Tim Farron has set about ending the Liberal Democrats’ lack diversity at the top of the party – by naming the most diverse shadow cabinet team in the party’s history to lead the party’s fightback.
The new Lib Dem leader announced a spokesperson team including 12 women and 10 men to lead the fight back against the Tory government. Tim also chose a team from both inside Parliament and out, from across the United Kingdom, and from people who served in Government and those who didn’t.
On making the announcement Tim said: “I am delighted to be able to announce my team of party spokespeople. The team I am announcing today is the Liberal voice that Britain desperately needs. It features some of the best campaigners that the party has, balanced with the experience and economic credibility that our party has developed over the last five years in government.
“It was important to me to be able to call on the advice and experience of people at all levels of our party and I believe we have an excellent team to lead the Lib Dem fight back. Together, we will take our ideas, our values and our liberal messages to every corner of Britain. We will make the case for housing, immigration, Europe, environmentalism and human rights.”
The full spokesperson team is:
Leader: Tim Farron MP Economics: Baroness Susan Kramer Foreign Affairs/Chief Whip/Leader of the house: Tom Brake MP Defence: Baroness Judith Jolly Home Affairs: Alistair Carmichael MP Health: Norman Lamb MP Education: John Pugh MP Work and Pensions: Baroness Zahida Manzoor Business: Lorely Burt Energy and Climate Change: Lynne Featherstone Local Government: Mayor of Watford, Cllr Dorothy Thornhill Transport: Baroness Jenny Randerson Environment and Rural Affairs: Baroness Kate Parminter International Development: Baroness Lindsay Northover Culture Media and Sport: Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter Equalities: Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece Justice/Attorney General: Lord Jonathan Marks Northern Ireland: Lord John Alderdice Scotland: Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Wales: Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Campaigns Chair: Greg Mulholland MP Grassroots Campaigns: Cllr Tim Pickstone, Chief Executive of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors
Tameside Lib Dems have welcomed the election of Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Tim Farron said that under his leadership, the party would oppose the cuts to tax credits and other benefits in the Conservative’s budget and push for greater spending on infrastructure such as transport and broadband.
At his first speech as leader, Tim said “If you care about human rights join us. If you think you shouldn’t have your emails snooped on join us. If you think everyone deserves a decent home join us.” You can watch Tim’s inspirational speech here.
Carly Hicks, who stood for the Lib Dems in Ashton-under-Lyne in May, said, “These principles are at the heart of what drives the Liberal Democrats, our members and activists. More than ever Britain needs a party that will stand up for what we believe in, so we’re continuing our fightback and I’m asking local residents to be part of it.”
There has never been a more important time to join the party.
Across the Country since the General Election 17,000 people have joined the party. Locally we have been joined by dozens of new activists and members this year, including a large number since it was announced that Tim Farron was elected. The Liberal Democrats have also seen stunning election victories at local council by-elections across the UK, beating both Labour and the Conservatives.
You can argue that David Cameron first showed his true colours when he told aides to cut the “green crap” two years ago, but the fact is that he had no choice but to keep the coalition’s commitments to renewable energy while the Lib Dems were in government and able to protect them.
Even in the teeth of the recession that followed the financial crisis, Lib Dems in government stayed true to our environmental priorities. As a result of joining the coalition, we were able to create the first Green Investment Bank in the western world – backing renewable energy and environmental sustainability schemes with £3 billion of financial support. There are now rumours that this bank will be privatised at some point in the coming parliament.
We also secured significant subsidies for wind farms and other renewable energy projects, and the ‘green levies’ – taxes on energy companies on the basis of their use of non-renewable energy – that provide the subsidies for those projects to get off the ground. Today’s budget removes entirely a range of tax exemptions that we had worked hard to provide in order to encourage renewable energy production – risking turning back the clock on Britain’s energy network by decades.
Liberal Democrat Party President Sal Brinton has recorded the following message for Ramadan 2015.
On behalf of the Liberal Democrats, I am delighted to send this message to Muslims in the UK and across the world who are observing the holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a time for self-reflection and sharing; of fasting and prayer. It is a time for renewing faith and strengthening the bonds between family and friends.
At this important time in the Islamic calendar, we are reminded particularly of the value of service of British Muslims, so I want to thank you all for the valuable contribution you make, across British society and beyond, both at Ramadan and throughout the whole year.
So I would like to wish everyone harmony, happiness and unity during this special time.
The Liberal Democrats are holding a leadership election this summer and we’re encouraging all members to get involved. If you want to vote or are interested finding out more, here’s how you can get involved.