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Federal Committee elections: your candidates - the results

October 23, 2019 1:46 PM

UPDATE: Election results, declared on Saturday 16th November.

Party members have until 5pm on Friday 8th November to cast their ballots in the Federal Committee elections.

We invited all HSLD members who are candidates in these elections to submit a statement of up to 250 words, and we've received statements from the following candidates:

  • Federal Board
    • Jo Hayes - elected
    • Caron Lindsay - elected
    • Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett
  • Federal Conference Committee
    • Jon Ball - elected
    • Joe Otten - elected
    • Toby Keynes
  • Federal Policy Committee
    • Adam Corlett
    • Gerry Jerome
    • Michael Kilpatrick
  • Federal International Relations Committee (FIRC)
    • Gary McLelland
  • Delegation to the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
    • Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett
    • Peter Price

Below are the candidates' statements, in alphabetical order:

  • Jon Ball
  • Adam Corlett
  • Jo Hayes
  • Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett
  • Gerry Jerome
  • Toby Keynes
  • Michael Kilpatrick
  • Caron Lindsay
  • Gary McLelland
  • Joe Otten
  • Peter Price

If we receive statements from further candidates, we'll add them to this page

JON BALL (Federal Conference Committee)

I've been an atheist since I realised at primary school that the stuff we were being taught in RE didn't make any sense. I realised I was a Humanist as soon as I heard of the concept.

As a parent I am acutely aware that state funded religious indoctrination and discrimination is happening daily at church schools near us all and that we must oppose this as liberals.

I'm a member of Humanists UK and my local group West London Humanists & Secularists.

When selecting motions and amendments on Federal Conference Committee I've always fought against the lazy assumptions that religion should trump liberalism on ethical issues, that religious schools are a good thing and that referring to people of all faiths covers everyone.

Another lazy assumption is that people like me who have a long record on a committee will magically get re-elected. This isn't the case: I didn't get elected at the last set of federal elections, only regaining a place 18 months into the three year term when a vacancy occurred.

If you'd like to ensure I continue to press the humanist case on FCC, please give me your first preference.

Please feel free to contact me on Facebook.com/JonBall, @jonball on Twitter or text or phone 07860 247589.

ADAM CORLETT (Federal Policy Committee)

To cut to the chase, I think:

  • Animal slaughter rules should be based on reducing suffering: not on religious tradition. (I wrote about this for Lib Dem Voice in 2012.) And at the very least consumers should be able to avoid meat from non-stun slaughter if they wish;
  • Parents should choose schools rather than vice versa, and public money should not be spent on religious indoctrination in schools;
  • Bishops have no place in the Lords, prayers should not be imposed in parliament or local government, and ideally the Church of England should be disestablished;
  • Marriage law needs to be reformed, as does chancel repair liability;
  • The party should campaign to legalise assisted dying (something that the vast majority of the public agree with).

If elected to Federal Policy Committee I would stand up for humanist and secularist values on these and other issues. So please consider giving me a #1 or high preference vote.

I am an experienced policy analyst in my day job, and have spent the last seven years analysing and commenting on the tax system, benefits, housing, poverty levels, fiscal policy and more. I've been on two social security working groups, co-authored the party's detailed business rates policy, and helped instigate the party's shift to a more liberal drug policy.

If elected I would bring that expertise to help ensure we have liberal policies that always stand up to scrutiny. Please feel free to get in touch @adamcorlett on Twitter or on adam@adamcorlett.com

JO HAYES (Federal Board)

I write this from Athens, at ALDE Congress.

As a child I was sent to Sunday school, so I know the Bible story, parables, saints and so on and am glad of it, as it's useful in interpreting Western art, which is a passion of mine. Later I read widely about other gods and religions - Norse, Greek and Roman to start with - and realised they couldn't all be true.

Eventually I decided I couldn't believe any of them. My parents, both teachers, were fine with that. They'd been made to go to church and had enough.

I was fortunate to have such parents. The pressure to conform is very strong. It is not individual people's fault. We must distinguish between the person and the belief.

I believe children have the right to learn and make up their own minds about the world. Sometimes their parents deny them that.

I have travelled and have some idea what segregation and indoctrination of children can do to a society. Egypt, Armenia and the Balkans come to mind, and Northern Ireland. So I'm worried about faith schools. And I think the UK should be a secular state. So I've been a member of HSLD for a long time.

