We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Welcome to the web site of Baroness Joan Walmsley

Baroness Walmsley is a Liberal Democrat Peer and is Co-Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrat Peers.

Recent updates

  • Article: May 4, 2018

    On Thursday, England went to the polls in the local elections - and going in the pundits weren't exactly predicting a great night for us:

  • A pile of Liberal Democrat posters. Window posters mind. Not the really good ones.
    Article: May 4, 2018

    Firstly, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard in these elections.

    Whether you got the result you hoped for or not; you have done a fantastic job. Thank you.

    So far it looks like we're on course for a great set of results.

    We've defended our Councils in Eastleigh, Cheltenham and Sutton. We have also pulled off a spectacular victory in taking control of Richmond.

    We've made gains in Hull, Liverpool, Sunderland, Gosport, West Oxfordshire, Cambridge, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Winchester and St Albans. We've held our ground in places like Southwark.

  • A pen marking an X in a box.
    Article: May 3, 2018
    By Greg Foster

    All over England, people are voting Liberal Democrat today - because they know they'll get Councillors who will champion quality social care, strong local schools, and well-funded services.

    And - even better, thousands of people have been tweeting to say why they're voting for their local Lib Dem candidates - here are a few of our favourites:

  • The flags of EU countries flying.
    Article: May 1, 2018

    What was the amendment on Monday evening?

    Amendment 50 of the EU Withdrawal Bill Report Stage in the House of Lords put the option of the public final say on the deal before the House of Commons. This would include an extension of Article 50 so that there would be time for the vote to be held before the UK is due to leave the EU.

  • The House of Lords. Image: UK Parliament
    Article: May 1, 2018
    By Richard Newby

    Yesterday evening just a handful of votes stopped us from giving the British public the final say on the Brexit deal.

    If the Labour leadership had voted with us last night, the amendment would have passed. But they didn't.

    On this key issue, the Labour party has gone missing in action.

    At the outset of our campaign, few believed we would get this close. But the momentum is now with us.

  • Article: Apr 25, 2018

    Upskirting is the act of taking a photo up a woman's skirt without her consent.

    In 2009 it was made illegal in Scotland but shockingly it remains legal in England and Wales.

    Authorities can ask a perpetrator to delete the photo but under current law no further prosecution is possible.

    Police have managed to prosecute some people for upskirting for outraging public decency. But this is patently absurd as it should not matter how public it was or who else saw it. This also ignores the fact this is a crime with a victim.

  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: Apr 23, 2018

    In the face of further defeats on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, and following further pressure from Peers across the House of Lords, the government has brought forward amendments to ensure that the UK still has the ability to refer to and apply EU guidance for legal matters in our courts going forwards.

  • The House of Lords. Image: UK Parliament
    Article: Apr 23, 2018

    Liberal Democrats have voted with a majority of cross-party Peers in the House of Lords to inflict another defeat on the government.

    An amendment to retain the Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law was successfully moved and is the third defeat for the government in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Lords at Report Stage.

    The Charter of Fundamental Rights has been a key component of EU law since 2000 and has set the bar on civil, political, social and economic rights.

    The UK's continued use of this piece of legislation shows the rest of the world that we are still committed to the highest standards on human rights and the principles of the Charter going forward.

  • A pile of leaflets to be delivered in a Liberal Democrat Office
    Article: Apr 20, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats won two of the council by-elections that were held last night (with one still to declare!), gaining two seats from the Conservatives!

    The Liberal Democrats, under Vince Cable, are winning seats up and down the country and against all opposition - because people know when they elect Liberal Democrats, they're electing someone who'll get things done for their community!

  • Vince Cable in Twickenham
    Article: Apr 19, 2018

    He criticised the effective monopolies enjoyed by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon - comparing their market dominance to that of big oil companies in the past - and suggested ways they could be broken up.

    "Data is the new oil. Data is the raw material which drives these firms and it is control of data which gives them an advantage over competitors. These companies have acquired their pivotal position by providing a service or platform through which data can be extracted, collected and used.

    Just as Standard Oil once cornered 85% of the refined oil market, today Google drives 89% of internet search, 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook product, Amazon accounts for 75% of E-book sales, while Google and Apple combined provide 99% of mobile operating systems.

    National government and, even more so, supranational bodies like the EU can and should look to break up enterprises where size is detrimental to the economic well-being of the country, its citizens and its capacity for innovation.

    There is a case for splitting Amazon into three separate businesses - one offering cloud computing, one acting as a general retailer and one offering a third-party marketplace. Other examples would be Facebook being forced to divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp as a condition for operating in the EU, creating two new social media networks. Divesting Google of YouTube would be another.

    What is striking that the most effective competition authority in the capitalist world - the European Commission - is probably the only body with the clout to take these decisions. The UK could quite obviously never do it alone.

    Britain commits an act of serious self-harm by doggedly setting itself apart from the power of shared sovereignty with our neighbours.