Number 10 Downing Street is the headquarters and London residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Westminster Wednesdays: The Executive

In previous posts, we have discussed Parliament and the constitution – this week, we will consider the executive branch of government, so named because it is responsible for executing and enforcing laws. In the UK, this is centred on the Prime Minister and their cabinet, though it extends out to a host of other bodies. We look at these two key components in turn, and see how they relate back to the concepts and bodies we discussed previously, as well as trying to understand how they interact with each other.

Prime Minister

Whilst the post of Prime Minister sits at the very top of government, and commands considerable public attention, most of their powers do not come from statute or common law, but rather from convention. They are exercised on behalf of the monarch, who appoints the Prime Minister – who has traditionally been the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons. So long as they are able to retain the support of a majority of MPs, the Prime Minister and their government should remain in power – by convention, if they lose this support (known as confidence), they would resign. Their powers range from appointing ministers to head government departments, through to attending international summits, and on to dispensing patronage through the honours system (knighthoods, MBEs, and so on).

The most important of these powers is the Prime Minister’s power to appoint and dismiss other members of the executive – ministers, who either head or help to oversee government departments. There are currently over 100 ministers, all of whom are appointed by the Prime Minister. By convention, these ministers are drawn from Parliament, and particularly the House of Commons – by necessity, it may be that the Prime Minister has to include certain MPs in government, in order to appease party factions, or may be forced to exclude others on political grounds. Nevertheless, this is a formidable power, and allows a Prime Minister to shape the government to suit their policy preferences and desired direction of travel for the country.

The next key power to consider is the Prime Minister’s role as chair of the cabinet. In this role, the Prime Minister determines who can attend cabinet, when its meetings will be heard, what will be on the agenda, and will sum up its discussions. This is not a process that involves a formal vote – it is rather rare for Prime Ministers to seek a vote in cabinet on any point. As we shall go to see, the ability of a Prime Minister to mould their ministerial team and the cabinet as an institution has considerable importance.

The other powers of a Prime Minister include their ability to appoint senior civil servants – they decide who the senior civil servant will be in each department (the permanent secretary) and it is only with their approval that a minister can have a senior civil servant moved. They also represent the country at international summits, such as those of the European Council, granting them considerable influence over foreign policy. Finally, we should remember the media and political attention that comes with being Prime Minister – giving one access to a significant reserve of influence to try and shape the direction of the country, and of policy in Parliament.

There are, however, a variety of restraints in place on the Prime Minister. They attend a weekly questioning session in the House of Commons, known as Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), as well as making annual appearances before a Parliamentary committee called the Liaison Committee. They are required to retain the support of a majority of the House of Commons – and the support of their party colleagues. If either of these fail, then they can find themselves removed from office, and often find the agenda set after their departure contrasting with much they had laid down.

Cabinet

The cabinet is the collective decision-making body that the Prime Minister chairs. It serves three key functions; finally determining what will be submitted to Parliament by the government, overall control of the executive in line with what Parliament agrees, and co-ordination between the many component parts of the state. It meets on Tuesdays, in the cabinet room in Number 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister in London.

Its composition is decided by the Prime Minister – who has broad scope to make and unmake the government departments that ministers run. For example, since 2007, the department responsible for overseeing universities has been, in order – the Department for Education and Skills, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and now the Department for Education. Very few departments do not experience this process, which is driven entirely by the Prime Minister’s desire to shape government, with the exception of the Treasury. It is traditional that all the heads of government departments are members of the cabinet – the Prime Minister can also ask a range of other ministers to attend. Currently, there are 23 members of the cabinet, and 4 others who attend.

As with the Prime Minister, the cabinet’s powers and functions exist by convention. Aside from the key functions laid out above, to which we will return in a moment, two other key conventions apply. The first is one already stated – if the government loses the support (confidence) of the House of Commons, it will resign. The second is the principle of collective responsibility, which states that once a decision has been made by cabinet, all members collectively accept responsibility for it, even if they disagreed prior to the decision being made. Ministers who cannot do this are expected to resign, or will be removed by the Prime Minister if they openly disagree after the decision is taken.

