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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: Jul 23, 2014

    Nick Clegg paid a visit to Pride House in Glasgow today to hear about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights across the Commonwealth and sports.

    Almost 80% of Commonwealth countries (42 out of 53 countries) represented in Glasgow this week criminalise homosexuality in some way. Pride House is an LGBT space set up to promote diversity at the Games and within the Commonwealth.

  • Article: Jul 23, 2014

    The number of small and medium-sized businesses supported through the Regional Growth Fund has trebled over the past year to 5,100, helping businesses to create more jobs and expand into new markets.

    The Regional Growth Fund, introduced by Liberal Democrats in Government, is strengthening Britain's economy and making a big difference to local communities. Through supporting business of all sizes and sectors, new job and apprenticeship opportunities are opening up across Britain.

  • Article: Jul 22, 2014

    Liberal Democrats have announced that future Governments will be required by law to help fight fuel poverty by making the coldest, leakiest homes more energy efficient.

    Households on low incomes and high energy costs, often caused by poorly insulated homes, will face lower bills as they are raised to a Band C energy efficiency rating by 2030.

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    Article: Jul 22, 2014

    Today, Nick Clegg attended the Girl Summit, aimed at mobilising domestic and international efforts to end FGM.

    At the summit, which saw 500 delegates from 50 countries, the government announced a range of measures aimed at bringing an end to female genital mutilation in Britain and abroad.

    New laws were announced that would see parents prosecuted if they failed to prevent their daughter undergoing FGM. Programmes were also introduced in order to prevent FGM in 12 developing countries.

  • Article: Jul 22, 2014

    Liberal Democrats in Government have confirmed the Government's commitment to halving UK greenhouse gases by 2025.

    Tories had attempted to weaken measures to tackle global warming with plans to change the fourth carbon budget, which sets a greenhouse gas emissions limit through the 2020s. However, thanks to the Liberal Democrats, the fourth carbon budget will be retained.

  • Article: Jul 22, 2014

    Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie has said thatWillie RennieWillie Rennie the opening of the Commonwealth Games this evening stands to serve as one of Glasgow's finest hours as the city commences two weeks of sporting events, with more than 4,500 athletes from across the Commonwealth expected to take part.

    Mr Rennie, who will be attending the opening and closing ceremonies as well as badminton and athletics has said that the city had built strong foundations for a positive Games legacy which could see thousands more young Scots take up sports in the wake of the Games.

    Speaking ahead of the opening ceremony this evening, Mr Rennie said:

    "The opening of the eagerly awaited Games this evening stands to serve as one of Glasgow's finest hours. Having lived in the city for many years as a student I know that the people of Glasgow will warmly welcome the many people who have arrived in the city from across the world.

    "I'm looking forward to taking part in the celebrations and to watching the world's finest athletes compete in the friendly city. The organisers, volunteers and indeed everyone who have been involved in one way or another can be proud of their work in making the Games happen. Glasgow has built strong foundations for a positive Games legacy which could see thousands more young Scots take up sports in the wake of the Games.

    "I wish everyone in Team Scotland, and all of the Commonwealth teams the best of luck for these events which many have spent years practising for."

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    Article: Jul 21, 2014

    Over the weekend, Labour agreed to back the Lib Dem proposals for free school meals.

    After pressure from the party's grass roots at the National Policy Forum, Labour agreed to endorse the policy which was announced by Nick Clegg last year.

    Free school meals are expected to benefit 1.5 million children between the ages of five and seven, greatly improving their health, behaviour and results.

  • Article: Jul 21, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg, will speak at the Girl Summit on Tuesday, a summit with the aim of ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage within a generation.

    At the Summit, Nick will announce a package of measures to help end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

  • Article: Jul 20, 2014

    New rules which would provide greater choice and more innovative pensions products, are expected to be announced this week.

    The coalition wants to encourage pension providers to develop new retirement income products that are tailored to the needs of the individual consumer and which offer more choice, freedom and flexibility.

  • Article: Jul 19, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has welcomed a new programme designed to crack down on online piracy.

    The new scheme called Creative Content UK, will promote legal entertainment online and warn Internet users whose connections are being used to illegally share films and music.

