Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

IAM Running for the Liberal [...]

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

IAM Running for the Liberal [...]

Article excerpt


IAM running for the Liberal Democrat leadership because I believe this is a critical moment for our party and that our country needs a liberal voice.

The General Election was won by the politics of fear. But I believe that people are essentially good: the role of government is to set people free and provide them with the skills and support they need to succeed.

The North East has always been a hotbed of liberalism. My political hero and 1940s Berwick MP William Beveridge once wrote, 'Liberalism is a faith, not a formula'. For me, Liberalism has always been about much more than policies and manifestos - about more, even, than campaigns and Focus leaflets!

For me it's about values, ideas and achievements. I think liberal values have delivered, and will again make a massive difference for places like Northumberland, Newcastle and Gateshead. They will make people's lives better and will deliver real, long lasting and positive change.

But the results in May were a real blow to many fantastic and hardworking liberals throughout the North East, many of whom I know personally from my time at Newcastle University. My heart went out to every single one of them.

We need to rebuild trust and work to show that we can deliver from council chamber to parliament. I am running to be leader of the Liberal Democrats because I believe the North East will play a key role in the resurgence of our party and because I believe I am the person best placed to deliver that revival.

I have said that I want to regain Newcastle City Council and I would, if elected leader, make this a top priority.

I will also work tirelessly to win back Berwick for the Lib Dems in 2020.

Winning matters - it allows you to make a difference and change people's lives. To not be the 'lobby fodder' of the other parties, just another MP to get their party victories or legislation passed, but instead a real clarion voice - standing up for what is right and just. …

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