Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC (Prospective Parliamentary Candidate) for North Shropshire by Members at a packed meeting in Wem. Members at a well-attended meeting in Wem voted to select Helen as their PPC.

LIB DEMS CHOOSE DYNAMIC CANDIDATE TO FIGHT ELECTION

Helen Morgan, a Chartered Accountant, mother and community campaigner has been selected by local North Shropshire Liberal Democrat members as their candidate to fight the next General Election. Helen Morgan, who lives with her young family in Harmer Hill works for a prominent North Shropshire business as their accountant.

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire
Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Speaking about her selection Helen said:

“I am delighted that members have selected me to be their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the next General Election. The General Election could happen in a matter of weeks. Both the Conservative and Labour parties are gripped by crises and infighting.

“Not only is Brexit likely to be a disaster for North Shropshire, it has led to increasing extremism in British politcs, with trust in politicians at a historic low.  Many voters feel that the two main parties of the past century no longer reflect their values.

“We need politicians who will act in the interests of their constituency and country, whose standards of behaviour are civilised, whose motivations are not clouded by personal ambition or financial gain, and whose opinions withstand rational challenge. I can meet these standards, and with the positiive message of the Liberal Democrats, inspire voters of all ages, defend our liberal values and make a difference at a local and national level.

“Under Jo Swinson’s leadership, I believe that the Liberal Democrats are strongly placed to respond to the needs of the country and more locally in Shropshire. Britain rightly demands better than the mess we are in.”

David Walker, Chair of North Shropshire Liberal Democrats, said:

“The Liberal Democrats are surging nationally and locally with booming membership levels following our best ever Local Election and European Election results. In North Shropshire, our membership has grown by over 44% since the beginning of May. In Shropshire, we came 2nd in the European Elections and returned Phil Bennion to the European Parliament.

“In local council by-elections up and down the country Lib Dems are gaining seats with massive swings from the Conservatives. We were leading in one national opinion poll and are consistently now on a par with the old parties. The recent addition of Chuka Umunna and victory in Brecon and Radnorshire shows that the Liberal Democrats are also back in the game at Parliamentary level.

“We are overjoyed to have such a high calibre PPC as Helen to take on the Conservatives at the next General Election. For far too long the electors of North Shropshire have been taken for granted at local and parliamentary level. Helen will allow us to build upon our growth and campaign for the open and fair society we all need and demand.

“People are working hard, paying their taxes, doing their part, and yet, for far far too many people, they’re not able to get a fair wage, afford a home or generally build a good life. That’s not how it should be.

“We will be the voice for millions of voters who feel powerless and frustrated at the direction our country is taking. The Liberal Democrats demand better and will deliver real change. Helen will have a critical role to play in delivering that change.”

Phil Bennion MEP and Helen Morgan at a recent talk to members in Market Drayton
Phil Bennion MEP and Helen Morgan at a recent talk to members in Market Drayton

Farmer and MEP Dr Phil Bennion said:

“I am delighted by Helen’s selection as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Shropshire.

“Brexit has caused the biggest crisis in our politics since the war and a general election this autumn is very possibly the only way we are going to break the impasse which is paralysing our government. Thousands of people who never thought of themselves as political before are now joining us, hundreds in Shropshire alone.

“Helen has experience and commitment and understands the perspective of ordinary North Shropshire people who do not buy into the extreme Brexit ideology for which their current MP has become a high priest.

“I am convinced that Owen Paterson’s faith in a no deal Brexit, which is not what he promised in the two debates I had with him during the referendum, is not shared by a majority of his constituents. They stand to lose so much from local disruption to agriculture and trade.

“With Labour hopelessly split, Helen offers a serious challenge as the leading candidate for Remain.”

Join Helen Morgan and the North Shropshire team and help us Demand Better for Shropshire and Britain or contact us for more information

Shropshire marches for a Final Say

Shropshire marched for a Final Say and an end to the Brexit mess

Six coaches organised by the Open Britain group left Shrewsbury early on Saturday morning, destined for the huge ‘People’s Vote’ march in central London.

Lib Dem PPC Helen Morgan marching for a Final Say
Lib Dem PPC Helen Morgan marching for a Final Say

Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Shropshire, travelled with the Shropshire contingent to demonstrate with her family. She said “We have had a memorable day, marching with friends from all over the UK, and the rain did not dampen our spirits. But this immense crowd knew that this was probably our last chance to be heard. Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement may only defer a catastrophic no-deal Brexit for a short period of time, and almost all opinion polls since 2017 show that Britain has changed its mind. We need to put this back to the people for a final say”.

100,000s of thousands marched in London - joined by coach loads from Shropshire
100,000s of thousands marched in London – some sources say 1 million – joined by coach loads from Shropshire
Shropshire marched for a Final Say and an end to the Brexit mess
Shropshire marched for a Final Say and an end to the Brexit mess

Nat Green, the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham also joined the large group of protesters from Shropshire.

Organisers estimated that over one million people from all over the UK attended the demonstration, in one of Britain’s biggest protests of modern times. It passed off peacefully, with police making no arrests. As news of the successful ‘Letwin amendment’ (designed to give MPs more time to scrutinise the legislation of the Withdrawal Agreement) reached the streets, the crowd cheered in celebration.

Manifestos of the candidates standing for Federal International Relations Committee

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

If you submit this form, the Liberal Democrats, locally and nationally, may use the information submitted, including your political views, to further our objectives, share it with our elected representatives and contact you in future using any of the means provided. Some contacts may be automated. You may opt out of some or all contacts or exercise your other legal rights by contacting us. Further details are in our Privacy Policy at www.libdems.org.uk/privacy

Presenting – our new membership cards!

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

We’ve updated our membership card designs!

Featuring 16 all-new designs, we think they look pretty slick.

And they’re not just for new members, either. Whether you’ve lost your card or just want a new one it’s really easy to get your hands on one – just fill out the form below:

I want a new card!

Not sure which design you want? Want to know more about a particular one? Here’s a quick run down of each card (and if you want to order one, just click the image to go straight to the order form!):

Charles Kennedy

Charlie was our leader from 1999 until 2006. Under him, we reached the most seats we’ve had since the 1920s – 62 – thanks in large part to his principled opposition to the Iraq War.

Dadabhai Naoroji

Sir Dadabhai Naoroji was a Liberal and the first Indian man to be an MP, from 1892-1895. He’s widely credited for bringing attention to how much wealth was leaving India for Britain during the days of the Empire.

Conference Voting

Democracy means a lot to us – it’s in the name, after all. We’re especially proud of how member-led our party is. From Federal Board to local executives, there’s opportunities for members to get involved with the direction of our party on every level.

William Gladstone

“The Grand Old Man” of British Liberalism needs little introduction and was Prime Minister no less than 4 times. He’s remembered for his wide-ranging economic reforms helping the poor and his support for Irish Home Rule.

Jane Dodds

Jane is the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and MP for Brecon and Radnorshire. She won her seat in a by-election, overcoming a huge Tory majority, after the previous incumbent was found guilty of submitting false expenses claims.

Jo Swinson

Jo is the leader of the Liberal Democrats, elected in July 2019. She is a fierce campaigner for gender equality and as a coalition minister delivered equal leave for mothers and fathers amongst many other achievements.

Kirsty Williams

Kirsty is the Liberal Democrat Welsh Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire. In 2016, she signed a Progressive Agreement with Labour that saw her become Education Minister for the Welsh Government. As a minister, she’s delivered on key Lib Dem policies including reform of student maintenance grants and gender neutral uniforms.

Layla Moran

Layla Moran is the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, as well as Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet member for Education, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As a former teacher, she’s fought to eradicate period poverty and hold the Government to account over its broken promises on childcare.

Lynne Featherstone

Lynne was MP for Hornsey Wood and West Green from 2005 to 2015 and has been a Lib Dem peer since October 2015. Perhaps her greatest achievement was penning and championing the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. It’s one we’re exceptionally proud of too – we have a signed copy on the wall at Lib Dem HQ!

Margaret Wintringham

Margaret was the second woman to take a seat in the House of Commons. She was a fierce campaigner for equal franchise – at the time, men over 21 could vote but only some women over 30 could. She also fought for equal pay and state scholarships for girls.

