Our story began in 2016 and since then we have grown into the national organisation we are today. Read more about how we evolved as an organisation below.
The end of Liberal Leave (2016):
The story of Centre began just after the end of the EU referendum when Liberal Leave members and remain supporters came together to restart the group. They supported UK membership of the single market which Liberal Leave supported during the EU referendum. During this time Torrin Wilkins gave a speech in support of an EFTA based Brexit at Liberal Democrat conference.
Starting New Liberals (2017):
The decision to move away from the Liberal Leave brand was taken the year of the referendum. Whilst we would continue to campaign for EFTA membership it was clear there were issues beyond Brexit that needed to be addressed. New Liberals was formed to campaign on a wider range of issues including the economy and the environment.
Turning New Liberals into a pressure group (2018):
As New Liberals started to expand further, we decided to become a pressure group. We also welcomed members of other Liberal party’s and had speakers at Liberal Democrat conference on the economy and Brexit.
Growing New Liberals (2019):
In 2019 we officially launched New Liberals at an event in Lincoln. At the same time we also opened up our membership to people from all political party’s and none. We then released our first advert which was filmed in Aberystwyth and had members speak at Lib Dem conference. They also began work on a list of policy proposals which eventually grew into the Our vision document.
Starting Centre (2019):
Near the end of 2019 we decided to rebrand as we had moved away from being simply a group for people who considered themselves Liberals. We now had members from all of the main political party’s on our executive and we published our first two papers. We were also building the digital aspect of Centre including a new website and graphics.
Starting a think tank (2020):
In 2020 we became a Limited Company and a think tank. We also opened up to donations and published more papers. During this time we created an independent complaints procedure along with laying the groundwork for new regional and local branches.
On the road with Centre (2021):
In 2021 Centre started to launch campaigns across the UK. We campaigned for the Excluded releasing three papers and had speakers at events in both London and Liverpool. We also started to reach out to people in local areas with a student branch in Aberystwyth and a regional branch in the East Midlands which received local press coverage.