Liberal Democrats

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.

The next elections are due to take place in Autumn 2019, for terms starting 1st January 2020. The current membership is as follows.


Geoff PayneChair: Geoff Payne (Directly elected member)

Geoff Payne is the chair of the Federal Conference Committee. He is a former member of the Federal Policy Committee and a barrister.


Vice Chair: Nick da CostaNicholas da Costa (Directly elected member)

Nick is a councillor for Alexandra Ward in Harengey, former PPC for Enfield North (2017) and London Assembly Candidate for Enfield and Haringey (2016). He was part of 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.


Zoe O'ConnellVice Chair: Zoe O'Connell (Directly elected member)

Zoe is a former Army Reservist, having served with both the Royal Corps of Signals and Intelligence Corps. She is currently councillor and deputy Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Cambridge City Council. She was also co-author of the party's 2014 Equalities and 2015 Civil Liberties & Security policy papers.

She has worked as a senior engineer at various Internet Service Providers for over a decade and is a regular campaigner on the issues of equality, online privacy and civil liberties.

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Party Body Representatives

Sal BrintonSal 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.

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Tom BrakeTom Brake (On behalf of Chief Whip)

Tom Brake has been the MP for Carshalton and Wallington since 1997. Tom was born in Leicestershire and from the age of eight, lived with his family in France, attending the Lycee International. Upon returning to England, Tom attended Imperial College, London where he gained a BSc (Hons) degree in Physics. Tom was actively involved in human rights issues as a student. In 1988 he became a Liberal Democrat Councillor in the London Borough of Hackney before moving to Carshalton in 1990. Tom was elected as a Sutton Councillor in 1994.

Heidi Worth (Welsh Rep)

Tahir MaherTahir Maher (English Rep)

Tahir is an English Party representative who has significant experience within the party. Tahir has been a Regional Chair; a member on a number of party’s working groups; member of FPC; member of the English party executive and was a councillor for 8 years and a Group leader. By profession Tahir is Accountant and was a Head of Finance for a very large Cancer charity. Tahir, however, is still learning to play the saxophone, after many years!

Jenni LangJenni Lang (Scottish Rep)

Jenni Lang has spent the last 15 years working in corporate responsibility and corporate affairs. Currently she is involved in community projects in deprived areas developing employability skills among young people and their families.

Simon McGrathSimon McGrath (Federal Board Rep)

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

Sally BurnellSally Burnell (Federal Policy Committee Rep)

Sally has been the Federal Policy Committee rep on FCC since late 2017. She is director of policy, media and strategy for the British Veterinary Association and has previously worked for the Liberal Democrats in the press office, in local government and in Wales.


Susan_juned_head.jpgSusan Juned (Federal Policy Committee Rep)

Susan 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. A county councillor for 12 years, a district councillor for 24 years and contributor to several Policy Working Groups and the Green Book.

James_gurling_head.jpgJames Gurling (Federal Communications and Elections Committee Rep)

James is Chair of the Federal Communications and Elections Committee.

James was elected 3 times to Southwark Council. He was a press Aide to Paddy Ashdown on the '97 General Election tour and later Leadership Election Agent to Charles Kennedy.

Steve Jolly (Federal People Development Committee Rep)

Directly elected members

Jon BallJon Ball

Jon has been a councillor for Ealing Common since 2002. Outside politics Jon works in the film and TV industry.

Victor ChamberlainVictor Chamberlain

Victor is a Southwark campaigner in Borough and Bankside and a former Manchester City Councillor. Victor stood as the candidate for Wythenshawe and Sale East in 2015.

Victor serves on the (ALDC) Management Committee and the Council of the Electoral Reform Society. He works in the affordable housing sector and has previously worked for ALDC and the Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Support Team in Westminster.


Alex HegenbarthAlexander Hegenbarth

Alex is a councillor on Cheltenham Borough Council.

Cara JenkinsonCara Jenkinson

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 in Energy and the Environment in 2017, and now works for an environmental charity.


Liz LynneLiz 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.

Chris Maines

Chris is chair of London Liberal Democrats

Mary ReidMary 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.



Jennie RiggJennie Rigg

Jennie is chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats. She works for a small internet start-up and lives in Brighouse with her daughter, her dogs, and her boyfriends. She is particularly interested in gin and beards.



Paul TilselyPaul Tilsley

Paul is a Birmingham City councillor. He 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 years. Interests Health, change management, football, rugby and cricket.

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