First elected to the Commons in 1974, and then for 13 years as MP for North Cornwall from 1992-2005, Paul Tyler is now a Liberal Democrat working peer in the House of Lords.
Paul was born and brought up in South Devon but has lived in Cornwall most of his life, with his wife Nicky and children Sophie and Dominick. Through his mother he is a direct descendant of Bishop Jonathan Trelawny, on whose behalf "20,000 Cornishman" threatened to march on London against James II's autocratic government in 1688. His father's family claim descent from Oliver Cromwell.
In 1964 Paul was elected Britain's youngest County Councillor and re-elected in 1967. He was vice chairman of the Dartmoor National Park Committee and a member of the Devon & Cornwall Police authority.
In 1968 he was selected to contest Bodmin Constituency. He was elected Liberal MP (with a majority of 9) in February 1974, and appointed House of Commons Spokesman on Housing, Transport and Rate Reform. In the October 1974 Election he increased the Liberal vote, but not sufficiently to withstand the swing.
Experience working for the RIBA (1966-73) and SHELTER (1975-6) has given him a special interest in housing and planning policy. He was Managing Director of the Cornwall Courier local newspaper group, 1976-81, a frequent contributor to a wide range of media, and presenter of BBC South West TV "Discovery" series in 1978.
He contested the Beaconsfield by-election in 1982, increased the Alliance vote and pushed the Labour candidate (Tony Blair) into third place, losing his deposit. He was David Steel's campaign organiser in 1983 General Election, and elected Chairman of the Liberal Party 1983-6; awarded the CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 1985. He was Campaign Advisor to David Steel and member of the Alliance Planning Group 1986-7, and member of the Campaign Team led by John Pardoe in the 1987 General Election.
He was a Senior Consultant responsible for political and public issue assignments at Good Relations 1982-92 (for, amongst others, the Countryside Commission, European Year of the Environment, Rural Development Commission).
Paul set up his own office in Plymouth after the 1987 Election, advising clients on environmental policy; his consultancy ceased after the General Election in 1992.
He was the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Cornwall and Plymouth constituency in the European Parliament election - June 1989. He reduced the Conservative majority to 8.7%, cut the Labour share of the poll and gained 68,559 votes - the highest ever Liberal or Liberal Democrat vote at the time and the best result in the whole UK.
Paul was elected MP for North Cornwall in April 1992 and appointed Liberal Democrat Spokesman on Rural Affairs, Agriculture and Transport. In 1994/95 he also piloted a review of Transport policy. He gained the Country Life Parliamentarian of the Year Award for his persistent and effective challenging of Agriculture Ministers during the BSE/Beef crisis.
After the 1997 Election he was elected Chief Whip by the newly enlarged Parliamentary Party. He served on the Modernisation Select Committee, and led Liberal Democrat efforts tomake the Commons more effective. As the Foot and Mouth epidemic devastated livestock areas, Party Leader Charles Kennedy appointed Paul to coordinate the response, and work with farming and other organisations, to seek more effective Government action.
After the 2001 Election he was appointed to shadow Robin Cook, Leader of the House of Commons, with particular responsibility for the reform of Parliament. He led for the party on both the modernisation of the Commons and the reform of the Lords to create a democratic and representative Second Chamber.
He chaired the Party's "Better Governance" policy group 2006-07 and piloted its report, "For the people, by the people", through the Liberal Democrat Conference of September 2007. His Constitutional Renewal Bill was introduced in the House of Lords in 2009.
He was formerly Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Constitutional and Political Reform. He convened a cross-party group from within the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill to secure majority support for positive recommendations in favour of progress with reform. With colleagues from other parties Paul has contributed extensively to media coverage of this issue.
In 2015 he was made Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Constitutional and Political Reform.
His wife, Nicky, was Organiser/Manager of a Citizens' Advice Bureau in Liskeard for eight years and has been active in a number of community roles. She served as Chair of the East Cornwall Magistrates Bench and as Vice Chair of the Callington Community College Governors. They now live in Gloucestershire, where she was brought up.