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Webchat with Dr Phillip Lee, LibDem candidate for Wokingham, on Tuesday 3 December at 2pm

(97 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Dec-19 09:34:35

Hello

We’re pleased to announce a webchat with Dr Phillip Lee, Liberal Democrat General Election candidate for Wokingham. Phillip will be joining us on Tuesday 3 December at 2pm.

Phillip worked as a doctor at various hospitals in London and the South East before becoming a GP. He continues to practise in Berkshire on a part-time basis.

Elected as the Conservative MP for Bracknell in 2010, he joined Teresa May’s government in 2016 as the Minister for Youth Justice, Victims, Female Offenders and Offender Health. In June 2018 he was the first minister to resign from the government over the direction of Brexit and went on to campaign for a second referendum. In September 2019 Phillip left the Conservative Party and “crossed the floor” in the House of Commons. He now sits as a Liberal Democrat and has been appointed Justice spokesman. Phillip will contest the 2019 General Election as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Wokingham Constituency.

Please do join us on Tuesday at 2pm, but if you can’t make it on the day, leave your question for Phillip on this thread in advance.

As always, please remember our webchat guidelines - one question per user, follow-ups only if there’s time and most questions have been answered, and please keep it civil. Also if one topic is overwhelmingly dominating a discussion with a guest, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. (We will be taking action on this, including suspending the accounts of MNers who continue to heckle after we've posted to ask people to stop, so please take note.) Rest assured we will ALWAYS let the guest know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Thanks

bellinisurge Mon 02-Dec-19 09:43:51

What are your views on self-ID?

Lollygaggles Mon 02-Dec-19 10:00:10

Do you believe that it is possible to change sex?

EpicShitDippedBatBiscuit Mon 02-Dec-19 10:08:07

What is your definition of a Woman?

lonelyplanetmum Mon 02-Dec-19 10:52:25

Thank you for your courageous and principled departure from the Conservative party.
The influence of the ERG has made it mutate into something very different from the previous ‘one nation’ Conservative party.
Many of the electorate seem oblivious to the extent to which the party has now diverged to the right. How can more voters be made aware of this concerning shift, and do you think more moderate Tories will be able to reclaim the party in the future?

PencilsInSpace Mon 02-Dec-19 11:14:03

Hello, what do you think of the Lib Dem women's declaration?

I can't post a link as it's technically a petition so will be deleted but if you google Liberal Democrats’ Grassroots Challenge to Policy on Women’s Sex Based Rights you will find it.

Signatories do not believe that the natural conflicts between women's sex based rights (as defined in the Equality Act) and self-ID according gender reassignment rights have been explored enough by the Party. They would like the Party to accept that there are differences that must be discussed between the rights of women and transwomen. They believe it is vital that these distinctions and conflicts are discussed in order to avoid a potentially dangerous situation for both women and fully transitioned individuals.

Signatories believe that:

1. Women have the right to discuss policies which affect them free of abuse, harassment or intimidation.

2. Women have the right to the preservation of their legally sex-segregated spaces, as laid out in the Equality Act 2010, including female-only spaces such as changing rooms, hospital wards, sanitary and sleeping accommodation, refuges, hostels and prisons.

3. Women have the right to take part in single-sex sports, to ensure fairness and safety at all levels of competition.

4. Women have the right to organise themselves according to their sex across a range of cultural, leisure, educational and political activities.

5. Women have the right to refuse consent to males in single sex spaces or males delivering intimate services to females such as washing, dressing or counselling.

6. Women have the right to freedom of belief, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly (Articles 18, 19 and 20 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights).

Tanith Mon 02-Dec-19 12:13:39

Your manifesto for Early Years specifies nurseries and Children's Centres yet makes no mention of childminders, even though they are recognised Early Years childcare and education providers.

Where do childminders fit in to the Liberal Democrat vision of Early Years and how do you propose to stop the haemorrhage of childminders from the sector?

MatildeHidalgo Mon 02-Dec-19 12:21:03

Will you become a full time GP after 12th December?

EmpressLesbianInChair Mon 02-Dec-19 12:39:27

Jo Swinson has declared that she doesn't want votes from anyone who is concerned about women's sex-based rights. Were you aware when you agreed to do the webchat that your party has explicitly told large numbers of Mumsnetters that you don't want our votes?

TresDesolee Mon 02-Dec-19 12:43:24

Hello

Is there anything you can say now about the Conservatives’ policies on the NHS that you couldn’t say while you were a Conservative MP? Do you think NHS drugs prices will go up if we negotiate a trade deal with the USA?

Byebyebicycle Mon 02-Dec-19 12:43:26

Hi Phillip,

How are Lib Dems planning to tackle the recruitment crisis for NHS workers?

PikesPeaked Mon 02-Dec-19 13:02:29

I am a Wokingham voter, and would dearly love to vote for you - even if all it would do would be to reduce John Redwood's majority. But how can I, when your party has declared that they will not recognise my sex-based rights, nor protect children, prisoners, hospital patients, from predatory behaviour?

