Stephen Lloyd

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Stephen Lloyd
Official portrait of Stephen Lloyd crop 2.jpg
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Work and Pensions
Assumed office
16 June 2017
LeaderTim Farron
Vince Cable
Preceded byBaroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Energy Secretary
In office
9 January 2014 – 12 December 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded bySteve Gilbert
Succeeded byPaul Maynard
Member of Parliament
for Eastbourne
Assumed office
8 June 2017
Preceded byCaroline Ansell
Majority1,609 (2.8%)
In office
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byNigel Waterson
Succeeded byCaroline Ansell
Personal details
Born (1957-06-15) 15 June 1957 (age 61)
Mombasa, Kenya Colony
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Domestic partnerCherine Maskill (2003-present)[1]
Alma materSt. George's College, Weybridge
OccupationBusiness Development Director

Stephen Anthony Christopher Lloyd[2] (born 15 June 1957) is a British Liberal Democrat politician and current MP for the constituency of Eastbourne in the House of Commons.[3]

Born in Kenya, Lloyd was privately educated in Surrey, before working first as a commodity broker and then in business development roles. He moved to Eastbourne to launch a political career, becoming the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate and then MP for the town.

First elected in the 2010 general election, he served for all five years of the 2010-15 UK parliament and supported the Cameron–Clegg coalition. Having lost his seat in the 2015 general election, Lloyd went on to regain it in 2017.

Lloyd serves as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Lloyd was born on 15 June 1957 in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya to John Lloyd and Nuala Lloyd.[5] He was educated in the UK from the age of eight at the independent St. George's College, Weybridge in Surrey.[6]

Lloyd is hearing-impaired. At the age of six, having contracted measles, Lloyd lost all hearing in his left ear, retaining only partial hearing in his right.[7]

Prior to becoming an MP, Lloyd worked in business for over 20 years.[8] From 1977 to 1980, he worked as a commodity broker for Cominco.[9] From 1998 to 2005, he was a business development director at the Grass Roots Group. From 2005 to 2010, Lloyd worked for the Federation of Small Businesses as a business development consultant.[10]

Political career[edit]

Early candidacy[edit]

Lloyd first campaigned to be the MP for Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire at the 2001 General Election, standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate. He came in third place.

In 2002, Lloyd was selected by the Liberal Democrats to be their next candidate for the constituency of Eastbourne in East Sussex. As a high target seat for the party, selection was competitive and he beat future parliamentary colleagues Duncan Hames and Tessa Munt to the pick. Lloyd spent the next three years becoming engaged in local causes, in preparation for the next general election. In the 2005 General Election, Lloyd lost to the incumbent Conservative Party MP, Nigel Waterson.

Lloyd continued to campaign locally for various causes, including leading opposition to plans to build a new B&Q megastore in Sovereign Harbour, which was subsequently refused by the planning committee of the Liberal Democrat-controlled Eastbourne Borough Council in October 2005.[11]

First term[edit]

In the 2010 General Election, Lloyd's campaign centred on local issues and highlighting of the expenses claims of his Conservative Party opponent, Nigel Waterson. He also asked to be lent votes by local supporters of the Labour and Green parties.[12] Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg hosted his eve of poll rally, where former Conservative MP Ernle Money, who had moved to Eastbourne, pledged his support to Lloyd.[13] On 7 May, Lloyd was elected the MP for Eastbourne with a majority of 3,435 votes.[14][15]

Waterson subsequently sued Lloyd for libel over the contents of Lloyd's election leaflets, which had called Waterson an "expenses scandal MP".[16] On 9 December 2011, the High Court ruled that Lloyd had defamed Waterson. Lloyd appealed, and on 28 February 2013 the Court of Appeal found in Lloyd's favour, overturning the original judgment.[17][18]

From 2010 to 2015, Lloyd served as the Liberal Democrats' spokesperson for Northern Ireland in the House of Commons. Over the same period, Lloyd served on the Work and Pensions Select Committee in the House of Commons. He was thought by the Labour opposition to be wavering about supporting changes to housing benefit presented to the committee, but declared that he supported the "direction of travel" of the government.[19] He campaigned for concessions from the Department for Work and Pensions in relation to Personal Independence Payment descriptors to ensure that people with reduced mobility would still be entitled to their Motability vehicles.[20]

