Richard Holme, Baron Holme of Cheltenham

Richard Gordon Holme, Baron Holme of Cheltenham CBE, PC (27 May 1936 4 May 2008) was a British Liberal Democrat politician.

Educated at University of Oxford (BA Jurisprudence; St John's College) and Harvard Business School, Holme joined the Liberal Party in 1959, and was elected as the party's President in 1980 and 1981. He stood unsuccessfully as the Liberal candidate in East Grinstead, West Sussex, in 1964, and in a 1965 by-election. He then stood in Braintree, Essex, in October 1974. He later sought election at the more promising Cheltenham at the 1983 general election and at the 1987 general election. He was awarded a CBE in the 1983 New Year's Honours.[1]

After the Liberal Party's merger with SDP in 1988, he joined the newly formed Liberal Democrats. He later said that he believed that had the merger happened before the 1987 general election, then the party could have attracted more votes and seats at that election and displaced Labour in the opposition. However, the merger did not happen sooner because of objections from SDP leader David Owen, who resigned later in 1987.[2]

Holme was a close advisor to David Steel when he was leader of the Liberal Party, and to his successor, the first Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown. He was made a life peer on 29 May 1990, as Baron Holme of Cheltenham, of Cheltenham in the County of Gloucestershire.[3] In 2000, he was appointed as a Privy Counsellor. His 1999 appointment as chairman of the Broadcasting Standards Commission was cut short when he was forced to resign after News of the World allegations of multiple adultery and 'bizarre sex games'.[4][5]

He was a fellow of the British-American Project and chair of the Hansard Society from 2001 to 2007.[6] Holme also served as a Member of the Board of Advisors for the Global Panel Foundation, a respected NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world.[7]

Holme died from cancer on 4 May 2008.[8][9]


  1. "No. 49212". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1982. p. 8.
  2. "No. 52157". The London Gazette. 4 June 1990. p. 10067.
  3. "By day he decides what YOU watch on TV. By night he indulges his fantasies - NOW investigation" by Neville Thurlbeck & Ray Levine. 'News of the World' article dated October 22, 2000.
  4. The Guardian - Comment: Michael White on Lord Holme's adultery
  5. The Guardian - Obituary: Lord Holme of Cheltenham
  6. The Times - Lord Holme of Cheltenham
  7. "Veteran Lib Dem Lord Holme dies". BBC News. 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2008-05-05.

Lord Holme stood as a Liberal Party Candidate in 1974 not 1964 etc.

Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Steed
President of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Viv Bingham
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