Geoff Payne to stand down as Federal Conference Committee chair

Geoff PayneEarlier today Geoff Payne announced that he is standing down as Chair of the Federal Conference Committee – the party body, elected by members, which organises our Spring and Autumn Conferences.

He writes on Facebook:

Some personal news: I have decided to stand down as Chair of Federal Conference Committee. I have thought about this for a while and now seems the right time to do so because we have reached a natural pause between conferences. The reason is nothing to do with the party or the committee, or conference. It is simply that I am finding it increasingly difficult to square conference with my professional life and soon I think it will not be possible at all.

I have been Chair of FCC for three years now. Before that, I served as a Vice-Chair for nine years, and as a member for six years before that. That is probably enough for anyone – some would say too much! But those years have been a privilege for me personally.

Conference continues to represent the very best of the democratic traditions of the party. I am proud of what FCC and the Conference Team has achieved, particularly in pulling together the online conference but also in the many in-person conferences that were run before that. There is immense talent on the committee as well as staffing support of the highest standard from the Conference Office, Policy Unit and party at large. I am very grateful for that, and I wish my successor, whoever that may be, the very best of luck.

A number of members have thanked him:

Jon Ball:

Thank you for everything you have done – especially the Herculean task of making the first virtual conference happen. I’m aware of what an enormous amount of your work that involved and of the consummate skill you applied.

Jennie Rigg:

Geoff has been an excellent, calm and capable chair. He was a worthy successor to Andrew, gracefully steering FCC through numerous crises (including one caused by me). He will be very much missed.

Nicholas da Costa:

Thank you so much for your hard work during your years on the FCC. I am really truly grateful for the personal support and guidance you have given me throughout my time on the FCC and you have done so very much for our party! Massive Thank you!

I was very happy to vote him in as Chair when I was on the FCC myself, and witnessed the sheer quality of his work – imaginative but with the attention to detail that was so necessary. A hard act to follow.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Geoff Payne 26th May '21 - 9:04pm

    Thank you for those kind words, Mary. It has been an absolute privilege to serve with so many brilliant people on FCC.

  • You’re welcome, Geoff, and very best wishes for the future.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 27th May '21 - 10:12am

    Geoff has been an outstanding chair of FCC. He is so calm and wise. He’s had some crises to deal with in his time and had to put a virtual conference together in very little time when the pandemic hit.

    I don’t always agree with Geoff, but he is one of those people that, when you do disagree, you have to ask yourself why.

    He will be very much missed.

  • Duncan Greenland 27th May '21 - 9:41pm

    The whole Party should be hugely grateful to Geoff for his many years playing such an important role in the organisation of our Conferences !

  • Thanks very much for those very kind remarks. FCC is always a team effort involving committee members and staff and I have been extremely fortunate with both.

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