Rising Conservative Star voting LibDem

Azi Ahmed, who stood for the Conservative Party at the last election, introduced Vince Cable who gave a speech on the economy and Brexit in London today.

Azi grew up in Oldham and served in the Territorial Army, contesting Rochdale for the Conservatives in the 2015 general election. She was deputy chairman of the London Conservative Women’s Organisation. She decided to join the Liberal Democrats recently after meeting party leader Tim Farron.

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said: “Under Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath and indeed Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Party saw the vital importance of Britain’s relationship with Europe. Margaret Thatcher created the single market – Theresa May wants to leave it, even though she has been told almost a third of our trade could be lost by 2030.

“No wonder sensible, talented Conservatives such as Azi are questioning how they could possibly have a future in a Conservative Party hell bent on an extreme Brexit that will wreck the future for you, your family, your schools and hospitals.

 

"Theresa May didn’t have to go for an extreme Brexit – that was her choice, and decent Conservatives such as Azi can no longer stomach it.”

Azi Ahmed said: "I stood as a parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives in the 2015 general election, and was proud to introduce Defence Secretary Michael Fallon at last year’s party conference. but I have left the party to join the Liberal Democrats because I can no longer campaign for a party which has hardened its line on Brexit.

"I believe Theresa May’s approach is completely wrong and the Conservatives are making a terrible mistake; our country is going to pay the price.

"I voted Remain and thought there was still a place in the Conservative Party for people like me, but the way they are fighting this election has made me realise I cannot support a policy which goes against the national interest. A hard Brexit is a car crash waiting to happen.

"The Liberal Democrats are the only serious alternative to the Conservatives; their vision for the future of our country is more attractive and inclusive than that of any other party. Tim Farron has articulated a clear, consistent position on Brexit in contrast to the confusion that surrounds Labour’s policy.

"One of the greatest challenges we have as a society is making sure younger voters are engaged with politics and don’t feel disenfranchised. Brexit was rejected by 75% of 18-24 year-olds in last year’s referendum and one of our priorities should be to find a way of involving this generation in the political process. I believe the Liberal Democrats are best placed to do this."

 

Azi Ahmed, who stood for the Conservative Party at the last election, introduced Vince Cable who gave a speech on the economy and Brexit in London today.

Azi grew up in Oldham and served in the Territorial Army, contesting Rochdale for the Conservatives in the 2015 general election. She was deputy chairman of the London Conservative Women’s Organisation. She decided to join the Liberal Democrats recently after meeting party leader Tim Farron.

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said: “Under Harold Macmillan, Edward Heath and indeed Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Party saw the vital importance of Britain’s relationship with Europe. Margaret Thatcher created the single market – Theresa May wants to leave it, even though she has been told almost a third of our trade could be lost by 2030.

“No wonder sensible, talented Conservatives such as Azi are questioning how they could possibly have a future in a Conservative Party hell bent on an extreme Brexit that will wreck the future for you, your family, your schools and hospitals.

 

"Theresa May didn’t have to go for an extreme Brexit – that was her choice, and decent Conservatives such as Azi can no longer stomach it.”

Azi Ahmed said: "I stood as a parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives in the 2015 general election, and was proud to introduce Defence Secretary Michael Fallon at last year’s party conference. but I have left the party to join the Liberal Democrats because I can no longer campaign for a party which has hardened its line on Brexit.

"I believe Theresa May’s approach is completely wrong and the Conservatives are making a terrible mistake; our country is going to pay the price.

"I voted Remain and thought there was still a place in the Conservative Party for people like me, but the way they are fighting this election has made me realise I cannot support a policy which goes against the national interest. A hard Brexit is a car crash waiting to happen.

"The Liberal Democrats are the only serious alternative to the Conservatives; their vision for the future of our country is more attractive and inclusive than that of any other party. Tim Farron has articulated a clear, consistent position on Brexit in contrast to the confusion that surrounds Labour’s policy.

