FPC meeting report, 13 July 2023
The Federal Policy Committee is responsible for researching and developing policy and overseeing the Federal Party’s policy-making process. This includes producing policy papers for debate at conference, and drawing up (in consultation with the parliamentary party) the Federal election manifestos for Westminster and European elections.
Members are expected to take part in policy working groups (which draw up policy papers, preceded by consultation papers) at some point during their terms of office, and to contribute fully to the policy-making process, including in engaging with party groups and on occasion external experts.
The Leader of the Party is the Chair of the Committee. FPC has three Vice Chairs, including one Parliamentarian and two other members of the committee. The Vice Chairs chair the FPC in the absence of the Leader, and play an active role in ensuring policy development and the effective running of the committee.
The Membership of the Federal Policy Committee is as follows:
Ed is a lifelong campaigner for strong public services, a fair economy and a thriving natural environment. He was first elected as MP for Kingston and Surbiton in 1997 and has been Leader of the Liberal Democrats since 2020.
Ed describes the core values that drive him as compassion, community and fairness. As Leader, he is fighting for a fair deal that puts real power in people’s hands and holds the already powerful to account.
Jeremy is a freelance consultant and non-executive in public services, with a background in the NHS, local government, education and consulting.
He has been Chair of the Lib Dem European Group (LDEG), a parliamentary candidate, chaired party policy working groups on taxation, public services and wellbeing, and is Vice-Chair of the Party’s Federal Policy Committee (FPC).
Jeremy believes passionately in Britain’s place in Europe; a secure international order; and a fair society.
He is committed to finding ways to communicate Liberal Democrat values in a clear vote-winning message, supported by strong policies, and effective management and implementation of the Party’s strategy.
Lucy has been a Lib Dem Councillor for over 16 years. Starting as a Town Councillor in her home town of Truro, she was then elected to Gloucester City Council in 2004.
Having moved to Cambridge, she was elected to Cambridgeshire County Council in 2009, where she represents the Newnham division.
Lucy represented the East of England in the European Parliament from 2019-20, where she was Chair of the JURI Committee on Legal Affairs.
Lucy’s professional background is in teaching. She has a Masters degree in Education & Psychology from Cambridge University, and has a specialist interest in the early identification of special educational needs. She is married with three children.
Baron Newby of Rothwell in the county of West Yorkshire, has been a Liberal Democrat Life Peer since 1997, and Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords since 2016.
Dick worked for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for its whole life and was its Chief Executive from 1983-88. He has worked on all subsequent Lib Dem General Election campaigns, as Press Officer to Paddy Ashdown (1992), Deputy Campaign Chairman (1997) and subsequently as a member of the Campaigns and Communications Committee. He was also Charles Kennedy's Chief of Staff during his period as Leader.
He was Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Treasury Parliamentary Party Committee, 2010-12. He then became a Minister as Deputy Government Chief Whip and Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the House of Lords, gaining the title of Captain of the Queen’s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard.
Outside politics, Dick has been a tax man (HM Customs & Excise 1974-81), corporate affairs director of a property company (Rosehaugh 1988-92) and a PR/public affairs adviser (1992-2001). Until his appointment as a Minister in 2012, he was Chair of Live Consulting, a corporate responsibility consultancy. Dick has also spent a lot of time working in the area of youth sports ; he was Chair of Sport for Life International, managing education programmes linked to major sports stadiums globally. Dick was also Chair of Sport at The Prince's Trust and of International Development through Sport (IDS UK).
Dick received an OBE in 1990 for his service to politics.
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.
Layla has been the Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon since 2017. She is the Liberal Democrats’ Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs & International Development, and Science, Technology & Innovation.
Layla was previously the Party’s Education Spokesperson, and was a Physics teacher before being elected to Parliament.
Helen was elected as the Member of Parliament for North Shropshire in a high-profile by-election in 2019.
Since then she has devoted her Parliamentary career to championing rural issues and acting as the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.
Prior to becoming an MP, Helen was a Parish Councillor, and held senior positions at Centrica and KPMG before moving to work for a family firm close to her home in North Shropshire.
She trained as a chartered accountant after reading History at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Helen spends the little spare time she has looking after her cats and exploring the nearby countryside with her family.
