Eric Lubbock, Lord Avebury
Liberal Democrat peer and distinguished supporter of Humanism
Eric Lubbock, Lord Avebury, joined the Liberal Party in 1960, was elected a councillor in 1961, won the Orpington by-election in 1962, and was appointed Chief Whip by Jo Grimond in 1963. In the Commons he was on the Speaker’s Commission on Electoral Law in 1964-6, and proposed STV in multi-member constituencies, only to be voted down by 18-1. He also proposed reducing the voting age to 18. In 1970, Orpington reverted to its Tory origins but a year later his cousin died and he succeeded to the peerage. In 1999, when most hereditary peers were removed from the House of Lords, he was elected by his fellow Liberal Democrats to remain.
He sat on the Royal Commission on Standards of Conduct in Public Life 1974-6, and was Liberal Spokesman on Immigration and Race Relations, 1971-83. In 1976 he founded the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, and chaired it for the next 21 years. He speaks frequently on conflict resolution and human rights. Trained as an engineer, Lord Avebury retains an interest in science and engineering and chairs a Trust which supports engineering and management education at Oxford University.
He is a Buddhist and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, and in 2009 was awarded joint Secularist of the Year (with Evan Harris) for his role in the abolition of blasphemy. On 15 September 2010, Lubbock, along with 54 other public figures, signed an open letter published in The Guardianopposing Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit to the UK.
His Wikipedia profile at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Lubbock,_4th_Baron_Avebury
His parliamentary record at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/peer/lord_avebury