Cllr Richard Kemp CBE
Liverpool Liberal Democrats
16, Dovedale Road,
Liverpool L18 1DW
Luciana Berger MP,
House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA
18th February 2019
Re: Your new Independent Group
I am writing to you on behalf of my Lib Dem colleagues and myself in the first instance to congratulate you on your courage in deciding to leave the Party to which you have devoted so much of your life.
At a number of points in the past 52 years of Party membership I have considered either joining another Party or just leaving politics. What prevented me was the fact that my Party contains most of my mates. People with whom I have always felt very comfortable and with whom I have passionately campaigned for years.
I know that was not always the same for you. You have shown great fortitude in fighting off real nastiness from your own Labour members in Liverpool and further afield. I would have crumbled under that venom and foulness.
Locally and nationally I believe that there are ways in which we can work together.
Nationally we are in exactly the same place when it comes to BREXIT. Leaving the EU with a deal or without one will create massive hardship in Wavertree with the biggest hurt being to the poorest people who have least resource and resilience. Together, we can fight it or deal with the consequences of it to the people we both represent. Anti-Semitism is a gross form of racism but racism as a whole has grown in the past two years. Together, we can fight all forms of racism to create the coherent and inclusive multi-cultural society that we all believe in.
Locally, I suspect and hope that you can be more open about some of your concerns. Some of the things that Labour have sought to do in your constituency, such as the development at Calderstones Park, are deeply damaging and upsetting to your constituents. Perhaps now you will be freer to campaign with us on issues such as this.
We would like to meet with you and chat openly and honestly about what we agree and disagree on and how we might work together in both campaigning and electoral terms to deliver what your grouping and the Liberal Democrats both desire. In the meantime, however we know the birth of your second child is now imminent and like the good mother that we are sure you are you will want and need to concentrate on this life-changing event.
We wish you the best of luck with the birth of your child and with your future political career whether you decide ultimately to work with us in some way or not. When you are fully up and running, we would be pleased to have the chat with you that I suggested above.
Good luck or is the correct term to use mazeltov!?
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats