Tag Archives: candidate approval

Is there something rotten in the state of candidate approval?

Sadly, the only surprising thing about the revelations about Geeta Sidhu-Robb is that something like this hadn’t happened before.

You see, there’s something rotten with our candidate selection procedures.

In the party at large, there’s a perception that candidates go through a rigorous approvals process. They don’t.

People believe candidates are vetted. They aren’t.

People believe our processes are robust and make sure we get the best candidates. They aren’t.

The simple fact is, all you have to do to become a LibDem candidate is to complete a pretty basic application form, get two other people to say you’re basically fine and then pass a not very rigorous approval day.

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | 52 Comments

We need to seize our opportunities as they arise

I was taken aback when Ed Davey, a former Cabinet minister no less, suggested I should consider running for Parliament.

It was October 2015 and I had only been a member of the Liberal Democrats for five months. I’d joined after the General Election because I was so dismayed that Cameron’s Conservatives had won a majority. I was keen to do whatever I could to help the Lib Dems locally and cheerfully took on leaflet rounds and canvassed for a local by-election. I had never remotely considered being an MP.

As we got talking further during a curry night in Kingston, I realised that there was, in fact, no better time for someone like me to stand. The party needed to rebuild and present a new face to the country, and as one of the many thousands who joined in the 18 months after the 2015 election, I could be one of those new faces.

I received prospective parliamentary candidate approval the following month. It was unusual at that time for people to be approved after such a short time in the party, but selections were coming up for the GLA elections. In the event, there were only two candidates for the South West London constituency seat – if I hadn’t been approved in November, it would have been an uncontested selection.

Posted in Op-eds | 17 Comments
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