Jo Swinson has declared the Lib Dem party's support of a faith-based position, and has told non-adherents of that faith not to vote for the Lib Dems. This is incompatible with respecting the rights enshrined in the Equalities Act.

GlassOfPort Mon 02-Dec-19 13:48:49

Hi there,
I am a Labour supporter who would happily vote Lib Dem in a Con/LD marginal.
However, many of my friends would not because "the Lib Dems can't wait to get into another coalition with the Tories". How do I convince them that's not the case?

crossandperplexed Mon 02-Dec-19 14:30:25

Hello
I am a long time LD voter and a retired midwife/nurse. I have worked for my whole career in both hospital and general practice. I voted remain.
I am another biological woman who is very worried about the insistence by Jo Swinson that those who do not believe that humans can change sex are not welcome and should not vote for the Lib Dems.
I am committed to women's sex based rights. Our biology has determined that women have been abused and discriminated against throughout history.
For this reason I can no longer vote Lib Dem.
I have emailed my local candidate and the party HQ. The only response has been that they are too busy to respond to my questions.
Do you agree with Jo Swinson that humans can change sex?
Do you agree with party policy that self ID should be brought in by law so that any man who says he identifies as a woman should be allowed free access to female safe spaces?

Yaralie Mon 02-Dec-19 15:02:16

Please tell us why we should vote LibDem.

I cannot help noticing a large number of posters asking about something which is, to my mind a marginal issue but is perhaps seen by your opponents as a weak link in your manifesto, or a stick to beat you. This happens a lot online but I hope you can counter it with a positive argument for voting to stop Brexit by voting LibDem

MarleyG17 Mon 02-Dec-19 16:02:20

Hi Phillip. Thanks for coming on.

My question:

Do you think the LibDems' 'revoke Article 50' policy was a mistake? Would you have personally preferred a second referendum or a soft Brexit?

Thanks

twigglett99 Mon 02-Dec-19 16:16:47

I am planning to vote Lib Dem, partly because I feel there is no way I can vote for the other two main parties at the moment and partly because there is a chance we can get the current Tory MP out. My partner will also not consider voting con/lab but is holding back from giving the Lib Dems his vote over the Brexit policy. He is a staunch remainer but feels that it would be undemocratic to make a complete u turn. What would you say to him and others in this position?

AperolBitch Mon 02-Dec-19 16:17:52

I think Jo Swinson is perceived as a bit of a girly swot by many. Do you think her reception has been sexist or do you think the public just isn't warming to her?

GeordieTerf Mon 02-Dec-19 16:42:16

Hi Phillip. Thanks for coming on. smile

My main concern is self-ID/ women’s rights, but there are already several questions relating to that, so I’ll ask something else.

As an MP, what has been your proudest achievement to date?

goodygoodyyumyum Mon 02-Dec-19 16:44:21

Hi Phillip

Welcome - have some cake brew or wine if you're feeling peckish/thirsty.

Can I ask if you'll be supporting fellow Lib-Dem Siobhan Benita in the London mayoral election, or might you be tempted to back your former Conservative colleague Rory Stewart? Also - as it's Mumsnet - what's your favourite biscuit and why? fbiscuit smile

RonniePasas Mon 02-Dec-19 17:01:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ListeningQuietly Mon 02-Dec-19 17:26:54

As a doctor you must know that birth gender is coded into every cell of the body .
Why is your party threatening the safety of women and children
and the sporting achievements of women
by allowing men to call themselves women when it suits them?

Jux Mon 02-Dec-19 17:29:23

I have voted LD in the past to cut the support of my Tory MP who will certainly win again this time. This time, sadly, I am not at all sure I can vote LD. Can you reassure me that what your membership secretary wrote to that MNer telling her that she wasn't wanted, and also re Your leader saying she doesn't want my vote either.

I used to be close friends with some of your policy makers 20 years ago. I find it really difficult to believe that your party's come to this.

SatOnMySofa Mon 02-Dec-19 17:34:25

Hi, your manifesto says you want to extend ULEZ to at least 10 more cities. How do you decide on the cities? I think air quality is such an important issue but I’m wondering if ULEZ is the answer. Especially in areas with very unreliable public transport. Don’t you think there are other measure you should be taking first (cleaner buses, engine idling etc)?

sue51 Mon 02-Dec-19 18:32:35

As an ardent remainer I had planned to vote LD only to discover that your party did not want my vote. Are you aware of your parties total lack of regard for women's saftey and dignity?

AutumnCrow Mon 02-Dec-19 18:32:50

Hello Phillip,

Welcome to Mumsnet. I'd like to ask if you are familiar with ongoing legal cases of Maya Forstater (employment case) and Harry Miller (High Court judicial review); and if you support their quest to ensure that people in the UK are free to hold and express reasonable scientific beliefs and engage in free speech without fear of sanction or police involvement?

Thank you.

