Our Members’ Council

The Members’ Council – Who’s who?

 

The National Liberal Club is owned by the members. There were some 2,500 of us by late June 2023 with more joining every month and, collectively, we are the Club’s sovereign body – expressing our will through regular meetings every two months of the Members’ Council, to which we all elect the 30 voting members, and the Annual General Meeting open to all members.

Karin Rehacek was elected unopposed as Club Chair by the Members’ Council in May, with Rahul Sinha becoming Club Vice-Chair after a close-fought vote. Both were unanimously confirmed in their posts by members attending the AGM in June.

Members should soon be able to read about or watch what’s discussed at all those meetings, often involving lively debate, on the Club website as part of our commitment to transparency.

Four honorary officers appointed annually by the Council swell its numbers: the Treasurer, Librarian, Club Archivist and Art Curator, along with several honorary Vice-Presidents appointed for their service to the NLC — including some former Chairs of the Club. All of the above may speak at Members’ Council meetings but most have no vote, with two exceptions: honorary Librarian Seth Thevoz and Vice-President Janet Berridge, a former Club Chair, have both stood successfully for election and become voting members again.

Club members are now also the sole shareholders in the Company, set up in 1978, called National Liberal Club Limited. The Company manages the day-to-day operations of the Club, runs its various services and hires and employs all the staff. The Board of Directors – all drawn from Club members, plus our Chief Executive, Andy Young – can be found here.  The Club and the Board collaborate on a regular basis, aiming to establish working practices that produce the best outcomes for the Club and its members within a viable financial framework.

Below you will find pen portraits of all who those who sit on the Members’ Council. Many of them also serve on one of the Club’s five major committees: Membership, Marketing & Communications, Events & Activities, Catering, and Beer Wines & Spirits. All the Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs are listed separately. Just click on any ‘plus’ sign to read someone’s profile.

 

Club Officers


Karin Rehacek
Club Chair
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I took over as Chair of the Club last January on the resignation of Tim McNally and was then elected unopposed in June. I aim to attend all NLC Members’ Council, committee and working group meetings and also sit on the Board of NLC Limited, chairing the Staffing Group.

I am heavily involved in many of our varied social events and am particularly pro- active in helping the Membership Committee drive our membership initiative.

My objectives over the coming months are to continue to grow the membership of the Club, to ensure the elected Members’ Council work together, harmoniously, with the same Club objectives, and to continue to meet and speak with as many of our members as possible.

I am also Secretary of the Shooting Club (which I co-founded), Chair of the German Circle and was instrumental in setting up the NLC Women’s Network, and the popular Tuesday and Thursday Table.

Now retired, I spent more than three decades as a Human Resources professional within the international financial services industry in the City. The only child of immigrant parents (mother a refugee, father a prisoner of war), I am proud of my German and Eastern European heritage.

When not in the Club I care for my mother, who is now in her 90s, and Teddy, her Lhasa Apso Hidden Disability Assistance Dog.(Karin joined the Club in 2013 and was elected to the General Committee, now the Members’ Council, in 2015, becoming Vice-Chair in 2021.)

Rahul Sinha
Club Vice-Chair
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Since moving to London from Washington DC, I have found the Club a real home from home and am honoured to have now been elected Vice-Chair of the Club.  I also Chair the Club’s Catering Committee and sit on the Beer, Wine and Spirits Committee.

I’m firmly committed to the liberal character of our Club, as those shared principles also animate my volunteer work. I serve on the Policy Council of the civil liberties group, Liberty, and, as a party member, also serve on the complaints panels for the Liberal Democrats.

I currently assist philanthropic and international development organisations with strategic planning and impact evaluation. Previously, I have worked on education policy, and as a macroeconomist at a think tank.

