Federal Executive

The Federal Executive (FE) is the governing body of the Federal Party. It is responsible for directing, co-ordinating, and implementing the work of the Federal Party.

The FE is Chaired by the Party President, and has representatives of the members (15 members elected by Conference), the state parties, MPs, Peers, MEPs, and councillors.

The next elections are due to take place in Autumn 2014. The current membership is as follows. 

Chair: Tim Farron MP (Party President)


Tim Farron was first elected as MP for Westmorland & Lonsdale in 2005. He was elected Party President on 13th November 2010.

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Nick Clegg MP (Party Leader)


Nick Clegg was elected as leader of the Liberal Democrats in 2007. Following the formation of the Coalition Government in May 2010, he became Deputy Prime Minister.

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Lorely Burt MP (MP rep)


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Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Peer Rep)

Born 9 March 1955, Kishwer Falkner (previously Kishwer Khan) was educated at St Josephs Convent School Karachi Pakistan, London School of Economics, and the University of Kent. She has been Chief Executive of Student Partnerships Worldwide, a charity supporting young people in Africa and Asia, and heavily involved in international development at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Previously she has been Chief Programme Officer, Political Affairs Division Commonwealth Secretariat (?99-?03), and Director International Affairs for the Liberal Democrats (?93-?99). Kishwer Falkner stood for election as MP for Kensington and Chelsea in the 2001 General Election. She is married with one child and lives in London.

Fiona Hall MEP (MEP Rep)


Fiona was first elected as a Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for the North East of England in June 2004 and was re-elected in 2009. In July 2009 Fiona was elected as Leader of the Liberal Democrat European Parliamentary Party. Fiona is a full member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and has led the ALDE (Liberals and Democrats) Group on energy efficiency, renewable energy and CO2 emissions from cars. Fiona is also a substitute member of the Development Committee and has headed up EU Election Observation Missions in a number of countries. 

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Peter Ellis (English Party Chair, English Vice President)

Craig Harrow (Scottish Convenor, Scottish Vice President)

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John Last (Welsh Vice President)

Brian Orrell (English Rep)

Dan Farthing (Scottish Rep)


Dan Farthing is a charity manager and campaigner.  He has been an active Liberal Democrat since helping to establish the Lancaster University student branch.  After leaving University he fought the first Scottish Parliamentary Election helping to return John Farquhar Munro MSP. 

After working on Charles Kennedy MP’s Leadership Election Campaign he joined the Leaders’ Office before returning to the Highlands in a campaigning role.  In addition to helping Charles increase his majority he was Campaign Manager for the campaign which elected Danny Alexander MP for the first time. 

He then worked for Dorothy Thornhill, our elected Major in Watford before beginning his third sector career.  He has experience as an agent, convenor of a short-listing committee and candidate.  He currently serves as the Scottish Party’s Campaign Training Coordinator, on the Scottish Party’s Executive as well as on the Federal Executive.  

Ali Goldsworthy (Welsh Rep)

Ali_Goldsworthy.jpgAli is the Welsh rep to the Federal Executive. Born and bred in South Wales she joined the party in 1999. A former parliamentary candidate, Ali works in the voluntary sector leading Supporter Engagement work. She is currently Deputy Chair of the Committee.  

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Kath Pinnock (Councillor rep)


Kath was first elected to Kirklees Council in 1987 to a ward which had not had previous Liberal or Liberal Democrat councillors. She is currently leader of the Liberal Democrat Group. She was Leader of Kirklees Council for 6 years from 2000. One of the Local Party’s finest achievements in that time was the Kirklees Warm Zone scheme which offered free cavity wall and loft insulation to every home, regardless of tenure.

She served on the Board of Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency, for 10 years and in that role supported a carbon reduction strategy for the Region.

She loves campaigning, and has been a member of ALDC for as long as she has been involved in local politics. She is currently vice-chair of ALDC and for 4 years was Chair.

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Chris White (Councillor rep)


Chris became a county councillor in Hertfordshire in 1993 and group leader in 1994. He was instrumental in setting up the East of England Regional Assembly in 1997 and was leader of the Assembly’s Lib Dem group for ten years. Chris became chair of the Regeneration Board of the Local Government Association in 2004 and chair of the Culture, Tourism and Sport Board in 2006, stepping down in 2012. He was a member of the Nations and Regions Group of London 2012 until February 2012. He is a member of St Albans District Council and is deputy leader of the Lib Dem Group on St Albans District Council. He is a member of the Management Committee of ALDC. He currently works in public affairs.

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Qassim Afzal


40 years of business, 30 years of volunteering, experienced broadcast journalist since 1994 starting at the BBC, a current affairs Anchor, 20 years in politics, twice elected councillor, six times parliamentary spokesman, elected to Local Government Association (LGA) and equalities executive, advised DPM on Pakistan and several ministers including policy, in 15 years directly elected onto most federal committees, regularly leading high level parliamentary delegations. Guest and speaking: Amnesty international AGM, NATO and USA on human rights and civil liberties.

