Category Archives: Party Presidency

A farewell from Tim Farron as party president

So, it’s a matter of days now before I hang up my boots and pass on the baton to our new president (its important to mix your metaphors at a time like this!). I want to congratulate my friend and colleague Sal Brinton as she takes on the Party Presidency on 1 January and to wish her every success in the role. Sal will be an outstanding President, over the last four years she has been a regular source of wisdom and support to me – and I hope I can return the favour when she takes over.

I also want to pay tribute to both Liz Lynne and Daisy Cooper. They have both ran exciting campaigns which helped to energise the party and raise important challenges.

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A chance to say thank you to Tim Farron

Tim Farron Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul WalterThe Lib Dems now have a President-elect: yesterday it was announced that Sal Brinton had won the only post other than that of party leader subject to an all-member ballot. Congratulations to her; and a big thanks to runner-up Daisy Cooper as well as Liz Lynne for ensuring a healthy debate.

However, this post isn’t about them, it’s about the current President (until 31st December, when the second of his two-year terms expire), Tim Farron.

Tim might not have been party president. Initially he stood for election as the Deputy Leader in June 2010, following Vince Cable’s decision to quit that post when he entered the cabinet. He lost out to Simon Hughes, himself a former president. So when a few months later, Baroness (Ros) Scott unexpectedly decided not to stand for a second term as party president, Tim threw his hat into the ring, and beat off tough competition from Susan Kramer to win. He was elected unopposed for a second term in 2012.

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 21 Comments

++ And the new President of the Liberal Democrats is…

Sal BrintonSAL BRINTON!

Many congratulations to her and well done to all three candidates for competing in an excellent campaign. This post will be updated with fuller details and reaction in due course.

Special thanks also to the staff and volunteers who have been counting in Liberal Democrat HQ since early this morning. It’s been a bit of a marathon with initial problems in getting the votes verified but they’ve all done a great job.

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Election for Lib Dem Party President: who will win, according to our exclusive survey

libby on the wall3Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. The survey closed at 10am today. 747 party members responded – thank you – and we’ll be publishing the full results here.

Tim Farron’s four-year stint as Lib Dem Party President finishes at the end of this year. The contest to succeed him was a three-way election between three female candidates: Sal Brinton, Daisy Cooper, and Liz Lynne.

We asked a series of questions about the party presidency in our survey…

91% in our survey say they will vote! (That won’t be the turnout.)

Three candidates are standing for the post of Party President, an election which is being decided by a ballot of all party members. Do you plan to vote in this election?

Also posted in LDV Members poll | Tagged , , , and | 12 Comments

The 3 Lib Dem party president candidates on what they’d do in my “It’s 8th May 2015” scenario

libby on the wall3A couple of weeks ago I asked all three candidates for the Lib Dem party presidency a deliberately provocative question:

It’s 8th May, 2015. The Lib Dems have lost some MPs but are still a force to be reckoned with in the House of Commons. Nick Clegg announces he will step aside to let a new leader take over. No single party has an overall majority. What will you do in the next 7 days to maximise Lib Dem influence and keep the party united?

As I wrote then:

My guess is all three will be reluctant to be drawn by the premise of the question (Lib Dems losing MPs, Nick quitting). Fair enough, that’s how politics works. You’re not allowed publicly to think through the Plans B, C and D you need to be thinking through, or the media will tear you to shreds. So I’m not necessarily expecting their real answer.

The reason I’m asking it to them is simple. That scenario, above, is the most likely one to play out in six months’ time, and I really want them to be thinking now about how they handle it. Their response will likely determine not only the success of their time as party president, but also how the party handles it.

To their credit, all three answered. Quick snippets from each below, but well worth reading in full what they said, I think.

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Presidential candidates respond to Rock the Boat

rocktheboatReaders may not all be familiar with ‘Rock the Boat – Lib Dems against sexual harassment’ given our semi-unofficial status within the party. We are not a formal association or SAO and we are mostly organised through networking and a private facebook group.

