We cannot miss the opportunity to end the transmission of HIV by 2030

by L.G.B.T Liberal Democrats & Lib Dem Health and Care Association on Tue, 01 Dec 2020

This World AIDs Day we have the opportunity to set ourselves an ambitious but achievable target: to end the transmission of HIV in England by 2030. Published today, the HIV Commission has outlined 20 measures necessary to achieve this worthy goal.

As Liberal Democrats we have a responsibility to help make sure that we achieve it.

Many do not have up to date knowledge of HIV - risking that HIV indicators go unnoticed, and fuelling concerns among people living with HIV, who may as a result avoid health services altogether

Since 2014 new HIV diagnoses are down by as much as half (2019 data). And the development of PrEP has meant that we have more tools in our arsenal than ever before. After nearly a year of lockdown and restrictions, new cases may be down even further.

But there are still a number of challenges: from delayed PrEP rollout, to COVID-hit local authority budgets, to persisting stigma. This stigma is not just among the public, but among health professionals as well. Many do not have up to date knowledge of HIV - risking that HIV indicators go unnoticed, and fuelling concerns among people living with HIV, who may as a result avoid health services altogether.

There are bright spots however. For example, in Southwark (which along with Lambeth has one of the highest HIV rates in the country) Liberal Democrats helped make sure that PrEP rollout would begin in October. Providers like Sexual Health London are also showing the way with at home testing - something we could hope to see much more of.

So what needs to be done?

Firstly, the report recommends the adoption of a crucial milestone: an 80% reduction in transmissions by 2025, leading to the end of transmissions by 2030. This would be an historic achievement and we should urge the Government to adopt it - making particular departments responsible and accountable for it. In Parliament we will need to push for the Government to produce a roadmap, and to report back regularly.

Where we are in local government, we should work with experts to produce local roadmaps and demonstrate the leadership needed. We must not let HIV fall off the national agenda.

Testing is a key priority. In the context of COVID, the public have heard more about testing than ever before! We should encourage the application of this mentality to HIV as well. In order to find the estimated 6,000 undiagnosed people living with HIV in England, testing must be normalised. Whether it’s by taking part in testing or promoting campaigns like HIV Testing Week - we need to help make sure everyone knows their HIV status, and that access to testing is easy and equitable.

In the spirit of more testing we can also call for an important change: making HIV testing opt-out rather than opt-in.

Just like Liberal Democrats called for with organ donation back in 2002, by changing the ‘default’ we can make a massive impact. There is no ‘neutral’ default here. People can still say no - but by making it the default and the norm we can tackle stigma and help equip people with more information about their health.

We have already seen in maternity units how transformative this subtle change is. By switching to default ‘opt in’ midwifery services have reportedly almost entirely eliminated ‘vertical transmissions’ to children.

The opportunity to end transmission of HIV is one we cannot miss

As the Commission’s report says: “if we get this right… England will stand tall as a global pioneer” by ending “a five decade-long pandemic”. The opportunity to end transmission of HIV is one we cannot miss. We must urge the government to adopt a roadmap, must push to keep HIV on the agenda, and must demand the changes we need to see at every level.

We can end transmission of HIV by 2030 - but only if the Government, local authorities and society get it right.

You can read more at hivcommission.org.uk.

LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and the Lib Dem Health and Care Association

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The country is desperate to get life back to normal, particularly given how much has already been sacrificed.

Time and time again, the Government has squandered the sacrifices the British people have made.

But time and time again, the Government has squandered the sacrifices the British people have made through Ministers’ unbelievable incompetence.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Happy Gurpurab

by Sir Ed Davey MP on Mon, 30 Nov 2020

Today marks Guru Nanak's Gurpurab, which commemorates the birth of the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak.

Guru Nanak was a significant figure: his message of acceptance, compassion and community remains relevant even today.

I have seen these values put into action by British Sikhs, be it through the practice of the langar, especially in gurdwaras, or through dedicated service in our schools and emergency services.

During this awful pandemic, the amazing work of British Sikhs has been inspiring.

Whether as key workers in our NHS, care homes, or elsewhere, or as volunteers, preparing free meals in langars.

Thank you - for all your work and sacrifice and for adding to the success of our nation.

