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What would it be like?

by Christine Jardine on Sun, 13 Oct 2019

I know it’s tempting fate and that I shouldn’t really, but this week I have not been able to resist the temptation to think what life might be like if I were to win the Presidency.

So I decided to think what a week might be like in this possible future, combining my job as MP with the job of President. 

I hope you enjoy this reading about this imaginary week as much as I did thinking about it - I think it looks like fun.

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The best campaigns are built on personal stories

by Henry Mcmorrow on Sat, 12 Oct 2019

Our experience has taught us that the best campaigns are built on personal stories.

They give an emotional and personal connection beyond cold, hard facts.

So to help our campaign to stop Brexit succeed, we have a very specific request.

Can you tell us how Brexit is personally affecting you and your family?

We want to hear from you if: your medication has already been delayed; you’re a business owner, worried about supply chains or staffing or you work in the NHS and you’re worried of the impact on patient care… to name but a few!

So, will you share your story?

How is Brexit affecting you

We may want to use your stories at events, in our literature and online – please do indicate which ones you’d be comfortable with on the page.

Remember, the most impactful stories are those that are personal – those aspects of Brexit that will directly affect you and your family – not opinions and views, so please bear this in mind when making your submission.

Thank you for all you do.

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Why get a postal vote?

by Claire Halliwell on Sat, 12 Oct 2019

Parliament is in deadlock and we are preparing for a GE to be held soon. The Liberal Democrats will go into any election campaigning to win, fighting for our place in the European Union, where we can work internationally to tackle the Climate Emergency. 

Help us make that happen.

Be ready to vote for the Lib Dems by registering for a postal vote now. 

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have proved they are not fit for office. Now is the time for Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats to take centre stage.

Organising a postal vote is a brilliant way of supporting us, it means your vote can be cast in advance of polling day in your own time. 

It means that if you are campaigning with us on polling day, you know your vote is already in the bag. 

And even if you aren’t, it means that our campaigners have one less door to knock on on polling day. 

After every election I speak to people who planned to vote but couldn't in the end because something came up on the day - they got ill or were away unexpectedly. But when the country is teetering on the brink of another General Election, I don’t want you to miss out.

The next general election will dictate the course of our country, at a chaotic and busy time, it is important to make sure your vote is counted. 

We are expected to make significant gains across the country as we build on our recent electoral success. Having made strides in the local and European elections, we continue to stand up for an open, inclusive and progressive UK in the upcoming General Election.

You can be part of this movement to bring liberal values back to British politics. 

Simply fill in the form and send it to your local council to be added to the postal vote list. 

Get your postal vote

Thank you!


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What’s the role of Party President?

by Mark Pack on Sat, 12 Oct 2019

Probably the most common question I’ve had so far in this campaign is ‘what’s the role of President?’ It’s an important question because it gets to the heart of what we need to do to be more successful in our ambition to build a fair, free and open society, as it says in our constitution.

One part of the role – being the voice of the grassroots in the room with the party leadership – is one all previous Presidents have taken seriously. But what else they do with the role has varied depending on the circumstances.

Right now, with a new party leader, a new deputy leader and a growing Parliamentary Party, it would be a missed opportunity to see the role of President as another media spokesperson for the party. In our MPs, Peers and our excellent cadre of PPCs we have a great team of those already – and we need them to get all the coverage they can.

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Candidates standing for the Federal Conference Committee

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 11 Oct 2019

The Candidates standing for Federal Board

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 10 Oct 2019

We need to step up, urgently

by Mark Pack on Wed, 09 Oct 2019

I’m the son of immigrants, one parent from Germany, the other from Poland. My own family history is in miniature the troubled history of Europe in the previous two centuries, scarred by the horrors of extremism, despotism and war – and then my parents making a new home together in our country.

It’s why for me our liberal democracy, despite all its many flaws, is so precious. We need to step up to protect against the extremists and populists.

To do that, we need to build a grassroots liberal movement, mobilising those millions who share our values. With such a movement we can continue our successes this year in taking more power – the legal, legitimate way – through campaigning and through winning elections.

Winning elections at every level gives us more of that precious political power to stop Brexit, to protect our planet, to heal the divisions in our society and to meet the needs of our local communities.

That’s why winning is so important – and that’s why I’ve put helping you win at the heart of my pitch to be your next President.

The key task for the next President is to ensure we have the right strategy and the right organisation to win, bigger and better than ever before – in local government, in the London Assembly, in the Welsh and Scottish governments, in Westminster and in future European elections too.

