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A Record of Action and a Promise of More

by Mark Pack on Sun, 20 Oct 2019

Liberal Democrats love delivering leaflets. (And it’s a good thing we do, as the evidence shows that they work.) If you’ve shared that love, chances are you’ve delivered ones that use one of our favourite strap lines: ‘A record of action… a promise of more’.

That’s what I’m offering in this election for Party President: a record of listening, a record of taking action, and a plan to work with you to achieve even more in the future.

You don’t just have to take my word that I’ll listen and communicate. You can look at my record too:

  • Creating and running the Liberal Democrat Newswire newsletter, for nine years now telling people what’s going on in the party and how to influence it.
  • Regularly travelling the country to do fundraisers, run training sessions, go out campaigning and hear from members and supporters.
  • Creating campaign resources and guides to meet the needs that I hear on those trips, such as my guide to what the Liberal Democrats believe.
  • Carrying out my regular surveys of party members, giving members a voice on key issues, such as the survey I ran earlier this year on what party members wanted from their new Leader or my current one for new members.
  • Running my Lib Dem Facebook page, informing and involving members and supporters with more engagement than Jo Swinson and Ed Davey get on Facebook combined.

That’s the record I’ll continue and step up if you elect me as your next Party President.

I’ll bring to the role both my party experience, and my professional communications experience, which I’ve learnt from working with everyone from small charities to huge multinationals on improving their crisis handling and sorting out their internal communications.

Because that’s what you deserve: to hear what the party is doing in your name, to find out what the key decisions are and to be informed how you can influence them. And then to have a President who will make sure others in the party – whether they are the Leader, Chief Executive or someone else – listens to those views and acts on them.

That’s why MPs such as Layla Moran are backing me as Party President:

“Mark will bring to this role the experienced, energetic focus he has demonstrated over the years, working flat out to ensure we all have the party organisation behind us to help us win.”

With your support, we can achieve so much more. That’s not just a record of action. It’s a promise of more:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Presenting - our new membership cards!

by Greg Foster on Sun, 20 Oct 2019

We've updated our membership card designs!

Featuring 16 all-new designs, we think they look pretty slick.

And they're not just for new members, either. Whether you've lost your card or just want a new one it's really easy to get your hands on one - just fill out the form below:

I want a new card!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

After today's votes the fight to stop Brexit continues

by Jo Swinson on Sat, 19 Oct 2019

After today’s votes, the fight to stop Brexit continues.

Hundreds of thousands of people are marching outside Parliament, where I’ve just finished voting, to demand a final say.

After today's votes, Boris Johnson must obey the law and send a letter asking for Article 50 to be extended.

We will use that extra time to secure a People’s Vote, to keep Britain in the European Union and to reject this awful deal.

Boris Johnson’s deal will damage our economy, undermine the NHS and public services, remove vital workers’ rights and reduces environmental standards.

When this deal comes back to Parliament, what needs to happen next is clear.

We need a People’s Vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

The next few days will be crucial - and we need all Remainers united and fighting to stop Brexit.

Will you donate and support our campaign to stop Brexit today?

Yes, I will!

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Why I'm standing for President

by Christine Jardine on Sat, 19 Oct 2019

There was a question at an early hustings which reminded me of exactly why I am a Liberal Democrat and why I am standing to be your Party President.

The question itself was about books and what we had been reading recently which, for me, was a special edition of Life Magazine dedicated to Robert Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. 

And as I answered I could feel all the same emotion welling up that I had felt reading it, when I saw that iconic face of the 60s looking at me from a newsstand in Chicago last summer:

Robert Kennedy Life Magazine Cover

Here was the lost hero of my childhood.

Here was the man who dreamed of things that never were and asked “why not?”.

This was the man who was the centre of the very first political discussions I remember hearing as a child.

Most Friday nights my parents’ friends and their children would all converge on our council house in Clydebank for a communal supper and a drink.

CJ as a baby

Those were also the evening that first introduced me to politics as I huddled in the kitchen listening through the door as the grown ups discussed civil rights, Martin Luther King and the Kennedys.

They also talked about what was on the news, our politics and sport.

But somehow it was the turmoil and struggle for fairness in 1960s America which fired my imagination.

Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King epitomised for me that striving for a better world that I, in my naivety, believed we all desired.

I devoured every book, film and TV documentary about them that I could find. I still do.

At the same time I saw little to attract me to a grey, suited, polarised British system. Until, that is, I went to university.

There I came across another Kennedy.

Charles Kennedy.

This was just as the ‘Gang of Four’ were creating a new, exciting dynamic in British politics and change seemed just around the corner.

The red-headed, newly crowned, world debating champion that I had first encountered on the steps of Glasgow University Union seemed to me to represent that fresh opportunity for my generation.

This was when I began to realise that so many of the aims that drove those heroes of mine were just as applicable here as in the USA.

Coming from a working-class Glasgow background, I was the first in my family to go to university in the pursuit of a professional career, as the industries which had provided for previous generations disappeared.

I saw people who had been at school with me, who were just as bright, possibly more intelligent and just as keen to have a decent life, thrown on the scrap heap because they did not have the family or support network from which I got my security.

They would never have the opportunity to fulfil their potential in the way that I would.

To me it seemed clear that the constant competition between the two main parties, which always offered them so much and always failed to deliver, was a major culprit.

There was one final influence which created the changed person who graduated.

In my junior honours year my father had died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 44.

My world, together with my mother’s and my two younger sisters’, was thrown into turmoil.

Again that support network had carried us through, but I had a stark reminder of how fragile economic security can be, and just how easily I, or my sisters, could have fallen through the cracks.

As a journalist I saw only too often how unfair life could be.

But I also worked closely with those working for change.

More often than not they were Liberal Democrats and I began to believe that the only way I could change things was by joining what was then Charles’ party.

I have never regretted filling in that form or handing over my first direct debit in return for my bag of Focus leaflets.

This party has given me the chance to work to make the sort of change that first drew me to politics as a child.

Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, a government that doesn’t care that Brexit will damage its own communities and a climate which is teetering on the brink of catastrophe.

These are the challenges that have replaced the ones that faced those heroes of the 60s, but the effort required for change is no less.

This party, our party is taking on those challenges. We have a vision of a better way.

If we are to deliver it in a package with which we are all content, we need a voice at the top table who represents members’ views.

I want to be that voice. Visit www.cj4president.org to find out more.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Black History Month

by Chuka Umunna on Thu, 17 Oct 2019

History is inescapable. It helps define our identity, our culture and our sense of belonging. By connecting to the past, we gain a better understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Yet, some parts of history are ignored, suppressed or erased altogether. None more so than black history.

Although black people have been living in Britain as far back as the Roman Empire, their place in our national history has been exiled to the farthest margins.

Black history is British history. It is an inextricable part of our national narrative, but our teaching of it is parochial. Popular British history tends to be singular and hierarchal, revealing implicit biases about whose history is worthy of study, whose contributions are valid and who truly belongs.

Although black people have been living in Britain as far back as the Roman Empire, their place in our national history has been exiled to the farthest margins.

Historical accounts are whitewashed and revised, making black contributions invisible and insignificant. Our continued failure to redress these distortions means our understanding of the past becomes skewed and unbalanced.

Black History Month is our collective opportunity to recognise the lives and work of Black Britons. It is a national acknowledgement of the communities who have profoundly shaped our national and cultural identity. However, the celebration of these histories should not be confined to one month but must be proactively and intentionally acknowledged throughout the year. This is why I am proud to be a patron of the Black Cultural Achieves in Brixton.

During Black History Month we can demand better recognition of black British history in our national story

We should never become complacent in thinking the struggles of the past are over. The list of issues that disproportionally affect black people is vast: black men are more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, black women are more five times more likely to die giving birth, and black people as a whole are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. The ideologies that people of darker skin tones are inferior exist, even today. We are living at a time when black people are still being told to go back to back to Africa”, racial abuse is on the rise.  And to top it all off, our country is being led by a man whose descriptions of black people reek of empire and white privilege.

During Black History Month we can demand better. We can demand better recognition of black British history in our national story and we must demand better than the dog-whistle racism that has seeped into our politics and society.  Let us work to build a society where the history of every Briton is respected and honoured, without exception.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Another disastrous Brexit deal

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 17 Oct 2019

It seems Boris Johnson has managed to cobble together yet another disastrous Brexit deal.

It remains to be seen if he can get the deal passed by the House of Commons, but we already know two things for certain:

We will use every option available to give you the right to stop Brexit

  1. Whatever deal Johnson proposes, it’s not as good as the one we have now as a member of the EU.
  2. We will not stop fighting to stop Brexit.

But as we saw three times before, agreeing a deal is only the start of the process. He still needs to get his deal through Parliament. 

And Boris Johnson hasn’t exactly got a great track record on that.

So far in his career as Prime Minister, he’s only won one vote in the Commons and currently has a majority of -45.

We will use every option available to give you the right to stop Brexit in its tracks.

If any Brexit deal comes to the House of Commons, we will add an amendment for it to be put to you, in a People’s Vote. 

If any Brexit deal comes to the House of Commons, we will add an amendment for it to be put to you, in a People’s Vote. 

And then will we campaign to remain in the EU.

This fight isn’t over. And we’ll never stop fighting to stop Brexit and keep us in the EU.

That’s because we know that Boris Johnson’s deal is bad for our economy, bad for our environmental standards, and bad for our workers’ rights.