IcyNoII Mon 02-Dec-19 18:54:26

Which is the top priority health problem you think it is reasonable to screen immigrants to this country for as part of the process to deny them entry

Is it:

(a) Hepatitis B;
(b) HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus);
(c) such other pathogens as the Secretary of State may prescribe by order under this section

or have your views and position changed since 2014?

HebeMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Dec-19 19:02:19

Evening, everyone.

As ever, we will flag up the strength of feeling about gender self-ID and ask Philip to address it in his answers, but we're going to ask that you stop posting questions on this topic now so that the webchat isn't dominated by this issue.

Thanks.

ilovesooty Mon 02-Dec-19 19:37:21

What do you feel the biggest challenges are in improving the social and educational outcomes for Britain's young people? In particular what can your party do to help families living in poverty?

Clymene Mon 02-Dec-19 20:05:44

Hi Philip

What is your view on the extensive amount of housing that is being built in Wokingham. Do you think there is an adequate level of infrastructure to support it and, if not, what are your plans?

wheresmymojo Mon 02-Dec-19 21:08:16

Hi Phillip,

I live in a constituency similar to Wokingham in the South East. We have a lot of green belt land that has been built on, some of which is designated for 'affordable homes'. These 'affordable homes' are still unaffordable for most people, I have friends where the husband is a teacher who have moved to other areas of the country because they still can't afford them even on a shared ownership basis.

I'm not against all new builds on such land (I live in one!) but the extent of it is significant, with no investment in any infrastructure such as schools or GP surgeries that need to serve the significantly increased communities.

For these reasons (and others) it seems planning is a bit of a broken area at the moment.

My question is two parts:

A. How will we deal with the 'housing crisis' so that there is adequate social housing and (real) affordable housing?

B. How can/will the LDs work to re-look at planning and whether it is really working to balance new housing/green belt/ investment in community services in line with expansion?

PS: Avid listener to your podcast 'On the House' with Sam - it's great! <passes virtual packet of Nobby's Nuts and a beer>

wheresmymojo Mon 02-Dec-19 21:09:01

PPS...wishing you all the luck in de-throning Redwood...

startoftheworld Mon 02-Dec-19 21:14:45

Do you think that The LDs are a feminist party and because of Swinson and the good childcare things in the LD manifesto that Remainer women are helping to change the way the election is going?

The press has been full of news about Workington Man for the Tories are you leading Wokingham Women for the Lib Dems?

Bibijayne Mon 02-Dec-19 22:21:51

How would you go about improving mental health provision and care in the UK?

I know health is devolved, so answers will focus on England in terms of Westminster, but keen on your views of how it can approve across the UK as a whole too?

Oakenbeach Mon 02-Dec-19 23:19:32

Hi Philip

How can a party that has consistently criticised the democratic shortcomings of the first-past-the-post system, seek with any integrity to exploit that system by pledging to revoke Article 50 if it formed a Government, knowing that this could be done with as little as 35% of the vote (as Labour did in 2005)?

How would such a move have helped bring a disunited country together? And doesn’t this show that the LDs are more of a Remainer pressure group rather than a serious party of Government?

(And I write as someone who voted Remain and would do so again.)

HIVpos Mon 02-Dec-19 23:41:50

Hello and welcome to Mumsnet. This is very brave of you 😀

It is great to see that the Liberal Democrat manifesto includes for PrEP to be fully available to all who need it on the NHS. The current government has committed to ending new HIV transmission in England by 2030. What are your views on this and how do you think this can be effected if your party were to win the election?

Bellevu Tue 03-Dec-19 07:51:56

Rather than building on greenbelt land, what will the lib dems do to tackle the problem of builders securing planning permission and then deciding not to build for years?

How do you plan to tackle land banking and the impact on local communities?

Songsofexperience Tue 03-Dec-19 08:31:35

Hello and thanks for taking part!
One thing that's been bothering me is why willingly give up the only way to prevent the current government from doing whatever it likes and run the risk of gifting them the majority they need? Tactically I didn't understand the about turn regarding a GE before a referendum. In my view the opposition should have sorted itself out first, for however long that took. Why call for a GE when the polls consistently put the Tories in the lead? Now I worry about a Trumpian no deal at the end of next year should they get a 50+ majority.

YogaDrone Tue 03-Dec-19 09:20:21

I live in Wokingham BC and have previously always voted Labour. As a remainer I would like to vote LD but as a woman I can't as both Jo Swinson and Baroness Featherstone have told me that because I believe in sex rather than gender they do not want my vote.

However, as no more questions are to be allowed about Self-ID and the erosion of women's rights I would like to ask a more local question please:

WBC have one of the lowest amount of funding per pupil in the country which has resulted in many schools asking for annual parental contribution to buy basic school equipment. What would the LD's do to improve funding for schools like ours whilst also substantially improving the provision for schools in lower income areas?

Finally, please stop spamming me with leaflets. So far I have had 7 different leaflets which fundamentally say the same thing - what a waste of paper!

