CV - Simon Hughes



Rt Hon Sir Simon Hughes


Office: Liberal Democrats, 210-212 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3RW

Home: 6 Lynton Road, Bermondsey, London, SE1 5QR

Tel: 02072378444



Family Life

Both of Simon’s grandfathers fought in WW1, his father was born in London and met his mother in the services at the end of WW2 before marrying back in London. Both his grandfather and father brewed beer for London breweries – Youngs and Whitbreads. 

Simon is the third of four boys – the first generation of the family to go to university. Brother Richard was a modern languages teacher who sadly died of malaria. Brother David worked in engineering firm in Battersea. Brother Jamie was in the army, then worked for Oyez in Bermondsey, and then trained and worked as a psychologist. 

For four years Jamie was a Southwark SDP councillor for Abbey Ward. 


Education, Work and Committees

Simon completed a degree in law from Cambridge in 1973 and has been in London since then. He was called to the bar in London in 1974 and has lived just off the Old Kent Road since 1977. Simon was an Inner Temple barrister working on criminal, employment, family, contract and European HR law. Between 1977 and 1982, he was a voluntary youth leader with the Greenhouse Trust in Coburg Road, founder chairman of Burgess Park Residents Association and a member of ILEA Youth Committee. 


Political Experience 

Simon joined the Liberal Party as a student at university. He first stood for election in Bermondsey as Greater London Council Liberal candidate in 1981 and then as London borough of Southwark Liberal council candidate in 1982. He was elected as MP February 1983 (record ever swing between 2 parties in British political history) and again in all following campaigns (1987, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2010) up until 2015, when he lost his seat. 


Achievements as MP

• Successfully worked with the government of one of the Gulf states to obtain the release from prison in Middle East of sick Irish constituent

• Successfully supported 3 Rotherhithe teenagers to secure their acquittal from manslaughter charges in Spain 

• Successfully campaigned for asylum in the UK for young gay student Medhi Kazemi, who is now a British citizen pharmacy graduate working for NHS

• One of the leaders of a parliamentary campaign against Mrs. Thatcher’s proposed abolition of the Greater London Council 

• Opposed Mrs. Thatcher’s Section 28 proposals to ban education about same sex relationships in schools

• Arranged for witnesses to come forward to give evidence to secure the conviction for murder for Jamie Robe who was beaten to death in Lower Road, Rotherhithe. Gave evidence at Old Bailey Trial and under 24-hour special branch protection for months following deaths threats after convictions

• Drove successful fight for new tube stations at Bermondsey and Southwark 

• Chaired the successful Save Guy’s Hospital Campaign, saving the hospital against planned Tory closure

• Led fight to keep 24-hour mental health centre at the Maudsley Hospital

• Ambassador for the Samaritans and Patron of Papyrus - charity working to reduce suicide among young people

• With Liberal Democrat colleagues, successfully led fight for Gurkhas to stay in UK

• Co-founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia

• Involved in environmental campaigns against bypasses in London and other places and leading supporter of Surfers Against Sewage

• In parliament chosen as the Member to Watch in 1985, most motivated MP in 1989 and Green MP of the Year in 1992

• Founder of the Southwark Pensioners Parliament

• Long term supporter of Southwark Disablement Association 

• 2004-2008 Liberal Democrat President; 2010-14 deputy leader; 2012-2013 member of joint committee on human rights; 2013-2015 Minster of State for civil liberties, responsible for family courts, mediation and female offenders. Privy Counsellor 2010; knighted by the Queen for political and public service in 2015

• Member of St. James's Church Bermondsey and for a short time General Synod of Church of England

• Introduced numerous bills into parliament on: Local government access to information (1984); Requiring the Queen to pay income tax at to change current sexist rules on succession (1991); Disestablishment of the Church of England (1993); Equal rights for war pensioners (1995); Empty Property (1998); The establishment of Parish councils in London (1999); More rights for leaseholders (1998)


European/International Activities

• Received Department for Education scholarship to College of Europe, Bruges for postgraduate certificate in European Studies. Trainee in European Commission in Brussels and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg before working in Strasbourg on Human Rights. Speaks fluent French and holds some knowledge of other European languages

• Anti-apartheid activist and campaigner for a Palestinian state since 1970s & worked with international trade unions to support Solidarity for their campaign in Poland to bring down the Communist government

• Life-long worker for conflict resolution, particularly in Israel & Palestine, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Ukraine. Co-founder of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on conflict issues. Long term supporter and campaigner for Gibraltar

• Actively engaged with Sierra Leone community in UK both during and after the Sierra Leone civil war

• Supported Ghanaian, Nigerian, Sierra Leone communities in London; worked with African-led churches and mosques and visited west Africa with local community representatives to support and raise money for education and faith projects

• Worked with Bangladeshi community in Southwark for many decades including visit to Bangladesh and support for building of the mosque Baitul Al Aziz at Harper Road



Human Rights in Western Europe – The Next Thirty Years (1981)

The Prosecutorial Process in England and Wales (1981)

Across the Divide – Liberal Values for Defence and Disarmament (1986)

Pathways to Power (1992)

Asylum – Opportunity not Crisis (2002)

Report to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister as Advocate for Access to Education: ‘The Hughes Report’ (2011) 



Music, Travel, Theatre, Sport (Football, Cricket, Rugby and Tennis). Supporter of Millwall FC, Glamorgan and Surrey CCC and Wales RFU