• Vince Cable has branded the Government's sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB), which was completed today, as "environmentally irresponsible." The Government confirmed today Macquarie Group Limited has now completed its purchase of the GIB for £2.3bn, which will now be known as the Green Investment Group (GIG). The Liberal Democrat Leader, who launched the Bank in 2012 during his time as Business Secretary, warned its environmental mission is now "in danger of disappearing" and called for Parliament to ensure commitments to protect green investment in the UK are kept. Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable commented: "Selling off the Green Investment Bank is environmentally irresponsible and risks setting the UK back years in its efforts to tackle climate change. "The Bank has done an extremely good job in supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon projects. It has managed to attract over £10bn of private investment in these sectors that would not otherwise have happened. "At a time when business confidence is falling and the Conservatives are giving mixed signals on their commitment to the environment, this is the worst time to undermine investment in the green economy. "The Green Investment Bank's environmental mission is in danger of disappearing under the ownership of a private Australian bank whose track record does not inspire confidence. "Sadly, this is another of the positive legacies of the Liberal Democrats in government that the Conservatives are now burying. "Parliament must ensure that commitments to protect the Bank's green objectives are fully honoured in both spirit and letter."

    7 hours ago

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    The number of patients suffering the indignity of staying in mixed-sex wards soared to 908 in July 2017, more than double the number in the same month last year. In total over 9,000 patients were put in a mixed sex ward over the last year, up 55% from the previous year. The figures come after a recent official survey found NHS patients are increasingly dissatisfied with levels of privacy, dignity and well-being in hospital. The Liberal Democrats have called on Theresa May to recommit to ending mixed-sex hospital wards, after the Conservative Party's longstanding pledge to end the practice was dropped from its 2017 Manifesto. Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb commented: “Under Theresa May’s watch, we've seen a scandalous rise in the number of patients being forced to stay in mixed-sex wards. "Men and women shouldn't have to share hospital wards, it’s an affront to basic human dignity. "It's time to end the the continued underfunding of the NHS and care that is putting intolerable pressure on services and leading to these sorts of failures. “The Conservatives once pledged to end mixed-sex wards, now it seems they've given up. "The Government must recommit to closing mixed-sex wards instead of turning a blind eye."

    24 hours ago

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    The Liberal Democrats have said the government's plan for the Northern Ireland border after Brexit has "more holes in it than a colander." It comes after the government admitted EU nationals will still be able to enter the UK from Ireland after Brexit under its plans. Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Ed Davey commented: "This plan has more holes in it than a colander. "The Brexiteers claimed it was worth damaging the UK economy to reclaim control of our borders, now we're told even this isn't going to happen. "The Conservatives are finally admitting that there are ways to control free movement by making reforms to our labour market and social security. "That raises the question, why are they still planning to damage jobs and living standards by leaving the Single Market? "Instead of this half-way house that will satisfy no-one, the Conservatives should protect the economy by keeping Britain in the Single Market and Customs Union." The government's position paper on Ireland and Northern Ireland states that "it is important to note that immigration controls are not, and never have been, solely about the ability to prevent and control entry at the UK’s physical border."

    2 days ago

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