Simon Hughes

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Simon Hughes
Simon Hughes

Simon Henry Ward Hughes, born 17 May 1951, is a British politician and Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for North Southwark & Bermondsey. He is currently Liberal Democrat frontbench spokesman for London and was elected President of the Liberal Democrats on September 1, 2004 [1] (http://www.libdems.org.uk/index.cfm/page.homepage/section.home/article.7396). The party president chairs a number of party committees and also represents the party at official functions.

Hughes was first elected to Parliament in the Bermondsey by-election of February 24, 1983. As part of the SDP-Liberal Alliance, Hughes was spokesman for the environment from 1983 to 1988. Along with the majority of Liberals, he joined the newly founded Liberal Democrats in 1988, acting as spokesman for education until 1992, then the environment again until 1994, then health until 1997, and then home affairs until 2003. He campaigned in the 2004 Mayor of London elections and came in third with 15.22% of the first preference vote.

That first election is remembered by some as "the dirtiest and most notorious byelection in British political history" because of the slurs against the character of the Labour candidate Peter Tatchell. Hughes' supporters were accused of joining in some attacks on Tatchell: male Liberal canvassers wore badges reading "I've been kissed by Peter Tatchell" while female ones had badges reading "I've never been kissed by Peter Tatchell". This incident has consistently been denied by some Liberals, although there are multiple witnesses.

He is currently Liberal Democrat Party President and Liberal Democrat Shadow Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Hughes was born in Cheshire and attended Selwyn College, Cambridge. He worked as a barrister in London and moved to Bermondsey in 1981.

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