In executing its three key duties outlined above, cabinet faces a huge workload – the UK government is responsible for hundreds of billions of pounds of spending, almost 3 million public sector employees, and of course the executing and enforcing of a vast array of laws and regulations. As a single committee, cabinet and its members would struggle to cope with this workload – so two tiers of support are in place. First are junior ministers; every departmental head has a number of these, with whom they can share their workload, delegating particular areas of their department to the junior minister. Secondly, there are the cabinet committees – these are made of members of the cabinet, and perhaps some junior ministers as well. They are constituted by the Prime Minister, and assigned particular areas of responsibility. Like cabinet, they are there to assist in determining policy, ensuring it is implemented, and co-ordinating policy on a variety of areas – they act to clarify issues before the main cabinet decides them, dividing up the workload. Decisions of cabinet committees have the same power as those of full cabinet, and matters are only referred from them to the whole cabinet if the chair agrees.

Summary

We have seen that the UK’s executive branch, particularly the Prime Minister, has considerable powers at their disposal to make and change government, and to set the direction of the country. We have also seen how they shape the cabinet, which in turn serves a key function at the heart of the executive – as a body to make decisions, oversee the operation of government, and settle disputes. When they operate together, government can deliver policy quickly, effectively, and with an assurance of easy passage through Parliament. Disunity between them, however, can lead to disorder and perhaps even the fall of ministers – or the Prime Minister themselves.

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Throwback Thursdays: PPBs and The Alliance

There are few examples of the Party Political Broadcasts (PPB) for the liberals between 1945 and the Early 80s. Some incomplete versions missing large chunks of audio have been archived on YouTube. Throughout this period the Liberals suffered in the relative political doldrums of only a handful of seats in Scotland and Wales.

In 1974, after a general election that left no party with a majority, attempts were made to form a coalition government with the Conservatives, but it fell through when the Conservatives and their Leader Edward Heath refused to agree to bring in Proportional Representation (PR)  for Westminster elections. As a result Labour attempted to govern in a minority.

This ultimately led to the second General Election of 1974 that following October and the narrowest of majorities for Labour. The liberals again attempted to support the government in order to deliver PR which ultimately backfired.

After the Election of 1979 and victory for Margaret Thatchers conservatives, the Labour party, now in opposition, began to change. Alleged corruption and left wing militancy was becoming more and more of an issue within Labour.

On the 25th of January 1981 the “Gang of Four”, Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Shirley Williams and Bill Rodgers Launched the Council of Social Democracy, later to become the Social Democrat Party (SDP), in what would become known as the Limehouse Declaration. Within six months the SDP had joined the Liberals under David Steele to form the SDP – Liberal Alliance which was to remain in place until the ultimate merger of the two parties.

The Alliance was polling at 50% at one point before the General Election of 1983, but after the Falklands War of 1982, Margaret Thatcher and the conservatives stormed back into first place to win by a landslide. Although The Alliance polled 25% of the vote, thanks to our first past the post electoral system they only achieved twenty three seats.

The following PPB by the SDP as part of the SDP – Liberal Alliance was made in May 1984. Here SDP leader David Owen coveres topics including, European Unity, Trident, and the use of Nuclear Weapons, an important issue in this period of Cold War between the west and Russia.

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Westminster Wednesdays: The Constitution

The Constitution

Last week, we discussed Parliament, and described it as the “central component of the UK’s constitution.” This week, we are going to briefly survey that constitution, and understand where we might find it – its sources – and the basic rules that it lays out for UK politics – its provisions. Before we do so, as ever, we need to define our terms. A constitution is a “body of laws, customs, and conventions that define the composition and powers of organs of the state and that regulate the relations of the various state organs to one another and to the private citizen.” The UK’s constitution is very different to the model of constitution present in most other states, in that it is uncodified. This means that there isn’t a single document which contains all, or at least most, of the laws, customs, and conventions that make up the constitution. Rather, it is spread across four key sources, to which we will turn first.

 

Sources

The UK’s constitution draws on four sources – statute law, common law, conventions, and works of authority. Statute law in the UK simply refers to Acts of Parliament, and particularly those with key significance to the relationship between the parts of the state, and the state and its citizens. For example, the Scotland Act 1998, which created the Scottish Parliament, is a prominent constitutional act, because it created a new body in Scotland to handle certain Scottish matters, and outlined relations between that body at the existing Parliament in Westminster.

