Federal Conference Committee


The Federal Conference Committee (FCC) is responsible for overseeing the effective running of Conference, including the selection of motions and amendments for debate. Members are expected to be as objective as possible in attempting to select motions and amendments which will ensure good debate. The FCC is also responsible for running sessions in the Hall at Conference and provides drafting advice and liaison with members submitting motions. 

You can stay updated by joining the FCC Facebook Group and by reading our reports further down this page.

Following elections in Autumn 2022, the current membership began on 1st January 2023 and is as follows:


Chair: Nicholas da Costa (Directly elected member) 

Nick is a councillor for Highgate Ward in Haringey, former PPC for Enfield North (2017) and London Assembly candidate for Enfield and Haringey (2016). He was part of Baroness Lynne Featherstone's election team in 2010 and 2015.

Nick grew up in Vienna, and has been in the UK since 1999, and currently works in the healthcare sector in international business, having previously headed the conferencing department for a major scientific charity.

You can get in touch with Nick by emailing: nicholas.dacosta@outlook.com

Visit Nick's Twitter account


Vice-Chair: Cara Jenkinson (Directly elected member)

Cara joined FCC in 2017. She was Chair of Haringey Liberal Democrats from 2012 to 2015, and was election agent for Baroness Lynne Featherstone in 2015.

After many years in IT project management, Cara completed a Masters Degree in Energy & the Environment in 2017, and now works for an environmental charity.

Visit Cara's Twitter account.

Vice-Chair: Jon Ball (Directly elected member)

Jon has been a Councillor for Ealing Common since 2002.

Outside politics, Jon works in the Film and TV industry.

Party Body Representatives

Dr. Mark Pack (Party President)

Mark is the Party's President and an author with books including: 101 Ways To Win An Election and Bad News: what the headlines don’t tell us.

Mark worked for the Liberal Democrats 2000-2009, including a period as Head of Innovations. In 2015 he wrote with David Howarth a seminal pamphlet on the Party’s strategy: The 20% Strategy: building a core vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Outside the Liberal Democrats, he has worked in IT in both the public and private sectors and between 2009 and 2019 was a Communications & Crisis Consultant. He's also been a Visiting Lecturer at City University in the Journalism Department.

To contact Mark or to invite him to a Liberal Democrat event, please see here.

Visit Mark's Twitter account.

Darryl Smalley (English Party Rep) 

Darryl is a Councillor on City of York Council and also serves on two local parish councils.

He is Vice-Chair of ALDC's Management Committee and serves on the Local Government Association's Culture, Tourism & Sport Board. 

Darryl works in communications in the performing arts sector. In his spare time, he enjoys kayaking, delivering FOCUS and supporting local pubs. 


Fraser Graham (Scottish Party Rep) 


An image showing a projection of the Liberal Democrats logo

Matt Palmer - (Welsh Party Rep)


Parliamentary Rep - Wendy Chamberlain MP

Wendy was elected as the MP for North East Fife in December 2019. She holds the Scotland; Wales; Northern Ireland; Constitutional Affairs; and International Development Portfolios at Westminster, and is the Party Chief Whip.

Following her degree in English from Edinburgh University, she joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1999, serving for 12 years as a Police officer. After a period in a variety of operational policing roles, Wendy moved into HR and Learning & Development, during which time she worked for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland and in the Business Management Unit of the Scottish Police College. She also worked part-time as a Communications Lecturer for the then Lauder College (now Fife College) in Dunfermline.

Wendy left the Police in 2011 and following a career break to look after her young children, joined the MoD contractor, Right Management, working at MoD Caledonia, Rosyth, as the Scottish Regional Employment & Training Manager on their military resettlement contract, supporting service veterans into positive employment outcomes.

In 2015, she commenced employment as a Capability and Development Manager with a global drinks manufacturer. Always engaged in her local community, Wendy has held committee roles on a variety of parent bodies and became the first female Board Member of the Camanachd Association (the governing body for the amateur sport of shinty) in 2017.

Alison Rouse (Federal Board Rep)

Alison, who is Chair of the English Party, is a Project & Events Manager of over 20 years, working across a variety of sectors including: charities, non-profit organisations and corporate clients.

Having owned her own business since March 2009, her specialities include: change management & communications; helping clients to deal with crises; review and improvement of internal structures or processes; and fundraising.

At home, Alison lives in Nottingham with her three rescue cats.

Duncan Brack (Federal Policy Committee Rep)

An independent environmental policy analyst and Associate Fellow at Chatham House, Duncan was a special adviser to Chris Huhne at the Department of Energy & Climate Change during the coalition government.

He edits the quarterly Journal of Liberal History and co-edited Reinventing the State: Social Liberalism for the 21st Century (2007) and The Green Book: New Directions for Liberals in Government (2013).

Duncan was Chair of the Federal Conference Committee 2003-10 and Vice-Chair of the Federal Policy Committee 2012-19.

Belinda Brooks-Gordon (Federal Policy Committee Rep)

Belinda is the Regional Brexit Spokesperson for the Eastern Region, a member of Regional Exec, and a former County Councillor in Cambridge. Nationally, she is an elected ALDE Party council member.

Professor Brooks-Gordon is a Reader in Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, where she is also Assistant Dean for Equalities.

Baroness Kath Pinnock (Federal Communications & Elections Committee Rep)

Kath is a councillor for Cleckheaton ward on Kirklees Council, having been first elected in 1987 and was also Leader of the Council for six years.

She has been actively involved with ALDC both as Chair and President.

Baroness Pinnock has been a member of the House of Lords since 2014 where she is spokesperson for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.

