Tim Farron-all women shortlists

Liberal Democrats have embraced diversity today by voting in favour of all-women shortlists.

The motion was supported by Party Leader Tim Farron, and passed overwhelmingly at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in York.

The move comes amid growing concern about the lack of diversity among the party’s elected representatives.

In her role as a member of the Federal Executive, Liberal Democrat Voice editor, Caron Lindsay, proposed the motion with a passionate and rousing speech.

In addition to introducing all-women shortlists, the motion ensures more spaces on constituency shortlists for BAME and LGBT+ members. It also means the Liberal Democrats will be the first political party in the country to implement all-disabled shortlists.

The party currently has no women and all of its MPs are white.

This decision recognises that it’s not enough to have progressive policies – you need diverse, progressive candidates and representatives too.

Party President Sal Brinton said: “Over the last few months many party members have told us they think it is time we dealt comprehensively with the lack of diversity amongst our MPs, the wider party and parliament overall.

“We believe we are the first party to propose reserving spaces on the shortlists of winnable seats for under represented candidates including women, BAME, LGBT+ and disabled candidates.

“Despite providing support and training to these candidates over many years, the training on its own simply hasn’t worked, and we need to remedy this, from the grassroots up.”

The advances made at the conference this weekend tell the story of a party that has re-discovered its roots, that has regained confidence in its ideology, and that is fighting back once again.

Tim Farron speech

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