Whether it’s this deal or the last one, there is no deal as good as the one we have, as a member of the EU.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Candidates standing for Federal Policy Committee

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 17 Oct 2019

Well, that's embarrassing for the SNP 😳

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 16 Oct 2019

The news just broke: turns out that the SNP spent more on the recent Shetland by-election than in the entire EU referendum campaign.

It seems that the SNP just see Brexit as a golden opportunity to push independence at the price of our country's well-being.

Shocker

The party spent £99,000 on the Shetland by-election (of a spending limit of £100,000), compared to just over £90,000 in the 2016 referendum (13% of the limit)

This is what our chief whip, Alistair Carmichael, had to say about the news. 

"The fact that the SNP spent more on the by-election in Shetland than in the entire EU referendum campaign speaks volumes. It is disappointing but hardly surprising, considering how much lucre they flashed around in the Northern Isles over the summer.

"Apparently one more vote for independence in Holyrood was worth more to the nationalists than their European values. It's a shame they don't put their money where their mouth is.

"It shows the cynicism of the SNP leadership's position on the EU. They tell their supporters one story on Europe, but their actions tell another. They back the EU with words, but the truth is that they see Brexit as a golden opportunity to push independence at the price of our country's well-being."

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

With her conference speech today Nicola Sturgeon has shown that she has given up on all the people across the UK trying to stop Brexit.

The momentum is with us. We can win this, if we stick together.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our new CEO

by Sal Brinton on Tue, 15 Oct 2019

Mike joins us from his current position as Chief Executive of Addaction, a mental health, drug, alcohol and young persons charity, and was previously Assistant Chief Executive at Citizens Advice and through both of which he has extensive experience of managing member-style organisations.

I am delighted Mike will be taking on this crucial role at such an exciting time for the Liberal Democrats. Mike's experience in senior management and at leading organisations will be hugely valuable to the continuing growth of the party off the back of successive election campaigns which have put the Liberal Democrats back in a strong position in UK politics.

Mike Dixon has said in our press release:

“I’m delighted to take on this role. We’ve just had our best ever European election results and new members are joining all the time, taking us to record levels of membership.

Millions of people want the country to stop Brexit and focus on things like the climate emergency, investing in schools and people’s mental health. I’m looking forward to getting started next week.

We’ve got a great team, inspirational political leadership and a thriving, inclusive party. If you want change, join us today.”

He and our outgoing Chief Executive, Sir Nick Harvey have already started working together to ensure a smooth handover, and Nick will be around to support Mike over the next few weeks.

I want to take this opportunity to reiterate my personal thanks to Sir Nick for all he has done for the party as Chief Executive over the last two years, picking us up after the difficult 2017 election.

He ensured the party was ready for the brilliant successes we have had in the local government elections and in the European Elections this year, as well as getting us ready for a possible snap General Election.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

What would it be like?

by Christine Jardine on Tue, 15 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.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

A winning plan for the Liberal Democrats

by Mark Pack on Tue, 15 Oct 2019

During the recent online hustings, the chair Lorely Burt produced a horribly complicated diagram from a few years back showing how the Liberal Democrats are structured. It’s a good point – our organisation can be complicated, confusing and even hazardous to navigate.

Looking at the diagram, I did a quick mental tally of how many of the bodies shown on it I’ve served on at some point in my many years as a party staffer, including running the party’s digital operation for Charles Kennedy, and as a volunteer, as a local party officer, regional officer, English party committee member and federal committee member.

There’s a serious, very relevant point here.

There’s an urgency in the battle against Brexit. An urgency to protect our climate for cataclysmic change. An urgency to reduce inequality and heal the divisions in our society.

Which means there’s an urgency in us stepping up, winning bigger and better than ever before.

That’s what I can do if you choose to elect me your President.

I’ve got the experience, the knowledge, the friendships, even a few scars, from working out what needs doing – and then making it happen:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Jo's Response to the Queen's Speech

by Jo Swinson on Mon, 14 Oct 2019

Today, Her Majesty The Queen opened the new parliamentary session. But we have exactly the same problems as we did in the last session: a government with no majority, no leadership and no realistic plan for our country.

I used my speech in Parliament today to give a warning to my fellow MPs.

Here's my speech in full:

On behalf of my colleagues on these ever-expanding Liberal Democrat benches, I’d like to pay tribute to the mover and seconder of the Humble Address. Their wit and good humour have brought us all some light relief at this time of crisis.

The Honourable Member for Truro and Falmouth is a well-respected former Minister, who is liked on all sides of the House for the way she genuinely engages with everyone.

I understand that she was also Head Girl at school, graduated with a history degree from King's College London and then a masters as a Rotary Scholar. So some might call her a girly swot. She should know that, from these benches at least, that is meant as a compliment.

The Honourable Member for North East Derbyshire treated us to a speech that took us on a grand tour from Derbyshire to Venezuela. As a fellow child of the 1980s, I’d like to thank him for confirming that 39 is still considered ‘up-and-coming’

Much of the last three years has felt a bit like Groundhog Day, but there was something about the last week that has felt particularly familiar to me. Then it dawned on me.

