We’re pleased to announce the candidates for the Volt UK Board and the positions they have applied for.
Before joining Volt UK two and a half years ago, I had accumulated over a decade of experience in the Liberal Democrats as a candidate, campaigner and as a regular conference speaker. I would often leave the conference stage and be approached by elected parliamentarians who would praise me for my contributions to the debate. My final speech to Liberal Democrat conference was described by former Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron on twitter as “truly beautiful. Moving, human, and poetic.” I am really good at public speaking for the causes I believe in, and I am ready and eager to start making social media content and to seek out speaking opportunities to help promote Volt UK
I believe passionately in this party and its mission. I am an anti-populist to my core. It is absolutely vital that people start trying to restore trust in politics. I left the Liberal Democrats because of failures in their ethics and procedures that completely eroded my trust. I want to take what I’ve learned from that to build something different, and better. The public needs a party that is passionately committed to only communicating truths to the public, and is transparently determined to act in the public interest, rather than their own interest. I believe Volt UK can be the party that embodies these values, and occupies a new political niche that the public might just start to enthusiastically embrace.
With the strategy I have developed for Volt UK, and that was endorsed by the membership after our last conference, we can also play a pivotal role in promoting the most important reforms for this country’s future, rejoining the EU, and electoral reform.Keir Starmer is looking very likely to become our next Prime Minister, and is looking very likely to let the country down on Europe and electoral reform. We can be the party that leads a progressive movement to pile pressure on Labour to change tack on these issues.If that pressure doesn’t bring change, we can deploy our strategy that helps the public vote confidently for the hung parliament that makes movement on Europe and electoral reform so much more likely.
In discussing the strategy with others, it has been described as brilliant and 100% logical (watch my presentation on the strategy here and please excuse the bombastic title: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNAPwzB67Kc ). It will take a fair bit of hard work to deliver, but I am committed to that hard work. I have worked very hard to develop the strategy, I have worked hard on both of my election campaigns for Volt UK, and I will work hard to ensure that Volt UK grows and is successful under my leadership.
The first steps will be reaching out to our members, organising them into local groups with specific goals, and ensuring they are kept engaged and informed with monthly online all-member meetings, and monthly online regional meetings, with me dropping in regularly to say hi. I hope that with regular fortnightly meetings we can build and maintain momentum for all the activities we need to carry out in order to have a genuine influence on UK politics.
As a party we need to build on our successes in the social media space, and to start engaging with potential members and supporters in the real world. I am very keen to equip local groups with banners, t-shirts and flags for taking our message and our strategy to university campuses. Young, educated people are the demographics in which we will find most enthusiasm for rejoining the EU and for electoral reform, and students have the free time to engage and promote our message further.
All of this activity will primarily be focused on our Westminster electoral strategy, finding 50-60 willing candidates, and raising the funds necessary to fight the campaign that the country needs us to fight.
If we end up falling short of our electoral ambitions, we will still have enormously expanded the capacity of the party to deliver new strategies going forward.
If I am elected leader of Volt UK, I can also reach out to allies in order to promote our strategy and our party with the authority that leadership grants me. I have already had constructive meetings with people from Compass, Make Votes Matter, and Get PR Done. Gina Miller is keen for a chat, and someone from StoptheTories.vote has got in touch recently as well to invite me to join a proportional representation strategy network. Stop the Tories.vote are the frontrunners in the tactical voting space and so an enormously influential group for me to potentially get on side.
In closing, I’ll suggest I have a great many of the skills required to do a really good job of leading this party, and I believe I have the necessary interpersonal skills and self-awareness to make sure the new board can work together well. I very much want to make sure everyone in the team feels valued and useful and enjoys themselves as we embark upon this important journey together.
Luis Perdigao (President / Treasurer) – Luis is originally from Portugal, and has lived in the UK for 23 years, and is currently settled, married and with family, in Cubbington, near Leamington Spa. Luis stood for councillor in May 2021 for Cubbington and Leek Wotton ward for Volt UK. Luis works as a research software engineer, and I have an established career as a scientist.
“For me, Volt UK has a very strong rejoin message supported by ambidextrous policies. Volt is also the biggest pushing force for UK to rejoin the European Union: the UK can benefit, should be part of it and lead it, because it is the rightful thing to do from the perspective of trade, justice, human rights, etc. Last year I was interim chair of the nanoscale physics and technology group, which gave me significant experience in being part of a board, which I hope can be translated to making significant contributions to this party.”
Alessandro Gallo (President / Campaigns Officer) – I’m Alessandro and I’m presenting my candidacy for the internal elections that will take place tomorrow Saturday 18th of November for the Volt UK Board as both President and Campaigns Officer.
I’m an Italian man living in the UK, London, for almost four years now.I work as a data scientist for The Economist.