On the controversy over the LD Friends of Palestine, I looked at the material and wouldn't have suspended them.

I'm not sure what other religious issues would come to the Federal Board, but the above is where I'd be coming from.

ADRIAN HYYRYLAINEN-TRETT (Federal Board and ALDE Delegation)

I believe the Federal Board needs to made up of a diverse set of people who understand and recognise the complex nature of our party structures and who have had the experience of sitting on a range of internal party bodies/ organisations - it is imperative that the Board is transparent with all it's members even when the decision is unpopular, or if governance has found faults, the Board must take responsibility and this is encompassed by rejecting any notions of nepotism, favouritism or unaccountability.

One of my key aspects will be ensuring the Federal Board listens to SAO and AO organisations both of which I've had substantial experience in running over the course of the last twelve years and am conscious following recent events in more than one SA0/AO instance that this needs to be reviewed.

Secondly, my knowledge around equality impact assessments, something I do on a daily basis for my day job, and my diversity, inclusion and intersectionality background means that's a key focus for the Board, and thirdly with my International hat on, chair of Liberal International British Group, and standing to be a member of the ALDE Delegation, as my experience in that area is vast from my university degree in European studies to my work with LiBG on a global wide basis. And finally, I believe we need to look after our candidates so much better, and pastoral care will be a key aspect I would want the new Board to look at closely.

GERRY JEROME (Federal Policy Committee)

Fellow members of HSLD, I ask for your support. I am standing for the Federal Policy Committee.

If elected, I will work to develop policies in line with the aims of HSLD. I have always supported motions and amendments submitted or promoted by HSLD and continue to ensure that we end privilege based on religion.

I believe in the separation of Church and State. While everyone should be free to exercise their religion or belief, schooling should not be based on faith. Schools must be secular.

Everyone should have the choice to die in dignity. Women should have the choice to have abortions. Everyone should be allowed to choose their partners and be free to marry or enter into partnership with whomever they wish. Core to my belief is, as in the preamble to our constitution, "we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation".

Born in Mauritius to a Roman Catholic family, I wanted to be a priest as a boy. My hero was a priest who had a strong belief in social justice and devoted his life to making the lives of children in the slums more bearable. In my early teens, I abandoned my faith but I still believe that my priest hero would agree with the aims of HSLD. While rejecting prejudice and discrimination based upon religion, we must strive to end privilege based on religion or belief and adopt approaches to ethical issues based on evidence.

TOBY KEYNES (Federal Conference Committee)

For the last 9 years, including 6 years as HSLD Chair, I've ensured that humanist and secularist views are heard within the party. Working with leading party members including Julian Huppert, Evan Harris and Chris Davies MEP, and with other groups, I've driven all of our policy wins at Conference, drafting motions and amendments, steering them through the submission process and successfully making the case for them from the conference platform. Major wins have included the party's policies on ending religion-based selection of children by state-funded schools, legalising assisted dying and legal recognition of humanist marriage.

However, all this depends on FCC, which chooses which policy motions and amendments go before Conference. I will ensure that we have a strong voice for humanist values on FCC.

Of course, I will contribute more than that.

I will work to ensure

* that FCC draws on the knowledge of the party's other member organisations to identify and fix flaws in motions and amendments before they are put before Conference (although that will always be a challenge in the time available).

* that FCC never forgets the importance of our party's member organisations in making the Fringe and Exhibition so great.

* that FCC regularly reviews Conference accessibility, even when we're going back to a regular venue, and draws on the experience of our party's disabled members: disability should not be a barrier at Conference.

But I need your FIRST PREFERENCE VOTE to achieve all this!

You're welcome to contact me at toby4FCC@gmail.com.

MICHAEL KILPATRICK (Federal Policy Committee)

My primary interest in policy has for a long time been the need for constitutional reform and I have tried to influence party policy on devolution in particular. On this subject and a variety of others I have been lucky to be called to speak from the podium at every Federal Conference since autumn 2015.

There is considerable overlap between the aims of the Humanist and Secularist Liberal Democrats and my core beliefs as a reformist and staunch secularist. The church must be completely separated from state and school, and no faith organisation should have privileges of influence or legislation over us. My wife and I have experienced having our boys at a state CofE primary school and the occasional conflict over religious influence as a consequence, despite it being an excellent school.

Faith is a private affair. It should remain the goal of Liberal Democrats to defend freedom of thought and freedom of association.