COVID has made it so difficult to celebrate our religious festivals as we would like: with our families, friends, and communities. In our gurdwaras, churches, mosques, or temples.

But whether you are celebrating and seeing each other in your homes, on Zoom, on DigiSangat, or however, I wish you all a joyous Gurpurab.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Liberal Democrat gain this week in Scotland was part of the final contests of the year. Which means we can also tally up the net score for each party during 2020. It's the Lib Dems who come out on top:

  • Liberal Democrats: net 4 seats gained
  • SNP: net 1 seat lost
  • Labour: net 2 seats lost
  • Conservatives: net 2 seats lost
Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Child hunger cannot continue to be ignored

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 27 Nov 2020

The coronavirus crisis has shone a new spotlight on the issue of child hunger, with demand for food banks soaring and almost a fifth of households with children unable to access enough food in the first weeks of lockdown.

The Government has repeatedly overlooked the needs of children from low-income families.

However, throughout this pandemic, the Government has repeatedly overlooked the needs of children from low-income families.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Weekly Whip

by Alex McBeath on Fri, 27 Nov 2020

Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come. 

For up to date information from the Lib Dem Whips Office, follow us on Twitter: @LibDemWhips

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Government are letting carers fall through the cracks

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 27 Nov 2020

Our Fight to Raise Carer's Allowance

by Sir Ed Davey MP on Thu, 26 Nov 2020

Unpaid carers are doing a remarkable and important job in very difficult circumstances. They deserve our support.

But many carers are facing extreme financial hardship.

900,000 full-time unpaid carers rely on Carer’s Allowance – but at just £67.25 a week, it’s just not nearly enough.

Carer's Allowance is just £67 a week. It's just not nearly enough.

It is the lowest benefit of its kind – another example of how carers are too often an afterthought for many politicians.

Many unpaid carers have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.

We've got to do better

Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to immediately raise Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, the same as the uplift in Universal Credit.

Carers face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus. A recent survey by Carers UK found that most are having to spend more time looking after loved ones during this pandemic.

Most haven’t been able to take a single break since it started. Most are simply exhausted.

And now they are worried.

Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers

Worried about their own mental health, worried about what will happen if they themselves fall ill – because there’s no one to take over – and worried about whether they can cope in a new lockdown.

We must do far more to support our wonderful carers.

The Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers and lead the way to a more caring society as we emerge from this pandemic.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We need to put people first with our coronavirus recovery

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 25 Nov 2020

Countless families are facing serious financial hardship. More than a million people have lost their jobs and the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic will continue to be felt throughout the next year.

We are also facing serious challenges in deep-seated inequality and the climate emergency.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our public sector workers deserve better than a pay freeze

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 25 Nov 2020

With the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the Chancellor needed to ensure today that no one is left behind. That was the litmus test, and he has failed

In a year when our NHS and care staff, teachers, police officers and many others have gone beyond the call of duty, a pay freeze reveals just how callous the Chancellor truly is.

Many public sector staff have worked on the front-line throughout the pandemic, putting their lives on the line, and a pay-freeze is not how they should be rewarded.

The Conservatives have consistently underfunded the public sector, and now the Chancellor is allowing those who have worked so hard to slow the spread of this virus and keep the country going to be the first in line to foot the bill.

Freezing public sector pay will have a negligible effect on the national debt. We need to balance the books by growing our economy through investment in green technologies.

They deserve better than this.

Public sector workers deserve a Government that recognises and rewards their sacrifices and service during this terribly difficult time.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

George Floyd: 6 Months On

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 25 Nov 2020

Roderick Lynch - Chair of Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality

The death of George Floyd has put race and racism firmly on the political agenda. Black Lives really do matter, or do they?

Whilst people are grieving on the streets, the authorities were working behind the scenes to use legislation to curtail their protesting. Corporate companies and local governments have jumped on board the Black Lives Bandwagon with slogans and statements, however, we need to see deeds not words.

As a political party we stood up and with the slogan Black Lives Matter. But that’s just it. We have open arms but closed minds. There is a lot still to do from the top of the Party and from the grassroots up.

Fellow Lib Dems, if anything, the death of George Floyd is a wake up call to the Lib Dems’ in it’s failing to deal with and engage with the Black Community. Failure to engage is going to cost us dear at the ballot box.

