liberal democrat federal elections 2014

Click on the candidates below to read more about them and view a link to their profile.

martin tod for fe

I've been a strong social liberal voice on the FE in the last 2 years and I'd like to continue that work.

As it says in my manifesto, I'm:

  • An experienced campaigner
  • Against complacency (and there's a surprising amount of it!)
  • And I want to rebuild an inclusive, open and effective party that can carry the liberal banner forward in the coming century

Currently it feels like we’re stuck with a 1980s party in a 21st century world.

There’s a lot that’s good: the way we involve our members when others don’t being the most obvious one. But there’s a lot that needs fixing.

james sandbach for fpc

I'm a classical policy wonk - that's to say I've spend much of my career in professional policy roles - mostly from a civil society perspective, so I believe I have something useful to bring to the FPC table.  

I've worked for MPs & NGOs and served on several party policy working groups from the ageing society, to equalities, justice and consumer affairs, proposed motions at Conference and been active in party groups such a SLF as an Exec member, the Lib Dem Lawyers Association, and Centreforum (as Company Secretary). Mostly I've worked in the charities and legal sectors and held different roles in advice, disabilities and mental health charities including Mind and Citizens Advice, and have written countless policy and research reports. Occasionally my work has been effective in changing government policy nationally, including achieving regulation of predatory Claims management companies and aggressive bailiffs, extending protection against disability discrimination, and improved funding for community advice and legal aid services - an issue which I'm known for campaigning on. 

chris white for fe

My agenda for reform:

  • restore the role of the Federal Executive as the Party's executive body, with responsibility for party strategy and senior appointments
  • continue to remind the campaigns team that there are local elections as well as national elections next year
  • protect ALDC as the Party's core campaigning arm
  • after the 2015 elections, institute a thorough review of governance: this is distinct from a review of the party's constitution, which will also be necessary given the radical change in our size since we were formed in 1988
  • drive through the cultural changes needed in the light of Morrissey
  • open up the Party's committees so that members can see - so far as is practicable - what its representatives get up to.

Please give me first preference to make sure this happens.

David Hall-Matthews for FE, FPC and IRC

David Hall-Matthews - The strong Social Liberal voice that our party NEEDS.

Fellow Social Liberals,

This is a critical time for the Liberal Democrats. Decisions taken on strategy, tactics, structure and policy in the next year will determine the future of our party. What to we want to be? What our unchangeable core values? To whom do we want to appeal? How successful can we aim to be, locally, regionally and nationally? Do we have the resources and capacity to achieve our goals?

It is no secret that there are a range of different views on where we should be trying to go next, how to do it and what we need to do now to rebuild our base.

sian reid for fe

Julian Huppert MP says about Sian:

'Sian would be terrific on Federal Executive. She is clear and forward thinking - just what we need'.

Three reasons to vote for Sian


Members should all feel able to influence policy, shape the party and hold it to account. This needs open, accountable and clear party structures and debates. 

Sian has spoken on One Member One Vote at party conference in 2014 and she has campaigned for a greater say by members in how we select our peers. 

We need more members, and greater diversity of members to reflect the diversity of the UK.   We must support members across the UK in campaigning and gaining political ground, on good messages. 

Mary Reid for FCC

Only a tiny percentage of members actually attend conference. How do we encourage more people to get involved? 

I think we should be working with EMLD, LGBT+ , LDDA and LDW to raise attendance and increase participation in all aspects of the conference by a more diverse range of members. 

And why not use technical solutions to include people who cannot physically be present? We could use satellite venues, or allow members to contribute to debates through phone and video links, and to vote online.

rebecca taylor for fpc

I am a candidate for Federal Policy Committee. It's the first time I stand for any federal committee and I am only standing for FPC. I also don't hold any party office so if elected to FPC that would be my priority (after on the ground campaigning to make sure MPs and councillors are re-elected). 

sal brinton for president

The SLF reached out to each of the Presidential candidates with the same set of questions. The answers below are from Sal Brinton.

If I am elected President, my own personal policy views on matters must be put to one side, because the President is there as the spokesperson for the party, and the policy voted on by the members.

Q1) Please give three examples of where you have supported SLF


1. The Liberal party and now the Lib Dems have always had a wide policy perspective, and the SLF is an important opinion forming group, willing to stand up and challenge any threat of the party moving to the right.  The work that the SLF did in pushing forward changes to the Health and Social Care Bill in 2011, persuading our senior politicians to get the Tories to moderate Andrew  Lansley's worst excesses was exceptional, and gave us some good wins in the Bill, including Health and Wellbeing Boards, and the stronger involvement of local authorities in delivering public health, are core to our beliefs in a national Health service.  I was also supportive of the move to prevent secret courts, and welcomed the strong SLF opposition to it. I rebelled in the Lords on it. Thirdly, I supported Kelly-Marie Blundell's motion on welfare reform - one of the things that the party has hated. Specifically, the part to eradicate the Bedroom Tax, echoed by Andrew George's Bill, I was keen to support, and did so from when it first came to FCC in July.

liz lynne for president

The SLF reached out to each of the Presidential candidates with the same set of questions. The answers below are from Liz Lynne.

Q1) Please give three examples of where you have supported SLF


Welfare Reform motion, Food Poverty motion and opposition to nuclear power.

Q2) Did you support SLF's campaigns at Conferences such as those on the NHS Bill and on the economy? 

