The Government must extend the Brexit transition period

Today we have introduced a Bill to require the Government to seek a two-year extension to the Brexit transition period, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

To choose a No Deal Brexit and crash out, when the option to extend the transition is possible, would be an act of national self-harm – especially when our NHS, economy and food supply chains are already stretched and struggling.

To crash out of the Brexit transition period when our NHS & economy are already stretched due to COVID-19, would be unthinkable

Speaking ahead of the Bill’s presentation, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

“It is clear the government have not made nearly enough progress on the Brexit trade talks.

To crash out of the Brexit transition period when our NHS & economy are already stretched due to COVID-19, would be unthinkable.

It is time the Prime Minister did the right thing. That is why Liberal Democrats are today presenting legislation that would enable the government to seek an extension to the transition period.”

To crash out of the Brexit transition period when our NHS & economy are already stretched due to COVID-19, would be unthinkable.

While Gove has admitted there will be checks on goods going from Britain to NI, there is still significant detail lacking in these documents.

With just weeks to go until the deadline, the Government must extend the transition period as a priority. https://t.co/I8z6e5laPm

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 20, 2020

European Union Withdrawal (Implementation Period) Bill:

A Bill to require Her Majesty’s Government to seek a two-year extension of the implementation period under Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement; to repeal the prohibition on agreeing to such an extension under section 33 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020; and for connected purposes.

The Presentation Bill will face its second reading on 12th June 2020. However, the extension request has to be made by the UK before the end of June.

With just weeks to go until this deadline, it is clear that the Government must extend the transition period as a priority.

New Liberal Democrat leader elected this August

Last week, we published the frank independent review into the 2019 general election. It rightly received plaudits in the media for its candour.

This review challenges us to change as a party and to change the country for the better.

We now need to get on with that work – and that’s what we’ve done with a set of key decisions by your Federal Board.

We’ve set a timetable for electing our next party leader – running from June through to August. With the widespread use of online hustings and online voting, we can make this work even if some elements of the lockdown are still in force. What’s more, with online hustings we can experiment much more with formats, topics and ways for members to get involved.

You can learn more about the leadership election and the new timetable here.

That new leader will be in place in time for our autumn conference – which we’ve confirmed we want to run online in the biggest event of its sort in British politics. There are some important details to sort about what will be technically possible. But we’re aiming big, including speeches, policy, training and fringe meetings. We want more members than ever before to take part in our annual showcase.

We also need to get our strategy right and in a democratic, grassroots-led party that means it needs to be driven by our members. So we’ll shortly be kicking off a consultation, which will then feed into detailed strategy work when we have our new leader in place. (They may have a thing or two to say on that too!)

We’ve also agreed on the next steps in improving the party’s technology – a vital task to give us the modern tools we need and to give you more ways to get involved and stay informed. The first project will be around the party’s website, and we’ll then be consulting widely on the steps after that.

Alongside all that, we won’t be forgetting last week’s review. The Board has commissioned a detailed implementation plan and will be regularly returning to the topic. It’s vital we get this right.

All in, this is an ambitious plan of work – electing a new leader, our biggest ever conference, involving you in a new strategy and modernising our systems.

But as the election review showed, it’s what we need to do.

Get it right, and our future can be bright.

What’s in our plan to improve mental health support for health and care staff?

COVID-19 will leave a deep scar on ourhealthand care workforce, who have gone above and beyond to tackle this dreadful virus. Thousands have lost colleagues, endured serious illness, or faced significant trauma.

Whilst we can hope to get a grip on COVID-19 in the coming months, thementalhealthimpacts will last a lifetime.

That is why we’re proposing a series of measures to ensure no-one slips through the net as the scale of thementalhealthimpact of this crisis emerges.

What is in our plan to improve mental health support for health and care staff?

1. 24/7 mental health support for health and social care workers.

  • Make the Covid-19 support phone hotline 24 hours per day and extend it to social care workers.

The Government’s current hotline is only available to NHS staff and operates 7am – 11pm seven days a week in NHS England.

  • Guarantee a universal mental health support service that can be accessed by all health and social care workers.

The Practitioner Health Programme is a Government funded programme for doctors and dentists across England with mental health illness and addiction problems. It’s known to be excellent and trusts often refer their doctors to it to support their mental health. The principles of this should be extended to the universal support available to all health and social care staff.

