In other news… Michael Brown extradited, unpaid party internships, Jo Swinson for cabinet? & other stories
by Stephen Tall on April 24, 2012
Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…
Convicted fraudster and former Lib Dem donor Michael Brown is facing a hearing in Spain for extradition to the UK. He was flown to Madrid on Saturday to be handed to UK officials after being arrested in the Dominican Republic. In 2008 Brown, who had gone on the run to the Dominican Republic from the UK, was jailed in his absence for seven years for stealing £36m from clients after posing as a bond dealer. Brown, 46, donated £2.4m to the Lib Dems before the 2005 general election.
You can read LibDemVoice’s archive of Michael Brown stories here.
Graduates are being encouraged to apply for internships with the Liberal Democrats paying just £5 a day. The positions are being advertised on the party’s website as “voluntary” with no set contract, hours or tasks. Labour MP Stella Creasy has criticised leader Nick Clegg over the adverts after he previously pledged interns would be given “proper remuneration”. A Liberal Democrat spokesman said it was still the party’s aim to pay interns a “full wage” in the future.
Is this the next Lib Dem Cabinet minister? (Independent)
Step forward Jo Swinson, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, who has the triple credentials of being Scottish/ female/ media friendly. One of the party’s best performers on TV, it is thought she would use a Cabinet position to range across the piste. She has made a big impact on campaigns including body image, airbrushing and excess packaging. She is also Clegg’s PPS, giving her the chance to experience coalition close-up.
Lib Dems set to push for more funds to retain students (The Guardian)
Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat MP and government advocate for access to education, is preparing to lobby the government for additional money if evidence proves that the decision to withdraw the educational maintenance allowance is having a negative impact. The move suggests the Lib Dems are concerned at the possible effect on student retention of the government decision to withdraw the weekly allowance of up to £30 for 16- to 19-year-olds at a time of unprecedented youth unemployment.
Going viral today, a splendid website devoted to the Lib Dems – and their little-remarked fondness for pointing. Yes, you read correctly: Libdemspointing.co.uk has scoured the country for photos of Lib Dem councillors, candidates or campaigners pointing at things they don’t like.
Red-faced Crawley Liberal Democrats miss election deadline (ThisIsSussex)
NOT a single Liberal Democrat candidate will be standing at next month’s local elections – after the party missed the deadline for applications. Residents will be voting in councillors in 13 of the borough’s 15 wards on May 3. … However, when they head to the polling stations they won’t have any Lib Dems to choose from, as potential candidates weren’t able to prove they were members of the party in time. The Crawley branch of the party had been hoping to field candidates in Tilgate and Langley Green. But Morwen Millson, Liberal Democrat leader for West Sussex, said: “It is one of those irritating things because this is all down to a clerical error.”
Lawyers for Chris Huhne’s partner Carina Trimingham on Monday accused the Daily Mail at the high court in London of a “cataclysmic interference” with her private life. Trimingham – the 44-year-old public relations adviser whose affair with the Lib Dem former energy secretary became public in June 2010, with Huhne leaving his wife of 26 years – is seeking damages from Associated Newspapers for misuse of private information and harassment. She is also seeking an injunction over 65 “highly unpleasant and hurtful” articles that have appeared since then.