Tag Archives: liberal democrat leadership

Ed’s Day – 27 June 2019

Victoria Derbyshire’s live tv hustings has been covered here, but here’s Ed’s take.

Here’s his opening pitch.

And talking again about climate change:

Slamming Boris on immigration:

Immigration has been a great thing for our country. But politicians like Johnson have vilified those coming to help build and contribute to our great country for their own political gain in the Brexit debate.

Yet businesses across the country are already having to deal with acute shortages of staff thanks to the Brexit uncertainty, and this proposal from our potential next PM does nothing to solve that. If implemented, an Australian-style visa cap would only make it worse.

Johnson is only pandering to the likes of Farage, who has long pushed for this kind of unfair system. Nigel Farage ought to be the last person a potential Prime Minister should be looking to for inspiration on how to run a fair and effective immigration system.

Then off to the Gatwick hustings;

Posted in Leadership Election and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Ed’s Day – 26 June 2019

Wednesday saw a mass lobby of Parliament on the climate emergency. Ed was there:

Then thee was a hustings with Parliament’s journalists:

He elaborated on his Government of National Unity to stop Brexit idea as Politics Home reported:

Posted in Leadership Election and News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Tim had already decided to go before the election – remember where you heard it first

When Tim Farron came up and cooked my breakfast 3 days before the election, I had a feeling it would be the last time I saw him as leader. I’m not sure where that feeling came from, but it turned out to be right – unless I randomly bump into him in the next six days.

A few days after his resignation, when I’d almost calmed down, I wrote:

In trying to piece together the events of this week, I hear, though, that Tim had returned to Westminster in a positive mood. Friendly sources close to him tell me that he

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 28 Comments

The men who bankrolled the Liberal Democrat Leadership campaigns

So, I went looking for the Register of MPs’ Interests earlier today. My intent was not particularly noble. My heart was bleeding to such an extent over Tobias Ellwood’s penury that I just wanted to check if there was anything in there that might help help him out. Bless him, he only had the £3.5k for being in the Territorial Army to help supplement his £90k ministerial salary. His wife is only a corporate lawyer, too. I really don’t know how they manage. And, of course, Tobias is so full of empathy for his fellow poor people that he’s more than happy to walk through a voting lobby and freeze their benefits for four years while he picks up a £7000 pay rise.  Can you hear those violins? But at least he will get more of his money taxed at the lower rate this year, as George Osborne has taken pity on him and made sure that he’s increased the amount he can earn before he pays higher rate tax.

It turns out there’s a brand new Register out, released on Wednesday, so I thought I’d look our lot up. Nothing terribly exciting, except that at least some of the donations to the leadership campaigns have now been registered.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

LDVideo: Tim Farron’s first speech as Liberal Democrat leader

Here it is in full, courtesy of Sky News – Tim’s first speech, delivered to a packed Islington Assembly Hall. I followed it on Twitter while I was on a train and it was giving me goosebumps so you might need to sit down with a cup of tea to watch the whole thing. Full of passion and energy and purpose and articulating an practical, relevant, optimistic, joyful liberalism.

A member of the audience fainted at one point and was incredibly apologetic but Tim was quick to reassure him and make sure he was ok.

There is a transcript on the party website, reproduced below for ease.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Tim Farron is the new Liberal Democrat leader

BBC News announcement of Tim as leader

Congratulations, Tim, on being elected leader of a party that doesn’t often want to be led at one of  the most challenging times in its history.

And here’s the official tweet:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 185 Comments

Leadership update: How they count the votes

The party is catering for all the process geeks amongst its membership well this afternoon with an explanation of exactly how the votes are being counted. The result is expected in the next hour:

All of the ballot papers have been returned directly to Electoral Reform Services (the commercial arm of the Electoral Reform Society) who are running the election for us.

Ahead of the count, the ERS opened all of the returned envelopes, and put the votes into batches of 100 ready for counting.

The count is conducted by ERS staff as is supervised by a small team from party HQ (Tim Gordon our CEO, Darren Briddock from the party’s compliance team and Austin Rathe form the membership team) along with the agents and additional observers from each of the two campaigns. The count is a sterile environment, so representatives from both campaigns will have to hand in their mobile phones before entering the count area – hence why you won’t hear anything during the count!

