About Martin

Photo: Anna Lythgoe

Martin Horwood was born and brought up in Cheltenham and was the town’s MP from 2005 to 2015.  In 2017 he stood down as parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats for personal reasons and has been succeeded by Max Wilkinson.

In 2018 he announced his candidacy for the Cheltenham Borough Council ward of Leckhampton following the resignation of independent councillor and green campaigner Ian Bickerton (who is now supporting Martin and fellow Lib Dem candidate Glenn Andrews).

As MP, Martin worked tirelessly for local NHS services, for investment in local transport, for local companies and jobs and for a safer, greener town. He led the campaign that saved Cheltenham’s maternity unit and always championed a full-service local A&E department. Martin successfully campaigned for investment in local transport improvements and backed Cheltenham’s Lib Dem council in its record push for recycling – but consistently opposed the Tory county council’s incinerator plan.

In parliament, he gained national recognition for his stand on a wide range of environmental issues and jointly tabled the amendment that raised the UK’s ambition to cut back the CO2 emissions that cause climate change. He also took up a number of animal welfare and wildlife issues and worked for more social and environmental accountability for UK companies.

In the 2010 parliament, he was the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party’s spokesperson on international affairs and championed calls to defend human rights and combat poverty around the world. Today he is chairing the party’s new expert policy working group on Britain’s place in the world.

Professionally, he has worked for Oxfam in the UK and in India, as Director of Fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society, for a local marketing agency advising national charity clients on fundraising and marketing and (since leaving Parliament) for the international development organisation Development Initiatives.

Martin’s wife Shona is a doctor working for Public Health England. They live in Leckhampton with children Maya and Sam who are both at school locally. Martin is also a trustee of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, a trustee of the Cheltenham Trust (which runs the Pittville Pump Room, Wilson art gallery & museum, Leisure@, Town Hall and the Prince of Wales Stadium), a patron of homeless charity Cheltenham Open Door and a trustee of the Emthonjeni Trust, a Cheltenham-based charity that supports people with HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.