Carriemac Tue 03-Dec-19 09:33:05

Dear Phillip
If elected , what do you propose to do about the taper tax allowance fiasco that is causing so many NHS consultants to leave or reduce their hours to escape 110% tax rate?

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 10:32:01

From Gransnet user oldgoat

Do you think, if the situation arose again of the Lib Dems going into coalition with the Tories, that they would renage on their manifesto commitments, just like they did last time and vote with the Tories against welfare benefits?

sirstheword Tue 03-Dec-19 10:32:31

What are your views on academies and having unqualified teachers, oversized classes and schools being unable to open 5 days a week?

Is a vote for you a vote for the tories? Or will you do what you need too in order to keep them out?

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 10:32:56

From Gransnet user NanaMags

Hi Phillip,

Do you think tactical voting will be a key decider in this election? I feel like I've been hearing more about it than in previous votes.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 10:34:03

From Gransnet user ellasgran54

Why did you party do a total U-turn on university fees? After that, how can anyone trust your stance on Brexit?

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 10:34:49

From Gransnet user chellory
I will vote LibDem for the first time because I cannot abstain and nor am I prepared to condone what the Tories have done to our country or their stance on Brexit, or the anti Semitism in the Labour party and Corbyn's leadership. But the polls are putting the two main parties closer and closer and it may well be that the Lib Dems will end up forming an alliance with one or other in the absence of a clear majority. Given your stand on Brexit (which I agree with by the way) and the fact that you have candidates such as Luciana Berger who left Labour over the anti Semitism etc, how could you make an alliance with either side work if their principles are so different to what you stand for?

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 10:54:21

From Gransnet user windowwood

My question is for you as a politician and as a GP. I don't know whether you have been following all the stuff on Gransnet (and Mumsnet) about the HRT shortage? I am a 52 year-old woman who has been taking HRT for two years so far to alleviate symptoms including severe depression brought on by the menopause. It has been life changing for me, but now I am struggling to get the medication I need (Evorel Sequi) and very worried about what will happen when the supply I have runs out. It took a lot of trial and error and patience from my GP to get a dosage and product which worked for me and so I know that the alternatives which are currently available will not work for my needs. How can we have reached a stage where this and other medications are in such short supply (or no supply at all)? What are you as a party doing about this? And if we do end up with another Tory government and a hard Brexit by the end of the year, how much worse will it get? I am so very worried about it

TinselAngel Tue 03-Dec-19 11:13:50

Your party is currently propagating "fake news" with regards to what is erroneously called the spousal "veto" in the Gender Recognition Act.

It is your party's policy to abolish the right of a woman whose husband is undergoing gender transition, to have her marriage annulled/ dissolved before her husband gets a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Bearing in mind not all women are able to get divorced, and if they can it might take five years, you are going to create a situation where women can be trapped in same sex relationships against their will.

How does this policy, which makes it more difficult for women to leave a broken relationship, fit with modern Liberalism?

Trans widows have asked questions about this policy to Layla Moran, Christine Jardine and Baroness Barker and received no answers. Where would you suggest we turn next?

BarbaraStrozzi Tue 03-Dec-19 12:52:58

What @Oakenbeach asked upthread: how do you justify unilaterally revoking article 50 rather than holding a second referendum, given that our FPTP system typically delivers majorities in the Commons on the basis of a minority of votes cast?

(Also can't vote for you because you've said you don't want the votes of women who recognise sex as a biological reality.)

curlykaren Tue 03-Dec-19 13:09:12

Hi Philip, I wonder if you can tell us what steps you and the LD party are taking to ensure the conservatives release the report on Russian interference in British democracy, prior to the general election. What do you consider to be a bigger affront to democracy, Russian interference or complete reversal of the referendum result?

arethereanyusernamesleftatall Tue 03-Dec-19 13:30:37

Can we have your reassurance that a vote for the lib dems isn't a vote for the Tories?

Will you sell everyone out and go into coalition with the Tories again if it's a hung Parliament?

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:04:29

Hi everyone, great to be here. I'm a Mumsnet virgin, so do be gentle with me...

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:09:14

Yaralie

Please tell us why we should vote LibDem.

I cannot help noticing a large number of posters asking about something which is, to my mind a marginal issue but is perhaps seen by your opponents as a weak link in your manifesto, or a stick to beat you. This happens a lot online but I hope you can counter it with a positive argument for voting to stop Brexit by voting LibDem

This election is about Brexit in many ways. If you want to stop it then voting Liberal Democrat is the most effective way of doing so. But in addition to that, a couple of policies that you might want to note are as follows:

The LibDems want to introduce free childcare for 35 hours a week for 48 weeks of the year from the end of parental leave to when a child starts at primary school.

We passionately believe in the National Health service. Being a doctor it is obviously close to my heart. We want to invest more money by putting a penny on income tax. We want to invest 11 billion pounds in mental health services over the next 5 years.

Finally, because there are so many fantastic staff in the NHS from abroad, we believe that staying in the EU protects our National Health Service.

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:13:30

MarleyG17

Hi Phillip. Thanks for coming on.