I am an avid theatregoer, and serve on the board of the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill. I’m also a competitive storyteller, and have performed in London, Tokyo, and Washington DC. I’m also hoping we can get an NLC cricket club together, so that I can join — once I learn how to play! (Rahul joined the Club in 2019 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in in 2021)

Andy Young
Chief Executive
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I grew up and went to school and college in Norwich and Nottingham, gaining a Business Studies degree and a postgraduate diploma in Marketing. I moved to London in the early 1990s and very much enjoy living in Ealing.

My career has spanned a wide range of roles, focusing primarily on how to help run a diverse range of public venues and events efficiently and attract audiences. These have included Wembley Stadium’s Arena and Conference Centre, the Millennium Dome, Science Museum, O2 Arena and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I have also been a consultant on many infrastructure projects and also new training programmes for universities, both here and overseas — including in Brazil, Japan and Canada.

Since becoming Chief Executive of the National Liberal Club in May, my focus is on supporting the staff team, delivering consistently good service to members and securing the financial health of the Club. I have a real passion for building high-performing operating teams, empowering staff to find ways to improve service for our members so we can provide a positive experience for everyone who walks through our doors.

Outside work I enjoy cycling, and completed the Land’s End to John O’Groats nine-day ride in 2021, finally making good on a pledge made back in 1988, when I completed the course in the opposite direction, that I would one day do the ride back again. It was much easier 23 years earlier! I’m also a season ticket holder at Brentford FC and enjoy attending other sports events and live music. Usually guitar-based and what used to be called Indie, but my tastes are definitely softening with age.

Phil Reeves
Treasurer
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I qualified as a barrister and went into tax advisory work when I was persuaded (perhaps unwisely) to take the chartered accountancy exams, which I passed but not without significant effort. After 30 years in the tax profession, I semi-retired to work on one main client and am also Treasurer of The Cricket Society, which aims to promote cricket in all its spheres – playing, watching, listening and reading.

A member of the NLC for nearly 35 years, I am currently the Club Treasurer, former Vice-Chair of the Beer, Wine & Spirits Committee, and a Board member of NLC Ltd. When not doing this and other work, I travel the world playing golf, watching cricket and trying to reduce my golf handicap – this is a work in progress. (Phil joined the Club in 1987)

Charles Gillett
Archivist
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I am a non-political member of the Club and joined specifically to contribute to the preservation of the NLC and, in particular, the building it occupies. Appointed as our Archivist in 2020, I am now responsible for conserving the Club’s archives (which stretch back to its formation in 1882), adding to the collection and making these archives available to legitimate researchers and – through occasional articles in the Club’s magazine – to the membership as well.

A contentedly-retired Lloyd’s insurance broker, I specialised for 20 of my 45 working years in international construction projects. Since joining the Club, I have tried to be as active a member as I can to help ensure it continues to flourish. (Charles joined the Club in 2014)

Chris Hallworth
Art Curator
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As the Club’s new Art Curator I’m responsible for our collection of paintings, on behalf of the Trustees. Ensuring these are kept in good condition, displayed to best advantage and represent the NLC’s rich Liberal history are all part of the brief.

I studied English Literature and Classical Art at Trinity College, Dublin, where I developed a great interest in the Renaissance  and Neo-Classicism. Art remains a vital part of my life although I now work in a very different field, including IT project management and website technology.

Outside work, I support the NLC Irish Circle and am a passionate follower of horse racing, as well as having broad interests in the arts, politics and military history. For me the Club provides an unparalleled opportunity to make friends or connections and I was especially pleased to organise in 2021 a picnic for members in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. (Chris joined the Club in 2019 and was appointed Art Curator in 2022)

Vacant
Librarian
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Committee Chairs


Val Stansfield
Events and Activities
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I now chair the Club’s Events and Activities Committee, and the Women’s Network. The popular Tuesday and Thursday Tables are something I co-host: these provide an opportunity for members, new and old, to meet together, get to know new people and enjoy the comforts of the Bar and Dining Room just as much or as little as they please.

My work is as an employment rights adviser for a trade union and, in such spare time as I have, I enjoy reading (mainly novels) and knitting. (Val joined the Club in 2008 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2019.)

