Honorary Presidents

There are currently three Honorary Presidents of the Lib Dems Overseas:

Baroness Brinton, President of Liberal Democrat Party 2015 - 2020

Sal Brinton was introduced to the House of Lords in 2011. She was appointed Co-Chair (and Liberal Democrat spokesperson in the Lords) for Health in November 2013. Sal also has interests in skills, further and higher education; bullying (she chairs the APPG Bullying). In 2011 she sat on the All Party Inquiry into stalking, and worked to get the change in law on stalking, which came into effect in 2012.

Sal was the Liberal Democrats' candidate for MP in the Watford constituency in 2010 and 2005 general elections, coming second in both. She stood in South East Cambridgeshire in 2001 and 1997. She was a Cambridgeshire County Councillor from 1993 to 2004, holding the education portfolio from 1993-97, and then Leader of the Opposition.

Baroness Brinton, President of Liberal Democrat Party 2015 - 2020

Lord Stoneham of Droxford, Chief Whip Liberal Democrat Party in the House of Lords

Ben Stoneham has been a Lib Dem Peer since 2011

Born in Kent and educated at Cambridge and Warwick Universities, he spent most of his career in the newspaper industry as Managing Director of a local newspaper company and Operations Director with News International. He has had a strong interest in housing and regeneration,  currently chairing the Housing 21 Group.

Lord Stoneham of Droxford, Chief Whip Liberal Democrat Party in the House of Lords

Liberal Democrats Overseas Team 2024 Executive Committee

George Cunningham: Honorary President & Chair of Lib Dems Overseas (France)

George Cunningham is Chair of the LibDems Abroad Steering Committee, established in 2022 as the umbrella organisation to coordinate our three local parties abroad (LibDems in Europe, LibDems in France and LibDems Overseas) in support of the rights and interests of British overseas voters in preparation for the next UK General Election. He is also currently Chair of Lib Dems Overseas and a Council Member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE). Previously George was Chair of LibDems Overseas (2018-21) and both Chair (2016) and Vice-Chair (2014-15, 2017) of the former Brussels and Europe LibDems. As a former EU diplomat and UN official, he is an internationalist, active in the defence of the liberal world order.  His full bio can be found here.

George Cunningham: Chair of LibDems Abroad Steering Committee and LDO Chair

Stephen Yolland: Vice Chair (Australia)

Stephen Yolland, known professionally and politically by everyone as ‘Yolly’, joined the Liberal Party while still at school. Like many of us, cutting his teeth on local community politics in Bournemouth and Southampton, he progressed steadily through the ranks until he stood as the Liberal-SDP Alliance candidate for Fareham in Hampshire, garnering 32% of the vote.

Yolly moved to Australia in 1987, considering himself (with many others) a refugee from Thatcherism. He always, though, maintained a very active interest in the party, maintaining friendships and regularly communicating with many of those he had met during his active UK-based roles, including Simon Hughes, Paddy Ashdown, Simon Titley, Roger Hayes and many others, and writing for various party journals including Liberator. In recent years he has been active in a number of social media fora.

In Australia he was the brains behind the Australian Democrats federal election campaign in 1983, and advisor to the party leadership, helping to achieve what is still the largest national vote for a third party in modern Australian politics. He coined the notable party slogan “Give A Damn” as a direct response to perceived election weariness in the electorate.

A noted public speaker (formerly the British Public Speaking Champion) and writer, Yolly lives in Melbourne with his wife Jenie, and near his daughter Caitlin.

Stephen Yolland (Australia)

John Shardlow: Secretary (Malaysia)

I was born in London and have also lived in East Sussex and Wiltshire. I have been living in Malaysia since 2009 and will probably be staying here for the long term. I work for a US based company that provides software solutions for the telecoms industry. I've been a member of the Liberal Democrat party since June 2016.

I am keen to help represent the unique issues that expatriates face. Most of the policy objectives of the Lib Dems Overseas are things that either affect me personally or will do in the future such as 'frozen pensions'. 

