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  • Article: May 25, 2020
    By Danny Simm

    James Grundy must back calls for Dominic Cummings to go, and put fight against coronavirus first

    The Liberal Democrats have written to James Grundy urging him to "end the distractions" and support calls for scandal-hit Dominic Cummings to go, so the country can focus on the coronavirus emergency.

    In the letter, Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sharron Honey for Leigh urges all Conservative MPs to "put the interests of your constituents first, end the distractions and join the growing number of Conservative MPs who are calling for Dominic Cummings to go."

    The call comes alongside Liberal Democrat demands for an independent inquiry into the Government's handling of the coronavirus crisis, while several Conservative MPs have also broken cover to call for Dominic Cummings to quit, amid claims he broke coronavirus lockdown rules twice.

    Liberal Democrat spokesperson Sharron Honey for Leigh said:

    "People right across Leigh have made incredible sacrifices to stop the coronavirus. Even if the Prime Minister keeps his blinkers on, James Grundy cannot be oblivious to how angry people are with this scandal.

    "Each minute this scandal is allowed to drag on is another minute the Government is distracted from upscaling Britain's testing capacity, securing PPE for frontline workers and preventing the tragic deaths in our care homes.

    "James Grundy must stop defending the indefensible and put the health, wellbeing and economy of our country before efforts to save the Prime Minister's adviser."

    Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey added:

    "By failing to act, the Prime Minister undermines his own authority to lead the country through this appalling crisis, bringing his own judgement into question.

    "The Prime Minister must come clean about what he knows and terminate Dominic Cummings' contract. It is now clearer than ever that, once we are through this crisis, there must also be an independent inquiry to review the Government's actions."

  • Article: May 24, 2020
    By Danny Simm

    The Liberal Democrat Acting Leader has written an open letter to Conservative MPs urging them to "end the distractions" and support calls for scandal-hit Dominic Cummings to go, so the country can focus on the coronavirus emergency.

    In his letter, the Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey urges all Conservative MPs to "put the interests of your constituents and country first, tell the Prime Minister that Dominic Cummings must go and end the distractions away from the fight against coronavirus.

    The call comes as Opposition Parties demand an inquiry and as several Conservative MPs have broken cover to call for Dominic Cummings to quit, amid claims he broke coronavirus lockdown rules twice.

    Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    "Millions of people have made incredible sacrifices to stop the coronavirus. Even if the Prime Minister keeps his blinkers on, Conservative MPs cannot be oblivious to how angry people are with Dominic Cummings.

    "Each minute the Prime Minister fails to act is another minute the Government is distracted from upscaling Britain's testing capacity, securing PPE for frontline workers and preventing the tragic deaths in our care homes.

    "All Conservative MPs must stop defending the indefensible and put the health, well-being and economy of our country before efforts to save the Prime Minister's adviser."

  • Article: May 24, 2020
    By Danny Simm

    Responding to the Prime Minister backing his scandal-hit aide, Dominic Cummings, at today's press conference, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    "Millions of people who've made huge sacrifices to keep to the rules will be astonished and angry at how the Prime Minister is now bending the rules for his closest aide.

    "By failing to act, the Prime Minister undermines his own authority to lead the country through this appalling crisis, bringing his own judgement into question.

    "The Government's efforts to defeat coronavirus on testing, on PPE for frontline workers and on stopping the tragedy in our care homes are still inadequate. The Prime Minister's failure to act on this scandal won't help turn that around.

    "Conservative MPs must stop defending the indefensible and support our calls for Dominic Cummings to go."

  • Article: May 22, 2020
    By Danny Simm

    Today stats released by the ONS highlight:
    - Deficit/debt for April: highest monthly borrowing on record (going back to 1993)
    - Retail sales for April: down 18% to a record low

    • These figures show the devastating impact this crisis is having on our economy. People and businesses across the country are facing financial hardship, and it's right that the Government is using its ability to borrow money very cheaply to help save jobs.
    • We must make sure that no one is left behind as we tackle this cruel virus. The Government must extend its support for self-employed people in line with the furlough scheme, and expand it to cover those who are currently left out, including the newly self-employed.
    • As we recover from this crisis, it will be essential that the Government continues to invest to protect jobs and build a fairer, greener and more productive economy that works for everyone.
  • Article: May 20, 2020
    By Danny Simm

    The Liberal Democrats are calling for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, as new official figures show 2,890 EU nationals living in Wigan have not been granted permanent Settled Status to remain in the UK.

    Pointing to the contribution of EU nationals working in the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine urged the Government to "show its own support for the people's heroes by extending the right to remain to all EU and foreign nationals, many of whom are fighting for our lives."

    Of the 6,490 EU nationals across Wigan who have applied for permanent residency, only 3,550 have been granted settled status.

    600 EU nationals living in Wigan have applied to the Home Office scheme but are still waiting for a final decision to be made. Another 2,290 have been given only temporary Pre-Settled Status, meaning they will have to reapply within five years or be forced to leave the UK.

    Although the Home Office has announced a one-year visa extensions for certain health and care staff, the Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for their campaign to give all health and social care workers on the frontline of this crisis indefinite leave to remain.

    Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

    "The coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. NHS staff, social care workers and other health professionals are putting themselves in harm's way each and every day to keep us safe.

    "The Government has a chance to show its own support for the people's heroes by extending the right to remain to all EU and foreign nationals, many of whom are fighting for our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic."

    Liberal Democrat spokesperson John Skipworth for Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield added:

    "Too many EU nationals in Wigan are deeply anxious about their right to stay. With the uncertainty of Brexit, it's disgraceful to leave them in legal limbo like this.

    "Families and children must not be made to live under a cloud of uncertainty any longer. The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for EU citizens by fighting to guarantee their rights to live and work in the UK."

  • Article: May 18, 2020
    By Danny Simm

    Lib Dems launch calls for more mental health support for health and care staff

    The Liberal Democrats are today calling on the Government to ramp up mental health support for health and care staff to ensure "world-class" support for those tackling the virus head on.

    • COVID-19 will leave a deep scar on our health and care workforce, who have gone above and beyond to tackle this dreadful virus. Thousands have lost colleagues, endured serious illness, or faced significant trauma.
    • Whilst we can hope to get a grip on COVID-19 in the coming months, the mental health impacts will last a lifetime. That is why the Liberal Democrats are proposing a series of measures to ensure no-one slips through the net as the scale of the mental health impact of this crisis emerges.
    • Our proposals include a mental health support hotline, open to staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our hospitals and care services are staffed around the clock, so the support services staff need should be too. In addition, we propose measures to ensure NHS and care staff are not penalised for days off due to ill health.
    • The UK mental health response to COVID-19 should be world-class. That means investing now to prepare for the challenges ahead. The clap for carers is not just a gesture - people want to see those on the frontline supported right through this crisis and beyond. Ministers must get on top of the mental health impact of COVID-19 by backing our measures to support our vital NHS and care staff when they need it most.