Our Liberal people

Our activities are coorindated by the local party Executive Committee. We have branches in Belgium and Luxembourg. Meet the members of all of these below.

Dave Sapiro (Chair)

Originally from Liverpool, Dave has been living and working outside the UK since the mid 90's. After a few years in the Far East he moved to Amsterdam, then Paris and then to Brussels for 18 years and a couple of years ago to Düsseldorf for his first stint of life in Germany. Dave's career has mainly been spent in business services and IT: having started working as an Occupational Psychologist in what would have been called a start-up disruptor today, he moved to IT and AI and later ran an international Management Consulting, Project Management and HR Software company.

Dave is a big supporter of constitutional reform and started his campaigning with Charter 88. People in the UK need to have a constitutional settlement that allows them to have parliamentary representation that reflects their values. He believes the party should continue to campaign and join whatever alliances are necessary to make this happen.

In the meantime, he hopes to contribute to the harnessing of the interests, passions and experience of our members in Europe to further the interests of the party in the UK and to ensure the party does not forget about the interests of citizens outside the UK. 


Ian Franks (Vice Chair)

Ian joined the Young Liberals in his hometown of Orpington in 1966 and through that became a main party ward committee member and a tireless election worker. Active in civil liberties and anti-apartheid movements, he was chair of the town’s Stop the 70 Tour committee.

Having chosen to put his career in journalism before politics, he paused just once to stand as a Liberal-SDP Alliance council candidate in 1982.

Unfortunately, he received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2002 and retired from full-time work in 2006, choosing instead to write about disease and disabilities as a freelancer.

He moved to Spain with his American wife, Lisa, in November 2015 and joined Lib Dems in Europe, being elected secretary at the 2020 AGM. 


Tom McAdam (Membership Development Officer)

Tom joined the Liberal Democrats after moving to a LibDem constituency, Twickenham, in 2012. He first campaigned in the devastating 2015 General Election. Moving to Zürich in Switzerland in 2016 for a new job, he was fearing having to leave UK politics behind but soon found the LibDems in Europe. On joining the executive committee as the Data Officer, he then became Vice Chair, and was Chair until December 2023.

He is passionate about electoral reform and believes it's a key component in fixing many of the problems with UK politics.

His day job is in software engineering, and outside of politics and work he can be found enjoying the Swiss mountains in the company of his dog, Jags.

Twitter | Email

Rob Harrison (Treasurer)

Robert has lived in Germany for almost 30 years, and was previously chair of LibDems in Europe. He has a Ph.D. in Physics and is a qualified patent and trade mark attorney. He currently works as a consultant and company director for high-tech companies. He has been a European Parliamentary Candidate for the German liberal FDP and, in addition to his interest in science and tech policy, has been involved in developing policy on European affairs.

Hannah Bettsworth

Hannah left Scotland in 2016 after the Brexit referendum, and after some time in Spain and France moved to Brussels where she's been since 2019. She works in the Brussels bubble and has wide-ranging policy experience, including on health, EU-UK relations, trade, digital and EU enlargement.

While living in Scotland Hannah was a prominent activist in the Scottish Liberal Democrats, which she joined in 2011 when still a teenager! She eventually stood for the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh Central in the May 2016 elections. She's remained involved with the party since leaving the UK through policy working groups on the decriminalisation of sex work and a Liberal Democrat foreign policy.

Most recently, Hannah was elected to the Federal International Relations Committee and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Council. Her policy interests are varied, and she's passionate about how we can use our international expertise to feed into domestic UK policy.

Twitter | LinkedIn

Rhys Howell

Rhys is a proud Welsh-exile with a degree in the arts but has been a professional in the world of marketing and technology for the past 14 years. He currently resides in Berlin and has been in Germany for the past 7 years, previously living and working in London. Liberal and Green politics have always been a part of his life, and he's happy to be able to contribute something back via the Liberal Democrats in Europe. 