I welcomed Shirley Williams reforms on the NHS Bill but they did not go far enough. I support many aspects of the economic reforms put forward by SLF particularly on the need to rebalance the economy and the emphasis on apprenticeships as the way forward as well as investing in large infrastructure projects in order to create jobs. 


daisy cooper for president

The SLF reached out to each of the Presidential candidates with the same set of questions. The answers below are from Daisy Cooper.

Q1) Please give three examples of where you have supported SLF

1. Advocated SLF ideas. As a member of the Federal Executive, I advocated the recommendations of the SLF publication entitled ‘Party policy-making in Coalition - a review’ during a consultation with the FE by Danny Alexander on 'lessons from the coalition'. I suggested that Ministers should consult more widely with policy experts within the party - and elected representatives (Mayors, councillors) at all levels before agreeing to compromises that conflict with existing party policy. (More specifically I suggested asking for a small sum of money from the JRRT to do a case study on how Steve Webb had done this on pension reforms.)

gareth epps for fpc and fcc

Keep an active radical voice on FPC 

There is a job to be done to complete the Manifesto, explaining - or creating! - the Party’s vision in the process.  There is another job to start to restate core values which the Party seems to some to have lost.

Unfortunately Party secrecy rules prevent me from saying what, I have worked closely through the Manifesto Group as well as FPC to try and ensure policies that are identifiably Liberal.

My record over some 17 years shows that I’m not a shrinking violet when the Party gets it wrong!

I understand what FPC can and can’t do, and will actively ensure it stays true to our values.  In

particular I will push for an overall package to balance the books that doesn’t affect the most

vulnerable more than our 2010 manifesto would.  I will also continue to press for the party to develop policy on welfare in line with Liberal values, the first time FPC will have done this since 1998.

I will stand up for sustainable radical and social Liberal ideas. Even with fewer resources, we need to get a clear message across about what we’re for.  That means much better internal party discussion from FPC, and with our backbench teams whose work remains largely unsung and whose role remains vital.

David Grace for FPC

“As a party we are proud of our internal democracy and are always boasting about it. Our policies are (mostly) decided by conference but how much do you as a member feel involved? Conference edits policy but FPC’s working groups write it. Do you know how these groups are set up ? How to take part in them or influence their work? Most people on them live and work within the M25. I am determined that after the General Election we will develop a policy process that is open and transparent to all members, that involves local and regional parties and is not restricted to the few who have the time and the money to take part now. We must reform the process to represent the experience and diversity of our party across the UK. ”

Theo Butt Philip for FPC

This election matters. The committee you elect will sign-off the manifesto for the next General Election and will need to begin a radical review of policy I the 18 months after May 2015. The platform we fight the next election on must be based on the decision conference has made. After the General Election, we need to work to develop a fresh set of LIBERAL and RADICAL policies, shaped by Liberal Democrat values, not coalition compromises.

Social Justice – we need to articulate a truly Liberal welfare policy. Too much deficit-reduction has fallen on those who can least afford it. Taxation needs to be reformed to protect the poorest workers, this includes NI reform, not just income tax cuts. We must make more progress on the taxation of land. We must champion opportunity for all regardless of background and work to ensure educational opportunity is not stifled by economic hardship.

Josh Dixon for FE

Who am I? 

I joined the party back in 2009 and have since become an engaged activist, Chairing my local party in Hillingdon and standing in the local elections. I am a member of the Social Liberal Forum, LGBT+ Lib Dems and Liberal Youth. I have spoken at conferences on issues ranging from supporting free education to demanding a fairer approach to welfare.

My platform

The main reason I chose to stand for the FE in this election is because I fundamentally believe our party needs to put the voices of young members at the heart of everything we do. There is so much untapped talent in the membership and I want to be the person to speak up for them and ensure their voices are heard loud and clear.

But my candidacy is about far more than simply flying the flag for young people. I also firmly believe that we need more radical voices to shake things up and to challenge the party hierarchy. I will use my position to push for a progressive agenda that puts social justice at the heart of what the party campaigns on to help build a winning strategy for 2015 and beyond. 

Seth Thévoz for FE

An effective voice for a liberal and principled Federal Executive


The FE remains the most effective handbrake on the leadership as long as this coalition lasts. Conference can be over-ruled, the FE can’t. As we enter the critical last few months of this Parliament, your vote for the FE will decide how strong and principled our approach to the coalition is.

The Rennard saga has shown a worrying lack of due process in the party, particularly in exposing unsafe environments for women. I fully support Tim Farron’s work in trying to make this party the “gold standard” as an equal opportunities employer. But we still have a long way to go. This is not something to brush under the carpet, it needs to be tackled head-on. As a Liberal and a feminist, I feel passionately about issues of sexual harassment and gender equality in the workplace.

katherine bavage for fpc

Give me your first preference if you think:

  • Party policy debate has to engage more with online privacy and surveillance issues in a party where 4 months after conference passes a motion endorsing a digital bill of rights, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act can pass into law

  • Its time conference had debates about the Big Data, Open Source, Free licensing, the digital economy or technology strategy as central to its social and economic policies - not boxed away as ‘that techy stuff’

  • If you share my belief that new technologies and digital participation are going to be crucial to delivering social justice and liberal values

  • If you think we need to invest more in researching and shaping how liberal values can be enshrined or undermined by how we approach the increasingly central role of technology in our political and public life