Young Liberals (UK)
Young Liberals is the youth and student organisation of the UK Liberal Democrats. Membership is automatic for members of the Liberal Democrats aged under 26, and opt-in for those aged 26–30.
|Chairperson||Callum James Littlemore & Dan Schmeising|
|Honorary President||Tessa Munt|
|Merger of||Union of Liberal Students |
National League of Young Liberals
|Headquarters||8–10 Great George Street,|
London SW1P 3AE
|Mother party||Liberal Democrats|
|State party||Scottish Young Liberals |
Welsh Young Liberals
English Young Liberals
|International affiliation||International Federation of Liberal and Radical Youth (IFLRY)|
|European affiliation||European Liberal Youth (LYMEC)|
Young Liberals exists to campaign on issues affecting young people and students, with branches across the UK run by young people, for young people. Young Liberals provides a platform for young people and students to have their voices heard and acts as a radical pressure group within the Liberal Democrats.
Their aim is to fight for a society based on fairness, equality and freedom for all. Economic liberalism, Social liberalism, social justice, internationalism and pro-Europeanism are important components of the group's political philosophy.
The constitution of the Liberal Democrats requires an affiliated youth and student wing. Accordingly, Young Liberals is a Specified Associated Organisation (SAO) of the party. It is granted voting rights on important Liberal Democrat committees, such as the Party's Federal Board.
Young Liberals is affiliated to both the International Federation of Liberal and Radical Youth (IFLRY) and European Liberal Youth. Its predecessors include the National League of Young Liberals (NLYL), founded in 1903 and the Union of Liberal Students (ULS), founded in 1920.
Organisation and StructureEdit
Young Liberals is the main party, organised in Great Britain on a federal basis, compromising of Welsh Young Liberals in Wales, Scottish Young Liberals in Scotland and English Young Liberals in England. The Convenor of each of these groups organises the regional activity of Young Liberals.
The federal organisation of Young Liberals organises liaisons with Liberal Democrats and affiliated organisations. The Federal Executive (current positions: Chair, Vice-Chair, Events Officer, Campaigns Officer, Communications Officer, Finance Officer, International Officer, Policy Officer, Membership Development Officer, Welfare & Access Officer and Non Portfolio Officer,) operates alongside committees for Conferences, Policy and International affairs. These committees, barring ex officio members such as representatives from state organisations and delegates from the executive, are elected by the Young Liberals membership via an all-member ballot, terms beginning on 1 November and are responsible to Conference. The English, Scottish and Welsh representatives are elected by the memberships of the state organisations - English Young Liberals, Scottish Young Liberals and Welsh Young Liberals.
|Chair||Callum James Littlemore|
|Vice Chair||Hermione Peace|
|Finance Officer||Finn Conway|
|Communications Officer||Harry Samuels|
|Campaigns Officer||Charlie Murphy|
|Membership Development Officer||Alexander Howarth|
|Events Officer||Huw James|
|Policy Officer||Tara Copeland|
|International Officer||Ben Whitlock|
|Welfare & Accessibility Officer||Katharine Macy|
|Non-Portfolio Officer||Erin Yarrow|
|English Young Liberals Chair||Jack Worrall|
|Welsh Young Liberals Chair||Thomas Hughes|
|Scottish Young Liberals Chair||Becca Penderleith|
There is an Honorary President and six Honorary Vice-Presidents of the organisation, who are elected by the membership to work alongside the executive to support the organisation, advise and often act as a form of institutional memory as well as give the Executive guidance and to act as spokespeople within the wider party.
|Honorary President||Tessa Munt|
|Honorary Vice-President||Jack Hughes|
In addition to the Executive, there are five committees which are responsible for the administration and implementation of its area, working alongside the executive. Committees are chaired by the Officer that is responsible for that area, for example the Policy Officer chairs the Policy Committee, and the other members of the committee are made up of members elected by the membership alongside the Officers and, with the exception of the International Committee, representatives from each of the three state organisations.
|Campaigns Officer (Chair)||Charlie Murphy|
|Elected Members||Sophie Thornton|
|Communications Officer||Harry Samuels|
|International Committee Rep|
|Events Officer (Chair)||Huw James|
|Elected Members||Katharine Macy|
|State Representatives||England||Thomas Crawford|
|Policy Officer (Chair)||Tara Copeland|
|Elected Members||Erin Yarrow|
|State Representatives||England||Matt Downey|
|Wales||Fergus Llewelyn Turtle|
International Congress Delegates CommitteeEdit
|International Officer (Chair)||Ben Whitlock|
|Elected Members||Peter Banks|
|Policy Officer (Chair)||Harry Samuels|
|Elected Members||Aaminah Saleem|
Outside of universities, Young Liberals eschews a formal, hierarchical branch structure, instead encouraging members to organise themselves and to use their local Liberal Democrat Party for financial affairs. Active members communicate with their local Youth Chair, who liaises with the parent party's representatives and with the federal Young Liberals executive. In this way the activities of young and student members remain formally independent from but closely engaged with the Liberal Democrats.
Young Liberals has had an active branch in Northern Ireland since 2010, under the name of Liberal Youth Northern Ireland, which operates as the youth branch of the Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats. Since 2014 it has become an official branch of Young Liberals, though for administrative purposes it is a branch of the English Young Liberals rather than a separate state branch. Liberal Youth Northern Ireland maintains a close working relationship with Alliance Youth, the youth wing of the Alliance Party.
