Alice Thomas’s piece on Lib Dem Voice today is about one of the most important set of decisions Lib Dem members have got to make at federal party conference in a couple of weeks.
It’s about our internal processes, which definitely can sound less than exciting (!). But it is about the party’s disciplinary processes. Getting those wrong can (and has) made a massive difference to people whose lives are affected by them.
The recent and current experiences of other parties, such as the SNP, Greens and Labour, are a warning to add to our own party’s experiences of the importance of having robust, fair systems that can resolve cases in good time.
Yet as Alice wrote:
Back in 2013, Helena Morrissey produced an independent report on the processes and culture of the Liberal Democrats. This was followed by the disciplinary review by Ken Macdonald, former Director of Public Prosecutions, in 2016-17, which in turn incorporated the recommendations from a separate review of party handling of complaints of sexual impropriety by barrister Isabella Parasram.
Each of them consulted with party members with experience of the pitfalls and flaws in the existing process, and in each case they came to the same conclusion many of you have: the current disciplinary process fails people.
There’s a chance to put that right in Brighton with the new system being proposed.
So I would very much recommend other party members taking a look at Alice’s piece – and happy to try to answer any questions about the proposals. (I’m one of the Federal Board members who has been involved in drawing them up, though credit for the bulk of the hard work definitely goes to others, particularly Alice.)