About

Caroline Voaden was until January 31st, leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation to the European Parliament.

Elected as an MEP for SW England and Gibraltar in 2019, Caroline led the Lib Dem group from November until they left parliament because of Brexit at the end of January, 2020.
She is an engaging leader, a confident public speaker and has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programmes where she believes we need to hear more liberal voices.

MEP

Caroline led the Lib Dem list in SW England for the European elections in May 2019. She led the Lib Dem group from November until the end of their mandate.

She is an engaging leader, a confident public speaker and has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programmes where she believes we need to hear more liberal voices. Together with her colleague Judith Bunting, Caroline hosted the weekly podcast ‘Our MEP Life’. It was the first podcast hosted by MEPs which gave an insight into what the job involves, what MEPs actually do from day to day, and the rollercoaster ride that was the last term for all UK MEPs.

Reuters Journalist & Business Woman

Previous to her election Caroline worked as a Reuters journalist, a freelance editor and ran her own business in South Devon, where she has lived for 12 years. Her experience of running a small business on a traditional high street, competing against the relentless growth in online shopping, gave Caroline a gritty understanding of the pressures faced by the self-employed and those running small businesses. 

Her work as a journalist led her to live in six European countries and she speaks several languages. Caroline worked in both English and French in the European Parliament.

War

Caroline spent several months in the Balkans during the Yugoslav war and ran the Reuters bureau in Croatia for two years following the ceasefire. She was Reuters youngest woman bureau chief worldwide. 

Europe

Her experience of living and working abroad gave her a deep love of Europe, and an understanding of the need to work closely with our nearest neighbours to foster understanding and mutual support. This led to shock and anger at the result of the 2016 EU referendum.

“That night was one of those defining moments in a life, when you just know something is going to change. I knew I couldn’t just sit back, shout at the radio and hope that someone, somewhere would do something to change the direction we were headed in. So I joined the Lib Dems and decided to get stuck in myself and try and make that change happen.

Brexit

“Being on the ‘Brexit front line’, watching it play out from my very privileged seat in the European Parliament, was one of the most rewarding, and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I put heart and soul into trying to stop Brexit – I know it will cause irrevocable damage to our country. But I know there are millions like me, and we will now have to redouble our efforts to try and protect our future.”

Widowed and Young 

Caroline was widowed at 34 in 2003, and subsequently became chair of a national charity that supports young widowed men and women – WAY, Widowed and Young. She is only too aware of the long-term effects such an event can have on the whole wider family, from bereavement support and benefits, to lone parenthood and mental health issues. Caroline has written a book about her experience, ‘If there’s anything I can do…’.

Public Engagements

Caroline is an engaging and enthusiastic public speaker – as happy to talk about politics as her experiences of bereavement. If you would like to invite Caroline to take part in a panel event, host a discussion or meeting, be interviewed on radio or TV or to carry out press reviews, please get in touch.

Latest Media

Brexit cliff edge more dangerous than ever

Brexit cliff edge more dangerous than ever

It’s hard to believe that something which had dominated our lives for so long – Brexit – has almost completely fallen off the radar. After the shock of the December General Election, and the brutality of losing our jobs and heading home from Brussels in January, we...

Will systemic reform be driven by grief?

Will systemic reform be driven by grief?

Will systemic reform be driven by grief? POSTED BY ALISHA LEWIS | UPDATED 2019-12-16   I know grief. I’ve grieved for a much-loved husband and a wonderful mother. I’ve been through the depths of it. I’m familiar with the hollow, empty feeling followed by the...