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Opinion: Race, reckoning and renewal? The EMLD leadership hustings

EMLD HustingsOn 30th June the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats held a dramatic leadership hustings, described by Simon Woolley, Director of Operation Black Vote, and guest chair as Tim and Norman’s “most difficult, yet most inspiring hustings event to date in front of a largely BME audience.”

It was certainly the highlight of the campaign for me. In his blog, Mark Pack noted that Simon took questions on themes, “intervening with follow ups and switching to the floor on regular occasions to explore issues in greater depth.” Both candidates handled a range of questions from a sceptical, if still hopeful audience, but whichever of them wins it is clear that they – and the party as a whole – has a lot of work to do to regain the trust and confidence of a great many ethnic minority party members and members of the wider public.

EMLD’s Marisha Ray had some revealing stats: for any given ethnicity except white British, the proportion of new members self-identifying as such were at best half as numerous as we would expect given the racial makeup of the UK today. This is worrying, especially in light of Mark Pack and former Cambridge MP David Howarth’s research finding that those describing themselves as ‘not white British’ are disproportionately likely to share values that ought to make them natural Liberal Democrats. Indeed, Simon Woolley revealed that the winning margin in many of our Tory-facing seats was smaller than the BME vote. Had the Liberal Democrats successfully courted it, we might have rather more MPs today.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Two ways to find out more about the Ethnic Minorities Liberal Democrats Leadership Hustings

cropped EMLD logo
Last week, Ethnic Minorities Liberal Democrats held a very good hustings event in London where Tim Farron and Norman Lamb were put through their paces.

You can listen to the whole thing here on Soundcloud.

You can also read Lester Holloway’s report of for The Voice here.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Liberal Democrat Leadership: Farron and Lamb answer questions on engineering and science

One of the great things about the leadership contest is that every party organisation has submitted questions to the candidates on their area of interest.

The Association of Liberal Democrat Engineers and Scientists is no exception and you can see all Tim’s and Norman’s answers to a series of questions about science.

You can read them all here, but here’s a flavour of one question:

Both of you signed an EDM in 2007 supporting provision of homeopathic medicines through the NHS but then revised your support after a Commons STC report questioned the evidence in favour of homeopathic treatments. What resources would you call on personally as leader in order to obtain expert advice and how could the parliamentary party make better use of evidence?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Liberal Democrat Leadership: Young activists’ letters of support for Farron and Lamb – and a bit of controversy too

Liberal Youth at Eastleigh - Some rights reserved by Helen Duffett

Young activists have written open letters in support of the respective candidates in  the Liberal Democrat leadership contest.

Earlier this week, 50 young activists, including Sam Bennett, the chair of IR Cymru, Liberal Youth Executive members and members from Scotland, England and Wales, wrote an open letter of support for Tim, saying:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

New Leader to be announced on social media ahead of members’ rally

tim farron norman lamb square5 by Paul Walter

Historically leaders have been announced very formally, with an audience of party grandees listening to the party president read the results.

Not this time. Next Thursday, about this time, we’ll all be refreshing our Twitter like idiots waiting for news for this time the result will be announced on social media at some point in the “late afternoon.”

Then, at 6pm, there will be a members’ rally at a Central London venue where the new leader will make his first speech. As I write, members are being emailed details of how to register.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Social Liberal Forum holds hustings for Farron and Lamb

The Social Liberal Forum Conference ended yesterday with a 90 minute hustings between Tim Farron and Norman Lamb. Both men turned up dressed in very similar clothes. As I tweeted at the time, if they had been women, we’d never have heard the end of it.

