The governing body of the English Liberal Democrats, or ‘English Party’, is the English Council, which meets twice a year. It is made up of representatives of all the 11 English Regional Parties, who are elected at their regional conferences.
The Council elects the Chair of the English Party and the English Council Executive (ECE) and the English Candidates’ Chair and Committee.
The English Council Executive meet 6 times a year and oversee the running of the English Party between Council Meetings. English Council Executive comprises the Chairs of the 11 English Regions, plus 12 members directly elected from the English Council, as well as representatives to sit on the Federal Board, Federal Policy Committee and Federal Conference Committee.
The English Council Executive also has two sub-committees: the English Finance & Administration Committee (EFAC) which is chaired by the Treasurer and the Regional Parties Committee (RPC) which is chaired by the Vice-Chair. At the first Executive of the year both the Vice-Chair and Treasurer are elected as well as the members for EFAC and RPC.
Officers of the English Party
Liz Leffman, Chair of the English Party
Liz Leffman chairs the English Council, the English Council Executive and sits on the Federal Board as the English Vice-President of the Federal Party. She has previously been a Parliamentary in Whitney on two occasions, leading a strong challenge against the Conservatives during the 2016 By-election, and played a major role in Lib Dem Women.
Margaret Joachim Vice-Chair of the English Party and Chair of the Regional Parties Committee
Margaret joined the Liberal Party in 1974, fighting three Parliamentary elections between 1979 and 1987. She then undertook ‘back-room’ roles, including Returning Officer, English Council Executive member, and London Region and English Party Candidates’ Chair. She has been an Anglican priest since 1995, having recently retired after 30+ years in the IT Services industry, she has returned to university for a little more education.
David Hughes, Treasurer of the English Party and Chair of the English Finance & Administration Committee
David Hughes became Treasurer of the English Party having previously been Chair of the Western Counties region for three years. He has also been a parliamentary candidate three times, and is a former chair of both the party's candidates association and its national students' organisation.
Antony Hook, English Party Representative on the Federal Board
Antony Hook makes sure the English Party’s voice is heard on the UK Federal Board, which is the party’s governing board. He previously served as Vice-Chair or the South East Region and as a local party officer. In 2014 he was running mate of Catherine Bearder MEP and chaired the successful campaign in the South East to re-elect Catherine.
Geoff Payne, English Party Representative on the Federal Policy Committee and Federal Conference Committee
Geoff Payne is a directly elected member of English Council Executive from the East of England. He represents the English Party on the Federal Policy Committee and Federal Conference Committee and is a Vice-Chair of the latter. He is also former Chair of what is now Liberal Youth. Geoff is a barrister specialising in cases involving allegations of serious fraud and/or white collar crime.
Prue Bray, Chair of English Candidates Committee
Prue Bray is chair of the English Candidates Committee which oversees the work of assessing, approving, selecting and supporting candidates for all elections above council level in England. This includes Mayoral, Police and Crime Commissioner as well as Westminster elections. Prue has previously been a candidate in Rochester and Strood, and Chair of the Parliamentary Candidates Association.