The Liberal Democrats believe in creating a fairer society - a society that is fairer for everyone, regardless of background, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other part of an individual's identity. Having an open, diverse and inclusive culture within the Party is a vital part of achieving this aim.
Members and Staff
Our organisation welcomes and encourages diversity within our membership and staff. Our aim is that our membership will be truly representative of all sections of society and each member feels able to contribute and participate in whatever way they wish to. We are therefore committed to being inclusive in all aspects of the work that we do, whether that is formulating policy, organising Party conferences, providing support for candidates, or running local campaigns.
Candidates and Parliamentarians
We know that the Party needs to reflect the people that it represents, and that is why we are focused on improving the diversity of our MPs in Parliament. The Leadership Programme is a major initiative which provides long-term training, mentoring and intensive support for candidates from under-represented groups. Other successful initiatives, such as the Campaign for Gender Balance, also exist to promote balanced representation at all levels of the Party.
Communities and Regions
Liberal Democrats are local campaigners, and know the importance of connecting and engaging with all communities in their areas. Our MPs, councillors, and local parties often work alongside community representatives to address the issues which may affect them. A network of Regional Diversity Champions promote and facilitate outreach and support work across the region, and report back to the central Diversity Engagement Group.
There are a number of key organisations or groups within the Party that share or support a particular identity, interest, belief or cause, including groups for Women, Youth and Students, Ethnic Minorities, LGBT+ and many more. These are called Specified Associated Organisations (SAOs) or Associated Organisations (AOs). These bodies also play an important role in campaigning on specialist issues, media presence, and outreach with particular groups.
At the request of the Party President and the Federal Executive, Lord Alderdice will be conducting an independent inquiry into improving process and culture within the Liberal Democrats with a particular focus on race and ethnicity. The review will examine the issues and/or barriers faced by BAME members and supporters and will help the party to determine what and where the issues are and how we take action in this specific area.
Below are some of the key questions and issues the inquiry is investigating:
1. Are there barriers to participation for BAME members? If so, what and where are they?
2. Do barriers differ in different parts of the party?
3. How effective are existing mechanisms/procedures in addressing the issue?
4. Does the Party do enough to engage with BAME voters and ensure accessibility for potential BAME members?
5. What further steps should, or could, be taken by the Party to address the issues identified in this review
If you'd like to engage in the review, written evidence should continue to be sent to Lord Alderdice at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or in hard copy to:
Professor, the Lord Alderdice FRCPsych
House of Lords,
London SW1A 0PW
You can read Lord Alderdice's most recent call for evidence here.
Find Out More
To find out more about diversity in the party, please contact the Diversity and Outreach Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.