Jane Dodds

Jane Dodds (born 13 September 1963) is a Welsh politician serving as Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats since 2017. She was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Brecon and Radnorshire at the seat's 2019 by-election, a position she held until she was defeated in the general election later the same year.

Jane Dodds
Dodds in 2018
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Assumed office
3 November 2017
Preceded byMark Williams
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Wales
In office
21 August 2019  6 November 2019
Serving with Kirsty Williams
LeaderJo Swinson
Preceded byThe Baroness Humphreys of Llanrwst
Succeeded byWendy Chamberlain
Member of Parliament
for Brecon and Radnorshire
In office
1 August 2019  6 November 2019
Preceded byChris Davies
Succeeded byFay Jones
Personal details
Born (1963-09-13) 13 September 1963 (age 56)
Wrexham, Wales, UK
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Spouse(s)Patrick Dodds
EducationCardiff University
WebsiteOfficial website

Early and personal life

Dodds was born and raised in Wrexham, North Wales. She attended Ysgol Morgan Llwyd and is a fluent Welsh speaker. She studied at Cardiff University before going on to train to become a social worker, and worked for the Salvation Army in Child Protective Services for 27 years before being elected. During this time she also worked in a number of local authorities, for Cafcass, as well as having led the Children's Section of the Refugee Council.

She currently lives in Hay-on-Wye with her husband Patrick.

Political career

Dodds moved to London in early 2000 and was a member of the Labour Party until 2003. She left the party following Labour's decision to take part in the Invasion of Iraq in early 2003, with Dodds being a strong opponent of military intervention. In 2005 she joined the Liberal Democrats following a meeting with Susan Kramer, then the Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, and quickly became active in the local Richmond party.

Dodds stood for Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council for the Liberal Democrats in the 2006 local elections, being elected as one of three councillors in the North Richmond ward.[1] In 2008 she was appointed as Cabinet Member for Performance in the Lib Dem run administration, where she was responsible for the performance of the authority and ensuring that residents get value for money.[2] She narrowly failed to retain her seat in 2010 by a narrow margin of 19 votes, despite coming top of the three Liberal Democrat candidates.

She also contested a by-election for the same ward in 2012, following the resignation of one of the sitting Conservative Councillors. During the by-election she was the victim of false leaflets produced in her name, which were produced to look like official Liberal Democrat literature.[3] She narrowly missed out on re-election by 146 votes.

In November 2012 Dodds returned to Wales and moved to Welshpool. In early 2013 she stood for, and was selected as, the Parliamentary candidate for Montgomeryshire, which the Liberal Democrats had held from 1983 to 2010 by Alex Carlile and then Lembit Öpik. She contested the seat in both the 2015 and 2017 General Elections, as well as the corresponding Welsh Assembly constituency of Montgomeryshire in 2016. Dodds came second on all three occasions, with the Welsh Conservative retaining both seats.

Dodds was elected as the Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader in November 2017, defeating Aberaeron Councillor Elizabeth Evans by 13% in an all-member ballot.

In March 2019, Dodds was selected as the party's Westminster candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire.[4] As the candidate for the constituency, Dodds attacked then-Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson's comments about immigrant communities where English is allegedly not spoken as a first language, describing Johnson, in Welsh, as out-of-touch with communities in Wales.[5]

Dodds won the by-election on 1 August 2019.[6] She failed to retain her seat at the general election of 12 December 2019 after serving for 97 days, becoming one of the shortest serving members at Westminster.[7] The female MPs with the shortest continuous service have been Labour's Ruth Dalton in 1929, at 92 days, equalled and followed by the Scottish National Party's Margo MacDonald in 1974.[8]


General election 2019: Brecon and Radnorshire[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Fay Jones 21,958 53.1 4.5
Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds 14,827 35.9 6.8
Labour Tomos Davies 3,944 9.5 8.2
Monster Raving Loony Lady Lily the Pink 345 0.8 New
Christian Jeff Green 245 0.6 New
Majority 7,131 17.2
Turnout 41,319 74.5 14.8
Registered electors 55,490
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats Swing 5.6
2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election[10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds 13,826 43.46 14.36
Conservative Christopher Davies 12,401 38.98 9.62
Brexit Party Des Parkinson 3,331 10.47 New
Labour Tom Davies 1,680 5.28 12.42
Monster Raving Loony Lady Lily the Pink 334 1.05 New
UKIP Liz Phillips 242 0.76 0.64
Majority 1,425 4.5
Turnout 31,814 59.72
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing 12.0

See also


  1. "Richmond Council Election Results" (PDF). LB Richmond. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  2. "This Is Local London". 25 May 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  3. "Police Investigate Fake Election Leaflets". HuffPost UK. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  4. Welsh Liberal Democrats (9 March 2019). "Jane Dodds selected to fight Brecon and Radnorshire". Welsh Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. "Boris Johnson Claims Too Many Areas In The UK Where English Is Not The First Language". HuffPost UK. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  6. "By-election loss for Tories cuts Commons majority". BBC News. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  7. "Jane Dodds' time as MP one of the shortest ever - but not quite a Welsh record". itv.com. ITV News. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  8. "Women's political records in the United Kingdom". Belfast: Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  9. "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF). Powys County Council. 14 November 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 November 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  10. "Brecon and Radnorshire by-election: Six candidates confirmed". talkradio.co.uk. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  11. "As it happened: Lib Dems win by-election". BBC News. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.