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

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.

President

(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
  • Elizabeth Jewkes
  • 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

Too many homeless people are dying on our streets

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

Last night @LaylaMoran gave a passionate speech in Parliament on why the cruel Vagrancy Act should be repealed. The act currently criminalises those that sleep or beg on the streets. pic.twitter.com/hYFDhJuaJN

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) January 30, 2019

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.

Black History Month

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.

The contributions of black Britons are rich and varied, yet for too long we have ignored the legacy of black pioneers and accepted a narrative that confines the history of black people to that of slaves and colonial subjects. This is not good enough.

Worse still, when we do celebrate black Britons, the contributions of black women are massively diminished. Yet, despite having to contend with both racial and gender oppression black women continue to drive social, political and cultural change. This year let us celebrate the women of the past, such as Olive Morris, a feminist who dedicated her life to equality and activism. The women of the present, like Olivette Otele, who in 2018 became the UK’s first black female history professor. And 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.

The Liberal Democrats will never be silent or indifferent in the face of discrimination. It is our goal to fight for a country where every person, regardless of their background, is able to live freely and fulfil their potential without fear of hate or prejudice. That’s the world we strive for and that’s the world we must work every day to make possible.

Finally, I want to thank everyone involved in organising this year’s Black History Month celebrations and I wish you all an enjoyable and engaging month ahead.

Rosh Hashanah

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!

Finding the way…

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.

I was elected as Vice President by the Federal Board in March 2019 and Tahir was one of the first people to approach me regarding working together. My role is a new one and, as such, has no ‘script’. So, I have had the pleasure – and the challenge – of determining both what needs to be done and how to achieve that.

In my election manifesto, I had three goals: Unification, Representation and Outreach, which are explained in more detail here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/vice-president

Based on our discussions over the past few months and, having taken a detailed look at the overall EP programme for 2019 and the EP Vision Statement, I have distilled Tahir’s means for promoting BAME membership, support and inclusion as follows:

  1. Creating smooth communications and joint working on BAME matters with the Regional Parties (RPs), Local Parties (LPs), The Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality (LDCRE), The Racial Diversity Campaign (RDC), and with me via the EP Diversity Officer;
  2. Facilitating and promoting the work that the LDCRE, the RDC and I are doing using the EP structures, such as the English Executive, RPs and LPs;
  3. Working with the membership department, LPs and other parts of the Party involved in recruitment to agree a BAME recruitment programme;
  4. Creating messaging geared towards different minority groups;
  5. Reviewing the possibility of developing an internal document on culture for members.

One of the phrases that both of us have used in our discussions is ‘creating realistic opportunities’.

This differs from being realistic about what we can achieve – if we were realistic, we might be confined by past barriers and out of date ways of doing things. What we want to provide BAME people with are opportunities with our Party that are within their grasp. And those opportunities can be created in a number of ways.

For example, when I attend high profile events, wherever possible I also invite BAME members and supporters to attend with me. One such event was the launch of the Commonwealth 8.7 Network at the Australian High Commission.

Through the Commonwealth 8.7 Network, over 60 civil society organisations will work together to push for greater action across the Commonwealth in eradicating modern slavery and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7.

At my invitation, Michael Bukola, one of our London Assembly candidates, and Dr Victoria Shownmi, an academic specialising in race relations who has been supportive of the work that I am doing, both attended with me.

Not only did they support me that evening, but they built connections and represented the Liberal Democrat brand in a way that I could not achieve on my own.

In terms of community outreach, I met the outgoing Cypriot High Commissioner at an event hosted by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK. Stemming from the discussions I had that evening, I will be arranging an event that will build further links between the Cypriot community and our Party. Recognising the unique needs of our fellow EU citizens and seeking to meet those needs through political policy is part of my broader goal of ensuring that our Party adequately reflects the communities we serve.

I am working with the LDCRE and the RDC to co-ordinate our efforts – with the LDCRE focussing on its role as a campaigning and championing organisation and the RDC as a training organisation. I have discussions and meetings with both Chairs on a regular basis and we have developed a great working relationship.

I also work with key figures within the Party to raise issues, seek their help in pursuing the cause of race equality and ensure that diversity remains at the top of the agenda for our Party.

Jo Swinson, Pauline Pearce and I went to Hackney following the tragic murder of 15-year-old Tashaun Aird and met with some of his schoolfriends who were on study leave preparing for their GCSEs. We also visited the local community, observing for ourselves the knife amnesty bin – inaccessible due to building work – the community buildings – either run down or closed down – and the high-rise buildings, with few open spaces or facilities for young people.

One of the most pragmatic things that I do is either campaigning for BAME candidates or campaigning alongside BAME members – I sometimes take teams campaigning with me to build their experience and confidence (and also to learn from them myself).

It was wonderful to first campaign for Helen Chuah and then to see her re-elected as a Colchester Councillor earlier this year. Helen was the first ever Mayor of Colchester to have been born outside of the UK as well as being the first Chinese Liberal Democrat Mayor in the UK.

So, having identified what needs to be done, I have gradually been finding the ways I can achieve it.

