Meet the panel

On Thursday 16th July, the two candidates for leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey and Layla Moran will be answering questions from a panel of experts in a new hustings format.

So you want to be leader? Is styled like a job interview. Candidates will get to make their pitch to the panel on why they should be leader and that’ll be followed up by questions from the panel on the skills they’ll need to make being leader a success.

It promises to be an interesting event. If you’d like to watch live, you can register here:

Meet the panel

12.jpgGeeta Sidhu-Robb

Geeta is a successful businesswoman and passionate campaigner for social and democratic change.

A 5-time winner of the Entrepreneur and Businesswoman of the year award Geeta has built a formidable reputation for success in the health and nutrition industry. After her son was born with severe food allergies, eczema, asthma and anaphylaxis, Geeta had the courage to leave behind her career as a barrister and start her own business, Nosh Detox, in order to make a positive difference to the lives of thousands of others suffering with similar ailments.

As a director of the Open Britain Campaign, Geeta has played a pivotal role in the largest cross-party grassroots movement of recent times campaigning for a democratic final say on the Brexit deal for the people of this country. Most recently Geeta has taken on the role of Chair and has been instrumental in building Open Britain’s new campaign ‘Democracy Unleashed’ which aims to re-energise our democracy and make it fit for the 21st Century.

Her motto “Change is inevitable, suffering is optional. Anything is possible. If you can see it, you can do it; if you can dream it, you can make it happen.

2.pngHatty Cadman

Hatty is a Headhunter with a deep passion for and understanding of the NHS, who joined the Party during its fight to remain in Europe.

Hatty is a headhunter who works with Boards, advising them on their leadership, and helping them to appoint the leaders they need. She has a particular commitment to healthcare organisations – in the NHS, the private sector, and charities – and is excited by the opportunities ahead for a sector full of such compassionate, diverse, innovative colleagues.

As Head of the Health Practice, Hatty works with a fantastic team at Saxton Bampfylde, the first employee-owned leadership advisory and executive search business in the UK, and was proud to be re-elected to the Board of the firm’s Employee Benefit Trust earlier this summer.

A passionate feminist and Europhile, Hatty joined the Liberal Democrats in 2019 after many years campaigning on issues as wide-ranging as inclusion, the environment and climate change, housing, childcare, and gender equality. She campaigned in several seats at the 2019 general election, and in support of the national campaign, and loves living in the LibDem bastion of Richmond Park. Hatty is a Governor of her children’s primary school and a slow but determined marathon runner.

3.pngStephen Gosling

Stephen is a retired, businessperson with a track record of brand growth and a lifelong passion for constitutional reform.

Stephen left School in ’82 and went on to be CEO of his family firm: Adams Aviation. Growing the business from £1m to £30m, reorganisating and relocating multiple times over nearly 30 years, he has a deep understanding of operational and strategic leadership. With a first-hand insight into Customer Service and building scalable routes-to-market, Stephen is a motivated, responsible and proactive developer, builder and leader of systems and teams as well as skilled marketer.

In his early life, Stephen studied to become an apprentice in engineering-design and held youthful roles as an estate agent and a pub pot-boy. Today, following the successful sale of his business he is a member of Chatham House and a Lib Dem activist: having been an elected councillor in the past. His interest in constitutional reform rejects ‘for now’ answers and he is passionate about the importance of long-term thinking. He is a family man, with an interest in visiting historical sites. He professes a love for food, drink, and talking.

Watch the hustings

So you want to be leader? Is being broadcast at 7pm on Thursday 16th July. It will also be available to watch back later. You can register for the event here:

Register for the hustings

Final nomination totals for the Leadership Election

Over the last 2 weeks, members have been nominating candidates to stand as the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

This is the first time that the system has been run mostly online and also the first time we have published these totals.

We decided to publish the totals as we felt it gave candidates a chance to demonstrate some of the key skills they’ll need as leader.

In total 3,199 members successfully nominated a candidate. The total nominations for each candidate were as follows:

Ed Davey: 1870 members from 343 local parties

Layla Moran: 1329 members from 330 local parties

In order to be nominated, candidates require a nomination from another MP and 200 members from at least 20 local parties (for nominations this includes Young Liberals). Both candidates have therefore passed the threshold and are therefore nominated.