My question:

Do you think the LibDems' 'revoke Article 50' policy was a mistake? Would you have personally preferred a second referendum or a soft Brexit?

Thanks

I resigned as a minister in June 2018, over Brexit (the first to do so) because I think the Brexit that people are going to get is not the Brexit people were promised. I use the medical term 'informed consent' because i don't believe the people have given such informed consent for the Brexit they are going to get. I have campaigned for the last 18 months to take a Brexit 'deal' back to the British public for their consent. And I continue to do so. My party's position on 'revoke' sought to clearly state that we are a party of Remain. If we were to secure 326 seats next week it would be quite a dramatic political moment (!) and hence the practical reality is that if you vote Liberal Democrat next week you will be clearly voting for a party who will campaign for Remain in a subsequent referendum.

BuzzShitbagBobbly Tue 03-Dec-19 14:15:00

Interesting opening post, having skipped over a number of earlier posters all with the same question... hmm

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:17:49

TresDesolee

Hello

Is there anything you can say now about the Conservatives’ policies on the NHS that you couldn’t say while you were a Conservative MP? Do you think NHS drugs prices will go up if we negotiate a trade deal with the USA?

Yes, when I became a member of parliament in 2010 I privately argued that the biggest challenge facing the NHS was the provision of outstanding secondary healthcare, not primary healthcare. The reorganisation of primary care, although what was proposed had some merit, was not in my opinion a priority. Medicine has changed dramatically in my career and the way in which care and treatment is provided to patients will need to change too. I was not an enthusiastic supporter of the Social Care Bill of 2011, but as is often the case in politics, irrespective of the party you are a member of, you vote in the way that your party asks you to. The pressures on hospital medicine continue, as I'm sure everyone on Mumsnet recognizes. The LibDem policy that I'm most enthusiastic about in the healthcare space is on the establishment of a cross-party commission on the long-term sustainability of health and social care in this country. By putting experts in a room, the Liberal Democrats want to try and find common ground so that much-cherished health and social care services are protected for future generations.

As regards to NHS drugs prices, yes. In any future trade deal, if the US trade deal with South Korea is anything to go by, drugs and the costs thereof will be part of a trade deal. I encourage you to read Sarah Wollaston's Select Committee report on this particular issue. Because, if I recall rightly, it indicated drugs cost could rise by about 10 billion pounds a year if such a trade deal was negotiated.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 14:19:00

BuzzShitbagBobbly

Interesting opening post, having skipped over a number of earlier posters all with the same question... hmm

Hi there - guests don't tend to answer posts in order they're posted. We group questions on popular issues and they pick from there. Have no doubt we'll get to gender ID as there's a number of questions around that. Plse do remember our webchat guidelines around showing respect to our guests though? thanks

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:22:20

Byebyebicycle

Hi Phillip,

How are Lib Dems planning to tackle the recruitment crisis for NHS workers?

We believe that it is in the best interest of the health of the nation to remain a member of the EU. The other day, my two-year-old daughter trapped her finger in a large oak door at Westminster. She ended up having to have an exploratory operation and post that, I met with a Czech nurse in clinic. I asked her how long she had been working in the NHS and she replied 'over a decade', she then said that she was going home because she felt that London was no longer the place that it once was. Sadly, it would appear that an environment has been created in Britain that people from abroad no longer feel as comfortable as they once did here. If we are losing nurses of such high caliber that happen to have been born in another country, it begs the question, why do we want to Brexit? 'To save the NHS' as that disgraceful bus said in 2016? we have signifiant challenges anyway filling doctor and nurse positions in the UK and also in the social care system, it would be much better for the long-term health care of all ages if Britain remained an open country - open to the movement of people with good qualifications and open for people who want to build a life here.

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:24:19

CariGransnet

From Gransnet user windowwood

My question is for you as a politician and as a GP. I don't know whether you have been following all the stuff on Gransnet (and Mumsnet) about the HRT shortage? I am a 52 year-old woman who has been taking HRT for two years so far to alleviate symptoms including severe depression brought on by the menopause. It has been life changing for me, but now I am struggling to get the medication I need (Evorel Sequi) and very worried about what will happen when the supply I have runs out. It took a lot of trial and error and patience from my GP to get a dosage and product which worked for me and so I know that the alternatives which are currently available will not work for my needs. How can we have reached a stage where this and other medications are in such short supply (or no supply at all)? What are you as a party doing about this? And if we do end up with another Tory government and a hard Brexit by the end of the year, how much worse will it get? I am so very worried about it

There have always been occasional drug supply issues in the system. Particular products can sometimes have production line difficulties for a whole variety of reasons. But there are undeniably some difficulties obtaining drugs as preparations for Brexit take place. Some areas have stockpiled better than others and as a consequence there are some regional difficulties in obtaining some drugs. Without wanting to repeat myself, if we retain frictionless borders with our European allies sourcing and supplying drugs from across the continent will be easier.

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Tue 03-Dec-19 14:27:14

Is this going very slow or is my laptop lagging?