Being based in England (I first stood as a PPC in the West Midlands and then went on to be Vice Chair of the London Region), I have not conducted a ‘tour’ of England as I have done in Scotland and am due to do in Wales. However, I am keen to engage further with the Regional Parties and am looking forward to doing that in the coming months.

Thinking about Tahir’s clear vision for how the EP will work with me to engage with BAME communities, it seems that we have indeed “determined that the thing can and shall be done…’ and that we are now in the process of ‘…finding the way.”

I hope that Abraham Lincoln would be proud.

Objectives of the English Party for 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!

The success in local elections was followed by the best MEP election results we have ever achieved – by having sixteen MEPs elected.

Recently, we have elected a new Leader – Jo Swinson – who I would like to congratulate and believe that she will take us to the next level (as they say). I would also like to thank Vince (a visionary) for all that he has done and is doing for the party. Moreover, all this has been done against the background of us consistently polling high with the electorate after many years.

My faith in the Lib Dems never wavered, and that’s because our principles of equality, the individual, internationalism and opportunity (to name a few) was right and is still right going forward. The English Party is there to support these principles and support the English members who campaign on these values.

All this has helped the EP to focus on what they wanted to develop and start to deliver in 2019. These goals can be summarised as:

  • The party needs to grow, and the way it does that is by gaining more local council seats. The more councillors we have, the more robust the party; the greater our base of elected councillors is the more opportunities we will have to secure additional seats in parliament. The EP, therefore, should look to assist the LPs in campaigning and securing more councillors;
  • One of the benefits of successful campaigning is it allows us to attract more members. Increase in members helps us with much-needed fundraising, assistance in campaigning, strengthen local resource base, to name but a few benefits; and
  • We live in a liberal country, with a progressive outlook and values, and there is only one party that encapsulates these values and that’s us – the Liberal Democrats. However, we have not been able to associate our message with these liberal thinking voters. Consequently, the third aspect of the change is communication: to push the Lib Dem brand with the right message in our diverse communities, to improve our internal communications and to listen to our members.

The three priorities are discussed in more detail below:

1. Campaigning

Objective:

Gain an additional 2500 councillors in England over the next four years (to May 2023).

Where Are We?

At the start of this year, we had just over 1800 councillors in England out of approximately 17,000. After May’s election, we now have just over 2,500 councillors. Consequently, we are focusing to gain another 1,800 more councillors by May 2023 (the gain of 700+ councillors has already started us off on a positive note). Even last May we were only able to put up 53% of candidates for available council seats (the Tories managed to fill 97%).

What Are We Doing

ALDC will work with the regions to develop a plan that will focus on the next four years to win 1,800 additional council seats. The idea is to build campaigning capacity, identify training to skill up activists and produce good campaign plans. The English Party will (if possible – budget permitting) look to support regions to appoint development officer where they don’t have one and provide more funding to G8.

I am hoping we will have the initial plans agreed with the regional parties by the end of October 2019.

2. Communications

Develop a platform to enable better communications with members and stronger messaging.

Where Are We

Our web presence current has been challenging, and that limited the interaction between the English members, Council and the English Executive. Moreover, there is little communication with the wider English members.

What Are We Doing

  • Our thanks go to Iain Donaldson and Prater Raines who are working on getting an English Party web page ready. The web page will hold dates of all meetings, summary of minutes, and details of members on the English Executive and English Council. There will be links to useful resources, links to region webpages, announcements, a blog and eventually a feedback mechanism for members. The site is currently being finalised. Once that is completed you will be provided with the URL to access and join the site;
  • We have started the Newsletter to the English Council that will continue quarterly, and other newsletters to the whole of the English membership;
  • With ALDC and LDHQ we are progressing with the development of English Party “One Voice”. This will be a growing group of members who will promote agreed Lib Dem messages (specific to a local campaign or a national one) on social media. The new website will assist in controlling the activities of this group

3. Membership

Objective:

To increase the English members in the party from the current 85,000 members to above 100,000 by the end of 2023 and for the same period to have over 20,000 signed up friends of Lib Dems.

Where Are We

Currently, we have achieved this objective for England. We have therefore looked to increase the target to 130,000. The party has also been successful in signing up Friends of Lib Dems (for which I do not have the numbers at the moment). Again, we will support and work with the initiatives that LDHQ have been successfully implementing.

An Overview of the English Party

Introduction

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.

Objectives

The main objectives of the English Party are to:

  • Enable Liberal Democrats to be elected as MPs, MEPs, Councillors and all other levels of public office to implement Liberal Democrat policies;
  • Optimise the effectiveness of the 11 English Regions by sharing best practice, developing their membership base and fundraising capacity.

To realise this, the main functions of the English Party are to:

  • Manage the approval and selection of Parliamentary Candidates for Westminster, European Parliamentary Elections, Elected Mayors and Police & Crime Commissioners through the English Candidates Committee;
  • Encourage Regions to motivate and develop all their Local Parties by strengthening their organisation and effectiveness with advice and training;
  • Manage the finances of the Liberal Democrats in England;
  • Determine the level of service fees to be paid to Local Parties for the recruitment and renewal of membership;
  • Resolve disputes in Local Parties, Council Groups and Regional Parties.