This support would mirror that provided to our frontline military personnel (MAPS), through a separate specialist service that every individual staff member in the NHS and Social Care can access.

  • Create a signposting service for all health and social care workers, to make it clear what services are available.

The roll out of these services must be for all staff, whether or not they are directly involved in patient treatment, in recognition of the wide scale of the impact of the COVID-19 across all teams.

2. Protect the NHS and care system. Guarantee NHS and social care staff get the mental health support they need.

  • Remove the use of the Bradford Factor and other HR practices that reinforce a culture of presenteeism.

The Bradford scoring system rates workers based on the number of days they’ve had off absent. This can affect their interview prospects, which can make NHS workers anxious to take a day off for their mental health.

People must not be penalised for mental health conditions. Employers and employees should be given transparency on what information on sickness is appropriate to be included in references between employers and what is not.

  • Introduce an ‘occupational health passport’ so workers do not have to relive mental health traumas when they change jobs.

The NHS has an occupational health department in every trust. When workers move trust, they have to repeat an occupational health test before the job. This can be unnecessary and burdensome on staff, particularly if they move trusts multiple times a year. It’s a waste of resources to do repeated tests and staff should not have to repeat traumatic experiences every time they move trusts.

Some parts of the country have set up an ‘occupational health passport’ which trusts share when necessary with workers’ permission. This means they don’t have to repeat assessments.

The passports must be standardised and input from bodies including RCPsych, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, the BMA, alongside NHS Employers will be vital.

3. It’s ok to not be ok; creating a culture of support in care

  • Ensure every health and social care worker has access to Balint/Swartz groups to help prevent longer term ill mental health.

A Balint/Swartz round provides a structured forum for clinicians to meet regularly to discuss the emotional and social aspects of working in healthcare. There is evidence they improve the psychological wellbeing of participants and they are frequently used in psychiatry settings for healthcare workers. This should be rolled out across other settings, with staff given protected time each month to take part.

  • Encourage every setting to have a qualified mental health first aider.

Every NHS and health care organisation should encourage staff to become mental health first aiders just as they do for physical first aiders.

With so many deaths in care homes, care staff are suffering a constant cycle of bereavement & many are struggling with their mental health.

We’re encouraged that Matt Hancock has said he would look at our proposals.

Find out more about our plan 👇 https://t.co/pxGgT6RMjRpic.twitter.com/XAjSG1SImF

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 19, 2020

The roll out of these services must be for all staff, whether or not they are directly involved in patient treatment, in recognition of the wide scale of the impact of the COVID-19 across all teams. If adopted, the proposals will improve access to mentalhealth support for all those working in health and care settings.

The clap for carers is not just a gesture – people want to see those on the frontline supported right through this crisis and beyond.

Ministers must get on top of thementalhealthimpact of COVID-19 by backing our measures to support our vital NHS and care staff when they need it most.

The mental health impacts of COVID-19 will last a lifetime.

That’s why we are proposing measures to ensure no-one slips through the net as the scale of the mental health impact of this crisis emerges.#MentalHealthAwareness#MentalHealthAwarenessWeekhttps://t.co/xCjnbFFGAF

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 18, 2020

Health and care staff need more mental health support

COVID-19 will leave a deep scar on our health and care workforce, who have gone above and beyond to tackle this dreadful virus. Thousands have lost colleagues, endured serious illness, or faced significant trauma.

Whilst we can hope to get a grip on COVID-19 in the coming months, the mental health impacts will last a lifetime.

The clap for carers isn’t just a gesture – people want to see the frontline supported through this crisis & beyond

That is why, today, we are proposing a series of measures to ensure no-one slips through the net as the scale of the mental health impact of this crisis emerges.

Ministers must get on top of the mental health impact of COVID-19 by backing our measures to support our vital NHS and care staff when they need it most.

The mental health impacts of COVID-19 will last a lifetime.

