Tim Farron MP writes…Introducing my new Chief of Staff

I am delighted to announce that Ben Williams will be joining  my Leader’s Office team as my permanent chief of staff.  He joins my PA, the brilliant Christine, Sam who helps me with my correspondence and my press officer Paul to fully staff my office. Natasha sadly leaves us at the end of the week but will, I am in no doubt, go on to bigger things.

Ben was the standout candidate and brings a wealth of experience at all levels of the party from council campaigner to Head of Liberal Democrat Whips’ Office and latterly a Special Adviser. Everyone who has worked with him knows his skills and how brilliantly he works under pressure. There were many points over our years in government when I saw Ben, at first hand, make sure the government kept delivering liberal policies under tremendous pressures. He is exactly what our party needs – someone who can help me to help our party grow and thrive.

I also want to put on record my thanks to Ben Rich who has been my chief of staff on an interim basis since my election. He has been a constant source of advice and help and he will continue to support the party, and me personally, in a variety of ways.

I hope that Ben will help me to further fight for liberal outcomes and work hard, with you, to deliver more Liberal Democrat victories in every brick of the governance of the UK, from the Senedd to the Scottish Parliament and from Town Halls to Whitehall. It’s our job, I know we can do it.


* Tim Farron is Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Refugees and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale.

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  • I’m not disputing Ben’s very strong talents and welcome this appointment, but I am concerned by the implication that there was some kind of transparent process. I don’t recall ever seeing such a position advertised yet we are told Ben was the “standout candidate”. Taking a secretive approach to appointments of Special Advisers whilst in Government is one thing, employing the same recruitment practices when we are the joint 4th party in the Commons with just 8 MPs is not something we should be doing however.

  • Charles Rothwell 22nd Oct '15 - 8:00am

    Good Luck to the new appointee!

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 22nd Oct '15 - 8:55am


    I refer you to 29 September, when the advert was publicised on this very website, with a link to the official advert on the Party’s website. I don’t know where else it was advertised, but presume that candidates found out about it somehow.

    Just because you missed the advert doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, nor is a process less than transparent just because you didn’t receive a gilt-edged notification of it.

  • I saw the advert and I wasn’t even looking for it, it not being a position I’m remotely qualified for!

  • Rebecca Trimnell 22nd Oct '15 - 8:50pm

    Please can someone tell me where this position was advertised? Or was it an inside job? As Aaron pointed out I’ve never seen it advertised!

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 22nd Oct '15 - 10:00pm


    If it was published on Liberal Democrat Voice and on the Party’s website, how could it be hidden? And I do find the accusation that it might be an inside job deeply tiring. Perhaps Chris could indicate where he saw it?

  • It is here:- https://www.libdemvoice.org/lib-dem-jobwatch-special-fancy-trying-to-keep-tim-farron-under-control-47715.html

    I stand corrected. Though I would say that Lib Dem Voice is not usually identified as a recruitment website, nor is the party website for that matter. Apologies if I am the only person he feels the job should have also been displayed in actual places where people may look for such jobs (eg. W4MP, Guardian jobs, Charity jobs etc.) but its hard not to feel that the net hasn’t been cast particularly widely on this occasion, further underlined by a short timeframe between initial posting and closure of application. I do feel this is a pity as we should be incentivising people to want to work for the party at this time and not conducting it in way that may discourage people from doing so in the future.

    Best of luck to Ben, and this is nothing against him at all.

  • Katharine Pindar 23rd Oct '15 - 10:46pm

    It’s good that our Leader will now have extra professional help in his office. This is an ideal time to project our Party’s image – currently much ignored and often derided – when the Labour Party is struggling for unity and the Tory Government is under attack even from some of its own MPs. Could Ben work with National Executive Committee or other members under Tim’s guidance to plan national strategic campaigning ? Besides press releases and statements on social media, the proposal for the House of Lords’ motion and useful articles like Nick Clegg’s on the threat to housing associations, it would be good to consider mass grass-roots action such as production of a mass leaflet which could summarise our Coalition achievements, show the decline since, and strongly state our value as a united, sensible and humane Party caring for people’s rights. We should seize the moment and use our willing workers.

  • “I stand corrected. Though I would say that Lib Dem Voice is not usually identified as a recruitment website, nor is the party website for that matter.”

    I agree – It is very unusual for organisations to advertise vacancies on their own websites. I’m surprised someone hasn’t complained about this sooner.

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