Tim Farron’s Latest Shadow Cabinet Reshuffle

Some of you may have seen in various other locations that our leader, Tim Farron has recently had a reshuffle of his front bench and there aren’t too many surprises, although some have highlighted the exclusion of our man at arms, Greg Mulholland – however, many suspect he will form the siege weapons (back bench) for the Liberal Democrats.

Here is the full front bench line-up that was announced:

  • Tim Farron MP – Liberal Democrat Leader
  • Baroness Sal Brinton – Party President
  • Alistair Carmichael – Shadow First Secretary of State
  • Baroness Susan Kramer – Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Tom Brake MP – Shadow Foreign Secretary, Shadow Leader of the House, Chief Whip
  • Lord Brian Paddick – Shadow Home Secretary
  • Nick Clegg MP – Shadow Brexit and International Trade Secretary
  • Baroness Judith Jolly – Shadow Defence Secretary
  • Norman Lamb MP – Shadow Health Secretary
  • Lord Don Foster – Shadow Business and Industrial Strategy Secretary
  • Baroness Lynne Featherstone – Shadow Energy Secretary
  • John Pugh MP – Shadow Education Secretary
  • Baroness Cathy Bakewell – Shadow Work and Pensions
  • Baroness Lorely Burt – Shadow Equalities Secretary
  • Lord Jonathan Marks – Shadow Justice Secretary
  • Baroness Kath Pinnock – Shadow Communities Secretary
  • Baroness Jenny Randerson – Shadow Transport Secretary
  • Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter – Shadow Culture Secretary
  • Lord Dick Newby – Leader of the House of Lords
  • Lord Ben Stoneham – Lords Chief Whip
  • Baroness Kate Parminter – Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Baroness Shas Sheehan – Shadow International Development Secretary
  • Mark Williams MP – Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
  • Willie Rennie MSP – Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Baroness Alison Suttie – Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary
  • Caroline Pidgeon – Shadow Minister for London
  • Catherine Bearder – EU/ALDE Liaison
  • Baroness Sarah Ludford – Lords Shadow Brexit Minister

Others who attend the Shadow Cabinet are:

  • Baroness Lindsay Northover – Shadow Lords Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
  • Lord Jeremy Purvis – Shadow Lords Minister for International Trade
  • Baroness Joan Walmsley – Shadow Lords Minister for Health
  • Lord Mike Storey – Shadow Lords Minister for Education
  • Lord Malcolm Bruce – Shadow Lords Minister for Scotland
  • Baroness Chris Humphreys – Shadow Lords Minister for Wales

Other party spokespersons announced are:

  • Lord John Shipley – Shadow Minister for Housing
  • Lord Martin Thomas – Shadow Attorney General
  • Lord Paul Tyler – Shadow Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform
  • Lord William Wallace – Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office

One thing we can say, our Shadow Cabinet is certainly not a running joke like the Tory front bench..

What are your thoughts to the new reshuffle?

Liberal Democrats Winning Here Sign

By-Election Report – 20/10/2016

The 20th October was a bumper night of Parlimentary By-Elections, Tier 1/2 council By-Elections, and parish/town council By-Elections. All the results are here.

Liberal Democrats Winning Here Sign

By-Election Report – 13/10/2016

All the details from a packed set of by-elections held on the 13th October 2016.

Liberal Democrats Winning Here Sign

By-Election Report – 06/10/2016

All the results from the By-Elections on the 6th October 2016, including a very late Scottish Gain for the Liberal Democrats.

Bristol Lib Dems in Witney

Witney: Five Reasons to Get Involved

The Bristol Liberal Democrats travelled to Witney last Saturday to help out on the by-election. It was my first and I was excited. As we arrived at the campaign headquarters, covered in Lib Dem diamonds and local maps, we were greeted by an enthusiastic volunteer. Our group was asked if we wanted to door canvass in the morning and we said, “bring it on”.

1) No Previous Experience is Required

Merche and Ciaran, two new members in our group, had never door canvassed before but neither felt daunted by the task with the amount of support they had around them. They started the day being shadowed by someone but at the end, both were canvassing solo.

My favourite moment was talking to a woman who said she had voted Conservative all her life but was fed up with David Cameron. I told her about Liz and she seemed genuinely interested. When I was she said that I had given her a lot to think about for when it comes to casting her vote.

