Elizabeth Jewkes says that the values of the Liberal Democrats align most closely to her Christian faith. Not surprising, she says, when over a third of Lib Dem MPs have also spoken openly about their faith in Christ


I first became interested in politics as a teenager. At the time, we had a Labour government and my family voted Conservative. But I found there was an alternative, the then-Liberal Party.

A party that valued individuals; a party that believed people were best placed to make decisions about their own lives; a party that was not in the pockets of big businesses or the trade unions; a party that listened to voters and allowed members to make policy.

That party has not changed.

As a Christian, I found the values of the Liberal Democrats aligned most closely to my faith. Their commitment to protecting the environment, listening to people and allowing them to make decisions about their lives and to a fairer voting system (of all European countries, only Greece and the UK use the First Past the Post system) resonated with me.

A successful coalition

In 2015, the Lib Dems were punished at the ballot box for going into coalition with the Conservatives five years earlier, but I still say that the coalition government was the best Britain has had for a long time.

More than a third of the current Lib Dem MPs openly talk about their Christian faith

In 2008, as an ordinary party member, I put forward the idea that the income tax threshold should be raised to the level of the minimum wage. At the time, under the Labour government, anyone earning over £6,400 a year (£140 a week) had to pay tax. It seemed ludicrous to me that people were paying tax and then having to claim benefits. I campaigned within the party and, eventually, it became one of four key policies in the 2010 manifesto.

While in coalition, the Lib Dems delivered every one of those four key pledges along with 75 per cent of our manifesto. The pensions triple lock, the green investment bank, pupil premium and fixed term parliaments were all Lib Dem commitments - although some were later reneged on by subsequent Conservative governments.

Fresh answers

Today, Britain is facing several glaring problems: how to fund the NHS and care for the elderly, the cost-of-living crisis, the cost of energy, sewage in our rivers and beaches to name just a few. The Lib Dems are committed to providing free care for the elderly, releasing individuals and their families from the worry of how to pay for care, and reducing pressure on the NHS.

We need a new model of how we treat waste water. It is currently in the hands of private companies who want to make as much profit as possible. We need to ensure that this does not continue to be at the expense of our water quality. We are seeing the profits of energy companies skyrocket while those on low incomes are choosing between heating and eating.

I find the values of the Liberal Democrats align most closely to my faith

I recently saw a cartoon in which a child asked a grandparent if they were afraid of the dark. “No” they replied. “I like the dark. Now I’m afraid of the electricity bill”. Britain deserves better than this.

Europe or bust

For many of us, Brexit has been a total disaster. As a businesswoman myself, not being able to get supplies from the EU has increased my costs significantly. The Lib Dems are the only ones prepared to say that we need to rejoin the single market.

As someone who graduated from university in Paris, I am heartbroken that my grandchildren will not have the same opportunities that I had. Europe is our closest neighbour. We should be able to trade, travel and work freely there, all lost due to Brexit.

It’s not a coincidence that more than a third of current Lib Dem MPs, including our leader, Ed Davey, openly talk about their Christian faith and how it impacts their lives. Many of the Lib Dems standing for election this Thursday are doing so because they believe it is a natural outworking of their faith.