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.
Q3) What are the values of the Liberal Democrats in 2015? Are these being communicated clearly enough?
The values are the same as when I went to my first Liberal meeting when I was 11 years old. They were talking about the freedom of the individual and how every person should have the same rights as everyone else. That is why I joined the Liberals and then the Liberal Democrats because I passionately believed that we were the only party who would stand up for those freedoms. Those values are being communicated well in some areas like with our success on equal marriage but in other areas they are not. The party's stance on the bedroom tax in my view was not in line with what we say in the preamble to our constitution, that no-one should be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. I was deeply disturbed that our parliamentary party had signed up to it. All party policy should be decided by our conference and that is something I will fight to make sure that we adhere to.
Q4) How does the party need to reform?
There are many reforms that are needed but most of those should be left until after next May. Our priority has to be to win as many council seats and parliamentary seats as possible. Reforms relating to the Morrisey report have to be in place, however, as soon as possible.
After the election we need to make sure that all the constituent parts of the party are consulted about what reforms they wish to see and continue to be properly consulted on those reforms. We need to look at all the federal committees and how they relate to each other as well as looking at some of the lack of accountability of many of the ad hoc groups that have been set up. There doesn't seem to be anyone taking responsibility for having an overview of how the party structures are working in practice. The Federal Executive in my view should have that role but it appears that in a number of instances that the Federal Executive are asked to rubber stamp decisions that have already been taken. One of the glaring problems the party has is lack of transparency and that has to be addressed by making the minutes of federal committee meetings available to members.