Who We Are

The Social Liberal Forum was set up by a number of Liberal Democrat members.

The SLF’s top team is as follows:

Council Co-Chair: Gareth Epps has been involved in the Liberal Democrats at national level for over 15 years. A member of the Federal Policy Committee, he achieved the party’s best-ever General Eelection result in Reading East (where he lives) in 2010. He has many years’ local government experience, including being group leader on a hung council.

Council Co-ChairNaomi Smith is a qualified management accountant. She was 2010 Parliamentary candidate in the Cities of London & Westminster. Brought up in London and Northern Ireland, Naomi worked in Liberal Democrat HQ for the 2005 General Election and her subsequent career has seen her travel the world (and learn Mandarin Chinese). She is a Freeman of the City of London.

Executive Director: Mark Blackburn is a graduate of the LSE who has over 25 years worth of business experience working for small and large retail companies; including his own chain of shoe shops. He has previously stood as a Parliamentary Candidate in 2010 for Westminter North.

Director: Prateek Buch has influenced Liberal Democrat party policy on matters of political economy and public policy since 2008. As a member of the Social Liberal Forum Council and Executive, he published the SLF’s acclaimed economic platform, Plan C, and has argued for social liberal approaches to a sustainable economy by serving on two Liberal Democrat policy working groups (Inequality, and Sources of Sustainable Jobs and Prosperity). Prateek campaigns for an evidence-based approach to health policy and for free expression, and is a research scientist and science communicator at University College London.

Political Director: Martin Tod is a Liberal Democrat Councillor from Winchester, Hampshire. He was the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Winchester in 2010. Professionally, he has worked in marketing for major companies such as Procter & Gamble and Vodafone and for the UK’s leading housing and homelessness charity, Shelter.

Working to deliver the SLF’s objectives are members of the SLF Executive Team, comprising:

Elected by members in Summer 2014, Our governing council is as follows:

  • Gareth Epps
  • Naomi Smith
  • Geoff Payne
  • Gordon Lishman
  • Helen Flynn
  • Geoff Payne
  • Janice Turner
  • Kelly-Marie Blundell
  • Martin Tod
  • Mary Reid
  • Neil Hughes
  • Paula Keaveney
  • Prateek Buch
  • Rabi Martins
  • Mathew Hulbert

Disclaimer: Membership of the Council does not imply agreement with any or all policy statements made by Social Liberal Forum.

The SLF also has an Advisory Council.

3 comments on “Who We Are
  1. John Smith says:

    Given that your movement might have a greater appeal, and a potentially unifying influence with people who share your political ideals but who do not belong to the Lib Dems, why is it a pre prerequisite that people have to be Lib Dem members. Before people start getting worried about attempts to destroy the Lib Dems from within which it could be argued members who subscribe to the “Orange Book” have inadvertently already made a start on, I used to be a Lib Councillor. But I feel not able to rejoin the Lib Dems at this moment in time.
    By the way if it is the same Paula Keaveney I used to know when we belonged to the same Youth Movement i am a great admirer.

  2. Hi John, we would like to keep in touch with the Social Liberal diaspora, but as far as SLF membership is concerned we want our members to stay in the party and support our campaigns for social liberalism. The progress we have made on changing the NHS reforms was made possible by members staying in the party and voting at conference for our amendment.

  3. Having joined the SLF when I was a LD party member, I am not clear whether I am still welcome now I’ve quit.

    I continue to feel that I am a liberal; but I am appalled by the leadership’s approach to coalition government. The failure to oppose the health bill – which is already doing irreparable harm to the NHS, and which will cost nearly all of us a a great deal in the future – was the last straw for me. I have blogged occasionally about these issues – see e.g. http://peterenglish.blogspot.com/2011/04/can-we-learn-coalition-politics.html.

    In the meantime I am no longer a member of the Lib Dem party, and I cannot see myself rejoining it while we have the current leadership. (A Social Liberal party, on the other hand… )

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Who We Are"
  1. [...] Neal Lawson is the chair of Compass. Prateek Buch is on the Executive for the Social Liberal Forum [...]

  2. [...] have a lot of time for the SLF for three reasons. First, the calibre of the people involved — these are folk who take policy seriously and [...]

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