A magnifying glass has been focused on inequality in:

  • The Justice System
  • The Health Service
  • The Banking system
  • The Education Service
  • The Political Estate
  • The Police Service

People are now understanding the links between the way we live our lives today and slavery.

The toppling of statues has made me look at all statues I pass and research who they are and how they have received notoriety (greatness). Seeing street names changed and programmes and films pulled from being shown is a wake up call.

On George Floyd’s 47th Birthday I visited the vigil held in Windrush Square with Leroy Logan MBE & Lambeth & Southwark GLA member Florence Mele.

Glacially slow but baby steps have been made.

Rebecca Bell - Scottish Lib Dem Environment spokesperson

Sometimes I despair that racial murders and injustices have been shocking for decades but only now in 2020 I’m feeling the first spark of hope for change.

Whilst my optimism is cautious as I’ve been let down before, I’m heartened that so many friends have taken the time to recognise their white privilege and educate themselves. Instagram has been a positive platform for this, sharing videos and articles to amplify black voices about BLM.

Being mixed race, I bridge the divide and often feel I belong in neither group, I struggle in ticking the ethnic origin boxes.

I hope my daughter’s generation has a different experience. I want to see more museums in Britain about our slave trade history and colonisation, knowing where we came from is key in humility going forward. Keep the statues but add plaques to educate and let’s build new ones for VME British heroes.

Mark Pack - President

George Floyd’s death starkly brought to wider attention the amount that still needs to be done to secure racial equality not only in the US but also in the UK. Especially to those of us who are not directly on the receiving end of discrimination, and so can too easily let helping to fight it slip down our lists of priorities.

The speed and extent with which public opinion has started to shift in response to his death, the Black Lives Matters protests and incidents such as the removal of the Edward Colston statue, should give us hope.

Campaigning can work. Public opinion can shift. Injustices can be tackled – and they need to be.

Cllr Tumi Hawkins- District Councillor for Caldecote Ward, South Cambridgeshire

2020 has been explosive and defining.

The structural racism and inequalities in British society were starkly exposed by Covid19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests that followed the killing by Police of George Floyd in the USA.

Racial justice was pushed to the forefront of national consciousness and debate in a new way, driven by young people and we must ensure it stays there.

Many white friends now understand the struggles Black people face daily, are learning that Black history is British history and becoming allies.

It was great to see many organisations celebrating black history month for the first time, and I see more people of colour in television adverts and media.

But we must press the advantage even further through lobbying the government to implement recommendations from previous race enquiry reports. The party must now step up, listen to BLAC LibDems and act decisively to broaden its appeal.

Isabelle Parasram - Vice President

This year, I chaired an event called “What Does it Mean to be Black in Britain in 2020?” with Professor Christopher Jackson -the first Black scientist to give the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and Paul Anderson-Walsh- former CEO of The Stephen Lawrence Trust.

In my work as Vice President, I am trying to focus on outreach. The tumultuous events of 2020 have made the path towards building connections with non-Party members of the public, organisations and thought leaders so much smoother.

Where there was suspicion of my work and my motives in the past, there now seems to be a positive welcome. And this is because people who could see and hear the issues we face as a society could suddenly feel them.

Out of the tragedies of 2020 has come a universal passion - a passion to fight for race equality in a way I’ve never seen before. I sincerely hope it lasts.

Joyce Onstad - 2021 GLA List candidate & Federal Board Member

George Floyd’s death marked a very important moment in our history.

It brought racial injustice into the open and forced us to confront the reality which is normally hidden in our subconscious because it's either too painful or too shameful to confront. The positive thing is that it energised us and justice movements like Black Lives Matter to demand change.

We were forced to confront the ugliness and brutality of the past in the form of slavery and colonialism, which ultimately gave birth to today’s injustices.

Most of all, George Floyd’s death has made the quest for racial justice urgent and universal, engaging people in all sectors and institutions.

We must not allow this to be ‘A Moment’ but must say ‘Never Again’ and keep the momentum going by holding our governments and institutions to account, teaching history truthfully, and remembering and honouring those whose sacrifices and labour lay the foundations for the wealth that we now enjoy.

