Why I’m running for Party President

Liberal Democrat Voice has run the following piece from me about the Liberal Democrat Party President election…

I eat tofu. I listen to podcasts. I’ve appeared on the BBC. I read The Guardian. I live in north London. Both my parents were immigrants. 

It’s a good thing that Conservative Home Secretaries and Prime Ministers don’t get a vote in our internal elections, as I’m really not the sort of person they like.

And they certainly don’t share my politics… because I want our country to be more liberal, more tolerant, more inclusive, and at the heart of Europe. The more Liberal Democrat policies we get enacted, the better people’s lives are. 

To achieve that, we need to get our strategy and organisation right. We have to have more MPs, more Mayors, more MSPs and MSs, more London Assembly members, more councillors and our first Police and Crime Commissioners.

Since taking up post as President in January 2020, we’ve made real progress implementing the lessons from the independent election review of the 2019 general election. We’ve strengthened our campaign staff, steadied our finances and improved our governance. We’ve focused on reaching diverse groups, engaging our members, and modernising our technology so we can do better in getting our messages across.

We’re winning again at local elections and by-elections – and I’m delighted that by-election winners Helen Morgan and Richard Foord are backing my campaign. 

But we must keep making progress if we want to win more seats and put Liberal Democrat values into practice. 

If you re-elect me, I’ll stay 100% focused on the job of President, continuing to make it my only role in the party. 

The 2019 general election review found we hadn’t properly implemented previous election debriefs. That review found that the roles of President, Leader and Chief Executive were muddled, leading to poor decision-making, with disastrous results. 

The President’s role is to focus on the long-term challenges, to listen to members and to get our party fit for the next general election, for winning at local elections, in Scotland and Wales, on the London Assembly, and in Police Commissioner and Mayor elections. 

I am not running to be our face in the media – that’s for our Leaders, Ed Davey in Westminster, Alex Cole-Hamilton in Scotland and Jane Dodds in Wales – and for our elected public office holders. And I am not running to set our policy – members decide our policies via Conference, supported by our Federal Policy Committee and working groups that any member can join. 

I am running to make sure we have the right strategy and organisation to help more Lib Dems win – a different job from either our Leader or our CEO – because that’s the big lesson from 2019.

And I am running so I can keep listening to members and making sure their voice is heard when it comes to the big decisions – somethingI’ve been doing since you elected me three years ago, and thatI’ll keep doing if you re-elect me. 

I’m proud of my track record over the past three years. Proud of the new Stellar Programme for PPCs from ethnic minority backgrounds. Proud of standing up for and investing in our staff. Proud of our great by-election wins and showing Boris Johnson the door! 

But there’s so much more to do.  If you re-elect me, this will be my only role in the Party – focused 100% on the long-term changes that will keep the party winning at all levels.  I’ll be focused on:      

  • More campaign support for our grassroots – to win more target wards, councils and constituencies 
  • Improving diversity and inclusion – including making this a responsibility of the full Federal Board 
  • Continuing investment in data and tools, and in supporting and developing all our staff
  • Growing and engaging our members and supporters, and doing more for candidates at every level. 

PPCs, Council Group Leaders, MPs and Chairs of Party Bodies are backing my campaign because they know I’m the candidate that will help them win:

You can find out more about my campaign at markpack.org.uk/president or email me on mark.pack@libdemnewswire.com.  

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