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What do Liberal Democrats believe?

Click here to read the Liberal Democrats national manifesto




Click here to download the full Southend manifesto.


Your Liberal Democrat Councillors hold regular Surgeries locally. Please check the Events Calendar to find the next date. However if the matter is urgent, you can always contact them direct by phone or email - see the Lib Dem Councillor Contact List.

For any information, please contact us via the e-mail link above.

Recent updates

  • Article: Sep 7, 2019
    By Angela Smith in

    Over the past few years, I have been on a political journey triggered by an increasing sense of disenchantment with the Labour Party.

    It appeared to me that Labour, a party which I had effectively been born into and supported all my life, was increasingly distancing itself from the national interest by putting its own priorities first.

    This process intensified after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

    What we have now is a Labour Party dominated by extremists, promoting Marxist policies and supporting an oppressive, unpleasant culture which attempts to bully members unhappy with this state of affairs out of the party.

    I left Labour because it has become an intolerant, narrow sect, driven by ideology and utterly contemptuous of those who look to compromise and consensus as to the basis of good politics.

    It became clear to me Labour no longer shared my progressive values.

    At the same time, we are witnessing a similar process in the Conservative Party, where extremists are driving the party to the right. The Conservative Party is now truly the English Nationalist Party, indulging in a fantasy vision of Brexit and purging the very best of its Parliamentarians.

    Our country deserves better than this. At a time of national crisis, people deserve a better choice than the two old parties.

    I am therefore delighted to be joining Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats.

    We need a more inclusive, tolerant politics for our country that values diversity.

    The Liberal Democrats are the strongest party to stop Brexit and build a society that gives opportunities to everyone, tackles the climate crisis and invests in our public.

    I am relishing continuing my work with the Liberal Democrats to not only fight against Brexit but to also campaign for the constitutional reform needed to mend our broken politics.

  • Article: Sep 5, 2019
    By Jo Swinson, MP Leader of the Liberal Democrats in

    I'm very happy to announce the news that Luciana Berger has just joined the Liberal Democrats!

    Luciana is a passionate advocate for women's and LGBT+ rights, and she's at the forefront of efforts to counter anti-Semitism and discrimination. I'm delighted to welcome her to the Liberal Democrats, where we can work together to stop Brexit and build a fairer, more equal society for all.

    Luciana becomes the fourth MP in three months to cross the floor and join the Liberal Democrats. We're thrilled to add her perspective, expertise and skills to our ever-growing parliamentary team.

    And it's not just MPs.

    More than two thousand people have become members of the Liberal Democrats just this week - people who are watching the news in horror and have decided they want better than Boris Johnson's Britain.

  • Article: Sep 4, 2019
    By Leigh Lib Dem Councillor Peter Wexham

    Letter to the Editor of The Leigh Times

    "re Bell wharf

    Dear Mike.

    The building on Victoria Wharf next to Bell Wharf was the Foreshore Office upstairs and down below was a store for the Council.

    About 15 years ago we managed to get a PESCA grant from fisheries with EU money to fit out the down stairs with insulation and fridges & an ice machine for the local fishermen to use as a Co-op and fish have been sold from there ever since.

  • Article: Sep 3, 2019
    By Phillip Lee in

    Why I joined the Liberal Democrats

    After a great deal of thought, I have reached the conclusion that it is not possible to serve my constituents' and country's best interests as a Conservative Member of Parliament.

    Over 27 years ago I joined the Conservative & Unionist Party led by Sir John Major. Since 2010 I have had the privilege of representing the Bracknell Constituency. The Party I joined in 1992 is not the Party I am leaving today.

    This Conservative Government is aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways.

    This Conservative Government is aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways. It is putting lives and livelihoods at risk unnecessarily and it is wantonly endangering the integrity of the United Kingdom.

    More widely, it is undermining our country's economy, democracy and role in the world. It is using political manipulation, bullying and lies. And it is doing these things in a deliberate and considered way. It has gone so far beyond reckless as to cease to be conservative.

    I am dismayed at what the Conservative Party has become, the role that it has played in feeding division and populism, in squandering a hard-won reputation for sound stewardship, and the blinkered direction in which it has set our country.

    Those are not my values. I will not implicitly condone these things by being party to them.

    Critically, we need to recognise that we will not solve climate change, counter extremism, or address our housing, health and social care needs alone.

    Make no mistake: this is a time of reckoning.

    The challenges that our world and country face are real - but not insurmountable. We need to root how we address them in evidence and reality. Critically, we need to recognise that we will not solve climate change, counter-extremism, or address our housing, health and social care needs alone.

    We must work with others.

