Jane Bonham Carter, Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury

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Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury speaking at Brighton during a Liberal Democrat Conference.

Jane Bonham Carter, Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury (born 20 October 1957) is a British Liberal Democrat politician,[1] and member of the House of Lords.[2]



Baroness' coronet

Bonham-Carter hails from a political family. Her great-grandfather was Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, the former Prime Minister, and her grandparents were Sir Maurice Bonham Carter and Lady Violet Bonham Carter (later Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury, DBE). Her father The Lord Bonham-Carter was a Liberal MP before becoming a Liberal Democrat Life Peer. Her aunt Laura Bonham-Carter (The Lady Grimond of Firth) married Joseph "Jo" Grimond, Baron Grimond of Firth, formerly Leader of the Liberal Party. Her family's is the only example so far where three generations have received Life Peerages under the 1958 Life Peerages Act.[note 1]

Her cousins include the actress Helena Bonham Carter and fellow LibDem parliamentarian the 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith, OBE.[3]


Bonham-Carter was educated at St. Paul's Girls' School, an independent school in Brook Green, Hammersmith, west London, and at University College London, part of London University.


Bonham-Carter worked in television before being raised to the Peerage, spending time at both the BBC and Channel 4, producing programmes such as Panorama, Newsnight and A Week In Politics.

In 1996 she became the Liberal Democrats' Director of Communications, a role she held through the 1997 election before returning to a career in television as an independent producer at Brook Lapping Productions, where she produced a number of documentaries for Channel 4, the BBC and ITV, including the award winning series Maggie: the First Lady.

On 23 June 2004 she was created a Life Peeress as Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, of Yarnbury in the County of Wiltshire,[4] and was appointed LibDem Spokesperson for Broadcasting and the Arts.

She has been a member of various House of Lords Select Committees, including the BBC Charter Review set up in 2005, and the Parliamentary Communications Committee.

After the formation of the Con-LibDem coalition government in 2010, she was elected Deputy Convenor of Liberal Democrat Peers and was appointed Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, which includes the role of LibDem spokesperson on DCMS matters in the House of Lords.

Bonham-Carter has served on the Advisory Committee of the thinktank Centre Forum since 2005, and RAPT (Rehabiliation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) since 1999. She was a Board Member of the National Campaign for the Arts from 2010-2012.

She is a Vice-President of the Debating Group.[5]

On 19 April 2015 it was announced that Bonham-Carter would be a patron of the Studio Theatre, Ashley Road, Salisbury.[6]


She was criticised when it was revealed that she and her partner, fellow LibDem Lord Razzall, share a flat in London whilst both claiming expenses from the public purse,[7] although their actions were later deemed not to breach parliamentary rules.

Styles and titles[edit]

  • Miss Jane Bonham Carter (20 October 1957 to 21 July 1986)
  • The Honourable Jane Bonham Carter (21 July 1986 to 23 June 2004)
  • The Right Honourable The Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarbury (23 June 2004 to present)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The titles of the three judges Baron Russell of Killowen were created under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act of 1876.


  1. ^ "Baroness Bonham-Carter on the Liberal Democrat Federal website". 
  2. ^ www.parliament.uk
  3. ^ www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk
  4. ^ "No. 57340". The London Gazette. 29 June 2004. p. 8083. 
  5. ^ Debating Group
  6. ^ Baroness Bonham-Carter named as patron of city theatre, Salisbury Journal, 19 April 2015 
  7. ^ ""The Gravy Train Rolls on" - Mail on Sunday 21 December 2008". 

External links[edit]