    The scheme has been agreed by the UK's creative industries and internet service providers (ISPs) and will aim to raise awareness of copyright by informing those whose internet connections have been used to illegally share copyright material and help them find compelling, legal alternatives.

  • Article: Jul 18, 2014

    After the elections in May, the Leader tasked a group with reviewing the elections, assessing what worked and what didn't, and produce recommendations to improve our campaigning for the future.

    On Monday, the Review Group presented our findings to the Leader and later to the Federal Executive. I am pleased to say that they endorsed both the report and its recommendations, and we will now set about putting them into practice well in advance of next year's elections.

  • Article: Jul 18, 2014

    Following the May elections, the Leader tasked a group with reviewing the elections, assessing what worked and what didn't, and produce recommendations to improve our campaigning for the future.

    Our recommendations are available to party members and can be read below.

  • Article: Jul 18, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie MSP today said thatWillie RennieWillie Rennie people in the north of England will not be taken in by warm words from the First Minister over his independence plans.

    Speaking after First Minister's speech at the International Festival for Business in Liverpool, Mr Rennie argued that the SNP's independence tax plans were based on undercutting the north of England and amounted to little more than a 'cross-border economic raid'.

    Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

    "People in Liverpool will not be taken in by the First Minister's warm words. They understand full well that his entire economic plan is based on undercutting the north of England on corporation tax in a policy gamble that would cut tax revenues and public sector jobs.

    "The SNP's corporation tax policy is nothing more than a cross-border economic raid. It is designed to strip investment out of England."

  • Article: Jul 18, 2014

    Liberal Democrats are breaking the taboo on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Our goal is to end FGM within a generation.

    Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone is working to end FGM in the UK and in other parts of the world, and to increase awareness of the issue.

    Looking ahead to next week's Girl Summit, Lynne discusses progress in eliminating FGM.

  • Article: Jul 18, 2014

    Large companies will be legally required to publish the difference between what they pay men and women, under manifesto plans set out by Liberal Democrats today.

    Liberal Democrats would make it a legal requirement for companies employing more than 250 people to publish the average pay of their male and female workers.

  • Article: Jul 17, 2014

    Today I published the Government's first ever Energy Investment Report. It shows how Liberal Democrats in Government have delivered on jobs and investment in energy - particularly green energy - and shows the plan we now have for this to continue for decades to come.

    Let me be clear - investment in the energy sector has not been a 'nice to have'. We inherited a legacy of energy underinvestment from Labour and we've spent the last four years turning this around. The sheer scale of the investment has already been huge: between 2010 and 2013 we've secured £45 billion of investment in electricity generation and networks alone. The UK's future energy infrastructure investment is larger than transport, communications and water spending combined.

  • Article: Jul 17, 2014

    Nick Clegg takes your questions every Thursday from 9am on live LBC.

    Watch the latest episode here.

    Transcript

    This is LBC Call Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg takes your calls with Nick Ferrari at Breakfast. Call 0345 6060973 tweet at lbc973 text 84850. This is Call Clegg on LBC.

    NC: It's 9 o'clock, on Thursday, 17 July. That means it's time for Call Clegg with me Nick Clegg here on LBC with Nick Ferrari. I'll be taking your questions as ever for next half an hour or so. So get in touch on 0345 6060973 or email at nickclegg@lbc.co.uk or you can watch of course you on the website, lbc.co.uk. So let's go straight to the first caller who is Alex. Alex in Edgware. Hello Alex.

  • Article: Jul 17, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Danny Alexander is seeking a meeting withDanny AlexanderDanny Alexander Police Scotland chief constable Sir Stephen House to discuss local concerns over the routine deployment of armed police in the Highlands.

    Speaking after reports that armed police had been called to a disturbance in a fast food restaurant in Inverness, Mr Alexander said that Police Scotland must prove they have the flexibility to provide the sort of service that the Highlands deserves.

    Last month, Highland Council backed a Liberal Democrat motion calling on Police Scotland to review their policy on the use of armed officers.

    Mr Alexander has asked people in the Highlands who have concerns over the routine deployment of armed officers to contact him with their experiences.

    Commenting, Danny Alexander MP said:

    "It is perfectly understandable that shoppers and revellers would be surprised to see officers with fire-arms on the beat.

