Dorothy Thornhill to chair Liberal Democrat elections review

Dorothy Thornhill - photo courtesy of the Liberal Democrats

Here’s what I wrote yesterday for the party’s website following our Federal Board meeting:

The Board has commissioned a review into both the General election and the European elections.

This review will be run independently of those who ran the elections, with a panel of experts who have a broad range of skills from knowing about grassroots election campaigns through to understanding what the very best decision-making processes in organisations look like.

The Chair is Dorothy Thornhill, who was the elected Mayor of Watford for 16 years, leading a successful turnaround of the council’s administration and quality of services, and was made a Liberal Democrat Peer in 2015.

Watch out for more news soon about how they will be consulting further and there will be many more opportunities for people at all levels to contribute to the review.

Dorothy brings three excellent benefits in particular to the role as chair – she understands campaigning, she understands improving organisations and she wasn’t involved in the running of the general and European elections.

The second of those is particularly important as we need the review not only to look at whether particular decisions were right or not but also at whether the processes that led to decisions and the processes that then (tried to) implement them were right.

More news too shortly about the rest of the review panel. There are a couple of points to sort first following the Board’s discussion.

4 responses to “Dorothy Thornhill to chair Liberal Democrat elections review”

  1. Dear Mark. I am a former President & Chair of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. It is good to see you setting up a formal review if the General Election campaign, and that the review will have a necessary element of independence. May I ask how the federal nature of the Party, and the distinct political contexts of the nations of the U.K. will be accommodated in the review. This needs to happen if the review is to be effective and that lessons are learned. Best wishes, Rob Humphreys

    • Yes, it’s important that the review understands those issues and the impact they can/should have on campaigning. The panel will include people from both Scotland and Wales, which will help ensure that it has that understanding (plus of course some people from England know about this too – but I appreciate that’s not the same as having the direct first-hand experience from the other two nations).

  2. This is welcomed and agree with Rob Humphreys, a Welsh perspective is important. In the Euros we had great support. The Welsh context with Plaid Cymru has to be considered as well as understanding the context of language and culture. These can only be assessed from a Welsh perspective. Will members be able to see the terms of reference of the review in full?

  3. My comment is not about the strategic errors in the General Election but about process. How did we come to make the mistakes (our MPs agreeing to an election, Revoke, the focus on Jo) that are now widely acknowledged? Why the ‘Kool Aid’ group think at critical moments? Why the woeful targeting of seats? Who took the critical decisions and how?

    Where is the leadership team with the experience and nous to make sensible decisions when things get hot?

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