Liberal Democrat staffers will be encouraged to work for charities to "sharpen their campaigning skills" if leadership candidate Tim Farron wins the party’s leadership vote today.
Farron, who is the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, is the narrow favourite in a two-horse race with Norman Lamb. The result of the voting from 60,000 Lib Dem members is expected to be announced at 4pm.
In comments made to The Daily Telegraph and confirmed by his spokesman, Farron said that if he succeeded Nick Clegg he would tell the party’s 70 staff to spend time working with charities and other campaigning organisations.
The spokesman added that Farron hoped staff could be seconded to other charities.
The change of party leadership comes after a disastrous general election for the Lib Dems in which the party ended up with eight MPs, a fall from 57 in the last parliament. Clegg, the former Deputy Prime Minister, resigned from the party leadership soon afterwards.
Farron, whose politics are more left-leaning than his predecessor’s, has never worked for a charity.