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.
Dodds in 2018
|Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats|
|Assumed office |
3 November 2017
|Preceded by||Mark Williams|
|Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Wales|
21 August 2019 – 6 November 2019
Serving with Kirsty Williams
|Preceded by||The Baroness Humphreys of Llanrwst|
|Succeeded by||Wendy Chamberlain|
|Member of Parliament|
for Brecon and Radnorshire
1 August 2019 – 6 November 2019
|Preceded by||Chris Davies|
|Succeeded by||Fay Jones|
|Born||13 September 1963|
Wrexham, Wales, UK
|Political party||Liberal Democrats|
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
In March 2019, Dodds was selected as the party's Westminster candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire. 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.
Dodds won the by-election on 1 August 2019. 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. 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.
|Liberal Democrats||Jane Dodds||14,827||35.9|
|Monster Raving Loony||Lady Lily the Pink||345||0.8||New|
|Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats||Swing|
|Liberal Democrats||Jane Dodds||13,826||43.46|
|Brexit Party||Des Parkinson||3,331||10.47||New|
|Monster Raving Loony||Lady Lily the Pink||334||1.05||New|
|Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative||Swing|
- "Richmond Council Election Results" (PDF). LB Richmond. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- "This Is Local London". 25 May 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Police Investigate Fake Election Leaflets". HuffPost UK. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- Welsh Liberal Democrats (9 March 2019). "Jane Dodds selected to fight Brecon and Radnorshire". Welsh Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
- "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.
- "By-election loss for Tories cuts Commons majority". BBC News. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "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.
- "Women's political records in the United Kingdom". Belfast: Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF). Powys County Council. 14 November 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 November 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
- "Brecon and Radnorshire by-election: Six candidates confirmed". talkradio.co.uk. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- "As it happened: Lib Dems win by-election". BBC News. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.