Climate change, liberalism, winning. That is my pitch to be leader in four words.
As a party we have led the national debate on Brexit, and become the clear rallying point for remain voters. The result was amazing. Our best ever result in a European Election. First place in London. Beating the Conservatives in every region in the UK, and the Labour Party across the country. The Lib Dems are back in the game.
Our recent success shows the roadmap to winning again – completely owning an issue like stopping Brexit. And as Leader, stopping Brexit would be my number one priority.
But if and when we do stop Brexit we need another issue to demonstrate our Liberal values in action. In the same way we are a beacon of light for Remainers everywhere, I want us to become the rallying point for the sensible majority of the country who are rightly alarmed by the threat that the climate emergency poses to our very existence.
In Government, I championed renewable energy. We didn’t just increase its market share- we quadrupled it. But I know that we need to do so much more to tackle the climate emergency. We need to invest in communities to bring jobs and prosperity to our country as a whole, and lead the world as the first major economy to go green. We need to decarbonise capitalism.
As Leader, my approach to Brexit and Climate Change would set out our Liberal values to voters everywhere. Many of our hard-won freedoms are at risk from the likes of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. So we need to be bolder than ever on defending the Liberal values we hold so dear.
My record shows I won’t flinch from fighting for liberalism – like when I moved an amendment to abolish the Tories vile and homophobic section 28, and when we delivered same-sex marriage in Government. Seriously investing in better education to ensure everyone, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to achieve their dream. Fighting for true equality – which we are still so far from achieving as a country.
But even if we own the major issues of the day, and are stalwart in our defence of Liberal values, we need to win in order to put them into practice. Now we are back in the game, we have to stay in the game. I want us winning at every level of Government – and my track record proves I know how to make this happen
I was the first non-target seat candidate to win for 40 years when I was first elected back in 1997. We won then because we campaigned with confidence and belief on the issues that matter to our local community. That is how the Liberal Democrats will campaign if I am elected leader - we will keep on winning. The more we win, the more we can point to Liberal Democrats at all levels changing their communities for the better – and that gives us the best campaigning message of all.
So if you want to stop Brexit, turn the tide on climate change, stand up for our shared liberal values, and keep us winning, support my bid to be Leader of our Party.