We’ve all been sat in meetings where a woman puts forward an idea and it gets shouted down. A little later, a man suggests virtually the same thing and pretends it was his great idea all along.

The Liberal Democrats have been crystal clear about this.

Whether it’s a hard or a soft Brexit.

Whether it comes with a blue rosette or a red rosette. 

Whether it is delivered by the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition.

There is no form of Brexit that will be good for our country. And the Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to stop Brexit and secure a People’s Vote with the option to remain in the European Union to give the public the final say on Brexit deal.

Because there is no deal that will ever be as good as the one we currently have as members of the European Union.

Mr Speaker, there was nothing in this Queen’s Speech that will bring comfort to the factory worker set to lose their job – or the many thousands who already have.

Nothing to bring comfort to families when they’re having to pay more and more to put food on the table.

Nothing to bring comfort to our young people who are being stripped of the right to live, work, and study in 27 other countries. 

Nothing to bring comfort to our NHS, on the cusp of yet another winter crisis, and having lost more than 5,000 EU nurses in the last two years.

Nothing to bring comfort to the cancer patients who fear delays to drugs will mean delays to treatments and risks to their survival.

There is nothing in this Gracious Speech will give the 3 million European citizens any comfort.

Bina is with us today. A Dutch national who moved here in 1999.

After the birth of her second daughter, she decided to go self-employed. But despite paying her taxes just as she should, the Home Office asked her for proof after proof before finally granting her Settled Status.

Weeks of anxiety and uncertainty. Weeks of being treated like a second-class citizen in the place she calls home.

Jennifer is also with us today. Her daughter, now 38-years-old, was born in Strasbourg, severely disabled. In 1986, Jennifer moved her family to the UK where Marie could get far better care and education.

Marie has Settled Status now, because her mother was there to help. Her mother was there to make sure that her daughter’s rights were protected, that her family wasn’t split apart.

But there are so many other vulnerable EU citizens in our country who cannot rely on a family member or friend to help them through the application process.

And, last but not least, Kristin, my constituent, has travelled down with her mother to be with us today too.

Margot moved to the UK 45 years ago from Norway. Two years later, she married Geoff and then Kristin was born. After raising her family, Margot went back to work, paying her taxes every step of the way.

As required, Margot applied for Settled Status, but struggled to get her application approved.

Forty-five years of contributing to our society, our economy, and that’s how this government treated her: like a bureaucratic problem.

Causing unnecessary anxiety and fear to an elderly couple trying to enjoy their retirement years. Their family fearful they’ll be torn apart. 

Will the Prime Minister have the courage to look Kristin, Margot, Bina and Jennifer in the eye and apologise for the anxiety he has caused them and the 3 million other citizens from the EU 27?

Our country is better than this: we don’t turn our back on those who have come over to be our doctors, nurses, teachers and carers.

We don’t turn our back on our family, friends and loved ones.

We don’t turn our back on those who like the rest of us only want to make our country a better place. That’s not who we are.

There shouldn’t even be a Queen’s Speech.

Mr Speaker, there’s little more British than putting on our glad rags and taking part in pomp and circumstance.

But there is a time and place for that. Today was not it.

Today is a distraction from the fact that our country is fast hurtling towards catastrophe.

That the Prime Minister is more interested in hanging on to power at any price than what is best for our country. 

This hard-line Brexit government has no majority, no plan, no clue and is putting the future of our great country at risk.

Mr Speaker, the benches opposite are clamouring for a General Election, and we’re ready to give them one.

All they need to do is sign a simple letter and secure an extension to Article 50.

I’ve said this before in this House, and I’ll say it again. I relish the opportunity to take on the Prime Minister in a General Election.

And I cannot wait to take to the country the positive alternative vision that people deserve.

A vision for a country where if you work hard and play by the rules, you are rewarded with a decent home and enough to get by and live with dignity.

Where every child and young person is nurtured and supported to become whatever they want to be, no matter who their parents are, how much money they have, or the colour of their skin.

And where the most vulnerable among us can always get the help they need, with no judgement or sanction.

Mr Speaker, we know our country is better than what this Government wants it to be.

I know that we can be open, generous and collaborative. And I know our politics can be one of hope and inclusion, firmly set on the better future we want to create.

But all this Government wants to do is turn us into an insular, closed and selfish country. Trading in fear and division to get their way.

That’s what this Queen’s Speech is all about. And that’s why the Liberal Democrats will not be voting for it. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

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.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

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!

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

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.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Candidates standing for the Federal Conference Committee

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 11 Oct 2019

We need to step up, urgently

by Mark Pack on Fri, 11 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,

Mark

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

Read this article on www.libdems.org →