Tag Archives: nick harvey

Nick Harvey appointed as Lib Dems’ interim Chief Executive

Former North Devon Lib Dem MP Nick Harvey has been appointed as the Liberal Democrats’ interim Chief Executive following the departure of Tim Gordon earlier this month.

Nick has wide-ranging experience in PR, human resources, management and delivering change.

He comes from a City background, having been an account director at Dewe Rogerson, and worked at Profile PR and Westminster Consortium. He will take up his new role next week on the back of recent experience at Global Partners, where he was an adviser on Egypt and Jordan. He has also been seeking to widen access to the law as chair of Lawthority, while also chairing the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (a role he will step back from while serving as interim chief executive).

He was a campaigning and dedicated constituency MP for North Devon for 22 years. During this time (1992-2015) he served on the House of Commons Commission where he drove through reforms to modernise how parliament works. He was chair of campaigns for the Liberal Democrats in the late 1990s, including for the breakthrough 1997 election.

Nick said on his appointment:

I am greatly looking forward to supporting Vince Cable as our new Leader, and hope that working closely together we can further revive Lib Dem fortunes. The party has shown great resilience. Now we have a real opportunity to begin the process of moving forwards again.

British politics has never been in greater need of the Liberal Democrats. There is a major gap which only we can fill, not least on Brexit. This could have a dramatic impact on people’s jobs, the health and care system they depend on, and the schools and colleges which enable everyone to succeed in life.

We must boldly promote our liberal values, at home but also with partners abroad – not fighting them, but working to find international solutions to global security and environmental challenges.

The party has many talented, experienced and innovative people, as well as legions of new members. Together we can get things going again.

Vince Cable said:

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New Ashcroft report show Lib Dems gaining ground in majority of seats polled

Lord Ashcroft has released some new polls in six Liberal Democrat/Conservative marginals and two Liberal Democrat/Labour marginals, including Nick Clegg’s seat.

In all but two of the seven Lib Dem held seats,  the Liberal Democrats are gaining ground. In Cambridge, Julian Huppert has pulled head of his Labour rival. He has gained ten points in six months to have a 9 point lead. There is absolutely no room for complacency, though.

Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall), Andrew George (St Ives), Adrian Sanders (Torbay) have slight leads and have gained ground since the previous polls.. Ashcroft emphasises that it’s all very much in the margin of error but it’s going in the right direction. In Sheffield Hallam, Nick Clegg has halved the gap between himself and Labour. What’s interesting is that Clegg’s vote has leapt up by 7 points – but Labour have gained 6 points as Greens and UKIP support has fallen. Even despite that fall in support of the smaller parties, Clegg has closed the gap to within the margin of error.

Ashcroft finds a movement to the Conservatives in both Nick Harvey’s North Devon seat and Stephen Gilbert’s St Austell and Newquay. In North Devon, our vote has actually gone up and in St Austell it’s stayed the same – but UKIP’s vote has melted back to the Conservatives.

In Camborne and Redruth, which Julia Goldsworthy is trying to win back, the news is not so good, with the Liberal Democrats having a bit of a mountain to climb as the Conservatives gain ground. Update: It’s worth incorporating this comment from someone who actually knows the area, Mathew McCarthy, into the main post:

Knowing Camborne, Redruth & Hayle as well as I do know (having been campaigning there pretty much full time since December 2013) this polling simply does not reflect the reality on the ground. We’ve been gaining serious ground in council by elections, winning one from 4th place last summer, and we know we’re in with a shout in May. We have an amazing candidate who is more well known than the current MP and is more popular amongst undecided voters.

We’re working absolutely flat out to deliver a great result in May, and I know Lib Dem teams across the whole country are doing the same. All I have to say to those Liberal Democrats campaigning flat out across Cornwall and South West England and indeed everywhere is thank you for the amazing effort you’re putting in.

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Sir Nick Harvey writes…Difficult questions for all parties on defence spending

Today in the Commons I sat through impressive speeches from across the benches echoing concerns about the UK’s expenditure on defence – principally, our predicted failure to meet NATO’s 2 per cent of GDP target on defence spending in the approaching financial year.

There was little expectation that defence would become a big election issue, but less than two months ahead of polling day all the parties share the headache that a commitment to maintaining the 2 per cent target looks frankly impossible. With the assumption that further cuts will have to be made across the board, there are serious implications for the kind of role the UK wants to play in the world and how we are going to defend our global interests.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 37 Comments

Nick Harvey: ‘If you think we are going to spend another five years being shafted (this time) by Labour, you’ve got another think coming’

The Liberal Democrat coalition negotiation team leave Cowley Street HQ for the fourth day of discussions with the Conservatives May 10th 2010.

Earlier this week we highlighted Nick Harvey MP’s report “Beyond the Rose Garden”. In it, he recommends a range of changes in arrangements for any future coalition governments.

In the wake of his report’s publication, Nick has now given an extensive interview with Huffington Post

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Tribute to Jeremy Thorpe

NPG x167152; Jeremy Thorpe by Walter Bird, Copyright National POrtrait Gallery, London some rights reservedJeremy Thorpe’s funeral was held last Wednesday at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster. It was attended by around 400 people including all five leaders of the Liberal party and the Liberal Democrats who succeeded Jeremy Thorpe: David Steel, Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy, Ming Campbell and Nick Clegg. There was a gathering afterwards at the National Liberal Club. The following tribute was delivered at the funeral by Nick Harvey MP, and is reproduced here at his suggestion.

It is a great honour to be asked to say a few words today about the political life and times of Jeremy Thorpe, though I do so with considerable humility as many present here witnessed and lived the Thorpe era first hand, whereas I was still at school at the time.

To describe Jeremy’s footsteps as giant ones in which to follow in North Devon would be a huge understatement.

Posted in Obituaries | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe dies

jeremy thorpe_2The party website records the passing of former Liberal Party leader, Jeremy Thorpe, who died today aged 85:

Mr Thorpe died today (4 December) at his home in London. He had battled with Parkinson’s Disease for more than 35 years. He was elected as Liberal MP for North Devon in the 1959 General Election and held the seat for 20 years. Following the retirement of Jo Grimond, he was elected as leader of the Liberal Party in 1967. He was a fervent supporter of Britain’s membership of the the EU

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Lib Dems hit back against free school lunch attacks. Clegg on Mail: “utterly wrong”. Laws on Cummings: “utter balls”

daily mail free school lunchesToday’s Daily Mail front page was dominated by an attack on the Lib Dem plans to bring in free school lunches for all infants: “Free school meals fiasco,” it screamed.

Nick Clegg quickly refuted the Mail’s attack in a lengthy post on the party’s website – here’s an excerpt:

The Liberal Democrats are never going to be loved in the pages of the Daily Mail: our open, liberal and progressive brand of politics tends to be at odds with their editorial worldview (to put it mildly). However,

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