Ashdown launches alternative Queen's Speech

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Pause for thought: Paddy Ashdown, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Liz Lynne, social security spokeswoman, at the launch of their alternative Queen's Speech in London yesterday.

Mr Ashdown said that the package of policies - which includes the `Great Reform Bill' encompassing electoral reform, Scottish and Welsh parliaments, English regional assemblies, an elected House of Lords and the abolition of unnecessary quangos - will form the basis of the Liberal Democrat party's campaign at the next General Election.

Photograph: Jane Baker