Enhancing our equalities work: proposed Lib Dem Vice President changes

Coming up at the Lib Dem spring conference is a motion from the Federal Board to enhance the role of Vice President “responsible for working with BaME communities”.

Isabelle Parasram, who was re-elected to this role last year, explains the reasoning behind the proposal:

I hope that you’ll join me this Friday 19th March in the evening as I propose reforms to my role as Party Vice President via Motion F9.

My role was created as a result of The Alderdice Review, followed by the hard work of the Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality, Sal Brinton and the Federal Board in ensuring that Lord Alderdice’s recommendation on it came to fruition.

The work that I do centres around championing diversity within the party with a specific focus on race equality. For example, in recent weeks, I have co-presented briefings to some of our Parliamentarians on the impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minority communities, spoken to Cambridge University students, primary school students and a national Conference of faith leaders on my journey into politics and chaired a round table with Ed Davey of key influencers from different sectors of society.

I was first elected to this role in 2019 and then, again, in 2020. One of the proposals I am making at Spring Conference is that my role is elected, not just by the Federal Board, but by the wider party membership as a whole.

I have 4 reasons for seeking that:
1. It is congruent with the election of other senior party roles
2. It raises awareness of the role
3. It gives the office holder a clear mandate
4. It is more democratic

I’d be keen to hear your views, so, please follow me on Twitter at @isabelleparasra, send in a speaker’s card to join the debate and watch this video to find out more:

To add to Isabelle’s third and fourth points, currently the role is elected by the Federal Board. Switching to having members elect the role would be a useful extension of internal democracy.

If you’re coming to conference (still time to register here) I hope you’ll attend this debate and vote in favour of enhancing this important party role.

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