That’s a task well-suited to my record and my skills:

  • Creating with David Howarth the core votes strategy that has underpinned our recovery since 2015
  • Co-author of the party’s handbook for general election agents
  • Successfully championing a new registered supporter scheme, now in place, growing and successful
  • Supporting the group doing the hard graft on important reforms to our disciplinary process, getting an improved, streamlined and independent system in place
  • Working with colleagues to introduce gender-balanced selection rules when the London Assembly was created, ensuring we took positive steps to improve our diversity
  • Always listening to and informing members, running the best-read Liberal Democrat website outside HQ and sending nearly 2 million emails in the last year alone to keep supporters informed about what the party is doing, why it is doing it – and how to get involved in influencing it
  • And many other examples, based on my detailed knowledge and long experience of how the party works

It is, to borrow one of our favourite phrases, a record of action… and a promise of more.

Previous Presidents have varied how they do the job depending on the needs of the time. Right now, we've got a brilliant new leader, deputy leader, a growing Parliamentary Party and soon, fingers crossed, a great new generation of MPs too.

So the best use of the role of President isn't to duplicate their media and public efforts. Rather, it is to support them, getting the strategy and organisation right to give them – and the rest of the party – the very best chances to succeed.

The President definitely needs to be wheeled out in the media to take the flack when things go wrong. I’ve got plenty of experience of surviving trial by media, whether it was Channel 4 grilling me over a Lib Dem minister up on police charges, the early morning rigours of doing Radio 4’s Today programme, getting interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight or surviving the questioning of Andrew Neill on the BBC.

Understanding how to handle a crisis is also what I do professionally, advising everyone from small charities through to large international companies not only on how to get the media strategy right but also how to get all those other key parts of crisis handling right, such as internal communications.

What I can also be is a President who keeps us focused on what will bring long-term success for us in elections at all levels.

Our federal party HQ, understandably, gets drawn in to focusing tightly on the next Westminster general election. But for success we need to think broader – remembering all those other elections and campaigns which matter too – and we need to think longer-term – remembering that there will be general election after the next one too.

That’s what we most need from our next President. A relentless focus on getting our strategy and organisation right to succeed at all levels, tomorrow and in the long-run.

That’s what I can offer. If you elect me, I’ll switch to working part-time and this will be my only role in the party. My task will be a very clear: to help you win.

With your support, we’ll be able to achieve so much more together.

Thank you and best wishes,


P.S. If you agree with this vision for our party and for our next President, please sign up to support my campaign at

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Hear from Christine Jardine

by Christine Jardine on Wed, 09 Oct 2019

Waiting for the outcome of the nomination count for Party President felt a wee bit like that scene from The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon explains about Schrodinger’s Cat.

You know, where as long as the box is closed the cat is both dead and alive?  

The relief when they cat was actually alive, and I was nominated, was huge!  

Now of course is when the work really starts in listening to what you want from your new President, and whether I fit the bill.  

Over the past few years I’ve had a chance to see the role of President close up. I have no illusions about how much work is involved, or what it will take to continue to build the wide movement we all want.  

But I also know how important it is that the membership has a strong, clear, effective voice. A president who speaks for the members, but more importantly, one who listens to what they want and communicates that to the leadership.  

We have a fantastic team at HQ with so many bright, capable people working to fulfil our vision for the party whether it’s in campaigns, fundraising, policy or the press team. 

I see the President’s role there as facilitating what they do.  

Not directing the operation, after all they are the ones with the expertise, but supporting and making sure that they have what they need from the party infrastructure.  

The new chief executive will run the party day to day. I would be there to oversee.  

Most of all I see the President as the link between the members, the staff, the parliamentarians and the public.  

Communication is the key, both within the party and to the outside world.  

If we are going to build a grassroots movement, we have to reach the voters and convince them that we have something to offer.  

We have to create a movement, with a goal and an image that they believe in and want to be part of.  

In the third decade of the 21st Century that will mean mass communication on TV, radio and online.  

As president I think I will have the skills and the platform to convey our message there.  

As the party grows we will increasingly be talking about a national message.

Talking to the country with one voice, as well as to our individual constituencies, both geographic and social.    

We have to use that national exposure to add a new string to our bow. Or rather, return to a string we played well in the past. 

There will always be an important role for our hugely successful door to door grassroots campaigning and delivering.  

But in a General Election we can reach so many more people with an effective social media, TV and radio presence.  

Take an average nightly regional or national new programme like Reporting Scotland. Six hundred thousand people watch it every night.  

When I worked there, Jim Wallace and Charles Kennedy, who was President at the time, were on constantly. We won 15 seats in the Scottish Parliament and had 11 MPs in Scotland because the public heard what we had to say in an effective media message.

And it wasn’t just in Scotland; it worked across the country when Simon was President, they used their existing platform and built a bigger profile as President.  

That’s what I want to do.  

But as well as having a message, we have to make it an attractive proposition to be a member. We need to encourage the people who don’t just want to do something good and make a contribution.  