Nick Clegg

Nick was the first person to lead us into government since the Second World War. Thanks to him, in coalition, we passed policies like raising the income tax threshold – raising millions out of poverty. Under his leadership we also secured same sex marriage, made Britain a world leader in wind energy and started the Green Investment Bank.

Paddy Ashdown

Paddy was the first Leader of the Liberal Democrats. He was a champion of electoral reform, social justice and cross-party voting. In fact, he was so highly regarded, not just in Parliament but across the globe, that in 2002 he was made the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Pride

LGBT+ issues are an issue close to the heart of the Liberal Democrats. We’re proud of our record, from tabling the motion that abolished Section 28 to writing same-sex marriage into law to Kirsty Williams’ work in Wales with LGBT+ inclusive sex and relationship education.

Shirley Williams

Shirley was one of the “Gang of Four”, former senior Labour politicians who broke away to form the SDP, one of the predecessor parties to the Liberal Democrats. As a former education minister, she championed comprehensive schools as an alternative to grammars – making education accessible for millions nationwide.

Violet Bonham Carter

Baroness Bonham Carter was a leading Liberal politician during and after the Second World War. Violet always believed in standing up to the far right. She was a strong critic of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy towards Nazi Germany before the war.

Willie Rennie

Willie is leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He’s a long-serving local champion and fighter against nationalism of all kinds. He’s also a proponent of home rule and wants to see further powers delegated to the Scottish Parliament.

A Record of Action and a Promise of More

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Liberal Democrats love delivering leaflets. (And it’s a good thing we do, as the evidence shows that they work.) If you’ve shared that love, chances are you’ve delivered ones that use one of our favourite strap lines: ‘A record of action… a promise of more’.

That’s what I’m offering in this election for Party President: a record of listening, a record of taking action, and a plan to work with you to achieve even more in the future.

You don’t just have to take my word that I’ll listen and communicate. You can look at my record too:

  • Creating and running the Liberal Democrat Newswire newsletter, for nine years now telling people what’s going on in the party and how to influence it.
  • Regularly travelling the country to do fundraisers, run training sessions, go out campaigning and hear from members and supporters.
  • Creating campaign resources and guides to meet the needs that I hear on those trips, such as my guide to what the Liberal Democrats believe.
  • Carrying out my regular surveys of party members, giving members a voice on key issues, such as the survey I ran earlier this year on what party members wanted from their new Leader or my current one for new members.
  • Running my Lib Dem Facebook page, informing and involving members and supporters with more engagement than Jo Swinson and Ed Davey get on Facebook combined.

That’s the record I’ll continue and step up if you elect me as your next Party President.

I’ll bring to the role both my party experience, and my professional communications experience, which I’ve learnt from working with everyone from small charities to huge multinationals on improving their crisis handling and sorting out their internal communications.

Because that’s what you deserve: to hear what the party is doing in your name, to find out what the key decisions are and to be informed how you can influence them. And then to have a President who will make sure others in the party – whether they are the Leader, Chief Executive or someone else – listens to those views and acts on them.

That’s why MPs such as Layla Moran are backing me as Party President:

“Mark will bring to this role the experienced, energetic focus he has demonstrated over the years, working flat out to ensure we all have the party organisation behind us to help us win.”

With your support, we can achieve so much more. That’s not just a record of action. It’s a promise of more:

After today’s votes the fight to stop Brexit continues

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

After today’s votes, the fight to stop Brexit continues.

Hundreds of thousands of people are marching outside Parliament, where I’ve just finished voting, to demand a final say.

After today’s votes, Boris Johnson must obey the law and send a letter asking for Article 50 to be extended.

We will use that extra time to secure a People’s Vote, to keep Britain in the European Union and to reject this awful deal.

Boris Johnson’s deal will damage our economy, undermine the NHS and public services, remove vital workers’ rights and reduces environmental standards.

When this deal comes back to Parliament, what needs to happen next is clear.

We need a People’s Vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

The next few days will be crucial – and we need all Remainers united and fighting to stop Brexit.

