From Lee Dillon, I am incredibly proud of the General Election campaign we mounted here in Newbury. It was so important to us that we got out to our towns and villages to speak to as many of you as possible over the 5 week campaign so I could hear your views. From Brexit and funding our NHS, to the climate emergency, what was clear is that the challenges we face affects each and every one of us. I want to thank the thousands of you that spoke to me during the campaign, whether on the doorstep, at hustings or through letters and emails, and the 18,384 voters that backed our vision for a more open and tolerant country.
Liberal values last longer than election results
The start of a new year is usually a time for reflection; this year was no different and for the Liberal Democrats this is especially true. The 2019 General Election – in West Berkshire and Newbury – was positive for the party. Increasing our share of the vote (the only party to do so) built on solid local election results earlier in the year and the local party goes from strength to strength.
Nationally, 3.7 million people voted for the Liberal Democrats - an increase of 1.3 million from 2017, taking our vote share from 7.4% to 11.5%. Whatever the result of our election review, a belief in Liberal Values will remain at the heart of the party and drive our policies and behaviour in local government as well as nationally.
The opening of the Liberal Democrats constitution reads as follows: The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.
At the start of this new decade those beliefs are still as relevant as ever, if not even more so!