Sarah Olney Vicotory celebration - 2nd Dec 2016

Member Monday: YOUR NAME HERE

Greetings newbies,

As Tim Farron observed in his conference speech yesterday, membership of the Liberal Democrats has risen to its highest this century; over 1,000 people joined us in the last ten days alone. Our spring conference also broke records: it was the best attended in party history, with the largest number of first timers ever.

As was often said to me during many conversations I had with both new, old and returning members, the concept of “a newbie” is a state of mind. Being a newbie could just as easily describe the renewed energy and confidence amongst our members which has led us to win 34 seats in council by-elections since the general election, along with the election of Sarah Olney, a newbie herself, in Richmond Park last year.

What is now clear is that the newbies have the potential to drive this party back into government, perhaps even in their own right, and, as Tim said yesterday, this should be our aim.

As part of that aim, we want to give our members, particularly our newbies, the chance to share their views. As can be seen from our policy debates at conference, we are an open party where opinions can be shared and respected. Not only that, but ideas from our members can become law. The increase in personal tax allowance, which is now enjoyed by every income tax payer in the country, came from an ordinary member of the Liberal Democrats.

So if you’re interested in contributing to our Monday Member blog, we are taking submissions.

You can submit an article or contact us for more information by emailing

We look forward to hearing from you.

Message from Tim Farron to new members 07/12/2016

Tim Farron gives a message to new Lib Dem members about the vote on Article 50 in the House of Commons on the 7th December 2016.

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?

N-E Derbyshire & Bolsover Lib Dems Select Candidates


The Liberal Democrats formally announce their Parliamentary Candidates for North East Derbyshire and Bolsover in the event of a snap general election.

There has been considerable press speculation as to whether there will be an early General Election (something that is still technically possible after the Fixed Term Parliament Act), the Liberal Democrats are proud to announce their candidates for North East Derbyshire and Bolsover.

David Lomax, the former Head of Special Needs at New Mills School, will be representing North East Derbyshire. A constituency presently held by Labour’s Natascha Engel with just over 40% of the vote. North East Derbyshire has traditionally been seen a safe Labour seat. However, Ms Engel’s ever reducing majority is reflective of the growing discontent with Labour throughout the constituency.

Ross Shipman, North East Derbyshire & Bolsover Lib Dem Chair, has been selected to stand against “the Beast of Bolsover” Dennis Skinner. Young and dynamic, Ross is about as far removed from Skinner as it’s possible to get; and with a strong background working in local government (including 4 years managing a Parish Council) he’s a firm believer that it’s a politician’s place to represent their electorate. He said

“For too long Dennis Skinner has pushed his own agenda. While he may be famous for speaking his mind, he doesn’t seek to speak for Bolsover Constituency. Mr Skinner is the embodiment of politicians of yesteryear – out of touch with the 21 st century. When people talk about Bolsover, their first thought is of Dennis Skinner and they imagine a constituency trapped in a time warp – like some tough industrial 1970s pit town. It isn’t like that. Bolsover is a beautiful, green idyllic part of the world. I’m proud of where I live and I want to give Bolsover Constituency the representation it deserves.”

Given that the next scheduled General Election isn’t until 2020 our two Liberal Democrat hopefuls intend to make best use of the time until then. Ross goes on to clarify:

“For too long, in this part of the country, Labour have simply assumed that they have a right to be elected. We Lib Dems believe that politicians should earn the confidence of the electorate. It’s our role now to demonstrate what makes us different and why we can better represent the people of North East Derbyshire and Bolsover constituencies than the Labour party they’re used to. Local people are crying out for change, but they need to have the confidence in us to make that change for the better. Now it’s up to us to show them.”

Ross4Bolsover Facebook page.