to make a mess of them.

No, this needs Liberal Democrats. It needs Liberal Democrats to grow stronger still and keep on winning. And to talk about winning.

And that is my positive, hopeful message to you today. We should be hopeful, forward-looking and excited.

The Scotland and the Britain we can win does not have to be a dismal choice between going back to the unfair country of the past or else on to the divided future the nationalists would like.

At our heart we want every individual to achieve their potential, a country where everyone has a share and a stake in our success.

There is so much we can achieve in our beautiful and diverse country, a force for good in Europe and in the world.

We are winning. We are growing. Our best is still to come.

United against Crime

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

It’s no secret: crime rates in the UK have been rising.

Brutal knife and gun crimes have become a sad fixture of our headlines, while conviction rates for offences including violent robberies and sexual assaults have experienced an alarming decline.

Why?

Since 2015, the Conservatives have cut £1bn from police budgets while resolutely maintaining that falling policing numbers have nothing to do with rising crime.

But the stark truth is that our police officers are now spread so thinly that they simply can’t keep everyone safe. Officers are having to make devastating decisions about which incidents they can and can’t attend. As a result, the number and seriousness of incidents slipping through the net are on the rise.

We think that our police officers deserve better. And so do our communities.

It’s time to take action, but unlike Boris Johnson’s knee-jerk PR-friendly officer recruitment drive, a much more sustainable solution is required.

A solution that gives everyone in the community a voice. That recognises the link in cuts to mental health provision that now sees the police receive a call related to a mental health crisis every two minutes. A solution that works for everyone, from young people falling out of mainstream education to older people too scared to leave their homes.

This is why the Liberal Democrats have consistently pledged to increase funding for the police and other community services to both address the deeply rooted causes of crime and improve safety.

Today at our party conference, members adopted a new policy on crime and policing to reverse this stark trend. The motion commits us to:

  • An expansion of community policing by providing enough funds for two more police officers in every ward in the UK
  • Investment in mental health services so that people facing mental health crises can receive appropriate support from healthcare professionals
  • Funding for better community services to give all young people new opportunities to reach their full potential, not become excluded from mainstream society
  • Targeted investment in the National Crime Agency and in a new Online Crime Agency to ensure that our approach to tackling crime is fit for the twenty-first century

You can read the full motion here:

Read the motion!

We can make the UK safer.

Not by slashing police budgets and pointing the blame at increasingly deprived communities, but by funding and supporting services that help break the cycle of crime and providing appropriate support for people in crisis. And by giving police enough resources to do what they do best. Fighting crime.

Building Railways fit for the 21st Century

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Britain’s railways are essential to everyday life – they transport millions to and from work and around the country day in, day out.

Unfortunately, all too often our trains are late, crowded or cancelled. Ticketing is a confusing mess and the railways and their rolling stock are in desperate need of investment.

Today, at our conference, we voted for a plan to start fixing all of these big issues and give Britain a railway network worthy of Sodor.

Here’s how the Liberal Democrats would fix Britain’s railways:

  1. Invest in improving commuting – we’d invest in improving existing commuter lines, as well as building new and re-opening old lines to improve capacity. We’d also invest in more light-rail and trams and invest in stations to transform them into transport hubs.
  2. We’d replace the ticketing system – and introduce greater use of travelcards, rolling out delay-repay to all operators and introducing early-bird fares.
  3. We’ll create a railway agency – to ensure the railways are run by railway experts and improve accountability.
  4. Make the railway greener – by expanding electrification, reducing the use of diesel trains and expanding the use of wind and solar power at stations.
  5. Support HS2 and HS3 – we’ll continue to support big infrastructure projects like crossrail, expand digital signalling and ensure that stations without step-free access are staffed from first to last train.
  6. Reform franchising – we’d open up the franchising process to public sector companies, local or combined authorities, not-for-profits and mutuals.

A Liberal Democrat Government will build a railway system that’ll work for everyone and get millions more people onto trains and out of cars.

To see the motion in full, click here.

Jo Swinson’s speech to Liberal Democrat conference

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Today, Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats closed Conference with a rousing speech outlining her vision for a Liberal Democrat government winning the next General Election powered by the surging Liberal Democrat movement across the county.