Launched in early 2013 in response to the first Channel 4 allegations about Lord Rennard’s behaviour, the group was a response from grassroots members to a fervent desire that the issues raised be thoroughly addressed in the party.

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Voting for the next Lib Dem party president starts a week today

Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderA week today, Wednesday, 29th October, ballot papers will be sent to all c.44,000 Lib Dem members enabling us to vote for the next Party President in succession to Tim Farron, who’s held the post for the past four years. Other than the party leader, the presidency is currently the only other post in the Lib Dems determined by a vote of all its members.

Three candidates successfully secured nomination — click on their names to follow the links to their campaign websites:

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A new Lib Dem presidential candidate enters the race

daisy cooperThis is the text of the email I received this morning from Daisy Cooper:

Today, I’m delighted to announce my candidacy for Liberal Democrat Party President, with the backing of Catherine Bearder MEP, Norman Baker MP, experienced councillors and some of the party’s finest campaigners.

I have huge ambitions for our party. I’m 32 and I’m prepared to spend the next 50 years of my life fighting for our political beliefs. The next few months will be challenging but they also present an unrivalled opportunity for us to lay the foundations for a Liberal Revival.

Our Councillors and grass roots campaigners are the forgotten army on which our future depends – in this party, our place is front and centre.

As President, I would:

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Pauline Pearce: “Why I am not running for Lib Dem president”

Until yesterday, there were four candidates for the post of Party President, which will become vacant later this year when incumbent Tim Farron’s term of office expires: Sal Brinton, Linda Jack, Liz Lynne and Pauline Pearce. However, Pauline has now withdrawn from the race – as she explains in this five-minute video:

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Liz Lynne to stand for Party President

image001After being asked by many people from different parts of our party, I have decided to stand to be Party President.

These last four years have been tough and no more so than in the last week. We have seen too many good friends and colleagues defeated as councillors and most recently as MEPs. I know what that feels like. I fought my first parliamentary seat in Harwich for the Liberal/SDP Alliance in 1987 and came second. I then went on to win the seat of Rochdale in 1992. Sadly, I narrowly lost in Tony Blair’s 1997 General Election landslide following boundary changes. I look back with pride on what I achieved in Parliament as our spokesperson on Health and then Social Security, including representing disabled people in the fight for equal rights.

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Linda Jack to announce Lib Dem party president campaign

Linda JackLib Dem activist Linda Jack will shortly announce that she will be a candidate for the post of Party President in the all-member election that will take place this autumn.

To date, two candidates have declared their intention to run: Baroness (Sal) Brinton and Pauline Pearce. I understand Linda will officially throw her hat into the ring after May’s local and European elections.

Linda Jack has twice been a parliamentary candidate for the party: in Luton North in 2005, and in Mid-Bedfordshire (up against Nadine Dorries) in 2010. She also …

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First two Lib Dem presidential hopefuls declare themselves

Party president Tim Farron’s second (and non-renewable) term of office finishes at the end of this year, after four years in the role. He doubtless expected most of the challenges that come from the Lib Dems being in coalition with the Conservatives. He wouldn’t have expected to have to manage the fall-out from the allegations of sexual impropriety made against Lord Rennard a year ago.

The post of party president is the only Lib Dem role other than that of leader elected through an all-member ballot, and it will take place this autumn. This mandate (along with the requirement to deal …

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2014 – looking for a dark horse, or a safe pair of hands?

I mentioned yesterday that there were two elections that might pass uncommented upon for the most part, one of which was internal to the Liberal Democrats. Yes, we have a Presidential election to look forward to, and given that Tim Farron is term-limited, somebody new is going to be leading the voluntary Party into a potentially tough General Election.

