Below is a summary of the second half of my time at the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth.
On Monday morning (16th), the conference floor debated climate change and biodiversity. The session concluded with a speech by deputy leader and Shadow Chancellor Sir Ed Davey MP, who set out his plan to ‘decarbonise capitalism’ by 2045 – later than the 2025 target of Extinction Rebellion, but costed, unlike the Conservative Party’s 2050 gesture towards carbon neutrality.
Immediately following this session, I attended an education fringe meeting, hosted by Layla Moran MP and former Chief Secretary and education minister David Laws. The fringe was well attended and covered issues such as increased academisation and the state of the pupil premium. Layla Moran spoke well and is clearly very informed and confident about her brief.
Later in the evening, I met up with other members of the Sheffield Liberal Democrats for a meal. Later, we were joined by new MP Angela Smith (formerly Labour Party MP) and the Lib Dem’s new Yorkshire and Humber MEP Shaffaq Mohammed.
Jo Swinson’s speech this afternoon had two objectives. The first was to assert her position as the party’s new leader. Second (and more importantly), she set out why she is a legitimate alternative to Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister. There was a clear focus on the importance of the Union, where Jo Swinson seemed to confirm the party’s primary electoral targets are the SNP in Scotland and the Conservative Party in the south of England.