Baroness Tyler of Enfield was made a Liberal Democrat Life Peer in 2011 and is the Party's Spokesperson in the House of Lords for Mental Health. Claire Co-Chairs All Party Parliamentary Groups on Wellbeing Economics, and Social Mobility, the latter for which she was lead author of the "Character and Resilience Manifesto".
Claire has chaired a Lords Select Committee (LSC) on Financial Exclusion and been a member of LSCs on: Affordable Childcare; Social Mobility; and Public Services and Demography, which produced the report "Ready for Ageing". She chaired the 2015 Parliamentary Inquiry into Parenting and Social Mobility and Co-Chaired the 2014 Parliamentary Inquiry into Charitable Giving. Claire also led the 2013 Liberal Democrat policy working group that produced the report "A Balanced Working Life" and was a member of the Party's 2014 Working Group on an ageing population.
Since 2012, Claire has been President of the National Children’s Bureau and Vice President of Relate. She chairs the "Make Every Adult Matter" coalition of charities helping adults with multiple needs and serves on the board of Social Work England. She has held a number of senior positions within Government, including Director of the Social Exclusion Unit and of the Vulnerable Children's Group.
Claire is also Vice-President of Liberal International Great Britain.
Baroness Jolly was made a Liberal Democrat Life Peer in 2011. Judith taught mathematics for over 15 years and pioneered information technology and computing in schools in the southwest of England. She became active in politics after the birth of her first son, when she campaigned for better facilities for pregnant women. She is a trustee of FLEX, Focus on Labour Exploitation, and Help Musicians UK.
Judith has chaired the Specialised Healthcare Alliance which campaigns for those with rare of complex diseases and worked with Think Global, a charity seeking to educate and engage the UK public on global issues. Having a special interest in North Africa and the Middle East, she has lived in Oman and worked for the British Council, teaching English and mentoring students.
After her return to the UK, Judith she became chief of staff for the MEP for Cornwall and West Plymouth, now Lord Teverson. In 1997, she was also appointed as non-executive director for an NHS Trust for Mental Health and Learning Disability, and then an NHS Primary Care Trust, finally chairing the North & East Cornwall NHS Primary Care Trust Board. She was a Lay Inspector for the Commission for Health Improvement.
Judith has used her positions at board level for the Citizens Advice Bureau, Credit Union, regeneration organizations and her membership of the Diocesan Synod, to bring attention to rural poverty. She is chairperson of a not for profit digital enterprise in Cornwall, producing material for memory clinics.
Baroness Smith of Newnham was made a Liberal Democrat Life Peer in 2014. She first got involved in politics at the age of 12, campaigning for Shirley Williams at the historic Crosby by-election. Julie went on to become a City Councillor for Newnham ward in Cambridge (2003-15) and held Executive Councillor responsibilities.
An academic specialising in European politics and the history of the European Union, Dr Smith taught at the Central European University in Budapest, before becoming a lecturer at the University of Cambridge. She also headed the European Programme at Chatham House, 1999-2003.
She has served on various policy working groups for the Party, including those on Liberal Democracy, Better Governance, Defence and Europe. She has also served on the Council of the European Liberal party, ELDR.
Cllr Juned has worked with universities, local government and business on plant genetic resources; sustainable development; urban and rural policy; resource management; renewable energy; energy efficiency; and research dissemination.
Susan was a county councillor for twelve years. During her twenty-five years as a district councillor, she has served as a Council Leader and is currently an opposition Group Leader. Susan has contributed to many Policy Working Groups and the Green Book.
Peter has been a Councillor since 2003 and is former leader of South Lakeland District Council and deputy leader of Cumbria County Council. Both of these councils are now incorporated into Westmorland and Furness Council, where he is cabinet member for Highways & Assets.
Peter has a particular interest in housing, believing that good quality social/council housing is an essential component in a sensible housing market.
In his spare time, Peter enjoys being with his family, and his hobby of motorcycling.
Chloe is a Policy Officer for a health and disability charity and lives in South Wales. Since joining the Party in 2014, she has held a number of roles in the Young Liberals and the Welsh party, and worked for the Party alongside running in the 2021 Senedd election.
Outside the Liberal Democrats, Chloe volunteers with her local Women's Aid and helps run @ThatsDevolved. She is currently the Welsh Lib Dem Exec Officer for Policy Development, and one of the Honorary Vice Presidents for Young Liberals.
