Willie Rennie Interview: Fracking, women only shortlists and #euref


Scottish Liberal Democrat leader willie Rennie spoke to CommonSpace about a range of issues facing the party at its national conference

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have held their national conference in Edinburgh (26-28), where they voted for policies including an end to the SNP governments moratorium on fracking and all women shorlists to improve the gender representation of Liberal Democrat parliamentarians.

Party leader Willie Rennie spoke to CommonSpace at the conference

They’ve put the police through one traumatic reorganisation, I think the last thing they need is another.”

“What we need is to make the best of what we have, and that means putting democracy back into the police again. That involves giving local authorities the power to decide their own local policing plan “

“Disadvantaged pupils in primary school will get an extra 1,500 invested in their education.”

In secondary school they will get PS900 per head. That’s going to have a phenominal impact, to close the attainment gap and also get them fit for the workplace

The party has decided that local authorities should be able to decided what goes ahead in their communities. I think we shouldn’t be opening up a new front in carbon based fuels because we are trying to tackle climate change, but I think it’s right that local authorities decide.

The top five most winnable seats in the 2020 general election will be allocated for women only shortlists. We’ll have five winnable women in winnable seats.

I personally have committed a huge amount of effort to get this passed by the conference.

Asked if he would stand alongside Scottish party leaders including Conservative Ruth Davidson, Labour’s Kezia Dugdale and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon he said

“I’d stand on a joint platform, signing a joint statement, with any party leader who wants to remain in the European Union. I think if they really believe in the European Union they should be making the case together”