Tag Archives: leadership 2020

+++Breaking news – the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats is …

Congratulations to Ed Davey who has just been elected by members as Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

If you missed the announcement and speech by the new Leader, then you can catch up here.

Huge thanks must go to both Ed Davey and Layla Moran who fought a clean but impassioned fight, demonstrating what great assets they both are to our party.

Votes cast were:

Ed Davey: 42,756

Layla Moran: 24,564

Turnout: 57.6%


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Leadership announcement tomorrow

The next Leader of the Liberal Democrats will be announced at 11.30am tomorrow, Thursday 27th August.

You can watch the announcement live on YouTube.


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Daisy Cooper MP writes….200+ Liberal Democrats back Ed Davey as the leader with ‘experience, vision and judgement’

Each week, LDV allows each leadership candidate one article on LDV. This is Ed Davey’s for this week.

As ballots open for the Liberal Democrat leadership election, we are endorsing Ed Davey MP as the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

We believe the Liberal Democrats need a leader with the experience, vision and judgement to navigate us through these turbulent times for our party and our country. The coronavirus pandemic leaves us facing economic chaos. The risk of a no-deal Brexit will only heighten those challenges. The fight against the climate emergency is ever more pressing. Our leader must be someone with the attention to detail and policy depth to tackle that triple threat. Ed Davey’s experience as a trained economist and of trebling renewable energy in Government are exactly what we need right now.

The party needs to rebuild on solid foundations, with a leader that will drive the party forward at a national level and will work with local parties and grassroots members in order to help them win crucial elections in 2021 and beyond. Ed Davey’s knowledge of the party and experience of winning in local, regional and national elections, as well as inside Government, will prove vital to that rebuilding operation.

Ed has presented a clear, coherent vision for the future of the party that stands for a fairer, greener, more caring country. A country where we give universal free childcare to parents, where we invest £150bn in green jobs and renewable homes and where we give the 10 million carers in the UK a new, better deal.

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Layla Moran: The momentum is with my campaign – vote for me to move us forward together!

Each week LDV invites leadership candidates to submit one article. This is this week’s article form Layla Moran

Today’s the day! Ballots are finally dropping into inboxes and through letterboxes. I’m urging Lib Dem members to vote for me, to move our party and our country forward – and the momentum is with my campaign.

Let’s be honest – there is a burning need for change. At just six per cent in the polls, we are in sink or swim territory. Our country desperately needs a strong liberal voice to challenge Boris Johnson’s increasingly isolationist and regressive Conservative Government.

I’ve been clear throughout this contest: to change our country, we must first change our party. Because only by renewing ourselves and rebuilding trust will we win again. And only by winning will we be able to deliver progressive, liberal change for communities across the country.

In my plan for our party, I’ve outlined five key steps to strengthen our party at every level and win again from the bottom up. It starts with learning the lessons from the past decade, and sending a clear signal to voters that we are renewed as a party, and can credibly communicate a progressive message. We can do this by electing me as leader!

After this, we will win back trust and support by living our values as a party, listening to voters, empowering our activists to deliver a core message that resonates with a broad base of supporters

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Centre interviews the Liberal Democrat leadership contenders (Part 2: Ed Davey)

In this podcast we covered a huge amount. It included academic selection at the age of 11, Academies, Brexit, electric cars, UBI and lots more. Below I have looked at some of the areas in the discussion that I found particularly of interest. You can listen to the full podcast here.

The first thing was selection at the age of 11 which has created grammar schools, secondary moderns and in some cases technical colleges. In this we debated at length about the system and its issues with the low proportion of SEN and disabled students in these schools. We also discussed how it could be fixed with Ed suggesting ideas such as grants and including this as an element of Ofsted reports. Whilst this is a step in the right direction I am very much of the opinion, as I said in the podcast, that selection should be scraped as I don’t see any way to actually get around this issue. However, I was very happy that Ed was open to reviewing the issue in the future, not least as we have a paper coming out on this issue in a few months.