Six years ago, everybody knew that Lembit was going to run for the Presidency, whilst Ros Scott was emerging as a likely opponent. What wasn’t clear was what the Leader’s Office wanted, or who they would back, or whether further viable …

26 Comments

Lib Dems’ internal elections: your guide to where we’re at (UPDATED)

Every couple of years the Lib Dems hold internal elections in which conference representatives choose members of key party committees. As one of the seemingly few Lib Dems neither standing for election nor with a vote, I thought our readers might like an update on where we’re at…

Federal Executive

What does it do?
The formal answer: ‘The Federal Executive is an elected committee responsible for directing, co-ordinating and implementing the work of the Federal Party.’ (From the party website.)
The informal answer: What does the Federal Executive do? by Alison Goldsworthy
Who’s standing?
There are 36 candidates (26 men, 10 women) competing for …

Also posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Nick Clegg: re-elect Tim Farron as Party President

Neither is quite so gauche as to say it explicitly, but you hardly have to peer between the lines to work out what message is meant to be imparted by a piece from Nick Clegg praising Tim Farron’s record as President, especially when it’s contained in a leaflet handed out at conference by Tim’s re-election team and with a form asking people to sign Tim’s nomination papers tucked inside.

It is looking like it will be an uncontested re-election so far, but credit to Tim for still taking it seriously. …

Also posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 6 Comments

Has Tim Farron got a prayer against the Advertising Standards Authority?

In a rather unexpected departure from the usual activities of the Party Presidency, Tim Farron, in his role as a Vice Chair of the ‘Christians in Parliament’ group, has co-signed a letter to the Advertising Standards Agency;

Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury
Chairman, Advertising Standards Agency
21st March 2012

We are writing on behalf of the all-party Christians in Parliament group in Westminster and your ruling that the Healing On The Streets ministry in Bath are no longer able to claim, in their advertising, that God can heal people from medical conditions.

We write to express our concern at this decision and to enquire

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 45 Comments

Lib Dem Presidential Contest: Result

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LDV survey: The qualities members want from the Lib Dem party president (and whose campaign reached most members)

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of the contest for the party presidency, the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Almost 600 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

As today is the day the result of the contest to become party president is declared, here’s a Wordle illustrating what party members feel are the most important qualities whoever is successful should bring to the role (click on the image to enlarge)

Also posted in LDV Members poll and Online politics | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Lib Dem Presidential contest: result due early this afternoon

The results of the election for president of the Lib Dems will be announced today, soon after 12pm, and Lib Dem Voice’s Helen Duffett will be reporting back live from the count. A reminder, as if you needed one, of the two candidates standing for the post:

  • Tim Farron
  • Susan Kramer
  • If you’re interested in looking back at the coverage of the race that’s appeared here on LDV, then click here.

    The results for the party committee elections and Peers panel are also expected early this afternoon, so watch this space.

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    EXCLUSIVE: Tim Farron set to win contest for party presidency

    Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of the contest for the party presidency, the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Almost 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results over the next few days.

    First, we asked what party members thought of the campaigns of the two presidential candidates, Tim Farron and Susan Kramer:

    Regardless of how you intend to vote, which of the two candidates do you think has run the best campaign to become party president?

      50% – Tim Farron

    Also posted in LDV Members poll | Tagged and | 20 Comments

    Last chance to vote in Party Committee Elections 2010 (online voting closes noon today)

    Online voting in this year’s Liberal Democrat Committee elections closes at NOON today, so if you’re a Federal Conference Rep who hasn’t yet returned your vote, there’s still time to get online and do so.

    To vote by internet, go to:

    www.votebyinternet.com/partycommittee2010 and follow the online instructions.

    You’ll need to enter your security code, which is printed on your ballot paper.

    The counts for the Party Committee and Presidential elections will take place this Saturday, 13th November.

    To get the results keep an eye on this site – I’ll be at Cowley Street, to bring you the results as soon as they are announced.

    Also posted in Party policy and internal matters | 3 Comments

    Lib Dem party president election: time to make your mind up…

    Stll deciding which way to vote in the contest for Lib Dem party president? As Mark Pack reminds us here, the deadline for returning your completed ballot paper is this coming Wednesday, 10th November.

    To help those party members, who (like me) are finding it very hard to decide, here are links to all the posts published on Lib Dem Voice (starting with the most recent) in which the stalls of the two candidates, Tim Farron and Susan Kramer, are explored…

    9 Comments

    Kramer versus Farron: what sort of President does the party want?

