Tag Archives: jonathan webber

Guardian obituary of Jonathan Webber

In February, former West Midlands Lib Dem chair and President’s Award winner Jonathan Webber sadly died. His partner Kathryn Ball wrote an obituary for us, with tributes from Nick Clegg, Paddy Ashdown and Tim Farron. Tim said:

His advice and counsel to successive leaders, his energy and his optimism, helped sustain the party in the most challenging of circumstances.

Kathryn has now written a very interesting article on Jonathan’s life for the Guardian. Here’s an excerpt:

After studying drama and setting up a small business as a bookseller, Jonathan worked as a bus conductor in Exeter. There he met a Greek student, Kleio – and later hitchhiked 1,500 miles to Athens to be with her. He spent the next 18 years in Greece, becoming fluent in Greek and working as a literary agent publishing Greek versions of bestselling Penguin novels.

After moving to Thessaloniki, he was asked to run the UK government division of the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce to help stimulate business links throughout the Balkans – and he also started the Thessaloniki Cricket Club.

Jonathan returned to the UK in 1995. He joined the Department of Trade and Industry, helping to promote British exports and advising on trade with Greece and the Balkans, before joining the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, where I met him, and where he became director of international trade in 2005.

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Obituary: Jonathan Webber MBE DL 24th February 1957 – 15th February 2016

Jonathan Webber 1Jonathan Webber, the former West Midlands Chair (2011 – 2013) and one of the most popular figures among West Midlands Liberal Democrats, has died after a long battle with cancer, which he had described as “something of a nuisance and an inconvenience.” He was 58 years old and died peacefully at home cared for by his partner Kathryn Ball.

Born in Oxford, Jonathan spent most of his working life in a business environment.  Fluent in Greek he spent 17 years working in Athens and Salonika as a literary agent / publisher, whilst there he founded the “Athens Ramblers’ Cricket Club” and the “Thessaloniki Cricket Club”, he became Chief Executive of the British Greek Chamber of Commerce in Athens and returning to the UK in the ‘90s he joined the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) advising on trade with Greece and the Balkans.

More recently Jonathan was Director of International Trade at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce where he was described as a “real one-off…a maverick.” Former Chamber Chief Executive Jerry Blackett said: “I realised he was never going to respond to traditional management. He was not one for bureaucracy or for rules but he never missed his targets and he got the best out of his team.”

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Liberal Democrats receive Queen’s Birthday Honours

Graham Watson, Liberal Democrat MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, has received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2011.

He’s listed under Knights Bachelor – Knighthoods:

Graham Robert WATSON, MEP. For public and political services.

Congratulations, Sir Graham!

Also:

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