The leadership contenders send out their first all-member emails

Lib Dem Chief Executive Tim Gordon, in his capacity as Acting Returning Officer for the Leadership Election, has sent out the following email to members today:

As you will have seen Nick Clegg resigned as Party Leader after the General Election and nominations closed last Wednesday for the election of his successor.  Two candidates have been duly nominated, Norman Lamb and Tim Farron.

Below are the top lines and links in the first of three 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.

You should receive your ballot paper by post around the last weekend in June. There will also be a copy of both candidates’ manifestos included with it.

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

To help you make your decision a number of hustings events are being held around the country further details can be found at

Many thanks for participating in this important election.

All 61456 (correct at time of writing but increasing all the time) members of the party will get a ballot paper. These will be despatched on 24th June and the result will be announced on 16th July. Hustings meetings are taking place all over the country, so do take the opportunity to see the candidates in action. Already 1200 people have signed up for the London hustings alone! The New Members’ hustings which took place a couple of weeks ago will be put on the party website at some point.

Here are the two candidates’ emails:

Norman Lamb

(Norman’s comes from his campaign chair, Lynne Featherstone)

Dear Friend,

UK politics changed forever in May’s election and people are asking “What are the Liberal Democrats for?” Liberalism, as an idea and as a political movement, is facing its most difficult period in a generation. With a Conservative government trampling on our civil liberties, hell-bent on taking us out of Europe and stigmatising immigrants, never have we been so needed.

Tell Norman what matters to you

We need a leader with clear and consistent values, the bravery to champion them – and the experience to bring about real change.

Norman Lamb is that leader. He has dedicated his life to championing liberal values – and understands that campaigning is not only about delivering millions of leaflets, but changing millions of lives.

As a lawyer, he won a landmark case, forcing the Ministry of Defence to compensate hundreds of servicewomen, sacked for becoming pregnant. As an MP, he fought to expose a corrupt arms deal involving BAE systems in Tanzania, and forced the Prime Minister to publish a list of his visitors at Chequers for the first time. As a Minister, he introduced the first maximum waiting times for mental health treatment, achieving parity of esteem between mental and physical health for the first time.

Norman is a true liberal

He is completely intolerant of discrimination – whether based on gender, sexual orientation, faith or ethnicity. He will fight for equal rights for all. As the architect and originator of same sex marriage legislation, I know how hard the fight for true equality can be – Norman was with me every step of the way. We need his leadership and judgement now.

I urge you to join me in supporting Norman Lamb: a principled and passionate champion of our values – with a record of bringing about lasting change.

Best wishes,


P.S. The fightback has begun and we need a true liberal who can not only rebuild our party but restore it. Norman is that leader and I urge you to join me in supporting him. Tell Norman you’re with him today.

Tim Farron

I’m proud of what we achieved in Government, but we paid a heavy price. Millions of people in Britain are liberal in their views: I want to turn them into Liberal Democrats – and turn Liberal Democrats into winners.

That’s why, with the support of our best campaigners – Simon Hughes, Jo Swinson, Kirsty Williams AM, Willie Rennie MSP and over 100 of our 2015 Parliamentary candidates – I am standing to be leader. Together, we believe we can rebuild from the grassroots up. And I offer this guarantee: to be the strong, confident, distinctive voice for liberalism, when Britain needs it most.

My Values – My Liberalism

Liberalism is under threat like never before, but never has liberalism been more necessary.

I am ready to lead us in the fight of our lives to make certain that our party survives and then thrives. The general election was won by the politics of fear and division – and we suffered a heavy defeat. Britain needs the Liberal Democrats, but that is no good if Britain doesn’t know that!

Our task is to prove that we are relevant to people across the country, to motivate and inspire the millions of liberals out there to become Liberal Democrats – to show them what we believe, why we matter, to give people compelling reasons to vote for us and to work with us to create a strong, impactful liberal movement in Britain.

Tim Farron

To do this we have to be clear about the philosophy and the values that set us apart. Liberalism is about championing the individual against the powerful, that means standing firm for our Human Rights Act, against internet surveillance and illiberal extremism orders. But it’s also about protecting individuals from those giant evils that rob people of their freedom: poverty, poor housing, inequality.

For me, liberalism has always been about much more than policies and manifestos – about more, even, than campaigns and Focus leaflets!

My liberalism is about turning my anger at injustice into action. Some parties want to win power so that they can hold office, I want us to win so that we can make a difference.

I have an optimistic confidence in the capacity of everyone to make the most of their lives, to fulfil their talents and to realise their dreams. It is the belief that government has a duty to make this possible – to create the conditions in which people and their communities can flourish.

This has always been the great cause of Liberalism, a creed which is now needed more than ever. Over the coming months and years, we must stand up for the values that lie at the heart of our philosophy.


To read more about Tim’s values and philosophy click here

Tim Talks

Tim's launch video

In this video, Tim launches his campaign and explains why he is standing for the Liberal Democrat leadership.

You can also see him explain how safe and affordable homes are key to a free and liberal society.

And why Simon Hughes, former Justice Minister and Party President, is backing Tim.

Our strongest voice

“Tim’s energy, passion & zest for campaigning make him the best person to lead our party now.”
Jo Swinson, Former Equalities Minister

“A passionate campaigner against poverty and injustice.”
Simon Hughes, Former Justice Minister

“Tim Farron has the right qualities and skills to be a very effective and inspiring leader.”
Sir Alan Beith, Former Deputy Leader

“A committed liberal, a brilliant communicator, an outstanding campaigner and an inspirational leader”
Kirsty Williams AM & Willie Rennie MSP

“…Somebody who reconnects the Liberal Democrats with the public.”
From a letter published in The Guardian supporting Tim Farron by over hundred 2015 Parliamentary Candidates

To volunteer to support Tim’s campaign please click here.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Sammy O'Neill 9th Jun '15 - 4:20pm

    Am I alone in finding this all so depressing? There is no candidate I actually want to vote for or who I think has a realistic chance of making the changes the party needs.

  • Liberal Neil 9th Jun '15 - 4:48pm

    You’re probably not alone, but most of the members I’ve spoken to think we’ve got two excellent candidates to choose from. I think they are both fantastic candidates and I’m backing Tim because i think he is best placed to move the party forward in the circumstances we are in now.

  • Richard Underhill 9th Jun '15 - 5:06pm

    What Liberal Democrats do is to listen to the arguments, as at federal conference.
    Therefore I will attend a hustings and listen to the questions as well as the answers.
    Each candidate should be asked whether he would also be willing to be the deputy leader.
    Although the electorate will be other Liberal Democrat MPs the test is whether they can work together after the leadership campaign. If not, who does each want to be deputy leader?

  • David Evans 9th Jun '15 - 5:14pm

    Sammy – the question is – What do you think are “the changes the party needs”? And then ask at a hustings.

  • Normans campaign is so negative…he is like Chris Huhne. I’m voting for Tim but this type of politics turns people off.

  • Eddie Sammon 9th Jun '15 - 8:31pm

    Norman often talks about being “intolerant” of injustice, so does he support sanctions against Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran and China or is he in fact a bit more tolerant to injustice than he makes out?

    The mystery of Farron is how he does so well locally, but I still can’t look past what seems like a core vote strategy.

  • Conor McGovern 10th Jun '15 - 2:41pm

    Indeed, we should be looking to Labour under Ed Miliband to see where a core vote strategy gets you.

  • @Conor @Eddie On the other hand, I’m sure he’d listen to members’ views on strategy.

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