Will you donate and support our campaign to stop Brexit today?

Yes, I will!

For three years, your support, passion and dedication have powered our movement.

That we’re still in the European Union and that Brexit still hasn’t happened, is thanks to you.

I’m sure you’re tired and angry after three years of this chaos (I know I am) – but we have to we keep up the fight.

Together, I know we can stop Brexit, once and for all.

Why I’m standing for President

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

There was a question at an early hustings which reminded me of exactly why I am a Liberal Democrat and why I am standing to be your Party President.

The question itself was about books and what we had been reading recently which, for me, was a special edition of Life Magazine dedicated to Robert Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

And as I answered I could feel all the same emotion welling up that I had felt reading it, when I saw that iconic face of the 60s looking at me from a newsstand in Chicago last summer:

Robert Kennedy Life Magazine Cover

Here was the lost hero of my childhood.

Here was the man who dreamed of things that never were and asked “why not?”.

This was the man who was the centre of the very first political discussions I remember hearing as a child.

Most Friday nights my parents’ friends and their children would all converge on our council house in Clydebank for a communal supper and a drink.

CJ as a baby

Those were also the evening that first introduced me to politics as I huddled in the kitchen listening through the door as the grown ups discussed civil rights, Martin Luther King and the Kennedys.

They also talked about what was on the news, our politics and sport.

But somehow it was the turmoil and struggle for fairness in 1960s America which fired my imagination.

Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King epitomised for me that striving for a better world that I, in my naivety, believed we all desired.

I devoured every book, film and TV documentary about them that I could find. I still do.

At the same time I saw little to attract me to a grey, suited, polarised British system. Until, that is, I went to university.

There I came across another Kennedy.

Charles Kennedy.

This was just as the ‘Gang of Four’ were creating a new, exciting dynamic in British politics and change seemed just around the corner.

The red-headed, newly crowned, world debating champion that I had first encountered on the steps of Glasgow University Union seemed to me to represent that fresh opportunity for my generation.

This was when I began to realise that so many of the aims that drove those heroes of mine were just as applicable here as in the USA.

Coming from a working-class Glasgow background, I was the first in my family to go to university in the pursuit of a professional career, as the industries which had provided for previous generations disappeared.

I saw people who had been at school with me, who were just as bright, possibly more intelligent and just as keen to have a decent life, thrown on the scrap heap because they did not have the family or support network from which I got my security.

They would never have the opportunity to fulfil their potential in the way that I would.

To me it seemed clear that the constant competition between the two main parties, which always offered them so much and always failed to deliver, was a major culprit.

There was one final influence which created the changed person who graduated.

In my junior honours year my father had died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 44.

My world, together with my mother’s and my two younger sisters’, was thrown into turmoil.

Again that support network had carried us through, but I had a stark reminder of how fragile economic security can be, and just how easily I, or my sisters, could have fallen through the cracks.

As a journalist I saw only too often how unfair life could be.

But I also worked closely with those working for change.

More often than not they were Liberal Democrats and I began to believe that the only way I could change things was by joining what was then Charles’ party.

I have never regretted filling in that form or handing over my first direct debit in return for my bag of Focus leaflets.

This party has given me the chance to work to make the sort of change that first drew me to politics as a child.

Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, a government that doesn’t care that Brexit will damage its own communities and a climate which is teetering on the brink of catastrophe.

These are the challenges that have replaced the ones that faced those heroes of the 60s, but the effort required for change is no less.

This party, our party is taking on those challenges. We have a vision of a better way.

If we are to deliver it in a package with which we are all content, we need a voice at the top table who represents members’ views.

I want to be that voice. Visit www.cj4president.org to find out more.

Black History Month

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

History is inescapable. It helps define our identity, our culture and our sense of belonging. By connecting to the past, we gain a better understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Yet, some parts of history are ignored, suppressed or erased altogether. None more so than black history.

Although black people have been living in Britain as far back as the Roman Empire, their place in our national history has been exiled to the farthest margins.

Black history is British history. It is an inextricable part of our national narrative, but our teaching of it is parochial. Popular British history tends to be singular and hierarchal, revealing implicit biases about whose history is worthy of study, whose contributions are valid and who truly belongs.

