As December arrives with all its seasonal joy and mayhem, my time as President of the Liberal Democrats is coming to a close. Beginning January 1st, the presidency of our party will be placed in the skilled hands of Sal Brinton. I wish to extend a big congratulations to Sal, and I look forward to seeing how she continues to strengthen the party as she takes up the reins. Well done, Sal!
I also want to pay tribute to Liz Lynne and Daisy Cooper. They have both run campaigns which have done the party proud.
Reflecting on my time as President of the Liberal Democrats, I can’t help but feel thankful for the opportunities the past four years have given me. I’ve had the privilege of working on the issues most important to both the party and myself. While the decisions I have had to make have not always been easy, I have continuously attempted to represent the true core of the Liberal Democrat agenda. I hope that I have truthfully embodied the Party’s ideals.
In my post from November, I wrote to thank you, our councillors and members. As I prepare to step down from my post as President, I want to continue to reinforce my gratitude for all that you have done to support both the party and me personally in the last four years. From going into communities to campaign for the party to voicing support and opinions through letters and emails, you have been encouraging me and holding me to account throughout my time as President.
I want to let you know that the end of my presidency does not mark the end of my fight to ensure that our party continues to represent you, our members, on the causes you believe to be most important.
In line with ensuring this commitment, on 25 November, I went along to support Maajid Nawaz, our parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, where I addressed a group of local activists in North-West London. I wanted to focus on our Party’s commitment to tackling the affordable housing shortage. In many ways, the local issues in London are strikingly similar to my own constituency – dwindling social housing stock and astronomically high house prices. People often assume that “that’s just how it is if you want to live here.” But the tragedy is that politicians can choose to do something about this – they just often don’t.
Maajid and I spoke about Labour’s failure to build enough affordable homes in a council-owned site on Liddell Road. Labour plan to build mostly expensive properties that will be out of reach for most people. I reaffirmed the ambition of our party to ensure that our housing market works for everybody, not just for investors. I will continue to work on the issue of affordable housing. It cannot be right that nurses, teachers, scientists and a host of people who make London great can’t afford to buy a home.
Addressing issues such as the housing crisis will remain a priority for me as I move beyond my time as president of the Party. I will continue to work diligently as one of your representatives in Parliament to ensure that your voice is heard at the top levels of government and to provide a powerful voice for our party on the national stage as we seek to win the fight of our lives over these next few months. Thank you so much for your incredible support these last four years.
Thank you so much for being so positive and inspirational when we needed it most