Cait Hart Dyke
Marketing and Communications
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A lifelong LibDem, I am an active member of Wandsworth Liberal Democrats.

With over two decades’ experience in Events and Marketing, my work as a consultant was primarily focused last year on delivering high-end integrated events and marketing strategies for large corporates during the World Economic Forum at Davos.

Within the NLC, I was responsible for redesigning the website and overhauling the NLC News magazine, which I edited from 2017-22. I have recently been elected Chair of the Club’s Marketing and Communications Committee and also sit on three
other committees: Events and Activities, Catering, and Beer Wines and Spirits. I also hope to harness my extensive events knowledge and actively promote the Club for weekend weddings and outside hires to bring in much-needed revenue.

For a total change of scene, literally, I recently played Titania, Queen of the Fairies, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by my husband, Barney, another Club member. We are both Co-Artistic Directors of Putney Arts Theatre and also have our own, occasional, theatre company, The Colour Noise. (Cait joined the Club in 2019 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2022)

Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett (they/them)
Membership
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I joined the Club as a political member in 2017, having been a regular visitor for more than 12 years. In 2018, I founded the Club’s LGBTQ+ Forum with a dedicated committee and represent an essential part of NLC’s motto of being London’s most “inclusive” and “diverse” club.

I moved up from Vice-Chair of the Club’s Membership Committee to become Chair in January 2023 on Karin Rehacek’s appointment as Chair of the Club following the resignation of Tim McNally.

Currently, I work for a not-for-profit organisation, The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (ENEI), as their Global Relationship Manager. In 2015 I stood, as the first openly HIV+ parliamentary candidate in Vauxhall, and then in Ipswich at the 2017 & 2019 elections.

Previously, I have chaired LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and, since 2018, I’ve chaired Liberal International British Group, part of Liberal International – which is also based at the Club. (Adrian joined the Club in 2017 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2020.)

 

Dr Nick Kirby
Beer, Wines & Spirits
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I have been Lead Officer (Pensions) at the largest education union in the UK, the National Education Union, and formerly at the National Union of Teachers, since 2007.

Before this, I was senior and then principal researcher at Which? magazine for six years, specialising in articles on pensions and investments. This followed on from my Ph.D. at the London School of Economics on UK pension policy.

At the Club, I now chair the Beer, Wines and Spirits Committee, am a member of the Chess Circle and a regular attendee at Tuesday and Thursday Table. (Nick joined the Club in 2009 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2014)

Robert Orchard
Catering
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Hello, I’m a freelance political journalist, lecturer and copy editor, based in Cardiff and London, writing occasionally for Parliament’s own magazine, The House, among others. The son of a Devon farmer and Welsh nurse, I trained as a teacher after university before entering journalism in Cardiff, moving later to Westminster via Brussels and Strasbourg.

After 25 eventful years as a BBC Political and then Parliamentary Correspondent, I became a very mature MA student at King’s College London – decades after my 1st degree. I also rejoined the Club and was part of the working group that successfully recommended liberalising the dress code, though there is still more to do. I now sit on the Membership Cttee.

Outside work, I have long enjoyed acting and producing – latterly with Tower Theatre in London and my own company, Moonlight Theatre, which toured Under Milk Wood to Malta in 2019. I am also a charity trustee for Homeopathy UK. (Robert joined the Club in 1984 and 2013 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2018).

Committee Vice-Chairs


Janet Berridge
Marketing and Communications
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Birmingham-born, I’m a committed European now living in Berlin and working with my husband, Michael, as a freelance translator to the music business. A General Committee member from 2007 – 2019, I also served on the General Purposes and Membership Committees, and initiated the Literary and German Circles. I introduced the first German reciprocal clubs, supported participation in “Open House weekend”, hosted LibDem receptions at the Club, and championed many recently-established NLC Forums.

