Tag Archives: ben rathe

Lib Dem Brexit campaign chief to be Jo Swinson’s chief of staff

Today has been pretty much perfect.

I am in my favourite place in the world, the weather is glorious, I had almost eight uninterrupted hours of sleep for the first time in a long time and the local shop had in stock Lotus Biscoff biscuits just when I had a craving for them. There is a chicken roasting in the oven and some very nice gin waiting for me when I get back from our evening beach walk.

I thought it couldn’t really get much better and then I heard who Jo Swinson had appointed as her Chief of Staff.

Rhiannon Leaman, as the Liberal Democrats’ Head of National campaigns was responsible for our Stop Brexit campaign. And that’s seen us almost triple our opinion poll ratings in the last few months. She has had various campaigning roles in the party over the last few years and she knows it backwards. She has the keenest of political instincts.  She has a brilliant combination of skills to bring to the role. And I can also imagine that she will be good at  what every good Chief of Staff needs to do – tell the boss “No” from time to time. No matter how good they are, they all need that.

Rhiannon started out in politics working for Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid in the days before we were in government. You could not imagine two more different people to work for than Alan and Jo, I have to say.

As an aside, Alan has had a role in developing some very talented people in the party. Willie Rennie’s political “parents” when he was a student in Paisley were Alan and Cllr Eileen McCartin.  Back in 1989, they fought a brilliant campaign in a Council by-election that gave Labour a fright – they came so close to winning.

Jo has an outstandingly strong team around her. Her Senior Adviser, Sara Mosavi, is promoted to Head of Office. She will lead on things like policy development.

It has already been announced that her press secretary will be Ben Rathe who worked in the party’s media operation during the years we were in government. More recently, he played an absolute blinder for her in the run-up to and during her leadership campaign. 

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Which shaggy dog story made you laugh the most?

On Friday, we couldn’t resist boosting the signal of Ben Rathe’s hilarious post about how he ended up unknowingly arranging a visit at what by night is a notorious dogging site in Glasgow.

A fair chunk of the country’s press found Ben’s article worth reproducing, from The Sun, to the Herald, to the Metro, the Huffington Post, the Spectator and the Daily Record. Some of the accompanying photos of Nick are hilarious.

Again, there’s more reason to love our press team:

A spokesman for the Lib Dems said: “As media coverage of the event shows it was the perfect spot, being a well-known nature reserve, to launch our policy.”

He added: “Whatever people get up to in their own time, is up to them.”

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The joys of being a leader’s tour organiser

I suppose I could just have put this one in the Golden Dozen on Sunday, but it is Friday, it’s the end of a very long week, and because the whole tale had made me howl with laughter, I thought it was only right to share it with you separately.

Some political advisers make a fortune from publishing books when they leave their jobs. Liberal Democrats, like Phil Reilly, and now Ben Rathe, just put their stories on blogs for free.

Ben’s debut post on his blog “The Gripes of Rathe” concerns an event he’d organised for Nick Clegg, but hadn’t realised that the location was a notorious local dogging site.

A dogging site. I’d arranged for the Deputy Prime Minister to visit a dogging site. Armando himself couldn’t have written this script.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments
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