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  • Article: Dec 11, 2019
    By Liberal Democrats

    "Almost the only people who think Johnson a nice guy are those who do not know him."

    It's a statement made by Max Hastings, Johnson's former boss at the Telegraph. He's not the only person who has worked with Boris Johnson who has gone public with their criticisms.

    Here's a collection of quotes from his Conservative colleagues:

  • Article: Dec 11, 2019

    The economy usually features heavily in election discourse.

    But this time the two main parties have opted for silly economics instead. It's either pursuing a Brexit that we know will damage the economy or a reckless spending plan we can't afford.

    But you can't fool business. Over 60 business leaders have named us as the 'only party who have set out a credible plan for future prosperity'.

  • Article: Dec 8, 2019

    Each of them are driving populist, nationalist and authoritarian values. It's no surprise that Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump have such a special relationship.

    Their unholy alliance has the potential to risk Britain's future. With the three of them working together to stitch up of our democracy, it's important that we stop Boris in his attempt to creep back into No. 10.

  • SW GE Focus December 2019 ()
    Article: Dec 6, 2019

    Click here to read in full.

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  • 1AD_1E0_1609187_3711200952_4.jpg
    Article: Dec 5, 2019

    What Boris Johnson would do to Britain

    There are just days to go until the UK goes to the polls in the 2019 general election. Now, more than ever, it's crucial that we stop Boris Johnson in his pursuit of a hard Brexit and a far-right Conservative government.

    If you weren't already convinced, here are just a few things Johnson would do to Britain if he manages to stay in No. 10 and why we must stop him.

    1. Crash us out of the EU

    We know that any form of Brexit would be damaging to our country, and so does Boris Johnson. But because he only cares about himself, he's continuing to push for a hard Brexit at any cost.

    In fact, it's been confirmed that the Conservatives would not extend the EU transition period beyond 2020, meaning that a catastrophic No Deal Brexit is still on the table and could happen in just over a year's time.

    The Liberal Democrats are clear: we want to stop Brexit, stay in the EU and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus in public services and tackling inequality.


    2. Risk a border across the Irish Sea

    Despite saying that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea, Boris has (unsurprisingly) gone back on his word.

    By even considering this border, he is compromising the Good Friday Agreement and risking our country's security - all for his bad Brexit deal.

    3. Increase child poverty

    In a report released by the Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank, it was revealed that child poverty risks reaching a record high under Johnson's Conservative plans - rising from 29.6% in 2017-18 to 34.4% in 2023-4. It's a damning indictment of the Tories' heartless welfare policy.

    Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty by 2023-24, making it the most progressive of the three main parties.

    We would scrap the cruel two-child limit, benefit cap and bedroom tax, and invest in free school meals and childcare for millions of families.

    4. Damage our NHS

    If Boris Johnson wins a majority, he'll be desperate for a trade deal with Donald Trump, and Trump has repeatedly made clear in the past that everything, including the NHS, will be on the table in future negotiations.

    We need to protect our NHS, and that starts with stopping Brexit and protecting free movement for the thousands of people who come to work in our services from across the EU.

    But instead of battling this staffing crisis, Boris Johnson wants to make it worse. His Nurse Tax will seriously affect the NHS's ability to recruit the nurses from the EU that we desperately need to address current shortfalls.

    Liberal Democrats would stop Brexit and save free movement for the 65,000 EU citizens working in our health service.


    5. Ruin our economy with Brexit

    The Conservatives' spending plans have been blasted as not credible by the Institute for Financial Studies, and it's clear that no party's economic plan is even remotely plausible while it includes pursuing Brexit.

    By failing to come clean with the electorate and ignoring the Brexit black hole his policies would leave in the public finances, Boris Johnson is once again misleading the country on the damage that Brexit could do.

    Liberal Democrats will work to build fairer economy by stopping Brexit and providing free childcare from 9 months and giving every adult £10,000 to spend on skills & training throughout their lives.

    6. Stop the UK from leading on climate action

    The UK should be leading the world on tackling the climate crisis. Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged and we are responsible for that damage.

