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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: Jan 30, 2019

    Brexit latest

    In Parliament last night there were lots of heads shaking in bemusement. The Commons gave the government diametrically contradictory instructions to the Prime Minister: no to 'no deal'; then yes to a proposal that will in all likelihood lead to 'no deal'. As we milled around central lobby afterwards, queuing to speak to the TV cameras, I saw MPs claiming victory for two opposite positions. Someone is going to be disappointed.

  • Article: Jan 30, 2019

    The title of this article should be common sense, shouldn't it?

    And yet, between 2014 and 2016 alone, over 3000 people were dragged before the court. Not for doing anything wrong, but for falling foul of a 195-year-old law.

    The 1824 Vagrancy Act was drafted with soldiers coming home from the Napoleonic Wars in mind. It's a cold, archaic relic from a bygone age. I will do everything in my power to ensure it doesn't reach its 200th birthday.

  • Article: Jan 30, 2019

    Last night, MPs passed an amendment to the Prime Minister's motion - the Brady amendment. It actioned Theresa May to go back to the EU and ask them to take the Northern Ireland backstop out of the deal.

    It took the EU six minutes to say no.

    There's only one compromise Theresa May should accept - a people's vote

  • Article: Jan 29, 2019

    Last night, MPs finally got a chance to vote on bringing Parliament into the 21st century by introducing a year-long proxy voting trial. I've been working hard for this change along with MPs from all parties for a long time. This is a welcome - if long overdue - victory.

    Our conventional pairing system is painfully outdated and vulnerable to abuse. Brandon Lewis broke one such arrangement with me on a crucial Brexit bill last year - in fact, he specifically broke the pair only for the two closest and most important votes that day. Worse, afterwards, it emerged that this was deliberate - the Conservative Chief Whip had also asked other MPs to break their pairs (though they had honourably declined to do so).

  • Article: Jan 28, 2019

    So James Dyson has Singapore slinged his hook and moved his company headquarters out of the UK.

    This is perhaps the biggest vote of no confidence from a UK business yet since the referendum result.

    Actions speak louder than words - and this action speaks volumes.

    Actions speak louder than words - and this action speaks volumes.

  • Article: Jan 28, 2019

    This afternoon I delivered our letter to Jeremy Corbyn calling on him to back a people's vote.

    The response to the letter has been astounding - over 31,000 people joined our campaign demanding Jeremy Corbyn stop playing party politics and act in the national interest.

    Many of Jeremy's MPs back a vote, his party membership overwhelmingly do and, most importantly, the public are calling for it too. Yet still he prevaricates.

  • Article: Jan 25, 2019

    17:17: We've had a tipoff that Corbyn's backbone was spotted enjoying a slice of cake and a cuppa in a local cafe...

  • Article: Jan 25, 2019

    The sad passing of Paddy has left a huge dent in our political life. He was a leader, a friend, an adviser and, more than anything else, a man buzzing with vision and ideas. You always knew when Paddy was in the room that a suggestion, a policy, a strategy was not far away. He took our party from an asterisk in the polls to a major force in British politics. Yet he always remained self-effacing, never seeking personal glory, apologetic to anyone he might offend with his ideas.

  • Article: Jan 23, 2019

    Brexit latest

    Following the Prime Minister's crushing defeat, there was a no confidence debate on Wednesday initiated by Labour. This was predictably defeated as Tory and DUP MPs all came dutifully into line. "No to Mr Corbyn". The most memorable bit of the debate (I exclude my own five minutes - the maximum allowed) were the concluding speeches. Tom Watson was excellent: measured and intelligently critical - everything his party leader wasn't. Michael Gove was barnstorming: eloquent, funny (including at my expense) and cruelly hard-hitting against Corbyn. Could we have been witnessing the next Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in action?

  • Article: Jan 21, 2019

    Last Tuesday night Theresa May lost the vote on her Brexit deal by 432 votes to 202. It's the biggest defeat by a Prime Minister in Commons history.

    The next day, Jeremy Corbyn called a no-confidence vote in the Government. It failed.

    Now, Theresa May wants MPs to vote on a deal that's barely different to the one we already rejected.