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.
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.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Rennard to Quit as LibDem Chief Executive
Chris Rennard, the LibDem Chief Executive, has today announced that he will stand down in the autumn. He sent an email to LibDem members saying that he had been planning the move for some time. There's no doubt that his campaigning methods have been absolutely crucial to the LibDem successes over the last fifteen years and his departure will be a severe blow. It has been thought that he and Nick Clegg have not see eye to eye on a number of issues, and that may have played a part in his decision. There have also been mutterings about the LibDems being a one trick campaigning pony and the fact that Rennard and his team have not been able to adapt to new political circumstances. It's also odd for it to be announced in the closing stages of an election campaign, but there you go. Here's the text of his letter...