An LSE graduate with a master's degree in European studies, Sarah is also qualified as a barrister. Her career, which started in Whitehall, has included substantial stints in Brussels working for the European Commission and in the City of London (Lloyd's of London and American Express) before she went into politics.
She has been a member of the House of Lords since 1997, though a non-voting member from July 2009-2014.
Record Of Delivery
As MEP for London, Sarah:
- Campaigned both for the UK to remain in the European Arrest Warrant - which helped bring London bomber Hussain Osman to justice - and its reform so that it is used fairly and proportionately
- Fought for constituents who’ve received rough justice abroad, going to Greece and even Tokyo in her quest for their rights to be respected
- Made a major contribution to EU measures to improve standards of justice across Europe and tackle cross-border crime
- Helped deliver, as Liberal group negotiator, European Parliament input into new EU data protection rules, to guarantee both robust privacy rights for citizens and jobs in innovative services like those in London's Tech City
- Led a successful campaign to ban export of EU anaesthetics to be used in US executions, forcing the EU to match its words about opposing the death penalty with tough action
- Successfully pushed to use EU law to protect Londoners from raw sewage in the Thames and from air and noise pollution, not least in opposing Heathrow expansion
- Worked to ensure London continues to benefit from the EU single market and the prospective EU-US trade deal that could boost London’s economy by £2 billion.
Sarah Ludford was the Liberal Democrats' European justice & human rights spokeswoman. As a senior member of the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs Committee, she took a leading role in the formulation of EU law and cooperation measures on crime and terrorism, data exchange and data protection and has insisted on civil liberties safeguards. She has also helped develop EU legislation on visas & border security, immigration & asylum and anti-discrimination. She has been the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Guantanamo Bay and was a founder and vice-chair of the Parliament's investigation into European governments' collusion in CIA 'torture flights' and secret prisons.
Sarah was also on the Foreign Affairs Committee, is vice-chair of the Delegation to the US and takes a strong interest in the Balkans, Turkey, Cyprus and the Middle East. She is vice-President of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel.
In 2015 Sarah was made Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Europe.