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Rt Hon Lord McNally

Former leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords

In 1979, he was elected Labour M.P. for Stockport South and crossed the floor in 1981 to join the newly formed SDP. Throughout the 1979-83 Parliament he was a member of the Select Committee on Industry and Trade and from 1981 to 83 was SDP spokesman on education. In 1983, he fought and lost Stockport for the SDP.

Politically, Tom remained SDP until 1987 when he supported the successful merger with the Liberal Party to form the Liberal Democrats. He served on the Federal Executive of the new party from 1988 to 1998 as well as acting as political adviser to the Party Leader, Paddy Ashdown. In 1995, he was appointed a Life Peer and became deputy-spokesman on Broadcasting. Following the 1997 General Election, he became spokesman on Home Affairs and in 2001 was elected Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords.

In October 2004 Lord McNally was elected unopposed to be leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, succeeding Baroness Shirley Williams when she retired from that position.

Lord McNally was appointed a member of the Privy Council in February 2005. He was a spokesman for Consitutional Affairs, with a brief that includes reform of the House of Lords.

From 2010-2013 he was Minister of State for Justice.

Lord McNally