Category Archives: Leadership Election

Ed’s Day – 18 June 2019

It’s been a very busy day for Ed Davey too.

From tackling transphobia on Mumsnet

And answering the Radical Association’s questions:

Liberal Democrats believe the market is our servant not our master. We want a mixed economy, and a diverse set of ownership models. We want to make sure markets don’t mistreat workers or the planet. Decarbonising capitalism is a profoundly radical approach to reforming the City, banks, stock exchanges, pension funds and debt markets – and is entirely in line with an approach of “responsible capitalism” promoted by Vince Cable, with new stronger regulations for better Environmental, Social and Governance policies for business. The reforms I introduced as Energy and Climate Change Secretary to reform the electricity market and to promote energy efficiency showed what can be achieved, by smart government intervention – as we saw renewable energy boom and I brought in minimum energy efficiency regulations for the rented sector.

I certainly don’t see the traditional shareholder corporate model as the only one. When I was a junior minister in BIS I worked closely with Co-op UK to push collective purchasing by consumers and then introduced this to the energy market through collective switching. I insisted that there should be a significant employee ownership of Royal Mail and am only sorry that after I left BIS the Tories scaled back the ambitious scale of employee ownership which we had. I introduced legislation which will allow a future government to mutualise the Post Office. At DECC I pushed for and published the UK’s first ever community energy strategy for renewables to provide a challenge to incumbent energy operators and after leaving government chaired a community energy company, helping many communities get into solar and even wind power. So I am passionately committed to delivering much wider forms of ownership than the traditional forms of corporate ownership.

And on rebuilding the party:

The inspiring thing is how a relatively small number of people can make a massive impact. Whether that was in past Lynne Featherstone in Hornsey and Wood Green to more recently Hannah Kitching in Barnsley and Adam Carter in Rotherham, big breakthroughs can be made. Often stronger nearby parties have helped in providing advice and support such as the Sheffield party in Rotherham but we can perhaps make this rather more structured.

And we also need to recognise that strong national messages appealing to people who share our values can have a massive impact. Who would have thought that in the European elections that we we would win boroughs such as Wandsworth and Westminster where we have no Councillors currently? As Leader my role will be to ensure that we put those supportive structures in place and that we have those clear national messages.

To be honest, there’s also the issue of raising money for the party. We have failed to hit fundraising targets in recent years – so we need to do much better. I believe I can go to businesses and individuals interested in our European ideas and our decarbonisation ideas, and get them to back us – and if we can raise significant extra funding, we can support less well-off areas, and support the rebuilding of the party in different parts of the country.

And talking to Liberal Reform:

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Jo’s Day – 18 June 2019

A busy day for Jo today.

Backing Stella Creasy on parental leave for MPs.

And appearing on Channel 4 News to talk about how important it was to do this in 2019.

Realising who Boris is really scared of…

Tackling the health secretary on protecting our NHS data in future post Brexit talks

And talking to the Times (£) about possible Remain pacts:

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Ed’s Day – June 2019

Today was mostly about the online hustings – as Sal Brinton said, the first to be held online by a political party in the UK to choose its leader.

Here are some of his highlights:


Earlier, he had visited a project in his constituency as part of Learning Disabilities Week:

And he had a wide-ranging interview with the New Statesman:

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Ed’s weekend – 16 June 2019

For Ed, the Nottingham hustings were a return to the place of his birth.

He spoke to the local newspaper.

I’ve always been very fond of Nottingham and I’m actually a Notts County supporter. It’s been a very difficult year for us but hopefully we’ll bounce back.”

He faced a challenging time aged 12 when his mother developed secondary bone cancer, and he became her carer for the next three years, before her death.

He was then brought up by his grandparents.

He added: “I was extremely fortunate to earn a scholarship to study at the Nottingham High School for 10 years, before I moved on to university.”

There’s a barrier between him and Ken Clarke, though:

“I am an admirer of Ken Clarke as a Conservative who has stood by his beliefs with Europe. Only problem is, he’s a Forest fan.”

Ed remembered Jo Cox on the third anniversary of her murder:

And he’s not impressed that some funders of the Johnson and Hunt campaigns are climate change deniers.

