The five clearest reasons why Boris Johnson’s so-called Brexit deal must be rejected this week

There are many problems with the prime minister’s blueprint, which is even worse than his predecessor’s, but it is worth focusing on the most crucial areas, writes Chuka Umunna MP:

 

Chuka Umunna: The five clearest reasons why Boris Johnson's so-called Brexit deal must be rejected this week

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In Memory of Paddy Ashdown

Lib Dem Camden Council Leader Flick Rea shares her thoughts after attending Paddy Ashdown's memorial service.

With many other friends and colleagues (rubbing shoulders with the great and the good) I attended the Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey today for Lord (Paddy) Ashdown. There were many moving tributes to Paddy who was, quite simply, a political Colossus - towering head and shoulders over most of his political contemporaries. Celebrated ( because of his past career in the forces, ) as “the only man in Parliament who could strangle a man with his own hands”, he was, in fact, a man of peace and internationalism. A man of incredible charm, he made friends everywhere he went - many people joined the Liberals, and later the Liberal Democrats, simply because of Paddy.

He stunned you with his conviction, his energy and his confidence and brought the new party from one of its lowest ebbs to a cohesive fighting force in Parliament and beyond.

We all have our favourite memories of Paddy - whether telling one of his special jokes, leading singing at the Conference Glee club, teaching us Mandarin at the Chinese Lib Dems dinner (he was a fluent speaker himself), or recounting how he joined the Liberals. A former Labour supporter, (his lovely wife Jane was a lifelong Liberal), Paddy said he was gardening when he was approached by a bearded Liberal canvasser in anorak and sandals, invited him in for a cup of tea, and an hour later was so convinced that he joined on the spot!

He later said it was like finding an old coat in a cupboard and it was so comfortable that he realised he’d been looking for it all his life! Not that he didn’t try to change things - he did. He brought us technology, new ideas (not always popular) and a real sense of purpose.

My personal memories are many. I chased him down (literally) after I’d first heard him speak at a Liberal Assembly, to try and get him to speak in Camden, and he was very friendly and charming - although I can’t remember now if I succeeded! I remember him in Blackpool, shortly after he’d become Leader, walking into a bar where there were about 40 councillors (about half our country-wide total), taking off his jacket, straddling a chair he’d turned round and telling us we were the lifeblood of the party, his shock troops and he relied on us. At which point we were all ready to leap, bayonets fixed, over the top, screaming “ yes, Paddy, we’ll follow you to hell and back!” (and occasionally it was!).

At one point, he took a few months off politics and travelled the whole country, finding out about people’s lives. He wrote a book about this and inscribed my copy “to Flis (which was his name for me) and thanks for the fags!” I have to admit that, even after he’d been told to stop, I did from time to time share a sneaky fag with him outside conference - once even with Charles Kennedy as well!

I counted him as a friend (he and Jane, like me have a daughter called Kate, and one son so we latterly swapped updates and pictures of our grandchildren!) to me he was also an inspiration and a guiding star.

I am proud and grateful to have known him.

Flick Rea


Camden Lib Dems select Prospective Parliamentary Candidates

Matthew Kirk (left), Lib Dem prospective candidate for Holborn and St Pancras and Matt Sanders (right) Lib Dem prospective candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, pictured with Luisa Porritt, Camden councillor and Lib Dem MEP for London.

Camden Lib Dems are delighted to introduce our newly selected prospective parliamentary candidates.  Matthew Kirk was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Holborn and St Pancras and Matt Sanders was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn.

The candidates were selected from exceptionally talented shortlists by Lib Dem members at selection hustings in Camden this Sunday afternoon.

Matt Sanders is a former Camden councillor and former special adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister.  In these roles he helped deliver the Pupil Premium, extra money for disadvantaged children in Camden and Brent schools, and free school meals for all infants.

Matthew Kirk lives in Kentish Town and is a barrister specialising in criminal law.  He has spent his working life fighting to secure justice and protect the rights of all concerned in the criminal justice system.

 

Camden Liberal Democrats are delighted to have Matt and Matthew as prospective candidates for the next general election (whenever it comes!), to help fight against Brexit and for the people of Camden.