Canvassing might not be everyone’s cup of tea but there are many other tasks that can be done. From delivering leaflets to stuffing envelopes there is something for everyone. The staff and volunteers are friendly and would not ask you do something you are not comfortable with. When I arrived at HQ, I heard a young activist say that it was his first time canvassing and managed to get two constituents to become Lib Dem members. What a champ.

For further information on the tasks are available, check out Alex Hegenbarth’s blog: http://libdemnewbies.org.uk/witney-election-get-involved/

2) Liz Leffman is a Candidate you can be Proud of

Liz is a district councillor in Charlbury where she is also a business owner. She has a proven track record of saving Charlbury’s Post Office and also a champion of protecting NHS services and fighting against the closure of Chipping Norton Hospital.

When we arrived at the HQ, Liz Leffman was already there talking to volunteers. She projected the energy of someone who was ready to beat the odds on the campaign trail. After Stephen Williams finished speaking to her I went to introduce myself. I found her to be amiable and magnanimous, qualities needed to serve a community.

Witney voted to remain in the European Union. Of all the candidates, Liz will be the one to stand up for the people of the constituency so that they get a say on what our future with the EU will be.

3) Witney is a Beautiful Place

What could be better a way of spending a weekend than visiting one of the Britain’s best kept secrets? When delivering leaflets in the afternoon, our map led us onto a new housing development. Everything felt fresh and new but further down the road we walked past a fence that opened up into the Oxfordshire countryside. Stunning hills rolled for as long as the eye could see and if it were not for the rain clouds, it would look even more majestic.

You might be sent to any of Witney’s quaint English villages and each has its own character and gems to discover. There are great train links to Oxford or you could try the Newbie’s group to arrange a car share. I promise that once you visit you will be planning another trip in the not too distant future. Hopefully before polling day!

4) Feels more like a Social than Work

From the car journey over, to helping yourself to cake and tea at the HQ, the by-election felt more like a Lib Dem social event than 20th century labour. See what I did there? It was great to go on a trip with my local Bristol members but also recognising many faces you were to bump into.

After our first session in the morning we stopped at a local café for some refreshments and before we went home we grabbed a snack at what Stephen described as “the poshest garden centre he had ever visited”. There we traded stories from the doorsteps and joked about how soaked we all got. Campaigning can at first appear daunting but with fellow Lib Dems around, you’ll be having a great time.

5) It is an Adventure

A month ago who would have thought I would be walking around a quiet corner of Oxfordshire. For the afternoon, our team was assigned the task of delivering leaflets across Burford. Graham and I were dropped off at the edge of town ready to cover our section, that is when the heavens opened up. The first task was to deliver leaflets to sparsely situated mansions, by walking down drives ways that went on forever. Only then did I realise that I had left my waterproof trousers in Ian’s car.

The rain eventually let up and it sped up the delivering process. Burford was a magnificent town and the campaign gave me the opportunity to visit a place that I never knew existed. Another exhilarating feeling is being part of a campaign that could be a historic one if we could take a former Prime Minister’s seat away from the Conservatives.

The odds for Liz Leffman and the Liberal Democrats keep falling every day to win a Tory safe seat. Maybe, just maybe, with enough volunteers and energy we can pull off the most momentous victory so far of the #libdemfightback.

Brighton Pier

Update from the Lib Dem Pint – Brighton Conference

I thought I would share my experiences from the Lib Dem Pint organised for the Friday night before conference.

I got there just after 7pm as I had agreed to help out. I was given a task: speak to new members, get the reason why they joined, write it down on a whiteboad and take a photo. Easy! (It was suggested I start with myself…alas this never happened…)

So off I went round the pub which was rapidly filing up. Speaking to people was great; some people I already knew of through the Facebook group and others I had never met in my life. The responses were really good and varied; they covered everything from the defense of liberal values, equal marriage, the EU, civil liberties…I could go on! Instead, I will just put the pictures up.

Not everyone here was a new member. We say this often in the Newbie group: being a newbie is a state of mind! If you are willing to look at fresh ideas with positivity and enthusiasm whilst making our new members at home then you are definitely welcome in the Newbie group! Also, if Steve Webb is reading this (I grant you its a long shot) then there is clearly a lot of love around for you!

It was lovely to see everyone; new members and old. Some had come down on their own and new no-one; they were instantly made to feel welcome. I can confirm a good night was had by all.

See you all in York!

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