In addition, 76 nominations were invalidated by the Returning Officer’s team, for the following reasons:

Duplicate Nomination: 71

Submitted by a non-member: 5

41 nominations for Ed Davey were invalidated and 35 for Layla Moran.

Over the next few weeks the candidates will go head to head in a number of hustings, details of which can be found here:

Are you going to nominate someone for party awards?

What are Party Awards?

Party Awards recognise publicly those who have given the party outstanding service and commitment in the past year. They are presented at Autumn Conference (national conditions allowing) and each winner receives a trophy to keep and a special mention.

Candidates must themselves be party members, and be nominated and seconded by two party members.

More details about the individual awards and who is eligible can be found here.

All nominations should be completed using this nomination portal.

Before you get started, please make sure you have:

  • Your membership number;
  • The name, contact information and membership number of the person seconding your nomination; and
  • A clear understanding of which award you intend to nominate someone for and why that best fits them.

What is the deadline and when will I find out?

Nominations will close on Friday July 31st at 17:00.

All nominators will receive confirmation of their nomination shortly thereafter. If your nominee is selected for an award, they and you will be informed by August 28th.

Our Response to the Chancellor’s Statement

Countless families are facing serious financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. More than a million people have lost their jobs and many more are worried about losing theirs in the weeks and months ahead.

We are also facing big challenges in deep-seated inequality and the climate emergency.

We must ensure no one is left behind.

Against this unprecedented economic and health crisis we need a radical new direction of economic policy to meet this challenge.

We need a Green Recovery Plan

The Government’s plan does not match the scale of ambition necessary to reshape our economy and save the planet

This is precisely the right time for a massive green stimulus to provide jobs and tackle the other great crisis of our time, the climate emergency.

The Government’s green spending simply does not match the scale of ambition necessary to reshape our economy and save the planet.

The UK’s green investment is being outpaced by the likes of France, Germany, South Korea and even rivalled by Denmark.

That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for a £150 billion Green Recovery Plan over three years, to reshape our economy, create hundreds of thousands of jobs and lead the fight against climate change.

Our plan would:

    • Move to at least 80% renewable energy by 2030.
    • Insulate every home by 2030, creating jobs, ending fuel poverty and lowering fuel bills.
    • End the sale of petrol & diesel cars by 2030, and massively expand our electric vehicle network.
    • Restore our natural environment with a rewilding programme, including tree-planting and new air quality standards.
    • Introduce a green jobs guarantee, with training and a national living wage for anyone wanting to work on green projects.

More Support for the Self Employed and Excluded Workers

The Chancellor should have gone much further for the self-employed and excluded workers

The pandemic hasn’t affected everyone equally. Amongst the worst hit are the country’s self-employed workers, three million of which are still not covered by government support.

The Liberal Democrats fought hard for existing support and have advocated for targeted packages for sectors like hospitality, leisure and culture.

But the Chancellor should have gone much further with today’s announcement. We are calling on him to expand the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to include:

  • The more than 150,000 people who became self-employed since April 2019
  • Those who are registered as limited companies
  • Freelancers who got more than 50% of their earnings through employment.

These groups should be urgently added to the scheme to benefit from the its second payment in August

Putting the national interest over party ideology on Brexit

The Government’s economic response to Covid-19 cannot be seen as fully responsible as long as a bad trade deal or a no-deal relationship with the EU are still on the table.

Any of those outcomes will lead to thousands more job losses and create a second crisis for the UK economy. The Government must avert this by securing the closest trading relationship possible with the EU.

How Devolution Can Drive a Green Revolution

This morning, Acting Leader Ed Davey addressed the Local Government Association’s online conference. He spoke about the crucial role of local government – not just in keeping our communities safe during this coronavirus pandemic, but also in building a fairer, greener, more prosperous country as we emerge from this crisis.

Here are the highlights from his speech…

On the work of local authorities during the pandemic:

Local authorities are the key institutions that enable our communities to come together and deliver the vital services people need.

Even as coronavirus has caused unbearable heartbreak and hardship, it has been truly uplifting to see the great work councils right across the country are doing to support local people…

This pandemic has highlighted something the Liberal Democrats have always understood: local authorities are the key institutions that enable our communities to come together and deliver the vital services people need. That’s true in “normal” times, and it’s even more important in a crisis like this.

Yet, sadly, this Conservative Government still doesn’t seem to get it. The truth is, local leaders should have been part of the Government’s decision-making since the very beginning of this crisis – as the Liberal Democrats have been calling for all along.

