Siobhan Benita

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Siobhan Benita
Siobhan Benita.jpg
in 2011.
Siobhan Pook

(1971-10-11) 11 October 1971 (age 47)
ResidenceNew Malden, Borough of Kingston, England
EducationBA in English and German (University of Warwick); MA in Modern German (University of Warwick)
Years activeCivil Servant:
2012 London Mayoral Election Candidate (Independent):
2020 London Mayoral Election Candidate (Liberal Democrats):
Known forStanding as an independent candidate in 2012 London Mayoral Election then becoming the Liberal Democrat candidate for 2020 London Mayoral Election
Political partyLiberal Democrats[2]
Vincent Benita (m. 1997)
Childrentwo daughters[3]

Siobhan Benita (born 1971[1]) is a British former civil servant who is the Liberal Democrats candidate for Mayor of London in 2020.[4] She was an independent candidate in the 2012 London mayoral election.


Benita was born in 1971 in Wimbledon, south west London, and grew up in the borough of Merton.[1] Her Anglo-Indian mother came to London in 1959.[5] She worked as a home help and auxiliary nurse. Benita's English father moved to London after graduating from Loughborough University and was a local primary school teacher.[5]

Benita was educated in Roman Catholic state schools in Merton: Sacred Heart Primary School, St Catherine's Middle School and the Ursuline High School. She went to University of Warwick where she gained a first class Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German and a Master's Degree in Modern German.


Benita joined the Civil Service as a graduate "fast streamer" in the Department for Transport in 1996.[1]

In 2006, after 10 years as a policy adviser on transport, local government and environment issues, she moved to the Cabinet Office where she worked with the then new Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, to improve civil service governance, strategy and communications.[1][6] During her time in the Cabinet Office she established Civil Service Live, in partnership with Civil Service World publisher Dods.[7][8] She worked on the Civil Service Awards and "Tabelle", a network for women who work in, or with, the public sector.[7]

In 2009 she joined the Department of Health as head of corporate management.[1] She left the department in January 2012 to stand as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election.[1]

In 2013 she joined the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick and set up the Warwick Policy Lab. Then, in 2014, Siobhan became the Economics Department's Chief Policy and Strategy Officer. She stepped down from that role in August 2016 to become the Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London, a unit that the University of Warwick set up in 2016 to develop its presence and activity in London.[9]

In politics[edit]

Benita stood as an independent candidate in the 2012 Mayor of London election. She came fifth with 3.8% of the vote, within 8,000 votes (0.36%) of fourth-placed Liberal-Democrat candidate Brian Paddick. She indicated at the time that she intended to stay in politics and hoped to run again in the 2016 London Mayor elections, although she eventually decided not to.[10]

In 2016 she joined the Liberal Democrats, shortly after the 2016 European Union referendum claiming it was the "only true pro-remain party".[2][11] In November 2018, she was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the 2020 London Mayoral election.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ross, Matt"Interview: Siobhan Benita Archived 30 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Civil Service World interview, 27 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Dominiczak, Peter"Civil servant runs for Mayor to prove that 'women can do this sort of thing'", Civil servant runs for Mayor, 29 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  4. ^ "Lib Dems announce London Mayoral candidate". Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "About Siobhan Benita", Official Siobhan Benita website for the 2012 London Mayoral election, Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  6. ^ Eden, Richard"Civil Service chief Sir Gus O'Donnell goes on the run with glamorous colleague", The Telegraph, 10 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  7. ^ a b Marsh, Arun"Leading Questions: Siobhan Benita, London mayoral candidate", The Guardian, 4 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  8. ^ Civil Service Live Network, Dods,. "About". Civil Service Live Network. Dods. Archived from the original on 11 March 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  9. ^ Warwick in London "[1]"
  10. ^ BBC News, "London election 2012: Siobhan Benita's 'massive result'"
  11. ^ "Growing stronger by the day," Ad Lib, issue 29, September 2016, pp. 16-7
  12. ^

External links[edit]