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Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform

About Us

Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform (LDER) is the home for Liberal Democrats who want a truly democratic voting system which delivers maximum, equal power to the voter; and representative bodies which proportionately reflect the way people voted.

LDER is an official, recognised Associate Organisation within the Liberal Democrats.

We work to:

- inform all party members about the arguments for electoral reform;
- motivate members to campaign actively for reform;
- ensure electoral reform is a policy priority for the party;
- cooperate with others outside the party to build the campaign necessary to achieve reform. Non-party members are invited to sign up to receive our newsletters.
- support other political and constitutional reforms needed for the UK to have a democracy fit for the 21st century.

Our 2021/22 executive

At our AGM, held on November 2, 2021 (on zoom) the following executive officers were approved:

Wendy Chamberlain MPPresident: Wendy Chamberlain MP

Wendy became LDER President in 2021. Elected MP for North East Fife in 2019, she was the party's front bench spokesperson for Political and Constitutional Reform in 2020 . Wendy actively supports both party and cross-party campaigning for reform, and has supported non-partisan campaigning such as appearing in the Make Votes Matter campaign video. She is also Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Electoral Reform and is a Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Votes at 16.

On becoming LDER President Wendy said: "It's increasingly clear that the fundamental change required to ensure…. a representative democracy starts with electoral reform."

Wendy is now parliamentary Chief Whip and spokesperson for Work and Pensions.

Keith Sharp

Chair: Keith Sharp

Keith was elected LDER Chair at the 2021 AGM. He joined the LDER executive in 2014 and has previously been its Secretary and Vice Chair. He has served a total of twenty years, in different stints, on the Council of the Electoral Reform Society; and is a member of the Make Votes Matter Alliance as well as MVMs north London branch.

His belief in the need for an equal, proportionate voting system predates his joining the party (SDP in 1981, Liberal Democrats since 1988). He has been a party parliamentary candidate and a local councillor (both in Islington, north London).

Keith lives in London. His professional career has been In commercial communications, branding and public affairs. He has also been Chair of Trustees for a local community centre charity; and was for three years on the management board of the Industry and Parliament Trust.

Helen ParkerMembership Secretary: Helen Parker

Helen is a member of South Edinburgh Liberal Democrats, and joined the LDER exec in 2013. She began campaigning for electoral reform after first voting in the 1983 general election, in one of the safest seats in the country. She has since voted in more closely contested constituencies, but is still impatiently waiting for her vote to count in a Westminster election.She joined the party in 1997, and co-convened Edinburgh's cross-party Yes! to fairer votes campaign for the 2011 AV referendum.

Professionally, Helen works as a lecturer in Japanese Studies, specialising in traditional theatre. In 2018 she worked with the Fusae Ichikawa Centre for Women and Governance to coordinate a "UK vote 100" study tour for a group of Japanese women politicians.

Treasurer: Richard Lawrie

On Clydeside, Scottish Independence was a 'hot' topic in the late 60s. Discussions included changing the voting system. Richard joined the Electoral Reform Society at that time, and started writing about Lords Reform. He was involved in student politics in Canterbury and in union politics as a teacher. Richard worked in banking, became involved in equality issues, and joined the Labour Party.

After a change of direction, Richard taught Banking studies at a technical college part-time, and got further degrees. While embarking on a lecturing career, he also became more politically involved, campaigning on housing, education, and equality, raising issues of political reform, including P.R. When he realised Labour was NOT going to support P.R. he left and joined the Lib Dems. Richard has held a number of posts locally, regionally and even been on English Council. He has stood as council candidate several times, and has acted as agent for both council and parliamentary candidates - describing himself as to the party's left. Richard is a member of Make Votes Matter and Unlock Democracy and he adcvocates close cooperation with other parties who have P.R on their agenda.

Executive members (five permitted by our constitution)

Crispin AllardCrispin Allard

Crispin co-founded LDER in 2012 with the aim of promoting a more strategic approach to achieving electoral reform. He served on the LDER committee since then, including as Chair in 2012-14 and 2015-18. He has been active in the electoral reform movement since 1994, and previously served 17 years on ERS Council.Crispin joined the party in 2005, and was a councillor on Rushmoor Borough (2008-12) before moving to Bristol, where he continues to be active in the local party.

A mathematician by background, he leads a business modelling and analysis team in a large consultancy.

Hazel Fell-Rayner

Hazel Fell-Rayner

Hazel Fell-Rayner joined the LDER Executive in 2020 and is Acting Chair of Make Votes Matter Lewes. A psychologist by background, Hazel is interested in how electoral reform can transform politics and empower citizens and communities to the benefit of their well-being.

Hazel is a strong advocate for creative, inclusive and compassionate forms of campaigning.

Peter HirstPeter Hirst

Peter joined the LDER Executive in 2019. He joined the Party in 1988, supporting electoral reform since then. He has been a parliamentary candidate 4x and was first elected as a local councillor in 1999. He is a Council Member of Unlock Democracy and a long-standing member of the ERS. He took early retirement from the medical profession in 2004. He was chair of his local Party (Congleton) for 3 years until 2020 and is still on the Executive. He is also interested in environmental, international and fairness issues.

Kathrine Santos

Kathrine has campaigned for electoral reform since 2018 with Make Votes Matter and joined the LDER exec team in July 2020. She is keen on increasing the number of Lib Dem members taking part in campaign events for PR for the House of Commons.

Richard Wood

Richard joined the LDER executive team in 2021 and first supported electoral reform long before when he joined the party in 2016. Originally from Edinburgh, he currently works in Westminster for the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Political and Constitutional Reform, Alistair Carmichael MP. He was also previously a member of the Scottish Young Liberals' executive committee.Outside the party, Richard has volunteered for Make Votes Matter and regularly writes about political reform for outlets including Politics.co.uk. He currently runs the site Upgrade Holyrood, which is dedicated to improving democracy in Scotland.

Join us!

If you're a Liberal Democrat and believe in what Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform stands for then join us now. Membership costs £10 per year (concessions £5).

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