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Willie Rennie MSP Leader of the Scottish Liberal DemocratsThe Liberal Democrats are working to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

That's why in Government we have given 24 million people a £700 tax cut, created 1 million jobs and helped 1.5 million apprentices.

We are the only party that can anchor Britain in the centre ground, ensuring we have sustainable growth and equality of opportunity.

Labour can't be trusted with the economy, in government they would drag Britain to the left, borrowing too much, spending too much and risking the recovery.

And the Conservatives can't be trusted to treat people fairly. If Liberal Democrats weren't in Government, the Tories would focus attention on the best-off, let employers fire staff without cause and allow schools to be run for profit.

Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.


Recent updates

  • Article: Jan 29, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have today hailed a decision by the Scottish Police Authority that will mean the ban on routinely armed policing is maintained.

    In an eagerly awaited report into the issue, the SPA today said Police Scotland should not revert to the model of police officers overtly carrying sidearms whilst attending routine duties.

  • Article: Jan 29, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Justice minister Simon Hughes has highlighted the importance of rehabilitating female prisoners.

    Work and educational opportunities are crucial to helping rehabilitate women offenders.

    Commenting, Simon said:

    " I'm not prepared to accept a situation where female offenders don't have the chance to turn their lives around and support themselves and their families.

  • Article: Jan 29, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg discusses his vision for a greener Britain and a sustainable economic future.

    The countdown has started. In 10 months time, the world will gather in Paris to agree a new legally binding global climate change agreement. It's no exaggeration to say our future, and that of our children, depends on its success.

    Of course, none of this is news to you. Yet, I believe it's a truth that bears repeating as often and widely as possible.

    The evidence of the global risk we face is clear, the science exhaustive and beyond doubt and, without a strong deal in Paris, the task ahead of us to reduce the world's emissions and tackle climate change will only become more difficult with every year that goes by.

    We are already running to catch up: the more we delay, the more the world's poorest countries are hardest hit of all. For them, denying climate change isn't an option. Its impact is all too plain to see on their doorstep, increasingly putting their families, homes and livelihoods at risk.

    For us too, as a country, going green isn't a luxury extra, but a necessary investment in our future.

    In the years ahead, the only sustainable growth will be green growth. It's a guarantee of jobs and prosperity for generations to come.

    It's a massive opportunity for Britain. We're a competitive place to invest, a great place to do business and have a skilled, flexible workforce.

    Most importantly, without that shift to low carbon, we put at risk the huge physical and psychological benefits, as well as the sheer joy, we gain from our natural environment. Once lost, it's gone forever.

    That's why, in government, Liberal Democrats have always fought for an approach that doesn't just look after today, but is also mindful of tomorrow; that doesn't just deal with the fiscal deficit we inherited, but also the imbalances in how we treat the environment around us.

    This includes reforming our electricity market to boost investment in low-carbon energy. Since 2010, we've more than doubled the share of electricity we generate from renewable sources - reaching nearly 15 per cent of the UK's electricity at the end of 2013.

    The UK is now a world leader in offshore wind, with more installed offshore wind capacity than any other country in the world. We're also strengthening our global lead in wave and tidal technology. According to the latest Bloomberg estimates, clean energy investment in our country rose by 3 per cent last year, to just over £10bn.

    To help each of us live our lives more sustainably, we've committed hundreds of millions pounds to drive forward green transport. This includes half a billion pounds to sharpen the UK's competitive edge in the development and use of electric vehicles, and I recently announced an unprecedented £214m investment to develop the UK's cycling networks.

    We're establishing a new generation of garden cities and all new homes will be zero carbon from 2016.

    We've created the Natural Capital Committee to help protect our natural wealth. And, step by step, we're preserving Britain's natural landscape: creating marine conservation zones; securing the future of our woodlands - England now has 10 per cent wood land cover, it's highest level in 600 years; and maintaining strong protections for the Green Belt, our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    We've secured extra funding for Kew Gardens, fought hard to ensure England's Coastal Path will be completed by 2020 and, to halt the blight of throwaway plastic bags, we're introducing our 5p charge.

    Critically, we've committed £3.87bn to the International Climate Fund to help developing countries protect their biodiversity and communities from the impacts of climate change also.

    But this is just the start. Whatever the result on May 7, we need a clear commitment from all of the main parties to achieve a landmark global deal in Paris and secure Britain's low carbon future.

    This isn't a job for the fainthearted. Climate Change has no respect for borders, job titles or the political divide. It demands leadership at a local, national and international level, and we all have a role to play - in politics, business and civil society.

    It's one of the central reasons why I believe the UK's continued membership of the EU is so important. If we're to safeguard the future for our children and their children, then we need to stand tall in the world.

