Thursday, May 21, 2009

Statement by Lord Rennard

First, I’d like to thank all members for everything that you are doing to
help our candidates in the European and local elections (if you have local
elections in your area). I am sure that they appreciate your support at a
difficult time in politics. If you are standing yourself, then obviously
I wish you the best of luck!

My reason for writing is that I have decided to make the current election
campaigns my last as Chief Executive. I discussed this with Nick some
time ago and I have given notice to the Party President that I will stand
down as Chief Executive at the end of the Summer.

I want to be able to work more flexibly in future whilst of course
continuing to help our party advance. I believe that I will be better able
to do so without the administrative burdens of being Chief Executive and
running the party's day to day organisation.

For family and health reasons, I have needed to change the way in which I
work. My wife Ann has supported me enormously in all my work. But since
she retired a few years ago after more than 35 years teaching, we wanted
to have something of a more normal life outside the Westminster bubble.

This has become more important to me as I have struggled to maintain good
diabetic control with the rigours of a very demanding lifestyle. This has
proved to be increasingly difficult whilst carrying out the role of Chief
Executive at HQ and around the country.

I decided that this Summer would be the best time for me and for the party
to make a change. I am letting the party know this now, so that it can
take the necessary steps to appoint a new Chief Executive in the Autumn.

My major work as Chief Executive in recent years has been to help create
new structures for the party organisation and help to recruit an extremely
strong professional team to work for it. The role of Chief Executive has
therefore changed significantly since I undertook this role six years ago.

By the Summer, we will have had crucial local and European elections and I
believe that we will do well in them. I am also confident that Nick Clegg
will prove to be the most successful Leader that we have ever had. I am
immensely proud of the roles that I have played so far in securing the
steady advance of the Liberal Democrat cause. Our values and beliefs have
never been more important than they are today. I will, of course,
continue to support the General Election campaign, but not as chair.

Finally, I would just like to thank all members personally for all the
support that I have had whilst working for the party and I look forward to
continuing to work with you in future.

With all best wishes,
Yours sincerely

Chris Rennard

PS I thought about letting you know this after the current round of
elections, but having taken the decision and informed the Leader and
President, I wanted you to hear directly from me and to fully understand
why I have been trying to make lifestyle changes and will make an even
more significant one later this year.

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