Meet The Team
Brian Paddick was born in Clapham in 1958 and was brought-up in Mitcham, Tooting, and Sutton in South London. He served for over 30 years in the London Metropolitan Police starting as a Constable on the beat in Holloway and serving in Lambeth, Fulham, Lewisham, Croydon, Notting Hill, Merton, and at New Scotland Yard. He rose to the rank of Deputy Assistant Commissioner with day-to-day responsibility for 20,000 police officers, still the highest-ranking officer in any UK police force to be openly gay.
Brian first came to national prominence for his effective, liberal approach to drugs law enforcement and his close working relationship with the African Caribbean community. Subsequently, he also developed close links with the Muslim community in London as a result of being the police spokesperson following the 7 July 2020 London bombings. Brian left the police over the shooting of the innocent Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell by armed officers, giving evidence at the inquest on behalf of the family of the deceased.
Soon after leaving the police in 2008, Brian was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London in 2008, securing almost a quarterof a million first preference votes, and the highest percentage of second preference votes ever recorded in the London Mayoral contest.
Since standing for Mayor of London in 2008, Brian has been setting the agenda for policing in London. Most recently, he became one of the first public figures to take on the Murdoch media empire and to challengecorruption in the Metropolitan police, and has supported the Dowler family following the revelations about News International.
As a life long Londoner, Brian understands the needs of residents across the city, and as a daily user of the tube, Brian is passionate about making fares fairer so that all Londoners can afford to use public transport.
Caroline is Leader of the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly and is Brian Paddick’s Deputy Mayor candidate in the May 2012 London elections. Caroline was elected to the London Assembly in May 2008 and has a strong track record of campaigning on issues such as strong policing and improved public transport. Caroline Chair’s the London Assembly's Transport Committee and is Deputy Chair of the Police and Crime Committee.
Caroline has been a Trustee of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in Waterloo since 2005. Previously Caroline was a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, London Fire and Emergenc y Planning Authority and a Southwark Councillor for 12 years.
Caroline moved to London after graduating from the University of Wales Aberystwyth in 1994. She worked in local government and the health service for over a decade before becoming a full time politician. Caroline lives in Camberwell with her husband Paul.
Shas Sheehan[Show Profile]
On leaving university, Shas taught ‘O’ and ‘A’ level Chemistry, and spent a year working as an auxiliary nurse at New Cross hospital, before embarking on a career as a planner/buyer in the advertising profession.
Shas was elected councillor for Kew ward in 2006, where she served four years as Assistant Cabinet Member for Energy and Climate Change, as well as on Planning Committee and several Overview and Scrutiny Committees. Shas stood in the 2008 GLA elections for Merton and Wandsworth seat, and as a List candidate and is currently number four on the list for the 2012 elections.
Shas loves to spend any spare time at home with her husband and family, reading, cooking, gardening and walking.
Stephen Knight[Show Profile]
Stephen Knight has been an elected councillor for nearly 14 years, and is currently Leader of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Council. He was Deputy Leader of the Council between 2006 and 2010. Stephen is the national spokesperson for Liberal Democrats in local government on workforce issues, as the party’s lead member of the Local Government Association’s Workforce Board. He has also spent three years as the party’s representative on the Board of Standards for England, the body responsible for promoting high standards of ethical behaviour by councillors.
Stephen studied Physics at Southampton University, where he became elected President of the Students’ Union in 1992. After working in both the voluntary and private sectors, he worked for London Councils (formerly Association of London Government) as a political adviser to senior London councillors. He has been chair of governors of an ‘Outstanding’ local primary school for more than a decade.
Bridget Fox[Show Profile]
Bridget attended local state schools and won a scholarship to read History & French at Balliol College, Oxford, where she joined the Liberal Party in 1984. Bridget was an Islington Councillor 1998-2006, serving as Deputy Leader, Chair of Partnerships, and the Executive Member for Sustainability. She was PPC for Hampstead & Highgate in 1997 and East Ham in 2001. She has twice fought the Islington South & Finsbury parliamentary seat in 2005 and 2010, winning a record high vote each time.