I was a prison visitor, Witness Service volunteer – supporting witnesses at court, and a charity worker in Canterbury. I was active in LibDem politics – first in Canterbury from 2000, then in Bromley until 2018 – and am now an active member of the (reciprocal) International Club, Berlin. My interests: music, literature, handcrafts, swimming. (Janet joined the Club in 2004 and was Chair between 2016–2018; she is now a Vice-President and an elected, voting Council member).

Elizabeth Crowther-Hunt LVO
Events and Activities
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I enjoy political discussion, networking and fine dining – all on offer at our Club, which I came to join thanks to meeting an NLC member at a networking event.

Such events and opportunities to network – to meet and develop contacts – are a major focus both at the Club and also at Westminster Business Council, where I am CEO. There we provide connections and intelligence to help London businesses
grow, and introduce employers and students for career opportunities. In 2019 we ran our inaugural Business Awards Ceremony at the Club, where I also chair the Business Forum.

My career has involved influencing government policy and pioneering innovative projects in deprived areas. I led the development of the national Prince’s Trust Team programme to help unemployed young people build their confidence and find work. (Elizabeth joined the Club in 2016 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in in 2018)

Dennis Martin
Catering
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As well as joining the Club’s Members Council, I am a member of the Marketing and Communications Committee, the Not-So-Younger Members’ Group, Shooting Club, the German Circle, Defence and Security Circle, and the European and Commonwealth Forum.

My work as a Risk, Compliance and Resilience Consultant is to help companies approach their risk and compliance management in a structured, strategic way. (Dennis joined the Club in 2018 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2020).

Dr Keir Shiels
Beer, Wines & Spirits
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I am a consultant paediatrician at Great Ormond Street and have been a life-long Liberal Democrat, including a spell as sub editor of the Liberal Democrat Youth and Student magazine while at university. Before I entered medicine I had a brief career as a wine merchant in Cambridge.

My time during the Covid pandemic has been split between developing distance-teaching methods for medical students and volunteering as a vaccinator in my local community of Wanstead and Woodford. I am keen to use this experience to improve the ability of members to access club events and committees from a distance.

I have particular interests in theatre, food and drink and have been elected Vice-Chair of the Club’s Beer, Wine and Spirits Committee, and as a member of the Events and Activities Committee. I’m delighted to now have the chance to contribute to sustaining the Club’s incredible current momentum. (Keir joined the Club in 2019 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2021)

Vacant
Membership
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Vice-Presidents


Janet Berridge
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Birmingham-born, I’m a committed European now living in Berlin and working with my husband, Michael, as a freelance translator to the music business. A General Committee member from 2007 – 2019, I also served on the General Purposes and Membership Committees, and initiated the Literary and German Circles. I introduced the first German reciprocal clubs, supported participation in “Open House weekend”, hosted LibDem receptions at the Club, and championed many recently-established NLC Forums.

I was a prison visitor, Witness Service volunteer – supporting witnesses at court, and a charity worker in Canterbury. I was active in LibDem politics – first in Canterbury from 2000, then in Bromley until 2018 – and am now an active member of the (reciprocal) International Club, Berlin. My interests: music, literature, handcrafts, swimming. (Janet joined the Club in 2004 and was Chair between 2016–2018; she is now a Vice-President and an elected, voting Council member).

Terence Gleed Richards
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I joined the Club more than 50 years ago and have served as its Chairman, as a Director of National Liberal Club Ltd, Trustee and Chairman of Club Trustees, as well as chairing the Membership Committee.

I was a Liberal Parliamentary Candidate in 1974 and 1979. My interests include travel, opera, music and the arts, politics and gardening. (Terence joined the Club in 1967 and was Chair between 1991 – 1993)

The Revd Paul Hunt MA
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I joined the Liberal Party in 1974 and the Club in the 1990s. I was first elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2000 and served as Club Chair and then Chair of National Liberal Club Ltd.

