Federal Conference Committee


The Federal Conference Committee 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.  Each member of FCC is also expected to present motions in a particular policy area, including the views of the proposers and any other relevant persons. The FCC is responsible for running sessions in the Hall at Conference. Members of FCC also provide drafting advice and liaise with members submitting motions.

The Chair of FCC, in addition to the work described above, is also expected to liaise closely with Conference Office and the Chief Executive, most notably as regards the Conference budget and any other Conference-related decisions. The Chair is elected from among the directly elected members of the committee.

Vice-Chairs of FCC chair FCC's sub-committees, the General Purposes Sub-Committee and the Conference Communications Sub-Committee, which look in detail at the Conference budget and communications to members both before and at Conference respectively. Vice Chairs are also expected to deputise for the Chair where necessary. Vice Chairs may be directly elected members of the committee or state party representatives.

Members time commitment:

6 all-day meetings on Saturdays, with two or three evening meetings outside of Conference, plus time for reading relevant papers before meetings, and dealing with some matters between meetings. At Conference, members are required to run several sessions in the hall at Conference, attend FCC meetings every morning, and attend a pre-Conference meeting the day before to discuss final amendments and separate vote requests, as well as finalise arrangements for the Conference in question. Members are required to attend both Conferences. Most but not all meetings have dial-in facilities.

Essential Skills:

Good communications skills. Previous understanding of the way Conference functions. A clear sense of the importance of Conference as the sovereign body of the Party. An ability to be objective in choosing motions to be put to Conference.

Desirable Skills:

Experience chairing meetings, especially public meetings. Experience in event management. A good grasp of Liberal Democrat policies and a keen sense of the kinds of issues which the membership would wish to have debated at Conference.


Reasonable travel expenses above £15 per meeting can be remunerated where necessary. Other specific support (e.g. towards childcare costs) can be provided on a case-by-case basis.

The Membership of the Federal Conference Committee is as follows:


The next elections are due to take place in Autumn 2016. The current membership is as follows.

andrew-wiseman.jpgAndrew Wiseman (Chair)

Andrew is the current Chair of FCC, a former leader of a London Borough Council, as well as being a former Chair of ALDC and Green Lib Dems. Away from politics Andrew is recognised as one of the country’s leading solicitors specialising in environmental law and is a former Chair of the UK Environmental Law Association.   

Geoff Payne

Geoff Payne (Vice Chair & English rep)

Geoff Payne represents the English Party on the Federal Policy Committee and Federal Conference Committee. Geoff Payne represents the English Party on the FPC and FCC, and is a 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. 

Sandra Gidley (Vice Chair)

Sal Brinton (Party President)

Sal was introduced to the House of Lords in 2011, and was elected Party President in November 2014. She was previously the Lib Dem PPC for Watford in 2010 and 2005 and South East Cambridgeshire in 2001 and 1997. She was a Cambridgeshire County Councillor from 1993 to 2004, holding the Education portfolio from 1993-97, and then Leader of the Opposition. In 2014 Sal was elected President of the Liberal Democrats, taking office in January 2015 following the end of Tim Farron's second term.

Jenni Lang (Scottish rep)  

Linda Jack (FPC rep)

jeremy-hargreaves.jpgJeremy Hargreaves (FPC rep)

Jeremy has been chair of the groups writing party policy on public services, taxation and quality of life in recent years, as well as vice chair of FPC, chair of the Lib Dem European Group (LDEG), and a PPC. His professional background is as a strategy consultant in professional services, local government, and most recently as a senior manager in the NHS. 

James Gurling

James Gurling (FE rep)

James was elected 3 times to Southwark Council. James was a press Aide to Paddy Ashdown on the '97 General Election tour and later Leadership Election Agent to Charles Kennedy. He is now the FE's representative on FCC and Chairs the Party's Campaigns & Communications Committee.


Lindsay Northover (FE rep)

Lindsay Northover has stood in three General Elections and was a member of the committee which negotiated the Liberal/SDP merger in 1987. She was also Chair of Women Liberal Democrats, 1992-1995, and has been President of Liberal Democrat Women since 2014. She joined the House of Lords, becoming a Life Peer, in May 2000. Initially she served as health spokesperson between 2000 and 2002, before joining the frontbench team as Spokesperson on International Development - a post she still retains. She served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development during the Coalition Government, from 2014 to 2015.

VACANT (Welsh rep)

Mike Ross (Chief Steward)

Liz Lynne

Liz Lynne

Liz became shadow on Health from 1992-1994 and then shadow on Social Security from 1994-1997, and also covered the disabled peoples' rights portfolio. Liz was MP for Rochdale from 1992-1997 and MEP for the West Midlands from 1999-2012. 

She is now President of the Mid Worcestershire party, Vice President of Liberal Democrat Women and currently on the board of EEF The Manufacturers' Organisation. 

Tilsley_-Paul-(2004)-photograph.jpgPaul Tilsley

Paul was elected to FCC 2 years ago. Has been a member of Birmingham City Council since 1968. From 2005 - 2012 was Deputy Leader of the Council. Senior manager in the Voluntary Sector for 25. Interests Health, change management, football, rugby and cricket.


Zoe-OConnell-colour.jpgZoe O'Connell

Zoe, from Cambridge, was co-author of the party's 2014 equalities paper and is secretary of LGBT+ LibDems. She worked as a senior network and security engineer at various Internet Service Providers for over a decade and is a regular campaigner on the issues of online privacy and civil liberties.


Mary-Reid-2.jpgMary Reid

Mary was elected to FCC, at her first attempt, in 2014. She has been a party member and activist for around 40 years, and has served as a councillor (including Cabinet member and Mayor) and local party chair in Kingston upon Thames. She organises the annual conference for the Social Liberal Forum.


Chris Maines

Justine McGuinness

Pauline Pearce

Jon Ball

Shas Sheehan

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