LIBERAL DEMOCRATS DEMAND ANSWERS ON IRAQ

Almost twelve years after the Labour government followed American President George Bush to war in Iraq, and more than five years after the inquiry was set up into how it happened, what went wrong and what lessons we need to learn, we are still waiting to hear the official report.

Today we learn that the outcome of the Chilcot inquiry is to be delayed yet again, with no prospect of publication before the General Election in May.

The illegal invasion of Iraq was based on false claims of weapons of mass destruction – the infamous 'sexed up' dossier – and led to the deaths of many thousands of people, unleashing chaos, suffering and abuse across the region. And we are still reaping the consequences today, with the rise of fanatical terrorists in Iraq and attacks in Paris only this month.

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today written to Sir John Chilcot calling for a firm date for publication, and warning that the public will assume the report is being 'sexed down'.

The first step to healing has got to be admitting when we were wrong. We cannot afford to avoid accountability for what this country did, or allow those responsible to duck the blame.

The Liberal Democrats stood up to say "No!" to the illegal invasion of Iraq then, and we stand up again now to say the British people need to hear some answers.

If you agree, please sign our petition:

http://change.libdems.org.uk/chilcot

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MILLIONS STAND UP FOR FREE SPEECH

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has spoken of the "striking dignity" of millions of people standing together in France and around the World in support of Free Speech and against terrorism.

The Deputy Prime Minister and his wife Miriam González Durántez joined the French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann for the vigil in Trafalgar Square.

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(Picture via the @nick_clegg Twitter account: https://twitter.com/nick_clegg/status/554358389938331648/photo/1)

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Liberal Democrats are the party of putting national interests first

Following his first press conference of the year, Nick Clegg has today (January 5) recorded this message stating that Liberal Democrats will put national interests first in a way that is fair for all.

You can watch Nick's message below.

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Statement on commissioners at Tower Hamlets Council

We hope that the arrival of Sir Ken Knight and Max Caller at Tower Hamlets Council will bring transparency for local residents. As famously said "Sunlight is the best disinfectant".

For too long the reasons behind some of the decisions made by the Mayor and his Cabinet have been shrouded in secrecy. We look forward to seeing changes made to how the Council currently works so that a culture of clarity and accountability can be built and become the norm at Tower Hamlets, after multiple failures by successive administrations.

We’re disappointed that bringing commissioners into the local council has become necessary, and that this cost will be passed onto local residents. We hope that the Mayor and his Cabinet will work with the Commissioners so that they are able to work quickly and reduce the cost to local residents.

We’re optimistic that the Commissioners will make necessary changes to the Council that will benefit local residents and ensure we all get value for money from the decisions made by the Mayor and Council.

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AGM news

This year's AGM opened with talks from two speakers, Marisha Ray and Austin Rathe, and also saw the Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrat Executive for 2015 elected.

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Over 5,000 new apprenticeships in Tower Hamlets

Liberal Democrats have helped 1.8 million apprentices across the country start training since 2010. That's the biggest expansion in apprentices since the 1950s.

Thanks to the work of Liberal Democrats in Government there are now 5,610 young people in apprenticeships across Tower Hamlets, with 90 local businesses receiving government grants for each unemployed young person employed as an apprentice.

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Investing in our children's future since 2010

With Liberal Democrats in Government, children and young people in Tower Hamlets have benefitted from over £70 million in additional funding for education through the Pupil Premium.

Pupil Premium funding is targeted at pupils that need the most help. It enables local schools to pay for the additional resources these pupils need. This can be extra teaching assistants, special equipment or training to give pupils the best start in life.

To see how much money your local school has received, please use the link below:

http://www.libdems.org.uk/pupil_premium

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Local Party AGM

The local party's Annual General Meeting will elect a new Executive committee for Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats, and will take place on 20 November.

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