Ordained in 1992, my clerical posts included chaplaincies at Mill Hill School and Emanuel School, and I also served as a Priest-in-Ordinary to HM the Queen, taking services at the Chapels Royal. I was recently coaxed out of retirement to become priest-in-charge of Hastings Old Town. (Paul joined the Club in 1992 and was Chair between 2007 – 2010)

Michael Meadowcroft
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Served as the Club’s Librarian and its Archivist, and also sat on the Wine Committee for many years. After joining the Liberal party in 1958, I held various party positions and was elected to Leeds City Council in the first Liberal success in the city for 30 years.

Was elected as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Leeds West from 1983 – 1987, and is an Honorary Alderman of the City of Leeds. Over some 25 years, I have led or been a member of more than 50 electoral assistance missions – providing advice and practical assistance to 35 new and emerging democracies on four continents.

In recent years, my traditional jazz band has provided the music for the Club’s summer party. I write and lecture on Leeds political history – and contribute articles and obituaries for the Club magazine. (Michael joined the Club in 1962 and rejoined in 1983)

Jamie Sharpley
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An NLC member for two decades, I have chaired both the Club’s Membership Committee and, from 2020-22, the Board of National Liberal Club Ltd, which manages all the day-to-day operations of the Club, runs its various services and also employs all the staff.

After graduating from London University in Sociology, I joined the NHS management training scheme and went on to run clinical and other services in a number of major hospitals mainly in London. I also worked as a tutor for the healthcare thinktank, The King’s Fund. Board- level experience has included voluntary (non-executive) directorships in
housing, social care and the arts.

For the Liberal Democrats, I was President of the South East England region for six years and my wife, Rosie — a former LibDem mayor of Woking and retired nurse — is also a Club member and a constant support. For relaxation I am a keen gardener and dog walker — both offer space to ponder Club matters too! (Jamie joined the Club in 2002 and was Chair of NLC Ltd from 2020–2022.)

Angela Style
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Originally from Sussex, I finished my education at the Lycée Français de Londres and became a secretary working initially in PR, then for the BBC and for CBS. Moving to Worcestershire with my family, I became a councillor and eventually the WRVS County Organiser… running ‘Meals on Wheels’ for the whole of Hereford & Worcester.

I helped initiate a victim support scheme which was adopted nationally. After my husband died, I qualified as a probation officer, and became a councillor for Barnes — helping create a 100 acre Wetlands with advice from Sir Peter Scott. In the NLC, I chaired the General Purposes Committee, launching the first Chinese New Year celebration and then Diwali. I now chair the Wednesday Lunch Circle. (Angela joined the Club in 2000)

Members' Councillors


Kate Birch
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I am now joint Vice Chair of the Club’s Marketing & Communications Committee and was recently elected to the Membership Committee. I also co-chair the Literary Circle and am on the NLC’s Diversity and Art Collection Working Groups. I publish inksweatandtears.co.uk – an online poetry and prose magazine with a small print section which has seen several pamphlets shortlisted for major poetry awards.

I sit on the board of Poetry School, described as the UK’s largest provider of poetry education and ‘inspiring tuition’, and also support small-scale theatre productions, poetry scholarships and projects.

Am currently working with writer development agency Spread the Word and academics from Glasgow University on the Runaways Project, which involves creative responses from Black and South Asian writers and artists to adverts published in London in the Restoration period to help trace runaway slaves. Few are even aware that slavery was practised in the UK. (Kate joined the Club in 2008 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2018)

James Brown
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After a brief dalliance in high finance, I’ve spent most of my working life in secondary education — teaching History and American Government, and then as Head of a private school. My worst decision: only selecting Frank Lampard for the Under-12s soccer ‘B’ team. He went on to win more than a hundred caps for England.

I’m proud to have helped train more than 2,000 state school teachers to become qualified Mental Health First Aiders… equipping people with the skills they need to support their own and others’ wellbeing. I spoke at COP26 about climate anxiety
among young people.

