I wanted you to be among the first to know about a decision I’ve made to resign as Director of Campaigns & Elections.
Working at the Liberal Democrats is a tremendous privilege but the time comes for everyone at some stage to consider what they want to do next. We’ve had some tough times and also some truly fantastic moments over these last few years – from winning by-elections in Richmond Park and Brecon & Radnorshire to delaying Brexit several times and to those amazing local and European election results last May.
It’s been nearly 4 years since I got the job of Director of Campaigns & Elections. It’s slightly bizarre to think that at that time when I started, 3 days before the EU Referendum, my key objective was to build our campaigning towards a May 2020 General Election!
Despite our General Election disappointment, we stand today with our biggest ever membership, our party finances are in good order and we are rebuilding our local government base – which is key to our long-term success. 3.7million people voted Lib Dem in December and with a diverse parliamentary party, that’s is a strong platform for our new leader to build on. We should all be proud of what we have achieved.
At the end of all of this, I’m most proud to have worked with some fantastic colleagues and played my part in building up the party from its low point after the 2015 General Election and the 2016 Referendum.
At this stage of the election cycle, it is natural to think about your long-term future and the future of the party. Four years is a long time in this role, a role that requires energy and commitment way beyond that of a 9-5 job. When Mike came to me earlier this year to discuss the long-term strategy of the Party, I recognised that I could not envisage playing a long-term role in helping him realise that vision.
I’m sad I’m not going to be around for the next stage of the party’s rebuild but also optimistic about its future and I know you will all play a key part in delivering its success.
I’m particularly sad to be leaving so many friends and brilliant people across the staff, candidates, elected representatives and voluntary party. It has been a privilege to work with you all and I wish everyone the very best and would like to say thank you for the way everyone has treated me over these last few years.
As I look at British politics today, there is a huge role for the Liberal Democrats to play in the coming years – keeping the UK together, standing up against a right-wing authoritarian government and standing up for people with liberal values across our country.
It’s a cause I still believe passionately in and I look forward to supporting you all in that battle.
Thank you for all you’ve done Shaun, and best of luck for what comes next.
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