My Final Speech in 2019 GE Campaign

It has been a privilege to have been selected and stood for election as the Liberal Democrat Candidate for North Thanet.  I would like to add to Sir Roger’s thanks to all involved in the running of this election and my heartfelt thanks to all in the local Liberal Democrats team and the support of my family and my husband.

I’m proud to have increased the vote for the Liberal Democrats to 7.1% in North Thanet, especially with a Backdrop of National TV and Press promoting a two party system with presidential style debates.  Boris or Jeremy / Johnson or Corbyn?

I would like to pay tribute to our local press who have worked hard to ensure even handed coverage of all candidates in this election.

There are Four candidates standing here and until we move to  proportional representation, this adversarial FPTP system will continue to promote division and hatred – yes hatred – in our society where so many people feel we are not represented by those who govern us and that our vote is a wasted vote.

Under this outdated FPTP system tonight 62 % of voters in North Thanet are “winners” today as opposed to 38 % of “losers”.

Sir Roger, As I congratulate you on your success this evening, I call upon you as a one nation Conservative to take us all with you in your mind every time you walk into the House of Commons:

Keep the homeless people in Thanet in your mind, Keep the Teachers and Nurses in Thanet struggling every day to look after their charges in cash strapped schools and hospitals in your mind.  And keep both the Leave and Remain voters in your mind as you bear the responsibility for negotiating on our behalf the future relationship we have with the European Union.

 Angie Curwen, Liberal Democrats Candidate for North Thanet 2019

What Boris Johnson would do to Britain

Together we can stop Boris and stop Brexit.

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’re not 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.

In stark contrast to the Boris Johnson’s plans, Lib Dem policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty by 2023-2024.

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.

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.  

Our commitment to reducing child poverty

Lib Dem policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty

The Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank, has released a report on child poverty. You can find this here.

It found that our policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty by 2023-24.

This makes ours the most progressive policies of the three main parties. That’s not all the report found. 

Child poverty risks reaching a record high under Conservative plans. 

It is a damning indictment of the Tories’ heartless welfare policy.

As the Resolution Foundation recognises, Lib Dems have the most progressive policies here. We would scrap the cruel two-child limit, benefit cap and bedroom tax. We would also invest in free school meals and childcare for millions of families.

We will ensure that everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.

The Tories are hell-bent on continuing their backwards economic policies. They are ruining the lives of millions of people, young and old.

Our manifesto helps the most vulnerable in our society. 

We are deeply proud of that fact.

We are the only party that is committed to helping the next generation get ahead in life.

Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future for those struggling in our society.

The Problem With Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to win a majority because he simply does not care about Britain or her people enough to be truthful. About anything.

When Jo Swinson meets children and teenagers in schools, they often ask her what you need to be good at to become a politician.

And her answer is always this:

Being able to write a press release and understand legislation is important for the job. But you can learn all of that.

What matters the most – and is almost impossible to learn – is caring.

Caring about the people in your community and in your country, so that your decisions are based on what you genuinely believe to be best for them.

Boris Johnson only cares about Boris Johnson.

And he will do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to get what he wants.

This is a man who decided which side to support in the EU referendum by game-playing whether it would get him the keys to Number 10.

His life has been about becoming Prime Minister. Not out of some deep-seated desire to make people’s lives better, but out of some sense of Etonian entitlement. Because it’s what people like him get to do.

And you cannot trust a word Boris Johnson says – the man will say anything if it means getting what he wants.

Boris Johnson’s Lies

He lied to the 3 million EU citizens in the UK when he told them he would guarantee their right to stay.

He lied when he said that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea.

He lied to the Queen to unlawfully shut down our democracy.

He lied when he said over and over that we would leave the European Union by 31 October.

He lied when he said he would rather be dead in a ditch than ask for an extension to Article 50.

There may not be a ditch, but Boris Johnson has dragged the office of Prime Minister through the mud.

Johnson cannot be allowed to win a majority.

We have a different vision for our country. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that will build a fair, open society for both our generation and the next.

We are the only party that can win seats off Johnson and Farage’s hard-right cabal.

Together, we can prevent a damaging Tory majority.

Together, we can build a brighter future.

Lib Dems’ commitment to protecting marine life

The Lib Dems will expand the vital ‘Blue Belt’ network

Our marine environment is in crisis. Programmes such as the BBC’s Blue Planet II have revealed the scale of the threat.

The world’s beloved marine species, like whales and turtles, face numerous threats. Plastic pollution, over-fishing, high volumes of shipping traffic, and rising temperatures are but a few.

We must act now to ensure that our global ocean thrives for future generations to enjoy.

Over the next Parliament, we will expand the ‘Blue Belt’ of Marine Protected areas. By 2030, this will cover at least 50% of the UK’s territorial waters. This includes overseas territories.

This policy will ensure better regulation of commercial activities, such as fishing. It will also protect biodiversity in key habitats through effective monitoring.

We will also protect and restore England’s lakes, rivers, and wetlands. We will reform water management and introduce higher water efficiency standards.