    Young people have taken to the streets because they're so worried that the Conservatives are failing to act, yet with Boris skipping the recent Channel 4 climate debate, it's clear that he doesn't take the topic seriously.

    Only the Liberal Democrats can build a brighter future for our planet, with our bold plans to achieve net-zero by 2045, generate 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030, insulate every home, plant 60 million trees a year and more.

    7. Ignore the needs of working families

    Parents struggle to find childcare to look after their kids until they get home from work, both in term-time and in the school holidays. But Boris Johnson's childcare offer through the Conservative manifesto is an insult to these families.

    Boris Johnson's additional childcare provisions work out to just £1 a week for every primary school child in England.

    Despite promising £250 million a year on expanding childcare provisions for primary school children after school and in the school holidays, this works out to just £1 a week for every primary school child in England. This is equivalent to just 16 minutes additional childcare a week.

    Liberal Democrats have a plan to build a brighter future for every child. We will give parents 35 hours a week of high-quality free childcare from the day they go back to work to the day their child starts school, including the school holidays.

    We will also give every child the best start in life by recruiting 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools.

    But we can stop him.

    Britain deserves a brighter future than the one on offer by Boris Johnson. We can take seats off the Tories up and down the country. So on 12 December, vote Liberal Democrat to stop Boris and stop Brexit.

  • Article: Dec 1, 2019

    Brexit Means Criminals Evade Justice

    Two police officers on patrol.

    New analysis has revealed how much UK police rely on vital EU crime-fighting measures.
    Yet Boris Johnson's reckless Brexit plans threaten to cut the UK off.

    Over the past five years, UK police forces and prosecutors have used the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to arrest over 6,600 criminal fugitives.

    This includes:

    • 140 for murder or manslaughter
    • 136 for child sex offences
    • 152 for rape
    • 12 for terrorism

    The research also shows that UK police accessed a crucial EU-wide crime database 603 million times in 2018. This database gives real-time access to records on wanted criminals, missing persons and lost or stolen items. This includes firearms and passports.

    In short, if Johnson's Brexit goes ahead:

    • Up to 6,000 criminals could evade justice
    • Our police would be locked out of EU crime database used 1.6 million times a day
    • Brexit would undermine the UK's ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime

    Brexit would be a disaster for our safety.

    Thousands of dangerous criminals could escape justice. Not only that, the UK's ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime would be seriously undermined.

    The only way to ensure vital police cooperation with Europe is by stopping Brexit.

    We intend to do just that. Then, we will build a brighter future and keep our communities safe.

  • POVERTY.jpg
    Article: Nov 30, 2019
    What the Liberal Democrats are offering children and young people in our manifesto.

    Every child deserves the best start in life.

    That's why children's charities have asked every party leader how their policies will help children and generations to come.

    Here are five things the Liberal Democrats will do to build a brighter future for every young person:

    1. Stop Brexit


    Brexit is a disaster for our young people. It limits our ambitions and our horizons.

    Outside the EU, the UK can no longer take part in the Erasmus student exchange programme for schools, colleges and universities.

    Brexit makes our children less safe. The European Arrest Warrant lets us track down people accused of crimes against children if they move abroad.

    Brexit will make us poorer. If Boris Johnson wins this election, his 'die in a ditch' Brexit policy means we could crash out of the EU's trading bloc in 2021. That would harm our economy and increase debt - meaning we have less to spend on our children and young people.

    Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit so we can spend our £50 billion Remain Bonus on public services, like our schools, and tackling child poverty.

    2. Free childcare


    Under the Conservatives, the gap between the performance of richer and poorer children at nursery school is widening.

    They've turned their backs on families. Working parents can get 30 hours a week of free childcare, but only when their child turns 3 - and it doesn't cover the school holidays. It's been so underfunded that some providers have had to close.

    Liberal Democrats will provide free, high quality childcare for every child from when their parents go back to work to the day they start school.

    The Liberal Democrats' plan includes 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, for every child from 9 months to school age.

    We'll pay childcare providers properly, so that every child has a high-quality place.

    3. Reverse school cuts


    Our schools and colleges should be world-class. But instead, they're falling behind.