    That starts with us leading in Europe, working with our partners to deliver an ambitious green agenda in Paris and beyond. Together, our voices are louder and stronger.

    So let's keep pushing across all political parties for a greener world, a better future for our children and an ambitious agreement in Paris.

  • Article: Jan 29, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today (Thursday 29 January) announced that the government is investing an extra £1bn in local economies by expanding local Growth Deals.

    The government has struck a deal to expand the Growth Deals signed last year with 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships.

  • Article: Jan 28, 2015

    The Liberal Democrats have launched their first PPB of 2015, which outlines how we will cut less than the Conservatives and borrow less than Labour.

    In the broadcast, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg says:

    "Over the coming months, you might have campaigners coming to knock on your door. You may think you've heard it all before. You may not know where to turn or you might already have decided.

  • Article: Jan 28, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have questioned why SNP ministers have failed to allocate £21m of university funding.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2015

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie, has called for the establishment of a cross-party "advance team" to ensure the swift implementation of new powers to Holyrood.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes has said that the Justice Secretary must set out the next steps for female prisoners at HMP & YOI Cornton Vale.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have urged SNP ministers to get a grip of integrating health and social care after figures today showed that the Scottish Government had to spend £1.4bn on unplanned hospital admissions for people aged 65 years and over.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2015

    Welcome to the final 100 days of the campaign. For many of you this is the final lap in an almighty marathon that you have been running for months if not years.

    Thank you so much for what you have already done. I know that whether you are a veteran activist or one of our thousands of new members, you're part of the Liberal Democrats because you are up for this next phase.

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    Article: Jan 27, 2015

    GDP figures released today (Tuesday 27 January) shows that Britain's economy is growing.

    Quarterly growth of 0.5 per cent puts the UK in pole position to be the fastest growing economy in 2015.

    Liberal Democrats have anchored economic policy in the centre ground.

    In government we have driven through a host of Lib dem inspired measures including income tax cuts for millions of working people, cutting the deficit fairly, boosting apprenticeships and investing in regional and local projects to rebalance the economy.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on the Health Secretary to make public the weekly figures on A&E waiting times after it was revealed patients had to wait up to 20 hours in a Portakabin to be seen at Glasgow's Victoria Hospital.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP today declared it is "all systems go" for the general election campaign as he joined activists in Edinburgh with 100 days to go until polling day.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2015

    Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has recorded the following message to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

    Earlier this month Nick announced that a Liberal Democrat government will protect funding for the Holocaust Education Trust's 'Lessons from Auschwitz' project for the next five years.

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    Article: Jan 27, 2015

    To vote in UK elections you must be on the electoral register. Make sure you don't lose your vote by ensuring your details are up to date.

    If you're not sure if you are registered to vote then you should contact your local electoral registration office. To find your nearest office, click here.

    To register

  • team_2015.jpg
    Article: Jan 27, 2015

    There are just 100 days until the General Election and the Liberal Democrat campaign is really heating up.

    On May 7 voters will go to the polls to decide the next government.

    Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society creating opportunity for everyone.

    Only the Liberal Democrats will balance the budget, cut taxes for 30m people, invest in health and education and protect nature, creating opportunity for everyone.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2015

    To mark 100 days until polling day, Liberal Democrats are today (Tuesday 27 January) launching an election poster attacking both Labour and the Conservatives for wanting to veer off course and threatening economic recovery by either borrowing too much or cutting too much.

    The poster which reads "don't let Britain take the wrong turn" shows that only the Liberal Democrats can create both a stronger economy and a fairer society, creating opportunity for everyone.

  • Article: Jan 26, 2015

    Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has said the conviction of an Egyptian doctor who performed an illegal female genital mutilation operation on a 13 year-old is a step forward in ending FGM across the world.

    The doctor was today (Monday 26 January) convicted of manslaughter after Suhair al-Bataa died following the operation in 2013.

  • Article: Jan 26, 2015

    Britain is providing extra humanitarian support for millions in need, Liberal Democrat International Minister Baroness Northover has announced today (Monday 26 January) during a visit to Khartoum.

    With the UN estimating that seven million people will need humanitarian assistance in Sudan this year, Britain is contributing £7 million to the Sudan 2015 Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF).

  • Article: Jan 26, 2015

    The Conservatives are making brazen attempts to take credit for raising the personal tax threshold despite the changes being delivered by Liberal Democrats in government.

    New analysis by HM Treasury reveals that by raising the personal tax allowance to £10,600, 8.3m families will be £1,330 better off per year.

  • Article: Jan 26, 2015

    South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume has hit out at the SNP's short-sighted decisions on public services as the SNP cabinet prepares to meet in Dumfries today.

