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 You are in: Special Report: 1999: 06/99: Lib Dem leadership  
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EDITIONS
Lib Dem leadership Tuesday, 22 June, 1999, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
CV: Simon Hughes
Born: 17 May 1951

Education: Christ College, Brecon; Selwyn College, Cambridge; College of Europe, Bruges

Personal: Single

Non-political career: Barrister

Politial career: Simon Hughes joined the Liberal Party in 1971 and was a founded member of the Liberal Democrats in 1988.

He was first elected to Parliament for the constituency which was then called Bermondsey in the February 1983 by-election.

He was re-elected for Southwark and Bermondsey in the general election the following year and now represents North Southwark and Bermondsey.

Since his election, Mr Hughes has been at different times his party's spokesman on housing, local government, education and training, youth affairs, environment and natural resources, food and Church of England affairs.

He now leads the team of Lib Dem MPs looking after health and social welfare issues.

Mr Hughes was one of just two MPs to oppose the Paddy Ashdown's deal with Labour last November and is reported to have led criticism of Mr Ashdown's secret dealings with the government at private party meetings at Westminster.

He has also been touted as a possible candidate for the position of mayor of London.

How others see him: He was voted the Spectator's "member to watch" in 1985. He has the image of a hard working Mr Clean but is an appalling timekeeper. Mr Hughes was once described as "a man with Peter Pans ability to levitate without warning and about as much attachment to the real world" but other observations praise him as "relentlessly useful" and "good hearted".

Interests: Liked Iron Maiden in the 1970s, anti-nuclear, Christian. He was briefly a member of the General Synod.

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