David Alton, Lord Alton of Liverpool

David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons (MP) in the United Kingdom for 18 years and is now an Independent Crossbench Life Peer.

He began his career as a teacher but, in 1972, was elected to Liverpool City Council as Britain’s youngest city councillor. He became the youngest member of the House of Commons in 1979 and, in 1997, he was made a Life Peer of the House of Lords.

He was the Liberal Party’s spokesman on Home Affairs, Northern Ireland, Overseas Development and the Environment, and served as Chief Whip, chairman of the party’s Policy Committee and President of the National League of Young Liberals.

He stood down from the House of Commons and from party politics in 1997 and was nominated by the Prime Minister, Sir John Major, to the House of Lords, where he sits as an Independent Life Peer, speaking regularly on human rights issues.

He was appointed as Professor of Citizenship at Liverpool John Moores University in 1997 and established the hugely successful Roscoe Foundation for Citizenship: http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/roscoe/ and is a Visiting Fellow at St Andrew’s University in Scotland.

Lord Alton is a member of several All Party Parliamentary Groups and is Chairman of the All Party Group on North Korea.

His publications include "What Kind of Country?", published in 1987 – the first of ten books. He has also authored several reports on human rights in countries such as North Korea, Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil, Sudan/Darfur, Tibet and Rwanda – all of which he has visited.

Details of his reports and speeches on human rights and religious liberties are available on his web site: www.davidalton.net.

In 2013 Lion will publish "Building Bridges – Is there hope for North Korea?", written with Rob Chidley.