Mike Dixon - Chief Exec

This has been an intense year.

Like lots of people, I’ve spent more time at home than I expected, seen less of my friends and family, and found myself asking more questions about what’s important to me. My world has shrunk in many ways.

In the middle of that, George Flloyd’s death, and the movement that followed, shaped many of my questions. As a White English man in a position of influence, how should I best use the tools I have to make the country a better place? Am I doing enough? Should I speak up more, or step aside more? What language should I use? What should I read and listen to? How should I talk to my young children about what was happening?

I found a lot of answers in some simple videos, podcasts, books and conversations. That it’s ok to feel unsure about language, that consensus shifts, and that everyone makes mistakes. That what matters is listening, educating yourself and changing. That this is going to take time.

George Flloyd’s death also changed what we’re doing as an organisation. We’ve got a grip on our numbers, and for the first time we’ve pulled together all our data in one place so we can track what’s happening. Right now we’re not reaching or representing Britain well enough. Though as we look ahead - especially in target seats - are less likely to be White people and our local party officers are less likely too.

We’ve built a more diverse senior team. We’ve focused and won campaigns on issues that matter. We’ll only be relevant to people when they can see we fight for them, understand their lives, and care about making them better. And we’ve given guidance and training to hundreds of activists and leaders across the party on how to listen to and act for people they’re not currently reaching.

These are all good things. They’re not enough, but we’re headed in the right direction.

Daisy Cooper - Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats

The murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed have inspired a generation of anti-racist activists in the UK and around the world.

I was proud to support the Black Lives Matter protest in St Albans and will continue to support the community initiatives which have sprung up, such as the Black History Month market and Herts Young Leaders.

As a white ally, I am committed to continually learning, taking a stand and and being proactively anti-racist.

As Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, I will continue to encourage more people of colour to stand for political office. I'm proud of much of the work we’ve done over the last few months but there is a lot more for us to do.

Racial Justice can’t wait and the Liberal Democrats won’t rest until racial injustice is brought to an end.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We must do all we can to protect people forced to flee their homes to escape war and persecution.

That’s why, back in September, all Liberal Democrat MPs wrote to the Chancellor and Home Secretary calling for a new long-term commitment to resettle vulnerable refugees in the UK.

The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Policy planning 2021

by Sally Burnell on Sun, 22 Nov 2020

This week FPC met with an unusually light-looking agenda but we still managed to talk for two and half hours! We received an excellent presentation from Mimi Turner, Director of Strategy, Messaging and Research. Mimi talked us through the scale of the task ahead of us in terms of understanding how the Party fares when voters are asked whether we share their values; whether we’ll do what we say; whether we’re perceived as wanting to help ordinary people get on in life; and whether they see us as competent and capable.

Mimi explained that by segmenting voters and targeting certain groups, we are missing the opportunity to speak to millions of voters. From a policy perspective, our role is to develop distinctive policies on the issues that matter most in terms of improving people’s lives and that resonate in our target seats. Easy, right?! Well I don’t think any of us underestimates the scale of the task head but we’re certainly up for it.

FPC work programme

FPC members found the presentation very useful as we went on to discuss our current and future work programme in the context of Mimi’s analysis and thoughts on future strategy. We have a number of pieces of work underway at the moment – a mixture of pieces looking at the bigger picture, some high profile issues that we’ve been tasked with looking at, and some specifics where we hope to bring forward some appealing policy proposals:

Nature of Public Debate – planned for Spring 2021

Making Utilities Work Better for the Public – planned for Spring 2021

Federal England – aiming for Spring 2021, with the group working fast since autumn conference

Natural Resources and the Natural Environment – planned for Autumn 2021

Liberal Democrat Principles and Values – planned for Autumn 2021

Universal Basic Income – planned for Autumn 2021

Carbon Pricing – (a sub-group of the former climate change working group) – planned for Autumn 2021

Themes Paper – (building on the World After Coronavirus consultation) – planned for Autumn 2021

The themes paper will act as a pre-manifesto and messaging document but also help us to set out where we need to do further policy development work between 2022 and the next General Election. We agreed that we need to make sure we are planning future pieces of work in good time. One piece of work we have already agreed to undertake is a focus on carers.