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Jo’s Weekend – 15-16 June 2019

It’s the third weekend of the campaign and that means hustings. From the north west on Friday night, the hustings train moved to Leeds on Saturday morning and Nottingham in the evening.

She took time to remember Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was murdered 3 years ago today.

This Radio 4 profile featured some familiar voices and you can find out which band she liked as a teenager, listen to a  fascinating excerpt from a school essay and find out the first song at her wedding – as well as some anecdotes from her first election campaign.

And there’s always room for a Douglas Adams reference:

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What do I want from our new Leader?

There will be those of our readers who have made a decision in favour of #EdForLeader or #JoinJo, but for many, especially the newer ones, they may still be deciding. Here’s one member’s criteria for making his mind up, which may give you some more things to think about…

So we are to have a contested Leadership election this time. Given that both (at the time of writing) declared Candidates come from similar parts of the party and there is not much to choose between them on major policy issues (and that in our Party Policy is not the sole preserve …

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Leadership hustings – a chance to discuss the future of the party with Vince Cable

The first Leadership hustings will take place this Saturday in London.

Why a hustings, I hear you ask, given that there is only one candidate? Technically nominations close next Monday, so until then the advice is that we cannot assume that there will not be a contest (although, of course, the chances of a challenge are minimal).

The Social Liberal Forum Conference is holding the hustings at 1.30pm at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA. Vince Cable has agreed to take part. If any other candidates do come forward before Saturday then they will, of course, be invited.

Whilst any party member is welcome to attend the hustings for free, we would love it if you could sign up for the whole day’s conference. In the morning the theme will be ‘The Retreat from Globalisation’ with some eminent speakers, while the afternoon will be devoted to more local issues including the Leadership election and a review of the General Election. You can register here:

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Leadership election

The timetable for the election of a new Leader for the Liberal Democrats has been announced. Here are the key dates:

Opening of nominations: 26th June (today)

Deadline for nominations: 20th July

Despatch of ballot papers to members: 16th August

Close of ballot: 11th September

Verification, count and declaration: 13th September

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Green Liberal Democrats question Tim Farron and Norman Lamb


We have published a number of posts in which the two candidates have answered questions on specific policy areas or for particular audiences posed by our readers:

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Opinion: Now is the time for social liberals to organise, and quickly

A member for 13 years, this is only the fifth time (out of five) that I have been a candidate and lost; it’s only the ninth set of elections that I have been involved with, all of which have been characterised by losses.  I realise that I am only a beginner compared to many folk in this wonderful political family of ours.

In our part of the world, there are elections (of some form or other) almost every year.  And I admit, particularly after the results became clear last Thursday, to have started to flag a bit.

But as the days have gone by since polling day, I have gradually begun to take heart.

Much has been made of the encouraging numbers of people that are joining the party.  The era of everything being the Lib Dems’ fault is now well and truly over.  As a result of Nick’s gracious resignation, we have the opportunity of a leadership election in which we can, as a party, make an important decision about the future.

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‘The Age of Ming’ – Tue 23 June, BBC Radio 4, 11am

If you have the chance, you can listen live to BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Age of Ming’ tomorrow, Tuesday, at 11 am. If you don’t have the chance, there’s always Listen Again. Here’s the BBC online article:

Sir Menzies Campbell lasted less than two years as leader of the Liberal Democrats. Many believe he was hounded out of office by a media obsessed with his age and appearance. The former Olympic athlete protests that, after his admittedly shaky start in the Commons, views were formed in the press that never wavered.

His background should have been an image-maker’s dream: born into

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Labour, Lewisham and the BNP

As previously featured on LDV, Duwayne Brooks was running to be a Liberal Democrat councillor in one of yesterday’s by-elections. Duwayne, along with fellow candidate Jenni Clutten, won. Congratulations to them both.

