Tag Archives: david steele

My Grandad – A tribute to Liberal Party president Lord Evans of Claughton

Growing up, the subject of politics was often on the agenda at family gatherings. However, it was not until I was older that I realised how important and influential my Grandad was within the political arena.

Gruff Evans was brought up in a Welsh-speaking family who resided in Birkenhead on the Wirral. Despite being offered a place at Oxford University, he chose to study law at Liverpool University where he graduated in 1948. After completing National Service as a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force, he established a solicitor’s practice in Liverpool.

Both Gruff’s parents supported the Liberal Party, however they were notoriously divided as his mother was an ‘Asquithian’ Liberal, while his father was a supporter of Lloyd-George. Gruff upheld this Liberal tradition, and to the surprise of the local Tory party, he successfully gained a seat on Birkenhead County Council in 1957 which he subsequently held for twelve years. He then went on to win a seat on Wirral Borough Council in 1973 and led the Liberal Group from 1977 to 1981. Unfortunately, Gruff was less successful in national politics, failing to win at seat in the House of Commons (see here, pg. 22, for more information).

My Grandfather was prominent in the Liberal Party from the 1950s through to the early 1990s. He worked his way up the party ranks, from Chair of the National League of Young Liberals 1960-61, to Chairman of the party’s National Executive, Assembly Committee, and General Election Committee, to attaining the Presidency of the Liberal Party in 1977. During his time as President, Gruff had to confront the controversy surrounding the former leader Jeremy Thorpe which unintentionally brought him into the media spotlight and he subsequently found himself being a familiar figure in the national news during the week of the Liberal Party annual conference.

Posted in Liberal History and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Opinion: Ethical Foreign Policy

 

At a dinner in London last week to celebrate David Steel’s 50 years in Parliament Nick Clegg congratulated David on his internationalism and talked at length about the importance of our Party being the champion of internationalism and human rights.

In his final conference speech Nick said “we will stand up for tolerance, decency and fairness” but this was put in a domestic context.  Hopefully we will soon hear an election speech from Nick offering a Lib Dem foreign policy that will clearly differentiate us from the Tories and from the policies of the Blair/Brown years.

This is the speech I would like to see Nick deliver about ethical foreign policy:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 9 Comments
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