    The opportunities to leave a better legacy are also significant. As a united country, we need to mobilise all our innovation, creativity, power and talent - not bury it under a Brexit that does not have the British people's informed consent.

    I believe the Liberal Democrats are best placed to build the unifying and inspiring political force needed

    As a society, we need to rediscover the liberal and democratic traditions that made our country great. We should be guided by the values of justice, liberty and community. We must recognise our responsibilities to our people and planet: we are stewards of our country's and our world's limited resources.

    Each generation needs to define democracy for itself and so we each have a part in shaping what we want our politics and our country to stand for. Each of us must stand and be counted.

    That is why today I am joining Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats.

    I believe the Liberal Democrats are best placed to build the unifying and inspiring political force needed to heal our divisions, unleash our talents, equip us to take the opportunities and overcome the challenges that we face as a society - and leave our country and our world in a better place for the next generations.

  • Article: Sep 2, 2019
    By Jo Swinson in
    HeAr from Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, on what we are doing to stop the shutdown

    Parliament returns from recess tomorrow, and the next three days are crucial.

    We know that Boris Johnson will attempt to shut down Parliament by any means he can.

    He knows the people would not choose a No Deal, and that the people's representatives wouldn't allow it. By shutting down Parliament, he is trying to silence your voice and force a disastrous No Deal on the British people.

    We're working hard to stop this dangerous and undemocratic step.

    In the courts, I have joined the judicial review launched by Gina Miller. It'll be heard by the High Court this week.

    In Parliament, we're working across party lines on emergency legislation to extend Article 50, in order to prevent us from crashing out on the 31st October.

    And in the media, we've exposed the Government's lack of backstop plans, and their intention to release a watered-down version of the Yellowhammer document.

    We will continue with the above, and more, to stop the shutdown, prevent a No Deal Brexit, and to stop Brexit altogether.

    I promise you that I - and all my fellow Liberal Democrat MPs - will do everything we can to stop Boris Johnson's autocratic power grab, and halt his plot to force through a No Deal.

  • Article: Aug 29, 2019
    By Dan Schmeisin in
    Boris Johnson has decided to prorogue Parliament. But what does that mean?

    Palace of Westminster.

    A short prorogation is supposed to happen every year...

    Parliament is usually closed for a little while in the run-up to a Queen's Speech.

    There wasn't one in 2018, however.

    ...but not for this long

    Most of the time, this is a 3 to 7 day break.

    Boris Johnson wants to shut Parliament for 5 weeks.

    That's the longest since 1945.

    It's pretty obviously to try and force through Brexit.

    Technically speaking, Parliament only loses a few days by doing this.

    The prorogation also covers the autumn conference season, where Parliament would traditionally rise. But MPs could have voted to cancel that recess. Proroguing Parliament stops that.

    We will have just 4 days to stop No Deal next week.

    Parliament will still be sitting for 4 days next week. That's a tight window - but it's not impossible. We're ready - Jo Swinson has proposed a triple lock to prevent no deal and other parties are with us in the fight to stop no-deal:

    This is profoundly undemocratic - but it's not too late.

    Boris Johnson can spin it however he wants - this is about running down the clock till no deal. But it's not too late to stop him. Send him a message - join the Lib Dems today and help us stop Brexit:

  • Event: Oct 12, 2019 9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
    Leigh Community Centre, 71-73 Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 1SP

    Meet your Lib Dem Councillors on the second Saturday of the month at Leigh Community Centre between 9 and 10.45 am.

  • Event: Oct 12, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Kent Elms Library, 1 Rayleigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 5UU

    Every second Saturday morning (except August) Councilor Paul Collins will be here to meet you. Come and share a coffee.

  • Article: Aug 27, 2019
    By Jo Swinson, MP Leader of the LIberal Democrats in
    Jo Swinson met with other party leaders today to restate her dedication to resisting the suspension of Parliament and to no deal Brexit

    Jo Swinson speaking at Lib Dem conference.

    The Liberal Democrats stand ready to do everything we can to prevent a No Deal Brexit.

    With Boris Johnson determined to plough headlong into this national crisis, which he admits will lead to food and medicine shortages, we now need to work across party lines to take control of the order paper.

  • Article: Aug 26, 2019
    By Andy Hagon

    Responding to reports that the government is investigating ways to close parliament in order to force through no deal, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

    "If Boris Johnson can find a kooky or irregular way to shut Parliament out of the Brexit process it will be an outrage.
    No deal will destroy our economy, it will have a dramatic impact on the cost of living and it will mean less access to medicines that keep people alive. Parliament must be able to challenge Ministers on the damage it will cause.

    Whilst Boris Johnson wants to shut people and Parliament out, Liberal Democrats want to do the opposite by giving voters the final say on Brexit with an option to remain in the EU."