In 2010, Lloyd lobbied the government to reconsider its reform to student visa regulations, which threatened the future of English language schools, arguing it was "nonsensical" to require overseas students to speak the language before they came to study it.[21]

Throughout his first term in Parliament, Lloyd served as chair of a number of all-party parliamentary groups including those for Citizens Advice, microfinance, apprenticeships and further education and skills. He also served as vice chair of the APPGs on deafness, mental health, dementia, ageing and older people, town centre management, multiple sclerosis, trading standards, pharmacy, and justice for Equitable Life policyholders.[22] Additionally, the Federation of Small Businesses and City and Guilds of London Institute invited him to be their respective champions in parliament.

Lloyd founded the All Party Parliamentary Group on religious education in schools in 2010. He has led campaigns to improve, encourage and support RE teaching of the world's major faiths, and of the non-religious, in schools in England and Wales.[23] The chair of the Religious Education Council praised him in The Times as a "key player" in promoting the importance of effective RE teaching in schools.[24]

From January to December 2014, Lloyd served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey.[25] Lloyd resigned this position in December 2014 over his "profound disappointment" that the Department for Transport's new road investment strategy did not meet the demands of a local campaign to properly improve the A27 road.[26]

Lloyd rarely rebelled against the coalition government on any parliamentary matter. Notable exceptions included his vote against tuition fee increases, which he later said the party "should have died in a ditch" to defend their position on.[27][1] Lloyd has argued that by entering the 2010-15 coalition government, the Liberal Democrats "saved the country" but "killed themselves".[1]


Lloyd lost the 2015 General Election to the new Conservative Party candidate, Caroline Ansell, who won by 733 votes.[28] Later that month, Lloyd announced he would retire from politics.[29] A resident-led fundraising campaign formed within days of Lloyd's defeat, with the aim of supporting him to contest the next general election.[30] Lloyd refused the donations and urged that they were instead directed to Save the DGH, the local group campaign to restore services at Eastbourne District General Hospital.[31] He then took a job as business development director for West End Studios, an event and exhibition company based in Eastbourne.[32]

In July 2016, Lloyd announced that he would seek selection as the Liberal Democrat candidate at the next general election.[33] He attributed his change of mind to a petition created by local supporters two months before, which had asked him to stand again.[34]

Return to Parliament[edit]

Lloyd stood in the snap General Election in 2017 and won, beating the incumbent Caroline Ansell by 1,609 votes.[35] Lloyd was selected under an all-disabled shortlist, the first time any political party had restricted its selection to disabled people.[36] In June 2017, Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron appointed Lloyd as the party's frontbench spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions. Lloyd was reappointed to this position after Vince Cable was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats in October 2017.[37] In January 2018, Lloyd sponsored a parliamentary debate on Universal Credit's impact on the private rented sector.[38]

Local causes and campaigns[edit]

As well as advocating for improvements to the A27, Lloyd has campaigned to retain services at the Eastbourne District General Hospital,[39] against cuts to school budgets,[40] and against cuts to adult social care services.[41] Lloyd organised for hundreds of presents to be delivered to the elderly and vulnerable who were in hospital without any visitors over Christmas 2017.[42] The campaign generated a surplus of donated presents. These were delivered to elderly patients in the community over the festive period.[43]

In 2010, Lloyd created an 'MP's Commission', composed of local business and community leaders in his Eastbourne constituency. Its initiatives included bringing back the Eastbourne 'Sunshine' Carnival;[44] and organising a procurement conference to encourage further economic cooperation between the private sector and major public sector bodies in the town.[45] In 2011, Lloyd developed a successful local apprenticeship initiative, aiming to recruit 100 apprenticeships in 100 days in Eastbourne. The initiative ultimately created 181 apprenticeships and received praise from then-Prime Minister David Cameron.[46] In 2014, Lloyd was awarded the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Honouree for this work.[47] In the same year, Lloyd was also associated with lobbying for additional funds for local housing projects and supporting negotiations over the regeneration of Eastbourne’s Arndale shopping centre.[48][49]