Although black people have been living in Britain as far back as the Roman Empire, their place in our national history has been exiled to the farthest margins.

Historical accounts are whitewashed and revised, making black contributions invisible and insignificant. Our continued failure to redress these distortions means our understanding of the past becomes skewed and unbalanced.

Black History Month is our collective opportunity to recognise the lives and work of Black Britons. It is a national acknowledgement of the communities who have profoundly shaped our national and cultural identity. However, the celebration of these histories should not be confined to one month but must be proactively and intentionally acknowledged throughout the year. This is why I am proud to be a patron of the Black Cultural Achieves in Brixton.

During Black History Month we can demand better recognition of black British history in our national story

We should never become complacent in thinking the struggles of the past are over. The list of issues that disproportionally affect black people is vast: black men are more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, black women are more five times more likely to die giving birth, and black people as a whole are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. The ideologies that people of darker skin tones are inferior exist, even today. We are living at a time when black people are still being told to go back to back to Africa”, racial abuse is on the rise. And to top it all off, our country is being led by a man whose descriptions of black people reek of empire and white privilege.

During Black History Month we can demand better. We can demand better recognition of black British history in our national story and we must demand better than the dog-whistle racism that has seeped into our politics and society. Let us work to build a society where the history of every Briton is respected and honoured, without exception.

Another disastrous Brexit deal

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

It seems Boris Johnson has managed to cobble together yet another disastrous Brexit deal.

It remains to be seen if he can get the deal passed by the House of Commons, but we already know two things for certain:

We will use every option available to give you the right to stop Brexit

  1. Whatever deal Johnson proposes, it’s not as good as the one we have now as a member of the EU.
  2. We will not stop fighting to stop Brexit.

But as we saw three times before, agreeing a deal is only the start of the process. He still needs to get his deal through Parliament.

And Boris Johnson hasn’t exactly got a great track record on that.

So far in his career as Prime Minister, he’s only won one vote in the Commons and currently has a majority of -45.

We will use every option available to give you the right to stop Brexit in its tracks.

If any Brexit deal comes to the House of Commons, we will add an amendment for it to be put to you, in a People’s Vote.

If any Brexit deal comes to the House of Commons, we will add an amendment for it to be put to you, in a People’s Vote.

And then will we campaign to remain in the EU.

This fight isn’t over. And we’ll never stop fighting to stop Brexit and keep us in the EU.

That’s because we know that Boris Johnson’s deal is bad for our economy, bad for our environmental standards, and bad for our workers’ rights.

Whether it’s this deal or the last one, there is no deal as good as the one we have, as a member of the EU.

The Candidates standing for Federal Policy Committee

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

If you submit this form, the Liberal Democrats, locally and nationally, may use the information submitted, including your political views, to further our objectives, share it with our elected representatives and contact you in future using any of the means provided. Some contacts may be automated. You may opt out of some or all contacts or exercise your other legal rights by contacting us. Further details are in our Privacy Policy at www.libdems.org.uk/privacy

Well, that’s embarrassing for the SNP 😳

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The news just broke: turns out that the SNP spent more on the recent Shetland by-election than in the entire EU referendum campaign.

It seems that the SNP just see Brexit as a golden opportunity to push independence at the price of our country’s well-being.

Shocker

The party spent £99,000 on the Shetland by-election (of a spending limit of £100,000), compared to just over £90,000 in the 2016 referendum (13% of the limit)

This is what our chief whip, Alistair Carmichael, had to say about the news.

“The fact that the SNP spent more on the by-election in Shetland than in the entire EU referendum campaign speaks volumes. It is disappointing but hardly surprising, considering how much lucre they flashed around in the Northern Isles over the summer.

“Apparently one more vote for independence in Holyrood was worth more to the nationalists than their European values. It’s a shame they don’t put their money where their mouth is.

“It shows the cynicism of the SNP leadership’s position on the EU. They tell their supporters one story on Europe, but their actions tell another. They back the EU with words, but the truth is that they see Brexit as a golden opportunity to push independence at the price of our country’s well-being.”