That’s why we are proposing measures to ensure no-one slips through the net as the scale of the mental health impact of this crisis emerges.#MentalHealthAwareness#MentalHealthAwarenessWeekhttps://t.co/xCjnbFFGAF

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 18, 2020

Our package of mental health measures designed for rapid roll-out across the NHS and care sectors, includes:

  • 24/7 access to mental health support for health and social care workers, through a dedicated helpline.
  • Guarantees that health and care staff will no longer be penalised for time off due to mental or physical ill health by scrapping the Bradford scoring system and other HR practices that can create a culture of presenteeism.
  • Introduce an ‘occupational health passport’ so workers do not have to relive mental health traumas if or when they change jobs.
  • Additional training to ensure there are mental health first-aiders in every health and care workforce.
  • Steps to standardise the quality and service offer to ensure that every health and social care worker can access the same, high standard of mental care support regardless of the region in which they are base.
  • The roll out of these services must be for all staff, whether or not they are directly involved in patient treatment, in recognition of the wide scale of the impact of the COVID-19 across all teams.

If adopted, the proposals will improve access to mental health support for all those working in health and care settings.

Munira Wilson, who is spearheading the campaign, and our Health and Social Care spokesperson said:

“The UK mental health response to COVID-19 should be world-class. That means investing now to prepare for the challenges ahead.

The clap for carers is not just a gesture – people want to see those on the frontline supported right through this crisis and beyond.

Ministers must get on top of the mental health impact of COVID-19 by backing our measures to support our vital NHS and care staff when they need it most.”

“COVID will leave a deep scar on our health & care workforce who’ve gone above & beyond to tackle the virus”-@munirawilson

Ministers must get on top of the mental health impact by backing our plans to support NHS & care staff👇https://t.co/8Q441u6bnn#MentalHealthAwarenessWeekpic.twitter.com/O5Pdryqfab

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 18, 2020

Why we’re voting against the Tories’ Immigration Bill

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the enormous contributions that workers from all over the world make to our country and our communities.

Tens of thousands of doctors, nurses and other NHS staff. Hundreds of thousands of social care workers. And millions more in sectors hit hard by this crisis, from restaurants and hotels to construction and manufacturing.

Migrants are putting their lives on the line to protect us every single day. And migrants will be crucial to creating economic growth and jobs as we recover from this crisis.

This bill does nothing to fix problems with our immigration system – instead it exposes EU citizens to the Conservatives’ Hostile Enviornment

So I honestly cannot understand why now, in the midst of this crisis, Priti Patel is pushing ahead with her plans to make it much, much harder for employers to hire people overseas.

Under her new immigration system, it would be much harder for doctors and nurses to come to work in the NHS, and they’d have to pay thousands of pounds in fees for the privilege. And it would be virtually impossible to recruit social care workers, hotel staff or construction workers from overseas.

Now more than ever, we should be celebrating the enormous contributions that people from all over the world make to our NHS, social care & across our society.@LibDems are opposing the Conservatives’ destructive immigration plans. Here’s the amendment we’ve tabled for Monday👇 pic.twitter.com/FbayB3fP0n

— Christine Jardine (@cajardineMP) May 14, 2020

These Conservative plans would be incredibly damaging. Now more than ever, we should be celebrating the enormous contributions that workers from all over the world make to our NHS, social care and across our society; not trying to stop them.

And what makes this Bill even worse is that there are real problems with our immigration system that need fixing.

Employers can’t recruit the workers they need, leaving the NHS short of nurses and social care in crisis. People without documents are denied access to healthcare and housing. Far too many people are detained indefinitely, in inhumane conditions and at great expense. Families are separated by unfair, complex visa requirements. Public confidence in the system has been shattered.

Yet this Bill will do nothing to fix these problems. Instead, by exposing EU citizens to the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment, it will make them worse.

What we need instead is a fair, effective and compassionate immigration system that treats everyone with dignity they deserve.

That’s why Liberal Democrats will vote against this Bill and oppose the Tories’ cruel, destructive immigration policies every step of the way.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia

In the midst of the Covid 19 crisis it is easy to think it is the only issue in town. But there is another issue that as Liberals we should not need reminding of.

One aspect of it was highlighted to me this week when a friend told me that he cannot give blood.

My friend would like to help by providing blood from which plasma could be used in the fight against COVID-19 but regardless of how rare his blood group might be, of how healthy he is, he cannot donate because he is gay.

I was stunned.

