Happy birthday to Sir Simon Hughes, Liberal and Liberal Democrat MP for Bermondsey 1983-2015

Born in Bramhall, Cheshire Simon Hughes joined the Liberal Party in 1972 while at Cambridge University. On leaving university, he pursued a legal career and was junior counsel in the Liberal Party’s unsuccessful application to the European Commission on Human Rights against the UK’s first past the post electoral system. When Bermondsey MP Robert Mellish resigned in late 1982, Hughes was selected to fight the by-election, winning the seat from Labour with a swing of 50.9%. In parliament Hughes spoke for the party on a wide range of issues including the environment, education and home affairs. In 2004 he was the party’s standard bearer in the elections for the Mayor of London, coming third with 15.2% of the vote. Hughes was a candidate in the leadership elections of 1999 and 2006 and from 2004 to 2008 was Party President. In 2010 following the resignation of Vince Cable, Hughes was elected Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats. In December 2013 Hughes joined the coalition government as Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties, serving in that position until the end of the government. Hughes lost his seat in the 2015 general election and was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2018 Hughes was appointed Chancellor of London Southbank University.