Jonny Oates has been a member of House of Lords since October 2015 where he speaks for the Liberal Democrats on the climate emergency and energy. He takes a particular interest in sustainable finance and is a vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Net Zero and the APPG on Renewable and Sustainable Energy. His other areas of focus are on mental health and international development.
From 2017-2019 he was Senior Adviser to the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a charitable foundation working with children and young people, principally in Africa and South Asia with a strong focus on climate change. During the Coalition Government, he was Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister, and Deputy Director of Communications in 10 Downing Street. He is a former Director of Policy and Communications at the Liberal Democrats and was Director of General Election Communications for the 2010 General Election.
From 1999 to 2001, Jonny was based in South Africa, working for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy on a project to support political parties previously excluded from parliament under the apartheid regime. In 1988 he taught in – and helped establish – a new rural secondary school in Zimbabwe. He is a former councillor and Deputy Leader of the Council in the Royal Borough of Kingston.
Jonny is currently a non-executive director of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate and Chair of the Advisory Board of Weber Shandwick UK. His memoir, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, was published in October 2020.