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Lib Dems: EU 'the best way' to have jobs and trade

The European Union (EU) is "the best way" to create jobs and increase trade for Britain, and a senior Liberal Democrat hoped the general public "would understand" Ukip were not worth voting for.

Simon Hughes spoke to Daybreak ahead of the launch of the Liberal Democrat EU election campaign and pointed to their policy of raising the tax threshold to £10,000 as an example of the party's robust record in office.


Lib Dem apologises for failing to declare donations

Simon Hughes apologised to the Commons today. Credit: PA

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes apologised to the Commons today after it was found he failed to properly declare donations in the register of members' interests.

The Standards and Privileges Committee said it found no evidence of attempts to conceal the six donations because they were declared to the Electoral Commission, but said an MP of Mr Hughes's experience should have properly updated Parliament.

Making a personal statement, Mr Hughes said: "I take full responsibility for these failures and apologise unreservedly to the House."

Lib Dems: Thames Water 'paid billions' to shareholders

The Lib Dems deputy leader Simon Hughes has called on the water regulator Ofwat to reject a request from Thames Water to raise their prices to pay for the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Thames Water customers should not be expected to pay a huge amount towards the tunnel, given that in the years immediately before making this request, it had assets of billions of pounds which they have paid in dividends to their shareholders.

– Simon Hughes MP, Lib Dems Deputy Leader

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats confirmed that the party would present an alternative method of paying for the Thames Tideway Tunnel later this month.

Lib Dems: We are doing well in our own territories

Deputy Liberal Democrat leader Simon Hughes has congratulated Labour on their South Shields win.

Deputy Liberal Democrat leader Simon Hughes Credit: David Jones/PA Archive

The Lib Dems came seventh place in the by-election, speaking to Daybreak Mr Hughes said, "the Tories were always the challengers and they've been knocked out by UKIP."

He added: "We appear to be doing well in our territory and not giving that up."


Ex-Lib Dem president 'knew nothing' of Rennard claims

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes, who was the party's president until the end of 2008, denied that he ever knew about the allegations against Lord Rennard.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes. Credit: ITV News

Mr Hughes told ITV News: "I can be categoric, I knew nothing of any allegation made to me over the four years when Lord Rennard was the chief executive. Nothing came to me formally, nothing came to me informally.

"I didn't see inappropriate behaviour and I was not aware of any complaints floating around and I think if they had been made in any specific way, they would have come my way."

Mr Hughes added it was "clear at the time" that Lord Rennard's 2009 resignation from his post as chief executive was down to health reasons.

Oldest Briton enjoys festivities

Shaker Ahmad, Vera Law and Simon Hughes (left to right) with 113-year-old Grace Jones. Credit: PA

Britain's oldest person - 113-year-old Grace Jones - has braved the elements to enjoy her Christmas dinner.

Grace, of Bermondsey, London, went out with pals and neighbours to tuck in to her turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

The supercentenarian wrapped up as temperatures dropped and headed to the lunch organised by Bermondsey Care for the Elderly.

Grace, who became Britain's oldest person in February and celebrated her 113th birthday on December 7, was collected by her friend and local MP Simon Hughes who drove her with neighbours for their special Christmas knees up.

The pensioner is the only person left in the country who started her life in the 19th century and when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Grace, who said she thoroughly enjoyed the jubilee celebrations this year, is set to make another record by going strong into 2013.

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