Julian Huppert selected for Lib Dems in Cambridge

Julian Huppert, Lib Dem PPC for CambridgeCongratulations to Julian Huppert, newly-selected Liberal Democrat PPC for Cambridge.

From a press release by Cambridge Liberal Democrats:

“Julian was selected from a shortlist of six candidates who fought for the position at Hustings at The Michaelhouse Centre in Trinity Street, Cambridge last night (Friday).

The ballot was called after MP David Howarth decided to stand down at the general election to return to his academic career at Clare College.

Julian said: “I am delighted and honoured to be given the chance to fight for this seat in the general election in my home town; it is a great privilege.”

Julian grew up in Cambridge and has represented the diverse interests of the city, including the universities, students, council estates and the knowledge economy as county councillor for East Chesterton between 2001 and 2009 and as Lib Dem group leader. He is a member of Liberty‘s national council.

Julian works as a scientist at the Cavendish Laboratory and believes that his scientific background is one of his great strengths in fighting for the Cambridge seat in Parliament.

“So many decisions from climate change to health care require detailed understanding of what is actually happening,” he told members. “We must try to change the way policies are made in this country so that they are made for clear reasons and not just as knee jerk reactions to media scare stories.”

Speaking on climate change he said he was proud to be “green” and that all Lib Dem policies from transport to housing were environmentally sustainable.

“I will continue to fight for our liberal, progressive, green and international values,” he said.

David Howarth said: “I am delighted that Julian has been chosen as the candidate for the general election. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the position and I am confident the future is in good hands.”

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13 Comments

  • Andrew Suffield 16th Jan '10 - 2:55am

    I don’t think “pervert the election process by sticking somebody who can’t otherwise get elected into a ‘safe seat’, instead of letting the voters decide who they prefer” is really an acceptable course of action, particularly when that’s the behaviour we’re trying to get rid of in the other parties.

    It might be interesting to examine the selection process and try to figure out why the others didn’t get in.

    Incidentally, that photograph is creeping me out a bit.

  • Richard Huzzey 16th Jan '10 - 3:43am

    Fantastic news.

  • Martin Land 16th Jan '10 - 8:13am

    Surely the key point her is that the electors of Cambridge will get an excellent MP? Julian stood in Huntingdon last time, where I was his Agent. He is a seasoned, tried and trusted campaigner, with a record of action which is impressive for someone who will be one of our youngest MPs. Let’s not forget that Julian was our County Council group leader for a number of years, succeeding the brilliant Sal Brinton, the next MP for Watford – and meeting her levels of accomplishment as an opposition leader – no mean feat on Julian’s part.

    The members of Cambridge – and I can assure you knowing many of them very well – are amongst one of the most liberal and forward looking local parties anywhere in this party and will have given the fairest possible hearing to every candidate and while many of them will have been conscious of the need for greater female representation in our Westminster ranks, will have done the job they were asked to do. Selected the candidate whose record, whose literature and whose speech on the night they felt showed was best person to be able to represent their City.

    In choosing an excellent candidate in Julian Huppert they have done the party a great service.

    And perhaps even more importantly they have done the people of Cambridge a great service too.

  • In answer to Andy’s point, I’d remind people that the selection process in the Lib Dems seems to be quite good on equality matters – women candidates tend to get selected in the same proportion in which they stand.

    The problem we have is in getting a more representative slate of candidates is not then in selection but in training and support before that process. My anecdotal evidence is that a large number of local parties I’m aware of seem to be very centred on older middle-class white men.

    The party’s diversity officers offer excellent training on diversity – on how it benefits local parties, on how to welcome it. My proposed solution to the diversity problem in our candidates it to tackle it at the grass roots – to encourage (not force) local party chairs to undergo this diversity training, and to see if we can’t get more diverse local parties supporting a more diverse range of potential candidates for selections.

  • Malcolm Todd 16th Jan '10 - 1:03pm

    A thought on gender bias. It’s often repeated that (as Dave Page says) “the selection process in the Lib Dems seems to be quite good on equality matters – women candidates tend to get selected in the same proportion in which they stand”. But does that actually stand up?

    If we believe that the problem lies earlier in the process – not so many women make it as far as standing in the first place – doesn’t that imply that those women who do stand are more than averagely determined/committed/charismatic or whatever, since it is apparently harder for a woman even to get to that stage? If that is so, then women candidates for selection should on average be objectively better than their male equivalents; which means that an unbiased process would select women candidates in a higher proportion than that in which they stand. The fact that the proportions are as they are may indicate, not that there is no sexist bias in the selectorate, but that on the average women’s estimate of the bias that exists is about right, so that they are put off standing in about the right proportion to produce this result.

  • Martin Land 16th Jan '10 - 3:04pm

    But let us remind ourselves that there are many seats who still do not have candidates in place…

  • @Andy – I think it’s a sensible worry to have, though, that /forcing/ members or constituents in a particular seat to take a particularly candidate merely because of her (or his) gender is not an acceptable practice, even if one gender is underrepresented. Myself, I’ve always been more in favour of approaches such as earmarking additional funding and/or training for women considering putting themselves forward as candidates. That way you to encourage women candidates to come forward and have a fair contest as well; you simply allocate training resources such as to increase the probability that female candidates seem like ‘the right man for the job’ on the day.

    My hearty congratulations to Julian. Much as I’m still somewhat devastated David is standing down, Julian’s a jolly good good and I’m sure he’ll made an excellent MP.

  • *For some reason I amended ‘fellah’ to ‘good’ rather than ‘fellow’.

  • Malcolm Todd’s argument is only correct if we assume that women find it “harder” than men to get to the selection stage. If we assume instead that on average women simply prefer politics less than men, that doesn’t hold, and the representative woman would be as well qualified as the representative man. Alternatively, we could consider “multiple intelligences”. It could be the case that the skills challenged by getting to selection are not the same as the skills that parties are looking for in an MP.

  • Simon Radford 17th Jan '10 - 12:03am

    Julian was a county councillor during my time at Cambridge and I was always thoroughly impressed by his intellect and work-rate. He’ll be a first-rate MP.

2 Trackbacks

  • By Julian Huppert writes … Campaigning in Cambridge on Tue 19th January 2010 at 4:47 pm.

    […] David Howarth – as candidate, and we hope, as the city’s MP at the next election. Julian Huppert was the winner, and we invited him to introduce himself to LDV’s readers […]

  • By The LDV Friday Five: 22 January 2010 on Fri 22nd January 2010 at 5:02 pm.

    […] Julian Huppert selected for Lib Dems in Cambridge (13) by Helen Duffett 2. Lib Dem PPC resigns over e-mail allegations (17) by Sara Bedford 3. Lib […]

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