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  • Tom Brake (By Chris McAndrew - https://api20170418155059.azure-api.net/photo/bhDYT87s.jpeg?crop=CU_1:1&quality=80&download=trueGallery: https://beta.parliament.uk/media/bhDYT87s, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61321850)
    Article: Oct 19, 2017

    "Labour's Brexit blank cheque was cashed in by Theresa May six months ago, after Labour MPs were ordered to vote through Article 50 with no conditions.

    "Today is a chance for Labour to announce to EU leaders they will now fight to stay in the single market and customs union, and support a referendum on the deal.

  • Jo Swinson (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 19, 2017

    "This report shows that a whole section of society are being failed by this government and remain permanently trapped in low-paid work.

    "This is only being made worse by the Conservatives' pursuit of an extreme Brexit that is damaging businesses, pushing up prices and hitting the poorest hardest.

    "We urgently need to invest more in education, including adult learning, to improve social mobility and help people escape from poverty.

    "Employment rules must be made fit for the 21st century, to strengthen rights and increase security for workers."

  • Stephen Lloyd (By Chris McAndrew (https://beta.parliament.uk/media/yhEkjW57) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 19, 2017

    Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions spokesperson Stephen Lloyd MP said:
    "The government has shown contempt for parliament by yet again seeking to ignore votes that happen to be inconvenient. Parliamentary votes are meant to matter, this is not a debating society.

    "None of this changes the fact that the government's Universal Credit proposals are a slow motion car crash. The government lost the argument, and now it has lost the vote.
    "Ministers must now re-consider these proposals that will draw millions into poverty. Parliament has spoken, the government has a duty, a moral duty, to now listen.

  • Tom Brake (By Chris McAndrew - https://api20170418155059.azure-api.net/photo/bhDYT87s.jpeg?crop=CU_1:1&quality=80&download=trueGallery: https://beta.parliament.uk/media/bhDYT87s, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61321850)
    Article: Oct 19, 2017

    These are empty, hypocritical words from Theresa May. EU citizens, many in a state of panic, who have already waited 15 months to have their rights protected, will be deeply disappointed.

    The only acceptable solution is for the agreement on citizenship rights to be ring-fenced, giving both EU citizens here and British citizens in the EU, the peace of mind that, no matter what happens in the rest of the negotiations, their lives will be prioritised and protected.

    If citizens' rights really are her first priority, the prime minister should immediately agree to separate them out, and openly challenge the other EU leaders to agree.

  • Article: Oct 19, 2017

    This morning, Theresa May has penned an open letter on her Facebook page on EU Citizens Rights. Unfortunately, the message is a huge disappointment.

    It is a message full of empty words. People's lives must never be bargaining chips.

    I feel so strongly about this, that I've replied directly to her open letter on Facebook - and if you agree with my message, I need you to add your voice to mine. Will you like and reply to my comment? You can do that here:

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 19, 2017

    The festival of lights is upon us once again; across the country streets will be aglow with lights and decorations as thousands of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists gather to celebrate the ancient festival of Diwali.

    Celebrations such as these speak to our shared human experience, causing us to see beyond that which too often divides us. There is a universal capacity to resist evil, hate and ignorance, this is particularly significant given the intolerance and division we continue to witness across many parts of the country. Let us all use this time to reignite the lamp of kindness and compassion within ourselves.
    As you gather with family and friends to light the Diya, pray and exchange gifts I wish you a peaceful and joyous time. Shubh Diwali!

  • Article: Oct 18, 2017
    By Mathew Hulbert

    "Youth Work Saves Lives - Now We Must Save Youth Work"

    Please join us for our chaired panel discussion on the future of Youth Services at our Regional Conference on Saturday 21st October at Southwell Minster School

    The Youth Service, across the country, has seen devastating cuts in recent years, as have youth services more widely. Research has shown that around £387m has been cut from Youth Services by local authorities since 2010. Councils, in turn, blame Central Government for this by referencing the reduced budgets they're having to deal with.

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Nationally England, Wales and Northern Ireland have not hit one of their three key targets for 18 months.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable commented:

    "Growing demand has stretched the NHS beyond its limits.

    "Even our extraordinarily hard-working doctors and nurses can only do so much when the Conservatives are unwilling to address chronic funding shortages.

  • Ed Davey (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Footage covertly filmed by BBC Panorama allegedly showed staff at Brook House, near Gatwick airport, "mocking, abusing and assaulting" detainees held there.

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission has written to Amber Rudd calling on the Home Office to launch an independent inquiry, and said there may also be a wider problem extending to other immigration removal centres in the UK.

  • Alistair Carmichael (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 18, 2017

    The comments from the Secretary of State regarding the current state of the talks process in Northern Ireland is deeply troubling. There are very real consequences for the people of Northern Ireland with the continuing stalemate - budgetary decisions are waiting to be taken, NHS targets are being missed and waiting lists are getting longer, and there is uncertainty for economic investment. Northern Ireland is also lacking a voice in the crucial Brexit negotiations.

  • Stephen Lloyd (By Chris McAndrew (https://beta.parliament.uk/media/yhEkjW57) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 18, 2017

    "I welcome the government's change of heart, but it is no compensation to the those on the breadline who have already been fleeced. Given the mess of Universal Credit, this is likely to become the hotest hotline in Britain.

    "To even think about charging our most vulnerable citizens before they received their benefit shows just how out of touch the Conservatives are over Universal Credit.

  • Lorely Burt
    Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Lorely Burt said:

    "The whole system of business rates is not working and is not fair. The government has tried tinkering but this is no longer enough. We need to look at land tax valuations.

    "With an economic downturn as a result of Brexit and the threat of online competition, the outlook for retailers is not going to get better any time soon. In calling for a freeze on business rates, the British Retail Consortium is highlighting just what a crisis this has become. Unless ministers address this, they will have presided over the destruction of the high street as we know it."

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Vince Cable said:

    "One in six of the population could not cope with even a modest rise in mortgage payments. Consumer credit is running at 10% a year. With the Bank of England predicted to increase interest rates, a recession could lead to repossessions and people defaulting on their debts. The danger is that this becomes a negative spiral.

  • Alistair Carmichael (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael last week secured an emergency debate in the Commons over whether the government is abusing the parliamentary process by ignoring opposition day motions.

    Alistair Carmichael MP commented:

    "This is another outrageous attempt to subvert our democracy and undermine Parliament's ability to hold the government to account.

    "The Conservatives should remember that contempt for Parliament is contempt for the people that elect it.

    "To simply ignore today's debate would be an insult to the millions of voters deeply worried about the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit.

    "It is a sign of just how weak and divided this government has become that it is reduced to using every trick in the book to avoid scrutiny and debate."

  • Tom Brake (By Chris McAndrew - https://api20170418155059.azure-api.net/photo/bhDYT87s.jpeg?crop=CU_1:1&quality=80&download=trueGallery: https://beta.parliament.uk/media/bhDYT87s, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61321850)
    Article: Oct 18, 2017

    The delays to this Bill make Southern Rail look punctual.

    "It's crystal clear there is no majority in Parliament or the country for the extreme form of Brexit this government is pursuing.

    "Amending this Bill gives us a chance to stop that extreme Brexit in its tracks and take back control from power-hungry ministers.