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  • Paddy Ashdown
    Article: Jan 18, 2018
    By Paddy Ashdown in The Independent

    The liberal principles that have underpinned every civilised society are under attack as never before. The President appears more aligned with those forces that are raging against liberal values than those seeking to defend them.

    I have been spending a lot of time recently researching the 1930s. I am forcefully struck by the similarities between our current turbulent and unpredictable age and those bygone years.

  • Alistair Carmichael, banner
    Article: Nov 27, 2017
    By Alister Carmichael MP

    Instead of boosting morale and recruitment by giving our troops a pay rise, the government is planning even more cuts.

    Army numbers have fallen by over 2,000 since the Conservative 2015 Manifesto pledge to keep troop levels above 82,000, analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

    The most recent figures show the number of full-time trained troops now stands at 77,440, down from 79,540 in April 2015 when the Conservative manifesto was published.

    It comes as the Government comes under increasing pressure over planned defence cuts, with dozens of Conservative MPs writing to the Chancellor and Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood reportedly prepared to resign.

    The Tory promise to keep our army above 82,000 lies in tatters.

    There are now 2,000 fewer regular troops than when this manifesto pledge was made in 2015.

    But instead of boosting morale and recruitment by giving our troops a pay rise, the government is planning even more cuts.

    Ministers need to clarify now whether they still intend to meet the 82,000 target, and if so by what date.

    Otherwise they will fuel concerns that the Conservatives simply cannot be trusted with maintaining Britain's defence capabilities.

  • Menzies Campbell
    Article: Nov 26, 2017
    By Menzies Campbell

    Reducing the army even further, cutting the Royal Marines, and selling surface ships will fracture our defence capability.

    It has been reported that defence minister Tobias Ellwood has threatened to resign if military cuts bring the army below 70,000 soldiers.

    When will the government listen and learn?

    Former members of all three armed services, informed commentators, members of both Houses of Parliament and now a defence minister have all voiced their deepening anxieties about possible heavy cuts in the defence budget.

    Reducing the army even further, cutting the Royal Marines, and selling surface ships will fracture our defence capability.

    The Liberal Democrats are committed to spending 2% of GDP on defence and are campaigning to stop cuts to the Royal Marines.

  • poppies
    Article: Nov 10, 2017
    By William Wallace in The Independent

    I remember one early memo to David Cameron as Prime Minister included the warning that 'we must ensure that our commemoration does not give any support to the myth that European integration was the result of the two World Wars'

    Remembrance Sunday is the most important United Kingdom national ceremony. Unchanged in the lifetime of most British citizens, it symbolises British heroism and British sacrifice - the struggles and victories that the British achieved, alone, in two world wars and since.

  • Menzies Campbell
    Article: Oct 13, 2017

    Responding to news that President Trump is expected to withdraw backing from the nuclear accord with Iran in a speech later today, newly appointed Liberal Democrat Defence spokesperson Menzies Campbell, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem said:

    "This is yet another example of Trump's boneheaded belligerence.

  • Paddy Ashdown
    Article: Oct 6, 2017

    Commenting on reports that the MoD are considering cost-cutting plans to the Royal Navy which could see HMS Albion and Bulwark taken out of service, Paddy Ashdown, former Lib Dem Leader and Royal Marine, said:

    "This is not yet a decision but it soon could be, if the government is allowed to get away with cuts which would betray the best traditions of our past and damage our ability to defend ourselves in the future.

  • Baroness Judith Jolly
    Article: Sep 17, 2017
    By Baroness Judith Jolly

    At our Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, the Liberal Democrats have voted to give our Armed Forces a pay rise - and to improve career prospects for Veterans.

    Today at our Autumn Conference the Liberal Democrats have called on the government to immediately lift the pay cap on the armed forces to address a growing recruitment crisis.

  • Jo Swinson (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Aug 22, 2017
    By Jo Swinson MP

    For once, sense seems to have prevailed in the White House.

    But to succeed in Afghanistan will require winning the hearts and minds of its people and working closely with neighbouring countries.

    On that front, Donald Trump has already done untold damage through his proposed refugee ban, Islamophobic comments and cack-handed approach to foreign affairs.

  • Nick Clegg
    Article: May 29, 2017

    The Schengen Information System (SIS II) is an EU-wide database on organised criminal and terrorist suspects across 28 countries, including 35,000 people wanted under a European Arrest Warrant. It includes alerts on suspected 'foreign fighters' - people who have travelled to Syria and elsewhere to fight for ISIS.

  • Anita Day
    Article: May 14, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have demanded an inquiry into why the Conservatives cut cyber-security support a year ago when it axed a £5.5m deal with Microsoft.

    Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Brian Paddick said:

    "We need to get to the bottom of why the government thought cyber-attacks were not a risk, when a combination of warnings and plain common sense should have told ministers that there is a growing and dangerous threat to our cyber-security.

    "It is worrying that in Amber Rudd we have a Home Secretary in the digital age more suited to the era of analogue. This is not the first time she has looked lost in cyber-space. The government likes to look tough but this is an example of where it has left Britain defenceless. We demand to be told why."