Friday, 7 February 2014

Liberal Democrats: #whyiamIN, Plastic Bags In England, and FGM


This week, the new Liberal Democrat Party Political Broadcast aired on BBC One, BBC Two and ITV One. In it, Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats are the only party prepared to fight to keep Britain in the European Union. He said:

Are you IN or are you OUT? That's the real question at stake at the European elections on May 22nd.

UKIP wants to take Britain out of the EU – even though it would wreck the recovery and destroy jobs. The Conservatives are now openly flirting with exit. And the Labour Party don’t have the courage of their convictions on this – they won’t lift a finger to keep Britain in the EU.

So I am asking you to vote for the Liberal Democrats – the party of IN. IN for the sake of British prosperity and jobs.

OUT means fewer jobs.

OUT makes it harder to catch criminals that cross our borders.

OUT means we can’t work with our neighbours to tackle climate change.

OUT means we pull up the drawbridge and turn our backs on the world.

IN Europe means being in work.

IN means working with other European countries to keep our streets safer and protect our environment.

IN means standing tall in the world because we stand tall in our own backyard.

If you are for IN, make yourself heard. Don’t wait for a General Election. Don’t wait for a referendum. Don’t let anyone put jobs at risk and don’t let anyone throw our recovery away.

Let’s keep Britain prosperous, safe and strong. Be for IN. Vote Liberal Democrat.

Plastic bags in England

The Liberal Democrats have fought to deliver a 5p charge to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags.

Plastic carrier bags blight our towns and countryside. They take hundreds of years to degrade and can kill animals.

In 2012, more than 7bn carrier bags were handed out by supermarkets in England. Far too many ended up in landfill or scattered around our streets and rivers killing wildlife and costing tax-payers millions of pounds to clean-up. Similar charges in Ireland, Wales and Switzerland have led to an 80 per cent reduction in the number of carrier bags issued.

We wanted to follow the Welsh model which is a universal charge but the Conservatives insisted on exemptions for paper bags, biodegradable bags and small retailers, all of which have been criticised in the recent Environmental Audit Committee report.


There is no justification for Female Genital Mutilation – it is child abuse and it is illegal. We are determined we do all we can to bring perpetrators to justice. The law in this country applies to absolutely everyone and political or cultural sensitivities must not get in the way of preventing, uncovering and prosecuting FGM.

Liberal Democrats in Government are leading the campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK and across the globe. The Coalition today announced a package of measures to combat this harmful practice nationally and internationally. These include making it mandatory for all NHS acute hospitals to provide information on patients who have suffered or are at risk of suffering FGM.

The announcement marks International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (6 February).

Liberal Democrat International Development Minister, Lynne Featherstone, said:

“We will not see an end to FGM in the UK unless the practice is eliminated worldwide. This will take a grassroots movement across Africa that can change attitudes and help communities see FGM for what it is: child abuse.

“This campaign will unite activists across Africa with UK diaspora communities and charities, raising awareness of the pain and suffering FGM causes and showing that it is possible to end the practice.”