Baroness Brinton elected Liberal Democrat President
Vocal equal marriage supporter Baroness Sal Brinton has been elected as the new President of the Liberal Democrats.
It was announced today that the Lib Dem peer had secured victory in the election to succeed Tim Farron MP, who finishes a four-year stint as President in December.
She received 7865 votes in the first round ballot of party members – ahead of Daisy Cooper on 4530, and Liz Lynne on 4389.
Baroness Brinton was a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage when it passed through the House of Lords, and drafted an amendment supporting Humanist and non-religious weddings.
In a stirring speech in the Lords during the same-sex marriage debate, she rebuffed the Lords Spiritual for speaking against equality, saying: “The core of marriage to me as a Christian — and, by the by, as a member of the Church of England — is that the commitment made by two people of their undying love to each other, through good times and bad, through sickness and health, stable and faithful, as the most reverend Primate the Archbishop mentioned, is a building block of our society.
“I respect those for whom the theological arguments are core to their beliefs and practice but, frankly, I struggle to find those arguments expressed by Jesus himself in the New Testament.”
On her appointment, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: “I am delighted that Sal Brinton has been elected as the next Liberal Democrat Party President. Sal has a fantastic record as a campaigner in Cambridgeshire and Watford and as an influential member in the House of Lords.
“She has led the way in promoting diversity in the Liberal Democrats through the Leadership programme and brings decades of political experience to the role. She will be a powerful advocate for grassroots activists in what will be a crucial election year and I look forward to working with her.”
Baroness Brinton said:: “I am honoured to have been elected President by the members of the Liberal Democrats. Over recent months I have met thousands of Lib Dem members, all of whom agree on three things.
“Firstly, the Liberal Democrats need to be able to show the public the positive and beneficial things that we have done for people whilst in government, much of which would not have happened with a single party Conservative majority government.
“Secondly, the party is the only liberal and tolerant party around, and politics today needs that voice to be heard. Thirdly, our party processes and constitution are overdue for reform. This must be a priority after May 2015.
“My role will be to represent the members, and make the changes that they want happen. My first priority will be to move the renowned campaign fighting ability of the Lib Dems into top gear, so that we win more seats in both Westminster and in councils across the UK in the General and Local Elections next year.”
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