The Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury
|Member of the House of Lords|
23 June 2004
|Born||October 20, 1957|
|Political party||Liberal Democrat|
|Alma mater||University College London|
Bonham Carter hails from the Bonham Carter family. Her great-grandfather was H. H. Asquith, the former Prime Minister, and her grandparents were Maurice Bonham Carter and Violet Bonham Carter. Her father Mark Bonham Carter was a Liberal MP before becoming a Liberal Democrat Life Peer. Her aunt Laura Bonham Carter married Jo Grimond, who was to become Leader of the Liberal Party. Her family is the only example so far where three generations have received Life Peerages under the 1958 Life Peerages Act.[note 1]
In 1996 she became the Liberal Democrats' Director of Communications, a role she held through the 1997 election before returning to a career in television as an independent producer at Brook Lapping Productions, where she produced a number of documentaries for Channel 4, the BBC and ITV, including the award-winning series Maggie: the First Lady.
She has been a member of various House of Lords Select Committees, including the BBC Charter Review set up in 2005, and the Parliamentary Communications Committee.
After the formation of the Con-LibDem coalition government in 2010, she was elected Deputy Convenor of Liberal Democrat Peers and was appointed Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, which includes the role of LibDem spokesperson on DCMS matters in the House of Lords.
Bonham-Carter has served on the Advisory Committee of the thinktank Centre Forum since 2005, and RAPT (Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) since 1999. She was a Board Member of the National Campaign for the Arts from 2010-2012.
She is a Vice-President of the Debating Group.
On 19 April 2015 it was announced that Bonham-Carter would be a patron of the Studio Theatre, Ashley Road, Salisbury.
Jane Bonham Carter attracted criticism in 2008 when it was revealed that she and her partner, Tim Razzall, had both claimed House of Lords expenses for a flat that they shared, although it was not claimed that a breach of the rules had occurred. The House of Lords expenses system was later changed to give peers a flat rate irrespective of their residence.