Sal Brinton was elected President of the Liberal Democrats in November 2014, succeeding outgoing President Tim Farron. She is second in Iain Dale 2016 list of the most influential Liberal Democrats.
Sal was introduced to the House of Lords in 2011. She was appointed Co-Chair (and Liberal Democrat spokesperson in the Lords) for Health in November 2013, standing down in 2915 when she became President, although she still speaks for the party on social care. Sal also has interests in skills, further and higher education; bullying (she is one of the co-chairs of the APPG Bullying). In 2011 she sat on the All Party Inquiry into stalking, and worked to get the change in law on stalking, which came into effect in 2012, and is now working on amendments in the Policing and Crime Bill to secure more rights for victims in the criminal justice system.
Sal has rheumatoid arthritis, uses a wheelchair most of the time and has an obvious interest in disabilities. She has served on a Select Committee in the House of Lords looking at disability (2015-16), holding the government to account for not delivering truly equal services for disabled people.
Sal was the Liberal Democrats' candidate for MP in the Watford constituency in 2010 and 2005 general elections, coming second in both.. She stood in South East Cambridgeshire in 2001 and 1997. She was a Cambridgeshire County Councillor from 1993 to 2004, holding the education portfolio from 1993-97, and then Leader of the Opposition.
Sal was the Director of the Association on the Universities in the East of England from 2006 to 2011. In 1997 she won the East Anglian entrepreneurial businesswoman of the Year. She was Bursar of Selwyn College Cambridge from 1997 to 2002, and of Lucy Cavendish College from 1992-1997.
Sal is a Trustee of Unicef UK, and a director of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.
Sal was born in Paddington in 1955. Sal joined the Liberal party in 1975. She is a former vice chair of both the Federal Conference Committee and the Federal Policy Committee and a former Chair of the Diversity Engagement Group, and set up the Leadership Programme, which aims to increase the number of women, BAME, disabled and LGBT MPs.
She has a particular interest in education, skills and learning, and chaired the Party's national working group on skills, further and higher education "Learning for Life" approved at Conference in Setpember 2013. She was on the Board of the East of England development Agency from Dec 1998 to Dec 2004, and was Deputy Chair from Dec 2001 to Dec 2004. In 2003, she was awarded an honorary PhD for her contribution to education, skills and learning by Anglia Polytechnic University. In 2013 she was made a Fellow of Birkbeck College, University of London.
In the 1980s, Sal worked as a venture capitalist, investing in high-tech companies, and in the construction industry. She began her career in the mid 70s at the BBC as a floor manager working on programmes such as Doctor Who, Grandstand and Playschool (where she met her husband Tim).
Sal and Tim and their family in Langley Road, Watford. She and Tim are active members of St Luke's Church, Langley Way. Sal is Vice President of Christians in Parliament, and is President of the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum.