Judith Jolly, Baroness Jolly

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The Baroness Jolly
Official portrait of Baroness Jolly crop 2, 2019.jpg
Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Health
In office
12 October 2017 – 21 August 2019
LeaderVince Cable
Jo Swinson
Preceded byNorman Lamb
Succeeded byVince Cable (Health and Social Care)
Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Defence
In office
16 July 2015 – 12 October 2017
LeaderTim Farron
Vince Cable
Preceded byNick Harvey
Succeeded byThe Lord Campbell of Pittenweem
Government Whip
In office
7 October 2013 – 7 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Garden of Frognal
Succeeded byThe Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
24 December 2010
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1951-04-27) 27 April 1951 (age 69)
Political partyLiberal Democrats
EducationUniversity of Leeds
University of Nottingham

Judith Anne Jolly, Baroness Jolly (born 27 April 1951) is a Liberal Democrat life peer. She was raised to the peerage in 2010 and was introduced to the House of Lords in January 2011. Her maiden speech was made within a week on health issues and she immediately became involved in briefings on the Health and Social Care Bill.


She is a trustee of FLEX, Focus on Labour Exploitation, and Help Musicians UK, an organisation which offers practical, positive support to emerging, professional and retired musicians - whatever the genre.

She chaired the Specialised Healthcare Alliance for two years until October 2013, a member organisation which campaigns for those with rare of complex diseases. She has worked with Think Global, a charity that works to educate and engage the UK public on global issues; she is especially interested in the regions of North Africa and the Middle East.

In 2019, Baroness Jolly joined the RoSPA Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents presidential team, joining up with Lord Bill Mckenzie of Luton and Lord Bill Jordan or Bournville, whilst taking the place of The Lord Brougham and Vaux CBE, who stood down last year. Baroness Jolly has previously often spoken in favour of accident prevention during debates in the House of Lords. RoSPA's chief executive Errol Taylor said: " Having seen Judith speak so passionately and eloquently about the value of accident prevention in the Upper House, it was immediately clear that she would be an excellent advocate for RoSPA's vision for life, free from serious accidental injury. I'm thrilled that she has decided to accept our invitation to join RoSPA's presidential team, and I look forward to working with her on furthering RoSPA's good work."


Judith was born in 1951 in Leamington Spa and went to The King's High School for Girls in Warwick. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Control Engineering, and subsequently attended the University of Nottingham, where she studied mathematics to become a teacher.

She spent a large part of her professional life in the far southwest of England. She taught mathematics for over 15 years and was a pioneer in information technology and computing in schools.

In the 1990s she lived for three years in Oman, while her husband was on loan service to the Royal Navy of Oman. Since then, she has an active interest in issues of the Persian Gulf region. During that time she worked in the British Council as a teacher of English as a foreign language and as a mentor for students who wanted to obtain a National Vocational Qualification.

When she returned from Oman, she became chief of staff for the Member of the European Parliament for Cornwall and West Plymouth, now Lord Teverson. In 1997 she was an agent for Paul Tyler's general election campaign. That year she was also appointed as non-executive director for an NHS Trust for Mental Health and Learning Disability, and then an NHS Primary Care Trust, finally chairing the North & East Cornwall NHS Primary Care Trust Board prior to the last NHS reorganisation in 2006. She was a Lay Inspector for the Commission for Health Improvement.

Jolly was Vice Chair of Parliamentary Candidates Association in 1999. From 2002, she served two terms on the Federal Policy Committee of the Liberal Democrats. In 2007, she was Chair of Devon and Cornwall Regional Executive.

She has always been very active in community and voluntary organizations. She has been on the boards of the Citizens Advice Bureau, Credit Union, regeneration organizations and a member of the Diocesan Synod. She has aimed to highlight the problems of poverty and rurality with each position. She is chairman of a not for profit digital enterprise in Cornwall, producing material for memory clinics.

She worked for Macmillan Cancer Support as a fundraiser for three years and learnt much about the provision of services by the voluntary sector in general and services for those whose lives are affected by cancer in particular, and in that time with her team, raised over three million pounds.

Cornwall is still her main home, but she also has a residence in London. In her spare time she reads modern novels and sings with the Parliament Choir and St Martin's Singers.[1] Her husband is retired, they have two sons, Andrew and Stephen.

On 24 December 2010 she was created a life peer taking the title Baroness Jolly, of Congdon's Shop in the County of Cornwall.[2] When interviewed about her intentions for the Lords upon receiving her peerage, she mentioned her desire for a fully elected second chamber.

She became the member of House of Lords in January 2011. In March 2011, she took on the role of co-chair of the Health and Social Care Team in the coalition. In October 2013, she became a government whip with responsibilities for Health, Defence, Culture Media & Sport, and Equalities.

Between November 2012 and March 2013, Jolly sat on the Draft Care and Support Bill Committee.

After the General Election of 2015, she became Defence Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords.

During the 2016 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, she campaigned to remain in the EU.

On 12 October 2017, Jolly became the Health Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords.


  1. ^ Our Campaigns.
  2. ^ "No. 59656". The London Gazette. 30 December 2010. p. 24904.

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