Born in Germany, Kirsten came to the UK in 2001, having met and married her Scottish husband. Witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a pivotal moment, informing her strong pro-European and internationalist beliefs, and a commitment to peace and cooperation.
Kirsten started political life campaigning for body cameras to support the Scottish police. A dedication to finding local solutions for local problems has seen her re-elected as Chair of her local Community Council.
Kirsten is passionate about fair, inclusive, equal and comprehensive opportunities for all. As well as collaborating with an MSP to propose an emergency motion on dentistry at Conference, she’s currently leading a motion on literacy and attainment in Scottish education.
Sally works in communications in the not-for-profit sector. Her current role is as a Communications Director for a professional association, having been employed in the membership sector for many years.
Sally has worked for the Liberal Democrats in various roles, including: in local government; for the Welsh party; and in the Westminster press office.
She has been the English Party rep since January 2023 and prior to that, served two terms as a directly elected member of FPC.
Sally has a particular interest in legal and constitutional issues; tackling poverty; equality and diversity; and animal welfare.
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.
For fifteen years, Ben was a Partner at City Public Relations firm, Luther Pendragon. He was then Chief Executive of the Movement for Reform Judaism before being Chief of Staff and Campaign Director for then Liberal Democrat Leader, Tim Farron MP.
Ben has been an adviser to the Home Office and the Cabinet Office; to blue chip companies such as British Gas, Wrigley’s and Kimberly-Clarke; and to successful campaigns such as the one to introduce televised Prime Ministerial debates in 2010 and, more recently, to establish civil partnerships for all across England and Wales.
He is the co-founder of the York Liberal Jewish Community and a coach to the Yorkshire junior chess team.
Dr Cheng found her way to the Federal Policy Committee through the Britain in the World Working Group, of which she is Vice-Chair. She is committed to increasing the number of women candidates in politics (TEDx talk).
Outside the party, Christine is Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London. Previously, she taught PPE at Oxford. Christine did her first degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where she was also President of her Student Union.
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).
He was Chair of the Federal Conference Committee 2003-10 and Vice-Chair of the Federal Policy Committee 2012-19.
Elizabeth has been an active member of the Party for over thirty years. She has stood for election to both the Local Council and Parliament numerous times.
She is currently Treasurer for the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum, and for Liberal Democrat Women.
Elizabeth is best known as the creator of our policy to raise the income tax threshold. She lives just outside Chester.
Helen is the Chair of the Liberal Democrat Women and has lived in Chiswick since 2001. She is a businesswoman who has built a successful career in technology and the digital economy, specialising in robotics and AI.
Helen started out in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, born in her local NHS hospital, going through the comprehensive school system and then to university. She wants everybody to have the opportunity to achieve the life they want. Growing up as a mixed race child gave Helen a real insight into being a minority within a community and the importance of defending all minorities.
Janey joined the Liberal Democrats in 2019 and serves as the Chair of the Young Liberals, having previously been Policy Officer.
Originally from North Somerset, she is currently studying Politics, Philosophy & Economics at the University of Oxford.
Alongside her work in the Young Liberals, Janey is on the executive of Lib Dem Women.
John lives outside Lowestoft in Suffolk, running a business that trades nationwide from nearby Great Yarmouth. Having witnessed the decline of these two coastal towns, he has been active in the Party since Brexit.
In that time, John has been Chair of his local party, Chair of the Suffolk Co-ordinating Committee, Eastern Region Vice-Chair and an elected member of the English Council Executive.
Based on his business experience, he is particularly interested in economics, believing that a more radical view of how UK PLC is run is urgently required.
Keith is Chair of the Green Liberal Democrats (‘recycled’ as he was founding Chair in 1988!) Fighting four general elections for the Party, from 1979 in Lincoln, his best result was a 25% second place in Broxtowe, 1983. He also fought two European Elections before PR was introduced.
Keith retired from party politics in 1998 to become the Founding Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development in Business at Nottingham Trent University.
After completing a novel on the Lincolnshire Uprising of 1536, started by shoemaker Captain Cobbler (aka, Nicholas Melton, his namesake), Keith rejoined the Party in 2017, elected to the Federal Conference Committee and then the FPC in 2022.
Keith was elected District Councillor for Newark & Sherwood May 2023, taking the Council into NOC from the Tories. He’s now the Climate Change Portfolio Holder in a tripartite administration of 11 Labour, 8 Independents and 3 Lib Dems.
