Liz Lynne MEP to stand down

Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne has announced she plans to stand down as Euro MP for the West Midlands Region in three months’ time, saying ‘the time is right’ to move on after 12 and a half years representing the region in the European Parliament. She will be succeeded by Phil Bennion, the second candidate on the party’s list at the election in 2009.

The Euro MP revealed her decision in her speech to the regional Lib Dem party conference at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce on Saturday afternoon, saying:

I have decided to stand down as MEP at the beginning of February.

I have thought about this carefully and believe that the time is right. Although I still find the work stimulating and worthwhile, the relentless travelling particularly to and from Strasbourg is onerous to say the least.

Stepping down now will also give my successor, Phil Bennion, enough time to bed down and make an effective contribution in the remaining two and and half years of this Parliament.

The ongoing financial crisis across Europe means that the Liberal Democrat voice for reform and democracy will continue to be needed loud and clear.

The third reason why it is the right time is that positions on the Parliament’s committees change midway through the mandate.

I am proud to have served as First Vice President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. Giving up now however would give one of my Lib Dem MEP colleagues an opportunity to take a similar position for the rest of the mandate.

I feel I have been able to achieve a lot over the last 12 and a half years as Euro MP for the West Midlands, fighting for equality and reform in the EU.

I am not retiring but want to focus my politics in ways which do not involve quite so much travelling. I will continue to support the Liberal Democrat party in any way I can, I remain a strong supporter of Nick Clegg’s leadership and his work in the coalition government.

Nick Clegg said,

Liz has not only been a good campaigning MEP, fighting for the West Midlands, she has also been the embodiment of the distinctive Liberal Democrat approach to Europe. She has supported sensible regulation to protect a level playing field and basic rights where European rules are appropriate, but always fought to stop meddling bureaucracy and red tape where it is harmful.

She has also made an immense contribution to changing the law at national and European level to help disabled people take a full and active role in society and more recently to give old people and cancer patients the same rights against discrimination.

I certainly hope we will see Liz continuing to campaign and speak out on the issues she cares about even after she leaves the European Parliament”.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.
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4 Comments

  • Can anyone tell me when we select the lists for 2014?

  • The current plan is for it to happen sometime in 2012, but I think that’s as far as the plan goes. It was going to be in 2013 but the English Party’s draft budget moves the selection expenses to next year instead.

  • David Pollard 8th Nov '11 - 9:18pm

    Liz has done a brilliant job for the party over many years. If she wants to carry on I hope she decides to fight a parliamentary seat, or goes to the house of Lords.

  • Mahmood Hussain 22nd Nov '12 - 11:55am

    Liz has been very vocal on the Human Rights abuses in the Indian occupied , and campaigned for the right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people.

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