Datun Tue 03-Dec-19 14:29:31

Placemarking.

Redshoeblueshoe Tue 03-Dec-19 14:33:11

I'm placemarking too

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Tue 03-Dec-19 14:34:23

It is slow isn't it? Not sure what the no-content version of filibustering is...

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:34:36

PikesPeaked

I am a Wokingham voter, and would dearly love to vote for you - even if all it would do would be to reduce John Redwood's majority. But how can I, when your party has declared that they will not recognise my sex-based rights, nor protect children, prisoners, hospital patients, from predatory behaviour?

Jo Swinson has declared the Lib Dem party's support of a faith-based position, and has told non-adherents of that faith not to vote for the Lib Dems. This is incompatible with respecting the rights enshrined in the Equalities Act.

The Liberal Democrats firmly believe in equality and that people should be able to choose the lives that they so choose. The issue of gender is a complex one and plenty of debate has been had on this site and other forums for that reason. My own position is that people should be free to choose their lives just so long as it doesn't negatively impact upon others. People who are transitioning or have done, require understanding and support. And once that transition has taken place, their chosen gender should be respected. It must however be born in mind, that there are strong views about these issues (often expressed by women) which I believe are important to listen to.

The Liberal Democrat party is a tolerant and broad church and in my experience in recent months having recently joined, that is something that is deeply ingrained within the culture of the party. The provision of women-only services in the public sector can often be challenging, with regards to these issues, as I found as the women's justice minister for two years. My view is that, so that people who have made a decision to change their gender ID can be properly supported, eg in the prison system, there is a need for particular provision for those individuals. This whole area requires sensitive and informed debate. Social change can often be difficult, as history teaches us and it is much better that you take the majority of people with you instead of seeking to be unnecessarily confrontational. I passionately believe that the majority of people in this country value quality and tolerance in society and long may that be the case.

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:36:16

sirstheword

What are your views on academies and having unqualified teachers, oversized classes and schools being unable to open 5 days a week?

Is a vote for you a vote for the tories? Or will you do what you need too in order to keep them out?

I am a supporter of academy schools. I was very proud to play a small part in securing that status for a school in my former constituency. A school which has since gone from strength to strength thanks to the fantastic leadership of its head. The LibDems are committed to investing in education and increasing the number of teachers. We recognize that a good pupil to teacher ratio matters immensely in a child's education.

Is a vote for LibDems a vote for the Tories? No. A vote for Liberal Democrats is a vote for moderation of two parties that have turned to the extremes.

Datun Tue 03-Dec-19 14:36:34

So you think trans people should be housed in a separate facility?

I know it's sensitive, but a little clarity is surely the way to move it forward?

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Tue 03-Dec-19 14:37:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:38:42

AperolBitch

I think Jo Swinson is perceived as a bit of a girly swot by many. Do you think her reception has been sexist or do you think the public just isn't warming to her?

I would never describe her as 'a girly swot' as it's a very sexist description. I think Jo has suffered from sexism in this campaign which hasn't been fair. The Jo I know is hard-working, fully committed to the role and is motivated by a desire to make our country a better place to live. I don't believe that Jo has been given a fair crack of the whip from the media and I wonder why that has been the case. We continue to battle on because we strongly believe that the more LibDem MPs in the house come 13 December, the better it is for a moderate and balanced government.

arethereanyusernamesleftatall Tue 03-Dec-19 14:41:46

What does this mean, exactly?

My view is that so that people who have made a decision to change their gender ID can be properly supported eg in the prison system, there is a need for particular provision for those individuals

Are you talking about 3rd spaces?

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:43:08

GeordieTerf

Hi Phillip. Thanks for coming on. smile

My main concern is self-ID/ women’s rights, but there are already several questions relating to that, so I’ll ask something else.

As an MP, what has been your proudest achievement to date?

My proudest achievement to date has been the Women's Justice Strategy that I commissioned as Minister in the Justice department between 2016-2018. Women in prison have disproportionately been victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse both as children and as adults. Too many of them are victims themselves.

I have never met a female prisoner who does not accept that they have done wrong and that they should be punished by a custodial sentence for doing so. My strong belief is that it would be better to look after these women. Provide them with hope and the potential for a future life so that they can move away from criminal activity.

The strategy that was published shortly after I resigned as a minster sought to break the cycle of crime in that proportion of the women's prison population who had found themselves, because of their living circumstances, doing wrong in society. I privately had a target to reduce the women's prison population by half before 2030. I think it is possible and if we were successful in achieving that goal, not only would the women be saved from a life of crime become productive law-abiding citizens, broad society would be the better for it.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 14:43:23

@LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD fyi we deleted your post because it just restates previous questions and is somewhat heckling in nature and. As ever please respect the webchat guidelines.

Datun Tue 03-Dec-19 14:43:39

A third space is accepted by many women as an appropriate solution, by the way.

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:44:50

Datun

So you think trans people should be housed in a separate facility?

