Federal Policy Committee

The Federal Policy Committee (FPC) is responsible for the party's policy-making process and for commissioning research and development that lead to policy papers for debate at Conference.

The FPC is Chaired by Duncan Hames MP, 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. 

Duncan Hames MP (Chair)


A Liberal Democrat member since 1995, Duncan Hames was elected to Parliament in 2010 to serve the Chippenham constituency, becoming Wiltshire’s first Liberal MP in more than 80 years. In 2012, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and was subsequently elected chair of the Federal Policy Committee.

In addition to his responsibilities as a constituency MP, Duncan takes an active interest in renewable energy and low carbon technologies, previously working as an aide to Energy Secretaries Chris Huhne and Ed Davey.

Before his election to Parliament, Duncan was a senior management consultant with over 10 years of experience, who for six years served on the board of a business-focussed government agency with a £200m annual turnover.

He also served for two years in a voluntary capacity as a Non-Executive Director of Culture South West, the regional cultural consortium for the South West of England, and was for four years a Governor of the George Ward School in Melksham, Wiltshire, and for four years before that at Westwood with Iford School.

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.

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.

Julian Huppert MP (English MP rep)

Julian Huppert is the Member of Parliament for Cambridge. He was elected with a majority of nearly 7,000 in May 2010. Julian’s involvement in Cambridge politics began in 1997 when he ran the student campaign for the general election. He went on to represent the city for eight years as a county councillor for the East Chesterton ward and as county Lib Dem leader.

In Parliament, Julian is currently a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee. He is also a co-chair of the Lib Dem Home Affairs, Justice and Equality committee and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group. He also sits on the Federal Policy Committee, the Immigration working group, Crime and Criminal Justice working group and the Manifesto working group. 

Since entering Westminster, Julian has campaigned on a wide range of issues, including capping train fare rises, school and sixth form college funding, transparency of surveillance, promotion of independent shops and cycle safety. 

Danny Alexander MP (Scottish MP rep)

Jenny Willott MP (Welsh MP rep)

Jenny Willott was elected as MP for Cardiff Central in 2005. She previously worked for a number of charities, including the children's charity Barnardo's in their Welsh fostering and adoption project, and as Head of Advocacy for UNICEF UK. Immediately before being elected as an MP, she was head of Victim Support South Wales.

In Parliament, Jenny has been a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee and the Public Administration Select Committee, as well as being Opposition Deputy Chief Whip, Ministry of Justice spokesperson and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. After the 2010 election Jenny became Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Work and Pensions, before being made Assistant Government Whip in February 2012. She is currently Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs and Equalities Minister whilst Jo Swinson is on maternity leave.

Jenny's particular areas of interest include work and pensions, crime, human rights, environmental and international development issues.

Lord Jonathan Marks (Peer rep)

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP (MEP rep)


Baroness Sarah Ludford has been a Member of the European Parliament for London since 1999.

Sarah is the Liberal Democrat European spokeswoman on justice & human rights and leading member of the European Parliament's civil liberties, justice & home affairs committee. She is a specialist in European measures to combat crime, uphold civil liberties, control borders, manage migration and a strong advocate for EU leadership on human rights at home and abroad.

She is vice-chair of the European Parliament delegation to the United States. She takes a strong interest in the Balkans, Turkey, Cyprus and the Middle East, and is vice-president of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel. She is active on equality issues including in the cross-party European Parliament 'intergroups' on anti-racism and gay & lesbian rights.

Sarah has been a member of the House of Lords since 1997, although while an MEP cannot be an active member.

Geoff Payne (English rep)


Geoff Payne represents the English Party on the Federal Policy Committee and Federal Conference Committee.  He is one of the Vice-Chairs of Federal Conference Committee.  Geoff is a barrister specialising in cases involving allegations of serious fraud and/or white collar crime.  He has been a member of the Liberal Democrats since 1994 and he is a former Chair of what is now Liberal Youth.  He was a Parliamentary Candidate in 2001.  He has policy interests in criminal justice, home affairs, education and civil liberties and he chairs the Liberal Democrat Policy Working Group on Crime and Criminal Justice.  He is a Governor of two secondary schools.  Geoff is married with a step-son and two sons.  

Jeremy Purvis (Scottish rep)

Peter Price (Welsh rep)


Wales’s elected member, represents FPC on the International Affairs Parliamentary Committee, Party International Relations Committee, ALDE Council and European Manifesto drafting group.  He also serves on Welsh LDs’ Policy Committee.

In early career, he practised as a solicitor, also working part-time as a BBC radio interviewer.  Then elected to the European Parliament, he served for 15 years, including as Chairman of the Budgetary Control Committee. 

Peter’s now works as an EU policy consultant and as Member of the Board of Wales Audit Office.  He is a member of Chatham House and has served as part-time Employment Judge for 12 years, non-executive Director of an NHS Trust for 8 years and University Governor for 9 years.

