Swinson condemns anti-LGBT laws in Brunei

Swinson condemns anti-LGBT laws in Brunei

Equality
Jo Swinson, Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, has today condemned new anti-LGBT laws in Brunei and warned the UK Government must no longer "cosy up to the Brunei regime." The new laws, that will come into force on Wednesday, also cover a range of crimes from making gay sex punishable by stoning to death to punishment for theft by amputation. Jo Swinson said:  “Stoning is barbaric and inhumane. Let’s be clear: this means people having rocks thrown at their head again and again to draw out the process of death by blunt trauma. "LGBT+ rights are human rights, and the defence of them should be central to the UK’s foreign and trade policy. The Conservative Government should not be trying to cosy up to the Brunei regime while its…
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LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month

Equality
A Proud History, A Bright Future The Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) equality for decades. We have the best record in Parliament of any political party on LGBT+ equality issues, and we continue to develop and promote progressive policies for LGBT+ people. The Liberal Democrat Federal Constitution makes our position clear: 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. Unlike the big two parties, the Liberal Democrats' LGBT+ equality body is an official part of the party. We aren't an external body trying to lobby Lib Dem MPs to…
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Councils Failing to Tackle Blue Badge Abuse as Number of Thefts Soar

Councils Failing to Tackle Blue Badge Abuse as Number of Thefts Soar

Equality, Health
Figures released recently show a 45 per cent rise in stolen disabled parking permits. Most councils are failing to prosecute motorists for misusing disabled parking permits – despite a significant rise in thefts of blue badges. More than three in five local authorities in England took no action against people caught falsely using the permit in 2017-18. Disability campaigners said a failure to act against perpetrators was “disgraceful” with Phil Talbot of disability charity Scope said: “Stealing blue badges isn’t a crime without consequences. They are a vital lifeline for those who genuinely need them.” Ninety-four of 152 English local authorities (62 per cent) did not pursue anyone for abusing the blue badge scheme since last year, according to Press Association analysis of Department for Transport data. Of those, 31…
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Lib Dems: Civil partnership change welcome, but cohabiting couples need rights too

Lib Dems: Civil partnership change welcome, but cohabiting couples need rights too

Equality
Responding to the announcement that civil partnerships will be extended to mixed-sex couples, Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Jonathan Marks said: “It’s very good news that all couples will now be able to have civil partnerships. This is something the Liberal Democrats have been fighting for for years, but it was blocked by David Cameron in Coalition.  I’m glad the Supreme Court’s ruling has finally forced this change, and I congratulate the determined campaigners who made it happen. “However, this is not a solution for the millions of couples who live together but do not choose to make a formal commitment. They need rights too, to protect them if their relationship breaks down or if one partner dies. “The Supreme Court, the Law Commission and numerous others have all made this…
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Swinson secures parental leave transparency from major employers

Swinson secures parental leave transparency from major employers

Business, Equality
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson has today [27/09/2018] announced ten major employers have agreed to publish their parental leave and pay policies. The move comes in response to the Liberal Democrat MP's campaign for greater transparency on parental leave and pay. Ms Swinson praised these employers for "setting an excellent example, demonstrating to others they can do it too." The ten companies, representing around 200,000 employees, the former Liberal Democrat Business Minister has struck an agreement with include: Accenture Addleshaw Goddard Barclays Direct Line Group EY KPMG Linklaters PwC RBS Santander Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson MP said: "Greater transparency will create a more supportive culture for new parents. “If we are serious about tackling discrimination against new parents and pregnant women in our workplaces,…
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Liberal Democrats demand compensation for victims of Windrush scandal

Liberal Democrats demand compensation for victims of Windrush scandal

Equality
Liberal Democrat conference has passed a motion demanding the restoration of rights to the Windrush Generation. The motion demands an end to the damaging hostile environment policy started under May’s leadership of the Home Office. The motion calls for measures to ensure there is a fair process that would prevent future outrages, and for compensation for any victims of the Windrush scandal who have been affected by deportation, detention or the loss of their rights in the UK. Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson has said: “The Windrush Generation has been horrendously mistreated and it is time to right the Conservative Government’s wrongs. “Theresa May's hostile environment policy directly led to Windrush and multiple injustices - yet no-one has properly been held to account - let alone the Prime Minister, who must have known about…
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Anti Bullying Week

Anti Bullying Week

Community, Equality
Anti bullying Week 2017 is being held between the 13th and 17th November and is organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance (a non-political/non-affiliated organisation). Follow their events on social media using #antibullyingweek and #abw17. The theme will promote difference and equality in schools with the tag-line ‘All Different, All Equal’ - which ties in with our own ideology of building and safeguarding a fair, free and open society. The Lib Dems champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. Please support Anti Bullying Week 2017 Full details can be found on their website. #StopBullying BullyingUK Helpline: 0808 800 2222 For advice on how to help protect your children online: The Ultimate Parent…
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This November, let’s end Period Poverty

This November, let’s end Period Poverty

Education, Equality, Health
Statement from Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson For the majority of women periods are an inconvenience. But for others, particularly girls who can’t afford sanitary products it can have lasting impacts. Embarrassment. Lost days of schooling. A huge knock to their self-esteem. And the fact that no one talks about this means that it remains hidden. In a country as well-off as Britain this simply shouldn’t be happening. We can end period poverty. The truth is it, it wouldn’t even cost a lot, relatively speaking. That is why, ahead of this year’s Budget, I am calling on the Government to end period poverty by making sanitary products available for free in schools. Will you back my call today? This year’s Budget will no doubt have various giveaways for…
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Farron calls for government to put “shambolic” Universal Credit on hold

Farron calls for government to put “shambolic” Universal Credit on hold

Equality, News
Originally published by Tim Farron South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called for the government to pause the roll out of Universal Credit. According to the Government's own published figures, currently 1 in 4 people on Universal Credit are being left without income for over 6 weeks. Analysis from South Lakes Citizens Advice suggests 6000 families in Westmorland and Lonsdale will be receiving Universal Credit by 2022. In a letter written to the DWP secretary David Gauke, Tim has asked for the roll-out of Universal Credit to be put on hold until the following problems are addressed: No one is left to wait longer than 6 weeks for an income Those who need it get a payment within 2 weeks, which does not need to be paid back Claimants are…
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Swinson: BBC gender pay gap should be a wake-up call

Swinson: BBC gender pay gap should be a wake-up call

Equality
The Liberal Democrats have described new figures showing the gender pay gap amongst highly paid employees at the BBC as a "wake-up call." Figures published today have shown that of the 108 people at the BBC who earn more than £150,000, just 34 are women. Only five women are in the top 20 and one in the top 10. Claudia Winkleman, the top earning female. earns a quarter (£400,000 - £449,000) of the salary of the highest earning male, Chris Evans (£2.2m – 2.249m). Liberal Democrats Cllr Wendy Smalley (Heath & Holmewood) said:  "We see from the published figures that the BBC has a long way to go before it reaches a stage of gender equality. "The issue is not just in the BBC though and many other organisations are…
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