Election of New European Movement Chair

A Message from the Chair of Oxford Region

Dear Fellow Members,

You will have heard that Lord Adonis is standing down from his role as Chair of the European Movement.  As a consequence, for the second time in just over a year, we are seeking a new person to head our organisation.  In a first for EM, the members will now have the final say in who the next Chair is to be and three people have put their names forward. These are (in alphabetical order):

  • Tom Brake, former LibDem MP
  • Mike Galsworthy, who is currently employed by EM, working with the team to formulate campaign strategy
  • Patience Wheatcroft, Businesswoman and Crossbench member of the House of Lords

The last year has been a turbulent one in the Brexit debate and, for the first time since 2016, we can now talk with confidence about when we join the EU as opposed to if.  It has also been a time of transition for the European Movement and that has not been without its difficulties.  

In that respect, the timing of this election could not be better.  It allows us to consolidate the changes that have taken place under Lord Adonis and build a base for what will be vital years to come.  When selecting who I want to see in charge, I will be looking for someone with a record of managing a large organisation, a media profile, and the ability to unite people into the pro-European cause.

For me, there is only one person who combines all those qualities – and that is Patience Wheatcroft.

Patience has founded and run a major specialist trade magazine, she has been editor of two major newspapers (The Wall Street Journal Europe and the Sunday Telegraph) and she has served on the boards of major organisations, such as the British Museum.

She campaigned vigorously in the People’s Vote campaign and was among the pro-Europeans who left the Conservative Party in 2019.

I am also hopeful that her background will help heal the rifts that have appeared in the pro-EU side over the last 18 months.  In particular, as a crossbencher, who was originally appointed to the House of Lords by David Cameron, I hope that she may be able to reach out to the pro-European Conservatives who left the EM following an ill-judged intervention when EM pledged to campaign against pro-EU Conservative MPs.

Whichever one of the candidates you decide to support, I thank you for continuing as a member of the European Movement in Oxford Region and look forward to being in touch over the coming months.

Graham Jones – Chair, European Movement Oxford Region

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