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. Members will also have designated links to regional parties and to SAOs, and are expected to listen, talk and work with their link organisations.
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:
The next elections are due to take place in Autumn 2019. The current membership is as follows.
Chair and Vice-chairs
Vince Cable MP – Chair
Vince is Member of Parliament for Twickenham, and Leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Duncan Brack – Vice-chair
Duncan is a directly elected member of the FPC.
An independent environmental policy analyst, he was a special adviser to Chris Huhne at the Department of Energy and 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 Federal Conference Committee 2003-10.
Jeremy Hargreaves – Vice-chair
Jeremy is a directly-elected member of the FPC.
He 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.
Sarah Ludford – Vice-chair
Sarah Ludford is a member of the House of Lords and is a representative of the peers on the FPC.
Sal Brinton – Party President
Sal Brinton is President of the Liberal Democrats and a member of the House of Lords.
Representatives of the Parliamentary Parties
Antony Hook MEP – MEP rep
Antony is a Member of the European Parliament for South East England.
Tony Greaves – Peer rep
Tony Greaves is a member of the House of Lords.
Judith Jolly– Peer rep
Judith Jolly is a Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health.
Dr. Julie Smith– Lords rep
Dr. Julie Smith is Baroness Smith of Newnham, Lords Spokesperson on Defence.
Wera Hobhouse MP- Commons Rep
Wera Hobhouse is Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change.
Representative of the Federal Communications and Elections Committee
James is Chair of the Federal Communications and Elections Committee.
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. James has previously served as Chair of the Campaigns and Communications Committee.
Heather Kidd – Councillor rep
Heather is a Shropshire councillor.
She is a science teacher by profession and was first elected as a councillor in Shropshire in 1996. She has represented the Chirbury and Worthen ward of Shropshire Council since 2009 and served as Joint Leader of South Shropshire District Council in 2001 and Leader in 2003. Heather’s passion is rural affairs but particularly rural housing which local people can afford. She is Chair of the Lib Dem Exec on the LGA where she is the group leader on the rural and non-metropolitan People & Places Board. She is on the management committee of ALDC.
Paul Tilsley – Councillor rep
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. Interests Health, change management, football, rugby and cricket.
State Party representatives
Lucy Nesthinga– English Party rep
Lucy Nethsingha is the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Cambridgeshire County Council and Deputy Chair on the Children and Young People’s Board at the Local Government Association. Lucy chairs the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Scrutiny Committee, where she has played a key role in scrutinising the work of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Peter Price – Welsh Party rep
Peter, who was an MEP for 15 years and remains heavily involved as ‘an insider’ in EU affairs, is a passionate opponent of Brexit. He represents FPC on the Parliamentary International Affairs Committee, Party International Relations Committee and ALDE Council. He has served on several manifesto drafting groups and policy working groups. He was a part-time Employment Judge for 12 years and has had a series of public roles relating to Welsh devolution.
Other directly elected members
Belinda is the Regional Brexit Spoke 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. She is a Reader in Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, where she is also Asst Dean for Equalities.
Sally is director of policy and 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. Sally joined the Party as a teenager and is particularly interested in criminal and social justice, equality issues, animal welfare, and housing and homelessness.
Christine found her way to FPC 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. She did her first degree in systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo, where she was also president of her student union.
Richard is a former councillor and group leader who now works for the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors. He has a degree in Biological Sciences and a career background including running a printing business. He has particular interest in local government related policy and in making policy relevant to campaigning.
Alec is a long-time member of the Liberal Democrats and lives in Wales. He has been a candidate for Westminster and the European Parliament, and a Special Adviser to Liberal Democrat ministers in the Welsh Government. More recently he has been chair of the Welsh Liberal Democrat Policy committee. He is a professional forester, and has worked on forestry and international climate policy in Whitehall. He teaches forestry at Bangor University.
Kamran is the Policy Chair for Yorkshire & The Humber Liberal Democrats and is the regional Brexit spokesperson. He previously led the EU Referendum Campaign for the region. Away from politics, Kamran is a solicitor and a partner in a Leeds based law firm.
Elizabeth has been an active member of the party for over 30 years. She has stood for election to both the local council and parliament numerous times. She is currently the Chair of the Lib Dem Christian Forum and Co Vice Chair of Lib Dem women. She is best known as the creator of our policy to raise the income tax threshold. She lives just outside Chester.
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.
Alisdair has been a member of the party for just under a decade, and has particular interest in policy on LGBT+ issues, the sustainable rural economy, transport, and information technology & data protection. He is the FPC liaison to the LGBT+LD SAO and the Parliamentary Transport Group and has twice been a Parliamentary Candidate. Outside of politics he is a IT consultant living in West Yorkshire.
Catherine is a medical doctor and surgeon, with extensive international R&D and project management experience. Previous PPC for Westminster, party activist and member of the working group which produced Age Ready Britain.Her passions are women’s equality and a radical new NH&CS properly-staffed and paid for out of general taxation.
David has been Vice Chair of the Education Policy Working Group and Secretary of Watford Liberal Democrats. Outside of the party, David is a charity CEO, author, speaker, Chair of a Department for Education expert group, co-founder of LGBTed and organ donation campaigner. David was previously a physics teacher for 10 years.
Chris was elected a county councillor in Hertfordshire in 1993 and group leader in 1994. He is currently leader of the opposition on St Albans District Council. He was Deputy Leader of the LGA Liberal Democrat Group (2011-2017) and on the Board of the Audit Commission (2005-2011).
Geoff Payne– FCC rep
Geoff represents the English Party on the FPC and FCC, and is a former Chair of what is now Liberal Youth. He is a barrister specialising in cases involving allegations of serious fraud and/or white collar crime.
Richard Kemp – LGA rep
Richard represents the Local Government Association's Lib Dem Group.
He is the Leader of the Lib Dems in Liverpool where he has served for 35 years as a councillor. He is a former Leader of the Lib Dems in local government and UK rep on the world body for local government (UCLG). He is the Lib Dem spokesperson on Health & Social Care at the Local Government Association and chair of World Merit a global charity involving young people in the work of the UN in their own community.
Mohsin Khan – LDCRE rep
Mohsin is Vice-Chair of the Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality. He is also a forensic psychiatrist and NHS doctor, and has previous experience in the Department of Health, the House of Commons, and at a
major health think tank.
Within the Lib Dems, Mohsin is also a Chair of a Regional Policy Committee, English Council member, former local party vice-chair, and has sat on many national Policy Working Groups over the years.
Tara Copeland - Young Liberals rep
Tara moved to London in 2017 and joined the Liberal Democrats, running for Policy Committee with the Young Liberals and becoming active in her Local Party in Borough of Brent. In February 2018 she was made interim Policy Officer for the Young Liberals and was formally elected to the position in July 2018. In November 2018 she was re-elected to the position for a second term.
Robert Woodthorpe Browne – FIRC Chair
Robert attends FPC as Chair of the Federal International Relations Committee.