    "Clearly people's concerns are about far more than poor communication from the SNP and Police Scotland. It's about meeting the needs and expectations of community policing in the Highlands.

    "Those of us that opposed the centralisation Scotland's police force feared the impact a one-size-fits-all approach would have. Now Police Scotland must prove that they have the flexibility needed to provide the sort of service that the Highlands needs and deserves.

    "I am seeking a meeting with Sir Stephen House, the Chief Constable, and over the coming weeks I will be asking people and businesses in the Highlands to contact me with their experiences."

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    Article: Jul 17, 2014

    The amount of electricity generated from renewable sources has doubled since 2010.

    A report released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) assesses the investment in UK energy and the progress being made.

    The report which finds that renewable sources now supply 15% of the UK's electricity was unveiled at the CBI Energy Conference by Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey.

  • Article: Jul 17, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has announced a £154 million investment in research projects to keep the UK as a world leader in aerospace innovation.

    The investment will be used in four areas - which the UK excels in - wings, engines, aircraft structures and radio communications.

    This funding is part of a £2 billion government and industry investment in researching and development for the next generation of quieter, faster and more environmentally friendly planes.

  • Article: Jul 16, 2014

    The Liberal Democrats have said they plan to significantly reform spare room subsidy rules.

    The plans will see those already in the social rented sector only lose their benefit if they are offered a suitable smaller home and turn it down.

    It would also permanently exempt disabled adults.

    It comes after a government report published this week showed changes to how housing benefit is paid are not delivering the outcomes we had hoped despite Discretionary Housing Payments.

  • Article: Jul 16, 2014

    Figures published today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that employment is at a record high.

    More people up and down the country are finding work as we build a stronger economy.

    In the last three months the number of people in work rose by 254,000.

    More than 30.64m people are now in work and over the quarter unemployment fell by 121,000.

  • Article: Jul 16, 2014

    Figures published today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that employment is at a record high.

    More people up and down the country are finding work as we build a stronger economy.

    In the last three months the number of people in work rose by 254,000.

    More than 30.64m people are now in work and over the quarter unemployment fell by 121,000.

  • Article: Jul 16, 2014

    The Pupil Premium is helping to boost the educational prospects of poorer children, it has been announced today.

    Ofsted has published a report on how well schools in England are using the money to help support disadvantaged pupils in reaching their potential.

    Today's report finds that headteachers and governing bodies, overall, are demonstrating a strong commitment to closing the attainment gap and that there is a strong link between a school's effectiveness and the impact of the Pupil Premium.

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    Article: Jul 15, 2014

    On Saturday 12th July I had the huge honour of becoming the first MP to pull on the famous Great Britain white shirt with the red and blue 'V', and play for his country at rugby league.

    I was selected as part of the 20 man GB side who defeated Australia in the over 35s international in Warrington. We won one try to none at Crosfields, Warrington on Saturday - though in the spirit of Masters it was of course nil-nil!

    To play against Australian in their iconic green and gold shirts is the ultimate challenge in rugby league and to beat them and indeed stop them scoring was a great result. The determination of the GB team was etched on all our faces and we pushed our bodies as hard as we could and together did our country proud! After the game I felt every one of my 43 years but every bruise and ache was worth it.

    It was great to be joined by my Leeds Akkies team mate and fellow winger Keith Hill, who I play alongside at Old Modernians sports club in Cookridge, in my constituency. As Club Captain of the Political Animals, a team comprising Lords, MPs and Councillors and Chair of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, it was great to be able to represent Parliament, Leeds and Great Britain against Australia.

    Masters rugby league is always played in a great spirit and Saturday was no different though at times it was uncompromising. Masters is a fantastic form of rugby league that enables us older players to carry on playing long after we thought we'd have hung up our boots. I am sure as a game it will go from strength to strength on both sides of the world and I thank the Australians for coming over here and hope the rest of their tour is an enjoyable one.

  • Article: Jul 15, 2014

    Lib Dem peer and former MSP, Jeremy Purvis, will tomorrow co-chair theJeremy PurvisJeremy Purvis first meeting of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Reform, Decentralisation, and Devolution in the United Kingdom.

