Annette Brooke MP writes…What I hope to achieve in my new role

I was very pleased this week to become Chair of the Parliamentary Liberal Democrat Party. I was elected unopposed, and took my place as Chair at the Parliamentary Party meeting, in what many would consider a slight baptism of fire, having only had my new role confirmed hours before!

I am delighted to be embarking on this new role. The job is an extremely important one and I am really excited to be taking it on. As I am retiring at the end of this Parliamentary term, I feel that while many of my colleagues will need to be focusing on the general election over the next few years, I will be able to give the role the time and attention it deserves, and I am pleased to be able to serve my colleagues and the wider party in this way.

I believe there are a number of aspects to the job. Obviously a large part of it will be chairing Parliamentary Party meetings. I aim to work closely with our Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael and staff in the Whips Office to ensure the meetings are chaired in an efficient and timely manner. With so many voices to be heard on such a wide range of important issues, it is not always an easy job. However, I hope that my experience of chairing debates in Westminster Hall and elsewhere in Parliament, and my role as Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat CLG Policy Committee will equip me well for the challenge!

I am keen to provide a communication channel to enable colleagues to feed their views to party leadership and to the wider party, and to ensure that MPs are engaging with both. I want to interact fully with all colleagues to be able to keep on top of the main areas of concern and interest. I also am willing to provide a pastoral role to complement the work of the Whips, offering an ear and support when it is needed.

As well as engaging with peers, I believe it is very important to engage with our representatives across the country, in the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and from the European Parliament, and I plan to foster stronger links between these representatives and my colleagues in Westminster.

I have become increasingly concerned about the lack of diversity in elected positions internally and externally within our party, and I hope that my new role as Chair will give me more opportunities to have influence on this incredibly important issue. I especially want to work towards ensuring that women have a stronger voice and presence both within our party and in the wider political sphere.

Working long hours in Westminster away from family and friends can be tough, and I am keen to provide a social aspect for colleagues in order to promote convivial and strong working relationships.

I am really looking forward to the new challenge and hope to bring a fresh perspective to the role!

* Annette Brook is the Liberal Democrat MP for Dorset and North Poole.

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2 Comments

  • How about an open discussion about the treatment of Chris Rennard & Mike Hancock by the Chief Whip & Leader?

  • Paul Pettinger 8th Jun '13 - 12:06am

    Annette Brooke should have been made an Education Minister. Good news she is taking on some extra responsibility.

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