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John David Pugh (born 28 June 1948 in Liverpool) is a Liberal Democrat politician in the United Kingdom. He was the Member of Parliament for Southport from 2001-2017.[2] He stood down at the 2017 snap election.[3] In November 2017, he was elected to Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council as a councillor for Duke's Ward.[4]

John Pugh
John Pugh at Sheffield 2011 (cropped).jpg
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesman
In office
29 July 2015 – 8 May 2017
LeaderTim Farron
Preceded byDavid Laws
Succeeded bySarah Olney
Member of Parliament
for Southport
In office
7 June 2001 – 3 May 2017
Preceded byRonnie Fearn
Succeeded byDamien Moore
Member of Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council for Dukes
Assumed office
2 November 2017
Preceded byPat Ball
Majority890 (29.7%)
Personal details
Born (1948-06-28) 28 June 1948 (age 71)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Spouse(s)Annette Pugh
Children3 daughters, 1 son
Alma materDurham University
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and careerEdit

Pugh was educated at Prescot Grammar School and Maidstone Grammar School. He graduated from Durham University,[5] attending St Cuthbert's Society, where he studied Philosophy.[6]

Formerly a religious studies teacher and Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby,[7] Pugh has lived in Southport since 1974. He also taught at Salesian College (later Savio High School) in Bootle.

Pugh joined the Liberal Party in 1977. Pugh served on Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, representing Birkdale, from 1987 until his election to Parliament. At the time of his election, Pugh was leader of the council (from 1992), and of the Sefton Liberal Democrats.[8]

Parliamentary careerEdit

First elected to the House of Commons in the 2001 general election, in his first parliamentary term, Pugh served on the Transport, Local Government and Regions Select Committee and was Liberal Democrat education spokesperson with responsibility for schools. Following his re-election to Parliament in 2005, he served as shadow spokesperson for Transport and Health, and, subsequent to the election of Nick Clegg as party leader worked with Vince Cable as Shadow Treasury spokesperson. In the 2007 leadership election, John Pugh supported Nick Clegg in preference to Chris Huhne.[9]

With the formation of the coalition government in 2010 he was appointed as Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee for Health and Social Care, a position he relinquished at the end of 2013 to focus on producing a report examining the social and economic issues facing the North.

In his party's 2015 leadership election, John Pugh supported Tim Farron in preference to Norman Lamb.[10]

In December 2015, Pugh voted to extend the bombing of ISIL targets in Iraq to Syria.[11]

On 19 April 2017, Pugh announced that he would not be standing in the 2017 general election.[3]

Campaign interestsEdit

Amongst Pugh's campaigning interests is public sector IT, specifically around the role Open Source Software might play. Pugh has argued that the public sector could reduce costs by increasing use of Open Source Software[12] and has accused the BBC of effectively giving Microsoft illegal state aid in only making their iPlayer download service available on Windows computers (at the time).[13]

Pugh has interests in mental health policy.[14] In October 2009, Pugh introduced a private members' bill under the 10-minute rule calling for more local control over the NHS.[15]

Locally in Southport, Pugh is interested in saving local pubs, and also in the drinking culture of the UK.[16] Pugh sees cheap alcohol deals in supermarkets as one of the major problems causing pub closures, and fuelling the culture.[17] He also took the fight for Local Post Offices to 10 Downing Street.[18]

In Transport, Pugh has long campaigned for the reinstatement of the Burscough Curves,[19] and is working with local groups such as the Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers' Association (OPSTA) and the Southport Rail Transport Forum (SRTF) to save services from Southport to Manchester Piccadilly[20]

Pugh supports Amnesty International, with whom he is reported to have had close ties with the Formby & Southport Group over a number of years.[21]

In 2013, he became one of the few Liberal Democrat MPs to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to Annette with three daughters and a son.[23][24] He moved to Southport in 1974.

Pugh's interests include philosophy, computers, weight-lifting and supporting Liverpool F.C.

Roles in parliamentEdit

  • 2010– Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee for Health and Social Care
  • 2008–10 Shadow Treasury Spokesperson[25]
  • 2006–07 Shadow Health spokesperson
  • 2005–06 Shadow Transport spokesperson,
  • 2002–05 Shadow Ministerial Spokesman, Education


  1. ^ "Catholic MPs urge Pope Francis to allow ordination of married men -". 27 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Liverpool Echo: Latest Liverpool and Merseyside news, sports and what's on". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Bona, Emilia (19 April 2017). "John Pugh to stand down as MP - but will he back a snap election?". Southport Visiter. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  4. ^ Lopez, Jamie (3 November 2017). "Former-MP John Pugh earns big win at Sefton Council by-election". southportvisiter. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  5. ^ "John Pugh". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Polling Guide – Southport". UK Election Report. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  7. ^ "› Merchant Taylors News › OBA Crosby Dinner". Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Opinion: John Pugh MP writes". Lib Dem Voice. 7 October 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  10. ^ "Opinion: 5 more senior Lib Dems back Farron for leader". Tim Farron. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  11. ^ "UK Airstrikes Against ISIL in Syria — 2 Dec 2015 at 22:00 — The Public Whip".
  12. ^ "Debate on Government IT and Software Procurement". Hansard. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  13. ^ "MP accuses BBC chief of illegally championing Microsoft". The Register. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  14. ^ "John Pugh". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  15. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 21 Oct 2009 (pt 0004)". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Southport.TV Video/Film Archive". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Welcome to Champ News ::: Serving Sefton & West Lancashire". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  18. ^ [1] Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Network Rail - resource not found" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  20. ^ "Welcome -".
  21. ^ [2] Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Labour and Lib Dem MPs who voted against gay marriage: full list". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  23. ^ [3] Archived 9 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ [4][dead link]
  25. ^ "MP/Lord not found". Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.

External linksEdit