It was a lively event, not least because they did allow questions from the floor that hadn’t been submitted in advance – and they allowed supplementaries. The candidates were both put under more pressure than they had been at any other event I’d seen so far. There is nothing wrong with vanilla ice cream, but if the other hustings were that, then this one was Chilli and Dark Chocolate ice cream – rich with flavour and full of warmth. When I say warmth, I am not referring to the temperature in the room. The air-conditioning was broken, leading Nick Barlow to make one observation:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

The leadership candidates in the Sunday papers: Compassion for migrants to ageing hippies and winning back the South West

sundaypapsThere’s quite a bit from Norman Lamb and Tim Farron in the Sunday papers today, all of which shows off our two leadership contenders at the best, challenging orthodoxy with fresh liberal thinking based on principles. The Labour leadership candidates (with the exception of Comrade Corbyn) might like to try that sort of  thing sometimes. It really can be quite invigorating.

The Observer highlights Tim Farron’s call for the UK to take 60,000 migrants as part of an EU arrangement to help these desperate people who have been fleeing horrible circumstances.

“We should support this because we are decent people. Our party should not have a mixed message about this. We should not turn people away,” he said.

The former Lib Dem president has written to David Cameron to say the UK should be proud of its record on taking in refugees, citing the admission of many thousands of Ugandan Asians who were expelled by President Idi Amin in 1972.

The policy had benefited all parties, and proved to be in the country’s economic interest. “First and foremost it is about compassion, but also there is enlightened self-interest,” Farron said.

The article also quotes Norman Lamb, who spoke very movingly on Any Questions last week, urging compassion for children who had been stuck for weeks in a refugee camp. He said:

Lamb said he had invited former party leader Paddy Ashdown and Baroness Williams to take part in a new foreign policy commission to address issues such as migration flows and climate change, that were now among the most serious facing political leaders across the world.

On migration, Lamb said: “The truth is that no one has a clear idea about how to address this challenge. We have to map out a way forward, otherwise there is a risk we as a society take a wrong turn with disastrous consequences.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

ALTER Questions the Leadership Candidates
 on the Land Value Tax and Economic Reform

ALTER is an Associated Organisation within the Liberal Democrats dedicated to advancing the causes of the Land Value Tax and other economic reforms. We chose to use the leadership contest as an opportunity.

We are aware that party policy is not determined by the leader, it is instead determined democratically by members at federal conferences. However, it is our experience that the leader has a large amount of influence in terms of which policies are given priority. So although motions and amendments on the Land Value Tax have been regularly passed at conference with near unanimity, the party has largely been quite shy about the policy, leaving it hidden within the small print of our manifesto rather than properly campaign on it.

For this reason we wished to challenge both leadership candidates as to whether they’d be willing to grasp the nettle and get seriously behind LVT, and also take their view on other areas of economic reform including workplace democracy and monetary policy.
We sent our questions and their responses are below.

Land Value Tax

Whenever the Land Value Tax has been debated at a Liberal Democrat conference, support for it is almost unanimous. While the party has consistently supported introducing the Land Value Tax, it has in recent years been highly shy about it. ALTER had to fight for it to even make the small print in our manifesto.

As leader, would you be willing to grasp the nettle and make it a front and centre policy?

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Farron and Lamb respond to questions from Liberal Democrat Lawyers

The Lib Dem Lawyers’ Association asked our leadership candidates Tim Farron and Norman Lamb a number of questions to probe their positions on key legal issue debates. First off we asked about the rule of law as a liberal principle and as you might expect received positive responses. On all our questions both candidates gave good responses, though sometimes with a different emphasis – you can read the responses in full here. There were a number of themes:-

On Access to Justice both took anti-LASPO (the legislation which cut back the scope of civil legal aid) positions – although both at the time voted for the legislation, Norman said “We were wrong…. this was quite possibly our biggest mistake in the last government” whilst Tim said “I don’t think anyone could now defend the LASPO Act’s reforms and we need to think again.” As someone who lobbied all our MPs incessantly on this issue, I’m pleased to hear that, although much damage to free legal advice sector has already been done. On criminal legal aid, Norman also spoke about “modernising the criminal justice system” whist Tim spoke about “ending the deserts in provision.”

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 15 Comments

Fourth emails from Leadership Candidates

The leadership candidates have sent their third official emails. You can read the first three here,  here and here.

