Tag Archives: party leadership

Who will Succeed Theresa May?

December 11th is when the government will present the Brexit deal that they have been negotiating for the last eighteen months to parliament. The EU has said that it’s this deal or no deal. The boasting of Tory ministers on TV programmes about six months ago that a no deal would be better than a bad deal may be a reality, and most sane politicians are more than worried regarding this outcome. If the deal is rejected on 11th December, there is no time to renegotiate another deal. There is effectively now no time to have a referendum, before we leave on March 29th, as a minimum of 10 weeks is required for any referendum and that’s after getting the legislation through parliament. If Theresa May does not get the Brexit deal through parliament, there is no time to ask the EU for an extension as that agreement needs to be accepted by the other 27 nations. To even have a general election if there is a vote of no confidence, parliament will have to alter the Fixed Term parliament act and the general election will not be before we have to leave the EU. The position we find ourselves in is perilous and the chance of automatically leaving the EU on 29th March 2019 (cliff edge Brexit) is becoming a dangerous possibility.

I can’t see how May is going to square the circle under these circumstances. It is more than likely that May will fail on 11th December to get her deal accepted by parliament. It’s then very possible that Graham Brady (Chair of the 1922 committee) will get the 48 letters from MP’s to trigger a leadership election. Alternatively, May could face a vote of no confidence. Even if she wins that but it’s close, she may well feel obliged to step down.

So, who would succeed Theresa May?

Posted in News and Op-eds | 40 Comments

Vince refers to “false rumours” and says “I’m not stepping down anytime soon”

On his Facebook page, Vince Cable has said:

There have been false rumours lately. As this statement says, I’m not stepping down anytime soon.

He’s linked to this article in the Independent

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable is not planning to quit the party “any time soon”, party sources have said after reports he will use a September speech to announce he is stepping down.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Reports: Vince Cable to stand down as party leader before 2022 and wants to see through party rule changes

Embed from Getty Images

I see that there are a few media reports about this today. The first was in The Times (£), then the Express and Telegraph, and, this afternoon, the Guardian has followed with, perhaps, the most precisely worded article.

There is nothing on the Lib Dem Press Office Twitter feed about this, as I write. Also I don’t see a round robin email from the party about this. That suggests an element of “bouncing” in this story.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 73 Comments

Changes to Lib Dem leadership rules – what the constitution says…

Can I just make a very polite suggestion to those who are briefing the press about potential changes to the way we elect leaders and who can stand in those elections to make sure that they understand our party’s processes for doing these things?

Because some things that the journalists are writing are just wrong.

Over the last week, we’ve seen a number of stories in the press which seem to be drip-feeding out some sort of process to change the rules for the election of a leader. There’s an article in Buzzfeed today which says that the rules for all this will be changed by a membership vote in November.

Lib Dem members will get the chance to debate a “supporters’ scheme” during a lunchtime session at the party conference in Brighton in September.

The rule change allowing non-MPs to stand as leader, which was first revealed in The Mirror last week, is expected to be formally announced to the press in early September and put to a vote of the membership in November.

This actually conflates two very different ideas.

We already know that Vince is keen to have a registered supporters scheme. There is a debate going on at the moment about what rights those registered supporters would have. Federal People Development Committee Chair Miranda Roberts looked at some of the issues in her latest report. 

Would they, for example, be able to vote in leadership elections? That’s what happened in the Labour party and that didn’t exactly work out well for them.

It would be really ironic if those people displaced by Corbyn’s election by registered supporters’ Momentum takeover of Labour then came to us and used our registered supporters scheme to turn our party into New Labour mark 2. While they are a million times better than the irresponsibly destructive government we have now, they are no respecters of individual and civil liberty. There is a big danger that the Liberal Democrats as we know it would end up as the smile on the face of the tiger of some new flaccid centrist affair which won’t change much and we need to think very carefully before we take such a move. This country is in such a dire state that radical change is vital to heal divisions and make it a kinder and fairer place.

There will be a consultation on all of this at the Brighton conference, with provision for those who can’t go to Conference to take part.

The other piece of the jigsaw is that there may or may not be a plan to allow a non-Parliamentarian to stand for leader. That may or may not have its merits but, as I said the other day, is all this process stuff where we really want to be as we approach the most intense time in the anti-Brexit campaign?

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Can we please just concentrate on fighting Brexit, not internal party processes

There are not enough swear words in the world to describe my reaction when I read this Mirror story today about Vince’s alleged plan to open up the party leadership to non MPs.

He wants to scrap or amend an obscure part of the party’s constitution which states only an MP can take the helm.

The move, which is likely to be put to the party after summer recess and could be debated at the annual conference in Brighton in September, would mean a non-politician could become leader, scuppering ambitions of Sir Vince’s rivals on the Commons’ benches.

