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Party sets up review of culture and processes focusing on race and ethnicity

October 28, 2016 12:07 PM
By NewsHound | in Liberal Democrat Voice
Originally published by High Peak Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are committed to better representing the communities they seek to serve and have voted through a raft of measures, including the Diversity Quotas and Electing Diverse MP's motions passed by members at Federal Conference in York and Brighton this year.

As part of the party's ongoing commitment to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society; an independent review which will focus on the issues and/or barriers faced by BAME members and supporters has been commissioned by the Federal Executive. This review should help the party determine what and where the issues are and how we take action in this specific area.

The Federal Executive agreed that the following questions should be addressed as part of the review process, but the Chairman of the Review is free to explore other relevant questions:

1. Are there barriers to participation for BAME members? If so, what and where are they?
2. Do barriers differ in different parts of the party?
3. How effective are existing mechanisms/procedures in addressing the issue?
4. Does the Party do enough to engage with BAME voters and ensure accessibility for potential BAME members?
5. What further steps should, or could, be taken by the Party to address the issues identified in this review

It is proposed that this piece of work will commence immediately [October 2016] and will report in the first half of 2017.

Lord John Alderdice, a former Leader of our sister party the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, and former President of Liberal International is a member of the House of Lords. He has agreed to lead this review, and the relevant support structures have been identified to assist his review.

Professor, the Lord Alderdice MB BCh BAO FRCPsych

As Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (1987-1998) Lord Alderdice played a significant role in all the talks during this period on the future of Northern Ireland and in the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He was the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-2004) and was then appointed by the British and Irish Governments to the Independent Monitoring Commission tasked with closing down terrorist operations and overseeing normalization of security activity in Northern Ireland (2004-2011). He has just completed, with two colleagues (Professor Monica McWilliams and solicitor, John McBurney) a report commissioned by the First, Deputy First and Justice Ministers of Northern Ireland, on the disbanding of the remaining paramilitary groups.

Lord Alderdice was Deputy President and then President of Liberal International (the world-wide network of more than 100 liberal political parties) from 2000-2009, and during the UK Conservative/Liberal Coalition Government was Convenor (Chair) of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party in the House of Lords (2010-2014). Prime Minister David Cameron also appointed him to the UK Committee on Standards in Public Life and he served from 2010 until 2016.

Formerly a Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer in Psychotherapy at The Queen's University of Belfast, Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville) and Liberal Democrat Spokesman on Northern Ireland, Lord Alderdice is currently the Founding Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland (Baltimore), and Chairman of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in Belfast.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.