Jane Dodds

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Jane Dodds
Jane Dodds at Brighton 2018 (cropped).jpg
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Food and Rural Affairs
Assumed office
21 August 2019
LeaderJo Swinson
Preceded byAlistair Carmichael (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Wales
Assumed office
21 August 2019
LeaderJo Swinson
Preceded byThe Baroness Humphreys of Llanrwst
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Assumed office
3 November 2017
LeaderVince Cable
Jo Swinson
Preceded byMark Williams
Member of Parliament
for Brecon and Radnorshire
In office
2 August 2019 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byChris Davies
Succeeded byElection in progress
Majority1,425 (4.5%)
Personal details
Born (1963-09-13) 13 September 1963 (age 56)
Wrexham, Wales, UK
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Spouse(s)Patrick Dodds
EducationCardiff University
WebsiteOfficial website

Jane Dodds (born 13 September 1963) is a Welsh politician and the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, elected in 2017. She was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Brecon and Radnorshire for the Parliament of the United Kingdom at the seat's 2019 by-election.

Early and personal life[edit]

Dodds was born and raised in Wrexham, North Wales. She attended Ysgol Morgan Llwyd and is a fluent Welsh speaker. She studied at Cardiff University before going on to train to become a social worker, and worked for the Salvation Army in Child Protective Services for 27 years before being elected. During this time she also worked in a number of local authorities, for Cafcass, as well as having led the Children's Section of the Refugee Council.

She currently lives in Hay-on-Wye with her husband Patrick.

Political career[edit]

Dodds moved to London in early 2000 and was a member of the Labour Party until 2003. She left the party following Labour's decision to take part in the Invasion of Iraq in early 2003, with Dodds being a strong opponent of military intervention. In 2005 she joined the Liberal Democrats following a meeting with Susan Kramer, then the Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, and quickly became active in the local Richmond party.

Dodds stood for Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council for the Liberal Democrats in the 2006 local elections, being elected as one of three councillors in the North Richmond ward.[1] In 2008 she was appointed as Cabinet Member for Performance in the Lib Dem run administration, where she was responsible for the performance of the authority and ensuring that residents get value for money.[2] She narrowly failed to retain her seat in 2010 by a narrow margin of 19 votes, despite coming top of the three Liberal Democrat candidates.

She also contested a by-election for the same ward, following the resignation of one of the three sitting Conservative Councillors. During the by-election she was the victim of false leaflets produced in her name, which were produced to look like official Liberal Democrat literature.[3] She narrowly missed out on re-election by 146 votes.

In November 2012 she returned to Wales and moved to Welshpool, and was later selected as the Parliamentary candidate for Montgomeryshire, which the Liberal Democrats had held from 1983 to 2010 by Alex Carlile and then Lembit Öpik. Dodds contested the seat in both the 2015 and 2017 General Elections, as well as the corresponding Welsh Assembly constituency of Montgomeryshire in 2016. On a backdrop of a tough set of elections for the Welsh Liberal Democrats Dodds came a strong second on all three occasions, with the Welsh Conservative retaining both seats.

Dodds was elected as the Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader in November 2017, defeating Aberaeron Cllr Elizabeth Evans by 13% in an all-member ballot.

In March 2019, Dodds was selected as the party's Westminster candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire.[4] As the candidate for the constituency, Dodds attacked then-Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson's comments about immigrant communities where English is allegedly not spoken as a first language, describing Johnson, in Welsh, as out-of-touch with communities in Wales.[5]

She won the by-election on 1 August 2019, overturning a Conservative majority of more than 8,000 votes.[6]


2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds 13,826 43.46 +14.36
Conservative Christopher Davies 12,401 38.98 -9.62
Brexit Party Des Parkinson 3,331 10.47 N/A
Labour Tom Davies 1,680 5.28 -12.42
Monster Raving Loony Lady Lily the Pink 334 1.05 N/A
UKIP Liz Phillips 242 0.76 -0.64
Turnout 31,814 59.72[8]
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing


  1. ^ "Richmond Council Election Results" (PDF). LB Richmond. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  2. ^ "This Is Local London". 25 May 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Police Investigate Fake Election Leaflets". HuffPost UK. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  4. ^ Welsh Liberal Democrats (9 March 2019). "Jane Dodds selected to fight Brecon and Radnorshire". Welsh Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Boris Johnson Claims Too Many Areas In The UK Where English Is Not The First Language". HuffPost UK. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  6. ^ "By-election loss for Tories cuts Commons majority". 2 August 2019 – via www.bbc.com.
  7. ^ "Brecon and Radnorshire by-election: Six candidates confirmed". talkradio.co.uk.
  8. ^ "As it happened: Lib Dems win by-election". BBC News.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Davies
Member of Parliament
for Brecon and Radnorshire

August 2019– November 2019
Succeeded by
Election in progress