The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are the UK political party that campaigns against poverty, ignorance and conformity and for openness, tolerance and international co-operation.

Locally, Cheltenham Liberal Democrats are the majority party on Cheltenham Borough Council, where they have fought for more investment and jobs, delivering new social housing for rent for those most at risk in the housing crisis, protected a record number of local green spaces, pushed recycling to record levels and worked for all the communities across the town.

Nationally the party is led by former Energy & Climate Change Secretary Sir Ed Davey.  The party was in coalition government for five years from 2010 until 2015, delivering on promises to boost renewable energy, reduce the deficit, take everyone earning £10,000 or less out of income tax and introduce the pupil premium which is now giving a million pounds a year to Cheltenham schools to help the least well-off children.  You can visit the national party’s website here.

The Liberal Democrat youth organisation is the Young Liberals. The organisation has always played an important part in the party’s policymaking and campaigning.

The Liberal Democrats have many other associated organisations including

John Stuart Mill, the philospher who shaped 19th liberal philosophy but was also a Liberal MP and an early advocate of votes and rights for women along with his wife Harriet Taylor Mill

The party’s history dates back to the 1850s and beyond, when liberals fought for democratic reform and against aristocratic privilege. You can read more about the party’s history here.  In 1988 the modern Liberal Democrat party was created from the merger of the historic Liberal Party and the newer SDP and promised to champion a free, fair and open society free from ignorance, poverty and conformity.

We’re an international party too, part of the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats in Europe (ALDE) which fights for reform and democracy across Europe. We have 57 member parties and the Renew Europe group of ALDE and allied MEPs has 98 seats  in the European Parliament.  Despite Brexit, British Liberal Democrats remain fully participating members of the European liberal family.

Katalin Cseh of Hungary’s Momentum party which is part of the Alliance of Liberal & Democrats in Europe and is bravely taking on the increasingly autocratic Orbán regime in her own country. Katalin is an MEP and Vice-President of the liberal Renew Europe group in which UK Liberal Democrats sat before Brexit.

The worldwide Liberal International has more than 50 member parties from five continents – some of them still bravely fighting to establish democracy in their own countries as Liberals helped to do here all those years ago.