The second area I found interesting in our discussion was, of course. Brexit. As I mention in the podcast, this is the second time I have debated with Ed on this issue, the other time being the Victoria Derbyshire debate between Ed and Jo. Once again Ed showed he was passionate on the issue of Brexit but had moved towards accepting of a softer Brexit for the time being. However, I was a little worried at the mentions of a “Norway +” or a “Norway +++” model, something not really possible as it would require trying to simultaneously apply EFTA and EU free trade deals. I do still have some worries that if we are to sell a coherent policy on the EU to the public, it needs to be thoroughly researched first.

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Centre interviews the Liberal Democrat leadership contenders (Part 1: Layla Moran)

This week Centre sat down with Layla Moran to explore why she wants to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats. Below are my thoughts on the interview and some of the key takeaways. However, if you want the full interview, you can find it here.

In the first part of the discussion, Layla spoke about her upbringing, how she travelled around the world during her childhood and her love of physics.

We also spoke about her proposals for a Universal Basic Income. Layla supports a UBI of “£40-50 a week for an adult, maybe a bit more if there’s children” although programs such as housing benefits would remain in place. In the Compass model that would give adults a slightly higher £60 per week, this means raises in Income Tax and National Insurance to generate an extra £81 billion for the government. That’s a sizable sum of money when such an increase would almost double education spending from 2019-2020 levels. We need to decide if this is the best place to spend new revenue such as this.

I am also concerned as to whether this will be enough for people to live on, especially if it ends up around £40 a week. I spoke to an Asylum Seeker the other week who was struggling to live off £40 a week even with free accommodation. Therefore, I do worry whether £40-50 will be enough and whether this is really the best way to spend new tax revenue.

Whilst I have concerns over the specifics, there were also some particularly good points Layla made when talking about UBI. Even for someone like me who is sceptical she sold the idea very well as if it were a form of people pulling together after COVID-19.

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Final nomination totals for leadership candidates

These are the final figures for the nominations for the next Leader of the Liberal Democrats – more details here.

You can see both candidates in action at the many hustings meetings (all via Zoom or YouTube, of course). Some are regional in character, others focus on specific policy areas or strategy.

Everyone who was a party member by yesterday will be able to vote in the election, which will run from 30th July to 26th August, with the results expected to be declared on 27th August.

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Friends, Lib Dems, countryfolk, lend me your ears. I come to bury the coalition, not to praise it.

But I’m not here to damn it either. I just want to move on.

Same-sex marriage. The Green Investment Bank. The tripling of our renewable energy usage. All Lib Dem policies that we should be fiercely proud of. But, if we’re going to celebrate them, we need to acknowledge that they came at a human cost – and that we voted for that.

As a party, we are too quick to brush off these people who we hurt as collateral. We shrug and say compromises had to be made. But those “compromises” were human beings – some of them within our own party. I have nothing but respect and admiration for their resilience and their faith in our movement. However, their forgiveness does not absolve us.

I don’t think it has to be a mark of shame on us forever. But too many people just don’t trust us to not jump back in bed with the Tories. It’s why our refusal to back Jeremy Corbyn at the General Election, whilst electorally wise and the right thing to do, was met with such anger.

By expending all that energy defending the coalition, voters hear “we think working with the Tories was a good thing”. That puts us a step back when we’re trying to convince people we’re not going to do it again.

Furthermore, we cannot expect the public to move on when we refuse to do so ourselves.

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Three things we don’t need in this leadership campaign: a goody, a baddy and more policy

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In politics it’s always tempting to think we can resolve problems by resorting to the same old solutions. That usually involves lionising a goody, demonising a baddy and a rollicking good debate about policy.

In the debate over our leadership, I’m seeing many people seeking to create a goody and a baddy, and loads of people banging on about policy.

But I don’t think we should be focusing on those in this leadership campaign. Here’s why.

