Tag Archives: leadership election

The starting pistol is fired on the leadership election!

Last week, we published the frank independent review into the 2019 general election. It rightly received plaudits in the media for its candour.

This review challenges us to change as a party and to change the country for the better.

We now need to get on with that work – and that’s what we’ve done with a set of key decisions by your Federal Board.

We’ve set a timetable for electing our next party leader – running from June through to August. With the widespread use of online hustings and online voting, we …

Posted in Leadership Election and News | 68 Comments

A fair leadership election

There has been much discussion of the postponement of the leadership election for fourteen months in this time of crisis. Whatever the merits of either side are, I think we can all agree it is unlikely the Federal Board will change their minds, if only because of the reams of articles and podcasts they are putting out bolstering their position.

Posted in Op-eds | 17 Comments

Most of the nation could not care less about us having a leadership election. So, let’s do it.

The Liberal Democrat leadership election should not be delayed until May 2021. We will be going into a crucial election season without direction. Labour will have a new leader trying to rejuvenate the party. The Conservatives will be rallying around the Prime Minister. We, on the other hand, will be soul searching and asking difficult questions that should be getting solved now. How will we convince voters we’re who they should trust to help run their areas, when we cannot even decide at that point what kind of party we want to be?

The mood of the nation is not …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 43 Comments

Accountability in the age of Covid

 

So now we know: no new leader for at least another fourteen months. This comes on the back of the cancellation of the Spring Conference, and talk of the cancellation of this Autumn’s conference as well.

Cancelled along with the Spring Conference, of course – and up for re-cancellation if Autumn is indeed cancelled as well – were the party’s sorely-needed consultative sessions on our values, on the 2019 general election, and on our 2019 manifesto, as well as the regular opportunities to hold party bodies and office-holders to account. The decision to cancel the Spring Conference, and any similar decision to cancel Autumn (as currently feels likely) means that we will not have a meaningful forum to discuss, debate and scrutinise the party’s general election performance until long after that election has receded over the horizon behind us.

The decision to postpone the leadership election again, this time for an unprecedented fourteen months, is a remarkable departure from the letter of the constitution, Article 18.2 of which only allows for a maximum extension of one year, and no article of which allows the Federal Board to vary this provision. Perversely, this means that our acting leader will not only remain in position for over a year, but will be acting leader for three times as long as the woman who beat him in the last leadership election. More concerningly, it means that we will not have a permanent leader in place for the huge round of local, regional and devolved elections scheduled for 2021.

Any one of these things – the catastrophic performance in the 2019 general election; the shocking loss of a popular newly-elected party leader in a general election; the decision to cancel Federal Conference at next-to-no notice; the decision to postpone a leadership election beyond the period set out in the Federal Constitution, leaving us vulnerable in the largest round of non-Westminster elections in a political generation; potentially, the decision to cancel a second Federal Conference on the trot – should rightly merit a great deal of introspection, and robust and extended scrutiny from party members.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 35 Comments

Leadership election postponed

The Federal Board met remotely yesterday and agreed to postpone the election for the Leader of the party until next year. The party’s President, Mark Pack,  issued this statement:

Not only are we going through what could become the country’s biggest crisis since 1945, but we’re also entering a very new world that will persist once the immediate crisis is over.

I’m proud of what we have achieved so far by championing NHS workers and pressing the Government on issues such as offering a better deal to the self-employed.

Throughout our history, we have always put the national interest first.

Our Federal Board has

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Why it’s vital for public health that the Lib Dem leadership election goes ahead

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Following the absolutely correct decision to cancel the Liberal Democrat Federal, Scottish and Welsh Conferences, some have been calling for the Liberal Democrat Leadership Election – the timeline of which was already decided by Federal Board some time ago – to be indefinitely delayed.

While I understand the sentiment, I think it sends completely the wrong message – irresponsibly so.

We have a responsibility to our communities, all of us, to be undertaking social distancing as much as possible right now. The UK government’s scientific advisors now say that the social distancing measures currently in place will have to continue for, at least, most of the year. Ultimately, until we have a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there is the possibility of social distancing measures being recommended or imposed at any time for the good of public health.

To delay our leadership election would send the message that we believe that daily life is going to return to relative normality in the near future.

The evidence shows that this is simply not the case. We have a responsibility as leaders to portray the reality of the situation we’re facing.
If people believe that our society’s response to COVID-19 is a binary between cancelling events or business as usual – and between self-isolation and no change in individual behaviour at all – they are not going to engage with the social distancing measures that are vital to slowing the spread of the virus. ‘Flattening the curve’ is vital to ensuring that our NHS can continue functioning and that thousands of people who would otherwise survive the virus do not die from lack of resources.

We have an opportunity, with our leadership election, to demonstrate how it’s possible for some things to proceed in an environment of social distancing.

Posted in Op-eds | 55 Comments

Sal Brinton writes… What you need to know about the leadership election

You can tell that we are in the middle of a Leadership Election. All the Lib Dem social media forums are buzzing, rumours abound, and there are plenty of discussions going on about the next Leader of the party.

As President I have to remain completely neutral in any Leadership contest because I represent all 104,000 of you to the Leader. I am very aware that many thousands of you will never have been through a Leadership Election before, so I thought it might be worth an attempt at explaining our processes.

Any candidate has to get at least 10% of our MPs to support them by 5 July, and thereafter get nominated by 200 paid up members from at least 20 local parties or official party bodies (Specified Associated Organisations such as Young Liberals, Lib Dem Women etc ‘SAOs’). These nominations must be submitted by 20 July when nominations close.

At the moment, the nomination forms have only just been circulated to the MPs, so anyone planning on standing is now going to have to come out to the membership to get your nomination.

Any candidates will have teams round the country asking for your support, so don’t be surprised if you get a request. 200 nominations doesn’t sound a great number, but speaking as someone who has had to get those nominations in twice for the Presidential elections, it isn’t as easy as it sounds! Remember, you can only nominate one candidate. 

Posted in Op-eds | 29 Comments

Tim’s resignation: Wrong reasoning, wrong cause, wrong result

There is a clear irony in this car-crash. Prejudice against Tim’s supposed prejudices appears to have led to his resignation. Since he neither expressed such prejudices, nor, if he had them, allowed them to influence in the slightest his work as Liberal Democrat MP and Leader, what he has experienced is itself prejudice, an attack on his freedom of thought.

It seems a disgrace that he should have been confronted by senior party figures and asked to resign, apparently because of the supposed views which he has not expressed. It was unfair, and the more so since the delegation to him was apparently of unelected peers accountable to nobody, overriding the wishes of members who had elected him.

To the watching world it looks as if he has been forced out on the basis of aspects of his Christian faith. So, whether from an internal or external viewpoint, our party grandees seem to have acted from prejudice, rather than supporting the leader over the media voices which have tormented him with persistent, intrusive but irrelevant questioning.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 133 Comments
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