The Liberal Democrats are holding a special conference in Birmingham on Sunday to debate coalition government with the Conservatives.
More details are now available. First, here’s the explanation from Duncan Brack (Chair of the Federal Conference Committee) about why it is being held:
The Federal Executive has called this special conference to enable the party to debate the coalition agreement reached between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party, and approved by the Federal Executive and the Parliamentary Party, on 11 May…
The motion endorsing the agreement – though not the agreement itself – is open to amendment … The amendments selected for debate by the Federal Conference Committee will be published late on Saturday 15th May.
I want to put on record my thanks to the Conference Office, our stewards, security and stage set teams, and my colleagues on the Conference Committee, for working incredibly hard to organise this conference as fast as possible.
In holding this special conference we are demonstrating again that we are a democratic party which listens to and trusts its members. However we vote, we will be making history; I hope you will be there to take part.
Second, here is the text of the motion:
Conference notes the outcome of the general election held on 6 May 2010, in which no party secured a majority of seats in the House of Commons.
Conference reaffirms the long-standing desire of the Liberal Democrats to see parties working together in partnership to tackle the serious economic, environmental and social problems facing the United Kingdom and its international partners, and to implement far-reaching reforms to the British political system.
Conference also notes the constructive nature of the coalition negotiations with the Conservative Party, and applauds the efforts of the Liberal Democrat negotiating team, which together have produced a coalition agreement which makes possible the implementation in government of key Liberal Democrat manifesto commitments, including:
1. Fair taxes that put money back into your pocket, including an increase in the personal allowance for income tax, reforms to capital gains tax and a switch from a per-passenger to a per-plane duty for aviation tax.
2. A fair chance for every child, including additional resources for a pupil premium for disadvantaged pupils and greater freedom for schools over the curriculum.
3. A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener, including action to reduce the structural deficit while protecting those on low incomes, the introduction of a banking levy, the establishment of a commission to reform the banking system, the creation of a green investment bank and measures to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
4. A fair deal by cleaning up politics, including a freedom bill to restore civil liberties, the scrapping of ID cards, the establishment of fixed-term parliaments, a referendum bill on electoral reform, the creation of a power of recall of MPs and the establishment of a House of Lords elected by proportional representation.
Conference further believes that the coalition agreement represents the best chance to create a stable government that can address the serious economic challenges facing the country in a fair and sustainable manner.
Conference therefore endorses the agreement for a coalition government between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party