Let’s start with the first problem. The traditional good v bad argument. We need to stop this nonsense. The fact that Ed served in the coalition should absolutely not rule him out from being the leader. In fact, we are fortunate to have somebody with his experience in government on the ballot paper. His achievements on the environment are matched by few in modern politics and he has an inspiring, touching personal story to tell too.

Layla is a talented politician, an effective campaigner and an excellent communicator. She may well enable us to access a demographic that has largely ignored us in the past three elections. It’s right that she’s willing to try to talk to people who just want a bit of ‘hopes and dreams’ in their politics and bought into that element of the Labour message. That’s a good thing and we should welcome it rather than deliberately misinterpreting her words.

This isn’t a battle of good v bad, it’s one liberal taking on another. Let’s not engage in the unattractive factionalism that we dislike so much in other parties. That gets us nowhere and gives succour to our opponents.

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Liberal Democrats in support of black lives and black livelihoods

An open letter to the candidates for Leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

3rd July 2020

Dear Leadership Candidate,

Though the espoused commitment of the Liberal project to achieve racial equality within the UK may indeed be sincere, a lack of diverse representation at all levels of the party betrays the fact that as liberals we have found it inexplicably difficult to practice what we preach.

In a post imperial, post-Brexit Britain, the rightful place for British Liberalism surely, should be at the vanguard of the fight for racial justice and equality. Yet on issues of race, we find ourselves perennially navel-gazing, apparently stuck in a holding pattern of our own making. The pace of change within the party, frustratingly glacial at best.

Martin Luther King taught that though legislation may be effective in restraining the heartless, it has little effect in changing a man’s heart and ridding him of his implicit biases.

If Grenfell, Windrush and Covid-19 have taught us anything post-Macpherson, it is that the cancer of racism is thriving in the UK; albeit, having evolved a degree of invisibility, metastasizing into aversive forms such as silence, stonewalling and political inertia, the manifestations of which continue to be largely ignored.

When Derek Chauvin placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck, hands in pockets, eyes devoid of empathy, emboldened by the wilful and negligent silence of his fellow officers, the cloak of invisibility slipped. The racial animus was evident to all who observed. And on this occasion, could not be hidden, ignored or explained away.

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Let’s embrace our distinctive and radical form of progressive politics

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The Liberal Democrat leadership election is seeing healthy debates between activists and supporters about the future direction of the party. There appears to be an emerging consensus from both Layla Moran and Ed Davey that the party needs to recommit itself to a clear centre-left identity. We Liberal Democrats are the inheritors of two great progressive traditions, liberalism and social democracy.

Our party has one of the oldest political traditions of any party anywhere in the world. It can be traced back to the Parliamentarians and the Whigs of the 17th century. In the 19th century, our radical liberalism ended slavery and advanced primary school education. Whilst our social liberalism in the 20th century led us to lay the foundations of the welfare state and to support the sharing of power and profits between bosses and workers within the workplace.

The origins of social democracy in Britain are to be found with the Fabian writers of the 1880s. In the 20th century, the work of the leading Labour social democrat Anthony Crosland inspired many social democrats in the party from Roy Jenkins to Vince Cable. When the SDP was founded, it liberated social democracy from the divisive class politics of the hard left of the Labour Party.

Progressive politics in our party is a unique radical blend of liberalism and social democracy. Amongst the greatest achievements of our progressive tradition were abolishing slavery, extending the right to vote, establishing workers’ rights, creating the welfare state, legalising abortion and introducing same-sex marriage.

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Nominations for leader open tomorrow at 9am!

Tomorrow morning at 9am, members will be able to begin nominating candidates for leader.

Members will also get an email with a confirmation of how they’ll receive their ballot (or if you need to renew).

The emails are going out over the course of the day and if you haven’t had one by 9am on the 25th June, please email [email protected] and we can take a look and make sure you don’t miss out.

To nominate a candidate, you’ll need to go to www.libdems.org.uk/nominate

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 1 Comment

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