Tribute to Paddy Ashdown

We remember a man who was bold, fearless, determined

Jo started with a warm tribute to former Liberal Democrat Leader, Paddy Ashdown following last week’s memorial service in Westminster Abbey. Speaking of his incredible energy and passion, she said:

“As I sat last week at his memorial service with thousands of others, we remembered a man who was bold, fearless, determined. A man who brought people together. A man whose impatience to create change was undimmed into his seventies.”

The growing Lib Dem movement

To you all I say welcome. And thank you.

She reflected on the success that we’ve seen in recent months, from our new MSP Beatrice Wishart to our 16 MEPs, 7 new MPs and our 700 new councillors, as well as our tens of thousands of new members. Jo said:

“To you all I say welcome. We all say welcome. And thank you.”

Stopping Brexit

Jo then outlined our top priority: stopping Brexit. She outlined the terrible risks the country faces, which will inevitably harm the most vulnerable people in our society the most. Speaking about the scale and gravity of the task ahead, Jo said:

The first task is clear. We must stop Brexit.

“The first task is clear. We must stop Brexit. And we are crystal clear: a Liberal Democrat majority government will revoke Article 50 on day one. Because there is no Brexit that will be good for our country. Europe makes our United Kingdom stronger. But Brexit hurts our family of nations.”

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn being both unfit for office

It is very clear that Jeremy Corbyn is Brexit by nature.

Jo repeated her warnings about the terrible future the country faces with Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn in power, with Johnson failing to make any progress with negotiations and Corbyn’s tacit support for Brexit. She said:

“People across Britain deserve a better choice than an entitled Etonian or a 1970s socialist. If [Corbyn] had campaigned to Remain in 2016 with half of the energy he put into the 2017 election, we may have seen a different result. Nigel Farage might be Brexit by name, but it is very clear that Jeremy Corbyn is Brexit by nature. We all know that commitment has never been Boris Johnson’s strong suit, but it’s clear he’s determined when it comes to crashing us out without a deal.”

Jo on the Environment

Jo also spoke of the imminent threat the whole world faces due to climate change and outlined far-reaching environmental policies to tackled climate change including:

As the placards say, there is no Planet B

  • Introducing climate risk reporting
  • Creating a new Green Investment Bank to channel investment into green projects and away from fossil fuels
  • A programme of tree planting and retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient
  • Significantly expanding the UK’s renewable energy infrastructure
  • Establishing a UK Citizens’ Climate Assembly to drive a national debate about how exactly we will reach net-zero by 2045 – and earlier if possible

Jo explained the critical urgency of these measures, explaining that:

“We will do it all, not because it will create thousands of good new jobs – although it will; not because it will cut energy bills – although it will; not because it will make our country a cleaner, richer, happier nation – although it will. We will do it because we have to. Because, as the placards say, there is no Planet B.”

Jo on tackling Knife Crime

Every time a life like Tashaûn’s is cut short, we are failing our young people

Jo spoke about the new approach to tackling knife crime needed, with a focus on prevention and extra support for young people. She spoke of her experience of visiting the site of the tragic stabbing of a 15 year old called Tashaûn to gain an understanding of the causes of knife crime, and of the critical importance of treating violent crime as a public health emergency. She said:

“To win this battle, we need to invest far more in providing young people with good youth services. That’s why the Liberal Democrats will give local authorities the funding they need so that they can all provide youth services and re-establish youth workers. Because every time a life like Tashaûn’s is cut short, we are failing our young people. And it must stop now.”

Jo on Mental Health

Jo spoke of her pride in the progress Lib Dems made on mental health in the Coalition, and thanked Norman Lamb for his tireless work to improve services. She also outlined just how much more needs to be done, especially around children’s and young people’s mental health. She said:

A Liberal Democrat government will ringfence funding for mental health services.

“Why should any child travel as much as 339 miles to get a mental health bed? That’s from here in Bournemouth to Durham! Why have we as a society decided that that is something we can’t change, and that we should just accept it? A Liberal Democrat government will ringfence funding for mental health services. And we will invest far more heavily in the childhood and adolescent mental health services that communities need.”

The battle ahead

We can change our politics, stop Brexit and win a brighter future.

Jo closed with a message of hope and a rallying cry to everyone with liberal and democratic values across the country. She acknowledged that there is a battle ahead but made it clear that we are aiming for nothing less than winning the next General Election. She said:

“This much I am sure of. The opportunity in front of us is huge. And it is for the taking. We can win. We must win. And to do so, we must build the biggest liberal movement this country has ever seen. Our job is to gather the forces of liberalism, and be the rallying point for change.