I know it's sensitive, but a little clarity is surely the way to move it forward?

The point I'm making is that it would wrong to leave somebody in a male prison who is self ID-ing as a woman because they can be vulnerable to abuse. By the same token, the women's justice system needs to be confident that someone coming in to the system has properly transitioned. Because this can take some time, it strikes me that to have a separate unit for this process to take place is a sensitive and practical option. at the forefront of my mind is the security of everyone involved, particularly the person who is changing their gender

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Tue 03-Dec-19 14:46:58

Not heckling at all. No CAPs or swears, perfectly civil.

GCAcademic Tue 03-Dec-19 14:48:16

By the same token, the women's justice system needs to be confident that someone coming in to the system has properly transitioned.

What do you mean, specifically, by "properly transitioned" and how is this compatible with self-ID?

Redshoeblueshoe Tue 03-Dec-19 14:48:17

So to keep the person with a penis safe you are happy to endanger women.

Thenagainmaybenot Tue 03-Dec-19 14:49:19

What do you mean by fully transitioned? You are happy to have prisoners with penises showering/locked up with women against the will of the women?

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:49:30

Clymene

Hi Philip

What is your view on the extensive amount of housing that is being built in Wokingham. Do you think there is an adequate level of infrastructure to support it and, if not, what are your plans?

I was born and raised in the Thames Valley. The scale of house building and industrial estate construction has been immense over the last few decades. Although most people recognize that the area is relatively successful, I think that there is a danger that we're losing sight of the importance of suitable infrastructure and the value of the local living environment. The scale of house building today in the Wokingham area has been significant and there have been further plans. It is important that such developments have an appropriate proportion of affordable housing, something that LibDem councillors have campaigned for over many years. More widely though, the expectation of house building placed upon the local area by national government needs to be reduced. I will campaign actively to seek such a reduction because significant developments such as that proposed for Grazeley are no longer in my view acceptable.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 14:50:06

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD

Not heckling at all. No CAPs or swears, perfectly civil.

Doesn't need to have caps to be heckly imho wink

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:50:27

goodygoodyyumyum

Hi Phillip

Welcome - have some cake brew or wine if you're feeling peckish/thirsty.

Can I ask if you'll be supporting fellow Lib-Dem Siobhan Benita in the London mayoral election, or might you be tempted to back your former Conservative colleague Rory Stewart? Also - as it's Mumsnet - what's your favourite biscuit and why? fbiscuit smile

Of course I will be supporting Siobhan, she is an outstanding candidate for London mayor. Rory is a good friend and, like me, has decided that the Conservative party is no longer a political home. i wish him luck but hope that London votes for the lib dems.

My favourite biscuit is a dark chocolate hobnob...

waspfig Tue 03-Dec-19 14:50:34

By the same token, the women's justice system needs to be confident that someone coming in to the system has properly transitioned. Because this can take some time,

What do you mean by 'properly transitioned?' If anyone can self ID as any gender at any given moment, why would that 'take some time?'

Why is your priority 'the person who is changing their gender' and not the hundreds of vulnerable women (as described previously by yourself) already in the prison? What about their safety and dignity?

BuzzShitbagBobbly Tue 03-Dec-19 14:50:39

My own position is that people should be free to choose their lives just so long as it doesn't negatively impact upon others.

The thing is, Dr Lee, women everywhere ARE telling you and your party colleagues (and other parties, tbf) exactly and in great detail how self-id really does negatively affect us. All we are hearing back is "be tolerant, be nice, be more like us".

This completely disregards the struggles and challenges that women face every day, in direct favour of a minuscule minority who have decided they make better women than we do.

Datun Tue 03-Dec-19 14:52:21

By the same token, the women's justice system needs to be confident that someone coming in to the system has properly transitioned.

There is no definition of properly transitioned. If you mean they have a GRC, self ID will make that a form filling exercise.

Currently the prison service don't take notice of whether someone has a GRC or not.

If it's to do with surgery, again, although that would reduce the number of applicants to a female prison, it doesn't stop men attacking women. Men attack women with lots of things other than their penis.

Because this can take some time, it strikes me that to have a separate unit for this process to take place is a sensitive and practical option. at the forefront of my mind is the security of everyone involved, particularly the person who is changing their gender

This ^ is shocking. Why are you ^more concerned with what is mostly going to be men wanting to access incarcerated women as part of their punishment?

What about the women who can't escape??

More concerned with trans people, who are going to be largely men, than women. Right there in black and white.

Redshoeblueshoe Tue 03-Dec-19 14:54:01

Absolutely Datun.

BuzzShitbagBobbly Tue 03-Dec-19 14:54:04

Because this can take some time, it strikes me that to have a separate unit for this process to take place is a sensitive and practical option.

And what will you tell the activist groups who say that these self-id people [largely sexual predators] are 100% women and you are being completely transphobic to suggest their male genitalia is not as womanly as the females they want to be placed with?

You will find that logical options like 3rd spaces are amongst the most bigoted of all, if you talk to the same people that are browbeating women (physically and metaphorically) every single day.

