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Richard Livsey, Baron Livsey of Talgarth

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Title: Richard Livsey, Baron Livsey of Talgarth  
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Subject: Jonathan Evans (politician), Roger Williams (British politician), 1985 in Wales, Geraint Howells, 1935 in Wales
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Richard Livsey, Baron Livsey of Talgarth

The Right Honourable
The Lord Livsey of Talgarth
Member of Parliament
for Brecon and Radnorshire
In office
1 May 1997 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Jonathan Evans
Succeeded by Roger Williams
In office
4 July 1985 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Tom Hooson
Succeeded by Jonathan Evans
Personal details
Born (1935-05-02)2 May 1935
Died 16 September 2010(2010-09-16) (aged 75) [1]
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrat

Richard Arthur Lloyd Livsey, Baron Livsey of Talgarth CBE (2 May 1935 – 16 September 2010) was a British politician who was the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire.


  • Family and education 1
  • Employment history 2
  • Political career 3
  • Involvement with the community 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Family and education

He was the son of Arthur Norman Livsey and Lilian Maisie (née James). His father was a seacaptain who died in Iraq when Richard was just three years old. He was therefore brought up in a single parent household by his mother, Lilian, who was a local teacher and headmistress. It was she who had a great influence in his life.

Baron Livsey was educated at Talgarth County Primary, Bedales School, Sealle-Hayne Agricultural College and Reading University (MSc in agricultural management).

On 3 April 1964 he married Irene Earsman of Castle Douglas, Galloway, Scotland, and they went on to have two sons and one daughter.

Employment history

Livsey was an agricultural development officer for ICI from 1961 to 1967. He then went on to become the farm manager on the Blairdrummond Estate in Perthshire from 1967 to 1971. He then returned to Wales as a senior lecture at the Welsh Agricultural College, Llanbadarn Fawr until 1985. He had one further spell in employment outside of Westminster politics when he lost office in 1992, as the Development Manager of ATB-Landbase Cymru from 1993 to 1997.

Political career

Livsey joined the Liberal Party in Wales in 1960. In 1970 he stood unsuccessfully as the party's Scottish candidate in Perth and East Perthshire. When he returned to Wales he became active in the Welsh Liberal Party and stood unsuccessfully for Pembroke in 1979 and Brecon and Radnor in 1983. Livsey had been a keen supporter and activist during the 1979 St David's Day referendum on a Welsh Assembly on behalf of the Yes Campaign. He continued to be central to the pro devolution cause and was the leader of the Liberal Democrat campaign in the successful Welsh devolution referendum, 1997.

Livsey won his home constituency at the second attempt at the Brecon and Radnor by-election, 1985 (it subsequently became Brecon and Radnorshire), as a Liberal, with a majority of 559. The by-election was one of the most notable successes of the SDP-Liberal Alliance period. It was the only Welsh Liberal parliamentary gain in Wales. With a background as a farm manager and lecturer in farm management, he joined Parliament's Select Committee on Agriculture. Livsey joined a group of three Welsh Liberal MPs (the others being his friend and mentor Geraint Howells, and Alex Carlile). He held the same seat in the 1987 general election, subsequently becoming the Liberal Democrat spokesman on Wales, and held the position of Leader of the Party in Wales from 1988 to 1992.[2] He was also a member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee. He lost the Brecon & Radnorshire seat at the United Kingdom general election, 1992 by the narrow margin of 130 votes, but regained it again at the United Kingdom general election, 1997, with a majority of over 5,000. He then became leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats until he stood down in 2001. In that same year he was ennobled as Baron Livsey of Talgarth. As well as being a central figure in Welsh Liberal politics in the post war era Baron Livsey's main success was to build Brecon and Radnor into a Liberal Democrat stronghold which enabled Kirsty Williams (Assembly Member) and his successor Roger Williams to further strengthen the Liberal Democrat hold there.

Livsey was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1994 Birthday Honours.[3]

Involvement with the community

Livsey was an extremely active as a constituency MP and remained involved with the community, afterwards. He was patron of and active in many of the organisations in Brecon and Radnor. These included a role as President of the Hay Festival, chairman of the Brecon Jazz Festival and a member of the Talgarth Male Choir. He sang with them at their appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2009.

He was succeeded by Roger Williams at the United Kingdom general election, 2001 and was created a life peer on 28 August 2001 with the title Baron Livsey of Talgarth of Talgarth in the County of Powys.[4]


  1. ^ BBC News - Liberal Democrat peer Richard Livsey dies, aged 75
  2. ^ J. Graham Jones (1998) Dictionary of Liberal Biography, Politicos
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53696. p. 9. 11 June 1994.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 56319. p. 10266. 31 August 2001.

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Richard Livsey
  • Richard Livsey official site
  • Lord Livsey of Talgarth profile at the site of Liberal Democrats
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tom Hooson
Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire
Succeeded by
Jonathan Evans
Preceded by
Jonathan Evans
Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire
Succeeded by
Roger Williams
Party political offices
Preceded by
Geraint Howells
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Party
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Succeeded by
Alex Carlile
Preceded by
Alex Carlile
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Succeeded by
Lembit Öpik
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