Reacting to news that legislation for a General Election has passed the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat candidate for Harrow East, Adam Bernard said:
There was never going to be a great time for this election. But with the Brexit clock now ticking down to the end of January, we need to stop the chaos and remove Boris Johnson from power.
We look forward to a campaign fought on the vital issues that affect the future of all of us in Harrow.
Brexit — whether Johnson-flavoured or Corbyn-flavoured — risks isolating us as a nation, devastating our small businesses, ruining our public services, and making everyone poorer; it must be stopped. The climate crisis needs urgent action if the next generation is to have a future they can look forward to. And public services are creaking at the seams.
The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit; immediately start the process of making the UK carbon-neutral; and fund the NHS and local councils properly as we all deserve. There is an appetite for a party that embraces immigrants and celebrates their contributions; that holds that there is no contradiction in opposing both antisemitism and Islamophobia; that wants to help everyone, whatever their background, achieve their ambitions.
Our challenge is to make sure that everyone knows that we can win. In the European elections in May, the Lib Dems came first in London, and a close second in Harrow. Thousands of formerly lifelong Labour voters and lifelong Conservative voters have switched to supporting us. We can do this.
Last night in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised the Supreme Court judgement using inflammatory language, such as “betrayal” and “surrender”.
Today at Liberal Democrat conference, party members passed a motion that commits the party to revoking Article 50 in the event of a Liberal Democrat majority government.
"This motion sends a very clear message," commented Lisa-Maria Bornemann, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Harrow West. "A majority Liberal Democrat government will be a mandate to revoke Article 50. At the next general election, a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stay in the EU."
Adam Bernard, candidate for Harrow East, added: "In 2016, the people of Harrow voted to remain in the EU. In May's EU elections, the Liberal Democrats came first in London, and a close second in Harrow. We are the obvious choice for all those who just want an end to this divisive and destructive Brexit farce".
Responding to reports that North-West London GPs have been asked to consider a range of measures designed to cut costs by rationing referrals to specialists for treatments, Adam Bernard, Liberal Democrat candidate for Harrow East, said:
"We understand that the NHS here is under a lot of pressure, but we are concerned by these proposed restrictions. It is important that all patients can get the specialist care they need. The Liberal Democrats would put 1p on income tax to better fund the NHS and social care."
On Sunday, 22nd September, Harrow Liberal Democrats are holding a drop-in session at Costa Coffee in Wealdstone (112-114 High St, HA3 7AJ ). Residents are welcome any time between 11am and 1pm to chat with Lisa-Maria Bornemann and Adam Bernard, the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidates for Harrow West and Harrow East.
Walk-in services at Belmont Health Centre could be cut completely, under plans by Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group.
Adam Bernard, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Harrow East said: “The plan seems to be that Harrow CCG will save money by forcing many people to seek treatment elsewhere. That might be good accountancy but it doesn't seem likely to be good for patients.”
Liberal Democrats gathered in York for their Spring Conference over the weekend of 16th and 17th March.
Adam Bernard, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Harrow East, spoke during a debate on revitalising town centres. He highlighted the situation in Stanmore town centre where the last pub closed three years ago. He stressed the importance of pubs and similar venues as social gathering places and community hubs. Dr Bernard also drew attention to the challenges faced by independent businesses in Harrow trying to cope with high rents, high rates, and competition with large chains.
The party's policy now calls for bold action to ensure town centres thrive in an increasingly digital economy, including: boosting support for local entrepreneurs; reforming local planning laws; developing local asset registers; reforming the system of business rates; and creating a new industry-led body to help brick-and-mortar retailers.
In a debate on eradicating racial inequality, Lisa-Maria Bornemann, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Harrow West, held up Harrow as an example of a borough fortunate to have incredible diversity among its residents. Ms Bornemann emphasised the importance of celebrating — and not merely tolerating —the many cultures and backgrounds of the people who have their home here.
The party's motion recognised that the UK has a long way to go in tackling institutional racism within systems such as criminal justice and mental health. It proposed a number of measures to address the problem, such as ending the hostile environment; providing prompt reparations in cases of miscarriage of justice; exposing and confronting the stereotyping in the media that leads to hate crime; and introducing "name-blind" processes for larger publicly-funded bodies.
An emergency motion was passed calling for urgent action to tackle knife crime by providing funding and support for youth services — in addition to the party's existing calls for more and better policing.
In a separate debate, the party called for the Government to revoke Article 50 if no Brexit deal can be agreed a week before departure date. In 2016, Harrow voted decisively to remain in the European Union.
Harrow residents recently have had a leaflet through their doors about the proposed flight path alterations for flights to and from Heathrow.
Harrow Liberal Democrats, who have long warned of the noise and pollution impact in Harrow of the proposed Heathrow expansion, welcome the consultation and encourage all Harrow residents to reply.
Responding to the release of Government statistics which show a 12% rise in knife crime, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:
“The Tories always tell us that the Government’s first duty is to keep people safe. On their own terms, they are failing.
“Unnecessary Conservative police cuts have left fewer officers on our streets and made communities less safe. The Home Office’s own analysis shows that police cuts have likely contributed to the rise in serious violent crime, yet the Conservatives continue to squeeze forces’ budgets.
“The Liberal Democrats demand better for our communities and our police. We will end the Conservative cuts and invest an extra £300 million a year to recruit more officers, boost community policing and reverse the rise in serious violence.”