It may or may …

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‘Almost certain that Tim Farron will be leader later this year’ – Stephen Tall

Tim Farron Nick Clegg 2010 Photo by Liberal Democrats Alex Folkes Fishnik photography

With his usual uncanny knack and impeccable insight Stephen Tall is bang on the money over on PoliticsHome:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 93 Comments

Now is not the time for a bitter and bloody leadership battle

Nick Clegg addresses Birmingham Liberal Democrats conference. Photo courtesy of the Liberal DemocratsOne of the most interesting (and logistically challenging – though that’s another story) conference fringe events I have had a hand in organising through my involvement with Liberal Reform was a panel of fellow liberals from across Europe talking about their experiences of being members of a coalition.

I wanted to hold such an event to counter the all too prevalent assumption that the problems facing the Liberal Democrats are somehow unique to us. Because they are most certainly not.

Where parties enter …

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Après Nick: which Lib Dem MPs are best-placed to become the next Lib Dem leader?

Today’s Independent has an interesting story speculating on the Lib Dem leadership contest to come if the 2015 election result triggers Nick Clegg’s resignation. It’s one of the features of this parliament – perhaps linked to it being a fixed-term in which we know the dates are all known – that there hasn’t been nearly as much gossip about future leadership bids in any of the three main parties.

Anyway, the Indy story seeks to make up a little for that absence: Nick Clegg’s rivals for the Lib Dems leadership told to rev up. The premise of the article …

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Tim Farron on leading the Lib Dems and the coalition’s record on social justice

Tim FarronThe Huffington Post today carries a frank interview with Tim Farron by Mehdi Hasan who asks whether he a a Lib Dem leader in waiting.

Farron tells Hasan he is a social liberal not a classical liberal and, making the distinction between free markets “with a referee”, which he supports, and “laissez faire”, which he dismisses.

On energy, Tim admits he is uneasy with the decision to approve the Hinkley Point reactor:

The most fundamental thing is that we keep the lights on and so that the investment is justifiable in that sense. Personally, I don’t think the time has come for us to go down the nuclear route again.

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If you’re going to suggest that Nick Clegg isn’t the answer, you need a plan B ready…

Lord Matthew OakeshottFollowing the interventions of Matthew Oakeshott and Trevor Smith, there will be those both inside and outside the Liberal Democrats, who will be looking forward to next month’s Federal Conference with an eye to a future. Not necessarily the future, but a future nonetheless.

But before anyone gets terribly carried away, there are two key questions that need to be asked and, ideally, answered.

What are you changing the Leader for?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 50 Comments

LDV poll: Vince or Tim are Lib Dem members’ top choices for leader in event of vacancy

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 560 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

28% choose Vince, 21% tip Tim: how you voted

Yesterday we reported the finding that 34% of Lib Dem members surveyed thought Nick Clegg should step down as party leader before the 2015 general election compared to 59% who thought he should stay to fight it. Today we report the hypothetical question we then posed: who should take up the reins if for …

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Opinion: the way forward – with Clegg at the helm

As soon as the Liberal Democrats bravely stepped in to coalition with David Cameron’s Conservatives we knew tough times may lie ahead. Whilst the coalition’s majority party has sailed through relatively unscathed, the junior partner has suffered an incessant flow of unfair and unjust criticism. Just as we thought this was beginning to wane, this month has witnessed an increase in anti-Clegg rhetoric.

First to weigh in was the Lib Dems’ very own Lembit Opik (as eccentric and publicity-seeking as ever), who has outlined in his new book a plan for a Lib Dem resurrection. He states that Clegg must …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 26 Comments
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  • User AvatarBernard Aris 14th Dec - 3:41pm
    @ Tom Harney Dear Tom, when you are a small trading country litterally sandwiched between three formerr world powers, it sure pays to know their...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 14th Dec - 2:31pm
    The Conservatives chose to have their rebellion, but then pretended that leaving Theresa May in power for now was OK, because negotiating Brexit was a...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 14th Dec - 2:20pm
    We need to use are assets well Vince is the experienced sage on policy and european cooperation .Layla Moran is in the firebrand liberal campaigning...
  • User AvatarSandra Hammett 14th Dec - 1:58pm
    Pendulum Theory. You don't fight the fire of demagogue with direct opposition, taking the clearly defined ground on the other end of the scale. Neither...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 14th Dec - 1:51pm
    If I were PM I would calculate the increase in government revenue from the growth of the economy and allocate £6 billion to the NHS...
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 14th Dec - 1:48pm
    Threatening self-harm to get your own way ..... I begin to wonder if the model for the posers of the Tory irreconcilable right should be...