Liberal Democrats, we can build the broad, open, liberal movement that our country needs. We can defeat nationalism and populism. We can change our politics, stop Brexit and win a brighter future.”

Read Jo’s speech!

Tribute to Paddy Ashdown

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

With beautiful sunny Bournemouth as a backdrop, Paddy’s friends and colleagues took to the main stage to share their fond memories of him.

Now on BBC Parliament: tributes are paid to the late party leader Paddy Ashdown at the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth pic.twitter.com/mR3wEMTmar

— BBC Parliament (@BBCParliament) September 17, 2019

Beautiful walk down to #LDConf hall ahead of tribute to the late, great, Paddy Ashdown.

How he would have loved this conference. pic.twitter.com/Opl5RlpYKN

— Andrew Brown for Bristol South 🔶 (@andrewbrownld) September 17, 2019

Sir Nick Harvey, a former MP alongside Paddy and the current Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats reminisced about the energy that Paddy would bring to every task, including his order to Sir Nick (then a Defence Minister) to dispatch a submarine for Paddy’s use.

“Often exasperating, always exhilarating…” Anecdotes, affection and all kinds of memories. The Lib Dems are paying tribute to their former leader Paddy Ashdown. pic.twitter.com/G3dAFlSJC0

— Jonathan Blake (@blakeyblogs) September 17, 2019

Members of Paddy’s former staff talked of how you could always tell if someone had worked for Paddy because they walked faster than everyone else.

Jo Philips, who worked for Paddy whilst he was Leader. She spoke of Paddy’s impatience and energetic. Demanding better of his staff, not for himself but our party, our country and our world. A mind that was constantly working, a great sense of humour and he recognised his shortcomings.

A standing ovation for Paddy Ashdown #LibDemConfpic.twitter.com/IzCe8AhnZA

— Jessica Newman (@jesssnewman) September 17, 2019

Another former member of Paddy’s staff Ian Patrick spoke of his time in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Paddy once told a story from when he was High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina of when a bounty of £2 million was put on his head. Paddy did not think that was anywhere near high enough.

Ian also regailed to story of the treat of a petrol station being blown up by those that wanted to harm the peace process. When security concerns were raised, Paddy banged the table again and again. Then said, “Who here has tried to blow up a petrol station, because I have. And it’s bloody difficult I can tell you.”

An emotional tribute for Paddy Ashdown at @LibDemConf@LibDems always a friend of Manchester always full of energy. A lovely tribute to a lovely man. #LDconfpic.twitter.com/Ig5exVtTCL

— Cllr Richard Kilpatrick (@RKilpatrickMCR) September 17, 2019

Tributes from our newest MPs reflected the incredible role he played in shaping the party today and the enormous affection for Paddy felt throughout the community.

Stop the Home Secretary playing politics with people’s lives

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The power to strip someone of their citizenship is one of the most serious the Home Secretary possesses.

It should only be taken when absolutely necessary. And only when the national security interest can be proven in court.

Was Javid’s decision to strip Shamima Begum’s citizenship about the safety of our country or the advancement of his career?

Instead, Conservative Home Secretaries have abused this power for political gain with tragic results.

Think back to February, when Sajid Javid stripped 19-year-old Shamima Begum of her British citizenship. No one can defend what she did, but were she and her new-born baby really such a threat to national security?

Was Javid’s decision about the safety of our country or the advancement of his career?

We demand better.

Shamima Begum and others like her were born and brought up here. The Government must take responsibility when they are radicalised and go abroad to join terrorists.

They should be prosecuted in the UK for their crimes and interrogated to learn exactly how this happens and prevent terrorists from recruiting more young Brits.

That’s what the motion we passed at our Autumn Conference, “Deprivation of Citizenship”, will ensure.

A Liberal Democrat Government will protect both national security and individual rights.

We will introduce new safeguards so that Home Secretaries must show good reasons for revoking someone’s citizenship. A judge will have to decide, on the basis of evidence, that:

  • The person obtained their citizenship through fraud, or
  • Depriving them of citizenship is necessary for national security.

We will also ensure that the best interests of any children involved are taken into account and that no one is left stateless.

A Liberal Democrat Government will protect both national security and individual rights.

To see the motion in full, click here.