Member of Parliament for Bermondsey and Old Southwark
From 1983 - 2015 I had the great privilege of representing the people of Bermondsey and Old Southwark in parliament. My role, first and foremost, was to protect the rights and liberties of individuals living in my constituency. People are often confused by the artificial division between an MP's work in Westminster and what they do in the constituency, but in reality, it's part and parcel of the same thing. MPs defend the rights of their constituents by gathering views and concerns in the constituency and expressing them in parliament, thus holding the government to account. I have always been driven by principle and a sense of what is right, doing my best to put the interests of people - particularly those in my constituency - at the heart of everything I do.
Past Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats
From 2010 to January 2014 my party made me Deputy Leader. In this function, I met with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on a regular basis and ensured that all voices in our party were heard. I also acted in an official capacity for the Liberal Democrats when Nick was otherwise engaged. This role allowed me to spend time with Lib Dem MPs across the country, knocking on doors, making phone calls, and hosting events to spread the mission and values of the Liberal Democrats.
Member of the Privy Council
In acknowledgement of my long service to parliament as an MP, the Queen appointed me to be a member of the Privy Council in 2010. The Privy Council is a mechanism through which interdepartmental agreement is reached on those items of Government business which, for historical or other reasons, fall to Ministers as Privy Counsellors rather than as Departmental Ministers.