Would you like to be President of the Liberal Democrats?

Later this year, party members will elect a new President to succeed Simon Hughes, and any party member can put themselves forward. The Federal Executive last night agreed the timetable for the process, which will run between September and November.

Nominations papers will be available from 1st September, and nominations will close on 24th September. Presidential candidates, like candidates for party committees – which are up for election in the autumn too – must be nominated by federal conference voting representatives, so expect to see candidates hawking their nomination papers around autumn conference.

Ballot papers will be sent out on October 13th, and must be received back by November 7th. The result of the election will be announced in the following week.

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  • Martin Land 19th Mar '08 - 6:13am

    I’m afraid when it comes to this sort of position I’m very much an old Liberal. I remember that in the old party the President was very much seen as the representative of the ordinary members ensuring that the party was not dominated by the MP’s (difficult anyway, given there were so few). However, at some point we started electing MP’s to the post, I think the then leader, Steel, doing this by the simple expedient of putting up David Penhaligon who was sufficiently popular to avoid the stigma of being too closely associated with the parliamentary party. This trick was then repeated in the new party with Kennedy.

    After that the rot seems to have set in. I think it’s time we again started to have Presidents from outside the bubble. In an ideal world they would be activists able to represent the views and needs of ordinary members, after all, the ‘bubblites’ are well enough represented already.

    Candidates? How about recently returned Michael Meadowcroft? Or an activist and Councillor with an excellent record, like Stephen Giles-Medhurst from Watford?

  • Peter Tyzack 23rd Mar '08 - 8:11pm

    I am a ‘councillor with an excellent record’ but with today’s dominance of the celebrity cult, what chance would someone like me have?

    then there is the now recurrent problem of Party Grandees making their preferences public, instead of letting the membership form their own views.

    and unless the post comes with an expense account it will only really be open to someone with independent income

  • Victim of your tongue 24th Mar '08 - 12:19pm

    Peter – you might start by being a little less rude (that also might enhance your ‘excellent record’)

  • I remember as a Young Liberal talking to the newly elected Party President Stina Robson (not a peer at that time, but indeed someone with sufficient private income to do the job at a time when the party only existed on a shoestring). She asked me what the new Chairman of the National League of Young Liberals, Tony Greaves, was like. I replied, “He looks like a Norse God!”, and then blushed with embarrassment at how it must have come across.

  • Tony Greaves 24th Mar '08 - 2:13pm

    Well you pick up new anecdotes from past history every day…

    Stina Robson was of course Swedish.

    There was one rather rowdy meeting of the Party Council when various people including I think Bernard Greaves and Michael Steed were getting angry with her partisan chairmanship (she was really quite awful at it) and I stood up and asked on a point of order “Why don’t you go join the fascist party, woman?!”

    Her other claim to any remaining fame was when she collapsed in the House of Lords and they adjourned so she could be shipped out and across the river to St Thomas’s. As she was being carried out of the Peer’s entrance she saw the annunciator (monitor) which said “House Adjourned during Pleasure”. At which she found the strength to sit up and instruct Black Rod (who supervises such evacuations) to have it changed! “Pleasure? Have they seen me?”

    Tony Greaves

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