Whatever happened to the class of 2015? (2)

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I suppose that it is very easy to get into the mindset that politics is everything in life. But it turns out that there is life outside of Westminster.

I read the other day that former Labour Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, is training to become a gym instructor.

That started me thinking about what had happened to our vast number of MPs from before the election in 2015.

Stephen Gilbert, former MP for St Austell and Newquay, for example. Whatever happened to him after he posted a “Gone Surfing” post-it note on his Twitter account in 2015? Well, it turns out he’s a teacher.

I then thought I’d better find about some of the others and, before I knew it, I was launching a vast spreadsheet and had started a huge task.

Anyway, here is the second part of my researches, from H to M in alphabetical order (Part 1 is available here). If you spot any omissions or errors, please let me know in the comments below:

Duncan Hames – Duncan is a Director of Policy at Transparency International UK and married to Jo Swinson. He is Senior Independent (Non Executive) Director at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Nick Harvey – Until very recently Sir Nick was Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats. He is a Consultant on corporate strategy, communications and governance.

David Heath – David is Chair of the Western Council for Water, Senior Independent Director at the Soliticors Regulation Authority and a lay member of the governing body of the NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. He is a Fellow, British College of Optometrists.

John Hemming – John helped the LibDem campaign in his old seat of Birmingham Yardley in the run-up to the December 12th election. In a recent Daily Mail article he wrote “I am just emerging from nearly five years of such hell” – describing protracted legal proceedings. John is a company director and a director of Justice for Families.

Martin Horwood – Martin is a Member of the European Parliament. He is a councillor on Cheltenham Borough Council and also Leckhampton and Warden Parish Council. Martin is a longstanding member of the Leckhampton Green Land Action Group (Leglag).

Julian Huppert – Julian stood for election again in Cambridge in 2017 but then said that was the last time he would stand for election. He is now a lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University, director of the Intellectual Forum at Jesus College, Cambridge, a director of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, a visiting professor at Kings College London, a Patron of the British Humanist Association and a lay member of the governing body of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group.

Simon Hughes – Now, Sir Simon, he is the Chancellor of London South Bank University, an External Adviser on prison education to The Open University and UK Strategic Adviser to Talgo, a Spanish manufacturer of intercity, standard, and high speed passenger trains. Simon is also the Chair of the Local Governing Body of Bacon’s College Rotherhithe and Chair of the London Bubble Theatre, Senior Independent Director of the London Football Association and a trustee of the Millwall Community Trust and the Rose Theatre Trust.

Mike Thornton – Mike was elected in May 2017 as a Hampshire County Councillor, representing his own Bishopstoke and Fair Oak division. Mike is on Bishopstoke Parish Councillor. Mike is Chair of the 12th Eastleigh (Bishopstoke) Scouts, a Wyvern School Governor and Chair of the Personnel Committee of the governing body, a trustee of the Barrett’s Oesophagus Campaign and a Street Pastor. He is a carer/companion with Home Instead Senior Care and a trustee of the Eastleigh Asian Welfare and Cultural Association.

Mark Hunter – Mark is a councillor on Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council representing Cheadle Hulme South ward. He is honorary President of Stockport Parkinson’s Disease Society.

Charles Kennedy – Charles sadly died on 1st June 2015, just 63 days after losing his seat in Ross, Skye and Lochaber, which, in one shape or form, he had held for 32 years. He is very fondly remembered, not least for presiding, as leader, over the highest number of Liberal Democrat MPs, 62, in the 2005 General Election. RIP dear Charles.

Norman Lamb – Sir Norman held his North Norfolk seat in 2015 and 2017. He stood down shortly before the 2019 general election. With Norfolk Community Foundation, he has set up the Norman Lamb Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, that will support the work of mental health and learning disability charities.

David Laws – David is Executive Chairman of the Education Policy Institute. He has published three books on the coalition government years and is an adviser to Ark, an international education charity. He is a trustee of the Teachers Educational Trust. He is a member of the advisory council of another educational, charity Future First.

John Leech – John is a very active and campaigning leader of the Opposition on Manchester City Council. He has worked to improve and progress liberal parties across Europe, a board member of the charity Kids Count and a church council member. He is an amateur dramatics enthusiast with Manchester Road Players.

Stephen Lloyd – Stephen lost his Eastbourne seat in 2015, but won it again in 2017. He resigned the Liberal Democrat whip in 2018 and then stood unsuccessfully for the party in 2019.

Michael Moore – Michael is Director General at the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association. He is an advisory board member of the Edinburgh Business School at Herriott-Watt University. He is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation (a private charity aimed at promoting the US/EUropean alliance) and chairman of the Borders Book Festival.

Greg Mulholland – Greg held his Leeds North West seat at the 2015 general election but lost it in 2017. He is now a specialist campaigning and public affairs consultant. He runs his own Communications company. He is VicePresident of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and founder of Political Animals, the Rugby League club of British politicians from all political parties. Greg is part of a 6 piece Yorkshire folk-rock band, whose album “My Northern Heart” was released in September 2019. Greg wrote all twelve songs on the album.

Tessa Munt – After losing her Wells seat in 2015, Tessa was our unsuccessful candidate there in 2017 and 2019. She is a Somerset County Counillor and is the Opposition spokesperson on Council Transformation. She is a governor of Hugh Sexey Middle School in Blackford , Somerset, and patron of Glastonbury Male Voice choir. Tessa is a member of a host of local and national charities and pressure groups.

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

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This entry was posted in Party policy and internal matters.


  • It is striking how many of our ex-MPs are now councillors. Many people would (wrongly) regard this as a ‘step down,’ but this is clearly not a widely-held view in the LibDems. It says a lot about our general approach to politics, and about these individuals’ commitment to their communities.

  • Samuel White 7th Jan '20 - 3:18am

    You left out Stephen Williams (Bristol West 2005-2015).

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