Lib Dem Conference: 4 key points from Tim Farron’s speech

Nathanael Williams

In a speech at the Liberal Democrat conference, Tim Farron pitches himself as the heir to Blair

TIM FARRON, leader of the Liberal Democrats spoke to the party conference yesterday outlining what he said were the reasons for the party being a viable option for voters at the next UK election.

He also made a point of suggesting that the party was now an alternative for Labour voters unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the struggle for control of the Labour Party.

In this list we break down the points and themes in his speech.

On Blair: "I prefer his early work".

Tim Farron praised Tony Blair and some of the former prime minister’s early policies and positions and suggested that Labour had "left the stage" under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Farron also said that even though he opposed Tony Blair on the Iraq War, 48 day detention and ID cards, he admired his action on NHS investment and the national minimum wage.

He made a pitch to "moderate" Labour voters that he said should join the Lib Dems because of Brexit and a prospective permanent Tory majority citing his party's "bolder" commitment to Europe. 

On Refugee Crisis

In his speech to the the party’s annual conference, the Lib Dem leader said the Conservative UK government’s attitude towards refugees made him "ashamed".

Farron on refugees, said: "When I was on the island of Lesbos last year, after we’d helped to land a flimsy boat of desperate refugees, I was handing out bottles of fresh water.

"And a few yards away was an aid worker from New Zealand, who knew that I was a British politician.

"She looked at me and shouted, 'stop handing out bottles of water and take some f***ing refugees.'"

On the NHS

The Lib Dem leader confirmed that he would raise taxes to fund the deficit in the NHS in England and Wales saying, "the hard truth is that the NHS needs more money – a lot more money, not just to stop it lurching from crisis to crisis but so that it can meet the needs and the challenges it will face in the years ahead."

Additionally the party brought together a panel of experts and senior doctors to examine the case for a "dedicated NHS and care tax".

Farron also proposed a National Health and Care Service to help with what he termed the "impending crisis of age and dignity in care."

On Europe

In a constant theme of the Lib Dem conference, Farron called for another EU referendum but at the same time insisted that he respected the Brexit result.

As well as been outlined in the speech, the party as a whole also endorsed a proposal for a referendum to be held on the negotiated terms of any Brexit deal, with an option to remaining in the EU being on the ballot. 

Picture courtesy of Liberal Democrats

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