Leader of the Liberal Democrats

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Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Official portrait of Sir Vince Cable crop 2.jpg
Incumbent
Sir Vince Cable

since 20 July 2017
Member of
Appointer Liberal Democrats membership
Inaugural holder David Steel and Robert Maclennan
Formation 3 March 1988
Website libdems.org.uk/tim farron

The Liberal Democrats are a political party in the United Kingdom. Party members elect the Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament also elect a Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons, often colloquially referred to as 'the Deputy Leader'. Under the federal constitution of the Liberal Democrats the leader is required to be a member of the House of Commons.

Before the election of the first federal leader of the party (the Liberal Democrats having a federal structure in their internal party organisation), the leaders of the two parties which merged to form the Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Party and the SDP, served as joint interim leaders.

In the event that the leader dies, resigns or loses his or her seat in Parliament, the deputy leader (if there is one) serves as interim leader until a leadership election takes place. This has occurred twice, with Menzies Campbell serving as interim leader following the resignation of Charles Kennedy (Campbell was elected leader in the ensuing election) and Vince Cable serving as interim leader following Campbell's resignation. The current leader is Vince Cable, who was elected unopposed following the resignation of previous leader Tim Farron.[1]

List of Leaders and Deputy Leaders of the Liberal Democrats[edit]

Leader Deputy Leader Prime Minister
Name
Constituency
Portrait Term of office Name
Constituency
Portrait Term of office
David Steel1
MP for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (1965-1983)
Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (1983-1997)
MSP for Lothians (1997-2001)
Life Peer (1997-)
(1938–)

&
Bob Maclennan2
MP for Caithness and Sutherland (1966-1992)
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (1992-2001)
Life Peer (2001-)
Undersecretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection (1974-79)
(1936–)
David Steel, October 2007.jpg 3 March 1988 –
16 July 1988
Thatcher
1979–90
RobertMacLennan1987 cropped.jpg
1 Paddy Ashdown
MP for Yeovil (1983-2001)
Life Peer (2001-)
High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (2002-2006)
(1941–)
ASHDOWN Paddy.jpg 16 July 1988 –
9 August 1999
1 Russell Johnston
MP for Inverness (1964-1983)
Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber (1983-1997)
Life Peer (1997-2008)
(1932–2008)
RussellJohnston2 cropped.jpg 16 July 1988 –
13 April 1992
Major
1990–97
2 Alan Beith
MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed (1973-2015)
Life Peer (2015-)
(1943–)
Alan Beith MP Liverpool.jpg 13 April 1992 –
12 February 2003
Blair
1997–2007
2 Charles Kennedy
MP for Ross, Skye and Inverness West (1983-2005)
for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (2005-2015)
(1959–2015)
Charles Kennedy MP (cropped).jpg 9 August 1999 –
7 January 2006
3 Sir Menzies Campbell
MP for North East Fife (1987-2015)
Life Peer (2015-)
(1941–)
Sir Ming Campbell MP 2008 cropped.jpg 12 February 2003 –
2 March 2006
3 Sir Menzies Campbell3
MP for North East Fife (1987-2015)
Life Peer (2015-)
(1941–)
Sir Ming Campbell MP 2008 cropped.jpg 2 March 2006 –
15 October 2007
4 Vince Cable
MP for Twickenham (1997–2015, 2017–)
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade: (2010–15)
(1943–)
Official portrait of Sir Vince Cable crop 2.jpg 29 March 2006 –
26 May 2010
Brown
2007–10
Vince Cable (Acting.4)
MP for Twickenham (1997–2015, 2017–)

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade: (2010–15)
(1943–)
Official portrait of Sir Vince Cable crop 2.jpg 15 October 2007 –
18 December 2007
4 Nick Clegg5
MEP for East Midlands (2004-09)
MP for Sheffield Hallam (2005-2017)
Deputy Prime Minister: (2010–15)
(1967–)
Nick Clegg by the 2009 budget cropped.jpg 18 December 2007 –
16 July 2015
5 Simon Hughes
MP for Bermondsey (1983)
Southwark and Bermondsey (1983–1997)
North Southwark and Bermondsey (1997–2010)
Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties: 2013–15
(1951–)
Simon Hughes3.jpg 9 June 2010 –
28 January 2014
Cameron
2010–16
6 Sir Malcolm Bruce
MP for Gordon
Life peer (2015-)
(1944–)
Malcolm Bruce.jpg 28 January 2014 –
7 May 2015
5 Tim Farron
MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale (2005–)
(1970–)
Tim Farron 2016 (cropped).jpg 16 July 2015 – 20 July 2017 Position Vacant 2015–17
7 Jo Swinson
MP for East Dunbartonshire (2005–2015, 2017–)
Junior Equalities Minister and Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs: (2012–2015)
Jo Swinson.jpg 20 June 2017 – present May
2016–present
6 Vince Cable
MP for Twickenham (1997–2015, 2017–)
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade: (2010–15)
Official portrait of Sir Vince Cable crop 2.jpg 20 July 2017 – present

Notes:

Liberal Democrat Leaders in the House of Lords[edit]

The Liberal Democrat peers elect the Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords. The first four Leaders had been members of the Labour Party who left to form the Social Democratic Party in 1981 before merging with the Liberal Party in 1988. Lord Wallace of Tankerness had been a member of the Liberal Party before the merger. Lord Newby had been a civil servant before joining the SDP.

Leader in the House of Lords
# Leader Took office Left office
1 The Lord Jenkins of Hillhead
(Roy Jenkins)
Roy Jenkins, Chancellor of Oxford.jpg 16 July 1988 19 December 1997
2 The Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank
(William Rodgers)
No image.svg 19 December 1997 7 June 2001
3 The Baroness Williams of Crosby
(Shirley Williams)
Shirley Williams at Birmingham 2010.jpg 7 June 2001 24 November 2004
4 The Lord McNally
(Tom McNally)
Tom McNally at Bournemouth.jpg 24 November 2004 15 October 2013
5 The Lord Wallace of Tankerness
(Jim Wallace)
Jim Wallace.jpg 15 October 2013 13 September 2016
6 The Lord Newby
(Dick Newby)
Dick Newby.jpg 13 September 2016 to present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC website
  2. ^ "Nick Clegg resigns as Lib Dem leader". The Guardian. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Every major British political party – except the Conservatives – currently led by a woman". The Independent. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 

Sources[edit]

  • Federal Constitution of the Liberal Democrats

External links[edit]