Photo gallery of Liberal and Liberal Democrat women past and present

Through the wonderful archive of Getty Images, here is a smattering photographs of prominent Liberal and Liberal Democrat past and present. Scroll down to view. Roll your mouse or put your finger on the photo to read its caption. You can also click on the photo to see it at the Getty Images site with similar photographs.

And yes, I know that Shirley Williams was in the Labour party at the time of the first photo.

If you think I’ve missed out anyone you’d like to see a photo of here, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add them (if appropriate).

I would have liked to have featured Enid Lakeman, Elizabeth Shields, Margaret Wintringham, Liz Lynne, Jackie Ballard, Diana Maddock and Ray Michie but I couldn’t find any useable Getty Images of them.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Photo feature.


  • Ruth Bright 31st May '15 - 7:53pm

    A lovely collection Paul.

    Ideally it would be nice to have a pic of Claire Brooks in the merger debate 1988 and Linda Jack in the coalition debate 2010.

  • Will Wilshere 1st Jun '15 - 2:24am

    As a Watforder I feel like Sal Brinton and Dorothy Thornhill should be on there. Took some finding but if you search “Watford Liberal Democrats” they both appear with Nick Clegg

  • Excellent collection. Thanks Paul.
    Not everyone will have known about Vera Terrington, the MP who appears in your last picture sitting in her campaign HQ. She was only the second woman to be a Liberal MP.   

    She was born Vera Bousher in 1889. Her first husband, Guy Sebright, died in 1912.   In 1918 she married Harold Woodhouse, who became Lord Terrington.  So it was as Vera Terrington that she became a Liberal MP in December 1923.   She had stood in the election the previous year and was one of only thirty-three women candidates.

    Anyone in any age who sues The Daily Express is worthy of approval.   Vera Terrington took objection to the way she was belittled by the newspaper.  The judge ruled against her saying that she had “not suffered a farthings worth of damage” and lost her case.   This may tell us more about attitudes of the time, or the judge, than the merits of the case.

    As MP for Wycombe, she was one of only eight women in the House of Commons.

    She supported the abolition of the means test for old-age pensions and moves to give parents equal rights to custody. She also campaigned against cruelty to animals and was a Member of the Grand Council of the organisation ‘Our Dumb Friends League’.

    She lost her seat in parliament to a Unionist reactionary, a retired Major-General called Knox.  Knox had several claims to fame (or lunacy) including the fact that he considered Arthur Ransome (the children’s author) to be pro-Bolshevik and his writing to be treasonous. 
    He suggested that Ransome should be “shot like a dog”.   

    Fans of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and subsequent books in the series might have preferred it if Vera had kept her seat

    She later married Max LensvelI in Cape Town in 1949 and died in Sussex in 1973.  

  • Steve Griffiths 1st Jun '15 - 10:02am
  • Nice.

    None of Kirsty Williams, the most senior female politician in the party?

  • Phil Rimmer 1st Jun '15 - 1:17pm

    It’s wonderful to be reminded of Nancy Seear (3rd top) again. As an over enthusiastic Young Liberal in the early 1980s I was recipient of my best ever put down from her at a meeting of Liberal Party Council. She happened to over hear me remarking that I was shocked at the party leaderships interest in Republicanism. As she moved towards me like a missile, her eyes burning a hole in me, she said, “I am a Republican but on a list of 100 Liberal priorities, it comes at 100.” I didn’t agree with her then, and I don’t know, but every time I heard her contribute to a debate, I was reminded that she was a woman and a Liberal worthy of my very highest respect.

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