Author Archives: Tim Gordon

Update on Helena Morrissey’s review – deadline extended till 12 April

Today has been set as the final day for people to submit written evidence to Helena Morrissey’s Independent Review on harassment.  However, because of holidays for many this week the deadline is being extended by a further week, until next Friday April 12th, to ensure that everyone has the chance to make their submissions.

I would therefore encourage anyone who feels they may have information which may help or be relevant to the independent review, to email today, even if it is just a holding note with detail to follow.

You can email Helena Morrissey directly at [email protected]. Only Helena has …

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Update on Party response to allegations of sexual impropriety

The Liberal Democrats have today announced that Helena Morrissey has been appointed as the chair of the independent inquiry into culture, process and complaints within the Liberal Democrats.

The review will also look at attitudes towards women in the party, as well as the employment relationship between staff, elected officials and volunteers; training; and how to lead a wider change in Westminster.

Helena Morrissey has been a leading light in promoting women and breaking barriers as CEO of Newton Asset Management and Founder of the 30% Club, a cross-business initiative aimed at achieving 30% women on UK corporate boards by 2015. I …

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Lord Rennard allegations: the processes now in place

I want to keep you informed on where we stand in the various processes that have started following the allegations against Lord Rennard.

There are now three processes in place:

  • Inquiries by the Metropolitan Police to ascertain whether criminal activity might have taken place. This is still at an early stage and there is no set time limit on when they must decide whether or not a criminal investigation should take place.
  • An internal investigation by the Party, headed by Alistair Webster QC, to establish whether disciplinary action under the Party’s rules is due. This whole process must take no

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

Update on the Party’s processes following the allegations concerning the conduct of Lord Rennard

I want to update you on three developments to the processes I outlined in my post on Saturday.

Arrangements for victims and witnesses to come forward

Firstly, we have sought the assistance of Public Concern at Work, the UK’s leading whistle-blowing authority, to ensure that the whistle-blowing arrangement is sufficiently independent to provide the required support to those wishing to come forward in relation to the alleged behaviour of Lord Rennard.

Public Concern at Work have agreed to take over the role, temporarily filled by Kate Parminter, as the main point of contact for anyone wishing to come forward with further allegations or information.

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Allegations regarding the conduct of Lord Rennard and the Party’s response

Many of you will have seen and heard the various media reports alleging serious misconduct by Lord Rennard while he was Chief Executive of the Party and pointing to a failure of the Party more widely to adequately deal with complaints made about this behaviour. It appears that we did not fully live up to our political ideals, and I regret that.

I want to assure you that the Party, and I as Chief Executive, are taking these questions very seriously – both as regards the specific allegations that were made, but also about the Party’s procedures for handling complaints …

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Tim Gordon writes… Gearing up for the next General Election

With Paddy’s appointment as Chair of the General Election Campaign, an imminent start to the 2015 manifesto process, and clarity on the GE electoral boundaries, the party has very clearly entered a new strategic phase. This requires an organisational shift to ensure that we are focused on both the 2015 General Election task ahead, as well as the series of vital elections before then.

There were five key priorities for Liberal Democrat Headquarters (LDHQ) to consider when approaching the

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Tim Gordon writes… Feedback from the members’ survey

Earlier this month I launched a national Members’ Survey, which went out to all members currently on the Party’s email list. Given that a previous survey told us very clearly that members want to be surveyed more it is perhaps no surprise that we had a great response rate.

As well as the multiple choice responses, we had hundreds of more detailed comments letting us know exactly what you think about the party strategy, policy and your experience of being a member. This information is invaluable and I have already presented your views to Nick Clegg, key Ministers and our MPs.

The …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 10 Comments

Opinion: State funding of political parties would lead to creeping centralisation

MoneyRunning local parties must be one of the least lauded jobs in Britain.

Its hard work. There are (rightly) increasing numbers of checks (especially on the money), some with potential legal implications. Its not as glamorous as being a Councillor, and there is no allowance attached. And if you’re a Tory, there’s a high chance that CCHQ will come down on you if you misbehave and do something terrible like select a popular local candidate.

I was reminded of this when I attended the London New Local Party Officer training. I was impressed by both the calibre of the trainers – in the case of Treasurers the estimable David Allworthy – and the enthusiasm of the various participants (its still early days!).

Ultimately getting good local party Execs is critical to both the ability of a party to campaign -but also to the political health of the UK as a whole. They are the ones who sweat to make things happen, who ensure that the right candidates get selected to (ultimately) run the country and whose day-to-day activity keeps the whole democracy show on the road. And these are often the same community-minded people who might also run a local charity or the village fete.

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  • User AvatarRuth Bright 4th Jul - 11:17pm
    Andrew - you are wise to say that parents must accept some effect on their careers. I breastfed for three years and was prepared to...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Payne 4th Jul - 10:40pm
    It might well be the case now, and if it is then that means no deal as far as the Lib Dems are concerned. I...
  • User AvatarDavid 4th Jul - 10:40pm
    @Phyllis: "David, they might not exist explicitly on this thread". They don't exist at all on this thread. @Phyllis: "men from a working class background...
  • User AvatarMrWallace 4th Jul - 9:24pm
    @andrew. "I am just astonished that two parents expect to have children with no effect on their careers at all". Me too, I think it's...
  • User AvatarMrWallace 4th Jul - 9:09pm
    PR as a red line no nonsense about a referendum? When I ask why this wasn't done in 2010 I'm told because it would be...
  • User AvatarAndrew 4th Jul - 8:55pm
    I should have said "look after their children for part of the time" of course! Unless your are aristocracy...
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