In discussion we agreed that the Principles and Values and themes paper exercises were excellent opportunities for wide engagement with members, including through SAOs/AOs and regional parties. We discussed the need to integrate and intersectional approach to all of our policy work and there is an opportunity to work with other party bodies to achieve this.


We were joined by Christine Jardine who outlined the current parliamentary work around Brexit. CJ explained that the situation is changing on a daily basis, and although the UK may secure a last minute trade deal with the EU it’s likely to be a very “skinny” deal. The current focus is on protecting Britain’s interests and holding the government to account. This includes identifying areas where people will be most impacted, including passport queues, supply of medicines, and pet travel. We also discussed how EU Exit may impact the upcoming elections in May, particularly in Scotland where the Conservatives and SNP each argue for being inside one union and out of another.

Member engagement

Over the last fortnight FPC members have been attending regional party conferences to run sessions on policy development and the work of the Committee. Feedback from these sessions has been very positive and a number of common questions have come up including how to access the most up to date policy information easily and how to improve communication and coordination between the regions and FPC (and between S/AOs and FPC).

On the wider issue of member engagement I will be resurrecting our member engagement sub-group, and I reported back on a very positive meeting Jeremy and I had with Bess Mayhew, the new chair of the Federal People Development Committee, to join up our efforts to support members who want to get more involved with policy work.

We’re also looking forward to seeing the results of the current membership survey (which you should have received from Greg Foster). If you’ve not already responded, please make sure you do – every response will help inform what we do.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Determined Davey and Moving Forwards to 2021 Elections

by Lisa Smart on Sat, 21 Nov 2020

November's meeting opened with a discussion with Ed Davey in which he outlined his plans for the Parliamentary Party going forwards. Collectively we deliberated on how to make sure all parts of the party are collaborating effectively and making best use of Ed’s overarching strategy.

The Moving Forward Programme

The move to joint-fund staff between Federal, State and Regional parties is paying off and we now have full time Campaign Managers/Regional Development Officers working in every Region, working in cooperation with ALDC and a substantial staff team. Our field capacity is as large as it perhaps has ever been at this stage in a Parliament supporting our campaigns teams on the ground.

In quarter 3 of 2020 we focussed a lot of our work on mapping seats to the Tiering Strategy to ensure we have a shared understanding across the party of where each of our Local Parties sits. This will help us better target the different kinds of resources we have to get the maximum number of Lib Dems elected in forthcoming elections.

This isn’t the place for a full run-down, but the Tiers are roughly:

Tier 1 = Advanced – local parties that have won their Westminster / devolved government constituency seat or are genuinely challenging to win it in the current cycle.

Tier 2 = Moving forward – developed local organisations landing second in Westminster / devolved government level OR are challenging for/have control of their local authority looking to entrench and break into being ‘advanced’

Tier 3 = Developing – local parties with their first bridgehead gains at local authority level and working to expand.

Tier 4 = Start-up – local parties working to get themselves functioning smoothly and growing.

The next stage of the work will be helping local parties to draw up their local development plans so that they can progress up the tiers. Each and every seat is an opportunity.

Pacts with opposition parties

We discussed the use of pacts and agreed that, in our view, the expected starting point is to always field a full slate of candidates and to not make pacts with opposition parties.

Naturally, though, where there are exceptional circumstances and strong arguments, pacts can be the right thing. This is especially at local level, where of course FCEC’s remit does not extend!

As a committee of experienced campaigners, we would encourage local parties considering such pacts to work closely with their regions, who do have a remit over agreeing such pacts, and make the most of the support and expertise available to them from the party. We are all pulling in one direction - painting the map gold.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Weekly Whip

by Alex McBeath on Sat, 21 Nov 2020

Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come. 

For up to date information from the Lib Dem Whips Office, follow us on Twitter: @LibDemWhips

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Let's give coronavirus heroes the right to stay

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 19 Nov 2020

Like the rest of our wonderful NHS and care staff, thousands of people from other countries have been on the frontline throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign nationals working in the NHS deserve the right to remain in the UK.

