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Robert Browne's Biography

 
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Robert Browne, who is the Liberal Democrats candidate in Sedgefield, was born on 26 May 1943 in Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire.

Robert Browne, sometimes referred to as Robert Woodthorpe Browne, studied at St Ignatius' College, Stamford Hill; Universite de Poitiers; Universidad de Barcelona; and Birkbeck College (London University), where he gained a BA (Hons) in Spanish.

As well as Spanish, Robert Browne speaks French and German.

Outside of politics, Browne is a Reinsurance Broker and Consultant specialising in Central and Eastern Europe and Third World countries. He is director of Robert Browne & Partners Ltd, and was from 1979 to 1995 a Member of Lloyd’s.

Robert Browne joined the Liberal Party, whilst still at school, in 1960, and enjoyed prominent positions with the Young Liberals. In 1966 he married and he and his wife, Barbara, have one son aged 29.

Although a candidate at the national level, so far, Robert Browne's only elected position has been Parish Councillor for Pebworth and District, which he took in 2002.

He stood for the LibDems in Harlow in 1979 and twice in Kensington & Chelsea. Firstly in the general election in 1997 and then against Michael Portillo in the by-election in 1999.

During that campaign Woodthorpe Browne said Mr Portillo's personality was "of zero interest to the majority of people here ...I did not fight on personality last time and we have no intention of going down that route this time, although I believe some of our opponents might."

He also stood for Mid Worcestershire in 2001. Browne has also been the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate in European elections.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and both Barbara Woodthorpe Browne (his wife), and Robert Woodthorpe Browne are donors to their Fellowship Appeal.

Robert Browne is also a Member of the Royal Forestry Society (he planted a 17 acre woodland in 1992), and is a member of the English Ceramic Circle, being a direct descendant of the managers of the Lowestoft Porcelain Factory (1756-1796 approx). He is also a member of the Gresham Society, which supports Gresham College.

Browne has held a number of posts within the Liberal Democrat or LibDem related organisations, including Chairman of the Parliamentary Candidates Association from 1997 to 2000 and Chairman of Liberal International (British Group) 2001-2004.

Robert Woodthorpe Browne was one of those listed as endorsing an advert that appeared in 2002 in The Guardian and the Independent on Sunday entitled 'End the Israeli occupation now for a Palestinian State'.

Robert Browne's hobbies appear to have changed over time. On the current LibDem website he lists his interests as "Forestry, flying (PPL), 17th Century English ceramics, Travelling"; whereas in 1999 his Euro candidate site listed his interests as "Skiing, Theatre, Languages, Charter 88".



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