President of Oxford University Lib Dems resigns

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Gareth Wilkes has resigned as Senior Co-Chair and President of the Oxford University Liberal Democrats. He announced his decision during the society’s weekly debate last Wednesday, 3rd February.

Speaking to The Oxford Student about his resignation, Wilkes said: “As a second year DPhil student my workload became too high for me to give OULD the time it deserves”. Gareth took over from Matt Sumption as Senior Co-Chair at the end of last term, having been President-Elect in Michaelmas and Spirits Officer in Trinity.

According to his successor, Lucinda Chamberlain, members of the General Executive had been aware that he was considering resigning for some time.

Chamberlain, who was elected Junior Co-Chair for Hilary, will now be Senior Co-Chair for the remainder of the term. The office of President-Elect and Junior Co-Chair are synonymous and the constitution mandates that the President-Elect should assume the President’s office if he or she resigns. This left the society without a Junior Co-Chair until Wednesday evening, when the Social Secretary, Jack Ford of St Hilda’s, was co-opted into the role at the OULD committee meeting.

A student at Brasenose, Chamberlain has been active in OULD for several terms. She was Secretary and Spirits Secretary in Michaelmas and served on the General Executive last Trinity. Having volunteered in the Liberal Democrats for several years, she unsuccessfully contested the Ardwick seat on Manchester City Council at the 2015 local elections. She is also a Deputy Returning Officer at the Union and the Vice-President of Oxford Students for Liberty, a liberal discussion group.

Asked about her plans for OULD, the new Senior Co-Chair replied: “This is an exciting time for the Lib Dems, given the upcoming local elections and EU referenda. My focus in the next few weeks will be to get our members knocking on doors and gathering support for our fantastic candidates in the local area. Past May, I will look towards the EU, focusing on speakers and events in conjunction with the campaign, and hopefully work alongside Oxford Students for Europe.”

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