Specialist experience and knowledge in economic development, fdi, faith & diverse communities, Islamic political thought, middle-east westerns movements, expertise’s in media, tv, radio, specialist press its political training and lecturing, member of parliamentary policy committee: foreign affairs, culture media sports, education, family, youth, and Business Innovation. Masters International Business, an MPhil conversation and writing up PhD on foreign policy (disputed regions). Qassim enjoys trekking for charity, martial arts, reading and star-trek.

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Elaine Bagshaw

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Daisy Cooper


Daisy’s local party is Lewes, East Sussex. She was elected to the Federal Executive by party members in 2012, as well as to the ALDC’s Management Committee. Daisy was the Parliamentary Candidate for Suffolk Coastal in 2010 where she led the local party to secure an 8% swing in the vote (against a 1% national average) and win the 2010 Penhaligon Award, a national party award for engaging members. Daisy was a member of the party’s 2009 International Development Policy Working Group, and was an advisor to the party’s Parliamentary International Affairs Team in 2012. She has competed successfully to join the party’s Leadership Programme designed to increase the number of party MPs from under-represented groups. Daisy works for Hacked Off – a campaign for a free and accountable press - having previously worked in Commonwealth affairs for 8 years. She is also currently studying for an Executive Masters in Public Administration at LSE.

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Ramesh Dewan

Sue Doughty


Sue has undertaken a wide variety of roles within the Liberal Democrats  including chairing two different constituencies, regional vice chair, and serving as MP for Guildford.  She was recently on the Defence Policy working group, and takes a keen interest in environmental policy.  On the Federal Executive she chairs the Democratic Reform Working Group which is working on better ways to ensure that members have a greater say in the running of the party.  Sue is also a member of the FE committee responsible for the Lib Dem associated organisations. Other roles in the Lib Dems include membership of the executive of the Parliamentary Candidates Association, and being a returning officer in the South East Region. Outside of the Lib Dems Sue is studying Spanish, attempting to turn her puppy into a good dog and going for long walks, sometimes without Focuses to deliver. Sue lives in Guildford.

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Jock Gallagher 


Jock Gallagher is a party veteran who joined the Young Liberals in 1952. He returned to the FE in 2013 after an absence of seven years. He chairs the Membership  Group and is a member of the SAO/AO Review Group. He is also president of the West Midlands Region and of the North Worcestershire LP. He is also secretary of the Parliamentary Candidates Association (having served previously as treasurer, vice-chair, chair and vice president). He founded Who’s Who in the Liberal Democrats? (now in its eighth edition) and, in 2012, he was founder director of Grassroutes to  Government, the network concerned about party communications. Outside politics, he was a senior programme executive at the BBC (for twenty-five years), an independent radio and TV producer and Executive Director of the Association of British Editors.  In November 2013, he published a 250,000-word tome Scotland’s Global Empire – a Chronicle of Great Scots.

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James Gurling


James joined the Party at its inception having been an active member of the SDP student wing. His early days saw him serve as Student Regional Convenor for Yorkshire & Humberside, Sabbatical Vice President at Hull University, Treasurer for Liberal Democrat Students before being briefly employed as the HQ student support worker. Having stood at City and County level in Hull, James became Agent to Jenny Tonge in Richmond & Barnes, Agent in the Battersea constituency area for Wandsworth Council election, and was elected 3 times to Southwark Council where he served in a number of roles including Executive Member and Chair of Planning. A Regular member of the Party's Parliamentary By-election team, James was a press Aide to Paddy Ashdown on the '97 General Election tour and later Leadership Electin Agent to Charles Kennedy. Directly elected to FCC and FE for a number of years, he is now the FE's representative on FCC and Chairs the Party's Campaigns & Communications Committee.

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Keith House 


Keith House has been Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council since 1994.  He is also group leader on Hampshire County Council and the Lib Dem lead at the Local Government Association on Housing, Planning, Waste and Energy issues.  Keith is a strong advocate of devolution having introduced Local Area Committees with real decision-making at Eastleigh, and handing services, powers and land to Parish Councils.  He has been involved in democracy projects in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America, training and observing elections.  Keith is a Board Member of the Homes & Communities Agency.

In Eastleigh, Keith was the Agent for the February 2013 Parliamentary By-election and has led the Council bringing the Lib Dem strength up to 40 out of 44 councillors.  He says the Lib Dems’ success in Eastleigh is through continuous campaigning and reinvention.

Keith was a member of Party staff as Director of Membership from 1989-2000.

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Caron Lindsay


Caron Lindsay has been a party activist for 30 years and lives in Livingston. Currently Treasurer of the Scottish Party, Scottish Lib Dem Women and ASLDC Exec member and Returning Officer for Liberal Youth, she is a previous Campaigns and Candidates Convener in Scotland and candidate assessor.

