Leader of the Liberal Democrats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Official portrait of Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP crop 2.jpg
Incumbent
Sir Ed Davey

since 27 August 2020
Member of
AppointerLiberal Democrats membership
Inaugural holderDavid Steel and Bob Maclennan
Formation3 March 1988
WebsiteOfficial website

The Liberal Democrats are a political party in the United Kingdom. Party members elect the Leader of the Liberal Democrats. The Leader of the Liberal Democrats is the head and highest ranking member of the party. Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament also elect a Deputy Leader of the 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 Social Democratic Party (SDP), served as joint interim leaders.

In the event that the leader dies, resigns or loses their seat in Parliament, the deputy leader (if there is one) serves as interim leader until a leadership election takes place. This has occurred three times, 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. Jo Swinson lost her seat in the general election held on 12 December 2019, thus ceasing to be leader; deputy leader Ed Davey and Party President Sal Brinton became acting co-leaders.[1] Brinton was replaced by Mark Pack following his assuming the office of Party President on 1 January 2020. Davey won the Leadership election and became Leader on 27 August 2020 at the 2020 Liberal Democrats leadership election.

Leaders[edit]

Leader
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Constituency Took office Left office Prime Minister
(term)
David Steel and Bob Maclennan were jointly Acting Leader during this interim from the formation of the party on 3 March 1988. Thatcher
1979–1990
1 Paddy Ashdown
(1941–2018)
Paddy Ashdown (2005) (cropped).jpg Yeovil 16 July 1988
(Elected)
9 August 1999
Major
1990–1997
Blair
1997–2007
2 Charles Kennedy
(1959–2015)
Charles Kennedy MP (cropped).jpg Ross, Skye and Inverness West
(1999–2005)
Ross, Skye and Lochaber
(2005–2006)
9 August 1999
(Elected)
7 January 2006
Sir Menzies Campbell was Acting Leader during this interim.
3 Sir Menzies Campbell
(1941–)
Official portrait of Lord Campbell of Pittenweem crop 2.jpg North East Fife 2 March 2006
(Elected)
15 October 2007
Brown
2007–2010
Vince Cable was Acting Leader during this interim.
4 Nick Clegg[a]
(1967–)
Nicholas Clegg cropped.jpg Sheffield Hallam 18 December 2007
(Elected)
16 July 2015
Cameron
2010–2016
5 Tim Farron
(1970–)
Official portrait of Tim Farron MP crop 2.jpg Westmorland and Lonsdale 16 July 2015
(Elected)
20 July 2017
May
2016–2019
6 Sir Vince Cable
(1943–)
Vince Cable closeup.jpg Twickenham 20 July 2017
(Unopposed)
22 July 2019
7 Jo Swinson
(1980–)
Official portrait of Jo Swinson crop 2.jpg East Dunbartonshire 22 July 2019
(Elected)
13 December 2019
Johnson
2019–present
Sir Ed Davey and The Baroness Brinton were jointly Acting Leader during this interim prior to 31 December 2019.
Sir Ed Davey and Mark Pack were jointly Acting Leader during this interim from 1 January 2020.
8 Sir Ed Davey
(1965–)
Official portrait of Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP crop 2.jpg Kingston and Surbiton 27 August 2020
(Elected)
Incumbent

Living former party leaders[edit]

There are six living former party leaders. From oldest to youngest:

Leader Term of office Date of birth
David Steel 1988 (1938-03-31) 31 March 1938 (age 82)
Menzies Campbell 2006–2007 (1941-05-22) 22 May 1941 (age 79)
Vince Cable 2007 (1943-05-09) 9 May 1943 (age 77)
2017–2019
Nick Clegg 2007–2015 (1967-01-07) 7 January 1967 (age 53)
Tim Farron 2015–2017 (1970-05-27) 27 May 1970 (age 50)
Jo Swinson 2019 (1980-02-05) 5 February 1980 (age 40)

Leaders in the House of Lords[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Deputy Prime Minister as part of the Coalition with the Conservative Party; resigned on 8 May 2015 following the 2015 general election, but formally retained leadership until a successor was chosen.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Who will be the next Lib Dem leader after Jo Swinson loses her seat?". ITV News.
  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]