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:
President: 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.
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.
Membership 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: Kay Kirkham
Kay lives in West Yorkshire and is a member of the Shipley & Keighley Local Party. She came to party as an original member of the SDP and has been, variously, a primary school teacher, county, district and parish councillor, a PPC , an agent at all levels, a constituency manager for two MPs, secretary of ALDC, a local party and regional exec. member and a political assistant to two Lib Dem council groups. She is also the treasurer of HSLD following eight years as secretary. She joined LDER quite recently but has long been a supporter of electoral reform particularly at local level.
Executive members (five permitted by our constitution)
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.
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 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.
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.
Get our updates
For regular updates on our activities, you can:
- Follow our Facebook page - /LibDemsForElectoralReform
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