Friday, 17 September 2010

Tim Farron MP for Lib Dem President

I've read yesterday that Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland & Lonsdale is to stand for the Presidency of the Liberal Democrats.

This follows the announcement by current President Ros Scott that she intends to stand down at the end of her 2 year term. This came as a great surprise as Ros has been a particularly popular President and as she would probably have been re-elected unopposed had she have stood. She'll be a particularly tough act to follow.

The choice of Ros' successor couldn't be more important. At a time when the party is being tested from all sides about being in government, as Ros herself put it, we need "a strong media performer and tough campaigner".

The Candidates?
I gather that former MP Susan Kramer is putting her name forward. There's also talk and much support for former MP Evan Harris. Both would make excellent Presidents but I believe Tim Farron is our best bet.

I don't subscribe to this argument that the new President must come from the rank-and-file membership. Firstly and above all, we need a passionate, articulate President who can positively lead the party against the attacks that will be thrown at us by the media.

We need a competent media operator and campaigner who can enthuse our troops and take the message out around the party and beyond.

President Tim Farron
Tim is our man. He's been an activist within the party and the original Liberal Party since his teens and is a liberal to the core. He's also more than adept at handling the media and I feel that this is an absolute prerequisite for any candidate for the post at this time.

He's also very popular - and rightly too. Not only has he increased his majority in a constituency that had been Tory Blue for 99 years from 200+ to 12,000+ (even managing to out-gun ourselves in Ceredigion!) but he's actually, just a bloody nice guy.

He's not of the 'Westminster Bubble'. He's very much his own man and I can tell you now, a week before the event, that he will be wearing his Blackburn Rovers top in the bar on the final night of conference in the run-up to Glee Club because it's what he does!

The best man to replace the fantastic Baroness Scott of Needham Market as our Party President, is undoubtedly, Tim Farron.

I won't be backward in coming forward this weekend in Liverpool in telling those who ask me who I'll be backing.

I'm backing Tim!


  1. Hi Mark,

    Firstly, great to see you back in the blogosphere!

    Secondly, whilst I don't dispute Tim's excellent qualifications as you have outlined, do you not think that being an MP is a full-time occupation (even more than 9-5 Mon-Fri), which Tim must be doing very well to be as popular as he is in his constituency?

    I would echo the concerns I have seen from other members that the post of President is unpaid, and so therefore only really open to those with additional incomes. What are your thoughts on this?

    John Thornton

    PS: Your manifesto arrived in the post this morning - great stuff!

  2. Hi John, the unpaid part I think is pretty relevant. It can preclude those who are unable to take the financial strains from standing.

    All the same, Simon and Charles have been Party Presidents in the past having been MPs at the time and Tim's work-rate I feel will enable him to continue with the work of MP whilst also undertaking Presidential responsibilities.