General Election 2019: Why Portsmouth should vote for the Liberal Democrat Party, writes Jo Swinson

Stopping Brexit, tackling climate change and recruiting more teachers – here Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lays out how her national pledges will benefit Portsmouth voters.She writes:

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson on the campaign trail. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson on the campaign trail. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

We know for too many people in Portsmouth – and across the UK - things aren’t working as they should be. For too many people working hard and playing by the rules is no longer enough to guarantee a happy, fulfilling and secure life for them and their children.

But the Liberal Democrats have an ambitious plan for the future of country – where every person, every community, and our planet can thrive.

A plan to stop Brexit and invest the £50bn remain bonus that is generated through the boost to the economy in public services and tackling inequalities. A plan to tackle climate change and produce 80 per cent of our electricity from renewables in the next 10 years. A plan to recruit 20,000 more teachers and put £10bn extra year into our failing schools, at the same time as investing in providing free childcare from the end of paid parental leave. And a plan to transform our mental health services by treating mental health with the same urgency as physical health.

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The people of Portsmouth know the Liberal Democrats can put this plan into action – since we took control of Portsmouth council, led by Gerald Vernon-Jackson, we have been fighting hard to make a real difference. We have started building council houses for the first time in a generation. For decades Labour and Conservative governments have failed to ensure enough houses are being built.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to ensuring that the 300,000 new homes needed each year are built. For those who are renting from the Ministry of Defence, as so many in Portsmouth are, the Liberal Democrats would bring the MoD into line with other landlords – giving tenants the same legal rights to repair and maintenance as private tenants.

The next government will also have to prioritise action to tackle the climate emergency. We know the clean air challenges that come with being the second most densely populated city in the country and having a major port. The Liberal Democrats would place climate change at the heart of government. To end the air pollution crisis Liberal Democrats would pass a clean air act, based on World Health Organisation guidelines, enshrining the legal right to unpolluted air wherever they live.

The Liberal Democrats have been working hard for the people of Portsmouth. Voting for us on Thursday will allow the Liberal Democrats to build on this great work.