Member of the Richard Commission, examining the powers of the Welsh Assembly, 2002-04, he then became a founder member of Tomorrow’s Wales and in 2012 succeeded the Archbishop of Wales as its Chair. 

Louise Bloom (Councillor rep)


Louise Bloom is a Principal Councillor Rep on FPC  and  has been Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability at Eastleigh Borough Council since 2002.  Louise lives in  Hedge End  where she is also a Town Councillor.  She was a London Assembly member 2000-2002.  Louise has been a Liberal Democrat/Liberal Party member and activist since 1982 when she joined the party at Kingston Poly Fresher’s Fair and her main interests are  Green issues, Disability Rights and Civil Liberties. She was a National League of Young Liberals Executive Member  and is a former  Vice Chair of the Green Liberal Democrats.    Professionally she has worked in the Voluntary Sector for 20 years and is a mental health specialist. She is currently Assistant Director of a local counselling and training charity.

Stan Collins (Councillor rep)

Helen Flynn (Councillor rep)

Helen_Flynn.jpgPPC for Harrogate & Knaresborough and Harrogate Borough Councillor.  Also Vice Chair of the Lib Dem Education Association and an elected member of the Social Liberal Forum.  

Background: Born in Wakefield and educated at Cambridge University with an MA in Classics.  Worked for many years in book publishing in the UK and in New York before setting up a retail and mail order business.  After having a family the business was sold as a going concern and I began to get involved in the community in a variety of roles from school governor, charity trustee, non-exec director, etc.  This period of my life culminated in my entering politics and I fought the 2010 General Election as PPC in Skipton & Ripon. My particular focus is on education and transport policy.  When not doing politics, I spend my time managing various animals and birds on our smallholding just outside Harrogate in Nidderdale.

Dinti Batstone (Councillor rep)

Dinti_Batstone.jpgDinti has been active in the Liberal Democrats for over a decade, serving as a Councillor and twice standing for the European Parliament. An elected member of the party’s Federal Policy Committee, she currently chairs the policy working group on political and constitutional reform.

Dinti grew up in Asia and came to the UK as a teenager. After a degree at Cambridge she qualified and practised as a lawyer at a leading international firm, later moving to a FTSE-100 company managing deals across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. A former UK ‘Young Linguist of the Year’, she speaks six languages and has an MBA from INSEAD business school in France.

Kelly-Marie Blundell

Kelly-Marie_Blundell.jpgKelly-Marie Blundell is a passionate Liberal Democrat activist from the South East of England, with a solid base of experience in policy across equality, welfare, law and public services and committed to reducing inequality in society.

Working as a Fundraising and Communications professional for an international charity, Kelly-Marie has a degree in law from the University of Kent and has worked in legal advice in the third sector. A proud feminist, she champions diversity and the principles of liberty, equality and community.

Kelly-Marie is a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate and has represented the party at local, Regional and Federal levels, providing both strategic and ground level insight and activism. 

Julia Church

Duncan Brack

Duncan_Brack.jpgDuncan Brack is Vice Chair of the FPC and of the election manifesto group. From 2003 to 2010 he chaired the Federal Conference Committee, and from 2010 to 2012 was special adviser to Chris Huhne at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

He edits the quarterly Journal of Liberal History, and has co-edited a series of reference books on Liberal history, the most recent of which is Peace, Reform and Liberation: A history of Liberal politics in Britain, 1679–2011 (2011). In 2007 he co-edited Reinventing the State: Social Liberalism for the 21st Century.

Professionally he is an independent environmental policy analyst, working mainly on forestry, deforestation and climate change, bio-energy, the interaction between environmental regulation and international trade rules, and international environmental crime, particularly illegal logging and the trade in illegal timber. He is an Associate of Chatham House, Forest Trends and Green Alliance.

Baroness Sal Brinton 

Sal Brinton is an elected member of both the Federal Policy and Federal Conference Committee, and is vice chair of the latter. She has been a member of the House of Lords since February 2011, and is Co-Chair of the Lib Dem health parliamentary policy committee. Sal recently chaired the Learning to Live policy working group on Skills, Further and Higher Education. Sal has chaired the Lib Dem Diversity Engagement Group between 2011 and 2014, and created and run the Candidate Leadership Programme. She was parliamentary candidate in Watford in 2010 & 2005 and in S E Cambs in 2001 & 1997. She was the education portfolio holder on Cambridgeshire County Council between 1997 & 1999, and the leader of the opposition between 1999 and 2004.  A former bursar of  two Cambridge Colleges, Sal worked in higher education for 20 years, as well as chairing the Cambridgeshire Learning and Skills Council.

