Peter Hand - Chairman

Peter Hand was elected the Chairman of the CDG in March 2018 and works in partnership with the Executive and others to help make the Conservative Party even more inclusive for disabled people. He has worked in the charitable and civil society sector for nearly 10 years in a range of public affairs and communications roles, working for some of the UK's best known charities in the fields of disability, health and social care, including the Royal Mencap Society, Leonard Cheshire and the Epilepsy Society. Peter is also a member of Mind, the UK's leading mental health charity and in September 2019 will participate in the 25km 'Thames Bridges Trek' for the charity.

He was also Deputy Director for a community interest company - Make Justice Work - in the field of criminal justice and the rehabilitation of offenders, advocating for robust and demanding community sentences as an effective alternative to expensive and largely unproductive short-term prison sentences to end the cycle of reoffending for lower-level offences. He continues to have strong links with the civil society sector advising on public affairs strategy and public policy. 

Peter spent seven years as a Conservative Councillor for Brickhill, a suburban ward in the north of Bedford, as a member of Bedford Borough Council, elected aged 23 on his third attempt. During that time he was the Cabinet Member for Sustainability, working in a cross-party cabinet and was appointed to the role by the independent directly elected Mayor, the late Frank Branston.

He also spent four years as a County Councillor on Bedfordshire County Council, gaining a seat off the Liberal-Democrats and was elected as the youngest member aged 26. As a councillor Peter had a particular interest in the provision of social care support to ensure working age disabled people could live independently and the provision of accessible local housing for disabled people.

He also served as a Governor for the local state school which he previously attended as a student, was Chairman of the local community centre management committee and a member of his local urban Parish Council.  

He has previously worked in the Houses of Parliament, for Members of the European Parliament and for Conservative Central Office (CCO) as it was formerly known. A member of the Conservative Party for over 20 years, he is also a former Chairman of Aberystwyth University Conservative Future (CF), was the Area Chairman for Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire CF and graduated in International Relations (IR) from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

He is also a member of Bedford Rowing Club and is a volunteer for some of their sporting events, enjoys running and participates in his local Park Run and is currently training for his first half-marathon. 

Follow Peter on Twitter @HandMadePeter

See Also

Barry Ginley - Deputy Chairman

Barry Ginley was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the CDG in March 2018, having been on the executive for the past eight years.

Karim Sacoor - Deputy President & Executive Member

Karim Sacoor is a former Chairman of the CDG and is a member of the Executive Committee. He is a businessman and is married with two children. His son is severely autistic, with learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.

David Tiptaft CBE - Treasurer & Deputy-President

David Tiptaft CBE is a long standing Executive Member of the CDG Executive and is the Treasurer. David has held a variety of senior positions in the voluntary party. He is a Chartered Accountant and is the present principal of Tiptaft, Smith Co based in Mexborough South Yorkshire.

Michael Dunlop - Deputy-President & Executive Member

Michael Dunlop is a long serving Executive Member of CDG. He first became exhibition organiser at both national and regional conferences and raised the profile of CDG. He was elected as Deputy Chairman and then Director.

Sally Elliot - Executive Member

During the 1980s Sally founded, wrote the Constitution and secured the approval of the Charity Commissioners for AGE CONCERN FERNDOWN & DISTRICT, which is still functioning with two separate day time clubs for the elderly with lunch and entertainment.

Kay Carter - Executive Member

Kay Carter is a former Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the CDG and is a managing trustee of Wave, an organisation that creates opportunities for people with and without learning disabilities to work and socialise together.

Alison Crook - Executive Member (Membership)

Alison Crook has lived in Bedfordshire for 22 years, the last 7 of those in Bedford Town. She is married to Richard and has two children, both daughters. Alison was born to profoundly Deaf parents that used British Sign Language as their first language.

Mike Gibson - Executive Member

Mike Gibson is a public consultation specialist in public affairs. Mike has been a councillor on four local government authorities including London Borough of Hillingdon and as a cabinet member for adult social services of Bedfordshire County Council. 

John Howard - Executive Member (Communications)

John Howard has sat on the CDG Executive for around six years and in March 2018 was re-elected with responsibility for Communications. In 2018 John welcomed his first granddaughter to his family, adding to his already four grandsons.

Jeremy Driver - Executive Member

Jeremy Driver was elected to the Conservative Disability Group Executive in March 2018. A party member since 2011, Jeremy works as a Policy and Public Affairs Manager for a disability employment support provider.