    Party members are unusually lucky with the current contest for President of the Liberal Democrats. It is rare for there to be two credible, high-profile candidates standing at the same time but this time there is a real choice between two such people.

    Some differences between Susan Kramer and Tim Farron were obvious from the start of the campaign and are swaying some voters, depending on their views on matters such as how important (or not) it is for one of the party’s most prominent posts to be held by a woman, whether an MP has enough time to do the job, whether a current MP from outside London or an ex-MP from London is more outside the Westminster bubble and so on.

    However, two further differences between the candidates have come out clearly during the campaign.

    Tagged , and | 18 Comments

    Susan Kramer answers 10 questions about her campaign for Party President

    Susan Kramer and Tim Farron were both asked the same ten questions about their bid to be LibDem President and given the option to reply in whatever format and at whatever length they wished. Susan’s answers are below and you can find Tim’s answers here. My own commentary on the answers and race more generally is here.

    Tagged | 3 Comments

    Tim Farron answers 10 questions about his campaign for Party President

    Susan Kramer and Tim Farron were both asked the same ten questions about their bid to be LibDem President and given the option to reply in whatever format and at whatever length they wished. Tim’s answers are below and you can find Susan’s answers here. My own commentary on the answers and race more generally is here.

    1. Many parts of the Bones Commission were deferred until after the 2010 general election. Now that it has happened, what would your plans be for implementing, modifying or mothballing those outstanding parts?

    The Bones report was insightful and a lot of thought …

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    Farron and Kramer: party should retain long-term aim of abolishing tuition fees

    Both of the candidates to be the next Liberal Democrat President have expressed their support for the party retaining a long-term aim of abolishing tuition fees.

    Tomorrow Liberal Democrat Voice will publish in full the answers from Susan Kramer and Tim Farron to a set of questions Lib Dem Voice has posed them. Their answers paint two different views on what the role should be of the Party President and how they would approach it. But on several issues they both agree, including on tuition fees:

    Do you believe the party should have a long-term commitment to the abolition of tuition fees?

    Kramer:

    Also posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

    Liblink: Liberal Vision grills Kramer and Farron

    Liberal Vision have published interviews conducted with each of the candidates for the Liberal Democrat presidency: Susan Kramer and Tim Farron.

    Read the Farron interview here and the Kramer interview here.

    As a taster:

    Liberal Vision: In one sentence why should people who read our blog back your campaign?

    Susan Kramer: Overwhelmingly it’s to be the voice for the grass roots of the party, creating that two-way connection between the grass roots and the leadership, and keeping us unified. We shouldn’t let other pull us apart

    Tim Farron: Because they want the Liberal Democrats to win, and because

    Also posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 4 Comments

    Liblink: Liberator interviews the presidential hopefuls

    Liberator magazine has asked the two Lib Dem presidential contenders those tough questions – read their responses here.

    A taster to whet your appetite:

    Q5: How will you ensure that you gain regular and meaningful access to the party leader?

    Farron: He won’t be able to get rid of me. Being an MP gives me direct access to the media to get our message across and it also gives me close access to Nick. I’ll be a critical friend to the coalition and a candid friend to Nick. As President, I would carry a mandate from the members to ensure that the

    Also posted in LibLink | Tagged and | Leave a comment

    LDVideo: Susan Kramer and Tim Farron’s online Presidential hustings

    Tim Farron and Susan Kramer took part in an online hustings this week, taking questions from a live and online audience. Play the video below to watch the two candidates explain why they want to be Party President and discuss what they would do in the role.

    Tagged and | 3 Comments

    Farron and Kramer: their email pitches for President

    Party members have been receiving emails today from Tim Farron and Susan Kramer setting out their pitches for party president. Of course, the emails can only go to party members for whom the party has an accurate email address. So I’ve reproduced the emails below – and if you’ve missed out but would like to get future party emails, get in touch with Membership Services on [email protected]

    If reading these messages moves you to want to ask the candidates a question, don’t forget the online hustings coming up.

    Susan Kramer

    Dear Mark,

    We in the Liberal Democrats are facing a time of …

    Tagged and | 10 Comments
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