Adrian Mark Sanders was born on 25th April 1959 at 9 Clennon Rise, Paignton. He went to schools in Paignton and Torquay before attending Torquay Boys’ Grammar School which he left after A Levels.
After a brief spell working in a timber yard, he spent seven years in the insurance industry. It was during this time that Adrian became increasingly disillusioned with the Labour Government of the day, which he felt, overlooked the needs of peripheral areas of the UK like Torbay. He was also fearful of the unregulated capitalism espoused by Mrs Thatcher, the new leader of the Conservative Party. Feeling that he had more in common with the John Pardoe’s and David Penhaligon’s of the area Adrian joined the Liberal Party in 1979 and in 1985 was elected Vice President of the National League of Young Liberals.
In 1984 Adrian stood, successfully, for Torbay Council representing the old Blatchcombe ward, half of which will return to the Torbay constituency at the next general election, under the Boundary Review.
In 1986 he stood down to take up a post with the Association of Liberal Councilors in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He worked for the Association (later Association of Liberal Democrat Councilors – ALDC) until 1989 when he then moved to the Liberal Democrats’ Whips Office.
Between 1992 and 1993 Adrian worked in the office of Paddy Ashdown where he was primarily responsible for organising Paddy’s ‘Beyond Westminster’ Tour, in which Paddy was the first leader of a national party to leave Westminster to live and work in various different communities across Britain
On completion of the tour Adrian worked as the Policy Officer of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (1993-94) and then the Southern Association of Voluntary Action Groups for Europe, advising voluntary organisations and charities on how to gain access to funds from Europe for training and employment projects.
Adrian contested the Torbay constituency in the 1992 General Election, reducing the Conservative majority to only 5,787. He was the candidate for the Devon and East Plymouth constituency in the 1994 European Election. On May the 1st 1997 he was elected Member of Parliament for Torbay in the closest of contests. With a majority of just 12 over the Conservatives.
He successfully stood again in the 2001, 2005 and 2010 General Elections and now has a majority of over 4,000.
Amongst other things Adrian has always campaigned strongly for issues surrounding Diabetes and Animal Welfare .
Adrian has held a number of posts and spokespersonships within the Parliamentary Party and is currently a member of the Transport Select Committee.
Adrian splits his week between Westminster and his home in Paignton which he shares with his wife Alison.