The Liberal Democrats, often shortened to Lib Dems, is a centrist political party in the United Kingdom that promotes liberal policies. It was started on 2 March 1988 by joining the Liberal Party, which had been a powerful political party in Britain in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the Social Democratic Party, which had been formed from the Labour Party in 1981. The two parties had already been working together for seven years.
The Liberal Democrats are strong supporters of the European Union, as well as environmentalism and they are in favour of creating a new British House of Commons which is elected using proportional representation.
Most Liberal Democrats believe in the following things:
- The House of Commons should be elected using proportional representation.
- There should be elections held for the House of Lords.
- There should be more forms of renewable energy as well as cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.
- The United Kingdom should stay in the European Union.
Former party leaders
- Paddy Ashdown (July 1988 – August 1999)
- Charles Kennedy (August 1999 – January 2006)
- Menzies Campbell (January 2006 – October 2007)
- Vince Cable (October 2007 – December 2007) *
- Nick Clegg (December 2007 – May 2015)
- Tim Farron (July 2015 – June 2017)
- Vince Cable (July 2017 – July 2019)
- Jo Swinson (July 2019 – December 2019)
Asterisk (*) means that this person was an interim leader, meaning he was just standing in as leader because the previous leader resigned.
Liberal Democrats Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.