We must surely recognise that there are still elements of our lives which label and marginalise the LGBTQ community

So I checked and, to be fair, the NHS site says all men must wait 3 months after having sex with another man before donating. It doesn’t claim to be a ban, and says it is regardless of sexuality. But the reality is that as someone in a long term committed single-sex relationship that almost automatically excludes him.

And it is not the only example.

More than once in the past three yearsI have pressed the Government to fulfill the promise of its LGBT action plan and ban gay conversion therapy.

Today is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

I would not suggest for a minute that safeguards to ensure donated blood is healthy is by its nature homophobic. I cannot say the same about the lack of a ban on gay conversion therapy.

We must surely recognise that there are still elements of our lives which label and marginalise the LGBTQ community and that this is one of them.

As Liberals we should be aware of the danger of assuming that everybody feels equally respected and protected in the current crisis. These past two months have posed problems for us all that we never thought we would have to face, and demanded strength we did not know that we had.

But we are not there yet.

In striving to reach that moment we would do well to remember the words of US politician Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society.

The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

That is the task we must set ourselves.

2019 Election Review

Following the 2019 General Election, the Federal Board commissioned Dorothy Thornhill and her team of fourteen to conduct an independent review of the Party’s performance.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to a fair and open society and reflect that in our internal approach to transparency and accountability. The resulting report is therefore available here in its entirety.

If you are unable to view the file below, please click here.

Download the review

If you have any reactions to the report, you can submit them libdems.org.uk/2019-review-feedback

Angry response as Owen Paterson voted against protecting British Farmers

Helen Morgan reacted angrily to the news that Owen Paterson MP hadn't voted to support British Farmers. Helen is pictured supporting Helen supporting rare-breed farming in 2019

Today Helen Morgan reacted angrily to the news that Owen Paterson voted in parliament to undermine hard-working farmers in North Shropshire. Yesterday, local MP Owen Paterson voted against an amendment to the Agriculture Bill that would have prevented trade deals which undermine current UK food and farming standards.

Helen Morgan reacted angrily to the news that Owen Paterson MP hadn't voted to support British Farmers. Helen is pictured supporting Helen supporting rare-breed farming in 2019
Helen Morgan reacted angrily to the news that Owen Paterson MP hadn’t voted to support British Farmers.

Helen (Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Shropshire) said: “I’m so angry that our MP ignores the needs of the local economy. In voting against the amendment he has effectively told farmers ‘we’ll sell you out to get our US trade deal, complete with hormone-fed beef and chlorinated chicken’. It’s outrageous.

“This amendment would have protected our farmers by preventing trade deals which allow the import of goods with lower production, animal welfare, environmental and labour standards.

“Along with the looming ‘no deal’ Brexit at the end of the year, our farmers are looking at tariffs on their exports and critical imports (such as machinery and fertiliser) and no protection from substandard food imports in any future trade deals.

“Agriculture and the food industries are our major employer here in North Shropshire, but our MP is more interested in an ideologically pure Brexit than protecting our jobs. North Shropshire deserves better”.

Neil Parish, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, had called on MPs to back his amendment providing protection of our current production standards in law, saying:

“There is no point having world-leading standards in the UK if we do not expect trade partners to reciprocate. Allowing preferential access to food imports produced to lower standards will put many of our farmers at a competitive disadvantage and out of business.

“Not only will this export jobs in farming and food production, it will export the impact of this production, turning a blind eye to poor animal welfare standards abroad and encouraging environmental degradation there. We will be exporting control, not taking it back.”

Helen said: “Mr Paterson has notoriously travelled to the US to listen to the concerns of lobbyists there. But to safeguard jobs in North Shropshire he should be supporting British farmers and food producers. Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for our local industry and local jobs in North Shropshire”.