Secondly, we have the common law. This refers to legal principles created by the courts in making decisions, and ones so ancient that the courts treat them as law. This is a shrinking part of the constitution – more and more law is now in statute form – but nonetheless retains an important role. For example, the principle of parliamentary sovereignty that we introduced last week is considered to be an aspect of common, rather than statute, law. Similarly, what are called prerogative powers are used under common law – these are powers that are recognised as belonging to the Crown, but are exercised by the Prime Minister or other ministers. We will return to these next week in more detail.

Thirdly, there are conventions. These are the least tangible form of the UK’s constitution – they don’t exist in statute form, nor are they enforced by the courts. Rather, they are abided to by the parts of the state because to break them would disrupt the normal operation of politics. For example, it is only by convention that the monarch grants their approval to all Acts of Parliament – a convention dating back to the early 18th Century. Sometimes, conventions can be breached temporarily, and then restored to use afterwards – some conventions are stronger than others.

Finally, there are works of authority. Whilst these are much more tangible than the conventions – but their power in the constitution is persuasive only, and they are rather poorly defined. Clearly the work of scholars such as A. V. Dicey, who we encountered in last week’s discussion of Parliament, and Erskine May, count as works of authority – they lay out key principles of how the constitution is meant to operate, and how one of the most important organs of the state is meant to be regulated on a day to day basis, respectively. They are most useful, therefore, in interpreting the conventions and common law that form a part of the constitution.

 

Provisions

The UK constitution, drawn from the four sources above, lays out four basic provisions – parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, a unitary system, and parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. We can restate the definition given last week from Dicey to cover the first provision, parliamentary sovereignty, as being the power to “to make or unmake any law whatever, and, further, that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament.”

Dicey also argued that the rule of law was a key provision of the UK constitution. This is a little trickier to define (Dicey himself gives three definitions!) but here we will use Lord Bingham’s definition in his book on the subject: “all persons and authorities within the state, whether public or private, should be bound by and entitled to the benefit of laws publicly made, taking effect (generally) in the future and publicly administered in the courts.” This might be characterised as the idea that no-one should be above the law; as Bingham and other scholars on this note, this principle is not evenly applied in the UK constitution, but it remains an important provision all the same.

The third provision also causes us a little difficulty – the idea of a UK as a unitary state. These are often contrasted with federal states such as the USA. In a federal state, power is divided between the national and more local units by the constitution – in a unitary state, it is the national government that holds all the power. Parliament, as the sovereign body, can create local government bodies, such as councils, hand them powers, withdraw them, redesign them – or even abolish them outright. This constitutional principle holds over even bodies such as the Scottish Parliament – but here the difficulty lies. Whilst it may be constitutional to abolish the Scottish Parliament, arguably the political pressures against doing so would be too great.

Finally, there is the idea of parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. This covers the relationship between parliament, government, and monarch – with the government the distinctly stronger component. It may broadly be expressed as the idea that the government governs through Parliament, rather than the country being governed by Parliament, with the monarch having a ceremonial role. The Prime Minister and other Ministers are appointed by the monarch, rather than Parliament, but are politically responsible too Parliament for their actions.

 

Summary

We have seen where the UK’s constitution is drawn from, and what its basic provisions are. It is worth remembering that, like any constitution, these are continually under pressure to change as circumstances do. Unlike most constitutions – which are codified – the UK’s uncodified constitution has no special provision to make amending it exceptionally difficult. There was no need, for example, for two-thirds of MPs to vote in favour of the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1998 – it was created through a statute that holds the same basic status as any other statute. Whilst this makes the UK constitution flexible – a strength for some – it also means it can be changed very easily – which is alarming for others. As the UK withdraws from the EU, this will impose further strains on the constitution, a point worth bearing in mind.

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Throwback Thursdays: Oldest Liberal Party Political Broadcast?

Throwback Thursdays begin with a series on the Party Political Broadcast.

Party Political Broadcasts. In the United Kingdom the Communications Act 2003 prohibits political advertising on Television or Radio, instead, parties are provided with slots, usually about five minutes long on the major broadcast channels with rules set by parliament.

There have been many Party Political Broadcasts made by the Lib Dems and the Liberal and SDP parties before it, but I wondered where it all started. I found this footage in the Pathe archives. The following video shows footage taken of former Liberal Party leader Sir Archibald Sinclair, in 1945, including extracts of a speech on the country “turning to liberalism again”.

Although not a PPB as such, it comes from a time where information about politics and political parties moved from print media and radio into the world of the visual. From this time onward image became more and more important in politics.

Sadly Sir Archibald would go on to lose his seat, amongst the postwar Labour surge, in the 1945 general election. He came third, off of first place by just 61 votes! He was also one of the last Liberal members of Government (Minister of the Air Force) until 2010.

Archie also mentions the Liberal economist William Beveridge, author of the Beveridge Report. It formed the basis for the post-war reforms known as the Welfare State, which include the expansion of National Insurance and the creation of the National Health Service.

Enjoy!

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Westminster Wednesdays: Parliament

1st edition of Tim Oliver’s Westminster Wednesday – Understanding Politics series. Today’s post is about understanding Parliament.

“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn.”

Since I have joined back in August 2015 I have seen many newbies run as candidates for local councils, parish councils and also eventually as potential parliamentary candidates should a snap General Election be called. None of these roles have ever appealed to me for a multitude of reasons. Aside from my exec roles, I started to look round to see what else I could do to help support my local party.

I took the decision to train to be an electoral agent over the summer, thinking I would have plenty of time to learn the role as the next round of by-elections in my area would be called in 2019. I could start my training at Autumn Conference and be very ready for 2019. I was very wrong! The resignation of UKIP’s Catriona Brown-Reckless from Medway Council meant that I was thrown into the deep end very quickly. Her resignation was announced right before Conference and it was decided that I was to be both agent and campaign manager for Isabelle Cherry, our candidate chosen to stand in the by-election. The ward was Strood South, an area where we had done very little work for over ten years. This meant that the objective of the campaign was clear: we knew we had little chance of winning but we could collect some data, start building in the area and try out some new methods of campaigning such as social media etc.

The essence of the campaign was planned and the signatures on the nomination form were organised before Conference. I had very little time to soak up the general atmosphere; I had a plan and I needed to stick to it! Training was quite intense but I learned loads (and in case anyone was wondering I still managed to enjoy Conference to the full and Hilton bar prices meant I did not have any hangovers to interfere with my training). I strongly recommend attending training courses at Conference; although I concentrated more on the compliance ones than campaigning ones.

Once back in Strood the campaign could start in earnest. We waited for our Focus to be delivered (carefully written up by other members of the team whilst I was away in Brighton and yes, evenings were spent in restaurants proof-reading literature). Action Days were planned and advertised. Bundles were weighed. Turf was cut (badly). We were ready to go!

The Action Days themselves were great fun. We had lots of support from all over Kent. The levels of support were overwhelming; never had I expected so many people to turn up! I am still so very grateful and cannot thank those that did help enough. The role of the campaign manager on these days is to plan, hold everything together and remain at the base to ensure everything runs smoothly. Providing food always helps, and as Issy is vegan I made sure all snacks were vegan-friendly. There was plenty of work to do outside of the action days too. Focus delivery; canvassing, it all needed to be done! Cutting turf became my new hobby; although on a personal level I still have so much more to learn when it comes to Connect (as anyone who knows me and also has Connect access will tell you; countless phone calls and messages and I still by and large don’t have a clue what I am doing). I also had to learn about social media campaigning. My Facebook and Twitter accounts were primarily for personal use and I had no idea with regards to advertising and how to raise our profile.

In addition to this, the campaign didn’t run as smoothly as hoped. Another by-election was called early on in the campaign which meant that resources would have to be spread more thinly. Isabelle was involved in a culinary incident which resulted in quite a nasty burn on her leg; whilst she tried to campaign through this it soon became apparent that medical treatment would be needed and she would need to take time out for a few days. I myself came down with the obligatory cough/cold combo I usually get when I am stressed. Time management really became an issue as both of us had then to enforce periods of rest whilst keeping the momentum of the campaign going. In hindsight, I fee we managed this as best we could; the last thing we wanted to do was to burn ourselves out before polling day.

Polling day itself was a whole new experience. Up early to get my vote in before all the fun started (yes I had to be reminded to vote). Knocking on doors, getting people out to vote, stopping only for a pub lunch. Making sure we got round all the polling stations to thank the staff for their help; after all, its a long and cold day for them too! There were sightings of Mark Reckless (cheeky really as his wife’s resignation triggered the by-election in the first place) but luckily he did not cross my path. All was going to plan.

