Daisy Cooper confirmed as Deputy Leader

In a newly published interview with the Independent, Daisy Cooper reveals that she is the new Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

This news is very welcome but it will surprise nobody. She was the very clear frontrunner and was elected with the unanimous backing of her parliamentary colleagues.

Constitutional geeks among you will know that this post is actually the Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons and is chosen by the MPs.

In her interview, Daisy talked about the issues she would be fighting on. The article is headlined that we’re going to be targeting soft Tory voters as if that’s the only thing that we’re going to be doing. If you look at what Daisy says, there’s a lot of progressive stuff on tackling inequality and on civil liberties which will have a much broader appeal.

I think the Tory Party has been moved so far to the right that there are swathes of ‘soft conservatives’ in the country who don’t see the current party under Boris Johnson as representing anything like their views and their values whatsoever,” said Ms Cooper.

“And I don’t think it’s just on rule of law issues. It is this kind of thuggish behaviour around giving contracts to their mates, threatening the independence of the judiciary, the double standards emanating from Dominic Cummings, the mixed messaging, the chaos that we’re getting week in week out, the staggering incompetence.

“I think many people have thought before that the Conservative Party was a party of competence and now it’s anything but.”

She said: “In St Albans we started early and it took us three and half years to win the seat by getting out there and talking about our values, about being an open, internationalist party which believes in environmentalism and civil liberties. We’ve got three and a half years now to the next election, so I think that if we start now, we’ve done a very good chance of winning a good number of seats.”

Talking about her new education portfolio, she was clear about how important it was to tackle child poverty:

“I want to get more a much better spotlight on those children that are largely being ignored and not listened to and really struggling to have a voice.

“And I want to tackle this issue that is now coming to the front of the agenda around child poverty and the provision of free school meals. I think it is shocking that in the 21st century we have children going to school with hungry tummies. It’s just absolutely scandalous and I think we’ve to turn the help which was given because of Covid into change for good.”

I hadn’t realised that it was Labour trying to introduce 42 day detention without charge that had brought Daisy into the party:

“It was a light-switch moment,” she said. “I was just watching TV on a Sunday and and I remember listening to this minister talk and feeling genuinely shocked to my core that any government of any colour could propose these measures. I thought ‘I can do a better job than her’. So I got my laptop out, and I thought ‘I’ve always voted Lib Dem, I think I’m probably a Lib Dem’ and I signed up that afternoon.”

Daisy elaborates on her new campaigning role in the party’s press release announcing her as Deputy Leader:

At the same time that Ed Davey, as our new Leader, is listening to and reconnecting with voters, it is my role to help build a winning campaign machine that will get Liberal Democrats elected at every level.

“Liberal Democrats won St Albans in December for the first time ever. It was a seat we had never held before. But it didn’t happen overnight. It took three and a half years. I am determined to use the three and a half years before the next General Election to replicate our St Albans win in many other places.

“With Johnson’s Conservatives attacking the independence of our judges, brazenly stating that they want to break the law and destroy our international reputation, it is more important than ever that Liberal Democrats listen and win in every part of the UK.”

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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23 Comments

  • Her 2019GE result was truly impressive. Normally when a Lib Dem candidate gains a seat at a GE that was previously never Lib Dem the margin of victory is very small. She won it by a considerable margin.

  • John Marriott 13th Sep '20 - 12:01pm

    Not Layla Moran? The public will be asking (that is if they are bothered) “Who is Daisy Cooper?”

  • @ John Marriott “Who is Daisy Cooper?”…… not Layla Moran.

  • Very disappointed this wasn’t Layla. Seemed the right thing to do to make the runner up deputy.

  • The appointment would have more credence had there been a competition, she will be starting with the disadvantage of the ‘unelected’ tag.

  • @ Brett, why?
    @Tynan, parties giving members the job of choosing leaders is how we ended up with a choice of Johnson or Corbyn last year. Far better (and more democratic) for MPs to decide.

  • Tynan,

    As Caron points out (and as a self-confessed geek I have bored several people to death with this point over the decades), Daisy is NOT deputy leader the party. There is no such role. She is deputy leader of the people who sit in the House of Lords and House of Commons for the Liberal Democrats.

    I think it high time for this to change, so that we have a deputy leader of the entire party and that they are elected by the members. The constitution can be so changed through the party conference.

  • Disappointed it is not Layla. Now Layla needs to be given something more important like implementation of Thornhill Report at regional and local level or something related to the media. She has been much better than SirEd at media breakthrough.

