Liberal Leave (2016):
The story of Centre began just after the end of the EU referendum when a mixture of Liberal Leave members and remain supporters came together to restart the group. They supported UK membership of the European Free Trade Association which Liberal Leave had supported during the EU referendum. During this time the groups Chair, Torrin Wilkins, gave a speech in support of an EFTA based Brexit at Liberal Democrat conference.
New Liberals (2017):
The decision to move away from the Liberal Leave brand was taken the year of the referendum. Whilst the group 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 narrow range of issues including the economy and the environment.
New Liberals (2018):
As New Liberals started to expand further we updated our image and decided to become a pressure group that worked within the Liberal Democrats. We also welcomed members of other Liberal party’s. This year also included speeches by our members at Liberal Democrat conference on the economy and Brexit.
New Liberals (2019):
In 2019 we added our slogan “moving forward” and we opened up our membership to members of all political party’s and none. We launched New Liberals in Lincoln and the event was attended by the President of the Liberal Party. The group also released its first advert which was filmed in Aberystwyth and had members of its executive speak at Lib Dem conference. They also began work on a list of different proposals which eventually grew into the current “Our vision” document.
Centre Group (2019):
Near the end of 2019 we decided to rebrand as the group 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 had published our first two papers on high speed rail and HIV. We were also building the digital aspect of Centre including a new website and graphics.
Centre Think Tank (2020):
In 2020 we became a Limited Company and a think tank as we published more papers. We also set up an independent complaints procedure and branches in every region of the UK.