Labour’s campaign was at times, shall we say, unusual, with a heavy emphasis in their leaflets of a plan of their to have the Union Jack* flying over Lewisham Town Hall. As Dave Hill has written over on The Guardian:

How does that work for you? It made me a little queasy. Shouldn’t Labour concentrate on exposing the BNP for what it is rather than pandering to the nationalism

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Kirsty’s win – what folk are saying

Congratulations from all at Lib Dem Voice to Kirsty Williams on becoming the first elected female leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. There’s more coverage over at the Welsh Lib Dems website, but here’s a few brief snippets from today’s papers:

Kirsty Williams makes political history (

KIRSTY WILLIAMS made history yesterday as she won the battle to become the new leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats – and with it the first woman ever to lead a major party in Wales.
She defeated former acting Deputy First Minister Jenny Randerson by 910 votes to 612 to succeed Mike German.

Ms Williams, 37, responded to her victory by vowing to fight all three of the Lib Dems’ rival parties. The Brecon & Radnorshire AM said: “My message to the other political parties is ‘Watch out – we are coming to get you’.”

Williams election ‘breaks mould’ (
Kirsty Williams said she had “broken the mould” after being elected Wales’ first female party leader in the Welsh Liberal Democrat leadership contest. … Ms Williams, aged 37, launched her leadership bid saying she wanted to embrace the party’s talent to achieve success “in all parts of Wales”. … She said her party had to reach out to people who felt let down by politics and the assembly and she had “something unique to offer the people of Wales”.

“As a party we have broken the mould today by electing a woman,” she said. “If you have been turned off by politics, by the way the Labour Party has let Wales down, or the Conservatives’ attitude, or Plaid’s abandonment of principles, then come. We will re-ignite the flame of liberalism that once burnt so bright in this country. I am determined as leader of this party that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will blaze a trail for a new politics in Wales.”

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Jenny Randerson AM: why I want to lead the Welsh Liberal Democrats

Once upon a time, Wales was full of hope for the future. The narrowly won referendum on the creation of Assembly had ushered in a new period for Wales. The idea that ‘never again’ could an “English” Government wreak devastation across the country as they had in the eighties, provided the prospect of a bright future for Wales.

Nearly ten years have now passed and Labour is approaching the half way point of its third term in office. The promised transformation of Welsh services and society has not yet come to pass. Wales is still the poorest nation of the UK; …

Also posted in Op-eds and Wales | 2 Comments

Kirsty Williams AM: why I want to lead the Welsh Liberal Democrats

I am incredibly proud that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are on the verge of electing the first female party leader in Wales. It is a significant point in Welsh political history, and one that will follow a decade of immense change in how our country is governed.

I have had the privilege of being involved in that change, from the referendum campaign and the National Assembly Advisory group through to the rough and tumble of three election victories in Brecon and Radnorshire. That process of change is not about to stop and I want the Welsh Liberal Democrats to be …

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LDV’s Welsh Lib Dem leadership platform

The election contest to lead the Welsh Liberal Democrats is well under-way: hustings are taking place throughout November, with the ballots posted out on November 21.

There are two candidates, both female: Jenny Randerson, AM for Cardiff Central, and Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire.

Lib Dem Voice is giving both leadership candidates the platform directly to address members in Wales, as well as the wider party. First up will be Kirsty – her leadership platform piece will be published on LDV this afternoon, at 4.45 pm. Jenny’s will be published very shortly.

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Osborne set to announce fuel tax increases

In a dramatic move intended to demonstrate his resolve and consistency, George Osborne is set to follow through on his summer consultation over introducing a fuel tax stabiliser, and will call for an increase in fuel duty.

As he said when launching the policy idea on 6th July:

A common sense plan to help families, bring stability to the public finances and help the environment by making the price of carbon less volatile.

The plan stated:

If a Fair Fuel Stabiliser had been introduced at the 2008 Budget, fuel would now be 5p per litre cheaper, shaving £3.50 off a tank

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Jenny Randerson AM launches Welsh Lib Dem leadership bid

There’s more than one election taking place at the moment, y’know…

Jenny Randerson’s campaign to become the new leader of the Welsh Liberal democrats launched yesterday, and you can find coverage here (BBC) and here (Wales Online). You can find Jenny’s campaign website here.

Kirsty Williams AM, as LDV mentioned last month, is also in the running to become the first female leader within the Lib Dems. You can find Kirsty’s campaign website here.

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Race officially starts for Welsh Lib Dem leadership

The BBC wesbite reports:

Nominations have opened in the race to become the next leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Outgoing leader Mike German gave a farewell speech to the party’s autumn conference at Clydach, near Swansea.

