Social Liberal Forum

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Social Liberal Forum
ChairCllr Iain Brodie - Browne
IdeologySocial liberalism
Political positionCentre-left

The Social Liberal Forum (often abbreviated to SLF) is a pressure group that seeks to promote social liberalism within Britain.[1] The Social Liberal Forum was formerly a group that represented the centre-left within the British Liberal Democrats.[2][3] Membership is open to people who are not members of the Liberal Democrats and share the SLF's values and principles. Since 2018 this has included members of the Green Party of England and Wales.

The SLF regularly organises fringe events at the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference and, increasingly, provides speakers to events elsewhere.


The SLF was launched in February 2009.[4][5] The book Reinventing the State: Social Liberalism for the 21st Century has been said to be influential on the thinking of those who created the SLF.[6] The SLF did not take a corporate position on the suitability of the Coalition Government between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives and campaigned for many changes to Coalition policy on issues such as NHS reforms,[5] economic policy [7] and cuts to welfare spending.[8]

The SLF advances social liberal policies, theory and thought leadership within British politics, often in opposition to free market fundamentalism. It takes inspiration from the political ideas of William Beveridge, John Maynard Keynes, Thomas Hill Green, Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse, David Lloyd George, Jo Grimond and Charles Kennedy amongst others. The SLF has supported a wide range of socio-economic policies including the introduction of a universal basic income, opposition to welfare reforms and support for wealth taxation, economic democracy and Keynesian economics.

Every July since 2011, the SLF has held a one-day annual conference, this includes a Beveridge Memorial Lecture.[9] Previous people to have given the Beveridge Memorial Lecture include Layla Moran, Vince Cable, Claire Tyler and Tim Farron.


On 9 March 2018, the Social Liberal Forum published a book, edited by Helen Flynn, entitled "Four Go In Search of Big Ideas: Putting Progressive Ideas at the Heart of UK Politics".[10] The book included chapters from a range of social liberal, social democratic and green political thinkers and aimed to build a "progressive alliance of people, ideas and campaigns".[11] The book covered three main policy areas; the economy, welfare and climate change and included contributions from active members of the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party. The Forum regularly publishes pamphlets written by members relevant to social liberal thought and action.[12]


The current Chair of the Social Liberal Forum is Cllr Iain Brodie-Browne and Deputy-Chair Louise Harris [13] Previous Chairs of the SLF have included Helen Flynn, Naomi Smith, Gareth Epps and David Hall-Matthews.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What We Stand For". Social Liberal Forum. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  2. ^ "How Lib Dem members describe their own political identity". Lib Dem Voice. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  3. ^ "The Lib Dems are a Centre Left Party". Social Liberal Forum.
  4. ^ Sowemimo, Matthew (12 February 2009). "Social Liberal Forum launched". Liberal Democrat Voice.
  5. ^ a b Wintour, Patrick (15 June 2011). "Lib Dem pressure group celebrates NHS rethink". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Reinventing the State". Social Liberal Forum. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  7. ^ Buch, Prateek. "Economic Plan C". Social Liberal Forum.
  8. ^ Hall-Matthews, David (14 November 2011). "Osborne's attack on benefits must be moderated". The Guardian. London.
  9. ^ Lindsay, Caron (29 July 2018). "Big ideas abound at SLF Conference". Lib Dem Voice.
  10. ^ "Four Go In Search of Big Ideas". Social Liberal Forum.
  11. ^ Template:Lishman, Gordon (2018). "Introduction" in Four Go In Search of Big Ideas. King's Lynn, Norfolk: Social Liberal Forum. P. 6.
  12. ^ "Publications". Social Liberal Forum.
  13. ^ . Social Liberal Forum Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]