It’s just so damaging – especially in a crisis like this – to have a Government that thinks of local authorities as at best an irrelevance and at worst an impediment.

£45 billion for councils to spearhead a green recovery:

With these powers and funding, councils would all be able to take a real lead in the fight against climate change.

The recovery must not undermine the fight against climate change: it must strengthen it.

If we truly integrate economic policy with climate policy, we could make the rapid progress we need for our planet. And we could rebuild our economy and get people back to work.

But it requires nothing less than a Green Revolution.

That’s why I have called on the Government to invest £150 billion – 150, not the paltry 5 billion Johnson promised last week – over the next three years on a Green Recovery Plan. On insulating homes. On green transport. On renewable energy. On restoring lost biodiversity.

Much of this would best be delivered by local government.

That’s why today I’m calling on the Government to provide £45 billion of green recovery investment over the next three years directly to local authorities, to fund: home insulation programmes; new bus and cycle routes; light rail and tram lines; tree planting and nature restoration; community energy projects; electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and other projects to cut emissions and create green jobs in your community.

And the Government must match that funding with the extra powers local authorities need.

With the new powers I’m proposing and £45 billion of new green funding, councils would all be able to take a real lead in the fight against climate change.

A Devolution Revolution to drive the Green Revolution.

On the pressures local authorities are facing – especially social care:

The Government must work with all parties – and with local government – to build a sustainable future for social care services across the country.

On a whole range of issues, this Government expects more and more from local authorities while giving them less and less. Handing councils responsibility for some of the toughest challenges, without also handing over the power or funding they need to tackle them.

Nowhere – nowhere – is this attitude more evident than in social care. Caring for the elderly, the disabled and the vulnerable is a fundamental duty of government. It speaks directly to who we are as a country and the caring society we want to build.

I know the frustration so many councillors have – that they can’t provide the level of care they know is needed because of how drastically the Government is underfunding social care.

The immediate gap in social care funding must be plugged, now. And Government must work with all parties – and with local government – to build a sustainable future for social care services across the country.

Our fight to empower local authorities:

Fixing the crisis in social care. Tackling the climate emergency. Addressing deep-seated inequalities in our society. Rebuilding our economy after the coronavirus pandemic. These are enormous challenges. They will take ambition, determination and innovation.

They cannot be solved by a new announcement from the Government, a new piece of legislation in Parliament, or a new set of guidelines from Whitehall – important though they might be.

They can only be solved if local authorities are empowered – through devolution of funding and devolution of control – to make the decisions and implement the changes that our communities need.

That’s something the Liberal Democrats have been fighting for throughout our history. It’s part of our DNA. And we will not give up that fight.

“We need to rebuild our economy, get people back to work and protect the future of our planet. And that means nothing less than a Green Revolution.” – @EdwardJDavey ⬇️

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) July 7, 2020

Migrant women must be protected in the Domestic Abuse Bill

The landmark Domestic Abuse Bill is due to be passed by the House of Commons today.

Survivors desperately need the new legal protections and support that this Domestic Abuse Bill will bring.

More than two million people experience domestic abuse every year. Survivors desperately need the new legal protections and support that this Domestic Abuse Bill will bring.

The Conservative Government has been far too slow bringing this legislation forward since they first promised it more than three years ago.

I’m relieved that our cross-party pressure has paid off and the House of Commons will finally have the chance to pass this long-awaited and landmark legislation today.

I’m also delighted that we have succeeded in ensuring that the Bill properly recognises children as victims of domestic abuse.

We must ensure that the Bill protects all survivors of domestic abuse, no matter where they were born.

Liberal Democrats’ will continue to try and improve the Bill further.

Among the amendments we will be tabling are two which protect migrant women who experience domestic abuse.

One to grant them leave to remain in the UK and the other to prevent their personal data being shared with the Home Office for immigration enforcement.

We must ensure that the Bill protects all survivors of domestic abuse, no matter where they were born.

Today our cross-party pressure has paid off and the House of Commons will finally have the chance to pass the long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill.

We are continuing to work to improve the Bill, with amendments to add specific protections for migrant women.

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) July 6, 2020

72 Years of the NHS

This year marks the 72nd birthday of the NHS.

The idea, conceived by a liberal – William Beveridge – transformed healthcare in this country. And as a nation, we have been rightly proud of the NHS for 72 years.