He has been a long-time supporter of Humanists UK and the NSS, with the work they do critical to creating an open and fair society. He's deeply passionate about educational reform and voting reform, and believes these to be key to building a better future for the people of Britain, and our neighbours. After Brexit he created a website, Make Britain Think Again, which outlined some pledges close to his heart.  

His goal is to bring together his professional experience and passion for politics in order to support Brits in Europe who share our values. 

Twitter | LinkedIn

Stuart Pallister

After working as a television journalist in Singapore and Hong Kong for around two decades, mainly covering politics, economics and business across Asia, Stuart switched to research communications and digital content development roles in higher education at the end of 2006.

He returned to Europe for family reasons in 2016, just after the EU referendum, and moved to Switzerland.

An internationalist and pro-European, Stuart joined the Lib Dems in 2016. Paddy Ashdown remains a hero and inspiration, particularly for his leadership and unwavering support for Hong Kong.

LinkedIn | Twitter

Nicholas Wakefield (Data Officer)

Born and raised in Cambridgeshire, Nicholas has been living abroad in Germany, Canada, USA, Switzerland and Ireland since 1970. Professionaly, Nicholas is a certified Project Manager for complex multisite IT Implementations and a specialist in Machinebuilding/Manufacturing.

In private, he is passionate about Folk- & World-Music and has organized some Festivals in Europe. In politics, he supports Internationalism and believes promoting "reliable Journalism" is essential for the upkeep of Democracy.

As a LibDem, Nicholas will work hard to support our overseas organizations and help the UK find its way back to closer European integration where it belongs.

LinkedIn | E-Mail 

Nick Catephores 

Born in London, raised in London, educated in London, after his last day at school Nick walked up to Liberal Party headquarters, paid the membership fee (aaaaand never heard from that party again). Couple of years later he found his way to the Greens, for which he stood in local elections (in London) and did a whole lot of volunteer work.

Despite having left the UK more than 28 years ago - living in Belgium (three times), France, and Luxembourg - he always retained an interest in liberal/progressive politics back home, voted Lib Dem as an overseas elector, and joined the Lib Dems on the day the 2017 general election was called.

Nick's work has been in the political/administrative field, and he's had the pleasure of working together with politicians of various persuasions and from many countries. 

Since 2019, he's been a member of the Execs of the Lib Dems in Europe and/or of its Luxembourg branch. In life beyond politics, Nick can be found globetrotting, photographing penguins and in sports bars around the world cheering on the football team he supports (which is - surprise - from London 😀).

Always up for a chat/connection 

LinkedIn | Email

Andrew Burgess

Branch chairs

The chairs of each branch are also members of the Executive Committee.


Belgium branch


Hugh Annand (Chair)

Hugh Annand joined the Liberal Democrats in 2001 after shouting at the Today Programme while Michael Portillo was spouting nonsense. Since then, he has been Membership Secretary, Chair, and Treasurer of what was then the Brussels and Europe Liberal Democrats. He has stood for election to the UK Parliament four times (three general elections and one by-election) and the European Parliament once. For his day job, he leads a team of 27 translators and 4 clerical staff in the English Translation Department of the European Commission. 



Luxembourg Branch


Martin Bennett (Chair)

Martin first campaigned for the Liberals in the 1974 elections and the 1975 Europe referendum (in Cheltenham and Oxford). Later, as press officer for the local Bermondsey party in the early 80s in South London, he was heavily involved in campaigning that saw Simon Hughes successfully elected. 

Since that time Martin has been a teacher of Chemistry, Biology and Philosophy. In 1998 he was seconded by the D of E to the European School in Luxembourg where (although, he says, past his sell by date) he still teaches. Having made JS Mill’s On Liberty a set text, he ends up rereading it each year (as recommended by Jo Grimond!). Mill is the antidote for anyone who accuses Liberal Democrats of lacking a distinctive outlook. 

His campaigning had been restricted to visits to Cheltenham until Chris Garratt rejuvenated the Party in Luxembourg in the wake of the Brexit vote. Since Chris sadly passed away, Martin has taken over as Chair.

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