Cathy Bakewell

Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Cathy Bakewell is the former Leader of Somerset County Council and was an elected councillor for two decades between 1993 and 2013.

Cathy was born in Bristol but has lived in Somerset for over 50 years. She joined the Liberal Party in 1974 as she believed it was the only Party to speak up for the man in the street and espouse equality. 

Cathy worked for Paddy Ashdown in his constituency office for 11 years and was elected to Somerset County Council in 1993, standing down in 2013.  Cathy is passionate about the rights of children and young people and during her time as Leader of the Council ensured that services to the vulnerable were always given priority.

Cathy joined the House of Lords in October 2013. She is a Whip for the Liberal Democrats in the Lords and led the team opposing the controversial Housing and Planning Act 2016.

In 2015 Cathy was appointed as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Housing as part of the Communities and Local Government Team. In 2016 she was appointed Party Spokesperson for Local Government. In October 2016 Cathy became the Liberal Democrat's Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.


Baroness Bakewell's profile on


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