EXCLUSIVE: Ros Scott announces no permanent replacement for Rennard as Lib Dem Chief Exec 'til 2010

by Stephen Tall on June 12, 2009

Here’s the statement from Baroness (Ros) Scott, Lib Dem party president:

After some considerable deliberation, the Leader, the Chair of the FFAC and I have decided not to proceed immediately with the appointment of a new permanent Chief Executive to replace Chris Rennard, but to appoint an acting Chief Executive to be in post until shortly after the next General Election. Our overriding aim is to maintain the current smooth running of the party organisation and to avoid significant disruption in the run up to the General Election.

Chris’ departure as Chief Executive on 30th September 2009 provides an opportunity to look afresh at the role of Chief Executive and further build the Party’s organisational capacity after the General Election. This is a process which will benefit from wide consultation & input from the various stakeholders within the Party.

I have written to invite all members of the Senior Management Team to apply for the posting of acting Chief Executive from 1st October 2009 until shortly after the next General Election.

It is our intention to interview all applicants after 22nd June and to make an appointment as soon as practicably possible.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work during the recent local & European elections. Your commitment to the Party is very much appreciated.

Ros Scott
Party President

In case you were wondering, here’s the list of the party’s senior management team:

  • Director of Campaigns and Deputy Director (North): Hilary Stephenson
  • Director of Finance: Nigel Bliss
  • Director of Headquarters: Ben Stoneham
  • Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Member Services: David Loxton
  • Director of Policy and Communications: Chris Fox
  • My immediate reaction? It seems to make sense to pause and re-think the role of chief executive, which is now so strongly associated with Chris Rennard – his departure leaves a big gap, and it’s sensible to ask if anyone else could or should try and be a direct replacement.

    However, there is always the risk of a power vaccuum in the lead up to the general election, almost certainly in May/June 2010, let alone the personal strain on whoever among the five potential candidates finds themselves as Acting Chief Executive alongside their own existing responsibilities.