I also look after the LDO website.

John Shardlow: Secretary

Terence Champion: Membership Officer (USA, and for the Americas)

I grew up in South East England (London,Kent,Hampshire) and graduated from Durham University where I studied Politics,Economics and Law. I live with my wife in Philadelphia and have a married daughter and two grandchildren.

I have spent almost all of my adult life working in South and North America (Peru,Bolivia,Guatemala and the USA). Since my early thirties I have worked as a Chief Executive with both industrial and trading companies. Most recently, in the last ten to fifteen years, I have worked in a more specialised role as a turnaround for sale CEO.

I first became actively involved with the Liberal Party at university and attended a Party Conference as a delegate. I continue to believe that the Party has a very great deal to offer as it represents decentralization, empowerment, openness and fairness and, in my opinion, needs to deliver its positions with a far steadier hand. There is an immense gap in the centre that the Liberal Democrats must fill. From there it needs to take power not become an important influencer.

Terence was Vice Chair of Lib Dems Overseas during 2023.

Terence Champion: Membership Officer (USA, and for the Americas)

Hauwa Usman: Ordinary Member with special responsibility for Diversity (Nigeria)

I have over 5 years of experience to offer which was gained from being very active with the Lib Dems UK, Lib Dems in Europe Exec and Brussels & Europe Lib Dems Exec. I joined the UK Lib Dems after being inspired by active members who impressed me with their endless drive and ambition to achieve a better society and country for themselves and their family - a country they can be proud of and want to live in.

I have been politically active since 2014 with the Lib Dems.  I campaigned actively during the 2015 and 2017 UK general elections, and also during the 2016 UK/EU Referendum.

I have attended all Lib Dem conferences in the UK as well as all Alliance of Liberal Democrats in Europe (ALDE) Congresses as a delegate throughout this period. In 2014, I campaigned as a volunteer for the Swedish Liberal Democrats party, Folkepartiet.

Hauwa Usman: Executive Member (Nigeria)

Caroline Padbury: Ordinary Member (UK/Caribbean)

I grew up in Cornwall and lived in London and the Caribbean. I am a marketing specialist with a focus on international finance, helping businesses grow, and supporting the Liberal Democrats. I also have a love of anything to do with the sea.

I joined the Liberal Democrats in 2015, just before the coalition came to an end. I felt and still feel passionately that the party has a place in politics that represents a significant section of the population, and it is important for both current and future generations that this voice is protected and heard.

Caroline was the Chair of Lib Dems Overseas during 2023.

Caroline Padbury: Ordinary Member

Christopher: Ordinary Member (Hong Kong)

I am one of the 10,000 Hongkongers who has been beaten and arrested by the Hong Kong Police since June 2019.

Many people around the world speak up for Hong Kong. If you are one of them, I am thankful to you. It is important for us to know that friends in international society who believe in liberal and democratic values stand with us. I am also grateful to Lib Dems Overseas connecting us all with each other.

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Christopher: Executive Member (Hong Kong)

Victoria Bateman: Ordinary Member (Canada)

The EU referendum made me take stock of my involvement in politics, reigniting my passion to be more actively involved with the Liberal Democrats, support fair votes for all and act to stop the climate crisis. 

I grew up in Dorset and spent my young adult life living in London before moving to Canada in 2017 settling in Toronto, Ontario. I now work in the Advertising Technology industry as a Data Manager. I have been interested in politics since my teens studying Political Science and Philosophy university. Since university I have been long-term supporter of Liberal Democrat policies.

Victoria Bateman: Executive Member (Canada)

Colin Bloodworth: Ordinary Member (Indonesia)

Most of my working life has been overseas (Congo, USA and Indonesia) in oil and financial services. Consequently, I took relatively little interest in British politics. That is, until the Brexit ‘disaster’ which I saw as a retrograde step for my country. That is when I decided to join the Lib-Dems as they were strongly pro-Europe.

