Helen Duffett and Stephen Tall among “most influential” Liberal Democrats

Yesterday afternoon the Telegraph published the first part of Iain Dale’s annual list of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats. It contained two members of the Liberal Democrat Voice team.

First, a new entry at number 49 for our associate editor Helen Duffett:

Helen Duffett acts as a bridge between the party establishment and the membership. She is credited with a huge improvement in the effectiveness and relevance of party communications. As Honorary President of Liberal Youth, Associate Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and host of regular online Q&A sessions with Lib Dem Ministers, she is, unlike most messengers, widely liked – which assists her greatly in the role.

There’s a meteoric rise for co-editor Stephen Tall, although Dale should know better that Stephen has been co-editor since 2007.

This year Stephen Tall replaced Mark Pack as the Co-Editor of the hugely successful Liberal Democrat Voice, the must-read site for party activists. A Research Associate at CentreForum, Tall is usually more at home with the politics of David Laws than of Simon Hughes, but rarely picks factional fights, being a critical friend of the party who prefers to talk up its achievements rather than knock them down.

Stephen comes above Nick Clegg’s wife and several members of his inner circle as well as Ming Campbell and, err, Lord Oakeshott.

Elsewhere on the list, Maajid Nawaz, new PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn is a new entry at number 50. I am surprised that Jim Wallace, a new entry at 30, has not been on the list before. After all, he’s been playing that role as described for three years now:

If the Lib Dems had men in grey suits, they would be led by Jim Wallace. It’s no stretch of the imagination to believe that had Jim Wallace not existed, the 2010 coalition talks may have floundered. The Lib Dem negotiating team took advice from Wallace’s experience creating a Lib/Lab coalition in the early years of the Scottish Parliament. His robust stance and experience on fighting elections as the leader of a minority party in government makes him uniquely useful. More recently, has provided valuable support behind the scenes to Michael Moore on the delicate negotiations over the Scottish referendum.

We’ll let you know who’s in the top half of the list when it’s published.

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

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