First of all, the Returning Officer’s information including what to do if you haven’t received your ballot:

Below are the top lines and links in the fourth of four emails from the candidates that I am distributing on their behalf.  I do this in my role as the Acting Returning Officer for this election.

Also please find below contact details for how you can find out more about each of the candidates.

Ballot have already been dispatched so you should receive your ballot paper by post in the next day or so if you haven’t received it already.   If you have not received your ballot paper by Thursday 2nd July please go to  http://www.libdems.org.uk/replacement-ballot-paper to request a replacement.  With your ballot there will also be a copy of both candidates’ manifestos.

Our ballot counters must receive your complete ballot paper by 2pm on July 15th for it to count.

Many thanks for participating in this important election.

Regards,

TimGordon
Chief Executive & Acting Returning Officer
Liberal Democrats

PS Replacement ballot papers are issued on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Returning Officer.

Tim Farron’s Email

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

In full: Norman Lamb’s speech to the IPPR: Liberalism needs to be history’s chosen instrument to build the bridge to the future.

Both leadership candidates have given speeches to the Institute of Public Policy Research recently. We covered Tim Farron’s last week. Here is Norman Lamb’s.

I want to thank the IPPR for inviting me to speak here today.

The IPPR has been a leading progressive think-tank since I have been active in politics. Under the leadership of Nick Pearce it has consistently shown a thoughtful and challenging perspective on the issues of the day, not least in the field of health.

I have been particularly impressed with the emphasis on the quality of care and the commitment to making decisions locally. Was rather helpful to me as a Minister – thank you! We owe you a particular debt of gratitude for the fantastic Think Ahead programme, bringing the brightest young people into mental health social work just as Teach First brought a generation of new graduates into teaching.

I also welcome the fact that you – as a charity – work across the political spectrum.

And I congratulate you in that the Liberal Democrat trustees you have had in recent times – Shirley Williams, Kate Parminter and Alison Suttie. All brilliant liberals and I’m proud to report all supporters of my leadership campaign!

Well I hope after all those nice things that this speech goes better than the one that I heard about recently.

The speaker went on for rather too long, sat down to muted applause, very muted.

He turned to the person next to him and asked how they would have delivered the speech?

To which the reply came “Under an assumed name?”

But let me start by saying something about the election.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

LibLink: If I’m Lib Dem leader, we’ll oppose fracking

Tim Farron has been writing for Politics.co.uk about his desire to see the party change its policy on fracking. The headline is entirely misleading, because what he actually does is show respect to the party’s processes by saying he’ll ask the Federal Policy Committee and Conference to reconsider the issue. But why?

The UK should not be pursuing another fossil fuel source, when there is so much potential for renewable generation from tidal and hydro that is still untapped. I would like the party, through the federal policy committee and the conference, to think again about our existing policy on fracking.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | 46 Comments

LibLink: Norman Lamb: It would be easy for our party to shelter in our comfort zone but it would be very, very wrong

Norman Lamb has been writing for the Huffington Post about his vision for the future of the Liberal Democrats.

The next few years can’t just be about making ourselves feel better; we must be far more ambitious than that.

That means broadening our policy and political thinking, daring – once again – to be radical and challenging. It is why I am proposing a renaissance in our approach to political action and debate, reaching out to include the many – particularly young people – who share our values and instincts but are put off by closed party structures and, even worse, by tribalistic political thinking.

Our task now is not just to devise short-term tactics or louder opposition. We will succeed when we have a long-term, coherent and persuasive set of strategic ideas for Britain.

The good news is that Liberalism fits our age. Britain has become less collective, citizens and consumers feel more empowered and many individual rights – through equal marriage for instance – are better recognised.

What are his key issues?

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

It’s so easy, when you are live-tweeting an event, to give the wrong impression

Last night, Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats held a hustings for the two leadership candidates, Tim Farron and Norman Lamb. They covered the event  brilliantly on Twitter.

Covering an event like that is really challenging – things move on so quickly and you can easily make a mistake. I know that. I once tweeted that Vince Cable was in favour of low pay when he had very clearly said the opposite.

