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Meet Barbara and Lucy - your new MEPs

May 29, 2019 11:49 AM

Proudly introducing our new MEPs for the Eastern Region:


Barbara GibsonA relative newcomer to politics, Barbara is a businesswoman and academic who became a Hertfordshire County Councillor in 2016. She holds a PhD in Intercultural Communication, and has lectured on intercultural communication and global business for universities and business schools in the UK and across Europe.

With more than 25 years' experience as a business communication professional, she has worked with companies worldwide, and is a past international chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She is also past-president of SIETAR UK (the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) and a past International Group Chair of CIPR (the Chartered Institute of Public Relations).

A true internationalist, Barbara believes the UK needs a more outward-looking approach in order to compete in the globalised world. A native of Oklahoma, USA, Barbara has lived in the UK since 2002 and became a UK citizen in 2011. She lives in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, with her husband Andrew and their two dogs.

Barbara said, "Upon settling in my adopted home, I found an affinity for what I perceived to be core values of British culture, including fairness, tolerance, and reason. It was seeing the erosion of these values over the last few years -- overwhelmed by the wave of nationalism, populism, racism, misogyny and homophobia that seemed to be sweeping from America and across Europe -- that motivated me to take a more active role in politics. Then the referendum happened, and we've watched the complete failure of the Government to deliver anything like the fantasies that were promised.

"I believe the UK needs to remain in the EU, we should be leading and influencing and driving the change we wish to see from the inside. As a leading force within a global economic superpower, we can have far more influence in the world, far more economic clout,, and a far brighter future. UK businesses have more opportunities with direct access to 500 million EU customers. Walking away from the EU would be a huge loss of freedoms, protections and opportunities, and it's not something I'm willing to accept. So I'm pleased to be part of the Lib Dem fight to stop it."


Lucy NethsinghaLucy has been Leader of the Lib Dem group on Cambridgeshire County Council for the past four years, and a Councillor for 14 years. She believes Britain should be at the heart of Europe, and is campaigning to persuade people that we already have the best deal with the EU.

Having grown up in Cornwall, where Brittany often felt closer than Westminster, Lucy is a passionate European. This also gave her an early understanding of the importance of caring for the environment. Lucy has been campaigning on climate change issues for many years, starting with 'Surfers against Sewage' campaigns in the 1990s.

She is deeply concerned about the urgent need to tackle climate change. This is an issue where working internationally with partners can have a huge impact - something that is already happening within the EU. She is campaigning for tougher targets on carbon reduction.

Stopping Brexit is the only way in which these big issues can be effectively tackled at the international level. Lucy has family based in Croatia, Athens and Cyprus, and fully understands the importance of the ability to live, work and marry across borders.

Lucy's professional background is in teaching. She has a Master's Degree in Education and Psychology, focusing on early identification of special educational needs. Lucy has taught in a variety of different schools in Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Cambridge, mainly in the 5-13 age range.

Lucy is Deputy Chair on the Children and Young People's Board at the Local Government Association. Lucy also chairs the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Scrutiny Committee, where she has played a key role in scrutinising the work of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. She worked closely with Layla Moran MP to write the Liberal Democrat's Education Policy, and is keen that we should learn from education systems in Europe.

Lucy is married with three teenage children. Spending time with young people boosts her own passion for a liberal society and helps inform Lucy's political work on a daily basis. In any spare time Lucy enjoys reading and gardening, and sailing and riding on the rare occasions when she gets the opportunity.

You can contact Barbara and Lucy here.