Count night itself was interesting. I had never done a count before, aside from the EU referendum. We did some tallying and no; the results did not look good. The polling station staff confirmed that turnout was looking to be poor, which it was. However, this made the count nice and quick so there was some good news in any case! Our result is there for all to see.

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So; what have I learned from my experience?

  1. Sometimes, you just can’t win, however hard you try. We all should set our to do our best in every seat we stand in. Sometimes though,  the odds will be stacked too high against us. This was one of those times.
  2. Always have a plan.
  3. Delegate tasks to other members of the team. You can’t physically do everything alone and nor should you try. There are always people around you willing to help. They will also have a good variety of skills. It makes sense to put them to good use!
  4. Always say thank you.
  5. Make sure you have enough work for all your activists to do. I tended to underestimate what we could get done. Luckily, there was always more to do.
  6. Make time for yourself. It’s easy to get carried away, work extra hard and neglect your own needs. Make sure you take time out to do something you enjoy, or even just to relax.

I am proud of us. I’m proud of what we achieved. We did our best and that’s all you can ever do.

 

Tim Farron New Member Welcome – September 2016

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron offers a warm welcome to all new members joining the party.

Alison Healey

My New Member Journey – Alison Healey

As a teenager/young adult I voted Tory; I hadn’t really given it much thought, it was just because my mother voted Tory and I was constantly exposed to Conservative dogma.

I toyed with the idea of voting for the SDP because even my mother respected and begrudgingly liked Shirley Williams and Roy Jenkins but I never got round to it and when the SDP and the Liberal party formed their alliance and Spitting Image did THOSE puppets (younger members should Google David Steel and David Owen) it didn’t really encourage me to give any credence to Centre politics.

But a new dawn came with the emergence of Paddy Ashdown and I began to question what it was I really wanted my political views to say about me.

I voted in every election since for the Lib Dems and that was enough for me to feel that I was properly engaged and that my political conscience was clear.

When Nick Clegg negotiated a coalition with the Tories in 2010 I was fully behind him – I still believe that it was morally the correct thing to do.  The Tories had, after all, won the race and it wouldn’t have sat well with me to have the winners nobbled by the 2nd and 3rd placed parties.

Some people I knew who had been impressed by Nick’s performance in the debates and voted Lib Dem, or who had always voted Lib Dem became disillusioned that Lib Dem manifesto promises weren’t being kept; but I would argue in defence and point out that WE hadn’t actually won and that our role was to keep Tory feet on the ground and to keep some of their more extreme ideas off the table – and in that we succeeded. For the first time I was beginning to realise that this all meant a lot more to me than just putting an X next to the candidate’s name.

And then came the morning of May 8th 2015. We had been punished so cruelly by some people who felt let down and didn’t recognise the good that had been done by Nick and his team; and abandoned by others who were scared of the possibility of a Conservative UKIP coalition or a Labour SNP one. Nick himself looked devastated. Vince Cable and Simon Hughes amongst so many others had been thrown out with the bath water.

I felt an urge to reach out and let the party know that I still believed, I still remember proudly telling my youngest daughter that I had taken the plunge and was thrilled when she told me that SHE had too, especially as neither my husband or I had ever wanted to impose our beliefs on our children but wanted them to find their own way – hell, we didn’t even impose them on each other, it’s just a happy coincidence that we both vote Lib Dem.

I haven’t done much since then, I’ve shared stuff on Facebook that I hope might encourage people join. No local party activists got in touch but I’ve recently learned that there was no local party – at some point I would like to ask my local councillor why he became independent AFTER being elected but that’s another story.  

But I’m thrilled to know that there will soon be a meeting for the new local party branch which I will be attending with my daughter and I am very open to getting involved as much as health issues will allow. I’m excited to be a part of the Lib Dem fight back and can’t wait to see where my journey goes. 

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Marching for Europe

Like the many thousands of people across the UK who took part in the March for Europe on September 3rd in Bristol, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge and a dozen other towns and cities, I donned my Team INtogether t-shirt and made the long drive down to London.

