From Andrew Dixon, President: 2021 LDBEN Leadership

After six years at the helm of LDBEN, our Chair, Tilly McAuliffe, and I both feel that the time has now come for new leadership to take the network forward in these challenging times for UK business.  

We are therefore delighted to announce that Simon Curtis has agreed with effect from 11th January to assume the role of Chair of LDBEN, with Caroline Kenyon and Leslie Hurst acting as Deputy Chairs.  Simon is a former commercial lawyer who built a successful law practice before selling it to a US firm, whilst Caroline and Leslie are serial entrepreneurs in various business sectors, including IT, leisure and food journalism. 

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Simon Curtis, Chair
Caroline Kenyon, Deputy chair
Caroline Kenyon, Deputy Chair
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Leslie Hurst, Deputy chair

Simon, Leslie and Caroline have formulated an exciting vision to expand the network over the next five years.  Details of their plans will be circulated later this month, but meanwhile Sir Ed Davey has said:

“LDBEN plays a vital role in our Party and country by tirelessly supporting the business community. This work is more important now than ever — with the devastating consequences of Covid-19 and the economic threat of Brexit, we must do everything we can to keep Britain open for business.

I am delighted that Simon, Caroline and Leslie are taking over leadership of LDBEN, and I’m sure they will do a tremendous job at making sure the Liberal Democrats remain the natural political home for business.”

Simon said today:

“Caroline, Leslie and I are honoured to be asked by the LDBEN Excom to take over the leadership of the network after Tilly and Andrew’s many years of extraordinary service.  We are convinced that LDBEN has a vital role to play in ensuring that the voice of rational, liberal and socially-minded UK business is heard in these increasingly chaotic times.  We will do everything we can in coming years to facilitate that process and build on the network’s achievements to date.” 

Tilly commented:

Helping to build LDBEN over the last six years has been a privilege, and one which I have enjoyed immensely. Thank you to all our members for making it into the Network it is today. Simon, Leslie and Caroline make a formidable team; LDBEN’s future could not be in safer hands.

Tilly and I will continue to support LDBEN as members of the Executive Committee.  We would like to thank you all for your constant support, engagement and encouragement since we founded the network in 2014.  There have been many highlights – our Business Weeks, our numerous policy papers, our contributions to three different election manifestos, the launch of LDBEN Scotland, our support of Ed Davey’s Covid Business Taskforce and our Mix@Sixes with wonderful guest speakers.  We have been inspired by your passion and your commitment to the Liberal business cause.  

The new leadership team will shortly send you a briefing note regarding the Christmas Eve Brexit Agreement, which – whilst better than “no deal” – we see as hugely problematic for many UK businesses. 

Thank you again for all your valuable contributions to LDBEN’s growth over the past six years.  

Andrew Dixon
Outgoing President and Founder, LDBEN