 

 

Would you like to help Matt and Matthew win in Camden?  

 

 

 

 

 


Congratulations Jane Dodds MP

Congratulations to the newest Liberal Democrat MP, Jane Dodds for winning her Parliamentary by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire!

 

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Camden Liberal Democrats secure priority housing support for the terminally ill

Camden Liberal Democrats have welcomed a change in Camden Council’s Homelessness strategy which gives greater support to those who are terminally ill

 

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EU will not renegotiate Brexit deal, Juncker tells Johnson

Cllr Luisa Porritt MEP appears in a Guardian article upon which the EU tells Boris Johnson they won't renegotiate any further on the deal Theresa May brought to Parliament.

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Statement from Camden Liberal Democrats on Labour Anti-Semitism

Camden Liberal Democrats respond to the Panorama Documentary, investigating the Labour Antisemitism.

Read more

Have We Reached Gender Equality in the European Parliament?

With the European Parliament officially opening today, it seems right to look at how this parliament will be a record breaker. Not because of the Liberal Democrats performance in the EU elections (although that was record breaking!), but because of the huge steps taken towards gender equality.

The United Kingdom’s delegation to the EU Parliament will now be 47% female.  This is the highest level ever, up from below 40% in the last parliament.

Not only this, but the Liberal Democrats are leading the way towards equality.  Our new delegation to the EU parliament is 56% female and both our delegation leader (Catherine Bearder) and our deputy leader (Camden’s own Luisa Porritt) are female.

At Camden Lib Dems we have noticed another trend in the UK’s EU parliamentary delegation.  The more ‘Brexity’ a party is (if you’ll forgive the term), the less gender equal they were in their selection for this election. 

The Remainer parties (Lib Dems, the nationalist parties and the Greens) have delegations with approximately 60% female members, both Labour and the Tories, who advocated different forms of a ‘Brexit with a deal’ in these elections, managed to be gender equal, something we should probably congratulate them for.  And kudos to the Northern Irish parties (who we classified separately for these purposes), for selecting a 100% female delegation.

It doesn’t take much, however, to see in this graph that the big let-down is Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.  Despite all Farage’s claims that he is advocating a ‘different type of politics’ the party’s delegation to the EU parliament is still 72% male. 

In fact, if we were to leave the Brexit party at home, something both Remainers and Brexiteers might think was a good idea, though for very different reasons, the UK’s delegation to the EU parliament would be almost 60% female.

There is a long way to go for gender balance in our institutions.  The EU parliament as a whole will be 39% female this year, up from 36%, part of a continuing long term trend of improvement towards balance (we have borrowed the below graph from the EU Parliament’s own report on Gender balance, published in 2018).

But the next major step we have to take as the United Kingdom is to balance out our very own parliament.  Figures compiled by the Inter Parliamentary Union show that, with only 32% of the members of the House of Commons being female, the UK ranks 39th in the world on female representation (though this handily beats the United States’ 23.6%). Nine EU countries have more balanced parliaments than we do.

As Liberal Democrats, we know that this process needs to start at home.  Currently 4 of 12 of our MPs are female, only very slightly better than the parliamentary average. 

Given the depth of female talent within this party, we can and must do better at the next election, whenever that may be.


8 Reasons Why You Should Join The Camden Liberal Democrats

It is an exciting time to be a Liberal Democrat.  In the past month we have recorded our best ever European and Local election results and a recent YouGov poll indicated that we might win a general election.  A lot of people are joining the Liberal Democrats at the moment, we are going through a massive membership surge - in fact our membership has just reached an all time high.

So why should you join the Lib Dems - what’s the point? Here are eight reasons:


1 - You Share Our Values
I know, we ‘buried the lead’ here, but this is actually important. Take a look at the preamble to our constitution - it sets out the basic values that we live by:

“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.”

Does this strike a chord with you?  If so, maybe you should join the the Lib Dems.


2 - You Want To Stop Brexit 

Ok, here is the lead. The Lib Dems are the largest strongest anti Brexit party and Brexit is the biggest single issue facing our country at the moment.  If you want to stop Brexit, you belong in the Lib Dems.