English Party Structure

The English Council (EC)

EC is the body which represents the interests of the eleven English Regions and meets twice a year, usually in June and November. At these meetings, English Executive officers publish detailed reports on all the activities of the English Party and are held to account by the regional representatives. The level of information available is probably the most comprehensive than anywhere in the party.

The English Council has also scrutinised post-mortems of our campaigns for General Elections, European Elections, Local and County Council Elections and elections for Elected Mayors and Police Commissioners. These sessions can last up to two or three hours and allow those responsible for running these campaigns to make an objective presentation followed on occasion by robust questioning.

The English Council Executive (ECE)

ECE carries out all the necessary functions of the English Council between its meetings. The Executive consists of the eleven Regional Chairs, the Chair of Liberal Youth and twelve persons directly elected by the Council. Both the Chair of the English Party and English Candidates Chair as well as the representatives to the Federal Executive, Federal Conference Committee and Federal Policy Committee are elected directly by all the members of the English Council every year in November.

The current Chair is Tahir Maher who chairs the ECE which now has three separate sub-committees. These are:

  • The Regional Parties Committee (RPC) which handles disputes. The current chair of this committee is Paul Hienkens;
  • The English Finance & Administration Committee (EFAC) which monitors the Service Level Agreement with the Federal Party, oversees and sets financial governance for the English party. The current chair of this committee is the English Party Treasurer, David Hughes;
  • The English Candidates Committee (ECC) under the direction of its Chair Prue Bray is responsible for the approval and selection of all Parliamentary Candidates in the 533 Westminster Constituencies, the 9 Euro Regions, Elected Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners.

The ECC consists of the 11 Regional Candidates Chairs, five members who are directly elected by the English Council, 1 Parliamentarian and 1 PCA representative. The work of the ECC is supported by an English Candidates Office who have one full-time staff based at LDHQ. The ECC meets five times in a calendar year.

The ECC has also completely revised the Parliamentary Selection Rules after every General Election, making them more user-friendly and less bureaucratic. Since 2010, we have been running a two-tier process, one for strategic or priority seats and another for development seats.

This is just an initial snapshot of a few of the many responsibilities of the English Party and the excellent work it does to keep the essential services running behind the scenes. Over the coming months, I will expand on each area, so members better understand what the English Party does and has achieved for its members.

Luciana Berger’s running to be the next Lib Dem MP for Finchley and Golder’s Green

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.”

Ahead of the next General Election, a letter from me to constituents about my future – pic.twitter.com/S1UGOoBHnA

— Luciana Berger (@lucianaberger) September 26, 2019

“Balancing personal and professional responsibilities is complicated for everyone and, as a family, we have had to work out how best to balance our work with raising our young children.

After a great deal of thought, we have decided that after the next election – whenever that may be – we will relocate full time to London.

I will be standing as the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Finchley and Golders Green at the next general election.

I will persist in standing up to Johnson and his government, who are intent on taking us to the No Deal Brexit precipice which would result in serious consequences for people’s jobs and livelihoods in London and across the country.”

We think Luciana will be a great MP for Finchley and Golder’s Green – and look forward to supporting her in her campaign there.

Want to find out more, volunteer or donate? Visit Luciana’s website to find out more:

Visit now

What’s next

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.

So what happens next? Today, Lib Dem MPs are back in Parliament to hold the government to account. Our priority is stopping Brexit and the first step is taking no-deal off the table.

Most urgently, we’re working cross-party to stop Boris Johnson from breaking the law again. We won’t allow him to crash our country out the EU with no deal on 31st October.

We’ll give Johnson as little wiggle room as possible. We’re working on ways to bring forward the deadline for requesting an extension to Article 50.

We need to do this because we can’t trust the Prime Minister to obey the law. And we can’t afford to give him two weeks to work out how he’s going to break it.

‘Our country is in a moment of national crisis & Boris Johnson cannot be trusted.

Liberal Democrats will be working in Parliament to find a way to remove the threat of No Deal Brexit and hold this Government to account.’ @joswinson – Leader of the Liberal Democrats pic.twitter.com/v9j7fWOa4S

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) September 25, 2019

But that’s not the end of it. This Government cannot be allowed to fritter away another extension to secure no-deal through the back door. As soon as the extension is confirmed, we’ll push for a People’s Vote, to put this issue to bed once and for all.

Then we can get back to the vital work that Brexit is interrupting.

As soon as the extension is confirmed, we’ll push for a People’s Vote, to put this issue to bed once and for all.

Tackling the climate change emergency. Ensuring that we achieve Zero Net Carbon as soon as possible. Ensuring that future generations inherit a green, sustainable world.

Fixing the broken education system. Making sure that no child slips through the net, and that there is a proper strategy for reducing and preventing crime.

There is so much to be done. Only a Liberal Democrat government can protect our democracy and guide the UK to a better future. And we have a golden opportunity to make that happen.

We can’t afford to let this slip by. Help fund our work – help us stop Brexit: