I emailed Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Ed Fordham and asked him last week whether he knew anything about an advert for a new head of the Lib Dem office down at the Local Government Association that has been doing the rounds. He’s a busy man, I haven’t heard anything back yet.
I asked Ed because he works high up for the Lib Dems at the LGA in his day job, he must be ideally placed to tell me what the job was all about and why the successful applicant would get just an initial six month shot at it. Only once this period is over, the ad suggests, will the new man or woman know whether they will get the chance to go permanent.
Hmmmm.. Six months takes us up to the next general election, at which Ed is standing as a candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn. Surely that’s just a coincidence?
Maybe not suggest rivals, who believe the search is actually on to replace Ed himself and that maybe he’d like to keep on working at the LGA if he fails in his chase for a seat in the House of Commons. One who pointed me in the direction of the online advert told me: “Apart from the fact that he’s really well paid for being a Lib Dem councillor helpmeet, the thought occurs that if he’s so confident of winning H&K, why is his day job being kept warm by the LGA Lib Dems? He should have more courage in his convictions.”
While I waited for Ed to get back to me on whether it was actually his job being advertised – he was busy with leaflets outside TfL’s offices last week – another observer of the elections in Hampstead got in touch and said why not look at the Association of Liberal Democrat councillors website. It’s not an internet address I’ve spent much time at, but nevertheless, sure enough, there was another clue to the vacancy. The site has a news alert which says: “The Local Government Association is recruiting a new Head of the Liberal Democrat Office to replace Ed Fordham, moving to a new role with the LGA.”
So what does it all mean? Will Ed be sitting in a parliamentary office come May, or back at his desk at the LGA? It will be fascinating finding out.
BTW… here are the full details for the job:
salary £59,820 – £70,020 Inc London Weighting details 6 month contract initially (With potential to move to permanent) Liberal Democrats in Local Government are looking for a experienced senior advisor to manage the political activity in the Local Government Association (LGA).
You will work directly with the Leader of the Group, the Executive and Cabinet furthering our interests within the LGA and also within local government. Working across local government in England and Wales, in Westminster and Whitehall you will contribute to all aspects at the highest levels. In addition you will need experience of managing staff and budgets, leading high profile events and managing resources to achieve our objectives.
The post will commence as soon as possible for the successful applicant – we need a Head of Office to take us through the next General Election and we expect the successful applicant to become permanent at that point.
The LGA is the leading lobby organisation for local government.
The LGA has a positive approach to equalities and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community.
closes Closing date: 12 noon, 30th November 2009 Interview and Assessments: 9th and 10th December