Responding to the Liberal Democrats’ Manifesto

13 June 2024

Our Head of Public Policy Tim Dieppe gives his assessment of the policies in the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto

The Liberal Democrats released their manifesto on Monday. There is much to be concerned about, and little to celebrate from a Christian perspective.

Sex and Gender

The Liberal Democrats plan to “remove the requirement for medical reports” for someone to be recognised in a transgender identity. This means that a man could become legally recognised as a woman without any checks or balances to see if he even has gender distress. They also plan to remove the spousal veto, meaning a wife would have no say if her husband wanted to go through this process. Additionally, they plan to “recognise non-binary identities in law.” These plans are in direct rebellion against God’s creation of humans as male and female.

‘Conversion therapy’

The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto says that they will: “Ban all forms of conversion therapies and practices.” Such a ban would be totalitarian and harmful, criminalising consensual conversations about certain topics, or even prayer for someone who wants to be prayed for. Our Free to Talk website details how this would ban consensual conversations. The Liberal Democrats remain committed to an outright ban, in spite of the warnings about the existing professional ban highlighted in the recent Cass Review.

Life issues

The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto states that they plan to: Protect everyone’s right to make independent decisions over their reproductive health without interference by the state.” Removing ‘interference from the state’ presumably means decriminalisation. It may also mean deregulation of abortion completely, allowing abortions right up to the day of birth. Abortions are dangerous and serious and should not be taken outside of state legislation and regulation. The manifesto also says that they will enforce “safe access zones around abortion clinics and hospitals.” This means areas where you can be arrested for praying or displaying a Bible verse with a shocking disrespect for freedom of speech or freedom of religion.

On euthanasia, the Liberal Democrats promise to “Give Parliament time to fully debate and vote on legislation on assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults with strict safeguards, subject to a free vote.” We know from experience of every other country where assisted suicide has been legalised, that ‘strict safeguards’ are always watered down over time. Legalising assisted suicide puts pressure on the vulnerable and undermines the doctor-patient relationship. Liberal Democrats are not concerned to protect vulnerable lives from such pressure.


Liberal Democrats plan to double Statutory Maternity and Shared Parental Pay to £350 per week and to introduce an extra use-it-or-lose-it month for fathers and partners paid at 90% of earnings. They will incorporate the and set up an independent advocacy body for children’s safety online. They will require large employers to publish their parental leave and pay policies, and introduce a ‘Toddler Top-Up’ – an enhanced rate of Child Benefit for one-year-olds. They will also introduce paid neonatal care leave and remove the two-child benefit cap. These measures are supportive of families.

On marriage, Liberal Democrats plan to introduce legal recognition of humanist marriages and to allow more choice over how and where weddings take place. They also plan to extend legal rights to cohabiting couples which will serve to further undermine and disincentivise marriage. As with the Conservatives, the manifesto celebrates them championing same-sex ‘marriage’ which has only served to undermine real marriage since it became law.


Liberal Democrats plan to legalise cannabis which will only serve to normalise its use and increase drugs use across the country. Cannabis is far from harmless, acting as a gateway drug and itself being highly damaging to the young people who would most likely end up using it.

This is strange to read alongside the manifesto’s recognition that gambling is harmful. Both gambling and drugs are addictive and cause people and families significant harm – yet the Liberal Democrats want to open the floodgates on one while restricting the other.

They plan to “combat the harms caused by problem gambling” by restricting gambling advertising, implementing affordability checks, establishing a Gambling Ombudsman to redress wrongs, and levying gambling companies to fund research, prevention and treatment. These are welcome actions.

The Liberal Democrats plan to tackle the “alarming rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia.” We agree that antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred need to be tackled, however, we would caution that the Liberal Democrats have formally adopted the notorious APPG definition of ‘Islamophobia’ which effectively prohibits criticism of Islamic beliefs and practices.


It is clear that the Liberal Democrats would take us further down the road of encouraging and enabling gender confusion, even promoting non-binary identities. They will also act to further liberalise our laws and regulations around abortion. They would have no hesitation in legislating to ban ‘conversion therapy’ which will criminalise Christian pastoral conversations and prayers. While there are some family-friendly policies, there is much to be concerned about in this manifesto.

We need to be praying for our candidates and their parties. Do join us for our weekly prayer meetings and the prayer rally on the night before the election. Do also question your candidates on the issues that matter to you. This is your chance to make your views heard.

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