Biography - Simon Hughes


I was born in Cheshire and brought up in England and Wales. I was educated at Woodford Primary School, The Cathedral School, Llandaff where I was Dean's Scholar and Head Boy in 1964 and then Christ College, Brecon. I spent my university years at Selwyn College, Cambridge, where I graduated in Law and then studied at the College of Europe in Bruges, where I earned a postgraduate Certificate of Advanced European Studies. I was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1974 and I moved to Southwark in 1977 before being elected to Parliament in 1983. I remained the MP for Bermondsey and the northern part of Southwark until 2015. During this time I was a front bench spokesman in the House of Commons for the Liberals and Liberal Democrats until 2013, including a period as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2010 and as Federal Party President from 2004 to 2008. From December 2013 to May 2015 I was Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties.

In February 2016, I was appointed as Head of Public Affairs at the Open University.

DODs have given permission for me to use a shortened version of their biography, published shortly before the last general election. The copyright is reserved to DODs.

“It’s never the end of Simon Hughes” Simon prophesied after losing the party leadership election in 2006. And although he was not included in the coalition Government, he was back in 2010 as Deputy Leader of his Party after the resignation of Vince Cable. Simon went on to be a Minister of State in the Ministry of Justice from December 2013 to May 2015.


A radical barrister with a concern for inner cities and civil rights, an articulate idealist, he was the victor in a famous by-election battle against the Labour Left in 1983.

young_Simon_black_white_2.jpg He won the previously rock-solid Labour seat of Southwark and Bermondsey in the by-election of 1983 against the activist Peter Tatchell, with a still unbeaten swing of nearly 60 per cent.

From 1983 to 2010, Simon held a large number of frontbench positions, shadowing almost every department except the Treasury and Foreign Affairs. His posts have included the environment (where he revealed a strong Green tinge), education, urban affairs and health.

He lists his hobbies as music, theatre, listening to the radio, travel and the open air and sport. He supports Millwall at football, Glamorgan at cricket and Wales at rugby.


Other Responsibilities

Simon is President of Southwark Chamber of Commerce since 2013 (having been a member since 1987 and past President 1984-1987 and 2004-2007); Patron of Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Choral Society, Southwark Playhouse and Surrey Docks Farm; Chair of London Bubble Theatre and chair of governors at St James' Church of England Primary School, Bermondsey; Trustee of the Rose Theatre Trust and Bacon's College, Rotherhithe, and previously trustee of the Social Mobility Foundation and the Salmon Centre, Bermondsey.

Simon is a Member of the Christian church (St James' Bermondsey) and was a member of the General Synod of the Church of England 1984-1985.

Simon is an Honorary Fellow of London South Bank University since 1992, an Honorary freeman of the London Borough of Southwark since 2013 and an honorary member of the London Cab Drivers Club since 2014.

Simon is a Director of the London Football Association.  He was appointed to the board of the London FA in September 2015.

For more details, see my LinkedIn profile