Political

Sunday at Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton

What comes after Saturday at Lib Dem conference? Sunday, of course. Which was also the day I got to meet Ian Kearns, who gave a barnstormer of a speech on Friday about joining the Lib Dems from Labour. You can watch his speech in full here.

Today also saw the best conference photograph I’ve seen in a very long time:
Phil Reilly photo from Lib Dem conference

This photo was though given a close run by:
Top secret meeting sign at Lib Dem conference in Brighton

In the background of Phil Reilly’s photograph is Deputy Leader Jo Swinson, who gave a very well-received and wide-ranging speech:

Jo Swinson’s speech went well beyond her theoretical party brief. Almost like there might be a party leadership election coming round some time…

Assuming that Vince Cable’s promise to stay as leader until Brexit is resolved is not taken literally (i.e. 2047), then it is quite likely that this is the party’s last autumn conference before a leadership contest. There has been rather less speculation about the next leader at this conference than you might therefore expect, with even that breadth of Jo Swinson’s speech not drawing that much comment.

What speculation there has been, has also been almost completely united on one point: there is no expectation that Gina Miller will try to be Lib Dem leader, there is no expectation that she will be Lib Dem leader and there is much expectation that the media will nonetheless continue to speculate about it.

Mental health was one of the policy areas up for debate today:

The immigration policy paper, with some significant amendments, was passed. The final vote in its favour was very clear:

With one close vote the party’s foreign policy paper was passed:

There was also some less exciting business:

Plus by the sounds of it some brilliant chairing by Tom Brake (who obviously didn’t read my memo):

And finally, Sunder Katwala posted a must-read thread on what the Liberal Democrats should do to improve our diversity. One part, in particular, struck me:

(For more on Sunder’s views, see Lib Dem Newswire #77.)

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