Sarah Ludford, Baroness Ludford

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The Baroness Ludford
Official portrait of Baroness Ludford crop 2.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for London
In office
10 June 1999 – 22 May 2014
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySeb Dance
Islington Borough Councillor
for Clerkenwell Ward
In office
7 November 1991 – 10 June 1999
Preceded byPaul Matthews
Succeeded byIsabelle Humphreys
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
30 September 1997
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1951-03-14) 14 March 1951 (age 71)
Halesworth, East Suffolk, England
NationalityBritish • Irish
Political partyLiberal Democrat
SpouseSteve Hitchins
Alma materLSE

Sarah Ann Ludford, Baroness Ludford (born 14 March 1951) is a British-Irish Liberal Democrat politician and member of the House of Lords. She served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for London from 1999 until 2014.

Early life and education[edit]

Ludworth was born in the Blyth Rural District of East Suffolk to an English father and an Irish mother and grew up in Hampshire.[1][2] On a scholarship, she attended the independent school Portsmouth High School. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, both from the London School of Economics. She subsequently qualified as a barrister, joining Gray's Inn in 1979.[3]

Political career[edit]

Ludford was created a life peer as Baroness Ludford, of Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington on 30 September 1997,[4] after serving as a Councillor for the London Borough of Islington 1991–99. She was elected MEP for London at the European Parliament election in 1999 and returned in 2004 and 2009, before losing her seat in 2014.[5]

A 2008-rule change by the European Parliament initially prevented Ludford (like other Eurodeputies) from taking her seat in the House of Lords in the UK Parliament due to her re-election to the European Parliament in the 2009 election.[6]

She remains a member of the Liberal Democrat groups Friends of Israel and Friends of Turkey.[7]

Political positions[edit]

A longstanding opponent of capital punishment, Baroness Ludford has been pressing European drug companies not to supply executioners in the United States with sedatives.[8]

Other activities[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Ludford lives in Islington.[10] She was married to Steve Hitchins, Leader of Islington Borough Council (2000–06)[11][12] until his death in September 2019.


  1. ^ Sarah Ludford (1 November 2020). "Yes @D0Sullivan; what it gave me (born in Suffolk, raised in Hants, uni in Lon, all S Eng) was a sense that there was a wider dimension to my identity". Retrieved 10 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Sarah Ludford (1 November 2020). "My mother wd hv been 98 today. Born July 5th 1918 in Dublin; mother Irish, fthr English". Retrieved 10 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Debrett's People of Today Archived 27 May 2014 at
  4. ^ "No. 54913". The London Gazette. 7 October 1997. p. 11279.
  5. ^ European Elections at London Evening Standard.
  6. ^ In October 2008, the European Parliament's rules changed precluding MEPs from the right to sit and vote in any member-state's national parliament, thus enforcing their suspension. This satisfied the new European Parliament rules and hence, Baroness Ludford, the only British parliamentarian to whom this applied at the time, was not allowed to vote in the Lords while serving as an MEP.
  7. ^ "Sarah Ludford: my first party conference memories".
  8. ^ Steven Erlanger (30 April 2014), Outrage Across Ideological Spectrum in Europe Over Flawed Lethal Injection in U.S. The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Sarah Ludford". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  10. ^ Marshall, Tom (1 August 2011). "Baroness warns over Islington pollution". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  11. ^ Archived 1 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Jon Swaine and Bruno Waterfield (16 October 2009). "British MEPs exploit loophole to pay relatives to work for them". The Daily Telegraph.

External links[edit]