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Steve Webb MP Wows Epsom & Ewell Lib Dems

May 18, 2008 5:28 PM
Lees, Webb and Morris

Jonathan Lees (PPC), Steve Webb MP and Cllr Julie Morris

After last year's successful event with Vince Cable MP (just before he became famous for dancing with the stars and cracking jokes in the Commons), this year's Epsom & Ewell Lib Dem Dinner at South Hatch was a sell-out.

This time the guest speaker was Steve Webb MP, who was formerly Lib Dem Health spokesperson, then led the team producing the party's Manifesto for last year's "election that never was". Now he is Lib Dem shadow Minister for Energy, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

As Steve explained, this is a wider portfolio than the government minister's, but as he had pointed out to Nick Clegg, it was difficult to develop policies to save the Environment, when Energy was the responsibility of a different department. Indeed, the more one looked at it, the more it became clear that the present government machine was far from being "joined up". He went on to point out many more examples, contrasting this with the Lib Dem approach of a Green backbone linking every policy, rather than adding green issues as an afterthought.

Another theme that he developed was communication, stressing the importance of using modern media to contact and interest the younger adults in today's society. Steve Webb has not only his own Website and Blog, but is also to be found on both Facebook and My Space.

Mr Webb, who is also a former University Professor, then bravely tackled a wide range of questions on almost every topic, without once flinching or dodging the issue. He is indeed, as our parliamentary candidate Jonathan Lees said in introducing him, an inspiring and challenging example to every Liberal Democrat.