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:54:21

lonelyplanetmum

Thank you for your courageous and principled departure from the Conservative party.
The influence of the ERG has made it mutate into something very different from the previous ‘one nation’ Conservative party.
Many of the electorate seem oblivious to the extent to which the party has now diverged to the right. How can more voters be made aware of this concerning shift, and do you think more moderate Tories will be able to reclaim the party in the future?

Thank you for your kind comments. It was a difficult decision to leave a political party after 27 years of activism. Sadly over recent months I thought the party had left me. Of course Brexit was the major precipitant, but I also thought that the party was being overcome by English nationalism and populism. There is also, I believe, an obvious need to reform capitalism and I saw little evidence of such thinking taking place in Conservative circles. It is interesting to note the names of former Conservative members of parliament who have either left the party or join the LibDems, choosing to stand as independents or choosing to leave politics altogether. To my mind they were the heart and soul of moderate conservatism and their exit makes me think that such as moderate Conservative party is unlikely to return anytime soon. That is why Liberal conservatives should be voting Liberal Democrats at this general election

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 14:54:59

waspfig

By the same token, the women's justice system needs to be confident that someone coming in to the system has properly transitioned. Because this can take some time,

What do you mean by 'properly transitioned?' If anyone can self ID as any gender at any given moment, why would that 'take some time?'

Why is your priority 'the person who is changing their gender' and not the hundreds of vulnerable women (as described previously by yourself) already in the prison? What about their safety and dignity?

My priority is everybody, not just one group.

Datun Tue 03-Dec-19 14:57:42

My priority is everybody, not just one group.

That's admirable. But when the rights of two groups conflict, you have to pick a side.

MichaelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 14:57:55

We're nearly out of time so unfortunately we won't be able to take any more follow up questions.

Datun Tue 03-Dec-19 14:58:26

Can we still talk amongst ourselves, Michael?

SutterCane Tue 03-Dec-19 14:58:45

My priority is everybody, not just one group.

Yet a scant ten minutes ago you posted:

...at the forefront of my mind is the security of everyone involved, particularly the person who is changing their gender

Is that not prioritising one (very small) group over another, much more vulnerable one?

ChessIsAsBoringAsCricket Tue 03-Dec-19 15:00:12

I’m a Wokingham voter. I talk to many of my friends, also Wokingham voters. We feel politically homeless. We do not want to vote for Redwood as he is a Brexiteer. We would prefer to vote LibDem. But the way our concerns over women’s sex based rights have been dismissed have made this impossible. There are many of us. And our daughters are worried too, they see the reality of what will happen to their rights with self id. We are quiet because of the risk of TRA attacks. But we will have to vote with our consciences. Why is there no concern from the LibDems about this?

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 15:00:43

CariGransnet

From Gransnet user NanaMags

Hi Phillip,

Do you think tactical voting will be a key decider in this election? I feel like I've been hearing more about it than in previous votes.

In a First Past the Post democratic system there is always the danger that a government gets a majority with less than 40% of the vote. In this particular election, Brexit is the biggest issue that I've encountered on the doorsteps. It strikes me that if the Conservatives secure a majority with less than 40% of the vote and then proceed to deliver a hard Brexit, or indeed a no deal Brexit, then that will not be what the majority of the Great British public wanted. In such circumstances tactical voting is the only way to prevent such a democratic outrage. In different seats that will mean voting for different parties. In my seat if you want to stop Brexit I would advise you to vote Liberal Democrat.

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Tue 03-Dec-19 15:01:28

Who else is coming on for a wee chat?

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 15:02:34

Bibijayne

How would you go about improving mental health provision and care in the UK?

I know health is devolved, so answers will focus on England in terms of Westminster, but keen on your views of how it can approve across the UK as a whole too?

Mental health provision for too long has been a Cinderella speciality in that it that did not receive enough funding to provide essential care for vulnerable people. Traditionally physical healthcare has received a disproportionate amount, so i'm very pleased that the lib dems have committed 11 billion pounds to improve mental health services, such as increased access to talking therapies, because in my technical experience it has always been a challenge to secure appropriate care for those individuals who find themselves mentally unwell. the lib dems passionately believe that we need to achieve relative parity between physical and mental healthcare

DrPhillipLeePPC Tue 03-Dec-19 15:03:59

It's been a pleasure to be here today. Thank you to Mumsnet for inviting me. Pity there wasn't any dark chocolate Hobnobs! I hope my answers have been appreciated. Politics and policies can often be complex and it's really important in a healthy democracy that individuals and political parties can discuss challenging issues honestly and in an informed way.

I look forward to doing this again sometime soon.

TinselAngel Tue 03-Dec-19 15:05:31

No answers on the spousal "veto" then.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-19 15:06:30

Thanks to Dr Lee for coming on and to MNers for their questions as ever - we're going to close this thread now but do hop over to our webchats topic to find out who we've got lined up for you.

Thanks
MNHQ

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