You are cordially invited to a gathering of North of England Liberal Democrats…

When the York Conference was cancelled, I was annoyed, not because I love conference per se, but because I’d been involved in planning the launch of a new organisation – Northern Liberal Network – which had to be cancelled.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised when 140 people signed up for the digital launch of the organisation on Zoom a couple of weeks’ later. And for the breadth of attendance from every corner of the NE, NW and Yorks and Humber.

The enthusiasm at the launch confirmed what the founders of the organisation had instinctively felt. That there was something distinctive in policy and campaigning terms in being an active Lib Dem in the North. That the Party was underperforming across the North. And that by working together as an informal network, we could get a better handle on distinctively northern public policy issues (eg the Northern Powerhouse, regional devolution) and also spread best campaigning practice and mutual campaigning support. It isn’t a power grab from the regional and local structures of the Party, it isn’t a faction with an agenda for how the Party could change or who its leader should be. And by operating virtually, it most certainly isn’t a new level of bureaucracy.

By being relatively informal, we are able to be nimble. So this coming Tuesday (12 May) at 8 p.m. we are hosting a Zoom briefing on Community Activism Under Lockdown, with a panel of Jack Haines, Amanda Hopgood, John Potter and Antoinette Sandbach. And next month we will be holding a “in conversation with” session with Tim Farron.

So if you’re a Lib Dem based in the North and would like to join our mailing list and participate in our events – starting with Tuesday – please contact us here.

* Dick Newby is the Leader of the Liberal Democrats n the House of Lords.

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One Comment

  • Paul Holmes 14th May '20 - 1:52pm

    Dick, I have just signed up but ‘the system’ refused to accept my Membership Number on the grounds that ‘it was not a number’. As a pre 1988 Member of a predecessor Party I have an X at the end of my Membership number -is that the problem?

    Also I was a bit annoyed that I HAD to give my phone number to be accepted. Emails are fine because they don’t interrupt at inconvenient times and I can read/answer them whenever it suits me. Phone calls however are intrusive so these days I try to minimise which organisations I give mine to.

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