Judith Jolly, Baroness Jolly
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.
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 Nottingham University, 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 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. Her husband is retired, they have two sons, Andrew and Stephen.
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.
After General Election of 2015, she became Defence Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords.
- LibDems website: Baroness Jolly – Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Party Committee on Health and Social Care
- Pieces on Lib Dem Voice