    Teaching assistants are being sacked. Cash-strapped councils struggle to help children with complex needs. Some schools aren't keeping their doors open for a full five-day week.

    The Conservatives are failing our children. They have cut school budgets to the bone.

    By stopping Brexit, Liberal Democrats can use the Remain Bonus to reverse school cuts with an emergency cash injection.

    By 2024, we'll spend £10 billion a year more on schools, so we can employ 20,000 more teachers.

    Children should come home from school happy, healthy and with all the skills they need to succeed.

    4. Invest in Children's Centres


    Local councils' budgets have been slashed - but more children than ever need their support. Councils are spending more on helping children in crisis, so they've got less to spend on stopping children getting into crisis in the first place.

    Children's centres provide vital support for children and their families in the first years of life. They give advice to parents on how to manage behaviour. They give free post-natal checks for new babies. They're a safe space for toddlers to play.

    Liberal Democrats will support our most disadvantaged young children, by spending an extra £1 billion a year on children's centres.

    5. Support children in poverty

    Under the Conservatives, almost 30% of children were in poverty in 2017/18.

    The Tories botched the roll out of Universal Credit and they made brutal cuts to benefits in 2015.

    Liberal Democrats will support children in poverty. We'll scrap the two-child limit and the benefits cap and let families where both parents work keep more of their money.

    That's why the independent Resolution Foundation says that our manifesto does more to help child poverty than both Boris Johnson's Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.

    Under the Liberal Democrats, 600,000 fewer children will be in relative poverty than under Boris Johnson.

    The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can win seats off both the Conservatives and Labour - so we can stop Boris Johnson, stop Brexit, and build a brighter future for our children.

  • Article: Nov 27, 2019


    email received today

    From: Derek Cole
    Date: 27/11/2019 10:05:44
    Subject: Eric Cole of EKCO would back you.
    To: keith.miller@southendlibdems.org.uk, nina.stimson@southendlibdems.org.uk

    If you think it useful, please feel free to print and circulate the following.
    From Derek J.Cole, M.A. (Law), LL.B. (Cantab)
    Having won a C.B.E. for his vital war work, in particular for monitoring the Enigma Code, my father Eric Cole devoted the final post-war years of his life in developing his quiet influence within Southend Conservative Party to secure a continent at peace by seeking 'a United States of Europe'.
    Nothing would give him greater pleasure today that Michael Heseltine has called for a vote against Boris Johnson. In Eric Cole's final years Harold Macmillan (who was injured in both wars) led an enthusiastic cadre of far-sighted Conservatives to seek a central place in Europe. When as Conservative P.M. he named a leader of his European Campaign it triggered my father's last political comment to me - 'I rather like the look of that young man Heath.'
    Today true Conservatives led by Heseltine, Major and Clarke, are emerging from Boris Johnson's European 'valley of the shadow of death' to proclaim the party's greatest achievement since the war, our place in the European Union and a continent at peace.
    Derek J. Cole.
  • Article: Nov 24, 2019
    We will invest £7 billion from our infrastructure budget for new school buildings and repairs to keep up with rising pupil numbers.

    Our schools should be world class, but years of under-investment and funding cuts have left them crumbling, with repairs being unaffordable. It is completely unacceptable that in the 21st century, our children are being taught in Victorian conditions.

    Enough is enough. The Liberal Democrats will invest an extra £7 billion over five years from our infrastructure budget for new school buildings and repairs to keep up with rising pupil numbers.

    The funding will be distributed to local authorities and ring-fenced specifically to be spent on school improvements.

    The Liberal Democrats will not only invest this money in making our schools fit for purpose, but this is in addition to the £10 billion for schools we have promised, as well as hiring 20,000 more teachers.

    As we previously announced, a Liberal Democrat government will attract and retain teachers by increasing their starting salaries to £30,000 and guaranteeing all teachers a pay rise of at least 3% a year over the next Parliament.

    The funding also includes an increase in support for children with special educational needs or disabilities, and money to provide high-quality professional development for teachers.

    A vote for the Liberal Democrats in this election is a vote for ensuring a brighter future for our children.

    Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.

Southend Council logo

Southend in 1962
with Johnny Morris