I would like to see the party taking stronger initiatives on issues such as immigration, which has a big impact on voter emotions. The present chaos should be replaced with a firm but humane policy but that can be achieved only by co-operation with Europe. The UK cannot resolve the issue on its own.

I have been very much involved in campaigning for some half a million UK retirees overseas whose pensions have been frozen by a quirk of fate and successive unsympathetic governments. After 70 years, the campaign is beginning to gain some traction!

Colin Bloodworth: Executive Member (Indonesia)

Richard Latham: Ordinary Member (South Africa/UK)

Born in Hertfordshire but from a family with strong connections to Cornwall. Attended Oxford University where I took an interest in student politics getting elected three times to the Student Union Executive and also attending NUS Conference; Joined the SDP as a founding member and I have never left! Stood for local council in Blackheath in 1982 but got defeated! Here ended my political career!

But I remain strongly pro European, I campaigned and marched for Remain, and indeed very internationally minded with a Congolese (DRC) partner, a travel company called Zeta Tours selling holidays, sports tours and business trips worldwide , and having visited 87 countries to date.

Within the UK I am pro business but with government helping the disadvantaged and promoting a strong infrastructure. I was opposed to Lock down though and travel restrictions during the pandemic, I support freedom wherever possible, and I am opposed to nanny-statism

My first Employer was Jardine Matheson who transferred me to New York City 1984-1988. On my return to the UK I moved to Richmond, and apart from five years in Fulham I have lived there  ever since. Vice President Richmond Rugby Club.

And since 2009 I have also rented property in South Africa, first in Franschhoek and now in Newlands, Cape Town.

Interests are Travel, Sport, history, politics and current affairs.

Richard Latham (South Africa/UK)

Non Executive Coordinators

Merlene Toh Emerson (Singapore)

Merlene currently divides her time between the UK and Singapore, following a varied career as a corporate lawyer, community mediator and housing association Chair.  She co-founded Chinese Liberal Democrats (CLD) in 2006 as a bridge between the party and the Chinese & SE Asian diaspora communities in the UK, stood as a Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate in Hammersmith in 2010 and for the Greater London Assembly in 2012 and 2016.  

She was editor of the first CLD publication “UK-China Twinned Cities” (2013) and co-edited a book of essays on the “Rise of China – Fresh Insights and Observations (2021) published by the Paddy Ashdown Forum. 

Merlene was awarded an MBE in 2016 for political and public service.



Merlene Toh Emerson (Singapore)

Paul Thompson (New Zealand)

I first became interested in the Liberals during the 1970 General Election during the hustings at College when only the Liberal candidate made any sense.  I began supporting the old Liberal Party in 1974 and finally got around to joining in 1979. I was elected to St Albans District Council in 1982 and held my seat until I retired in 1998 after I moverd to Berkhamsted. I then was Parliamentary candidate for the Lib Dems at the 2001 election in Hertsmere. 

I moved to New Zealand in 2002 and became disenfranchised last year.  

Lib Dems Overseas offers an opportunity to support the interests of expats as well as being an opportunity to reignite Liberal Democratic principles in my adopted home.


Paul Thompson (New Zealand)

Steve Castree (Bermuda)

Stephen Castree is a serial entrepreneur who has lived and worked in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda for the last 20 years having grown up in Buckinghamshire.

Having operated companies with a presence in more than 25 countries around the world, his current focus is in financial services, mine action and farming with a latest organisation focusing on climate change initiatives.

Stephen attended the Autumn Liberal Democrat conference in the U.K. as a first time attended in 2019 and holds central political views supporting the free market economy whilst focusing on provision of government services to target a balanced redistribution of wealth to ensure the divides in society are balanced and not extreme. He holds a BA Degree and MBA from the University of Birmingham, a DEUG from the Universite de Lyon, is a UK Chartered Accountant and is currently pursuing his BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the Open University.

Steve Castree (Bermuda)

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