Kirsty Williams, Brecon and Radnorshire AM, announced her intention to stand for the post a month ago; Cardiff Central AM today Jenny Randerson declared she would be joining Kirsty in the contest, ensuring the Welsh Lib Dems will soon be led by a woman. Here’s Jenny’s statement:

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Tavish Scott: why I want to be Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish politics used to be predictable: Labour was the largest party, the SNP was bitter about it, the Tories were resented for existing and the Liberal Democrats were a voice of reason. But the results of the Holyrood election and last week’s Glasgow East by-election remind us that times have changed. Political parties are having to reposition themselves and adapt to the new dynamics. It’s a dangerous game, with the future of our country at stake.

For the SNP, the plan is clear. Pick fights with London, luxuriate in Labour’s decline, and hope for a Tory government at Westminster. Salmond’s …

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Ross Finnie: why I want to be Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats

I want to be Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats because I believe I have the ability to drive the Party forward by making Liberal Democrat values and policies relevant to the people of Scotland.

At present I believe our message has become blurred and lacks a distinctive Liberal Democrat edge. We lack a political narrative that brings clarity and cohesion to our political projection.

I want us to concentrate on three themes:-

We must become regarded as the Party that stands up for individual freedom – not only human rights and civil liberties but also freedom from poor education, poor health, poverty …

Also posted in Op-eds and Scotland | 6 Comments

Scottish Lib Dem leader nominations close

The Press Association reports the (unsurprising) news:

The deadline for nominations in the race to lead the Scottish Liberal Democrats has closed with no late challengers in the three-way campaign.

Mike Rumbles and former ministers Tavish Scott and Ross Finnie will now concentrate on winning party support before the poll on August 26.

The candidates are hoping to succeed Aberdeen South MSP Nicol Stephen, who quit the top job earlier this month citing family reasons.

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It’s a three-way contest for next Scottish Lib Dem leader

Following Nicol Stephen’s surprise resignation as leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, three MSPs have declared their intent to succeed him, according to today’s papers. Here’s The Times:

Tavish Scott, the former Transport Minister, who is widely tipped as the favourite to replace Nicol Stephen as leader, formally announced his bid only hours after the former Rural Affairs Minister, Ross Finnie, made it clear he too was running. … Mr Scott, who is close to Mr Stephen, has won the backing of six of the party’s MSPs and five MPs. He also enjoys the support of the former UK party

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Mike Rumbles: why I want to lead the Scottish Lib Dems

I want to lead this party because I believe that it has never been a more important time to be a Liberal Democrat. The other parties are obsessed with eroding individual civil liberties:
* the Labour Party is hell-bent on forcing people to carry ID cards and increasing the length of detention without trial to 42 days;
* the Conservatives want to introduce random drug tests in schools; and
* the SNP continue to bring forward a whole raft of measures which will take away individuals’ rights, such as its proposals to ban all our young adults aged 18 to 21 …

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Paul Walter on Nick’s first 100 days

At the tail end of the leadership campaign, I wrote for Lib Dem Voice about what our new leader should do during his first 100 days. That boiled down to a media blitz – hitting the ground running, etc, etc. Never mind shadow cabinet appointments or internal party anorakking, the new leader had to be on the front foot with the media before he got consumed by them.

I am delighted to report that I think Nick Clegg deserves 10/10 in the hitting the ground running/media blitz stakes. Therefore by the key measure I set (and still set) Nick Clegg has started his leadership brilliantly. He and his team deserve pats on the back and triples all round.

For evidence to back up this, I could do no better than point you to Fraser MacPherson’s excellent round-up of positive coverage for Nick. There was also a glowing leader article in The Guardian.

Basically, Nick has shown that he has sharp elbows and has managed to wedge himself into many media stories on an almost daily basis. Just take the last week. He championed the cause of the Gurkhas. This almost brought tears to my eyes. Normally, championing the cause of veterans would be the exclusive preserve of the Tories. That well known too-smooth operator and law-breaker David Cameron would normally have been presenting the Gurkhas’ case. So well done Nick for turning that old paradigm on its head.

