Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Sir Ed Davey urges voters to ‘Take A Chance’ on him at manifesto launch

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey has launched his party’s manifesto (Lucy North/PA)
Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey has launched his party’s manifesto (Lucy North/PA)

Against an Abba backing track, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has urged voters to “Take A Chance” on him as he launched a manifesto with health and care at its “heart”.

The party has also pledged to take the UK back into the European single market in the 116-page document, titled: “For A Fair Deal”.

A successor to 2019’s “Stop Brexit – Build a Brighter Future” which former leader Jo Swinson fronted, this year’s set of General Election pledges features a “four-stage roadmap” for the UK’s relationship with its European neighbours, including the 27-member European Union.

“Once ties of trust and friendship have been renewed and the damage the Conservatives have caused to trade between the UK and EU has begun to be repaired, we would aim to place the UK-EU relationship on a more formal and stable footing by seeking to join the single market,” the manifesto reads.

This process would begin with “initial unilateral steps to rebuild the relationship, starting by declaring a fundamental change in the UK’s approach and improving channels for foreign policy cooperation”.

It is one of several pledges under the “International” heading.

Sir Ed Davey
Sir Ed outlined the key points in London (Lucy North/PA)

Another is to “provide the space to reach a two-state solution based on 1967 borders with security and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians”, in reference to the long-running dispute over Israel’s border and the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The party has also promised to promote or begin “the seizure of frozen Russian assets in the UK, with proceeds being repurposed to finance support for Ukraine, so that we can stand with Ukraine even if US support wavers”.

Sir Ed, himself a carer for his 16-year-old son John, launched his manifesto by telling audiences about his own experience.

Sporting a dinosaur-themed tie, after playing dinosaur-themed adventure golf in Berkshire at the weekend, Sir Ed said: “How much of a difference just a little extra support can make.”

Sir Ed Davey plays adventure golf in Wokingham, Berkshire, with a big dinosaur to his left (right of picture)
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey made headlines with his campaign trail stunts before he turned his focus to manifesto policies this week (Will Durrant/PA)

He described his experience and the experiences of other carers as “exhausting sometimes”, but also “full of love”.

Sir Ed added: “The truth is, unless we properly value care, unless we properly support carers, we will never be able to fix the crisis in our NHS or get our economy back on track.

“And that’s why I’m so proud the Liberal Democrats have put health and care at the heart of our campaign in this General Election, and at the heart of our manifesto too.”

On care, manifesto writers have pledged to “create a social care workforce plan, establish a Royal College of Care Workers to improve recognition and career progression, and introduce a higher Carer’s Minimum Wage”.

Its tranche of care policies would be backed by a £3.7 billion investment.

The Lib Dem manifesto promises everyone in England “the right to see a GP within seven days, or within 24 hours if they urgently need to, with 8,000 more GPs to deliver on it”.

The party plans to boost cancer survival rates and introduce a guarantee for 100% of patients to start treatment for cancer within 62 days from urgent referral.

The Lib Dems also want to guarantee access to NHS dentistry for those in need of urgent care, and they promise to implement the recommendations of the Infected Blood Inquiry in full, including “full and fair compensation to all victims of the scandal in a timely and transparent manner”.

Improved mental health access is also part of the party’s offer, with mental health hubs for young people proposed for “every community”.

Some £1 billion a year would be earmarked for capital investment in hospitals, equipment and other health infrastructure.

Another £1 billion would go to public health, with the aim of helping people spend five more years of their life in good health.

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey at the manifesto launch
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey launches the party’s General Election manifesto (Lucy North/PA)

The party promises to raise the money needed for its investment plans, including the £9 billion package of commitments to fix the health and social care system, by:

– “Reversing Tory tax cuts” for banks, restoring bank surcharge and bank levy revenues to 2016 levels in real terms.

– Increasing the Digital Services Tax on social media firms and other tech giants from 2% to 6%.

– Reforming capital gains tax – paid on profits from selling an asset – to “close loopholes exploited by the super-wealthy”.

– Introducing a 4% tax on the share buyback schemes of FTSE-100 listed companies, to incentivise productive investment, job creation and economic growth.

Other pledges in the manifesto include ending the sewage crisis “by transforming water companies into public benefit companies, banning bonuses for water bosses until discharges and leaks end, and replacing Ofwat with a tough new regulator with powers to prevent sewage dumps”.

Among the economic measures the party also pledges to enact is “long-term help with the cost of living by cutting energy bills through an emergency Home Energy Upgrade programme, tackling rising food prices through a National Food Strategy, and getting mortgage rates under control through careful economic management”.

The Lib Dems have vowed to maintain the triple lock on the state pension, in a similar move to Labour and the Conservatives, and also pledged to ensure women born in the 1950s who have been affected by pension age changes are “treated fairly and properly compensated”.

To build 380,000 new homes a year across the UK, including 150,000 social homes a year, the Liberal Democrats would back 10 new garden cities. The Labour Party before the election outlined its pledge to build New Towns.

On political reform, Sir Ed told the launch his party would end the first-past-the-post voting system in favour of “fair votes with proportional representation”.

He said this would also involve “getting big money out of politics with a cap on donations to political parties, shifting power out of the centre”.