However, freedom of thought must imply freedom from the thoughts of others.

Society should treat all social activities and interest groups equally.

My passion for making music is as important to me as taking part in religious activities is for someone of faith. No-one may presume otherwise or presume that religious faith is a more precious aspect of personal identity or expression, or of group belonging, than any other activity or belief.

These core principles will underpin everything I do if elected to FPC.

CARON LINDSAY (Federal Board)

SAOs and AOs enrich our party. HSLD has helped inform and change our policy for the better. I want to see us instinctively involve SAOs and AOs in all aspects of campaigning and policy-making to ensure our messages and policies take account of the needs and views of all communities.

We are doing well because we are both clear and confident about what we stand for. We need to broaden that vision beyond Brexit and make our desire for a fairer, happier country a reality. This is something that I have always encouraged and said so at our York Conference during the debate on party reforms. It's vision, not process, that brings people to us.

During my time on Federal Board, I have always spoken up for the rights of party members, for better and more meaningful communication with members and for measures to improve the party's diversity. I've also worked to support AOs and SAOs.

One of my key priorities is to increase the budget for training our members, which is embarrassingly small. We can do so much more if we develop members' skills.

We must also continue to grow our local government base - communities neglected by Labour and Conservatives need us and when we campaign in those areas we win. And it is important to win council seats as an end in itself, not just as a stepping stone to something else.

If you have any questions, tweet me @caronmlindsay, email caronmlindsay@gmail.com or message me on Facebook.


I have been the chief executive of Humanists International since February 2017. My work has taken me around the world, where I have met with humanist campaigners and other progressive, liberal, human rights defenders. I have had the opportunity to engage with, speak at and campaign in the UK Parliament, European Parliament (and other institutions), the UN Human Rights Council and many more. Together with a lot of broad experience with progressive NGOs and governments from Europe and around the world, I feel this experience has given me something to offer our Party.

As well as this, I am an experienced member of the party, having been a PPC for the 2015 UK elections, as well as various by-elections at the local authority level. I have served for two terms on the HSLD Executive Committee.

I am an unapologetic internationalist, I believe in human rights, liberalism, and other progressive values, and I believe our Party should be too.

We are living through a time of great political upheaval around the world, where the great post-war consensus and rules-based order is being challenged to its very core.

I do not claim to have the answers to these difficult questions, but I believe I have a good deal of knowledge, experience and a good instinct. I feel I can offer something to the Party, and therefore I ask you to give me your first preference vote for the Federal International Relations Committee.

JOE OTTEN (Federal Conference Committee)

Dear Friends,

I believe that with the application of human reason, and with an appreciation of our shared humanity, we understand ethical principles far better today, than our illiterate goat herding ancestors ever did. This is how religion ended up on the wrong side of today's contentious ethical issues.

I have been a Liberal Democrat member since 2005 and a councillor in Sheffield since 2011. I want conference to feature well balanced and interesting debates, on relevant topics, that give members a real say and make conference a showcase for liberal values and the democratic spirit that will inspire others to support and join us. Questions: joe@otten.uk Twitter: @JoeOttenX Facebook: /joe.otten.


Peter Price for ALDE - Equipped for these challenging times

As Lib Dem member of ALDE Council, has led for our Congress delegation on key topics and built good links with other member parties.

Deep understanding of EU issues - 15 years as MEP, including as Chair of the Budgetary Control Committee.

Member of Federal Policy Committee, who helped shape our EU-related policies and Euro-election manifestos, as well as supporting HSLD causes.

Through working with politicians from other countries, knows the issues and the people - and how to maximise our influence in ALDE Council.

Peter is working hard to turn the Brexit tide

EU: Discussing with continental politicians how they can best help us to defeat the threat of Brexit.

Party policy: Member of our Parliamentary International Affairs Team and International Relations Committee, as well as FPC.

People: Understands the various political cultures, speaks French and is used to negotiating at European level.

Global: Member of Chatham House, Global Strategy Forum and other specialist bodies on international affairs.

EU and International law: As a solicitor and former judge, who served on the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee, adds legal expertise and drafting capacity to policy-making.

Commitment: A team player, with one of the best attendance records on ALDE Council and the party bodies of which he is a member.

Motivation: Believes in the potential of European unity to pass on a better world to future generations.

Questions? Phone Peter on 029 2076 1792 or email peterprice@btinternet.com

Peter Price 1 experienced & effective