Our major item of business was a detailed discussion with Ed Davey about our messaging.
‘Partygate’ is currently on the minds of the public and how we discuss decency in politics with voters was a topic of discussion. It is sadly unsurprising that since our meeting, indecent rhetoric from our Prime Minister should be centre stage.
That said, as a campaigning force we must not allow Prime Minister Johnson (PM at time of writing at least) to determine our message, and we must remember that the public want a positive voice as well as a critical one.
In the coming months, especially with May local elections in mind, we need to be knocking on more doors and talking about the cost-of-living crisis, education, health and care, the environment (not just climate change) and the economy.
Our thanks for the hard work of the Federal Policy Committee to make sure we have credible, progressive, costed policies to take to the public. We will continue to discuss with, and where necessary challenge, Ed his approach to our messaging.
We are incredibly thankful to everyone who made North Shropshire possible.
Two by-election victories in one year is an incredible feat, and I think we have all noticed a shift in public and media perceptions of what we are capable of. We must continue to be bold, and be creative with our imagery.
The Committee received useful briefings on our approach to and lessons learned from North Shropshire. We are running better coordinated, vibrant campaigns but there is still work to do. As ever, we won because we worked hard as well as clever. Winning in May and beyond will require more effort across the board.
We are grateful to all the members who have kicked off January with our largest ever doorstepping campaign, and we look forward to seeing more colleagues joining them in February.
In North Shropshire there had been strong slates of local candidates and successful local government advances that enabled us to establish ourselves as the only opposition. It is important that we all learn from this example.
We exist to fight and win elections to get more Liberal Democrats elected and change the country. To do that, we need candidates.
In our latest meeting we edited and agreed, having consulted with the State Candidate Chairs, Terms of Reference for a review into our candidates process: from attracting talent, to approval, to selection. This will be helmed by Tim Farron and Baroness (Alison) Suttie.
We look forward to the report and its holistic approach to matching our needs and resources.