Luke first joined the Liberal Democrats in 2004 and served as Organiser for Cambridge Constituency 2010-2012 and General Election agent for Birmingham Edgbaston in 2019.
He is currently studying a MSc in 'Responsible Data Science' at the University of Birmingham, which includes Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and the ethics and regulation of Data Science and AI.
Prior to taking up this masters course, Luke was a secondary school mathematics teacher for eight years and has co-authored a book on mathematics education entitled: On Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Awareness.
Mark Johnston has been an experienced EU policy professional for over two decades.
Active in the Party since 2016, he aims to help Lib Dems win power at all levels, and for the country to recover and restore all we have lost outside Europe.
Martin is President of the Green Liberal Democrats and was MP for Cheltenham 2005-2015 and MEP for the South West of England & Gibraltar 2019-2020. He's now a Councillor and cabinet member on Lib Dem-led Cheltenham Borough Council.
With a professional background in business and charity marketing, Martin was Director of Fundraising at the Alzheimer's Society; the Director of Engagement & Impact at Bristol-based international NGO Development Initiatives; and a consultant for a number of national charities.
As an MP, he served as an environment and then international affairs spokesperson for the Party; originated the Local Green Space policy that was implemented by the coalition and which has now been used 6,000 times by local authorities across the UK; and led front bench opposition to Tory Brexiteers before 2015.
As an MEP, Martin was Vice President of the liberal Renew Europe group and served on the Parliament's International Development Committee.
Mohsin is a hospital doctor working in Forensic Psychiatry. He has had previous experience in the Department of Health, the House of Commons, and at a major health think tank.
Within the Lib Dems, Mohsin was Chair of the Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality (and used to be their rep to FPC before he was elected in his own right).
He is also Chair of a Regional Policy Committee, an English Council member, a former local party Vice-Chair, and has sat on many national Policy Working Groups over the years.
Tara has been a member of the Liberal Democrats since 2017. She served first as the Policy Officer and then Chair of the Young Liberals.
Tara has a Master’s Degree in History from Goldsmiths and works at the Royal Airforce Museum.
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: email@example.com
After studying German with European Institutions at Edinburgh University, David worked at HM Treasury, followed by a successful career in international publishing. Running commercial operations from Hong Kong and China for ten years for the Economist Group's Asia Pacific wing, his team were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2002.
A co-founder of the Kaleidoscope Trust, David has always even passionate about international LGBT+ rights and today is a Trustee and former Chair of the charity Sunrise Diversity, and sits on the Board of TicBox Productions. He also served as a Governor of Petroc College for 7 years.
Joining the Lib Dems in 2015, David was elected and served as a parish councilor for 7 years in Northern Devon, as well as Mayor of Northam during the pandemic and Chair of Devon Association of Local Councils. He sat on Devon & Cornwall’s Regional Executive as its Diversity Champion for 5 years. David stood as PPC for Torridge & West Devon in the 2017 and 2019 General Elections, securing second place; he was also a candidate on the Southwest List for the 2019 European Elections.
From 2017, David was Chair of Lib Dem European Group, standing down after 5 years following re-election to FIRC for a second term and subsequently election as its Chair in January 2023. In May 2023, he successfully led his first Lib Dem delegation to ALDE Congress in Stockholm and then the Liberal International Executive Committee meeting in Ottawa. David has been ALDE Rainbow Ambassador since 2022.
Rebecca was elected Policy Officer for the Young Liberals in 2022 and works hard to prepare their policies for Conference.
She comes from Devon and has stood for election twice, firstly in Bethnal Green West and then Kingsteignton East, where Rebecca very narrowly missed out by only 18 votes.
Rebecca has been a member of the Lib Dems since 2019 and is a proud trans woman.
Humaira is the LDCRE Policy Officer. Previously she was a member of the WPG for Immigration, Asylum and Identity, and for The 21st Century Economy. Humaira has been Chair of my local branch of Ealing in London for 3 years, and have been a member of the branch Exec for over 10 years, during which time she was Policy Officer for the branch and helped to put together the local manifesto.
Humaira is a Chartered Accountant and worked as a Fund Manager for over 10 years.
FPC meeting report, 13 July 2023
FPC meetings update, 30 June 2023