So it was good to see that they corrected a very similar error that they had made last night. They had tweeted that Tim had said that equality was immoral and stupid. Well done to them for sorting it out quickly.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Farron and Lamb: The ALDC Hustings

Last Saturday Tim Farron and Norman Lamb took part in a hustings at the ALDC Conference in Manchester. Here it is in full:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Lamb and Farron reply to Lib Dems for Seekers of Sanctuary

The Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary (which you can join here) has put some detailed questions on asylum, immigration and humanitarian matters to the leadership candidates. Here are their answers.

 We appreciate that there are now far less parliamentarians, but will you ensure when organising teams that there is a spokesperson that covers asylum related issues?

Norman’s reply:

Absolutely, yes.  I want our party to rebuild the reputation we won under Paddy for speaking out clearly and consistently on the difficult international issues we face as a country.

We must lead the way in challenging the appalling humanitarian disaster across the Mediterranean, with thousands of desperate North African migrants drowning in their attempts to flee civil war and famine, crossing the sea in tiny boats.

We must also keep up pressure to improve our system for handling asylum applications, ending long delays that can leave people’s lives on hold for many months while they wait for a decision.

We have a fantastic team of peers, and I know they are determined to play their part in speaking out for our party on these important issues.

I would also want to work with members of Lib Dem Seekers of Sanctuary to support the group in speaking out itself on behalf of the many members who feel strongly about Britain’s asylum policies.  And as leader I would take a close personal interest, adding my own voice to make sure our party is heard and – most importantly – in working to achieve real change and make sure Britain fulfils its responsibilities to those threatened by violence and conflict around the world.

Tim’s reply:

Yes, absolutely. The Liberal Democrats must make the case for a compassionate, open United Kingdom when it comes to asylum seekers – if we don’t, no one else will

I have frequently raised these issues in Parliament, including as the party’s Foreign Affairs spokesman in the run-up to the election. For example, I wrote an article for the New Statesman about the horrors of hundreds of people dying in the Mediterranean, and the urgent need for Britain to work with our European partners to save lives rather than turning our backs. You can read it here:

So yes, if I am leader I will make sure that a consistent, compassionate Lib Dem voice is heard loud and clear on these issues.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Farron and Lamb send third all member emails

The leadership candidates have sent their third official emails. You can read the first two here and here. 

First of all, the Returning Officer’s information:

Below are the top lines and links in the third of four emails from the candidates that I am distributing on their behalf.  I do this in my role as the Acting Returning Officer for this election.

Also please find below contact details for how you can find out more about each of the candidates.

Ballot papers are being dispatched today so you should receive your ballot paper by post within the next week.   With your ballot there will also be a copy of both candidates’ manifestos.

Our ballot counters must receive your complete ballot paper by 2pm on July 15th for it to count.

Many thanks for participating in this important election.

Tim Farron’s letter

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Why I am backing Tim Farron

Politics is not a sterile intellectual exercise where the best policy wins and people applaud the cerebral magnificence of the victor.  It is a messy dirty business, where people’s lives are changed, hopefully for the better but far too often for the worse.

My parents divorced while I was a teenager and I spent time being brought up by a single parent.  I got lucky.  I was never cold, I never went hungry and I always had a roof over my head but I do remember making sure to keep 50p coins so that we had some for Mum’s electricity meter and I didn’t have a room of my own for a number of my teenage years.  I slept in the living room under the stairs.  As I say, I got lucky, I ended up with four parents and was the first person in my family to go to University.

People who lived near me and who I grew up and went to school with were not so lucky.  I saw people who had their potential wasted because they got to school hungry, or with a cough caused by damp in their home or who moved from school to school as their parents moved from house to house.  As a councillor in central Liverpool I saw the reality that hits people who cannot get a decent home, the damage to their families and the narrowing of their life choices.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 23 Comments

Tim Farron’s speech to the IPPR: Liberalism: an optimistic confidence in the capacity of people to make the most of their lives

Both Liberal Democrat leadership candidates are giving speeches to the IPPR think tank over the next few days. Here is Tim Farron’s in full. 

