Sal Brinton, President-elect of the Liberal Democrats, message to members

I am honoured to have been elected as your next President and know that following Tim Farron will be a very hard act to follow.

I want to thank Liz Lynne and Daisy Cooper for being such amazing co-candidates. We did 14 hustings together, from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth, and from Newcastle to Exeter, organised by state, regional and local parties, as well as one with the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats. We also visited many local parties, whether for canvassing, socials or AGMs. We got to know each other very well, and I am looking forward to working with them in the future. I also want to thank Candy Piercy and my team who ran my campaign so brilliantly.

The next year is going to be very challenging for the Liberal Democrats. Our first priority must be to run the best campaign we possibly can for 7 May next year. We need to return as many MPs and Councillors to ensure our voice is heard both in Westminster and local areas and we know it will not be easy. But all the evidence shows that our MPs are liked and supported in their seats much more than any national poll indicates, so we have a strong base to build on. Please help me and them as much as you can.

Our Councillors represent the real grassroots campaigning in every local area – just what we stand for as Liberal Democrats. I was delighted today to go to the Association of Liberal Democrats Councillors Kickstart Weekend held in Birmingham for our candidates and their teams. I was very encouraged by their energy and commitment, and preparation for next year. Our local party championing has revived our party in the past. We can and will do it again.

During my campaign I spoke about the need to reform the party, the constitution and some of our processes which are no longer fit for a 21st Century party. Although I don’t take up my office until 1 January, I will be putting in the groundwork now so that the new Federal Executive and the State Parties can work with me to act on the most urgent things as soon as possible, and also set the review in motion as soon as practical after the election. I am absolutely certain that members must be fully involved in this from the start, so please respond with your views when we ask.

This year is the fortieth anniversary of my joining the Liberal party. All the principles that the party stood for then are as relevant now. The Preamble to our Party Constitution says we “exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.”

My role as your president will be to continue our fight to make this happen, and to hold the party in trust for, and with you the members.

Yours sincerely,

Sal

Sal Brinton

Action Day Yardley — Saturday 29 November

Starts 10am till 4pm. Running from 1772 Coventry Rd, B26 1PB. Phone 0121 722 3417. Hot breakfast sarnies will arrive 9 30ish. Lunch available around 1pm. Usual activity delivery all day with phone canvass available after 1pm. Plenty of opportunity for activists to have a natter.

New members’ code of conduct

As we continue to implement the recommendations from Helena Morrissey, I am delighted to present the Members’ Code of Conduct which applies to all members of the party. The Members’ Code of Conduct sets out members’ rights and responsibilities. Its aim is to remind members of their rights under the constitution and also their responsibilities to each other. The Members’ Code of Conduct reflects the ambitions of the constitutional preamble and incorporates the change in the standing orders to take into account Morrissey recommendation 1.

Click here to download the Members’ Code of Conduct

Together we can challenge those who act against our values and the spirit of the code and support those who are role models. Together we can ensure the best in ourselves to be the party we want to be.

Peter Ellis

Chair of the English Party

Ayoub Khan for Police and Crime Commissioner

Ayoub-Khan-Jul 19 2014-22Ayoub Khan has accepted the Liberal Democrat nomination for Police and Crime Commission Candidate for the West Midlands.

Ayoub writes:

We have a problem in the West Midlands. Crime is falling, but people feel less safe than ever. We need faster police response times. We need better crime prevention, and we need reassurance.

It was in 2003 that I came face to face with the true impact of crime.

I heard a loud bang and rushed out of my house. Not fifty yards away, a man had collapsed, bleeding from gunshot wounds. The gunmen were still around, but, as I had some first aid training, I knew what I had to do.

I have nothing but praise for the emergency services that day — ambulance, police, and the NHS. I just kept him alive — it was they who saved his life.

Some people call me a hero, but I just did what anyone would do: responded to the need.

I grew up in Birmingham, and I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve dedicated myself to serving West Midlands people. My kids go to local schools. I know this place and I am proud of it. I’m not a career politician, though I have been an elected councillor and I’ve served on the Police Authority. I’m also a practising Barrister.

The police are there every day serving and protecting us. They respond to every need, in good weather or bad, when it’s dangerous, when people don’t want to help.