  • Alex Macfie 13th Sep '20 - 4:25pm

    tim rogers: Layla has Foreign Affairs.

  • Russel, well giving the members a vote can certainly result in some wild and wonderful outcomes, then again Churchill did say something along the lines of democracy being the worst form of government, apart from all the others that have been tried from time to time.
    Paul, I agree that it would probably be better to have a deputy leader of the party rather than just the parliamentary party, I wonder if in reality and given how often you have had to clarify, whether most people make that distinction on a day to day basis anyway.

  • @Russell I think it shows unity to have the loser as deputy, shows the public that we can compete internally but not hold grudges, also shows that the leader will be held to account by the person who challenged them.

    Secondly, Daisy has only been an MP for 10 months, seems a bit premature to make her deputy imo.

  • Completely expected to be the case.

  • I look forward to hearing the specifics of what Daisy proposes to get us back to winning at every level in campaigning terms.

    Over nearly 4 decades I have heard more or less every Leadership/Presidential contender praise our Local Government base and promise to support it but I can’t really recall ever noticing anything change as a result. There are just 7 months to go to a massive set of elections – two years of Council elections of various kinds rolled into one plus the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments.

    Exactly what new or extra support is going to be forthcoming?

  • Alex Macfie 14th Sep '20 - 8:03am

    The phrase “more radical than Labour” seems to have been widely (perhaps wilfully) misinterpreted, even by some people in this party, and given a false association with Labour’s bitter, sectarian, reactionary hard left. This false linkage may well have contributed to the scale of Ed’s victory in the leadership election, but really, the idea that Layla would want anything to do with the far left, or that they would want anything to do with her, is way off beam.
    “More radical than Labour” is what we were under Charles Kennedy, under whose leadership we were still able to win seats from the Tories, during a Labour government. The idea that it puts soft Tories off us shows a complete misunderstanding of how they think. They are put off by the (reactionary and illiberal) hard left, but not radical liberalism.

  • richard underhill.,. 14th Sep '20 - 9:34am

    Tynan 13th Sep ’20 – 5:38pm
    Winston Churchill needed to fight lots of bye-elections. There was a rule that a Minister who had accepted a different position needed to show that his constituents agreed because (they might, in theory, prefer to have a locally active MP). Imagine that this rule applied when Ken Clarke was being reshuffled by Margaret Thatcher. Would he have continued to support BOTH local football teams?
    Remember also that Winston Churchill changed parties and was resented for doing so by vituperative Tories, depriving PM David Lloyd-George of a friend during most of World War One, while greatly improving Winston’s experience and providing the UK with a more open-minded leader during our hour of greatest need, as MPs were calling for “an abler man” (a call that might have related to Ken Clarke, now, sadly, a peer and therefore unavailable).

  • richard underhill.,. 14th Sep '20 - 9:38am

    “David Michael Gauke (/ɡɔːk/; born 8 October 1971) is a British former politician and solicitor who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for South West Hertfordshire”
    On 3 September 2019, Gauke joined 20 other rebel Conservative MPs to vote against the Conservative government of Boris Johnson.[15] The rebel MPs voted with the Opposition to seize control of parliamentary business from the government, allowing the subsequent passage of the Benn act. The government had declared that voting against the original motion would be viewed as a matter of confidence in the government, as voting in favour of the motion would effectively be “destroying the government’s negotiating position and handing control of parliament to Jeremy Corbyn.” After voting against the government on a “confidence-issue,” all 21 were advised that they had lost the Conservative whip, expelling them as Conservative MPs and requiring them to sit as independents. If they decided to run for re-election in a future election, the party would block their selection as Conservative candidates.”

  • “In a newly published interview with the Independent, Daisy Cooper reveals that she is the new Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.”

    Don’t sensible political parties get somebody independent to announce the result of an internal election, not just leave it to a winner claiming to have won?

    Donald Trump reveals that he is the next President of the US, don’tcha know?!

  • richard underhill.,. 15th Sep '20 - 2:11pm

    Paul Walter 13th Sep ’20 – 3:05pm
    What about Russell Johnson?
    Should we deny everything he said or wrote in public? (including his contribution to the preamble?)

  • richard underhill.,. 15th Sep '20 - 3:01pm

    David Allen 14th Sep ’20 – 10:55am
    Thereby preventing Mike Pence from standing this time?
    on the back of his achievements on the coronavirus?)

  • jayne Mansfield 15th Sep '20 - 7:22pm

    @ Martin,
    Maybe you should start keeping a diary.

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