Outside of her political life, Kath has been a non executive director on the board of Yorkshire Water. She is currently a school governor and Vice-Chair of the University of Huddersfield Council.

Thom Campion (Federal People & Development Committee Rep)

Thom lives in Newcastle upon Tyne where he is the PPC for Berwick-upon-Tweed; a City Councillor representing Castle Ward and the shadow transport spokesperson on Newcastle City Council. He was previously PPC for Blyth Valley in 2019

Thom has worked for ALDC since January 2020 where he started as a Regional Development Officer in North East England before moving on to being a Development Officer for England.

Alongside his positions on FPDC, FCC and the Federal Council, Thom has been a local party exec member and was the Membership Development Officer for the Young Liberals.

Directly Elected Members


Paul McGarry


Alison Jenner

Alison Jenner joined the Liberal Party in 1979, after having been doorstepped by a canvasser. She became a Focus deliverer and local party officer in Southwell, Notts., and later won a seat for the Liberals on the parish council, which had challenged misbehaviour in local public life.

Moving to Swansea, she stood for county and city council seats for the Liberal Democrats until changes in local government and was active in the local party.

Retiring to Oxfordshire, Alison quickly got involved in local campaigns which included electing a Liberal Democrat MP, being a local party officer and is currently a parish and district councillor in Vale of White Horse.

Chris Maines

Chris has been a local Councillor, PPC and Chair of a Region. He is a keen helper at parliamentary by-elections, being a veteran of many campaigns. 

Chris is a long serving member of FCC, having previously led the stewards team. He currently works in the NHS and is a candidate on the London Assembly List.

Eleanor Kelly

Eleanor joined FCC in 2022, following terms as Federal Chair and Events Officer of the Young Liberals. Originally from Rochdale, she is studying for her LLB in EU and International Law at the Universities of Sheffield and Turin.  In her spare time she stage manages and performs with her local theatre group. 

Hannah Kitching

Hannah joined the Party in 2016, soon after the Brexit result, and quickly became an enthusiastic activist and campaigner. She was elected to Barnsley Council in 2018 and is now the Leader of the Lib Dem group - the official opposition to Labour - in Barnsley.

Hannah is passionate about getting more Liberal Democrats elected at every level and sits on the Yorkshire and Humber regional executive as the Campaign Committee Chair. She can also be found knocking on doors at most parliamentary by-elections!

Visit Hannah's Twitter account.

Jennie Rigg

Jennie has been a member of the Party for many years, which has seen her as Chair of her local party; Chair of LGBT+ Lib Dems; English Appeals Panel Chair; on the Executive of Humanist & Secularist Liberal Democrats (HSLD); and a member of the Candidate Assessment Team.

She has been on the Federal Conference Committee in various capacities, barring a few small gaps, for over a decade.

Jennie is in her mid forties, and lives in Yorkshire with three other humans, two dogs, and a sourdough starter called Winona Ryeder.

Dr. Sam Barratt

Sam was elected to FCC in 2022. A communications professional, he has previously worked for the Liberal Democrats including as Director of Communications, and as researcher to members of the House of Commons and Lords. He has campaigned across the country ever since joining the party in 2001, inspired by the leaderships of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy.

Simon McGrath

Simon joined the Liberal Party at University in 1976 because of its opposition to apartheid and support for gay rights and civil liberties.

Since then he has had a number of roles including being Chair of the Association of Liberal Trade Unionists, Parliamentary and Council candidate and local party officer.

He is currently Secretary of the London Region and the English Party rep on the Federal Board.

Simon is a strong believer in “4 cornered Liberalism “ – Political, Social, Personal and Economic, and is on the Board of Liberal Reform.

Shaffaq Mohammed


A long standing City Councillor in Sheffield, Shaffaq was first elected in 2004, became Sheffield Lib Dem Group Leader in 2011, and a Cabinet Member 2008-2011.

In 2019, he was elected to the European Parliament for Yorkshire & The Humber, gaining over 200,000 votes. Leading on high profile cases. Shaffaq championed gender equality and human rights.

As a qualified Youth & Community Worker, Shaffaq helps young people from some of the most deprived areas of Sheffield into education, employment and training.

Shaffaq is big cricket fan and also supports Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. He likes walking and has taken part in a number of charity challenges, raising money for the Sheffield floods, local groups and international charities.

FCC Non-Voting Members

Mike Cox - Federal Finance & Resource Committee Rep

Mike was born in Bolton, Lancashire and now lives in Christchurch, Dorset.

He was elected Party Registered Treasurer in May 2022. In that role, he chairs the Federal Finances and Resources Committee (FFRC).

Mike, a graduate of Brunel University, is Senior Partner of a firm of Chartered Accountants - a firm which he founded in1997 and is based in London and Middlesex. Mike is also Finance Director to several small businesses.

Previously a Councillor for eight years on Hillingdon Council, Mike serves as a Councillor for Christchurch Town on Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council and also as a Town Councillor on Christchurch Town Council.

Mike has stood for Parliament in every election since 2002 in Ruislip, Uxbridge and Christchurch.

Mike Dixon - Federal Chief Executive

Mike is CEO of the Liberal Democrats. He joined a few days before the General Election in 2019.

He has led charities for ten years, working with young people, substance use, crime and advice. He has led campaigns, research, service design, operational delivery and digital transformations.

Before his work in charities, Mike worked as a special adviser in Government, as a researcher, and briefly in advertising.

He lives in Oxford with his family and two cats.


Shana Toten (Staff Rep) 


Latest FCC News

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