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, previously comprising one MP and two other members of the committee (this may be subject to change in the light of recent constitutional amendments). 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.
Members time commitment:
A minimum of 9 evening meetings (usually lasting at least 3 hours), plus time for reading papers; the meetings are not evenly spread throughout the year but are concentrated round deadlines for conference (to approve final versions of policy papers) and for election manifestos. A willingness to serve on at least one policy working group per term of office (several additional evening meetings over the course of a year). The evening meetings have dial-in facilities.
Good communications skills. Experience communicating, researching or developing policy. A good grasp of previous and current Liberal Democrat policies, and their distinctiveness compared to the policies of other UK parties.
Previous experience communicating or developing policy for the party in other organisations (e.g. at a regional conference, or in a party organisation such as Liberal Youth).
Specific policy experience in an area of interest for the Party.
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 Policy Committee is as follows:
The next elections are due to take place in Autumn 2019. The current membership is as follows.
Tim Farron MP (Party Leader)
Tim is Member of Parliament for Westmorland and Lonsdale, and Leader of the Liberal Democrats.
John Pugh MP (English MP rep)
John is MP for Southport and the Lib Dem Education spokesperson.
Alistair Carmichael MP (Scottish MP rep)
Alistair is MP for Orkney and Shetland and the Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson.
Mark Williams MP (Welsh MP rep)
Mark Williams is MP for Ceredigion.
Catherine Bearder MEP (MEP rep)
Catherine Bearder has been MEP for South East England since 2009.
Baroness Sal Brinton (President)
Sal Brinton is President of the Liberal Democrats. She has been a member of the House of Lords since 2011, and is Co-Chair of the Lib Dem health parliamentary policy committee. Sal recently chaired the Learning to Live policy working group on Skills, Further and Higher Education and has run the Candidate Leadership Programme.
Lord Jonathan Marks (Peer rep)
Jonathan Marks joined the SDP in 1981. He was appointed to the House of Lords in late 2010, taking his seat in January 2011. Since joining the Lords, Jonathan has spoken regularly in debates, concentrating on constitutional reform and justice issues.
Geoff Payne (English rep)
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.
Jeremy Purvis (Scottish rep)
Jeremy is a Lib Dem working peer and is one of the youngest ever Life Peers. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament as the youngest constituency MSP, aged 29.
Peter Price (Welsh rep)
Peter, who was an MEP for 15 years, represents FPC on the Parliamentary International Affairs Committee, Party International Relations Committee and ALDE Council. He has served part-time as an Employment Judge for 12 years and has undertaken a series of public roles relating to devolution.
Lucy Care (Councillor rep)
Lucy was the first Lib Dem elected as a councillor in Derby in the early 1990s, and she remained a councillor until 2010, by when the Lib Dem Group was the largest on the council.
Paul Tilsley (Councillor rep)
Paul 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.
Kelly-Marie has solid experience in policy across equality, welfare, law and public services and committed to reducing inequality in society. Kelly-Marie is a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate and has represented the party at local, Regional and Federal levels.
Duncan is Vice Chair of the FPC. In the last Parliament, he was Vice Chair of the Manifesto Group, and a special adviser to Chris Huhne at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. He also 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). Professionally he is an independent environmental policy analyst.
Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon is an elected member of FPC and ALDE Congress. She is the PPC for the Cities of London and Westminster, and has has represented the party at federal, regional and local level. Serving as a Cllr from 2009 she was co-author of ‘Real Women’ - the 2010 Women’s manifesto; a member of the Skills, Further and Higher Education Policy working group; and recently chaired the Equalities policy working group. Belinda is Asst Dean for Strategy, Birkbeck
Prateek was elected to the Policy Committee in 2012 – from which he is elected to serve on Conference Committee. Having more than a decade’s experience as a scientist at UCL researching gene and stem cell therapy for sight loss, Prateek’s policy focus has been evidence-based health policy – he currently sits on the party’s Parliamentary Policy Committee on health.
Baroness Sarah Ludford
Sarah Ludford is spokeswoman on EU affairs for the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords. She was an MEP for London 1999-2014 specialising in justice, home affairs, civil liberties & human rights in which she continues to take a strong interest. Sarah is a vice-president of LibDem Friends of Israel.
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.
Evan Harris was the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon from 1997 to 2010. Since then he has sat on the Party’s Federal Policy Committee, and regularly writes for the Guardian.
Antony was running mate to Catherine Bearder MEP and chaired the Liberal Democrat European Election Campaign in the South East - the only region that secured the election of an MEP in 2014. He has over 16 years’ experience as a local and regional party officer and is a strong defender of civil liberties.
Cllr Keith House has led Eastleigh Borough Council since 1994. He is a County Councillor, speaks for the Local Government Association on Housing, Board Member of the Homes & Communities Agency and international election observer
Mark's edits the monthly email newsletter, Liberal Democrat Newswire and works for the communications agency, Blue Rubicon.
He is co-author of 101 Ways To Win An Election as well as the party’s election law and general election agents manuals.
Mark is a member of the Open Rights Group’s Advisory Council and has served on several Amnesty International committees.
Dr Julie Smith is Director of the European Centre in the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University. She is currently a Vice-Chair of FPC and sits on both the European and General Election manifesto working groups. Julie is a City Councillor in Cambridge where she is portfolio-holder for Customer Services and Resources.
Andrew Wiseman (Federal Conference Committee 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.
Robert Woodthorpe-Browne (International Relations Committee Chair)