Plastic pollution is a major threat to the marine environment.

To tackle this issue, we will introduce a Zero-Waste and Resource Efficiency Act. This will encourage the transition towards a circular economy in the UK.

We will put the UK at the heart of global efforts to protect our marine environment.

This is at the heart of our plan to build a brighter future.

Lib Dems: Johnson’s immigration crackdown is straight out of Farage’s playbook

Responding to the Conservative Party’s plans for an immigration crackdown, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Christine Jardine said:

“Boris Johnson is demonising the EU nationals who contribute so much to our NHS, social care and economy. This dog-whistle politics is straight out of Nigel Farage or Donald Trump’s playbook.

“Conservative plans to end free movement would mean fewer EU nurses and care workers, and fewer opportunities for UK citizens to move abroad.

“Neither Johnson or Corbyn are standing up for free movement and for the millions of EU nationals who are our friends, colleagues and neighbours. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Boris, stop Brexit and build a brighter future for the country.”

Angie Curwen, Liberal Democrats Candidate for North Thanet said:

“Like many long-serving Conservative politicians, including Ken Clarke and Lord Heseltine, I am angry that our Government has made political capital and whipped up hatred, playing on the day to day struggles in peoples’ lives, demonizing the EU and blaming all our woes on this relationship, reminiscent of much darker times in our history.  And I am truly sad that our MP, Sir Roger Gale has not followed their lead.”

“If, like me, you are angry about this, vote for me on Thursday 12th December to show you do not support the hostile environment the Conservative Government are creating for EU nationals.”

Our plan to end rough sleeping

No one should be forced to sleep on the streets. Yet every night, 5,000 people sleep rough across the UK.

More than 700 people die while homeless each year. It is the most shameful example of the failure of our housing and welfare systems.

The Conservatives just don’t seem to care. They are sitting on their hands, failing to protect the most vulnerable people in society.

Number Of People Sleeping Rough Has Increased Under Tory Rule

The latest government figures show that, under the Conservatives, the number of rough sleepers in England on a single night has risen by 31% since 2015, to 4,677.

Tories Have Criminalised Homelessness

In 2018, 1,320 people were prosecuted under the Vagrancy Act, according to the homelessness charity Crisis.

Tories have failed to build enough social housing.

Tories have failed to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, despite the evidence that they causes homelessness… and despite promising to do so in April.

Tories blocked Liberal Democrat efforts to repeal the Vagrancy Act…

…a nasty, Dickensian law that criminalises people just for sleeping rough.

Tories Have Increased Poverty For British Citizens

They have made poverty worse by freezing benefits in 2015 and introducing the cruel two-child limit in 2017.

Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by ending rough sleeping within five years.

The other parties pay lip service to this goal, but only the Liberal Democrats have a clear and credible plan to actually achieve it.

We will:

  • Scrap the Vagrancy Act
  • Introduce a ‘somewhere safe to stay’ duty on local authorities to provide immediate emergency accommodation
  • Abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions
  • Increase Local Housing Allowance payments
  • Provide accommodation and support for survivors of domestic abuse
  • Extend the ‘move on’ period for refugees from 28 days to 56

Through this plan we will build a brighter future, ending rough sleeping within five years, and ensuring that everyone has a decent home so they can live with dignity.

Find out more about our plan to end rough sleeping here.

Liberal Democrats launch Plan for Business including £17bn research fund

  • Liberal Democrat Shadow Business Secretary Sam Gyimah will today give a major speech to business leaders in London to launch the party’s plan for businesses. 
  • He will set out why the Liberal Democrats are now the “natural party of business,” with a clear plan to boost innovation and stop the economic damage caused by Brexit. 
  • Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have yet published their specific plans for business during this campaign. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has criticised both main parties for pursuing policies that are “not credible”, concluding that economic growth would be fastest under the Liberal Democrats due to their commitment to stop Brexit. 
  • The Liberal Democrat plans include a £17 billion research and development fund over the next five years to secure the UK’s position as a “global research powerhouse”. The funding will be used to leverage private investment and ensure that national spending on research and development reaches 3% of GDP as soon as possible.  The additional funding would come out of a £130 billion capital investment fund that would also support vital infrastructure projects across the country. This forms part of a series of proposals to boost innovation and growth across the UK economy including: 
  • Stopping Brexit to maintain access to skilled workers and research funding from the EU
  • Working with European neighbours to ensure tech giants and other multinationals pay their fair share of taxes, so up-and-coming entrepreneurs have a chance to compete
  • Increasing the British Business Bank’s support for venture capital funds to support UK digital start-ups
  • Increasing investment in the Strength in Places Fund, to boost innovation and economic growth in areas outside of London and the South East
  • Setting up creative enterprise zones to grow the cultural output of areas across the UK

5 things Lib Dems will do to build a brighter future for young people

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 is the only party that can win seats from both the Conservatives and Labour, so that we can stop Boris Johnson, stop Brexit, and build a brighter future for our children.

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