    The cross party group has been established with fellow co-chair and Labour peer Lord Foulkes.

    Co-Chair of the All-Party Group, Lord Purvis said:

    "The very existence of the United Kingdom is being tested this year with the Scottish referendum. The new All Party Group is designed to create the space in Parliament where we can discuss, debate and decide the future shape of the UK. I am really delighted that our first meeting has such significant figures taking part. It shows both the seriousness of the issue and the opportunities ahead for us."

    The first public meeting brings together Sir Menzies Campbell MP and Shadow Scottish Secretary, Margaret Curran MP, former leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Lord Bourne, and other prominent figures in the debate on UK governance. Widely respected historian professor Lord Tennessy has accepted Jeremy's invitation to chair the panel discussions of the figures from each party to discuss the future of the UK.

    Jeremy added:

    "Scottish Liberal Democrats under Willie Rennie's leadership have been central in the debate on further strengthening the Scottish Parliament in the event of a No vote. The group I am co-chairing will be taking forward the wider cross party discussions on the way forward both for Scotland but also the whole of the UK. It will specifically be considering reform to the Westminster institutions and how the relationships between the nations, and governance within England can be improved."

  • Article: Jul 15, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat peer Jeremy Purvis today said it is now clearJeremy PurvisJeremy Purvis that independence would leave Scotland facing the prospect of a minimum of 3 years outside the EU single market.

    His comments followed reports that the new President of the EU Commission stated "there will be no new enlargement in the next five years" during a speech leading to his confirmation vote in Strasbourg today.

    Just days ago, nationalist MEP Alyn Smith described Jean-Claude Juncker, who was confirmed as the new President of the EU Commission this afternoon, as a man the SNP could do business with.

    Commenting, Jeremy Purvis said:

    "Just days ago the SNP said Jean-Claude Juncker was a man they could do businesses with, but it seems that he has no intention of doing business with them.

    "The new President of the EU Commission has made clear that a vote to leave the United Kingdom would be a vote for a long process of negotiation over EU membership that could take many years to conclude.

    "Taking the SNP's independence day as a starting point, on the timetable set out by Mr Juncker today an independent Scotland would face a minimum of 3 years outside of the world's biggest single market. The SNP need to come clean with Scots over what this would mean for jobs."

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    Article: Jul 15, 2014

    Liberal Democrats are introducing a plastic bag charge to help reduce waste and protect the environment.

    A new report published today by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) shows that 8.3 billion plastic bags were used last years by shoppers at UK supermarkets.

    Figures show that the use of plastic bags increased by 3.2% last year, compared to 2012.

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    Article: Jul 15, 2014

    Nominations are now open for this year's Party Awards.

    These awards are voted and decided by you, with the winners announced at our Autumn Conference in Glasgow.

    The awards recognise the fantastic work our members do in our communities and this is your chance to tell us who we should be rewarding.

    It could be someone who has worked tirelessly in their local area to elect Liberal Democrats or implement our policies or someone who has given years to our cause by working hard as councillors or candidates

  • Article: Jul 15, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume MSP has repeatedJim HumeJim Hume his call for parity between mental and physical health services to be enshrined in law after new figures showed an increase in the number of Scots dying as a result of self-harm.

    Figures from NHS boards revealed through parliamentary questions showed that the number of deaths from intentional self-harm increased by around 8% between 2011 and 2012. The number of people aged 60 or over dying as a result of self-harm rose by more than 50% over this period.

    Commenting, Jim Hume MSP said:

    "These sobering figures show just how important it is that people suffering with self-harm are receiving the support they need. Self-harm is clearly a complex issue and there are no quick fixes here. But what we must do is work to ensure that health services - particularly mental health services - are available to those who need them at the right time.

    "The increase in the number of older people dying from intentional self-harm is also a real concern. Scotland's ageing population presents our NHS with a huge challenge. It is important that mental health services are not ignored when Ministers look to the future.

    "All too often mental health services are the poor relation of our NHS and currently a postcode lottery in access to crucial psychological therapies means that waiting times often have more to do with geography than clinical need. This needs to end, which is why Liberal Democrats have called for equality between mental and physical health care to be enshrined in law."