Elect me, and I will work tirelessly with them, for you. I’ll be there to tell the police when I think they’re wrong, and I’ll be listening when they tell me otherwise.

Together, we can make policing in the West Midlands better for you, your family, your friends and your community.

 

Prepared by M. Yaseen, election agent, Liberal Democrats, 23 Willes Road, Birmingham, B18 4PZ.

Ayoub Khan selected to fight Police and Crime Commissioner by-election

Ayoub-Khan-Jul 19 2014-19Birmingham barrister Ayoub Khan will fight the Police and Crime Commissioner by-election for the Liberal Democrats on 21 August. The election was caused by the sad death of Bob Jones on 1 July.

Khan, who administered first aid to a gun-shot victim fifty yards from his house in 2002, was called to the bar in 2005. He was a Birmingham City Councillor 2003-2012, and stood against Clare Short for Ladywood constituency in 2005, and also in 2010. He holds a degree in chemistry and a masters in engineering from the University of Birmingham, in addition to his law degree from Birmingham City University. He is married and has six children, including twin boys. All attend local schools.

Ayoub Khan said today: “We have a problem in the West Midlands. Crime is falling, but people feel less safe than ever. We need faster police response times. We need better crime prevention, and we need reassurance.
“I grew up in Birmingham, and I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve dedicated myself to serving West Midlands people, through the courts, and as an elected representative.”
Martin Turner, chair of West Midlands Liberal Democrats, said today: “Ayoub is a local hero who saved a man’s life, and risked his own doing it. Anyone can talk about crime, but it’s another thing to run to a man’s rescue with gunmen still at the scene.”

Phil Bennion co-opted as Vice Chair, Rural

Bangladesh political situation [SEMINAR]
Bangladesh political situation [SEMINAR] (Photo credit: ALDEADLE Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for EU)
Phil Bennion was co-opted as Vice Chair, Rural, on 14 June 2014, to serve until the end of the year. Phil joins a Vice Chair’s team of Jonathan Webber (Strategy) and Cllr Paul Tilsley, CBE, as Vice Chair (Urban).

Chair’s update

Democracy works
We saw the results of the recent elections coming a long way off, but it was no less a shock to the system when they arrived.
So perhaps we missed something which is so ingrained in our way of life that it is almost invisible.
I think most of us would agree that 65% of voters made the wrong choice: they stayed at home, and did not vote. One woman said to me on the phone that she didn’t understand the Euro elections, so wouldn’t be voting. A couple said on the doors that they were angry with the whole lot of us, and wouldn’t be voting, but if they did vote, they would be voting UKIP. I didn’t press the point about the importance of voting. Perhaps I should have done.
The truth is that the results of the election were decided by the 35% of people who did vote. From the beginning of June, new MEPs will replace the ones we had. True, if they stick to form, the newly elected UKIP MEPs won’t actually do anything except collect their expenses. Britain has lost a proportion of its seats at the table, because the people who have been elected to fill them won’t turn up.
And yet, and yet. Nobody called out the armed forces, no regions have seceded, no emergency laws have been passed to call the results into question. It was a dreadful night for us, and a pretty bad week for the Tories as well, if you take their local election results into account. And yet, as the ruling coalition, we have not declared the results invalid, nor had our opponents arrested.
Britain’s democracy functions because, over centuries, people like us have constantly and persistently made the case that it should.
We are — quite rightly — incensed because democracy has taken a strongly illiberal turn. True, 70% of those who voted in the European elections, more or less, did not vote for racist or xenophobic parties. Nonetheless, the national discourse has moved from ‘what can we do help everyone?’, to ‘how much is a minority to blame?’
It’s just under 11 months to the General Election. In that time, it is for we who are not just democrats but liberal democrats to swing the debate back to the centre ground. We must get into newspapers, onto radio and television, to make the case in the high streets and market places, on Facebook, Twitter, in pubs and village halls. The fruit of what we do is only partly in election results. A greater part is in the influence we have on the hearts and minds of our region’s people. For that, every parliamentary seat counts, and every local election campaign.
The next task is at our door. It is time to open it.

The regional party for Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Stoke on Trent, Telford & Wrekin, Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry, Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Walsall