The federal Conference is the sovereign body of the Young Liberals and has power to determine policy and direction. The federal Young Liberals usually hosts two conferences a year, a conference in the Winter and a training weekend known as 'Activate' in the Summer, which also acts as the constitutionally mandated Annual General Meeting. At conferences policy motions which shape YL policy and amendments to the organisations constitution are debated, alongside training and speaker sessions.
In addition, during each conference there is an Executive Scrutiny session, whereby members of the executive submit reports to conference on their activities and actions in their job. After each report motions on officers are debated, wherein any member can submit a Motion of commendation, Motion of censure or Motion of no confidence in an officer. Motions of commendation and censure are non-binding opinions of conference passed by a simple majority, expressing either positive or negative opinion on the actions of an officer. Motions of no confidence are binding motions which if passed have the affect of removing an officer from their position and require a two thirds majority in order to pass.
|Year||Winter Conference Venue||Summer Conference/Activate Venue||Notes|
|2010||University of York, York||University of Manchester, Manchester|
|2011||University of Essex||'None'||Essex conference called "Autumn Conference" no Activate held|
|2014||'None'||Cambridge||Winter conference before 2015 was held at end of year instead of beginning|
|2017||Sheffield||University of Nottingham, Nottingham|
|2018||St Catherine's College, Oxford||Swansea University, Swansea|
Liberal Democrat mergersEdit
The organisation was formerly known as Liberal Democrat Youth and Students (LDYS). Spring 2008 saw LDYS renamed as Liberal Youth, at an event hosted by the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg. Liberal Youth is the successor organisation to all the youth and student wings of the Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, including the Union of Liberal Students, the National League of Young Liberals, (the Liberal party's youth wings), the Young Social Democrats and Students for Social Democracy (the youth and student wings of the Social Democratic Party).
The Liberal Party and the SDP each had separate student and youth wings until their merger in 1988; these merged in England to form the Student Liberal Democrats and the Young Liberal Democrats of England. In Scotland, there was a separate Scottish Young Liberal Democrats (which also included students of all ages). Liberal Democrat Youth and Students was itself created in 1993 from a merger of the Student Liberal Democrats and the Young Liberal Democrats of England who had shared many resources in the run-up. The merger talks were overseen by a committee which included Sarah Gurling, who later married the late Charles Kennedy. LDYS reorganised into a federal structure in 2000 and then admitted Scottish Young Liberal Democrats as its Scottish federal unit in 2002 - forming a single GB-wide organisation for the first time since the combined ULS-NLYL committees of the 1970s.
List of former ChairsEdit
|Name||Term in Office||Notes|
|Young Liberals||Callum James Littlemore||2018 - Present||Co-Chairs;|
|Finn Conway||2018[note 1]||Elected on 27 July following resignation of previous chairs.|
|Thomas Gravatt (Acting)||2018[note 2]||Acting Chair|
|Hannah Ashworth||2017 - 2018||Co-Chairs; Resigned part way through term|
|Charlie Kingsbury||2016 - 2017|
|Liberal Youth||Michael Chappell||2015 - 2016||Co-Chairs|
|Alex Harding-Last||2014 - 2015|
|Sarah Harding||2013 - 2014|
|Sam Fisk||2013||Co-Chairs; Elected following Tom Wood's resignation.|
|Tom Wood||2011 - 2013||Resigned part way through second term|
|Martin Shapland||2010 - 2011|
|Elaine Bagshaw||2008 - 2010||Resigned part way through second term|
|Liberal Democrat Youth and Students||Mark Gettleson||2006 - 2008|
|Gez Smith||2005 - 2006|
|Chris Lomax||2004 - 2005|
|Brian Robson||2003 - 2004|
|Alison Goldsworthy||2002 - 2003|
|Miranda Piercy||2000 - 2002|
For Chairs of predecessors see List of National Chairs of the Union of Liberal Students and List of Chairs of the National League of Young Liberals
- English Young Liberals – English wing of Young Liberals
- Scottish Young Liberals – Scottish wing of Young Liberals
- Welsh Young Liberals – Welsh wing of Young Liberals
- Liberal Reform
- Social Liberal Forum
- Cambridge University Liberal Club
- Oxford University Liberal Democrats
- Young Labour
- Young Conservatives
- Chair from 27th July to 31st October
- Acting Chair from 12th May to 27th July
- The Green Book – new directions for Liberals in government, Mike Tuffrey, 5 March 2013, Liberal Democrat Voice
- How Lib Dem members describe their political identity: ‘liberal’, ‘progressive’ and ‘social liberal’ top the bill, Stephen Tall, 30 April 2011, Liberal Democrat Voice
- http://www.libdems.org.uk/ (17 April 2018). "Brexit".
- Elgot, Jessica (28 May 2017). "Tim Farron: Lib Dems' pro-European strategy will be proved right". the Guardian.
- "Meet The Exec". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
- "The Federal Constitution – Liberal Youth" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- http://www.liberalyouth.org/start-your-own-branch/ Archived 30 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- "Nick Clegg launches Liberal Youth" (Press release). Liberal Democrat Voice. 25 March 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2013.