Ed Davey launches campaign to lead Lib Dems

Ed Davey has launched his campaign to be Lib Dem Leader in a video posted on Twitter.

He has a new website, Ed for Leader.

Ed’s plan has three main themes:

Winning campaigns

Fighting for Liberal values

Tackling the climate emergency

And for those of you who have just joined the party, here’s a bit more about him:

Ed first got active in politics after reading Seeing Green by Jonathan Porritt as a teenager – and green issues have remained close to his heart ever since. After serving as the Economics Adviser to Paddy Ashdown, Ed won his seat of Kingston and Surbiton in 1997, when it was 106th on the target list.

From there, Ed has helped Liberal Democrats across the country, at all levels, get elected, including a diverse and majority female group in his home borough.

Ed lost both his parents as a child – and was a young carer for his mum before she passed away when he was 15, So Ed knows how challenging life can be – and how important the NHS is. Caring for the less fortunate has been the hallmark of his political career – for constituents and his campaigns for the bereaved, the disabled and the homeless.

In Coalition Ed began as a Business Minister, laying the groundwork for Shared Parental Leave under Vince Cable. In 2012 Ed became the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change where he quadrupled renewable power and made the UK the world leader in offshore wind. In Europe, Ed led climate change negotiations and won ambitious news targets people never thought would be agreed – so directly helping to get the Paris Climate Treaty.

After losing in 2015, Ed campaigned hard for Remain at the referendum, and gained his seat back in 2017. Since then Ed has been fighting for us to keep our place in Europe, pushing for a proper response to the Climate Emergency, and helping Liberal Democrats get elected across the country.

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  • I liked his pitch this morning. Having been there, his speech was from the heart and decent.
    His fight for the abolition of section 28 and against Guantanamo detention were not politically popular, but were the right thing to do.

  • nigel hunter 30th May '19 - 2:45pm

    What does de-carbonising capitalism mean ? Specific plans are required. Farage is a sceptic , how do you cope with him? Lots more questions will crop up

  • I see Jo Swinson is one Question Time tonight. I wonder if we can expect a dramatic announcement?! Rory Stewart is on as well. And Barry Gardiner, to helpfully tell us how ‘absolutely clear’ Labour’s Brexit policy is.
    As for Ed, I like the video (though maybe they got too many versions of the ‘walking towards camera as you talk’ memo). And his logo is quite neat. I would say I’m 80% decided who to vote for, but genuinely looking forward to seeing how they both try and persuade me. I just hope we have a positive, upbeat contest, generous to each other, but full of ideas and forward-looking. What a contrast that will be to the Tories.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 30th May '19 - 6:42pm

    A very fine person, a real Liberal, a good bid, if it were experience before exuberance, he should win, though both candidates have both, each has more of one.

    I am inclined towards Jo because of the youthful vigour, but ,I like them equally a lot as people especially, only a year or so younger than Sir Ed, why should age or gender, figure in mind?

    Answers on a postcard…?

  • John Chandler 30th May '19 - 7:43pm

    Another thumbs up here for his pitch. Very good, although I cringe when people talk about “carbon” rather than carbon dioxide (or carbon monoxide, or any other greenhouse gas to be honest) – still, the idea is a good one.

  • Andrew Taylor 31st May '19 - 1:48pm

    His support for fracking is a big concern and future liability for many potential voters; it doesn’t sit well with the ‘decarbonising the economy’ line. His work in between his two stints as MP for the energy company that he awarded contracts to in government is another blot. A good man perhaps, but a potential disaster as a leader with the extra scrutiny that brings. At least there’s a positive choice in Jo, who also gets the social democracy element that Ed’s liberal purity doesn’t leave much room for.

  • Richard Underhill 8th Jun '19 - 9:46am

    nigel hunter: De-carbonising is in another thread, at length

  • Peter Brand 12th Jun '19 - 8:13pm

    Sorry again – I’ve posted this on Jo’s campaign launch and it’s only fair it appears here too.

    I wasn’t able to attend myself, but my wife did, and I’m rather concerned at the level of questions the candidates are getting (I hear) at the hustings.
    A lot of questions were ‘what’s your policy on x/y/z?’
    I’m struggling to see the relevance of this. The leader of the Liberal Democrats does not set policy. They actually hardly have any more influence on policy than any other senior member (you know who I mean, the current and former MPs, peers, MEPs). Presumably both Jo and Ed will remain in the LibDems after this contest, whichever of them wins. So they will both continue to have similar influence on policy and what their policy on individual topics would be is pretty irrelevant to this election. If members are concerned about policy, they should come to conference and vote on it.

    The key qualities I’m looking for – and I’d urge all members to consider this – are leadership and marketing.

    Leadership, because it is important that the leader of the party can lead the party. An important part of the role is to to bring all the disparate types that make up LibDems together to work hard for our agreed party policies. They need to be able to do this.

    Marketing, because it is also important that the leader of the party is good at being the figurehead for the party. They need to be very able to handle all the different kinds of public interactions that party leaders have all the time because their success in these interactions (interviews, speeches, PMQs, doorsteppings, panel shows, etc) determines the success of the LibDems.

    So – who is the best person to lead the party? Not a policy issue! I don’t have a strong opinion either way at the moment and I’ll be watching carefully for the next couple of weeks.

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