The NFU had been calling for greater protection for British Farms in the Agricultural Bill
The NFU had been calling for greater protection for British Farms in the Agricultural Bill

Yesterday MPs voted on a series of amendments to the Agricultural Bill

All MPs were sent a letter urging them to back British Farming
The letter said:
“As representatives of farming, consumer, environmental and animal welfare
organisations across the UK, we are urging you to take this last proper
opportunity to ensure that the Bill secures vital safeguards for the high
standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection that
the public value so highly. At this time of crisis, you have the opportunity to
ensure that British farmers can produce the sustainable, healthy food we
need knowing that they will not be undercut by low standards imports as a
result of future trade policy, while meeting the public’s strong expectation
that food standards will be maintained. ”

The letter was co-signed by:

  • Minette Batters – President, National Farmers Union
  • Beccy Speight – Chief Executive, RSPB
  • Chris Sherwood – Chief Executive, RSPCA
  • Miriam Turner and Hugh Knowles – Co-Chief Executives, Friends of the Earth
  • Mark Bridgeman – President, CLA
  • Hilary McGrady – Director-General, National Trust
  • Helen Browning – Chief Executive, Soil Association
  • Sue Davies – Head of Consumer Protection and Food Policy, Which?
  • Patrick Holden – Chief Executive, Sustainable Food Trust
  • Shaun Spiers – Chair, Greener UK & Executive Director, Green Alliance
  • Craig Bennett – Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts
  • Richard Benwell – Chief Executive, Wildlife and Countryside Link
  • Kath Dalmeny – Chief Executive, Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming
  • John Davies – President, NFU Cymru
  • Caroline Drummond – Chief Executive, LEAF
  • George Dunn – Chief Executive, Tenant Farmers Association
  • Ivor Ferguson – President, Ulster Farmers Union
  • Jyoti Fernandes MBE – Chair, Landworkers Alliance
  • Martin Lines – UK Chair, Nature-Friendly Farming Network
  • Andrew McCornick – President, NFU Scotland
  • Darren Moorcroft – Chief Executive, Woodland Trust
  • Kate Norgrove – Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, WWF-UK
  • Doug Parr – Chief Scientist, Greenpeace
  • James Thornton – Chief Executive, ClientEarth
  • James Robinson – Conservation Director, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
  • Sarah-Jane Laing – Chief Executive, Scottish Land & Estates.

Owen Paterson voted against British farmers

Owen Patterson MP for North Shropshire voted against the amendments that the NFU and the other signatories were calling for.  Clause 2 proposed by Neil Parish, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee would have safeguarded British Farms from inferior quality cheap imports and protected the animal welfare and food standards the public expects.

Owen Paterson failed to vote to support British Farmers
Owen Paterson was surprising satisfied that he had hadn’t voted to support British Farmers
Owen Paterson failed to vote to support British Farmers
Owen Paterson failed to vote to support British Farmers on the crucial amendments the NFU and others were calling for.

North Shropshire Lib Dems had previously backed the NFU’s calls to back British farmers. Before the coronavirus lockdown, we had launched a Farming and Food Standards petition to that effect urging Owen Paterson to:

  • Oppose any deals allowing imports of food that would fail to meet our current world-leading standards of hygiene and animal welfare.
  • Add concrete legal protections into the Agriculture Bill to keep current protections for food standards, hygiene and animal welfare, in time for the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020.

Report stage of the Agricultural Bill

13 May 2020
Division 42
Ayes: 277 Noes: 328 (Owen Paterson voted  No)
13 May 2020
Division 43
Ayes: 221 Noes: 352 (Owen Paterson voted  No)
13 May 2020
Division 44
Ayes: 56 Noes: 362 (Owen Paterson voted  No)

Third reading of the Agricultural Bill

13 May 2020
Division 45
Ayes: 360 Noes: 211 (Owen Paterson voted  Yes)
Indeed all of Shropshire’s Conservative MPs failed to back British Farming despite pledging to do so in their manifesto

Reaction to the votes on the Agricultural Bill yesterday

“Despite frequent warm words, it is disappointing the government did not take the opportunity to legislate that they will not allow the imports of food that would be illegal to produce here.” NFU Brexit director Nick von Westenholz‘s response to the Agriculture Bill report stage.

Soil Association reaction: Liz Bowles, Assoc. Director of Food and Farming at the Soil Association said: “As a farmer, and a member of society, I was disappointed in yesterday’s outcome.”
Liz manages one of the largest pedigree flocks of Shropshire sheep in the UK and combines this with being a Council Member of the Breed Society.

Demand Better for farming and food industries
Demand Better for farming and food industries

Government must publish scientific advice for reopening schools

Before being an MP, I was a teacher. I’m keenly aware that every day schools remain shut the disadvantage gap widens and the students in need of the most support from teachers and support staff are being left behind. More than this, it’s the most vulnerable children I’m most worried about. Are they eating? Are they safe, let alone learning?