This year we haven’t just felt proud however – we have also felt profoundly grateful. Our NHS staff have been incredible.

As a nation we are proud of the NHS

They have made sacrifices for our safety and wellbeing. They have had to deal with circumstances we couldn’t imagine – losing friends and colleagues, endured serious illness, or faced significant trauma through this crisis.

This is on top of the difficulties NHS staff have faced for the last few years. For years the NHS has been underfunded – new money from Government has barely been enough to keep things going with little to none left for making improvements, investing in staff, or fixing crumbling hospitals and buildings.

With rising demand for care from our aging population, and a shortage of doctors and nurses, things haven’t been easy.

We know we must do more for our NHS

This weekend we will show our support with a moment of remembrance on Saturday and on Sunday at 5pm we will come together again to applaud NHS staff and all they have done.

We hope that NHS staff will see this support as a deeply genuine and heartfelt thank you. But we know we must also do more.

NHS and care staff across the UK are putting their lives on the line to look after us. That’s why the Liberal Democrats set out a plan to give frontline workers the support they need and recognition they deserve.

Our Frontline Support Package includes ensuring all NHS and care staff have access to the Personal Protective Equipment they need, an additional service payment for each day on the frontline, and 24/7 world class mental health support.

Five Reasons to Join the Liberal Democrats

1. You’ll get to vote for our new leader

If you join the Lib Dems by 9th July, you’ll get a vote in our leadership election

Until midnight on the 9th of July, if you join the Liberal Democrats you’ll qualify for a vote in our upcoming leadership election.

This leadership election will decide our strategy, our messaging, and ultimately our chances of winning. The leader you choose will shape our movement for years to come. You won’t want to miss out.

2. Have your say on policy

Every single member of the Liberal Democrats gets a say on policy. Whether it’s developing policy on an issue that matters to you; voting on policies at conferences; or sitting on a committee to decide what goes into our election manifestos; our policy is made by members.

3. We’re adapting quickly

Everyone’s lives changed dramatically when the coronavirus lockdown started. Here at the Liberal Democrats, we’ve changed the way we work so everyone is still kept in the loop and can take part in what we’re up to.

  • Planning our first ever online conference for September 2020
  • Developed our very own policy website for members to propose and discuss ideas
  • Local parties hosting virtual coffee mornings, Pint & Politics nights, and loads of other socials
  • Our online leadership election is well underway, with a huge range of virtual hustings planned

So while we’re living through uncertain times, you can still count on a warm welcome and engaging events from the Liberal Democrats.

4. You could be on the ballot paper

After this year’s local elections were postponed, next year we’re facing the biggest ever round of elections. From Holyrood seats, to local council positions, to Police and Crime Commissioners, we’re gearing up to win big in the coming year.

We are the UK’s progressive, liberal, transformative party. And we’re needed now more than ever.

Being a member of the Liberal Democrats means you can apply to stand for any of these positions, and even for a parliamentary seat at the next general election.

Liberal Democrat candidates are known for working hard for their communities – if that sounds like you, join today.

5. Be on the right side of history

The Liberal Democrats have a long, proud history of fighting for what’s right.

We abolished Section 28 and secured same sex marriage. We led the fight against the Iraq war and secured the 0.7% foreign aid budget. We battled Brexit every step of the way and have stood up for the rights of EU citizens from the get go.

Today we’re pushing the government on Hong Konger’s rights and setting out our radical plan to build back better from this COVID crisis.

Our constitution states that “The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.”

We are the UK’s progressive, liberal, transformative party. And we’re needed now more than ever. We’ll always fight for what’s right, liberal and fair – if you will too, join us today.

UK Government must act swiftly on Hong Kong

This new law crushes what was left of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework.

It destroys Hong Kong as we know it.

The UK government must now act swiftly to uphold the promises we made during the Handover.

The people of Hong Kong must immediately be given the right to live in the UK, with a pathway to citizenship. It is not good enough for this offer to only apply to BNO status holders and their dependents, as the Government have so far suggested. This leaves behind many young Hong Kongers who have been at the centre of the calls for democracy.

The Government need to go further. All Hong Kongers must have their rights and freedoms protected, regardless of BNO status.

Liberal Democrats are urging the UK government to ensure that no one is left behind.

It is time to step up and stand with Hong Kong.