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Liberal Democrats trim length of annual conference

Party to trial the four-day programme in a move hoped to boost attendee numbers

Pictured: The Liberal Democrats conference usually lasts for five days, kicking off on a Saturday evening

The Liberal Democrats have decided to cut short their annual Autumn Conference in a move they say will boost attendance.

The conference, usually a five-day event, will now finish after four days when the party meets in Brighton from 17 September.

Federal Conference Committee chair Andrew Wiseman said the reduction would be a 'trial', saying the move would encourage attendance numbers by cutting costs.

"It is hoped the revised timing will save members money and also enable more members to come to the conference," he said.

"The main costs of attending conference, for most people, is having to take time off work and the cost of accommodation. Many members are not able to take the time off work.

"Though the conference does remain an income generator we have also looked at ways of reducing the cost of the conference to the Federal Party."

Another change to the annual conference was to bring forward the starting time, so it will begin at 9am Saturday. Mr Wiseman said: "Those who just can come for a weekend (will) get a full day on the Saturday."

The change comes after the Liberal Democrats suffered a sizeable defeat in last year's general election, losing 48 of its 56 seats. It led to the resignation of party leader Nick Clegg, who was replaced with Tim Farron.

The conference will take place at The Brighton Centre.

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