"One of the greatest challenges we have as a society is making sure younger voters are engaged with politics and don’t feel disenfranchised. Brexit was rejected by 75% of 18-24 year-olds in last year’s referendum and one of our priorities should be to find a way of involving this generation in the political process. I believe the Liberal Democrats are best placed to do this."

LibDem candidate for North East Somerset Manda Rigby said,

'All over North East Somerset, former Conservative voters are turning to the Liberal Democrats as the effective opposition to Theresa May's Conservatives as they can no longer stand behind what they believe.'


Manda backs 'Daddy Month'

The Liberal Democrats will introduce an additional month of paid parental leave especially for fathers to encourage greater sharing of parental responsibilities.

The policy will build on our achievement of introducing Shared Parental Leave in order to ensure that new parents can make the decisions which work best for their family.

Jo Swinson, who introduced the original Shared Parental Leave in the Coalition Government, said:
“The Liberal Democrat introduction of Shared Parental Leave was a massive step towards more equal parenting, and recognising the vital role that fathers play. Parents across the UK have already benefitted from greater flexibility and freedom in how they share the care for their new baby.


“But more needs to be done in order to encourage men to take leave when they become a dad, to bond with their child during the early weeks and months of their life. Research shows that fathers being more involved in their children's lives is good for children's development and good for the health and happiness of the whole family.


“That is why the Liberal Democrats want to give dads across the country the chance to spend more time with their children.

“A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to change the direction of this country. If you want an open, tolerant and united Britain, this is your chance.”

Manda Rigby, prospective parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, said:

“Creating a fair system for parents in North East Somerset not only benefits new mums and dads but also helps our business sector.

“Having a workforce that is  flexible and motivated will benefit UK businesses and improve the start that our kids have in life.

“Liberal Democrats are standing up for fairness and flexibility for parents. Theresa May has never cared.”


Come and hear how Manda would stand up for North East Somerset at these husting events

Over the next few weeks Manda, the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North East Somerset, will be meeting people from all over the constituency and taking part in hustings events. Come along, ask questions of all the candidates and show your support.

 

Thursday 18th May @ 7pm - Ubley Parish Hall, Ubley, BS40 6PJ

Monday 22nd May @ 7pm - St. John's Church Hall, High Street, Keynsham

Thursday 1st June @ 7pm - Midsomer Norton Town Hall, Midsomer Norton

 

 


£6 billion extra a year for the NHS and Social Care

The Liberal Democrats have announced that we will invest an extra £6bn a year in our NHS & Social Care system.

This new funding will be paid for through an immediate 1p rise on all rates of income tax.

This funding will be ring-fenced to be spent only on the NHS and social care and will provide vital services with the money they desperately need as part of a five point plan to put health and care services on a more sustainable footing long term.

This is our flagship spending commitment and our first major policy announcement for the election.

Our manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services. 

Liberal Democrat Leader, Tim Farron, said:

"Theresa May doesn't care about the NHS or social care. People are lying on trolleys in hospital corridors and she has done nothing. The truth is you can't have a strong NHS with a Hard Brexit."

"The Liberal Democrats will rescue the NHS and social care. We are prepared to be honest with people and say that we will all need to chip in a little more."

"It is not too late to change Britain's future. The Conservatives want absolute power, Labour are too weak to stand up to them, so we will. The Liberal Democrats will be the strong opposition Britain needs."

Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Norman Lamb, added:

“The NHS was once the envy of the world and this plan is the first step in restoring it to where it should be."

“A penny on the pound to save the NHS is money well spent in our view."

“Simply providing more money on its own is not enough and that’s why this is just the first step in our plan to protect health and care services long-term."

“We also need to do much more to keep people fit and healthy and out of hospital, and that is why this new funding will be targeted to those areas that have the greatest impact on patient care such as social care, general practice, mental health and public health."

