So who are the new Liberals?

From the Conservative Party… illiberal, anti-EU, anti-immigration, anti-benefits, and 1 bonus homophobe!

So who are the new Liberals?

From the Conservative Party… illiberal, anti-EU, anti-immigration, anti-benefits, and 1 bonus homophobe!

Sarah Wollaston ‒ To be fair, Sarah Wollastan always seemed rather out of place in the Conservative Party and has a good record on standing up for the NHS . However, a look at her voting record shows pretty Tory tendencies and clear differences from her new party. . She generally voted for a stricter asylum system, consistently voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities, almost always voted for more restrictive regulation of trade union activity, Sarah Wollaston generally voted against UK membership of the EU, almost always voted for stronger enforcement of immigration rules, generally voted for reducing capital gains tax. She also voted to end the supremacy of EU law in UK law

Phillip Lee ‒ Well, it was good moment of high drama which we all enjoyed when he crossed the floor, but apart from that has Phillip Lee ever done anything liberal in his life? He voted against on same-sex marriage and tried to ban HIV positive immigrants from entering the UK, voted against taxing bankers’ bonuses, for the bedroom tax, against climate measures, against Lords reform etc. etc. His admission to the party has prompted other members to leave it . Oh, yes and he is not entirely honest (surprise!), as he said he wasn’t planning to leave his party, when in fact he was.

Sam Gyimah ‒ Formerly Chair of the Bow Group, which describes itself as follows: “The Bow Group is Britain’s oldest conservative think tank and the place where Brexit sprang from in the work of senior members like Sir Bill Cash MP and the Maastricht rebels in the late 80s and early 90s. Our members and supporters are extremely representative of what and how conservatives and Brexiteers think.”  He almost always voted against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK and against UK membership of the EU. He is always keen on military action and not at all keen on benefits . He generally votes against laws to promote equality and human rights, and is keen on stronger enforcement of immigration rules, and mass surveillance. All of which seems pretty much at odds with Liberal Democrats’ stated policies , but hey it’s another Lib Dem labelled bum on a commons seat (when Boris Johnson lets them sit there), so who cares?

And from the Labour benches….pro-war, disloyal and politically ambitious:

Chuka Umunna ‒ Once seen as potential future Labour Leader, Umunna is very much a New Labour man. He was critical of Labour’s 2015 election strategy for failing to appeal to “aspirational, middle-class voters,” and said (April 2015) he was “committed to maintaining the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G7 and to ensuring that the tax burden for small businesses is lower than under the current government.” After briefly standing, then withdrawing from the 2015 leadership election, Umunna endorsed Liz Kendall. In 2016 he said “Some have suggested that there is institutional anti-Semitism across the whole of the Labour Party – this is not a view I share, not least because I have not seen one incident of anti-Semitism in almost 20 years of activism within my local

Luciana Berger Also once seen as a rising star of the Labour PartyNot Euan Blair’s former girlfriend! Resigned from NUS, NEC in 2005, accusing it of anti-Semitism, an independent enquiry cleared the NUS and was critical of Ms Berger’s behaviour. She was the Director of Labour Friends of Israel from 2007 to 2010 and was then parachuted into Wavertree in 2010. She nominated Andy Burnham in the leadership election, and in 2016 resigned from the Shadow cabinet, saying to Corbyn “You have served with great principle and have shown me nothing but kindness and courtesy since appointing me.” While she certainly has been subjected to vile antismeitic abuse, there is little evidence that this came from Labour Party members, but since 2018, she has arguably fed the widespread impression that it has. Although most of her votes in parliament show she is liberal in her views, she generally voted against introducing a register of lobbyists, and against against higher taxes on banks.  Like Umunna, she voted for the use of UK military forces and against investigations into the Iraq war

Angela Smith ‒ (MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge. Not to be confused with Angela Smith, former Labour MP, now Baroness Smith of Basildon) Her main claim to fame is her defection from the Labour Party and describing BAME people as being of a “funny tinge,” as few people had ever been aware of her existence before that.  She supported Liz Kendall in 2015 and then devoted herself to smearing the new leadership on Twitter. She described her CLP as “a cabal of hard-left members.” after she lost a CLP vote of no confidence on 16th November 2018. She voted  to keep MPs’ expenses details secret in 2007, and was criticised for claiming expenses to buy four beds for a one bedroom flat. She employs her husband as her Senior Parliamentary Researcher. Against Labour Party policy and that of her new party, Smith is a keen advocate of fracking,  generally voting against greater regulation for the shale gas industry.  She also almost always voted for the use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas, and against investigations into the Iraq war.

Jenny Hardacre  [EC member]

References:


[1]    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-crisis-latest-government-statistics-winter-disingenuous-tory-mp-sarah-wollaston-criticism-a8155561.html

[2]    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24761/sarah_wollaston/totnes

[3]    https://inews.co.uk/news/lib-dem-philip-lee-tory-joining-party-lgbt-chair-quits-protest/

[4]    https://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/17707182.phillip-lee-liberal-democrats-defection-rumours-have-no-substance-claims-bracknell-conservative-association-chairman/

[5]    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24789/sam_gyimah/east_surrey/votes

[6]    https://www.libdems.org.uk/rights

[7]    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/chuka-umunna-interview-i-did-not-go-politics-tax-people

[8]    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/09/chuka-umunna-labour-is-institutionally-racist

[9]    https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2019-02-18/luciana-berger-quits-the-labour-party-over-institutional-anti-semitism/

[11]    https://www.greenparty.org.uk/files/reports/2004/1LibDems%20and%20Iraq.htm

[12]    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/rising-star-of-the-labour-party-luciana-berger-is-driving-me-out-of-politics-says-councillor-8644571.html

[13]    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/the-nus-officer-the-pms-son-and-a-love-affair-that-never-was-495829.html

[14]    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2005/sep/20/studentpolitics.students

[15]    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2005/sep/20/studentpolitics.students

[16]    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/crash-landing-for-labour-candidate-parachuted-into-liverpool-1951962.html

[17]    https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/luciana-berger-joins-mass-exodus-11532020

[18]    https://medium.com/@pitt_bob/has-the-labour-left-subjected-luciana-berger-to-hatespeak-and-death-threats-146598226313

[19]    https://twitter.com/angelasmithmp/status/980930274405085184

[20]    https://www.libdems.org.uk/eu-fracking-ban

[21]    https://www.desmog.co.uk/2017/01/26/mapped-how-fracking-lobbyists-uk-and-america-infiltrate-parliament

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