Ben Stoneham, Baron Stoneham of Droxford
Benjamin Russell Mackintosh Stoneham, Baron Stoneham of Droxford (born 28 August 1948) is a British peer, journalist, and Liberal Democrat politician. He is currently the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the House of Lords, having been elected to that position in October 2016.
Stoneham's early politics were Labour. At the age of 29 he was Labour candidate in the Saffron Walden by-election of 1977. He was later treasurer of the moderate Campaign for Labour Victory, many of whose leading lights later joined the SDP. Stoneham was the SDP candidate for Parliament in Stevenage in 1983 and 1987. In 1983, he had the best finish by any non-incumbent SDP candidate in an English seat and narrowly lost by about 1,700 votes.
He is a senior party activist for the Liberal Democrat party. From 2003 to 2010, he was operations director of the party, under the leadership of Charles Kennedy, and Nick Clegg. He was made a life peer on 17 January 2011 as Baron Stoneham of Droxford, of Meon Valley in the County of Hampshire. He gave his maiden speech on 20 January 2011.
In October 2016, Lord Stoneham was elected as the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the House of Lords, succeeding Lord Newby.
Lord Stoneham came to prominence on 19 May 2011 when used parliamentary privilege to reveal details of a super-injunction during a debate in the House of Lords. He questioned whether a super-injunction prevented bank regulators from investigating corporate governance at the Royal Bank of Scotland:
|“||Every taxpayer has a direct public interest in the events leading up to the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland, so how can it be right for a super-injunction to hide the alleged relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a senior colleague.
Lord Stoneham was reprimanded on 27 February 2013 by his own party following reports he telephoned and angrily remonstrated with one of the women who had complained to newspapers about his close friend Lord Rennard's alleged sexual harassment of party workers. Nick Clegg's aides described Lord Stoneham's conduct as "completely unacceptable." Liberal Democrat chief whip in the House of Lords, Lord Newby gave a warning to Lord Stoneham over his conduct.
- "Lord exposes Sir Fred Goodwin super-injunction in Parliament", The Telegraph, 19 May 2011
- The Lord Stoneham of Droxford Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Debrett's People of Today
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
- Interview with Lord Stoneham at Lib Dem conference, Birmingham on 17 September 2011
- The Times, 18 June 1977 p3
- The Times, 1 October 1977 p3
- "New Lib Dem peers to lead reform of the House of Lords", Liberal Democrats, 19 November 2010
- Henley, Peter (15 September 2006). "South: Politics-on-Sea". BBC Politics Show.
- "Liberal Democrat MPs and strategists are pushing for Clegg to rule out an alliance with the Tories". The New Statesman. 21 January 2010.
- "No. 59676". The London Gazette. 20 January 2011. p. 870.
- Penny, Thomas; Lumley, James; Donaldson, Kitty (19 May 2011). "Goodwin Won Order to Halt Reports of Affair". Bloomberg.
- "Peer raises Fred Goodwin injunction in Lords". BBC. UK. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "Lord Rennard claims: Peer reprimanded over telephone call". BBC News. 27 February 2013.