Thank you to everyone who voted for me recently and to those supporting my campaign. My overwhelming memory from the last five weeks or so is the sheer number of people involved in various ways and their camaraderie. It has been genuinely amazing.
I am delighted that Wera Hobhouse won Bath with an increased majority and that we have four new LibDem MPs, all women. Many others deserved to win. I am devastated that we have lost Jo Swinson and the loss to parliament of the independents who joined us - Sarah, Chukka, Luciana, and Sam - is a major blow.
After the 2015 General Election I joined the LibDems, because of their (our) values and our approach to developing policy and standing up for equality. Although four and half years later the democratic process has left us no further forward, the need for that voice remains as important as ever and I remain committed to this.
The case for proportional representation grows stronger - our national vote share grew while our seat numbers did not. And the need for a party which is not wedded to an historic dogma, like those on the extreme left or right, is possibly even more important.
Let's keep working for an open relationship with the EU, for real action on climate change and for justice and equal treatment for those marginalised by government over the years.
PRESS RELEASE: The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to fund at least 36 police officers across North East Somerset as part of an extra £1bn nationwide investment into community policing.
This commitment amounts to 20,000 more police officers across England and Wales, enough for an extra two officers per ward. The Liberal Democrats will also fund an immediate 2% pay-rise for serving police officers.
PRESS RELEASE: Lib Dem Nick Coates is campaigning to reverse Tory cuts of £12k/student in North East Somerset.
The Liberal Democrats have announced that they will spend £10 billion a year more on schools and hire 20,000 more teachers by the end of the next Parliament.
PRESS RELEASE: The Liberal Democrats have announced they would more than double spending on youth services in Bath & North East Somerset to more than £3.6m, to help tackle rising levels of crime. This would form part of a total ring-fenced fund of £500 million for Local Authorities across England to spend on youth services, providing young people with positive, safe and healthy alternatives to gangs.
I’m delighted to see my party, the Liberal Democrats, taking life-long learning and training to the heart of our Education policy.
A study from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has found that Boris Johnson's Brexit deal will leave the UK £70bn worse off than if it had remained in the EU.
Responding to the news Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Exiting the EU said:
“These figures come as no surprise. We know that there is no deal which is as good as the deal we have currently as members of the EU. That is why the Liberal Democrats will keep fighting to stop Brexit.
“The Tories' obsession with Brexit at any cost puts our future prosperity at risk. It is unconscionable that any Government would voluntarily adopt a policy that would slow economic growth for years to come. Boris Johnson’s eagerness to push for such a damaging deal is shocking.
“This General Election will decide the future of our country for generations. Liberal Democrats will be fighting to end this Brexit chaos. We are the strongest party of Remain and will be standing on a manifesto to stop Brexit by revoking Article 50.”
Nick Coates, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, added:
"After joining the LibDems in 2015 I launched myself into the 'Remain' campaign across North East Somerset. As a political novice at that time I was shocked at the deceit and misinformation being spouted by the 'Leave' campaign. There is still time to elect a sensible, centrist government, led by Jo Swinson, and to stop Brexit. Join me in my campaign".
Earlier this week I met a young couple from Italy. They, along with nearly 600,000 others, have been given Pre-Settled Status, which only gives them Limited Leave to Remain in the UK for five years. Then, as they told me, they “will have to re-apply and we’ll see what happens”!
The Prime Minister is ‘negotiating’ a new Withdrawal Agreement. Note this is not a deal about anything which really impacts our future relationship with the EU. 5 to 10 years of further negotiations would be required to resolve other co-operation and trade arrangements. And Mr. Johnson appears to planning to either buy off the DUP or sell out over Northern Ireland’s place in the Union.
As we approach 31 October we appear, once more, to be lurching towards ‘no deal’. Does this still pose problems for medical supplies? The answer, worryingly, is ‘yes’.
At the Liberal Democrat conference we passed a motion which committed us to Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU. Commentators expressed surprise.