Celia Thomas

Baroness Thomas of Winchester, Lords Spokesperson for Disability

Celia Thomas was born (in 1945) and brought up in Winchester where she worked, among other places, at the Cathedral's Choir School, and raising money for the Cathedral.

She was a founding member of the Winchester Liberal Party in the 1960s, and was an election agent there in October 1974, and in 1987 and 1992 in Brecon and Radnor.

She worked in the Commons for the Liberal Party Leader, Jeremy Thorpe from 1975-76, and from 1977 to 2005 she was head of the Liberal, then Liberal Democrat Whips' Office in the House of Lords and is a recognised expert on Lords' procedure. She was made a Life Peer in April 2006.

For three years she was a member of the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee (voted Committee of the Year 2007), and Liaison Committee.  She is now (June 2010) Chairman of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, and a member of the Procedure Committee.  She retains an interest in her former spokesmanship of Work and Pensions, having helped gain concessions in in the most recent Welfare Reform Act. She actively campaigns on disability issues.

She is Honorary President of the Winchester Liberal Democrats; Vice-President of the Lloyd George Society, a Vice President and Trustee of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and Patron of Avonbrook Projects Abroad.

Celia is also a Patron of the Winchester Churches Nightshelter, and of Thrive (a charity helping disabled people to discover gardening).

In 2015 she was made Liberal Democrat Disability Spokesperson.

Her interests range from music to butterfly conservation, but sadly increasing disability due to muscular dystrophy means that she can no longer participate in choirs or in dashing about the countryside as she used to.

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