John Pugh was Liberal Democrat MP for Southport 2001-17. Prior to his election, Pugh served as a councillor on Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council and led the council from 1992. Pugh succeeded Ronnie Fearn and spoke for the party on a range of issues including transport, education and health. During the period of the Liberal Democrat-Tory coalition, Pugh served as Co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee for Health and Social Care and following the 2015 election spoke for the party on education until his retirement in June 2017. In September 2017 the was re-elected to Sefton Council.