The role of the Party President

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Q: What is the President’s main role?

A: Each Party President gets to carve out their role. The only stipulation the Lib Dem constitution gives is that:

“The President shall be the principal public representative of the Party and shall chair the Federal Board.”

Apart from the Chairing of the Federal Board, there are no constraints on the role of the Party President.

Q: Day to Day, what is the job of the Party President?

A: There are various functions the Party President performs as part of their day to day duties.

  • Line Manager of the Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats
  • Chair of the Federal Board
  • Wider management of the Party’s Governance structure.
  • Representing the party (or nominating a representative) at cross-party meetings and official hearings where a senior representative of the party is required.

Q: So how does the Party President effect change?

As well as chairing the committee that writes the Federal Strategy (Federal Board), the Party President also sits on the:

  • Federal Policy Committee
  • Federal Conference Committee
  • Federal Finance and Resources Committee
  • Federal Communications and Elections Committee
  • Federal People Development Committee
  • Federal International Relations Committee
  • Federal Audit and Scrutiny Committee

These committees represent every senior decision-making body within the party, apart from Federal Conference. The Party President, with the Governance Officer, set out the agenda for the Federal Board. This gives the party president the ability to shape the discussion.

Q: Who does the Party President report to?

You. Or to be exact members of the Liberal Democrats. Each Party President has a three-year term of office and they can serve a maximum of two terms.

You can also hold the Party President to account at our two Federal Conferences. There the Party President will move the Federal Board report, which is when members can ask questions in the conference hall.