Liberal Democrats

Government's shake-up of planning rules criticised in Cumbria

Concerns are being raised in Cumbria that the government's shake-up of planning rules are a "one-size-fits-all" approach, which isn't right for the county.

Street in Cumbria
BBC

Under the plans, planning permission would be granted automatically for areas that had been ear marked for growth - and this would create thousands of jobs, according to the government.

But South Lakeland District Council has told BBC Radio Cumbria that although such developments may work for areas with brown-field sites, there are relatively few of them in the county.

I'm concerned that we're going to lose the flexibility that we need to enable a development of sustainable and balanced communities. The application of one-size-fits-all policy... is not the right way to go."

Liberal democrat councillor Jonathan BrookDeputy leader, South Lakeland District Council

MP Farron under more pressure over 'faith' company

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron is still under pressure from within the Liberal Democrat party over the connection between his faith and politics.

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP says he set up a company called Faith in Public in 2018, to support his work with the homeless, refugees and faith in politics.

Tim Farron in House
BBC

At the weekend a national newspaper said a director of Faith in Public had expressed support for a controversial practice called "gay conversion therapy".

Tim Farron has distanced himself from these views, and says he sets the policies of Faith in Public, but Charley Hasted from the Liberal Democrats' LGBT Plus group has concerns.

It's nothing to do with Tim's own Christianity, his own faith, it's the fact that he's accepting money from from an organisation where we have no way or working out what their policy stances are, what are they advising him on?"

Charley Hasted

Former Lib Dem president Baroness Maddock dies at home in Berwick

Liberal Democrat peer and former MP Baroness Diana Maddock has died at the age of 75, the party has confirmed.

She died at her home in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, following a short illness.

Baroness Maddock was MP for Christchurch between 1993 and 1997 and also served as Lib Dem president from 1998 to 2000.

Appointed to the Lords following her election defeat in 1997, she most recently acted as deputy chief whip for the party's group in the upper chamber.

She had been treated successfully for breast cancer twice, continuing her work in the House of Lords throughout, but she was informed in the spring that the cancer had returned.

Acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said: "It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Diana Maddock.

"Diana helped shape the heart of the Liberal Democrat Party.

She is survived by her two daughters from her first marriage, Anna and Becki, along with husband and fellow peer Lord Alan Beith, formerly the MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed for more than 40 years.

Baroness Diana Maddock
Liberal Democrats

Former Lib Dem president and MP Baroness Diana Maddock dies

Liberal Democrat peer and former MP Baroness Diana Maddock has died at the age of 75, the party has confirmed.

Baroness Maddock
BBC

Baroness Maddock was MP for Christchurch between 1993 and 1997 and also served as Lib Dem president from 1998 to 2000.

She had been treated successfully for breast cancer twice but was told in the spring the cancer had returned. She died at her home in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland.

Acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said she "helped shape the heart" of the party.

The former teacher was elected to Southampton City Council in 1984 and became leader of the Liberal group.

She successfully contested the seat of Christchurch in Dorset in 1993.

During her time in the House of Commons, she also drove through a private members' bill which became the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995.

She is survived by her husband and fellow peer Lord Alan Beith, formerly the MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed for more than 40 years.