After battling through the traffic I finally made my way to the starting point at Marble Arch. On the drive down I had been worried that I would be one of a handful to turn up, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. A huge throng of blue t-shirts and golden stars greeted me as hundreds of people lofted placards, balloons, flags, banners and flyers. The crowd was so large that we soon had to be escorted down to the main parade on Park Lane just to get us out of the way!

As I had come alone I decided to explore the crowd and talk to as many people as possible, trying to soak up the atmosphere created by so many like-minded people. One guy, Tom, had joined the party only the day before and was keenly handing out membership leaflets to everyone we passed:
“I felt sick when I woke up to find out we had voted to Leave. Over the next few weeks I knew I had to do something about it, and the Lib Dems seem to be the only party who care about what Remainiers want”
He was not alone in his stance or his conviction, and as I continued my stumble up the march, bouncing from one conversation to the next, my path was eventually blocked by a bright yellow banner held by Sal Brinton (President of the Liberal Democrats), Catherine Bearder MEP, Baroness Sarah Ludford and fellow Newbie members Ukonu Obasi and Elizabeth Barnard – and soon me.

Despite our close formation our column marched quickly down London’s streets; from Picadilly and on to Trafalgur Square before passing Downing Street and ending at Parliament Square. Through our chants of ‘We love you EU, we do’ and ‘We don’t want no Brexit’ (with Kelly-Marie Blundell armed with a small megaphone) we heard the beep of supportive car-horns and even clapping from many of the spectators watching us pass. I’ll never forget us passing through Trafalgur Square and seeing Lib Dem member Paolo from Harrow sat on the roof of his Classic Ciquento car with his legs through the sun roof; blasting his horn with his foot as he waved his EU flags for all to see!

When the march ended at Parliament Square and the speeches started, I saw on opportunity to use our banner to act as a backdrop for Owen Jones post-speech interview. We proceeded to photo-bomb TV interviews with Peter Tatchell and Eddie Izzard with as many billboards, flags and signs as possible – making sure Libby was seen everywhere!

We had a fantastic day and showed the Lib Dems won’t take Brexit lying down. If you have the chance to attend a march, do so, as there is nothing quite like it!

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So…I did my Assessment Day!

Assessment Day – Tamworth – My Thoughts..

So today i did the unthinkable (i only joined the party in July 2015!) and attended an assessment day in Tamworth to become an approved candidate for the Liberal Democrats.

Upon arrival, after standing at the wrong door for 15 minutes pressing the bell to no avail, i was greeted by a lovely lady called Jenny who was one of the assessors for the day and informed me how much of an idiot i had been for not reading the instructions properly that had been emailed out by the candidates team at HQ. I began to shake my head at the terrible start i was having, with doubts starting to creep in that i was not even prepared for this.

As i walked round to the actual building i was suppose to be at, i bumped into Jenny Wilkinson who is one of the Newbie Task Force and co-organiser of the Brighton Conference #LibDemPint with me (and many others), it was certainly nice to put a face to the name as well as there being somebody else who was in the deep end with me.. 🙂

I tend to do strange things when i’m nervous, today it was make myself 9807 cups of tea before each task, but i later i realised there was nothing to be nervous about, it wasn’t a competition like a job interview is, the assessors want us to be approved.

The day is split up into four Sections (this was my order):

  1. Interview / Media task
  2. In-Tray task
  3. Group task
  4. Policy task

Without going into too much detail, i found the policy task tested my brain the most, as i had to dig deep for all of the Lib Dem policy i had stored and the terrible policies of other political parties.. 😉 But i think i may have pulled it off – I was remembering things i never even thought i knew, whether it was relevant to the task is a whole different kettle of fish and only when the results come in will i actually know.

So the day eventually came to an end – With that bit of revision i did and with the implementation of the advice i was given “just be yourself and you will do well”, all in all, it was an enjoyable day.

I felt a strange sense of confidence that the day had given me, maybe i could actually pull off being a candidate and hopefully an MP for Bolsover.

To give you some idea of how confident i was feeling….

…and now the wait begins to find out my results!

If i don’t pass, i know i gave it my all and if that wasn’t good enough, then so be it – I still feel fantastic. 🙂

Anybody who wants to ask me anything about the day, feel free to get in touch through Facebook or Twitter

Much Love <3

UPDATE: I got approved!