I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce myself as Renew’s new Chief Executive and to share a little about our plans for the next phase of the party’s development.
I joined Renew in May with a remit to make the party a credible electoral force as soon as possible, building on the excellent preliminary work done to date by colleagues past and present.
I bring a wealth of relevant professional experience from a career that includes time spent working as a civil servant, a management consultant and an interim manager. I also bring years of experience gained as a political activist, working on campaigns in my community.
Though I now live with my family at the southern end of Lincolnshire, I was born in Northern Ireland and spent my early childhood in a village just a few miles from the border. I have also lived in Scotland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and central London. I know that, wherever you go in the United Kingdom, you will find hard-working, fair-minded people, frustrated with the existing political system and desperate for a new kind of politics.
It was the party’s fight against Brexit that first drew me to Renew but it was the opportunity to play a part in renewing our political system and fixing some of our entrenched social problems that convinced me to stay and lead the organisation.
It is clear that we need to find a new way of doing politics in this country and I am convinced that Renew is best placed to chart that course. I want us to build-up this new party using the energy and fresh ideas of people from outside politics. I want our party to become a natural home for those who currently feel disenfranchised and politically homeless. I want us to represent the pragmatic best of British politics, free from the extremist ideologies that have become the scourge of the two main political parties. And I look forward to doing all that with your help.
Starting next week, James Torrance and James Clarke, our inaugural leader and deputy leader, will be hosting events around the country at which they will set out some exciting plans we have for the next phase of Renew’s development.
The first of these events will be in London on Thursday 12th July, and the second in Birmingham on Saturday 14th. Though I am not able to attend the Birmingham event, I do hope to be at the London one, so please feel free to come along, say ‘hello’, ask any questions you may have, pass on your policy ideas and build a connection with myself and our central team.
Also in coming weeks, we will be launching our formal Renew membership scheme. I encourage as many of you as possible to sign up, so you can play a full role in the future life of our party. Details will follow soon.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can in the coming weeks and, beyond that, to working with you all to deliver a fairer, more optimistic and prosperous country.
Cheers for now,