Meet the Candidates for National Chair


Tom Brake

      

I welcome the European Movement’s decision to open up the Chair’s position to anyone who supports EM’s Rejoin mission. I fully support it. One urgent part of that mission is to influence political parties. That takes more than a contacts list: it means understanding the culture, processes, and pressures on elected representatives. 

In the CV for Chair, the EM lists essential criteria. I meet these convincingly.

As Unlock Democracy’s Director, a growing membership organisation, I ensure our Chair is fully briefed for every Council, Management Board and AGM. I put in place a suite of key governance policies such as a risk register, child safeguarding and whistle-blowing.

As an MP (1997-2019) and Minister I was intimately involved in the policy-making process, learning how other parties and Parliamentary procedures work. Outside Parliament I chaired, spoke at and kept the peace at a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian parliamentarians. Exercising sound political judgement, I managed the dialogue to enable them to commit to using economic development to foster improved relations. Now I chair webinars with over 100 people in attendance. 

Ahead of the Brexit referendum, as afterwards, I was very active in Parliament opposing Brexit. On the People’s Vote campaign I worked closely with members of 6 other political parties, travelling widely to speak at events hosted by pro EU groups. Presently, I work with members from many parties, particularly with Labour and the campaign for PR (L4ND). I have built relationships and run joint campaigns with other organisations, including Best 4 Britain and Open Britain. I have also built links with ShoutOutUk and MyLifeMySay (youth organisations), and we are developing a project with Operation Black Vote (to improve our diversity). As well as UK political contacts, I developed European contacts such as with Guy Verhofstadt and in MoDem. I keep up to date on EU-related matters through the Where Next for Brexit network and the UK in a Changing Europe think tank.  I am now eager to deploy my energy, experience, expertise, skills and contacts for the benefit of the European Movement and the Rejoin campaign.  


Learn more about Tom Brake
Mike Galsworthy

    

I have worked alongside or with the European Movement since 2015, when I founded Scientists for EU. I not only know its organisational structures and key people, but thanks to seven years of campaigning, I well know the substantial branches network, having visited dozens of local groups over the last few years for speeches, events and rallies. 

All this would allow me to hit the ground running on becoming Chair. In 2023, tides are turning in our favour with Brexit disenchantment giving way to surging public support for rejoin. The EM needs to capitalise quickly on this and up its public brand recognition. That not only means broadcast media and the press, it also means on social media and in the streets. I fully support EM's 'step-by-step to rejoin' policy.

The EM is now the hub for the network of pro-EU local groups around the country. But many need re-energising and many new branches need to be formed to serve EM’s growing membership base. We must (1) increase policy capacity to develop campaigning materials and a roadmap, (2) increase support for Young European Movement, (3) develop a parliamentary support network, and (4) build relations with businesses and a wide range of civil society organisations. All together that will help us to develop the truly nationwide movement that EM must be to lead the country, step-by-step, to our rightful place in the European Union.

I have the campaigning, campaign-building, and leadership experience for this role. I also have the positive energy and vision needed to make it fly. Throughout my campaign, I will be updating my campaign website to set out the vision, provide materials and explain my credentials for this leadership role.


Learn more about Mike Galsworthy
Patience Wheatcroft

    

When the UK voted to leave the EU, I was devastated. I marched, I spoke at a rally in Parliament Square and then, with a group of colleagues, we established the People's Vote campaign. Our aim was to bring together the various organisations that were fighting for the same end and give them an effective mouthpiece... 

We got so close to success - but not close enough.  

My passionate belief that we are stronger in Europe remains and drives me to put myself forward for this crucial role. I would bring an unusual combination of skills and expertise, having been deeply involved in media, politics, business and membership organisations. In all those spheres, I have been committed to recognizing the importance of the entire team and making it as inclusive and diverse as possible. As a columnist and commentator, I am used to expressing my opinions vigorously in public, in print, on-line, on radio and on television. In the Lords, I have a platform which I use to highlight the failings of Brexit and the desperate need to rebuild the UK’s relations with the European Union. My working relationships and friendships are cross-Party and at every level.

As chair, my aim would be to build the EM brand, not mine. That would mean working with the members who do so much - and recruiting many more. Having served many years as deputy chairman of the British Museum and chair of its Patrons’ Group, I’m very familiar with the governance of important institutions. Music, art and culture are vital to me - I currently chair the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions - and I would campaign to regain the benefits that EU membership brought in these areas. I am very familiar with the business world, having written about it and been a board member, most recently of Fiat Chrysler, a truly global business with firm European roots. I would increase business engagement with the EM. Our children and theirs deserve a better future than is currently on offer. At EM, I would work tirelessly to ensure they get it. 


Learn more about Patience Wheatcroft
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