Bridget is a Friend of the Refugee Council and supports Shelter, Amnesty International, Liberty, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. She sings at St Mary’s Upper Street church, and is a trustee of the St Mary Islington Community Partnership.
Bridget lives with her fiancé Richard, who works in the City. In their spare time, Bridget and Richard enjoy music, travel, and exploring historic London, as well as spending time with their cats Louis & Eddie.
Merlene Emerson[Show Profile]
A former corporate and banking solicitor, Merlene came to London from Singapore as a student. She graduated from Kings College, London and has a Master of Laws degree from Clare Hall, Cambridge. Since 2007 Merlene has been on the board of Richmond Housing Partnership, a registered social landlord, and was one of the founding Trustees of the Chinese Welfare Trust, set up to assist Chinese elderly living in London with their housing needs.
Merlene’s work within the community has inspired her to enter politics and rise to meet the challenge of the democratic deficit amongst ethnic minorities. In 2008 Merlene stood as the Liberal Democrat Candidate for the London Assembly (West Central constituency), was Parliamentary Candidate for Hammersmith in 2010 and will be standing in the May 2012, 5th on the London wide list.
Emily Davey[Show Profile]
Emily grew up in Kew in South West London and lives in Surbiton.
Emily is a housing solicitor with 16 years experience in the housing sector. She established her own practice in 2005 and now trains for Shelter, The Chartered Institute of Housing and Central Law Training.
Emily is an experienced campaigner. She joined the Liberal Democrats in 1989 and has campaigned ever since. She stood in the 1997 General Election in Regents Park and Kensington North. The constituency consisted of the North of Westminster and north of Kensington areas where many of her clients lived. She campaigned for better housing, schools, health services and safer buses. In 2005 Emily married Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton. They have one son John Davey born in 2007.
Steve Bradley[Show Profile]
Steve is from Northern Ireland, and has lived in London for 12 years. In 2008 he was elected a Lib Dem councillor in Vassall ward in Lambeth. The area had previously been a Labour stronghold, but residents gave Steve the chance to represent them because their three Labour councillors had neglected the area for so long. Steve was re-elected there again in 2010 thanks to his hard work for the local community.
One of Steve's key passions in politics is the environment, and he tries to live by the motto of 'be the change you want to see'. He is a cyclist and a long-standing electric vehicle owner, which he powers directly from solar panels he installed on the roof of his home. He has helped secure funding and support to ensure that every estate, school and sheltered housing scheme in his ward now grows their own food. He also secured a large derelict garage block for an innovative 'Remakery' social enterprise to be set up in his ward, to take items out of the waste stream to be re-used or fixed. Steve is also a director of both Transition Town Brixton and the high profile 'Brixton Pound' project. He is also Chair of the national 'Green Liberal Democrats' organisation that is the environmental wing of the party.
If elected to the London Assembly Steve will work to ensure that London becomes not just zero carbon by 2030, but also the world's greenest capital city.
Marisha Ray[Show Profile]
Marisha Ray's family moved to London in the late 1920's from India (now parts of India and Bangladesh.) 80 years ago the family moved to the area where she lives. She was a local councillor serving her community for 8 years. As a member of the council's cabinet, responsible for community safety she worked with residents, over forty local organisations, regional and central government to pioneer a gang prevention strategy- a strategy which works.
Marisha studied physics at the University of Cambridge and worked in scientific research before studying for an MBA in Paris. She then worked in IT for Marks and Spencer working with their garment suppliers and their suppliers across the globe. During the past decade she has been a member of the boards, management committees or governing bodies of City University, Sadlers Wells Theatre, the hospital UCLH, a local primary and secondary school and Islington Victim Support amongst others. She is currently a specialist advisor to an NHS Trust Board. Marisha lives with her husband and young son.
Nick Russell[Show Profile]
Nick has spent most of his career as an Organisation Development consultant having studied Psychology at Durham and Business at London Business School.
Nick has been involved with Liberal Democrat and SDP politics since he was 14 in a variety of roles. From a by-election in 2008 until the General Election he served as a councillor for Kentish Town in Camden. He is currently a governor of Haverstock School in Chalk Farm and Treasurer of Camden Borough Party.
For Nick, the key issues in the campaign are Crime, Transport and Planning. "Firstly, residents do not see how removing their Safer Neighbourhood Team sergeants will improve police understanding of their communities, and they know there are back office savings available that would not impact service on the front line", says Nick. "Second, they continue to find public transport more unreliable and far more expensive than in other similar global cities. And third, time and again London communities are frustrated by planning policies that allow over-intensive proposals from greedy speculators, destroying the balance of stable neighbourhoods."
Ajmal Masroor[Show Profile]
Ajmal is the director of Communities in Action which specialises in community development and cohesion work as well as capacity building programmes. It provides advice and guidance to voluntary sector organisations, government agencies and local authorities on wide range of issues especially faith based initiatives. He has been a youth worker for over five years and subsequently took up position as community development advisor and project manager at local authority and voluntary sector. He has also worked as a specialist consultant on cross cultural relationship, governance, democracy and Islam and the Muslim community with the British Council and several government departments.
He has been a specialist consultant on programmes about Islam and Muslims for the Channel 4, BBC, ITV and CNN. He is often called upon by the media to give commentary and response to current affairs and social issues related to the Muslim community. He also has his own weekly TV programmes on the Islam Channel and Channel S covering socio-political issues.
He has been leading Friday prayers in various London Mosques for the last twenty years.
Chris Richards[Show Profile]
Chris is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Barnet and Camden and a candidate on the Lib Dem London-wide List. Chris moved to Camden after graduating and has lived there ever since; he grew up in Bromley in South East London and spent his early childhood in Jamaica. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Manchester and has recently completed an MSc at Birkbeck College.
Chris is active in the local community and is a governor at Hawley Infants School in Camden Town, an outstanding school which represents the diversity of Camden and all it has to offer. Chris has campaigned locally on social housing and transport issues and was a council candidate in May 2010 in Camden Town with Primrose Hill ward. In his professional career, Chris works to develop engineering based policy solutions on challenges such as decarbonising transport, developing UK manufacturing and integrating public transport.
Sam Webber[Show Profile]
Sam Webber was born in Bromley in 1984. He has been an active Liberal Democrat since the 2001 General Election when he campaigned for Simon Hughes MP. He was a parliamentary and Constituency intern for Simon Hughes from 2002 - 2003 and formally joined the party in 2004.
Sam graduated with a degree in Politics from the University of East Anglia in 2006 and has since worked for a travel company, a transport pressure group and in publishing. He is currently a Business Development Consultant for Dods in Westminster.
He has twice stood for election to Bromley Council in 2006 and 2010. At the 2010 General Election he was the Lib Dem candidate in Bromley and Chislehurst polling 9,669 votes and 22% of the vote. He is also Chair of Governors at Gray Farm Primary School in Orpington. He lives in Bromley with his girlfriend Vicki Wye.
Charlotte Henry[Show Profile]
Charlotte is 24 years old, and was born and brought up in North-West London. Having always been interested in politics and current affairs, Charlotte joined the Liberal Democrats after university, deciding that they were the party that best represented her liberal outlook. Charlotte then started her own new media company 2 years ago, working with a variety of clients from the commercial, political, and third sectors, to help promote them online.
Charlotte served on the Liberal Youth executive for a year and half. This period of time included the General Election, formation of the coalition government, and the issues around tuition fees, and in it she helped professionalise the organisation, and develop its communications.
Richard Macmillan[Show Profile]
Richard is the candidate for the London Assembly seat of City and East. Richard was born in Worthing in 1982, but grew up primarily in Cumbria and Yorkshire. He studied History at Warwick University between 2000 and 2003, before moving to Nottingham to study law.
After spending time travelling South America and volunteering in Romania, he moved to London permanently in 2006 to begin his career as a lawyer. Richard has lived in Tower Hamlets since moving to London and stood in the Tower Hamlets local elections in 2010. He has volunteered at a local law centre at Aldgate East. Richard works at Russell Jones and Walker solicitors as an employment lawyer and is passionate about fighting for civil liberties and against discrimination in the work place. Outside of politics, Richard enjoys running (he has completed a marathon and several half marathons) and the arts.
Abigail Lock[Show Profile]
Abigail Lock was born and brought up in Sutton, South London. Her parents were both in the Police. Abigail grew up as a child carer for her father who had Multiple Sclerosis. After leaving school in 1998, Abigail went to work for Paul Burstow, MP and she has been an active member of the party ever since.
Abigail has been campaigning from a young age on issues such as opposing NHS cuts and post office closure, raising the basic rate of state pensions and encouraging recycling.
Elected as a the youngest member of her borough council between 2006 - 2010 Abigail has played an active role in community development and is proud of the close relationships that she has built with local community groups and schools in the area.
Michael Cox[Show Profile]
Mike is originally from Bolton in Lancashire and graduated from Brunel University in 1981. He is a Chartered Accountant and lives in Uxbridge with his partner and 2 children. In 1997 Mike set up his own firm of Chartered Accountants in Rickmansworth where he employs up to 30 staff, 10 of whom are training to be accountants.
Between 2002 and 2010 Mike served as a local Councillor representing Ruislip Manor, he is currently a governor of Uxbridge College where he chairs the audit committee, a vice chair of governors of Whiteheath Junior School in Ruislip and is also a trustee of HSG Swallows, a local charity based in Greenford providing help to children and adults wanting to be Gymnasts. As well as an active interest in local and national politics Mike admits to supporting Bolton Wanderers and playing golf very badly.
Dawn Barnes[Show Profile]
An Enfield-dweller, Dawn works for a national drug and alcohol charity and spends her spare time campaigning in her local community. From empty homes to traffic issues, Dawn is an energetic and effective campaigner who works with people of all ages and political persuasions to deliver common goals. Dawn was a key co-ordinator for the Yes campaign in Enfield and Haringey in 2011, helping to deliver a Yes in Haringey.
John Russell[Show Profile]
John Russell is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the constituency of Lewisham and Greenwich. John was a very well respected councillor in Lewisham between 2006 and 2010 where he was Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee for two years and served for four years on the Borough’s Fostering Panel.
He is the Chair of Widehorizons Outdoor Education Trust which provides outdoor education to children from its seven outdoor education centres around the United Kingdom. The buildings were transferred to the Trust from Lewisham and Greenwich Councils. The Trust is one of the largest providers of outdoor education in the country and its head office is based in Greenwich. John is also a photographer and works for Total Politics magazine. John also has a Master’s degree in International Politics and has worked previously as both a community mediator and an arms control researcher. John is married and looks after his two children. In his spare time John enjoys walking in Scotland.
Farrukh Islam[Show Profile]
Farrukh Islam attained his first Degree in Physics followed by a Masters Degree in Mathematics. He became a Head of Physics in an independent school in Oxford and after 3 years of teaching moved into the accountancy profession.
He has been serving as a governor of a Grammar School in Redbridge for the last 13 years. He had the privilege to serve Redbridge as a Councillor for the benefit of local residents. For the last 35 years as a Chartered Accountant, Farrukh has served as Senior Finance Executive of large multinational businesses and has been a senior auditor of large public and private owned companies. Currently, Farrukh is providing professional accounting, management & taxation services to business throughout the UK. His experience of scrutinising local Council services together with his professional experience will enable him to be more effective in scrutinising the Mayor and his plans for London.
Rob Blackie[Show Profile]
Rob has been living and working in London almost his whole life, and has lived in Lambeth for most of the time since 1995, and full time since 2000. Rob became a professional economist on leaving university, holding an ODI Fellowship, following in the footsteps of Vince Cable, advising an African government on environmental economics policy.
Rob returned to the UK in 1999, where he became an economic advisor to the Liberal Democrats, helping to write the 2001 and 2005 General Election manifestos. Rob is currently working to help charities and the Liberal Democrats become more effective at e-campaigning. He runs a popular blog and e-newsletter. He also writes the ‘Inspiring Lib Dems’ blog, which focuses on Lib Dems such as Jennifer Blake. Rob lives in Brixton (or Herne Hill depending on who you ask) with his partner Tam and their daughters Bo & Zaria.
Lisa Smart[Show Profile]
Lisa Smart’s professional career has been in financial services and she is currently Director of Client Relationships for an international asset management firm. She leads a team working with some of the world’s largest pension funds, charities and foundations on their investments.
As the first member of her family to go to university Lisa has a particularly strong belief in the power of education. She is currently a governor of two local schools, chairing the standards committee of one. Her passion for education can also be seen through her role as trustee of a small charity that raises funds for education and health projects in Latin America.
Lisa studied part-time for an MBA from London Business School whilst working full time. She has an undergraduate degree in Maths. Lisa lives in Putney and is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Merton & Wandsworth constituency in the 2012 London elections.
Farooq Qureshi[Show Profile]
Farooq is the local candidate for the North East. He was heavily involved in the issues that emerged from the Younis Khan family’s tragic murder that griped the area in the early 80’s. Combating racism and promoting better Police-Community relations (particularly young people) occupied his attention for several years.
Farooq also has a great interest in Literature, Arts and Cultural activities. He has written several articles, as a Freelance journalist, for local and national newspapers in UK and in Pakistan, presented stage shows, compared cultural and social programmes, hosted weekly community Radio and TV programmes and written articles.
Farooq was elected as a councillor in May 2003 for Forest Ward in London Borough of Waltham Forest, re-elected in 2006 and became the Mayor of Waltham Forest for 2006/7. In March 2007, he was elected as the Lib-Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Leyton and Wanstead Constituency. He was also appointed Chair of the Planning committee for 2007/8, Chair of Licensing committee for 2008/9 and 2009/10 and Chair of Leyton & Wanstead community council for 2009/10.
Munira Wilson[Show Profile]
A former Richmond borough councillor (2006-2010) and parliamentary candidate in 2010 for the constituency of Feltham & Heston, Munira will be contesting the South West London GLA constituency in May 2012. She is also Vice Chair of Twickenham & Richmond Liberal Democrats and governor at a local junior school.
A healthcare policy and communications professional currently working for a multinational company, Munira previously worked in the third sector for a cancer charity and Save the Children. Born and brought up in London, Munira has been living in the Twickenham/Whitton area with her husband Michael for the last six years. She studied Modern Languages at Cambridge University. In her limited spare time, Munira enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, badminton and Bollywood dance classes. She is also an active member of St Stephen’s Church in East Twickenham.
Layla Moran[Show Profile]
Layla is a Secondary school Physics teacher by profession and currently a Head of Year at an international school in London. There, she is also a timetabler, Model United Nations director and school outreach coordinator. She was born in Hammersmith and read Physics at Imperial College, but has an international background with a Palestinian mother and a British father who works in the diplomatic service. As such she has lived in many countries including Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan.
Layla has built her political career on community action. This began by helping to save a community centre at the end of her road, and has continued with campaigns to save small local businesses and to help residents fight insensitive planning applications.
In her personal life, Layla is a musician who sings and plays the cello. She also enjoys jogging and last year ran 8Km dressed as a Gorilla to raise money for the Gorilla foundation.