As Vice Chair of the Club’s Commonwealth Forum, I’ve helped organise highly enjoyable visits to countries including Canada, Cyprus, India and Malta.

You may hear me making the announcements on some London Underground lines: hopefully, I can contribute more in this new role than just advising Club members to “Stand clear of the doors.”  (James first joined the Club in 2008 and was elected to the Members’ Council in
2022)

Marianna Cherry
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The National Liberal Club has always felt like my second home in London. I have really enjoyed engaging with all its activities but the biggest treasure of our Club is its members – they share my values of being diverse, open-minded, liberal, and thoughtful. They are the reason I joined this Club.

My career began as a pharmacist and I went on to manage various health food businesses. After having my second child, my focus shifted to helping my local community as a school trustee and an active, fund-raising member of the PTA.

I currently use positive psychology, in one-to-one and group coaching workshops, to train my clients in public speaking, with a focus on health and wellbeing.

My hobbies include reading, public speaking, gardening (including helping at my local allotment), running our local bookclub, and keeping fit with Tai Chi. (Marianna joined the Club in 2020 and was first elected to the Members’ Council in 2023 and again in 2024)

Dan Cope
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Nick Doherty
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I have always enjoyed the Club and so, after some 30 years as a member, I decided to stand for election to the Members Council.

Now, as Chair of the NLC Shooting Club, I am involved in our social activities and am keen to further develop the social life of the whole Club. We have a diverse membership and a wide range of activities, and I welcome views on how the Club can be further improved. I also sit on the Club’s Membership Committee.

My day job is as a barrister specialising in crime and firearms licensing law. I am a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Gunmakers Company. (Nick joined the Club in 1987 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in in 2018)

David de Freitas
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The vast range of events and activities available at the NLC is something I relish, especially the many high-quality musical concerts staged at the Club. I also greatly value the cultural diversity of our growing membership.

I am honoured to lead the team who assess how we deal with complaints between members, where my aim will always be to seek mediation and conciliation as the preferred way of resolving disputes.Those duties preclude me seeking any prominent public role in Club life but I will certainly have no qualms about making my voice heard in the Members’ Council and will speak up to protect the crucial independence of our complaints process.

The ability to dance is something I have always admired. I took up latin and ballroom dancing some years ago and would love to develop a ‘Strictly’ Circle at the Club: we certainly have the elegant spaces for it! (David joined the Club in 2016 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023)

Havard Hughes
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My first memories of the NLC are from the 1980s when I can remember being taken there by my mother as she attended Lib Dem committee meetings. Today I’m the founder and CEO of a City consultancy, but I began my career as an adviser to Vince Cable when he was an MP, later becoming Campaign Director at the Electoral Reform. I then joined the Financial Services Authority as a regulator after the financial Crash.

For those like me, without a fixed base in London, the NLC is a haven and a home from home, with huge opportunities to foster an expanded country membership among the burgeoning remote working community.

A local councillor and campaigner, I’m active in my local community in West Wales, living on the family smallholding in Carmarthenshire with my wife, Genevieve, where I practice the fine Gladstonian tradition of tree-felling and tree planting both to keep fit and keep our home carbon neutral. (Havard joined the NLC in 2013 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023.)

Tim Layton
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I have run my own catering business, and provided food and hospitality for the BBC, well-known universities and top football clubs. I already serve on our Board of Directors, seeking to help ensure the cuisine at the NLC, a crucial area of Club life, is among the best in Clubland.

I’d like to see more openness and transparency in the way our Club functions, and I hope we can foster stronger links between the Members’ Council and the Board… working more closely together to keep the club afloat and restore the NLC to
profitability.

I love music and am a former chorister at Salisbury Cathedral and the BBC Symphony Chorus. I’m an active member of our musical partners, the Kettner Society, which stages memorable concerts at our Club. I’ve organised some of these
and would love us to offer a wider range of musical events – from classical to jazz and beyond. Suggestions, please! (Tim joined the Club in 2017 and the Members’s Council in June 2022)

Harley Ludlow (they/them)
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Moving from my home in Belfast to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Goldsmiths College in London was no easy feat but, since joining the NLC four years ago, I’ve become enthralled with the diversity, character and welcoming atmosphere of the Club – and can say from the heart that I have found a real home here.