I joined Volt in 2019. My main focus back then was to provide technical support for social media and fundraising in the brand new EUR Data Analytics team.I think it is important to share a few words with you to outline the main focus of my electoral program. In my opinion it is essential to address foundational issues within our party. I’d like to bring attention to a few pressing concerns:
Financial Constraints: Due to the limited funds in our treasury and the legal restriction from Volt Europa, that prevents us receiving money overseas, we are constrained in financial matters. Our reliance on member donations necessitates a meticulous and widespread use of our resources, and the new board will make sure that anyone will be accountable for improper use of it. This brings us to the next question.
Membership Process: Currently, our membership initiation starts on the website and concludes through the Paypal system. I propose investigating the connection with Volt.team, which, to my knowledge, serves as the primary source for basic statistics for all chapters (I may be wrong, correct me if this is the case)
Understanding Our Membership: A deeper exploration of our internal data would provide valuable insights into the existing member base—where they are located and additional information essential for comprehension. Notably, there is an apparent concern regarding the representation of women in our candidacies.
Member Engagement and Expansion: Our member base exists but seems inactive or disengaged. This raises concerns about retention and presents a challenge for the new board to avoid perpetuating the sense of disconnection by promoting meetups, events and public actions. A strong and engaged base will facilitate the expansion of teams in the territory.
Other matters are not matters, like Social Media where Pierce is already doing an amazing job and will continue increasing visibility outside of the movement.As you see all points are based on continuity, in building a solid and functional structure on top of an already existing one.
I’m committed to making Volt UK a dynamic community where everyone can grow and collaborate to shape the future of Europe. Our community thrives on openness, diversity, and common action, fostering debates and challenging beliefs for better outcomes, reflecting the rich tapestry of the UK as a country of immigrants.
I believe Volt UK should be about values, focusing on integrity, human relationships, and meaningful impact. Our diverse and effective community, led by each member, aims to bring about positive change.I aim to demonstrate a strong work ethic and dedication, starting with responsibility and perseverance.
By choosing leadership that empowers everyone, we can make Volt a place where every Volter plays a role in our shared project.
Leander Ots (Treasurer / Deputy President) –
My name is Leander Ots, 31 years old, currently Policy Lead for Volt UK, and I’m standing for the position of Deputy President and Treasurer. The next two years is going to be key in growing Volt in the UK. General Elections are likely to be called, causing a shift in the political landscape. It is up to Volt to articulate its unique vision during that period and push those positions as much as we can. I’m already contributing to (and will continue doing!) this through the writing of our policies. As Deputy President or Treasurer, I however hope to be more involved, in particular regarding:
- Growing our membership. Volt is unique in the UK and has the benefit of its European reach compared to other ‘rejoin’ or progressive movements. It is up to the board to articulate that perspective and grow our membership to make the change we want to see.
- Building connections with similar organisations. As per the above, there are other movements similar to ours. These are not our opponents and we should be open to collaborating with others for the causes we share.
- More actively involving current members. We are a volunteer organisation and are built on your contributing hours. I hope to organise more community events, activities, speaker sessions and the like over the coming year to make you all more involved in that process.
Thanks for reading!
Joseph Storey (Deputy President / Community Lead) – Joseph lives in Sheffield and is currently Volt UK’s Community Lead.
I’m Joseph Storey, currently studying computing and networks. Before joining Volt UK I had no political experience, I joined Volt due to being passionate about the European Union and learning about politics, I quickly got myself involved with the activities, namely improving the onboarding system to what I could as a member, eventually taking over all of volt.team to onboard and add members by myself, working through the backlog of people which are on the system and I am currently involved with moving all of our systems back onto Volt Europa, connecting us back to the rest of our party, as well as improving our internal communications and access to the benefits from Volt Europa (for example, having access to workplace, improving the onboarding systems so more people are onboarded to the party)
I have four key things I want to get done by the end of my term 1: Improve our internal systems, this includes our current onboarding system, website, email system. I want to make sure for the 2024 election, our tech is properly up to date, managed properly and easy to use with a small volunteer team behind it. This would heavily improve our chances of pulling off the strategy we chosen for the election, with volunteers and members being able to get sent town specific emails, regional and national with much more coordination then before, as well as saving the party money through using subscriptions provided by Volt Europa
2 & 3: Improve communication between members and the board and improve activity within volt, I intend to do this through either a biweekly or monthly newsletter to all members about what we have done this month, having my WhatsApp and Workplace messages fully open to any questions and answers so members can easily access someone on the board, get involved more, and find out what needs doing. This also helps the activity in Volt due to the new members being able to access someone who knows what needs doing.
4: The most important one, preparing for the general election, without all of the above, Volt will struggle to get anything done, without the proper internal systems we are unable to properly communicate and get new members involved, having poor communications causes our direction not to be clear, potentially taking away active members and new members which we can use to promote ourselves and of course, without you, the members and volunteers who put their time into the party, we are unable to achieve our goals.
If you have any questions please contact me on WhatsApp! I’m happy to go into further detail about any of this.
Stephen Stretton (Community Lead) – Stephen lives in London and has applied to be Community Lead to help grow Volt UK’s reach and help us organise events & socials
Register for free to attend our Party Conference online this Saturday