Tim Farron's response to David Cameron's conference speech


“The Prime Minister’s apparent 11th hour conversion to social justice is welcome but it will fool no one.

“If you want to understand this Tory Government you have to look at what they have done and not the promises of a seasoned PR man.

“This, after all, is from a Government that has already scrapped the child poverty target, demonised refugees, cut benefits for asylum seekers and slashed housing benefit for large families.

“It is the most extraordinary chutzpah for Mr Cameron to claim to be a poverty champion at the same time he is picking the pockets of the very poorest workers by slashing their tax credits.

“The Prime Minister might spin a decent line about prison reform too but this is from a party that banned prisoners’ reading books.

“And if he was really concerned about racial discrimination he would publicly denounce his Home Secretary’s shameful attack on immigrants yesterday.

“The Liberal Democrats welcome the Prime Minister’s change of tone but it has to be backed up by actions – not just easy words.”

Housing

“At last Cameron has woken up to the crisis under his nose and started talking about the lack of affordable housing.

“Liberal Democrats have long been calling for swift and serious action to tackle the national housing emergency.

“But typically the Conservative focus is on helping the few not the many. They seem only interested in helping better off renters and not the 1.6 million people on waiting lists for a home of any sort.

“Starter homes may sound promising but this announcement will only make a dent in the housing crisis and we must do much more.”

 

EU Referendum

“It is high-time David Cameron comes clean about his much-vaunted and vague renegotiation package.

“Just a day after two Tory Big Beasts slated EU ‘freedom of movement’ the Prime Minister failed to say whether he would lobby to restrict it.

“We are a modern, free, prosperous country, respected the world over and this is Britain’s time to lead the EU – not runaway.

“David Cameron is clearly too scared of his own party to make the case for the EU and too scared of the public to set out what he wants to achieve in his renegotiations.

“The Liberal Democrats are clear – we are the only party that will fight whole-heartedly to stay in Europe.”

Trident

“Cameron’s position on Trident is more about Jeremy Corbyn and less about what Britain needs to keep itself safe.

“Britain needs to step down the nuclear ladder and end the unnecessary 24-hour nuclear patrols of the high seas which are designed to meet a Cold War threat that no longer exists.

“A like-for-like replacement is not only a waste of money but is simply not fit for the crises of the modern world.”


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