Wade’s election to parliament came about as a result of a local pact with the Conservatives, the parties each giving the other a clear run in one of the two Huddersfield seats. In parliament Wade served as Chief Whip 1956-62 and Deputy Leader 1962-64. Donald Wade was an effective and popular MP and, although he lost his seat after the end of the local pact with the Tories, he came within 1,300 votes of winning. He was appointed one of the first Liberal life peers – a result of legislation that Wade had sponsored. He was an active member of the House of Lords and in the 1970s was involved in the campaign to incorporate the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law. Donald Wade served as President of the Liberal Party 1967-68.