John Pugh

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For other people named John Pugh, see John Pugh (disambiguation).
John Pugh
John Pugh at Sheffield 2011 (cropped).jpg
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesman
Assumed office
29 July 2015
Leader Tim Farron
Preceded by David Laws
Member of Parliament
for Southport
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Ronnie Fearn
Majority 1,322 (3%)
Personal details
Born (1948-06-28) 28 June 1948 (age 68)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Political party Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s) Annette Pugh
Children 3 daughters, 1 son
Alma mater Durham University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Official website

John David Pugh (born 28 June 1948, Liverpool) is a Liberal Democrat politician in the United Kingdom. He is Member of Parliament (MP) for Southport. First elected in 2001[1] with a majority of 3,007, he was re-elected in 2005 with a slightly increased majority of 3,838, and again in 2010 with a majority of 6,024, or 13.8%. In the 2015 General Election, he was re-elected again, but with a reduced majority of 1,322 from Conservative candidate Damien Moore. John Pugh received 31% of the vote, with turnout at 65.75%.

Early life[edit]

Pugh was educated at Prescot Grammar School and Maidstone Grammar School. He graduated from Durham University,[2] attending St Cuthbert's Society, where he studied Philosophy.[3]


Formerly a religious studies teacher and Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby,[4] Pugh has lived in Southport since 1974.

He also taught at Salesian College (later Savio High School) in Bootle.

Political career[edit]

Pugh joined the Liberal Party in 1977. Pugh served on Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, representing Birkdale, from 1987 until his election to Parliament. At the time of his election, Pugh was leader of the council (from 1992), and of the Sefton Liberal Democrats.[5]

In his first term at Westminster John served on the Transport, Local Government and Regions Select Committee and was Liberal Democrat education spokesperson with responsibility for schools.

Following his re-election to Parliament in 2005, he served as shadow spokesperson for Transport and Health, and, subsequent to the election of Nick Clegg as party leader worked with Vince Cable as Shadow Treasury spokesperson. In the 2007 leadership election, John Pugh supported Nick Clegg in preference to Chris Huhne.[6]

With the formation of the Coalition in 2010 he was appointed as Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee for Health and Social Care, a position he relinquished at the end of 2013 to focus on producing a report examining the social and economic issues facing the North.

In the 2015 leadership election, John Pugh supported Tim Farron in preference to Norman Lamb.[7]

In December 2015 Pugh voted to bomb ISIL targets in Syria.[8]

Campaign interests[edit]

Amongst Pugh's campaigning interests is public sector IT, specifically around the role Open Source Software might play. Pugh has argued that the public sector could reduce costs by increasing use of Open Source Software [9] and has accused the BBC of effectively giving Microsoft illegal state aid in only making their iPlayer download service available on Windows computers (at the time).[10]

Pugh has interests in mental health policy.[11] In October 2009, Pugh introduced a bill under the 10-minute rule calling for more local control over the NHS.[12]

Locally in Southport, Pugh is interested in saving local pubs, and also in the booze culture that affects the UK.[13] Pugh sees cheap alcohol deals in supermarkets as one of the major problems causing pub closures, and fuelling the booze culture.[14] He also took the fight for Local Post Offices to 10 Downing Street.[15]

In Transport, Pugh has long campaigned for the reinstatement of the Burscough Curves,[16] and is working with local groups such as The Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers' Association (OPSTA) and The Southport Rail Transport Forum (SRTF) to save services from Southport to Manchester Piccadilly[17]

Pugh is a keen supporter of Amnesty International, with whom he is reported to have had close ties with the Formby & Southport Group over a number of years.[18]

In 2013, he became one of the few Liberal Democrat MPs to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.[19]

Roles in parliament[edit]

  • 2010– Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee for Health and Social Care
  • 2008–10 Shadow Treasury Spokesperson [20]
  • 2006–07 Shadow Health spokesperson
  • 2005–06 Shadow Transport spokesperson,
  • 2002–05 Shadow Ministerial Spokesman, Education

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Annette with three daughters and a son.[21][22] He moved to Southport in 1974.

Pugh's interests include philosophy, computers, weight-lifting and supporting Liverpool F.C.


  1. ^ "Liverpool Echo: Latest Liverpool and Merseyside news, sports and what's on". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "John Pugh". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Polling Guide – Southport". UK Election Report. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  4. ^ "› Merchant Taylors News › OBA Crosby Dinner". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  6. ^ "Opinion: John Pugh MP writes". Lib Dem Voice. 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  7. ^ "Opinion: 5 more senior Lib Dems back Farron for leader". Tim Farron. 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2015-07-24. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Debate on Government IT and Software Procurement". Hansard. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  10. ^ "MP accuses BBC chief of illegally championing Microsoft". The Register. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  11. ^ "John Pugh". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 21 Oct 2009 (pt 0004)". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Southport.TV Video/Film Archive". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Welcome to Champ News  ::: Serving Sefton & West Lancashire". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  15. ^ [2] Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ [3] Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  19. ^ "Labour and Lib Dem MPs who voted against gay marriage: full list". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "MP/Lord not found". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  21. ^ [4] Archived 9 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  22. ^ [5][dead link]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ronnie Fearn
Member of Parliament
for Southport