So, I want schools to open, but it has to be safe for them to open too, for children, staff and wider society.

I want schools to open, but it has to be safe for them to open too, for children, staff and wider society.

That’s why in the House of Commons yesterday, I asked the Education Secretary to urgently release the scientific advice for reopening schools.

I questioned the Education Secretary today on the decision to reopen some schools in a few weeks. Govt has failed to consult with school leaders, teachers and unions on the details of its guidance. That’s not good enough. They must publish all scientific advice on this 👇 pic.twitter.com/pdLclHzzWt

— Layla Moran 🔶 (@LaylaMoran) May 13, 2020

The Government has failed to consult with school leaders, teachers and unions on the details of its guidance for reopening schools, and that’s just not good enough.

We need reassurance that the decisions are being made based on public health advice only, and not economic fears.

And, of course, parents are under pressure, and I’m sure many are very keen to get their children back to schools. But we must put everyone’s safety first

I also called on the government to guarantee that all children, of all ages, will be given the equipment and funding to learn safely, either at home or in school.

Schools should not be reopened until we see scientific evidence from the government that it’s safe to do so. Now is the time to be transparent, cooperative and proactive.

What’s coming up at the next Federal Board?

How do we improve as a party and achieve greater success in future elections?

That’s the theme running through the bumper set of key decisions the Federal Board is looking at next week at our meeting. (Or rather meetings, as to avoid Zoom fatigue, we’re splitting one long meeting into halves on consecutive nights.)

Included in that will be the Board’s first considerations of the independent election review, headed up by Dorothy Thornhill and coming out tomorrow. Thank you for all their hard work to her, her colleagues and everyone who contributed evidence to the review.

The Board will be looking at major plans to overhaul our approach, learning from the best of those outside politics and from politics overseas

Even without that review, there are some things we already know we need to change, in particular our use of technology. That’s why the Board will also be looking at major plans to overhaul our approach, learning from the best of those outside politics and from politics overseas. A big part of the plan is much better use of volunteer expertise.

In a similar vein, we’ll also be looking at the hard work done by the Federal Conference Committee and conference staff to scope a potential online conference in the autumn. We’ve already put on pause plans for a traditional physical event in September in the light of coronavirus.

Putting on an online event of the scale and complexity of our conferences – which including not only debates in the hall, but keynote speeches, Q+A sessions, fringe meetings, training and more, will not be easy. But I very much hope we’ll be able to find a way to make an online event work. An event that isn’t a weak substitute for what we would have otherwise done. But an event that shows the way to a bigger, more inclusive and more successful hybrid combined offline and online conferences when conditions permit.

Events and technology are not ends in themselves, of course. So, the Board will also be looking at three other pieces of the puzzle for rebuilding the party.

We’ll be looking at how to kick-off revising our party strategy, drawing on the lessons of the election review and also those of the many colleagues who were so spectacularly successful in the council elections last year. Involving members will be key to making this a real strategy for the whole party.

Around 45% of members have said they want a leadership election now

Which leads to perhaps the most important single act of engagement party members can have: choosing our leader.

There’s a diverse and very strongly held set of views on this. Following my request for feedback from members (thank you for all the messages!), around 45% of members have said they want a leadership election now. Most members, around 55%, therefore have a range of other views – from a little later in the year through to a small number wanting to go for next May.

A bigger determining factor for many of those members is what happens, or what people expect will happen, with the lockdown. The Board, therefore, will have much to consider to get the decision right. These are complex judgement calls, about which many have strong feelings, so I will make sure that members are properly informed of whatever we decide.

Alongside that, we’ll also be having the first outing for our regular quarterly reviews of how the federal party is performing against the targets in our previous strategy. We’re developing a dashboard of key metrics to help understand what is and isn’t working, learning from some of the professional performance tracking rigour common amongst large charities and other campaigning bodies similar to our operation.

Of course, not all proposals that go to the Board go through, so remember this is a run-through of what we’ll be discussing rather than exactly what will happen. Views are of course very welcome on all these points – feel free to get in touch with me at the link below:

Get in touch with Mark

This article originally appeared on Mark’s website. You can find more of his content here.