In 2014, The Guardian reported that Lloyd's "toil has yielded high levels of recognition and support, some of it close to admiration."[50] Christina Patterson in The Independent remarked that "a political system that can produce elected representatives like this may well be as good as it gets."[51]

In 2015, Lloyd supported appeals made by the parents of a five-year-old girl who died in his constituency, when the child's grandparents were denied visas to enter Britain to attend her funeral. He offered to personally guarantee their return to Zimbabwe.[52][53]

Lloyd successfully campaigned for an inquiry into patient deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, having "long supported the case" for an independent investigation.[54] On 20 June 2018, the Gosport Independent Panel published a report finding that “there was a disregard for human life" at the hospital and that "456 patients died where medication – opioids – had been prescribed and administered without appropriate clinical justification."[55] In response, Lloyd called for a criminal investigation into the deaths at Gosport..[56]


Lloyd has described himself as a “business-wing” liberal, in favour of light-touch regulation except in the case of investment banking.[57][58] He is in favour of promoting apprenticeships as a viable career development alternative to university, suggesting the creation of a 'Royal Society of Apprentices' to improve the low perception of apprenticeships.[59]

Writing in a 2013 publication for the Liberal Democrat group Liberal Reform, Lloyd criticised both the left and the right for their attitudes to welfare; accusing the right of "boneheaded vituperation" and the left of "complacency" and of being patronising. He considers the Work Programme workfare scheme and Universal Credit introduced by the coalition government to be the liberal solution for unemployment.[60] Although he was publicly supportive of welfare reforms, he repeatedly warned Employment Minister Chris Grayling against the use of negative language to describe the unemployed.[61][62]

Lloyd voted to remain in the European Union in referendum on the United Kingdom's membership. In the referendum’s aftermath, Lloyd said “[I] gave my word in the lead up to the referendum [that] I would respect the result and that’s exactly what I am going to do.”[63] As a result, contrary to Liberal Democrat party policy, Lloyd has refused to support a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU and has instead committed to “lobbying...the government to try and make sure that we get the best deal possible for Brexit."[64]


