Tag Archives: newcastle

Farron’s football metaphors: he wants to be like Graeme Souness at Blackburn Rovers

When Tim Farron went to Newcastle this week (where he impressed a room full of young people), he spoke to the local paper.

His speeches always used to feature football metaphors somewhere but in recent years, they’ve been less prevalent. However, he had no choice when he was asked which football manager he’d compare himself to. He told the Chronicle that he saw his role as being like Graeme Souness when he was at Blackburn Rovers. The Scottish football manager had a string of successes with that club. Then he left it and went to Newcastle, which wasn’t such a happy experience.

You can see from the video how he answered the question, saying his oft-repeated lines about how there is a space for us in British politics and we are the only opposition to Labour in the north east, which gave him time to think about the best way to actually give the response he was asked for.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Tim talks to a room of students – and energises the #LibDemFightback in Newcastle


Students at NUSU Tim Talks

Of all the drops in the Liberal Democrat vote in May, the drop in the 18-24 vote was harshest. From 30% of the total vote of this age group in 2010, our vote collapsed to just 5% in May. Hope springs eternal in Newcastle, though – and we were delighted to welcome our leader, Tim Farron, in hosting a ‘Talk to Tim’ event at the Newcastle University Students’ Union on Monday night.

Tim was in fine form, answering questions from the packed room of well over 100 students on issues ranging from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to fracking and from the government’s proposed Teaching Excellence Framework for Higher Education to just what, exactly, is the point of the Liberal Democrats.

The questions were reasoned, varied and detailed. If this event was any indication, if we listen to young people and show that we genuinely care about what they have to say, we will win their respect and, in time, win back their support.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 10 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 peer Lord Shipley to work with Heseltine on Local Growth Deals

Lib Dem peer Lord (John) Shipley, the former Leader of Newcastle City Council, is to join forces with Lord (Michael) Heseltine in supporting negotiations for Local Growth Deals with Local Enterprise Partnerships. The announcement was made by Nick Clegg – here’s the press release with further detail:

The government has committed to negotiating deals with all 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England, devolving power and accountability to local areas to drive economic growth, and providing opportunities for local business and civic leaders to set out their priorities for growth in their areas.

Under the deals, LEPs will be integral in

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Former Lib Dem by-election candidate Elizabeth Shenton defects to Labour

Newcastle councillor Elizabeth Shenton, Lib Dem candidate in the 2008 Crew and Nantwich by-election, has left the party to join Labour. Local paper The Sentinel reports:

A senior Lib Dem councillor and former parliamentary candidate has defected to Labour. Elizabeth Shenton said she had left the Liberal Democrats due to the coalition Government’s ‘damaging policies’. She has now joined the ruling Labour group on Newcastle Borough Council. Mrs Shenton, below, who was the Lib Dem candidate in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election in 2008, had been member of the party for 10 years.

Mrs Shenton, who has also served

Posted in Local government | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Spring Conference 2012: registration now open

I am pleased to announce that registration for Spring Conference 2012 is now open.

For the first time, conference will be hosted by NewcastleGateshead. The Liberal Democrats have a proud history in the North-East. We control Northumberland County Council and Ian Swales MP, Sir Alan Beith MP and Fiona Hall MEP represent the Region in London and Brussels respectively.

Fiona said, “Conference is going to be a great boost for the area ahead of vital local elections in May. The region is gearing up to make it a fantastic weekend for everyone. I hope representatives also take …

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[email protected]… John Shipley: Our record in power shows that we have vision and ambition

Over at The Guardian today, Councillor John Shipley, Lib Dem leader of Newcastle city council, writes a robust response to Tristram Hunt’s partial (in every sense) attack on the Lib Dems’ record in local government. Here’s an excerpt:

Tristram Hunt’s claim that the many cities and urban councils now run by Liberal Democrats lack the leadership and vision of Labour authorities such as Manchester and Glasgow is nonsense. … He fails to mention Newcastle upon Tyne at all. Lost by Labour to the Lib Dems in 2004, civic leadership flourishes here with a new £40m city library and investment in cultural

Posted in LibLink and Local government | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Clegg: I am not like Obama (but we share the same policies and ideas)

There’s a good, in-depth and upbeat interview with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg in today’s Newcastle Journal:

A chipper Mr Clegg declared the North East would be his key hunting ground at the next general election and predicted that regional minister Nick Brown could even succumb to a Lib Dem sweep. … he stressed the North East was “one of the most important areas” for the Lib Dems after “astonishing” local council gains in Northumberland and ongoing success in Newcastle.

However, with tomorrow’s inaugration of Barack Obama dominating the media, Nick was very careful to avoid coming over all ‘me too’, …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments
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