Liberal Democrat Voice Roll of Honour 2013 – Part 4

We wanted to honour those Liberal Democrats that our readers felt were true stars of 2013. We sought out  nominations and  have a rather impressive list that we’ve been publishing in instalments during this week. Here is the fourth part. Their names come with the comments made about the contribution they have made. Some are parliamentarians, some are councillors, most are grassroots activists. Let’s celebrate them and the many others who are fighting for Liberal Democrat values and victory. These are our Liberal Democrat stars of 2013.

You can read part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here.

Charles Kennedy

His speech on the European policy paper at Autumn Federal Conference was the inspiring moment for me. This is what being a Lib Dem star is all about.

Naomi Long MP

Many people in these islands stand for Liberal principles. Few have their lives threatened for them. Hers was, but this never dimmed her utter determination to serve every constituent and to give every citizen, even those who disagree with her, the fullest representation.

Naomi is a member of our sister party, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

Victoria Marsom

Ahead of both the 2005 and 2015 general elections there was a key Liberal Democrat Parliamentary by-election win which massively altered the political atmosphere ahead of that general election – motivating activists, persuading media commentators and influencing the public. One was Brent East in 2003, the other Eastleigh in 2013.

The impact of both is all the clearer if you consider what the impact of missing out on the gain in 2003 or slumping to defeat in 2013 would have meant.

Ten years apart, the first showed how the party could gain urban seats off Labour, with some huge Labour majorities actually being rather brittle, and the second showed how the party can still win in the areas that matter the most for the next general election result.

Both victories were the result of a great team working together effectively. Some people worked on one but not the other (such as myself, in Brent East). Some people worked on both. And one person was in charge at both – Victoria Marsom (agent in 2003, campaign manager in 2013).

Being in the right place at the right time to run a significant election campaign is sometimes down in part to luck. But doing it twice in by-elections of such importance? That’s much more than luck. As is having an effective, functioning team around you.

That’s one I picked Victoria as one of the Lib Dem winners from Eastleigh in the spring and it is why she’s my pick for Lib Dem Voice’s stars of 2013.

Alison McInnes MSP

My Parliamentarian of the year would be someone who has done so much to put forward a liberal case in the face of a Justice Secretary who doesn’t seem to care much for those going through the justice system. Over the past two years, Alison McInnes has been tenaciously making the case for a liberal, fair approach. This year, among other things, she’s campaigned against court closures which were voted through by SNP MSPs who had spoken out against them, she’s put the case for some short-term prisoners to be allowed to vote in the Independence Referendum (sadly, the SNP wouldn’t listen), she’s taken Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to task over female prisoners being kept in isolation for unacceptably long periods of time, she’s spoken out against men-only Muirfield being used as the venue for the Open and she’s fighting the SNP’s removal of corroboration, a central tenet of the Scottish legal system. The SNP’s record on justice is illiberal and she’s doing a great job in highlighting where they are going wrong.

James Moore

Who does so much for the Party over in Reading, and is one of the Party’s best Campaigners

Michael Moore MP

For his calm good sense as Secretary of State for Scotland and his brilliant speech at Glasgow against separation.

Callum Morton

a brilliant speech at Conference in Glasgow and is the best advocate for further education and apprenticeships that we have in our Party

Cllr Michael Mullaney

For two terrific speeches at Conference in Glasgow, one against the Bedroom Tax and the other on the importance of jobs. That’s my kind of prospective MP.

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