Shaun Roberts stands down as Lib Dem director of campaigns & elections

Writing in a public Facebook post, Shaun Roberts has announced his departure as the party’s Director of Campaigns & Elections:

I wanted you to be among the first to know about a decision I’ve made to resign as Director of Campaigns & Elections.

Working at the Liberal Democrats is a tremendous privilege but the time comes for everyone at some stage to consider what they want to do next. We’ve had some tough times and also some truly fantastic moments over these last few years – from winning by-elections in Richmond Park and Brecon & Radnorshire to delaying Brexit several times and to those amazing local and European election results last May.

It’s been nearly 4 years since I got the job of Director of Campaigns & Elections. It’s slightly bizarre to think that at that time when I started, 3 days before the EU Referendum, my key objective was to build our campaigning towards a May 2020 General Election!

Despite our General Election disappointment, we stand today with our biggest ever membership, our party finances are in good order and we are rebuilding our local government base – which is key to our long-term success. 3.7million people voted Lib Dem in December and with a diverse parliamentary party, that’s is a strong platform for our new leader to build on. We should all be proud of what we have achieved.

At the end of all of this, I’m most proud to have worked with some fantastic colleagues and played my part in building up the party from its low point after the 2015 General Election and the 2016 Referendum.

At this stage of the election cycle, it is natural to think about your long-term future and the future of the party. Four years is a long time in this role, a role that requires energy and commitment way beyond that of a 9-5 job. When Mike came to me earlier this year to discuss the long-term strategy of the Party, I recognised that I could not envisage playing a long-term role in helping him realise that vision.

I’m sad I’m not going to be around for the next stage of the party’s rebuild but also optimistic about its future and I know you will all play a key part in delivering its success.

I’m particularly sad to be leaving so many friends and brilliant people across the staff, candidates, elected representatives and voluntary party. It has been a privilege to work with you all and I wish everyone the very best and would like to say thank you for the way everyone has treated me over these last few years.

As I look at British politics today, there is a huge role for the Liberal Democrats to play in the coming years – keeping the UK together, standing up against a right-wing authoritarian government and standing up for people with liberal values across our country.

It’s a cause I still believe passionately in and I look forward to supporting you all in that battle.

Thank you for all you’ve done Shaun, and best of luck for what comes next.

This article originally appeared on Mark’s blog.

* Mark Pack is Party President and Co-leader of the party. He is editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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4 Comments

  • I would like to wish Shaun the best in whatever he will be doing next. His time in charge has been a vital time for the reorganisation and maintainance of the party as a very credible force in British Politics and we have confirmed our position as the only forward looking “Pro-European” national party at a time when many wanted to see us diminished. Thank you for your service Shaun.

  • JennyFradgley 29th Feb '20 - 8:22am

    It was so disappointing to all of us working so hard at grass roots to have been let down by those who chose such a nonsensical strategy for the approach to re-examine Brexit

    We should not have triggered the election in the first place- not have proposed revoke article 50 and been so over top Jo to be next PM!! Hubris / laughing stock comes to mind

    The next day, after this announcement, walking through my town, 5 people came up to say ‘ What are you doing!! You have lost my vote!!

    We should have gone to the poll, if we had to, on peoples vote.

    Can the National team take advice from those out on the doorstep and those who are elected time and time again at local level We know how to win however every election I have stood for I start believing I won’t win -so I think through the electorate and their concerns

  • Stephen Booth 29th Feb '20 - 3:30pm

    Tend to agree with Jenny. There is too much of a disconnect between the national party HQ and the troops on the ground. Talk of building up our council base is pretty meaningless when no attempt is made to regularly communicate with councillors; and leaving it all to ALDC is not the answer.
    Throughout the general election the only communication I as agent received from beyond our county was with a hard-stretched region, despite having been agent in 2017 too! Had HQ got some sort of strategy together by last August we would have been willing to encourage our activists to go to neighbouring constituencies but by the time we got such calls we were already working to a plan and a template had been set with targets and a massive leaflet drop campaign in progress.
    Mark Pack has work to do in turning this around and I wish him every success.

  • Gordon Lishman 3rd Mar '20 - 11:05am

    Just to make the point, because someone ought: it’s inappropriate and deeply ungenerous to take Shaun’s announcement as an excuse for arguing about Party strategy. It’s not as if there were no other places for that discussion.
    Best wishes for the future, Shaun.

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