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Floella says Lib Dems are running to win

floella benjaminFormer children’s presenter Floella Benjamin delivered a passionate pep talk to Liberal Democrats at their start-of-conference rally in Bournemouth yesterday.

And leader Nick Clegg told the faithful that they needed to do more to make the party more diverse.

Benjamin turns 60 on Wednesday this week, but Brent East MP Sarah Teather spoke for everyone when she said that the ex-TV presenter looked as amazing as she did thirty years ago. Benjamin runs ten marathons a year, and after delivering her conference speech she jetted out in time to compete in the Great Northern Run in Newcastle today.

Benjamin told activists that in 1997 she had high expectations of the newly-elected Labour government of Tony Blair, but today “bright dreams lie in tatters for so many people.” She urged people who traditionally supported Labour to reassess how they cast their votes. “We must put the well-being of the nation above all else.”

Karen Hamilton

Karen Hamilton

She added: “We understand the need for a diverse society based on equality and justice for all.” Benjamin also told a packed auditorium that they must “value and cherish” a diverse membership and make them feel “as though they truly belong.”

It was a theme expanded upon by Clegg, who gave the concluding speech at the opening of the annual conference. Turning to the Lib Dem’s candidate for Birmingham Perry Barr Karen Hamilton, who like Benjamin had also delivered a keynote speech, Clegg said: “Karen represents a diverse community that is not yet fully represented in our party.”

Hamilton told party members about the Next Generation initiative to increase ethnic minority representation, adding: “We shouldn’t underestimate what difference support and encouragement can make.”

Lester Holloway

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One Response

  1. I hope Floella travelled to Newcastle by train rather than literally jetting out.

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