IPPR has always been one of the leading think tanks on the progressive wing of British politics. I welcome the interest you’ve shown in Liberalism, and I hope that in the next few years you will further develop the arguments in your 2007 book on Liberalism, Beyond Liberty.

Now let me be frank. The election on May 7th was an utter disaster for the Liberal Democrats. In terms of our vote and number of MPs we are back to the level of the 1970 general election, when the Liberal Party won six seats on 7.5 per cent of the vote, compared to this year’s eight seats and 7.9 per cent.

Compared to the last election, in 2010, we lost almost two-thirds of our vote and over 85 per cent of our MPs. There is no other occasion in the entire history of the Liberal Democrats or the Liberal Party, stretching back to the early nineteenth century, on which we have lost such a high proportion of our vote or our seats.

It’s therefore entirely reasonable to ask the question: what is the point of the Liberal Democrats? Do we have a role to play in a country which appears to have rejected us so comprehensively?

It won’t come as a surprise to you that I think we do! And I’m not alone. Since the election Party membership has surged by more than 30 percent, we are the fastest growing political party in the UK – that 18,000 people have, without being prompted, had the same thought, at the same time, and then done something about it… well that’s a phenomenon, indeed it is a movement.  That’s more than just encouraging – it’s a signal that there are so many people out there who are Liberals at heart, who understand the threat that Liberalism faces, who think Liberalism’s worth fighting for and who see the Liberal Democrats as their vehicle and their voice.

Even The Guardian has now reached that conclusion. Having compared us during the campaign to ‘rinse aid in a dishwasher … probably useful, surely not essential’ – they decided after the election just three weeks later that, ‘in the absence of a liberal party, one would have to be invented – and indeed … one will now have to be reinvented and rebuilt’.

The result on May 7th might have been a rejection of the Liberal Democrats, but it was not a rejection of Liberalism. Rather, it was a consequence of our decision in 2010 to enter into coalition with our historic political enemies. We did the right thing by our country, and I am proud of Nick and all that we achieved, but our party was hugely damaged by the perceived submerging of our identity and by the tuition fees issue which undermined the electorate’s trust in us.  Our election campaign did not help too much either: a campaign which seemed to say  that we were desperate to get back into government and didn’t much mind with whom, while wholly failing to communicate what we stood for and what we believed.  We said something about what we would do, but we did not tell people who we are.

I want to be very clear, though: I am not repudiating the coalition. We were right to enter into coalition in 2010 and can be proud of what we achieved. Indeed, we proved that coalition government can be stable and successful and that people should not fear coalition in the future.  But I spoke about all this at length to the Gladstone Club a couple of weeks back, so you’ll forgive me for not repeating myself here.

In fact we achieved a lot for Liberalism in the coalition. The Agreement included: a rise in the income tax threshold to £10,000; the pupil premium to give extra resources for children from disadvantaged backgrounds; restoration of the earnings links for the state pension; a banking levy and reform of the banking system; investment in renewable energy; the immediate cancellation of plans for a third runway at Heathrow; an end to the detention of children for immigration purposes; the dropping of plans for identity cards; agreement to reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent of GNP for overseas aid by 2013; the introduction of a fixed-term parliament of five years; and reform of the House of Lords.

With the exception of Lords reform, every single one of those objectives was achieved. And we managed more in the five years that followed: same-sex marriage, the world’s first Green Investment Bank, the triple lock for pensions, two million apprenticeships, free schools meals for the youngest pupils, and much more. I don’t believe any of that would have happened without Liberal Democrats.

And that’s just the positive things we achieved; I don’t have time to list all the Tory commitments we blocked. Over the next five years people will see exactly what a difference we made. In fact, the last six weeks have shown pretty clearly what an outstanding job Nick Clegg and his team did.

So why did we do so badly in the election? Ask random members of the public what they remember about the coalition, and will they list any of those achievements? While we were sweating over our best policies, people weren’t listening. Tuition fees created a barrier – like those force fields in Science Fiction films. We fired our best policies and achievements – and they were brilliant policies and achievements – and they just glanced off the electorate because the tuition fees barrier – that lack of trust – was too strong.