Then, later in the week, Nick managed to get liberally quoted on the subject of Derek Conway MP and the scandalously lax House of Commons expense rules. Another example of sharp elbows. It looks easy, but I am sure there have been sleepless nights and long hours for Nick and his team in order to achieve his high level of media visibility (for a Lib Dem leader).

Of course, the Lisbon treaty thingy has been the main test of Nick’s leadership. Call me an old-fashioned leader sycophant if you like, but I think he rode out that storm with considerable élan and skill. All party leaders face that sort of week. The crucial test is how they handle it. Nick handled it on the front foot, with considerable grace, humour and equanimity. I was particularly impressed that he did the media rounds on the day of the vote (eg, a particularly energetic appearance on Channel 4 News) and appeared relaxed, rational and human.

You only have to look at what hasn’t happened to see what a great success Nick’s first 100 days have been.

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Mary Reid on Nick’s first 100 days

Just before we knew who our new Leader would be, I wrote one of the pieces on Lib Dem Voice giving him some advice for the first 100 days.

I said:

We all know that our real power base is in local government. And it is here that some of the most interesting initiatives in community politics are being played out by Lib Dem run councils.

So I want to challenge the new leader to capitalise on our distinctive style of leadership out beyond Westminster. He could begin by a fact-finding tour of the country, and, guided by local knowledge, align himself

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Martin Land on Nick’s first 100 days

Dear Nick,

Well, not bad. The polls look better and on the doorstep I’ve not had a single person ask me why we got rid of Charles Kennedy.

The Bones Commission was a good idea. It was a less of a good idea to allow those who could be part of the problem (I only say could) set its remit. Equally, I’m not sure that the deadline for submissions was very generous and I don’t think the message got down to the grassroots. But let’s see what comes out of it. But it must be an interim step – to coin …

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Linda Jack on Nick’s first 100 days

Before we knew who was to be our new leader I rashly penned a piece on what I thought he should do in his first 100 days. Having been asked to reflect on how I think he has done, I went back to elements of my original musings.

Having taken a military perspective, I suggested that our new leader needed to have

* A thorough understanding of our ‘enemy’ – it is after all the ground they currently hold that we wish to take;
I think we have begun to see Nick’s strength in this area, although there is a way to …

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NEW POLL: Could a job-share leadership work?

Susan Kramer has set up a fascinating ‘What if?’ today, with her revelation on the BBC London Politics Show that she wishes she had contested last year’s Liberal Democrat leadership election – as a job-share with one of her fellow female MPs:

I actually feel quite guilty because, you know, we had a leadership election in my political party, and what I should have done, and dammit, I didn’t, was get together with another woman and the two of us put together a joint thing. … I thought about it too late. You look at the job and think ‘Who on

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Opinion: What should the new leader do in his first 100 days? #7

Dear Nick,

If you and you staff have the time, I’ve made many comments over the past two months about how the party needs reforming and reorganising.

But that’s not the object of today. I want to talk to you about the most important meeting of your first 100 days. A meeting, of course, that according to its to principle protagonists will not take place. A meeting, we will not be able to read about until one of you publishes your memoirs. I refer to your first meeting with David Cameron.

It’s important that you set out our stall. Point …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 19th Jun - 5:51pm
    Peter Martin, you can read Libdem Policy on International Affairs here Policy to Improve control of arms exports is: - Implementing a policy of...
  • User AvatarChristian 19th Jun - 5:32pm
    It’s not often I agree with Jeremy Corbyn, but I think he’s got a point that from a Labour point of view that if he...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 19th Jun - 5:27pm
    Michael BG, the suggestion that there would a reduction in working days is a parody of the kind of arguments used by politicians like Donald...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 19th Jun - 4:49pm
    As I heard Ed Davey talk if his own child, who has special needs, it touched on a nerve. One of my greatest role models...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Jun - 4:45pm
    @ Richard Underhill I live in Scotland and just loved the way you describe our 1745 life style. Can't comment much more on your piece...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 19th Jun - 4:26pm
    @MIchaelBG, There's some evidence that Keynes wasn't quite there on 'crowding out'. On the other hand, currencies in his day tended not to be the...