We need to convince people to see us as a long-term investment and something to be part of and get something from.   

It’s not just about a quick vote and move on. I want people to put down roots in this party.  

I want to make them feel welcome. Make it clear that as members they have a President who will listen to what they say and make sure it gets to the people who need to hear it.  

I want to be a President who listens and then gets it done.  

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Heidi Allen: Why I joined the Liberal Democrats

by Heidi Allen on Mon, 07 Oct 2019

When I became an MP in 2015, I could never have imagined we would find ourselves in this position. Through the prudent and practical decisions taken during the coalition years, the economy was recovering and our country was on the up.

Coming from business, joining the Conservative Party seemed the logical thing to do. But two general elections and an EU referendum later, the landscape has shifted beyond all recognition.

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Heidi Allen joins the Liberal Democrats

by Jo Swinson on Mon, 07 Oct 2019

I am delighted to announce that Heidi Allen has joined the Liberal Democrats.

I’m delighted to welcome Heidi to the party. She has been a tireless campaigner for a people’s vote and has time and time again put the country’s interests ahead of her own.

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Give us seat feedback

by Claire Halliwell on Sun, 06 Oct 2019

Here are the people standing in the party's internal elections

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 04 Oct 2019

We have a fantastic slate of candidates who have received enough nominations to stand for one of our party committees. Find out who is standing here, and our commiserations to everyone who didn't make it.


(1 post up for election)

  • Christine Jardine
  • Mark Pack

Federal Board

(15 posts up for election)

  • Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett
  • Alice Thomas
  • Alistair Bigos
  • Anita Lower
  • April Preston
  • Ben Nutland
  • Candy Piercy
  • Caron Lindsay
  • Christine Cheng
  • David Buxton
  • David Craddock
  • David Simpson
  • Elaine Bagshaw
  • Garth Shephard
  • Gerald Vernon-Jackson
  • Graham Neale
  • Humaira Sanders
  • James Gurling
  • Johnny Corbett
  • Josephine Hayes
  • Joyce Onstad
  • Kishan Devani
  • Lisa-Maria Bornemann
  • Luke Cawley-Harrison
  • Neil Fawcett
  • Prue Bray 
  • Rachelle Shepherd Dubey
  • Becky Forrest
  • Roisin Miller
  • Ross Pepper
  • Ross Stalker
  • Ruby Chow
  • Simon Clarke
  • Simon McGrath
  • Theo Butt Philip
  • Zulfiqar Ali

Federal Conference Committee

(12 posts up for election)

  • Adam Bernard
  • Bex Scott
  • Cara Jenkinson
  • Chris Adams
  • Chris Maines
  • Liz Lynne
  • Geoff Payne
  • Joe Otten
  • John Bridges
  • Jon Ball
  • Joseph Toovey
  • Keith Melton
  • Nick da Costa
  • Rachelle Shepherd Dubey
  • Simon Pike
  • Toby Keynes

Federal Policy Committee

(15 posts up for election)

  • Adam Corlett
  • Adam Pilarski
  • Alisdair Calder McGregor
  • Alistair Bigos
  • Alyssa Gilbert
  • Andrew Haldane
  • Aria Babu
  • Belinda Brooks-Gordon
  • Catherine Royce
  • Christa Wiggin
  • Christine Cheng
  • Dennis Pain
  • Duncan Brack
  • Elizabeth Jewkes
  • Gareth Shelton
  • Garth Shephard
  • Gerry Jerome
  • Helen Cross
  • Henrietta Bewley
  • Humaira Sanders
  • Jeremy Hargreaves
  • Johnny Corbett
  • Keith Melton
  • Mark Platt
  • Martha Okigbo
  • Michael Berwick-Gooding
  • Michael Kilpatrick
  • Mohsin Khan
  • Nigel Quinton
  • Oliver Craven
  • Paul Noblet
  • Peter Handford-Styring
  • Rachelle Shepherd Dubey
  • Richard Cole
  • Robert Harrison
  • Ryan Mercer
  • Sally Burnell
  • Susan Juned
  • Tara Copeland
  • Zulfiqar Ali

Federal International Relations Committee

(6 posts up for election)

  • David Chalmers
  • David Hall
  • Doreen Huddart
  • Farshid Sadr-Hashemi
  • Garth Shephard
  • Gary McLelland
  • George Cunningham
  • Hannah Bettsworth
  • Humaira Sanders
  • Iain Smith
  • Jonathan Fryer
  • Mark Valladares
  • Paul Reynolds
  • Philippa Leslie-Jones
  • Phillip Bennion
  • Robert Woodthorpe Browne
  • Ruth Coleman-Taylor
  • Zulfiqar Ali

Alliance of Liberal Democrats in Europe Council

(6 posts up for election)

  • Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett
  • Andrew Mackinlay
  • Belinda Brooks-Gordon
  • Bob Blezzard
  • David Chalmers
  • Florence Mele
  • George Cunningham
  • Hannah Bettsworth
  • John Elsom
  • Jonathan Fryer
  • Joyce Onstad
  • Luigi Bille
  • Mark Valladares
  • Merlene Emerson
  • Peter Price
  • Phillip Bennion
  • Robert Woodthorpe Browne
  • Ruth Coleman-Taylor

English Party Representative to Federal Board

(1 posts up for election)

  • Lisa-Maria Bornemann
  • Ruby Chow

Want to know more? Our internal election hub has everything you need to know: 

Visit now

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Too many homeless people are dying on our streets

by Layla Moran on Tue, 01 Oct 2019

This morning, the Office for National Statistics published a shocking set of figures. They show that 726 homeless people died in 2018 – a 22% increase since 2017.

This is an epidemic that is claiming far too many lives, and the Conservative Government is completely failing to get to grips with it.

This is an epidemic that is claiming far too many lives

We must protect the most vulnerable people in our society, but instead the Tories are sitting on their hands.

Their “out of sight, out of mind” mentality needs to stop now. People are dying, and we need to take a more compassionate approach to end this homelessness crisis.

The Liberal Democrats demand better.

We need to scrap the Vagrancy Act. It’s a cruel, Dickensian law that criminalises people just for sleeping rough.

That’s why I have brought forward a Private Members’ Bill that would repeal it.

The Vagrancy Act is a cruel, Dickensian law

The Government should be helping vulnerable people out of homelessness, not fining them and locking them up.

The Liberal Democrats will build the social housing and provide the support people need. That’s how we can prevent rough sleeping and stop people dying on our streets.

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Black History Month

by Jo Swinson on Tue, 01 Oct 2019

Black History Month is a time to focus our national attention on the history and legacy of black British communities. Each year it is an opportunity to acknowledge the central role that black people have played in transforming the social, political and economic landscape of our country.

Let us empower the next generation of activists and trailblazers and do all we can to ensure that their achievements will never be absent from the history books.

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Rosh Hashanah

by Jo Swinson on Sun, 29 Sep 2019

At sunset today, Jewish communities in the UK will come together to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. For the millions observing, this is a time of self-examination, reflection and personal change.

For the millions observing, this is a time of self-examination, reflection and personal change.

For decades, British Jewish communities have profoundly shaped our culture and national way of life. Our country wouldn’t be the success it is today without their ongoing and immeasurable contributions.

Sadly, the pervasiveness of anti-Semitic sentiments is something we cannot ignore. And it is particularly concerning when these attitudes seep into the political mainstream, as witnessed recently. It is our duty to stand up to those who seek to forment and provoke division of any kind. We each have a responsibility to be custodians of kindness and compassion and we must vow to always stand up to the forces of bigotry and hate.

To those celebrating, I wish you a happy and healthy new year. Shana Tova!

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An Overview of the English Party

by Tahir Maher on Sat, 28 Sep 2019


The Liberal Democrats are a Federal Party comprising England, Scotland and Wales with all their powers defined by the Party’s Constitution.  This principle embodies one of our most deeply held core values, which is our belief in the devolution of power to the most appropriate level.

Consequently, the separation of power between the Federal and State parties is enshrined in the Constitution, and can only be varied with the agreement of Federal Conference and the Conferences and Conventions of all three state parties.

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Objectives of the English Party for 2019

by Tahir Maher on Sat, 28 Sep 2019

This has undoubtedly been a great start to the year.  Thanks go to all the local campaigners who over the years never gave up and continued to deliver Focuses, campaign and push the Lib Dem message in their communities.  When the opportunity came following Tory mismanagement of Brexit, we were ready and prepared to secure gains in the local elections.  Over seven hundred local council seats gained – fantastic!

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Finding the way...

by Isabelle Parasram on Sat, 28 Sep 2019

It was Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, who said, "Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way."

That describes, somewhat, where the Chair of The English Party (EP), Tahir Maher, and I are at in relation to co-ordinating my efforts, as Party Vice President, with the EP in working with BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities.

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We've got some great news - Luciana Berger will be standing to be the next Liberal Democrat MP for Finchley and Golder's Green! 

Luciana had this to say: 

"It has been an enormous privilege to have served as the MP for Liverpool Wavertree for almost ten years.

I cannot thank my constituents enough for the relationship we have grown over the last decade and what we have achieved together."

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What's next

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 25 Sep 2019

We’ve done it. Parliament is open again.

At the Supreme Court, we defeated Boris Johnson’s illegal attempt to silence the will of the people.

The message is clear. Boris Johnson cannot undo democracy.

We need to do this because we can't trust the Prime Minister to obey the law.

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