As a supporter and campaigner for the Liberal Democrats I was drawn to the NLC by its history. The Club has a longstanding record of being at the forefront of diversity and I am a regular at the LGBTQ+ Forum’s monthly socials held every month.

As probably the youngest person on the Members’ Council, I want to represent and strengthen the voice of the 20% of younger Club members and I look forward to providing a fresh set of ideas to foster a better deal for us!

In my professional life, I work in sales as a partner with Utility Warehouse, a company that helps people save money on their everyday utilities. (Harley joined the Club in 2019 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2022)

Nahuel Marisi
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I am a freelance software engineer working mainly on mobile apps and web development. I grew up in Argentina before moving to the UK to study History at the University of York and later Computer Science at UCL. I’ve previously lived in London for 10 years and travel there frequently to visit family, friends and, of course, the Club.

I sit on the Membership and the Marketing and Communications Committees and am joint Vice Chair of the latter. I’ve also been a regular contributor to the Reciprocal Clubs Working Group, signing up suitable clubs mainly in Latin America and Spain.

I hope to work on achieving more personalised feedback from members and strongly believe that leads to better decisions. Members’ thoughts and experiences are crucial in understanding what works and what can be improved.

I currently live in picturesque Stockholm with my partner Emma and two sons. (Nahuel joined the Club in 2017 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2022)

Sheila McGuirk
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After a degree from the LSE and a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard, I lived in Iran and Egypt working on an English language newspaper and teaching English. The years from 1974 to 1983 were spent in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where I went with my husband, Russell, who is also a Club member. Back in London I worked at Citibank till early retirement more than 20 years ago.

Many months of the year were then spent at an old farmhouse shared with family members in the Drome region of southern France, now sold… which leaves more time for London pursuits including concert and theatre outings. I also became involved in campaigning locally for the Liberal Democrats, serving until recently on the Kensington and Chelsea local party’s Executive Committee.

We have two sons and three beautiful grand-daughters, and Russell and I still walk regularly on pilgrim paths across Europe, well-known as Caminos. (Sheila joined the Club in 2017 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023.)

Nadia Montasser
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Originally from Egypt, I have lived in London for more than a decade and consider it home. With degrees in Charity Management and Economics, I have nearly two decades of experience in project management, social media & website management, and events coordination.

I sit on the Board of NLC Ltd and the Club’s Marketing and Communications Committee. The Oscar Wilde Society meets at the Club and, as a committee member, I launched their website and social media channels.

My priority on the Members’ Council will be to work on achieving better communication, leadership, and team working after the manifest divisions and suspicions of recent months. We need to reach out and embrace the views and concerns of all Club members.

I was one of the early animal rights activists in Egypt, managing successful regional campaigns and protests with local and international animal rights organisations, often against entrenched opposition. (Nadia joined the Club in 2018 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2022)

Inderjeet Singh Nijhar
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I chair the Club’s Political & Economic Circle and am a member of several others.
I have been involved in many community and business start-ups since the 1980s, and have had a diverse professional career as one of the youngest CEOs to lead a housing association, and as Executive Director of the homeless charity, Centrepoint.

Elected a councillor in 1994, I worked as a civil servant in the PM’s Strategy Unit on formulating national policy under Tony Blair and the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition. I have also held posts at both Capita and PwC. I chaired the national commemoration, based at the House of Lords, of those from the British ‘Empire’ who fought in both World Wars.

I am a passionate foodie, and a big fan of the Italian home-sourced olive oil now available in our Clubhouse! (Inderjeet joined the Club in 2017 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2020).