  1. ^ a b c Cole, Moreton (15 March 2015). "Stephen Lloyd: The Lib Dems 'saved the country, but we destroyed ourselves'". Independent. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  2. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8741.
  3. ^ Parliament UK
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Lloyd, Stephen, (born 15 June 1957), MP (Lib Dem) Eastbourne, since 2017 | WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.001.0001/ww-9780199540884-e-251155.
  6. ^ "The Class of 2010" (Weber Shandwick/Total Politics guide), Biteback Publishing, 2010, p. 175-6.
  7. ^ [2] Youtube broadcast, Experience of Disability in Parliament.
  8. ^ "Stephen Lloyd MP – MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon". Archived from the original on 8 December 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  9. ^ ‘LLOYD, Stephen’, Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017
  10. ^ Stephen Lloyd, Eastbourne Liberal Democrats, 7 May 2010
  11. ^ Ryan, Siohan (14 October 2005). "Cheers as megastore plan is thrown out". The Argus.
  12. ^ Asthana, Anushka (14 March 2010). "Lib Dems adapt their message to bridge Britain's class divide". The Observer.
  13. ^ Swaine, Jon (6 May 2010). "Lend us your votes, Clegg begs waverers in the key marginal seats". The Daily Telegraph.
  14. ^ Eastbourne result, General Election 2010, BBC Online Network, 7 May 2010
  15. ^ Lib Dem Lloyd sweeps to victory in Eastbourne, Eastbourne Herald, 7 May 2010
  16. ^ Gardner, Bill (9 December 2011). "Court rules Lib Dem leaflet was defamatory". The Argus.
  17. ^ "Eastbourne MP wins appeal over libel case". Eastbourne Herald. 28 February 2013.
  18. ^ "Waterson v Lloyd MP & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 136". 28 February 2013.
  19. ^ Stratton, Allegra (20 December 2010). "Labour courts Lib Dem in benefit vote".
  20. ^ Getting loud about PIP, Multiple Sclerosis Society, 8 February 2013
  21. ^ Visa change threatens Sussex language schools, BBC News, 2 August 2010
  22. ^ Register of All-Party Groups (PDF), Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, 1 February 2013
  23. ^ Latest APPG News, Religious Education Council of England and Wales
  24. ^ Letters to the Editor: Faith schools and true freedom of thought, The Times, 25 November 2014
  25. ^ "Stephen Lloyd appointed PPS to Ed Davey". 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014.
  26. ^ MP quits his top government job in row over A27, Eastbourne Herald, 12 December 2014
  27. ^ "Stephen Lloyd". Public Whip. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  28. ^ "Eastbourne Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  29. ^ "VIDEO: Retiring Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said "it's been a real pleasure"". Eastbourne Herald. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  30. ^ Eastbourne residents offer to pay former MP’s mortgage, Eastbourne Herald, 12 May 2015
  31. ^ Eastbourne residents offer to pay former MP’s mortgage, Eastbourne Herald, 12 May 2015
  32. ^ Meet the team, West End
  33. ^ BREAKING: Former Eastbourne MP makes announcement on his political future, Eastbourne Herald, 15 July 2016
  34. ^ Petition calls on former Eastbourne MP to stand again, Eastbourne Herald, 26 May 2016
  35. ^ "Lloyd victorious at Eastbourne election".
  36. ^
  37. ^ [3]
  38. ^
  39. ^ Former Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd offers his view on changes at the Eastbourne DGH, The Argus, 28 March 2016
  40. ^ Former Eastbourne MP blasts cuts in Spring Budget, Eastbourne Herald, 9 March 2017
  41. ^ Proposed closure of rehabilitation homes would be ‘bad for the DGH’ says Eastbourne MP, Eastbourne Herald, 24 January 2018
  42. ^ Eastbourne MP collecting presents for elderly patients spending Christmas at the DGH, Eastbourne Herald, 19 December 2017
  43. ^ Eastbourne MP collecting presents for elderly patients spending Christmas at the DGH, Eastbourne Herald, 19 December 2017
  44. ^ Carnival fever marks Sunshine Carnival, Eastbourne Herald, 6 June 2012
  45. ^ Business event hailed a success, Eastbourne Herald, 21 January 2011
  46. ^ Prime Minister heaps praise on Eastbourne, Eastbourne Herald, 4 November 2011
  47. ^ "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  48. ^ Partners Celebrate £4 Million Funding, Eastbourne Homes, February 2011
  49. ^ Good news for shops development in town, Eastbourne Herald, 25 May 2012
  50. ^ Behr, Rafael (30 July 2014). "The Lib Dems could survive in government by going back to their roots". The Guardian.
  51. ^ Patterson, Christina (10 December 2011). "Can British politicians win back our respect?". The Independent.
  52. ^ Andrea Gada’s parents write to PM after funeral visa plea is rejected, The Guardian, 20 January 2015
  53. ^ Fight goes on for relatives funeral visas, Eastbourne Herald, 20 January 2015
  54. ^ Whitehead, Dan (20 June 2018). "Families to get answers over hundreds of painkiller deaths". Sky News.
  55. ^ Inquiry, Gosport. "Gosport War Memorial Hospital: The Report of the Gosport Independent Panel" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  56. ^ Embury-Dennis, Tom (20 June 2018). "Gosport inquiry - LIVE: Doctor 'responsible' for use of lethal levels of opiates which killed at least 450, inquiry finds". The Independent.
  57. ^ Westminster, Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons,. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 12 Jan 2012 (pt 0002)". Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  58. ^ Westminster, Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons,. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 16 Dec 2010 (pt 0002)". Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  59. ^ Macdonell, Hamish (2013-09-23). "Can the UK master apprenticeships?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  60. ^ "Coalition And Beyond, Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead – Liberal Reform". Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  61. ^ "Minister 'avoids workshy smears'". BBC News. 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  62. ^ Boffey, Daniel (2011-07-23). "Welfare policy 'turns public against disabled'". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  63. ^ Hunt, Darren (2013-09-23). "'I respect the Brexit result' Liberal Democrat DEFIES Farron's call for another referendum". The Daily Express. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  64. ^ Hunt, Darren (2013-09-23). "'I respect the Brexit result' Liberal Democrat DEFIES Farron's call for another referendum". The Daily Express. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-02-12.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nigel Waterson
Member of Parliament for Eastbourne
Succeeded by
Caroline Ansell
Preceded by
Caroline Ansell
Member of Parliament for Eastbourne