She is co-editor of the Liberal Democrat Voice blog (and encourages you all to sign up to the members' forum  there), has her own blog at Caron’s Musings and writes for the Herald’s Viewpoint site, AD LIB and Liberator.

On FE, she chairs a group on improving communications which will report early in 2014 and is a member of the S/AO group. She is the FE’s liaison to the East Midlands (where she used to live) and Liberal Democrat Humanists and Secularists.

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Gordon Lishman


Party activist for 50 years.  President, North West Region.  Chair, Burnley LibDems. Chair, FE group on S/AOs. FFAC member.  Policy working groups on workplace democracy, political/constitutional reform (resigned), ageing society.

Formerly: founder member, ALC, founder chair, ALDC; chair, International Relations Committee; chair, Liberal International Human Rights Committee. Author 1970 community politics amendment.

Was Director General, Age Concern (most effective campaigning charity, voted by Parliamentarians) and chief executive, Age Concern Group. Vice-President, International Federation on Ageing; founder officer AGE–Platform, EU; Steering Committee, EHRC.  Government Adviser, pensions and care funding reform.  Chair Department of Health Nutrition Delivery Board. Author, Northern Ireland Government policy on older people.

Chair, Gas Safe Charity; chair, Audit Committee, Older People’s Commissioner in Wales; chair, Burnley & Pendle CAB. Governor, Pensions Policy Institute.

Strong interest in liberalism as party ideology and the big ideas that underpin it.  Strong commitment to the ownership of the Party by its members.

Candy Piercy

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David Rendel 


Joined Liberal Party in 1973. Founder member of the (Social and) Liberal Democrats.

Parliamentary candidate in Fulham (1979 and 1983) and in Newbury (1987 to 2010, including the successful 1993 Newbury by-election). MP for Newbury (1993 to 2005). Parliamentary spokesperson on Housing, Local Government, Welfare and Pensions, and Higher Education (including the campaign against tuition fees). Member of the Public Accounts Committee. Candidate for the Party Leadership (1999).

Councillor for Newbury District Council (1987 to 1995) and for West Berkshire Council (2007 onwards).

David was the only member of the FE who voted against the Coalition Agreement. To him it was unacceptable without a firm commitment to PR for Westminster.

David was born in Athens, brought up in London, and studied Physics and Philosophy at Oxford University where he rowed in the Boat Race. In his gap year he was a VSO volunteer teacher in Cameroun and Uganda. He is married to a GP and has three adult sons.

Martin Tod


Martin Tod lives in Winchester, Hampshire, where he is a City & County Councillor.

A member of the Liberal Democrats since it was founded, he has been a Parliamentary Candidate three times.

Professionally, he is Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum, the leading charity working across all areas of men’s health in England and Wales. 

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Gerald Vernon-Jackson


Current Positions:

  • Leader of Portsmouth City Council since 2004 (Lib Dem)
  • Elected to Portsmouth City Council in May 2003
  • Leader of the Liberal Democrats on the Local Government Association and Vice Chairman of the LGA
  • Board Member of the Solent Local Economic Partnership
  • Member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on the role of Local Authorities in Education
  • Member of the Backbench Parliamentary Committee on Local Government (Lib Dem)
  • Member of the National Executive of Liberal Democrats and International Relations Committee
  • Vice Chairman of PUSH – Partnership for Urban South Hampshire
  • Trustee of Milton Village Hall, Portsmouth Friendly Homes, Portsmouth Cultural Trust, Milton Eastney Allotments
  • Chair of Portsmouth Corporate Parenting Board, Portsmouth Employment Committee, Public Service Board and Quality Places Partnership Board

Former Roles:        

  • Deputy Director Campaigns and Elections for Liberal Democrats
  • Agent at Romsey by-election 2000
  • Deputy Leader of West Berkshire County Council
  • Mayor of Newbury
  • Chair of Environment Committee and Social Services Committee at West Berkshire County Council

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David Williams



  • Councillor for Ham and Petersham, 1974 to date.
  • Leader of Richmond upon Thames Council, 1983-2001.
  • Leader of Local Government Association group (and Deputy Chair), 1996-2001.
  • Board member of the Audit Commission 1997-2003 and 2010-2012.
  • Directly elected member of Federal Executive since 2003.
  • Organiser of 30 local by-election, winning 25 of them.

Four important strands of Liberalism for David are:

  • Supporting the ‘party of progress’ rather than ‘the party of order’. This means being left of centre, being a liberal, not a conservative.
  • Belief in a classless society, still challenged by many is a class-obsessed Britain.
  • A fierce commitment to fairness, freedom, justice and liberty, so always fighting prejudice.
  • A genuine belief in devolution of power so that government is as close to the people in politics, doing things with people, not doing things to people.

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