Theo Butt Philip
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As well as serving on the Members Council, I am Chair of the Orpington Circle, which commemorates that famous by-election victory, organises the annual Orpington Dinner and raises funds for Liberal Democrat by-election campaigns.

To raise money for NLC members standing as LibDem candidates in the 2019 General Election, I revived and chaired the Club’s election appeal. I stood for Parliament in Bridgwater and West Somerset in 2010 and 2015, and was a member of Wells City Council for eight years (including a year as Mayor). I currently work for South Gloucestershire Council as Political Assistant to the Liberal Democrat opposition group.

I live in Wells with my wife, Belinda (also a Club member), and our two young children. (Theo joined the Club in 2001 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in in 2017)

Gillian Travers
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As  a graduate in English and History from Trinity College, Dublin, I smiled to hear that T.S.Eliot called the National Liberal Club’s Thames-side Terrace the best terrace in London. Eliot was, of course, correct! I grew up in Dublin, moving to London in the mid-1980s and have worked in the UK criminal justice system as a solicitor ever since.

I have watched the Circles and Forums covering so many different interests in the Club expand in breadth and in numbers and and support the Irish Circle in particular. I am bowled over by the Club’s huge increase in membership achieved in recent years. Although not a Political member, I nevertheless support the liberal values of the Club and very much welcome its diversity.

I was previously a member of the General Committee but have been less active in the last few years due to other pressing commitments. I look forward to a productive year, supporting Karin Rehacek in all her endeavours in her role as Club Chair. (Gillian joined the Club in 2009 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2023.)

Charles Welchman
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I am a retired circuit judge and a life-long Liberal – resigning my LibDem membership while a serving judge. A Club member in the 1970s, I re-joined post-retirement, and was delighted to find it revitalised. I chaired the working group which successfully recommended reforms to modernise the Club’s dress code in 2019, and sit on the Membership Committee.

A Devonian by birth, I have lived in London since reading law at University College, where I was President of the Debating Society and Best Individual Speaker, Observer Mace 1965. Married Rosemary in 1972 – we have a son and daughter. At the Bar, I specialised latterly in clinical negligence and personal injuries.

Contested Esher in Oct. 1974 and 1979, Putney in 1983. Outside politics and the law, interests include theatre, opera, biography and jazz as well as good food, wine and company. (Charles re-joined the Club in 2015 and was elected to what is now the Members Council in 2016)

Yisha Xue
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I worked in the City for 15 years, first as a commodities broker and later in commodity financing. I then started my own consultancy company, dealing in metals and later in property. I’m a Liveryman of the Glaziers Company, and received the Freedom of the City in 2019.

A former trustee of the Islington Chinese Association, I am involved with the Cambridge Music Festival as a patron. I produce the successful concert evenings held at the Club by the Kettner Society, a charity which also hosts monthly lunchtime talks there, and it is my great honour to serve on the Members Council. I look forward to working together with all our members to make the NLC the best club in London. (Yisha joined the Club in 2018 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in 2019).

Alex Youel
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A business consultant specialising in everything ‘membership’ I’m now mostly retired but still interested in aspects of tourism and heritage (nearly 30 years’ senior experience with the National Trust), the environment (six years at the Peak District
National Park), natural history and bird watching, in particular.

At the NLC, I previously served on the General Committee, chaired the Marketing & Communications Committee, and sat on the Membership and Beer, Wine and Spirits
Committees. After a year away from all that, I’m excited to once again be part of the active life of our Club and keen to help it thrive.

Outside Clubland I’m a baritone with Wimbledon Choral, piano accompanist to the Lantern Arts Choir (based in Raynes Park) and a singer/pianist with the Big Heart Band, singing lustily in care homes in Wimbledon and throughout SW London, whether the residents like it or not.… (they usually do, though). I also chair Pentire, the unofficial association for retired former staff of the National Trust. (Alex joined the Club in 2004, was elected to the General Commmittee from 2019-22
and to its successor, the Members’ Council, in 2023.)