Prateek Buch

Prateek_Buch.jpgPrateek Buch has been a party member since 2008 and was elected to the Policy Committee in 2012 – from which he is elected to serve on Conference Committee. Having more than a decade’s experience as a scientist at UCL researching gene and stem cell therapy for sight loss, Prateek’s policy focus has been evidence-based health policy – he currently sits on the party’s Parliamentary Policy Committee on health. As Director of the Social Liberal Forum, he has also written and campaigned on economic policy, helping to shape party policy and the wider political debate.

Prateek has served on policy working groups on inequality and sustainable prosperity, writes on Lib Dem Voice, New Statesman and Independent Voices – and has spoken in conference debates and at fringes – on political economy and civil liberties. He is currently Director of a new Public Policy Unit at the charity Sense about Science, promoting accountability and better use of evidence in public policy.

Lucy Care

Lucy Care was the first Liberal Democrat elected as a councillor in Derby in the early 1990s, and she remained a councillor until 2010, by when the Lib Dem Group was the largest on the council.  During this time, Lucy had become increasingly frustrated by the control that national legislation had over council activities.  As a result she stood for parliament in 2005 and 2010, and has been reselected to stand in 2015.

Lucy’s particular interests include engineering and real sustainability – social, environmental and economic.  In 2010, no longer a councillor and not an MP, she took time to reassess her priorities, concluding that she was instinctively a campaigner.  She decided to stay within politics which would allow her to get involved in a wide range of issues.  This is when she first stood, and was elected to FPC.

She is a chartered engineer and married with grown up children.

Gareth Epps


Gareth Epps lives near the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the heart of Reading. He works for a major infrastructure project, specialising in community consultation. He was the Liberal Democrat candidate in the General Election for Reading East in 2010, finishing in a clear second place – the best result for Liberals in a General Election in Reading for decades and the first second place since 1983.

Gareth first joined the Liberal Democrats in 1992 and became active as a response to the then Conservative Government’s attacks on civil liberties. He stood against David Cameron in Witney in 2001, increasing the Lib Dem share of the vote. In 2007 he won the formerly safe Labour ward of Katesgrove on Reading Borough Council on a huge swing. He was Leader and also Environment and Communities and Neighbourhoods shadow of the Liberal Democrat Group on Reading Borough Council. Gareth stood down from the Council in May 2011 in order to ‘spend more time on politics.’. This seems to have amply succeeded: he is now co-Chair of the Social Liberal Forum and is a member of the Federal Policy Committee and Federal Conference Committee of the Lib Dems.

Lord Tony Greaves

Evan Harris

Susan Juned


Susan has been a Liberal and Liberal Democrat for over 20 years, a district councillor for Alcester since 1991 and has been the Leader of the Council. She was a County Councillor for 12 years and education spokesman for 10 years and has been a candidate in three General Elections and two European elections.

Susan has a BSc, MSc and PhD in biology and was a research scientist at Birmingham University before becoming involved in consultancy. Her work has been with local government, business and community organisations, both in the UK and abroad. She specialises in sustainable development, resource efficiency, renewable energy, research dissemination, urban development, environmental projects and relevant Government legislation.

Susan is a Director and Chairman of Act on Energy, and energy efficiency advice charity of which she was a co-founder in 1998 and is a Director of Greenwatt Technology.  She is one of the contributors to the Green Book.

Mark Pack

Mark_Pack.jpgMark's day job is at the communications agency Blue Rubicon and outside that he squeezes in lecturing at City University and editing the monthly email newsletter, Liberal Democrat Newswire (http://bit.ly/LibDemNews). He is also a regular author, having contributed as writer or editor to over 20 books on technology, politics and history.

Mark worked at party HQ for just under a decade, running the party’s internet general election campaign in 2001 and 2005 as well as pioneering campaign techniques involving direct mail and targeting.

Mark has a particular interest in digital issues and is a member of the Open Rights Group’s Advisory Council. He has also served on several Amnesty International committees and is a member of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Anti-Poverty Communications Advisory Group

Mark is co-author of 101 Ways To Win An Election (http://amzn.to/101WaysToWin), as well as having co-written the party’s last two General Election Agents Manuals with Candy Piercy.

Julie Smith

Julie_Smith.jpgDr Julie Smith is Director of the European Centre in the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University, where she is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations, and Fellow in Politics at Robinson College, Cambridge.  She was previously Head of the European Programme at Chatham House.

Julie’s main research interests include: parliaments and the EU; European elections;  the UK’s relations with the EU; and parliaments and budgetary politics.  She is co-authoring a book on parliaments and budgetary politics and planning a monograph on British political parties and the EU.

Within the Party, Julie has served on numerous policy working groups particularly focusing on European and Defence matters. She is currently a Vice-Chair of FPC and sits on both the European and General Election manifesto working groups. Julie is a City Councillor in Cambridge where she is portfolio-holder for Customer Services and Resources (it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds!).

Lord Wallace of Tankerness

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