  • Article: Jan 26, 2015

    Following the announcement that the Scottish Government has scrapped plans for a new women's jail in Inverclyde, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson, Alison McInnes MSP said:

  • Article: Jan 26, 2015

    8.3m families will benefit twice from the Liberal Democrat tax cut, new analysis has revealed.

    Thanks to Liberal Democrats increasing the personal tax allowance to £10,600, these families will on average be £1,330 better off each year.

    New research using HM Treasury's tax and benefit model shows that our flagship policy of increasing the amount that people can earn before they pay income tax is vital in creating a fairer society.

  • Article: Jan 23, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on the Scottish Government to publish A&E waiting times figures on a weekly basis in a bid to tackle the growing crisis in Scotland's emergency units.

  • Article: Jan 23, 2015

    The IFS report released today (Friday 23 January) confirms that the richest have shouldered the highest share of the burden as we move to repair the public finances.

    The Liberal Democrats have been clear that we expect those with the broadest shoulders to pay their fair share towards deficit reduction.

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    Article: Jan 22, 2015

    Ibrahim Taguri, Liberal Democrat candidate for Brent Central, has been named as the party's Race Equality Champion.

    Ibrahim will engage with all communities and ensure the party continues to include commitments reflecting a diverse Britain in our manifesto.

    The new appointment was announced by Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg at a reception for the BAME community on Wednesday evening (21 January).

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    Article: Jan 22, 2015

    Figures released today (Thursday 22 January) by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the level of crime in England and Wales has fallen to a record low.

    The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) found that in the year ending September 2014, crime fell by 11 per cent compared with the previous year.

  • Article: Jan 22, 2015

    Writing in the Independent, Tim Farron MP calls for an end to the delays in publishing the Chilcot Report.

    Read Tim's article in full below.

    In 2003 Britain was led by the Labour Party with Conservative support into a war with Iraq which many people in our country believe was illegal.

    It is why on the eve of the conflict a million people took to the streets to protest against the decision to send our troops into harm's way without the backing of the United Nations.

    The grim statistics resulting directly from that fateful decision are now, sadly, all too familiar.

    Nearly 200 British service personnel killed. More than 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead. Hundreds of thousands of families torn apart in the post-war chaos; and billions of pounds of taxpayer's money spent.

    But it important to remember that the conflict with Iraq is not ancient history. It is not some distant tragedy fought between past warring nations, led by romanticised characters from popular myth or legend.

    The war in Iraq helps to explain the world today. You cannot begin to understand modern geopolitics without first understanding its intricacies and its aftermath. The legacy of the Iraqi conflict is Britain's legacy too. Our country is less safe, less secure and less trusted in the Middle East because of it.

    This makes the public inquiry into British and American invasion of Iraq so important. The British people, the wounded soldiers and their families, deserve to understand how the decision to go to war was made.

    Six years after the independent inquiry was set up in 2009 by Gordon Brown - due to be published within 12 months - we are still waiting for answers. We have now been told Sir John Chilcot will not be reporting until after the General Election in May.

    This is completely unacceptable for two reasons.

    Firstly, the public, not just the million war protestors, and the thousands still affected by this terrible conflict have waited long enough. They need and deserve closure. They cannot move on if the decision to topple Baghdad is still shrouded in mystery.

    Secondly, by delaying publication the electorate will not be able to hold to account those who took the decision to go to war at the ballot box until 2020, the date of the next General Election.

    It means voters will have waited 17 years from the day British boots hit the ground in Iraq to be able to make a fully informed decision on the war, listening to all the evidence, and use it as a factor to decide who governs the country.

    This is a democratic deficit - we should not stand for it. It is why today (Wednesday) the Liberal Democrats launched a petition to call for the urgent publication of Sir John's report. It the very least the public expect.

    Whether it is the case or not, with every passing day there is a real danger the public will assume the report is being, as Nick Clegg has said, 'sexed down' by individuals rebutting criticisms put to them by the inquiry.

    David Cameron, the Conservative Party and, of course, Labour all voted for the Iraq War; and they all condemned the Liberal Democrats for opposing the invasion.

    It is incomprehensible to the British public that such an important report should be delayed. The voters did not have a say on the decision to go to war in 2003. They must have their say now - 17 years is far too long.

  • Article: Jan 22, 2015

    Applications are now open for the Liberal Democrats Diversity Office's training weekend for young people from Black, Asian or other ethnic minority backgrounds.

    The event, which is open to young people aged 18 to 25 who self identify as being from a Black, asian or other ethnic minority background will be held at our party HQ in Westminster on Saturday 7 March and Sunday 8 March.

  • Article: Jan 21, 2015

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has called on the Scottish Government to halt plans to develop a national identity register of every person in Scotland.