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Barbara Lilian Janke, Baroness Janke (born 5 June 1947) is a British former teacher and politician. She was the Liberal Democrat leader of Bristol City Council from 2005 to 2007 and from 2009 to 2012. She was first elected councillor for Clifton ward in 1995. She became leader of the Liberal Democrat group in 1997, with a break from 2007 to 2008. In August 2014 Cllr Janke was named as one of six new Liberal Democrat working peers.[1]

The Baroness Janke
Official portrait of Baroness Janke crop 2.jpg
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
24 September 2014
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1947-06-05) 5 June 1947 (age 72)
Political partyLiberal Democrats

Early lifeEdit

Janke was born in Liverpool on 5 June 1947.[2]


Janke formerly taught economics and modern languages in London.[3]

Political careerEdit

She first became active in politics while in Scotland, before becoming a councillor and then deputy Leader in Kingston upon Thames Council in the early '90s.[3]

Janke stood unsuccessfully as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Surbiton Constituency at the 1992 General Election, losing to the Conservative Party candidate Richard Tracey.[2]

In 1995, she was elected councillor for Clifton ward in Bristol City Council. She succeeded Stephen Williams as leader of the Liberal Democrat group in 1997. In 2007, she was replaced by Steve Comer. However, she replaced him as leader in 2008.

Janke became the first non-Labour leader of Bristol City Council for many decades after the 2003 elections when she led an all-party administration after the Council went into no overall control. This arrangement collapsed in late 2004 when the Labour group withdrew and took minority control as the largest party. At the 2005 elections the Liberal Democrat party became the largest party and took minority control of the Council under Janke as Leader until 2007, when a combined vote of Labour and Conservatives voted them out. In February 2009, she returned to the position of leader of Bristol City Council, following the resignation of the Labour cabinet.[4] She stood down as leader in May 2012 as she approached her 65th birthday, but remained a member of the council.[5]

On 24 September 2014 Janke was created a Life Peer taking the title Baroness Janke, of Clifton in the City and County of Bristol.[6]


  1. ^ "Bristol councillor, Barbara Janke to become a peer". 8 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Wood, Alan H.; Wood, Roger, eds. (1992). Guide to the House of Commons April 1992. Times Newspapers Ltd. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-7230-0497-4.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b "Barbara Janke". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Labour group resigns over budget". BBC News. 24 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Bristol City Council leader Barbara Janke to stand down". BBC News. 26 April 2012.
  6. ^ "No. 61002". The London Gazette. 30 September 2014. p. 18966.

External linksEdit