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definition - Liberal_Party_(UK,_1989)

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Liberal Party (UK, 1989)

Liberal Party
Leader Steve Radford
Chairman Fran Oborski
Founded 1859 (1859) (historical),
1989 (1989) (present day)
Ideology Liberalism,
Political position Centre
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
European Parliament group None
Official colours Orange and black
Local government[1]
16 / 21,259
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties

The Liberal Party is a United Kingdom political party, formed in 1989 by a group of individuals within the original Liberal Party. It is not connected to the coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and is opposed to what the party considers excessive cuts imposed by the coalition.

The Liberal Party has 16 councillors.[2] It put up a full slate of candidates in the North West England region for the 2004 European Parliament elections, and came seventh, with 4.6% of the vote (0.6% of the total British popular vote).

At the 2001 UK general election, the party came second behind Labour in Liverpool West Derby, pushing the Liberal Democrats into third place. However, they were unable to repeat this at the 2005 general election, finishing third behind the Liberal Democrats but still beating the Conservatives; they repeated this performance at the 2010 general election.

The party president is Steve Radford and the party chairman is Fran Oborski. The party anthem is The Land.

The party states that it exists:

"To build a Liberal Society in which every citizen shall possess liberty, property and security and none shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. Its chief care is for the rights and opportunities of the individual, and in all spheres it sets freedom first."



The contemporary Liberal Party is based on the Liberal Party (UK) founded in 1859. During the 1989 formation Liberals such as the former Member of Parliament Michael Meadowcroft and elected President of the old Liberal Party decided that the Liberal Democrats were not the party for them and they set out to re-establish the Liberal Party. The party is legally a new organisation. Party’s members take part in Liberal International (LI) activities though the Liberal International British Group.

The re-founded party included several councillors and entire council groups from the pre-1988 party, some of whom continue to be Liberal councillors today. Since then the number of Liberal councillors has fluctuated only slightly.

In 2002, the party's first president, Michael Meadowcroft, stepped down from the post and was replaced by Councillor Steve Radford. In 2007 Meadowcroft defected to the Liberal Democrats.[3] In 2009 Radford stood down from the post and was replaced as president of the party by former councillor Rob Wheway. However, Wheway served only a single year as leader and Radford was re-elected as party president in 2010.

During the 2009 European Parliament election the Liberal Party's Steve Radford participated in the NO2EU electoral alliance. Prompting accusations that his Euro - scepticism trumped his Liberalism, as he was prepared to make common cause with some deeply illiberal parties.

In the 2011 local council elections, eight Liberal councillors held their seats, three lost their seats and five new Liberal councillors were elected, for a net gain of two seats.[4]


The Liberal Party's highest policy-making body is its annual conference, the Liberal Assembly, at which all party members are entitled to vote. Liberal policies include:

  European Union

The Liberal Party’s constitution commits it to “build a United Europe”. The Liberal Party stated policy is that the European Union (EU) is in need of fundamental reform and identifies issues that are against UK national interests. The party would campaign for reforms to the advantage of the UK including consideration to withdraw from the EU; the Liberal Party is opposed to the adoption of the euro. The party calls for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

  Crime and justice

Courts to be given the additional power to initiate further investigation. Imprisonment for crimes against the person, or which put persons at risk of physical, psychological or emotional injury. The party supports right to choose a trial by jury. The party opposes capital punishment including the continued use of the death penalty overseas. The party believes magistrates and judges should reflect the values of our society and communities.

  Young people

The party wishes to enable young adults to have responsibility and decision making at sixteen, including the right to vote, economic independence with a choice between work, further education, community service or a combination of all three. The Party would provide grants for students which would also be extended to cover all types of training and for 16- to 17-year-olds to be able to claim housing benefits and income support, pending the introduction of a tax credit system.

  Peaceful protest

The party supports peaceful protests and the collection of evidence for prosecution should be concentrated on those groups or individuals who threaten the physical well-being of other people.


Repeal of legislation regarding non-prescription drugs and its replacement with a strategy of regulation, control and taxation with an increase in education and treatment services. The creation of an independent multi-agency co-ordinating body to oversee policy development; the dissemination of accurate and truthful information to minimise substance-related harm to individuals and communities. The aim is to close the criminal market place and cause a reduction in related crime and violence.


Allowing people to vote at age 16; the introduction of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote; a predominantly elected Senate to replace the House of Lords.


The party opposes hereditary power and would remove all remaining political power from the monarchy. The monarch would retain a purely ceremonial role and no longer be head of the Church of England.

  Church of England

Church and state would be separated, creating a secular system. Bishops would no longer be members of the House of Lords.

  Civil liberties

Establishment of a modern Bill of rights and a written Constitution.

  Liberty an privacy

The party promotes individual liberty and privacy, including controls on the illegitimate use of surveillance cameras, and of commercial exploitation of tapes both on private and public property. The party calls for respect of privacy by the press and media and oppose misuse of libel laws by the rich and powerful. The party proposes to limit libel liability to those with editorial control with an aim to establish facts and get corrections printed and supports the use of legal aid by ordinary citizens to enforce privacy rights. The party opposes identity cards.


The party believes that individual freedom ought to extend to the right to die and so supports voluntary euthanasia, taking inspiration from the Netherlands.

  Foreign aid

Overseas aid to be limited to 0.7% of GNP.


Income tax with earnings under £10,000 to be tax free the party proposes a top rate of income tax of 50% on taxable earnings over £100,000; the party advocates a system of 'Universal Inheritance' whereby all UK–born citizens at the age of 25 are paid a £10,000 'inheritance' at the age of 25, to be repaid in the form of a reformed inheritance tax with a starting rate of 10%; the Liberal Party remains committed to Land Value Taxation. The party supports greater resources being dedicated to tracing tax evasion and more relief against corporation tax in respect of capital expenditure.[5]


The abandonment of the UK's WMDs and increase in conventional forces. The UK defence forces should be professional armed forces, supplemented by volunteer part-time reservists and exist for the defence of the peoples of the UK. At the 2011 assembly the party issued the following motion: 'Further, assembly deplores the redundancy notices issued to personnel in the Army and Royal Air Force on their return from active service. Assembly believes that the UK’s Armed Services have now been cut to a level which is below that which is consistent with the effective maintenance of national defence and international obligations. Assembly calls for an immediate cessation of the implementation of further defence cuts and, insofar as is possible, a return to pre-2010 levels of manpower, capability and funding as a first step, such increase in spending to be financed as a result of the immediate decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear weapons capability.'[6]

  The United Nations

The party supports the work of the UN although the party recognises the UN needs reform. The party proposes reforms of the UN including the reconstitution of the General Assembly and a second Assembly elected by people rather than by governments. Such an Assembly would have powers to endorse, amend or reject decisions of the existing General Assembly. Removal of major powers’ right to veto. The Secretary General to be able to take urgent action to enforce the Geneva Conventions.

  See also


  External links



All translations of Liberal_Party_(UK,_1989)

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