Tag Archives: deputy leadership

Jo Swinson MP writes..The role I want to play in our party’s leadership

It feels like an age since I was knocking on doors in the pouring rain in the final hour before polls closed, then hearing the shock of the exit poll on the car radio heading home to a hairdryer and somewhat less bedraggled attire for the count.

Yet here we are just a few days later, embarking on an election for leader of the Liberal Democrats.

I went to see Tim on Wednesday afternoon to tell him I thought he should definitely stay on, and I was excited at the prospect of putting myself forward to be Deputy Leader.  I was stunned when he told me he would be resigning that evening.

Listening to Tim’s dignified statement, outlining the personal turmoil he felt during the election, I can’t fault him for deciding to step down, but I feel very sad that it came to this.  Tim has done so much for our party.  In the devastating aftermath of the 2015 election, to build a record membership and increase MPs by 50% in just 2 years is a massive achievement.  Just as important, is that we now have our most diverse Parliamentary Party ever.  We owe Tim a massive debt of gratitude.

Since his shock announcement, I have been overwhelmed by so many lovely messages from people I know, and from many members I have not yet met, encouraging me to stand for leader.  I am touched and flattered that you look to me – and I am determined to play a key role in our party’s leadership.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 111 Comments

A word about the deputy leadership

I know all the attention is on the Leadership at the moment, but I think it’s worth considering the Deputy Leadership, particularly as our 8 MPs will be discussing this tomorrow night. My guess is that they just won’t bother electing a deputy at this point before we have a leader. That would certainly be the sensible thing to do. However, I think that we should do something different.

The Deputy Leader is, in fact, “The Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons.” This post is only referred to in passing in Article 9 of the Federal Constitution:

  1. The Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons shall consist of all Members of that House in receipt of the Party’s whip. Its Leader shall be the Leader of the Party elected as provided in Article 10. It shall be entitled to make such regulations (not being inconsistent with this Constitution) as it thinks fit for the conduct of its own proceedings. In particular, these regulations shall make provision for a Chief Whip and, if thought fit, a Deputy Leader of such Parliamentary Party.

I think we should open up the post of Deputy Leader to a much wider pool. Peers, MSPs, AMs, London Assembly Members, MEPs, Mayors and Councillors should be able to stand with the electorate being that whole group of people. There are two reasons for that.

First of all, it makes us less Westminster-centric and shows that we value all the levels of government equally, as ends in themselves.

Secondly, it might well give us a more diverse leadership team. Our Commons party is all-male, all-white and are pretty much all around the same age.

Posted in News | 36 Comments

+++ Lorely Burt to stand for Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader

lorely-outside-parliament-1Solihull MP Lorely Burt has announced that she is to stand for the Deputy Leadership of the Liberal Democrats. The post became vacant when previous incumbent Simon Hughes became a Minister last month.

Lorely has secured the nominations of 24 of the required 29 MPs.

Lorely has a background in business and is described as having broken many glass ceilings during her career, including being the first women to chair the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary Party.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 19 Comments
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