Tributes to David Griffiths

Nick Clegg has paid tribute to David Griffiths, former Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Finance Committee, Treasurer of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, who died earlier this month:

David Griffiths who had served the Liberal Democrats loyally over the years passed away aged 70 on the 3rd September 2011.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the many years of dedicated service David gave to the party. His many varied roles included being Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Finance and Administration Committee and Treasurer of Liberal International a role which reflected his Internationalist and European credentials.

His tireless work both as candidate, agent and Councillor in several seats in the South West helped to cement a strong Liberal presence in the region.

My sympathies go to David’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Sharon Bowles, Liberal Democrat MEP for South East England and Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, writes,

Before turning his business and accountancy skills to political administrative roles, David was an exceptional election agent securing control for the first time of Three Rivers District Council and also Aylesbury Vale.

Born in Conwy, David was a lifelong Liberal and proud of his Welsh heritage. As a young man he was the Liberal Parliamentary candidate in Paddington and was proud to have stood in the seat adjacent to that being fought by the redoubtable, and later Baroness, Nancy Seear. In the 1970s he moved to Watford and became the first Liberal to be elected to Watford Borough Council and also served as the General Election agent, sowing the seeds that years later blossomed into the election of a Liberal Democrat Mayor.

He then moved to the Three Rivers District Council area where he was the agent when the Council was won by Liberals for the first time. This was a flagship victory for the Party. He was agent again when it was held – which he always said was harder than winning the first time. He was also agent for two Parliamentary elections in South West Herts.

When the Liberal Democrats were formed he was a prime mover in the development of Regional Parties, becoming Chairman of the Chilterns Region. During that time he also became the agent for Aylesbury where he led many Council seat victories which ultimately brought control of Aylesbury Vale District Council. He was also agent for Aylesbury in two Parliamentary elections.

Always a European and Internationalist, David stood twice as a European Candidate and was active in Liberal International where he served as Treasurer as well as Chair of the British Group. He then went on to serve as Treasurer of the ELDR Party. His significant and professional business and accounting skills were not just deployed for international parties: he also served as a highly successful Chair of the Federal Finance Committee of the Liberal Democrats.

In all these voluntary roles David was an excellent and inspirational teacher, keen to train the next generation, whether that be of campaigners, agents, or bookkeepers. He was unstinting in his support of the Party, candidates and campaigns, setting many on the path to success. Often the life and soul of a gathering, we owe him more than most know and he will be missed.

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5 Comments

  • Richard Struck 12th Sep '11 - 6:50pm

    In Nick Clegg’s tribute, the sentence “His tireless work both as candidate, agent and Councillor in several seats in the South West helped to cement a strong Liberal presence in the region” should read “in South West Herts”.

  • Chris White 12th Sep '11 - 7:38pm

    David was the ultimate super-activist. This is someone who not only goes out in all weathers and battles for the Party through thick and thin but makes mere activists think that such behaviour is normal. I came across him in the dog days of the merger – a wet behind the ears SDP rep to a strange meeting which talked about interim chairs, merger arrangements and new regions. I never looked back.

    He was behind a rebellion at the first English Party conference (remember those?) where the regional map offered to representatives was shredded and redrafted – and Chilterns Region was born. He was quickly its chair and then went on to be a Euro-candidate, the Chair of the FFAC (basically chief financial officer) and of course his work with ELDR and Liberal International.

    But all the time he was a campaigner and a Liberal who wanted others to succeed as well as himself. Many of my good habits as an agent and campaigner derive from David.

    A real loss: there will be many remembering him at his funeral tomorrow.

  • Wilfried Derksen 12th Sep '11 - 10:15pm

    David was a great friend of international liberalism. As a Dutch liberal democrat I have great memories with him. We’ll miss him.

  • Bridget Fox 14th Sep '11 - 1:48pm

    I have fond memories of David as Chair of Chilterns Region. He was kindly, business-like and deeply committed to keeping the party active & well-organised in challenging times. David is the sort of person every party needs: he will be missed.

  • David Payne 9th Oct '11 - 4:39pm

    Now approaching my 70th birthday, I remember — as a 20-something young journalist — interviewing a Liberal candidate called David Griffiths who stood against Tory Patrick Jenkin (Now Lord Jenkin) in the Wanstead and Woodford parliamentary constituency in the heady Orpington by-election “swinging Sixties” era. I seem to remember him as in his early 30s, so it can’t be this David Griffiths who has died . . . or is it? From memory this David had previously fought the Ludlow seat on the Welsh border and, I think, like Patrick Jenkin, had been to Cambridge University.

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