Liz Lynne to stand for Party President

image001After being asked by many people from different parts of our party, I have decided to stand to be Party President.

These last four years have been tough and no more so than in the last week. We have seen too many good friends and colleagues defeated as councillors and most recently as MEPs. I know what that feels like. I fought my first parliamentary seat in Harwich for the Liberal/SDP Alliance in 1987 and came second. I then went on to win the seat of Rochdale in 1992. Sadly, I narrowly lost in Tony Blair’s 1997 General Election landslide following boundary changes. I look back with pride on what I achieved in Parliament as our spokesperson on Health and then Social Security, including representing disabled people in the fight for equal rights.

As we face 2015, the Lib Dems need a President who is their own person, truly independent of the leadership and someone who can listen to the genuine concerns of people in all parts of the party. The President should be someone who knows our party well and what it is like to fight both Labour and Conservatives, but should also be someone able to represent the voice of our members and able to feed their views to the Parliamentary Party.

Our values and my commitment to them, meant that after 1997 I was determined to fight again. In 1999 I became the first ever Lib Dem Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands, not a traditional Lib Dem part of the country. I worked on the Parliaments’ Employment and Social Affairs Committee rising to become its Vice President.

After nearly eighteen years of elected public service, I stepped down to find different ways to help our party and the wider Liberal cause. That is why I am now running for President.

Our main task in the next few months and years is to make sure that we don’t see a loss of the valuable experience of members, activists and former elected representatives to the Party. It is important to develop a support network for those who have lost their seats. When people have not been re-elected they can feel as if they have been cast out into the wilderness and that their hard work over many years has not been appreciated. We have to make sure that we continue to harness all that expertise to enable the Party to grow again.

I supported the coalition agreement because I felt that it was the only way forward to get the country out of the financial mess left by Labour. We have achieved a great deal in getting some of our manifesto commitments through. Like many others, however, I am not happy with some of the decisions taken by the Government. Coalition is always difficult for the junior partner but we must get our message across better.

As part of my activist and parliamentary experience as an MP and an MEP, I have had a great deal of media exposure. It is essential that the President is comfortable appearing in front of the media and has enough experience not to be phased by anything that a hostile media may throw at them especially as the Presidents’ term will encompass the General Election.

The Party needs a President who is an experienced campaigner, familiar with the party and its structures, not wedded to any faction and truly an independent voice for the members; someone who knows the joys of success and the pitfalls of defeat and can support the members and activists, old and new, in a critical year for the party.

I hope members will support my bid to be President. If you would like to help or have any questions please email me on [email protected]

* Liz Lynne is former MEP for the West Midlands and is a board member of EEF - the Manufacturers’ Organisation.

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24 Comments

  • Liz Lynne
    That is a brilliant pitch for the job!
    I am particularly glad that you made the point about not losing expertise and talent after last Thursday, and all those other setbacks in May since 2008.
    If we just hide in 35 or 40 constituencies for the next 11 months,, the party will die even if a few MPs keep their government cars.
    The need for the party president to be truly independent of those at the top is a vote winner in itself.

  • Yes, all the best Liz..Good luck! Liberalism is needed now more than ever – not just in Britain but around the world. We have to be very simple but vocal in expressing what it means and why it’s vitally important to all our lives.

  • Fantastic pitch, Liz; best wishes, and good luck! 🙂

  • Wendy Lewis Edwards 29th May '14 - 1:34pm

    I wish you luck in your campaign! The party need to call on your expertise to push liberal values and the party’s true ethos through to a hostile media and an indifferent electorate. You would be a worthy successor to Tim Farron, who is another great asset.

  • Gordon Seekings 29th May '14 - 1:39pm

    Well said Liz – especially the bit about “Our main task in the next few months and years is to make sure that we don’t see a loss of the valuable experience of members, activists and former elected representatives to the Party. “

  • Steve Harris 29th May '14 - 2:25pm

    Hi Liz
    This is the first piece of good news in some time. I admire your stamina above all!

    The failure of the parliamentary party to take their members with the, let alone the voters, is abject.

    The failure offer any reason why sticking with Nick will lead to improvement is a demonstration of their remoteness.

    The lack of concern for the welfare of the party is truly shocking.

    Good luck!

  • Steve Griffiths 29th May '14 - 4:21pm

    The one encouraging piece of news for many days.

  • Neil Christian 29th May '14 - 5:40pm

    Great news. Agree with all your comments. Let us know how we can help your campaign.

  • Very good pitch, I look forward to hearing more.

  • Simon McGrath 29th May '14 - 10:07pm

    Excellent news indeed

  • Thank you very much for all your positive comments. I really do appreciate them. Do get in touch with me with your contact details at [email protected]

  • Dr Zulfiqar Ali 29th May '14 - 11:41pm

    An excellent candidate for the position.I am sure Liz would continue her hard work and would help to sharpen future directions of this party.Being Liz’s former constituent i know during her time in Brussels she made sure my local party always have an ongoing political activity .She kept in-touch with her constituents and would expediently reply to any querries and emails.
    I wish good luck to Liz and have already assured her of support.

    Zulfiqar

  • Eddie Sammon 30th May '14 - 4:51am

    Sounds good. I will be asking difficult questions though and not just cheering on the woman candidate.

  • What worries me is she – like Clegg and co – seems to think there’s little wrong with the message, just that they are not getting it across to the public. I’m fairly sure that anyone with any interest knows the LibDem message, it’s just that they either don’t like it or don’t believe it. If the above is her pitch for the job, there is certainly nothing new to get the old heart beating.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 30th May '14 - 11:26am

    Well said Liz, and hope you are elected. Your pitch is the right way for the party to go – positive, supportive, and most of all – inclusive. The latter has not been sufficiently in evidence in recent years – and activists need your inclusive approach. Thanks for standing.

  • Yesterday when I read this thread the last post was a critical one from someone who had met Liz Lynne and knew some of her staff. This morning the post has been removed. Was the post removed because of pressure from Lynne or because she has supporters at LDV? It’s not a good sign when posts are removed for what appears to be no other reason than they are critical.

  • malc 31st May ’14 – 10:00am
    “….Yesterday when I read this thread the last post was a critical one from someone who had met Liz Lynne and knew some of her staff. This morning the post has been removed. ………..”

    malc. Lots of posts are being removed at the moment. The apparent open and democratic nature of these discussion threads is not always what it is cracked up to be.
    Steve Comer has responded to your specific example of something going into the 1984 Memory Hole.

    I make no complaint about the actions of the LDV editors. I like the fact that they provide a service. I do not like them all and they do not all like me or what I stand for but that’s life.

    It is irritating to post a comment which is polite, neutral in tone and factual in content only to have it put “in moderation” . LDV operates a discipline on some regular commentators. If we say things that they do not like we are made to sit on the naughty step so that every single comment that we post disappears. This is to teach us a lesson.

    We can just put up with it or in the words of one of the editors we cam go away. I chose to stay even though I have been on the naughty step for some days now.

    This comment is being posted at 11.07 am on 1st June 2014

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 1st Jun '14 - 1:02pm

    I am going to have to put this thread on to pre-moderation because people keep posting comments which mention third parties and unsubstantiated allegations. That’s not acceptable.

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