LibDem candidate for North East Somerset, Manda Rigby, said,

'Anyone who has visited the RUH recently will have seen wonderful staff from all around Europe providing excellent healthcare but we all know that the hospital as a whole is under pressure. The Conservatives clearly don't want to properly fund our NHS and are placing the burden squarely on the shoulders of hard working nurses and doctors. Our Social Care system is in crisis and since the Conservatives took control of our Council we've seen care homes close and home care struggling to meet demand. Only the Liberal Democrats will fight for the our care & health services and protect our nations greatest asset.'

This our five-step plan for the NHS & Social Care:

  1. Introduce a 1% raise in income tax, generating £6bn a year
  2. Ring-fence ALL of this for the NHS and care, investing efficiently and effectively in social care, primary care, mental health and public health
  3. Introduce a dedicated Health and Care Tax, showing on people’s payslips exactly what we spend it on these vital services.
  4. Establish a cross-party health and care convention, consulting and working with patients, the public, NHS staff and care workers, to ensure our systems are sustainable and integrated and put on a sustainable financial footing in the long term.
  5. Introduce an Independent Office of Health and Care Funding to monitor health and care budgets, which would report every three years on how much money the system needs to flourish

 


Paddy Ashdown on our shared humanity

Manda Rigby, the Liberal Democrat candidate for North East Somerset commented,

'Paddy is absolutely spot on here, we have more in common than divides us. At this time when the Conservatives seek to focus more on our differences than our similarities it has never been more important that those of us who are progressive in our world view, who care about our shared humanity and who care deeply about our environment, stand shoulder to shoulder.'


£7 Billion extra for schools under Liberal Democrat Plans

The Lib Dems will invest nearly £7bn more in schools and colleges over the next Parliament.

This funding would reverse cuts to school and college budgets, protect per-pupil funding in real terms, and ensure that every school gets the support it deserves. This goes further than Labour’s commitment to reverse £3bn of cuts to school budget.

Sarah Olney – our Shadow Education Secretary – had this to say: "Children are being taught in overcrowded classes by overworked teachers – but Theresa May doesn't care.

“While funding per pupil is set to see the biggest cuts in a generation, billions are being spent on divisive plans to expand grammars and free schools. The Lib Dems’ extra £7 billion would ensure no school and no child loses out.”

Sarah’s right – the Tories are misdirecting and cutting funds to disastrous effect. Perhaps the saddest statistic is that – according the National Audit Office – up to 60% of school buildings are in urgent need of repair. How damning! Our schools are quite literally crumbling.

Manda Rigby, the Lib Dem candidate standing up against the Conservative, Jacob Rees Mogg, said,

'The Liberal Democrats want all children across North East Somerset to have the best start in life. We introduced the Pupil Premium to support kids from less fortunate backgrounds, introduced free school meals for kids in Primary School and we kept all our Children's Centres open when we ran Bath and North East Somerset Council.'

If you want to stop the continued degradation of our precious education system and prevent the Conservatives from bruising it further, vote Lib Dem on 8th June – the strong opposition that Britain needs.

Over the course of the parliament, we will:

• Protect per pupil funding in real terms in schools (£3.3bn)
• Protect further education per pupil funding in real terms (£660m)
• Ensure no school loses out from the National Funding Formula (£1.26bn)
• Protect the pupil premium in real terms (£415m)
• Invest in continuous professional development for teachers (£165m)

The £6.9bn includes £1.1bn of Barnett consequentials for devolved nations. 

These plans will be fully costed in the Liberal Democrat manifesto, which will be launched in due course and set all our spending plans out in more detail. This will include reversing the Government’s proposed funding for new grammar schools.

 

 


Manda Rigby for North East Somerset

Lib Dems announce their North East Somerset candidate.

Manda Rigby has been selected to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for the General Election on 8th June. Manda was a senior B&NES Councillor where she chaired the Licensing regime for the area and was a key member of the planning committee.

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