Quote of the day
No, I don’t forgive David Cameron for calling the referendum. I think so much of the problems we are facing right now stem from David Cameron’s shocking misjudgment in putting the interests of the Conservative party in front of the national interest.”
Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem leader, at a Q&A session with conference delegates
Debate of the day
To revoke or not revoke? A motion on Europe contained a policy committing the party to unilaterally revoke Brexit, without a referendum, if it won a majority in the next general election.
This caused a fairly robust debate in the hall, with some delegates, among them the party veteran and former MP Simon Hughes, arguing it risked pushing the Lib Dems towards a core remain appeal, which might go down well in some cities but would not win new votes elsewhere.
But proponents said it would distinguish the party’s Brexit policy from Labour and would only happen with the democratic endorsement of an election win. The unspoken subtext was that not even die-hard Lib Dems believe they will win a Commons majority, so it is primarily an election ruse. The motion thus passed overwhelmingly.
Speech of the day
Former leader Vince Cable cheered the faithful with a rousing speech that covered everything from being mistaken for a TV weatherman by a hen party while on a trip to Gibraltar, to comparing Boris Johnson to the briefly reigning 1st-century Roman emperor Galba – with a punchline delivered in Latin.
Tweet of the day
New recruit Sam Gyimah defended his role as a Conservative minister in blocking a backbench bill to retrospectively wipe the criminal records of gay men convicted over now-repealed laws, which has prompted some criticism.Sam Gyimah MP (@SamGyimah)
On my role in the Turing Bill. I’m proud to have been the Minister who got it onto the Statute book with full cross-party support. Unfortunate that in the process had to stop a flawed bill that would have created an unjust law. Love is love. https://t.co/WzZjX9NLyOSeptember 15, 2019
The main speeches to come on Monday are from another new recruit, Chuka Umunna, and from Ed Davey, the party’s deputy leader and Treasury spokesman, who lost out to Swinson in the leadership election. The conference floor will also debate tackling the climate emergency, an increasingly important issue for the Lib Dems.