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Diana Wallis MEP

Assumed office 
10 June 1999

Born 28 June 1954 (1954-06-28) (age 55)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrat
Spouse(s) Stewart Arnold

Diana Paulette Wallis (born 28 June 1954[1] in Hitchin, Hertfordshire) is a Member of the European Parliament for the Liberal Democrats for Yorkshire and the Humber. She was elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2004, and was also re-elected in 2009.[2]


Early career

Before being elected to the European Parliament Wallis was a solicitor in London and Hull and a councillor on Humberside County Council and East Riding Unitary Council.

Member of the European Parliament

Wallis as Vice-President chairing a parliamentary session

She was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament 2000-2004 and then following the resignation of Chris Davies MEP she was re-elected leader in 2006[3] a post she held till January 2007. She then became the first British female of any political persuasion in twenty years to be elected to the post of Vice President of the European Parliament, as well as being the first British Liberal Democrat to do so. As a member of Parliament's Bureau, she has particular responsibility for transparency and access to documents, the Arctic and high north, Question Time (jointly with another Vice-President) and the Academy of European Law.

Wallis is also a full member of the Petitions Committee. As Rapporteur to the Committee of Inquiry into the Equitable Life affair, she authored a report which was approved by a large majority in the Parliament.

Wallis has a particular interest in issues of direct democracy and in November 2002 she co-launched the Initiatives and Referendums Institute - Europe (IRI-Europe) report in the European Parliament. In March 2006, she hosted an IRI-Europe conference in Brussels to discuss different approaches across Europe towards the issue of direct democracy and in particular the campaign for introducing a citizens' initiative at the European level. She is a Board Member of the Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe. This is a think-tank that has a particular interest in all things relating to direct democracy.

Until Spring 2007, she was chairwoman of the delegation for relations with Switzerland, Iceland and Norway and the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Parliamentary Committee and remains a full member of that Committee.

Wallis employs her husband Stewart Arnold as a Parliamentary Assistant.[4] She is also a Member of the Governing Board of the Academy of European Law, Trier (ERA); a Member of the Executive Board for the Institute for European Traffic Law; a founding Member of the Board of the European Initiatives and Referenums Institute (IRI); a Member of the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) Advisory Board; an Observer Member of the UK Law Society's EU Committee, the President of the UK Institute of Translation and Interpreting [5], the Honorary President of Haltemprice and Howden Liberal Democrat Party and the Honorary President of the Yorkshire and the Humber Branch of the European Movement.

Throughout her time as an MEP, Wallis has authored 28 full reports excluding purely technical, and 16 opinions, asked 40 written and oral questions of the Commission and Council (during Parliament 2004-2009 term). She successfully passed two written declarations - one in 2007 on the European Emergency Number 1-1-2 (which achieved 530 MEP signatures, which is the record so far), and one in 2008 on Emergency cooperation in recovering missing children.[6]

Outside parliament

Wallis is a vice president of equal rights charity Parity.[7][8] She completed the London Marathon on 26 April 2009 in a time of 5 hours 22 minutes, running in aid of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation.[9][10]



  • Wallis, Diana; Stewart Arnold and Ben Idris Jones A (2002). Forgotten Enlargement: Future EU Relations with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. London: Centre for Reform. ISBN 1902622391.  

External links



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