So we need a fresh start. We have to prove, from first principles, why Liberalism in Britain still matters. So I’ll start by defining what I mean by Liberalism – what are the underlying beliefs and values that underpin our approach.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 24 Comments

Liberal Democrat leadership: So what happens at a Lib Dem hustings meeting?

newcastle bridges by ratherbewalking
I was peeved when I saw that the Scottish leadership hustings were taking place this coming Saturday as I knew I had to be in London for a Federal Executive away day. In a moment of madness, though, I decided that I would make a trip to Newcastle for the hustings last Friday night. I am, after all, the FE liaison person for the North East region so it would be good to meet people there.

After a 90 minute train journey, a delicious Chicken Fajita in a place called Zapatista and a quick look at the Centurion pub next to the station to see the amazing Victorian tile work (honest), I headed to the Station Hotel a full hour before the hustings started. It was already buzzing with people. They were expecting so many to turn up that they had had to arrange a bigger room.

I managed to get one of the last seats in the room even though I’d got there so early. Strictly speaking, I might have spent too long drinking gin in the bar with my friend of two decades, Jo, where I also found out something about Tim Farron’s past that I didn’t know. I am now hunting down the evidence and when I find it, you will be the first to know. It’s not scandal, unless you count crimes against fashion in that category. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Lib Dem Leadership: Big name endorsements for each camp as ballots are posted to members

Ballots for the Liberal Democrat leadership hit members’ doorsteps from tomorrow.

With that in mind, both camps have unveiled big name endorsements. From the Lamb campaign, he kind of unveiled it himself in his inimitable style:

It isn’t the biggest surprise in the whole world. During our Spring conference, he was pretty critical of Tim. Paddy becomes the latest party establishment figure to support Norman Lamb.

At the start of the campaign, Tim Farron unveiled a list of over 100 parliamentary candidates who had supported him. On Monday he announced the support of over 200 councillors, council group leaders and elected mayors like Dorothy Thornhill and Dave Hodgson. The Westminster Bubble may have gravitated towards Norman, but Tim has significant grassroots support.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 34 Comments

Tim Farron and Norman Lamb face a live audience on Victoria Derbyshire

This morning leadership candidates Tim Farron and Norman Lamb appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC2. They were quizzed by Victoria and a live audience. See how they got on below:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

Greg Mulholland MP writes…Free on Friday evening? Join Tim Farron’s online Q & A

Tim Farron and Greg MulhollandThis Friday will mark three weeks until the Liberal Democrats have a new leader. Other than the many visits and hustings he’s doing to meet as many party members as possible, this Friday evening, 6.30pm-8pm, Tim’s also doing an online Q&A live via webcam. I’d highly recommend signing up, and you can do so via this link.

In this election, I am proud to back Tim Farron to take the party forward and get us back to our winning ways. Why do I trust Tim to do that? Simply, because it’s what he’s always done. It takes a solid campaigner to end 95 years of Tory hold on a constituency- that’s what Tim did when he won Westmorland & Lonsdale for us in 2005, the same year I was elected for Leeds North West.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Martin 19th Jul - 8:19am
    @ Michael BG, I think you're right that it's unlikely a council would actually do this. But it's interesting to understand that they could if...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 19th Jul - 12:57am
    Peter, I can’t imagine a Labour controlled or Lib Dem controlled council setting a poll tax in their own currency. Why would Lancashire Council want...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 18th Jul - 10:47pm
    Light-hearted guide to PPCdom: 1. Make your peace with quiz nights and fish and chip supper evenings. Alas, they are now your life. 2. Obey...
  • User AvatarDavid Raynes 18th Jul - 9:19pm
    The argument about legalisation of Cannabis, in the UK anyway, has been overtaken by events. Apart from the mental ill health it causes, it is...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 18th Jul - 9:14pm
    @katharine Pindar I was not making light of poverty. Indeed I have consistently said that I support more generous benefits etc. I *was* quoting Paul...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Jul - 9:05pm
    @ Michael BG, "Do you think the supermarkets would accept lots of local currencies?" Say my local council imposed a poll tax of say 20...