We are united and unapologetic in our aim to stop Brexit. We do not think that there is any deal that can be negotiated with the EU that better than what we already have.  Our aim is to Stop Brexit by putting it back to the people in a referendum. 

We have done so much in the past couple of months to show that the country does not want the Brexit deal that Theresa May negotiated and there is a real and growing majority of people who want to Remain in the EU.

With your help, we can get a People's Vote and help to ensure that Remain wins.


3 - We Are a Team

Victory is sweeter when it is celebrated with your friends and defeat is made more tolerable when you have an allies to console you.  Fortunately there have not been to many defeats in the past year or two, but there have been some fantastic victories.

Camden Lib Dems are not just a political party, we are friends, confidants and allies.  We frequently run coffee mornings, Lib Dem pints and campaigning sessions.  When you join you will find tonnes of Lib Dems ready to welcome you into the party.


4 - Help Fight Climate Change

Climate change and air pollution threaten our future – but by investing in renewable energy and stopping the waste of energy and natural resources, we can protect our health and the environment, and boost the economy.

Lib Dems want to expand renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions, cutting dependence on fossil fuel imports and generating more jobs and prosperity.

If you are particularly passionate about the environment you can join the Green Lib Dems, a campaigning group within the Lib Dems that is dedicated to promoting environmental issues.

 


5 - You Can Run for Office

You need to be a Lib Dem Member if you want to run for office as a Liberal Democrat.  If you do want to run, we will help you to pick a council ward and, if you work hard, you can win it.  You can also run for higher office. 

Its ok to admit it if you want to run for office and if you are willing to work for it, there are very few limits on what you can do as a Liberal Democrat. 

Our local member Luisa Porritt joined the party in 2016 after the EU Referendum.  She ran for Camden Council in the 2018 local elections, overturning a Conservative majority and winning her ward by 9 votes.  This year she was selected by the members to be a European Parliament candidate and, after a hard fought EU election campaign, Luisa became an MEP on 23 May.


6 - You'll be Helping us Financially

Winning elections costs money. 

Unlike the Tories, we don’t rely on a small number of super-wealthy donors. Unlike Labour, we don’t rely on the trade unions.

It doesn't cost much to join the Liberal Democrats.  Membership starts at £1 a month (£12 a year) with the recommended rate at £6 per month (£72 a year) and Students can join us for £1 for the first two years of their membership.

However, everything you give us go directly towards making sure we’re ready to fight and win elections. 

 


7 - You Get to Decide on Lib Dem Policy at our Conference

All Lib Dem members can submit policy motions that get voted on by our members.

Flagship Lib Dem policies that we implemented in coalition, like a 5p plastic bag charge, shared parental leave, and legalisation of same-sex marriage – they all came from policy ideas submitted by members.

And all our members have a vote on our policies.

We don’t work like the Tories or Labour, with policy being made behind closed doors... or just ignored altogether.

If you join us you can help decide the party's future direction.

 


8 - We Need You!

This is not a one way street. We’d love to have you as a member! With more members we have a louder voice, more financial resources and more campaigners who can help us win in more places than we ever have before.


Click Here to Join UsBecome a Member

Not quite ready yet? You can become a registered supporter. It’s free and means we will still allow you go to conference and get involved in the party, but you won’t be able to vote for leader or on party policy.

If you don’t want to do either, you can still give us your money!  We’d be very happy to accept a donation to Camden Liberal Democrats - even if you don't want to become a member.


Lib Dems win in Camden

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The Liberal Democrats won across Camden for the first time in its history. Thanks to everyone who voted, delivered leaflets, or supported us in other ways.

With rumours of an autumn general election growing stronger, please join us and add your voice to our movement.

Camden Results by Party Number of Votes Share of Vote
Liberal Democrats 21,635 36%
Labour Party 13,564 23%
Green Party 9,582 16%
The Brexit Party 6,350 11%
Change UK 3,932 7%
Conservative Party 2,991 5%
Total Votes Cast 60,273  

Full Results: www.camden.gov.uk/european-parliamentary-election-2019
London Results: www.lewisham.gov.uk/EULondonResults2019


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