We cannot thank them enough for the brave and tireless work they are doing in such difficult circumstances and under such intense pressure.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Spring Conference 2021

by Geoff Payne on Wed, 18 Nov 2020

Federal Conference Committee met for the morning of Saturday 14 the November 2020. The meeting was designed to pick up on issues that arose from the Autumn Conference feedback meeting that took place in October.

At the feedback meeting, the FCC had decided that Spring Conference would take place online. We will be using the Hopin platform and conference will operate in a very similar manner to Autumn Conference.

At that last meeting, we decided on the registration rates, and the rates for the exhibition and fringe for party bodies. We finalised some aspects of those rates at the November meeting.

The conference deadlines are as follows (all of these are at 1pm):

  • Drafting Advice for motions: 17th December 2020
  • Motions Deadline: 6th January 2021
  • Drafting Advice deadline for amendments: 22nd February 2021
  • Amendments and Emergency Motions deadline: 8th March 2021
  • Appeals deadline: 18th March 2021
  • Spring Conference: 19th to 21st March 2021

At the November meeting, we also dealt with a few issues that concern Hopin. We noted, for example, that there is to be a ‘report user’ button added for the future.

Although Autumn conference was a great success overall, there were some areas that worked better than others. The committee considered in detail how it might make the exhibition more attractive, for example. It had formed a working group beforehand to consider proposals. We will look to provide additional information to exhibitors in advance, we will make sure that chairs plug the exhibition, and specific stands within it on a rotation basis, immediately before auditorium breaks. We will look to hold some VIP tours of the exhibition. We will also try and explain in a video what the exhibition is so that attendees can see in advance. We will also only offer medium and large stands in the future. All of that is designed to get better footfall through the exhibition and to make it more attractive.

In terms of the fringe, the committee decided to extend the session times from 50 minutes to between 60 and 75 minutes in duration. We will also look to provide more and better information in advance to those running fringes to try and eliminate technical difficulties.

The committee also considered the conference app and documentation. We noted that, for an online conference, it makes no sense to have a separate Agenda, Conference Extra, and Conference Daily. It would be a lot better if they were merged into one document, and that is what we are going to do for Spring Conference. We will publicise an Agenda containing all of the motions that we have selected. That will be available as a printed document, at an extra cost, should people want it. We will then make available a compendious electronic agenda that contains the motions, the amendments, and all of the questions that we select at the later deadlines. We hope that that will provide an easier, and more user-friendly way of navigating through what we are debating. Because that document will overlap the app to a large extent, we will not be making the app available at Spring Conference.

We also had a discussion about the conference deadlines. We are looking to simplify the way in which items are submitted after the main motion and amendments deadline. We are hoping to introduce a single type form through which people can communicate with the FCC and the chairs and aides of sessions about, for example, procedural motions, late questions, and points of order. We also looked at where our conference attendees came from in the country and how long they had been members for. There were a number of very long-standing members a conference and a number of very new members. There was a particular bias towards local parties that have a track record of electoral success.

We look forward to seeing you all at Spring Conference!

Register for Spring Conference

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Today the Government announced their Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Sadly, it fails to undo the damage the Conservatives have done to the UK's progress on climate change over the past five years.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Disability History Month is an important opportunity to remember how far we have come in the battle for disability rights and equality.

There is still a long road ahead to ensure equality and inclusion for disabled people.

It is also a time to honour those who have led the way forward, defied stereotypes and contributed so much to the success of our country.

8 November marked the the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The act made it illegal for employers and service providers to discriminate against someone because they were disabled. This was a key step in advancing disability rights. 

As a society we have come a long way since then, but we cannot afford to become complacent - there is still a long road ahead to ensure equality and inclusion for disabled people everywhere.

This year’s theme is “access” which highlights continued failures to improve accessibility be it in the physical environment, access to information or services.

We all benefit when everyone can fully participate in our society.

We must work to challenge this because we all benefit when everyone can fully participate in our society. 

Finally, I want to thank everyone involved in organising this month's events.

I wish you all the very best for a successful and thought-provoking Disability History Month.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

With coronavirus putting the most vulnerable in our communities at risk, we must ensure no one is left behind.

2020 has seen a sharp rise in rough sleeping. Without a home to stay in, these people are at a higher risk of catching the virus and have no way to self-isolate.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →