Susan Thomas, Baroness Thomas of Walliswood

Susan Petronella Thomas, Baroness Thomas of Walliswood OBE, DL (born 20 December 1935) is a British businesswoman and Liberal Democrat politician.

Early life and education

She is the daughter of John Arrow and Ebba Fordham. She was educated at Cranborne Chase School and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1957.


Thomas worked for the National Economic Development Office from 1971 to 1974 and was chief executive of the Council of Europe of the British Clothing Industries from 1974 to 1978. Between 1985 and 1994, she was a school governor.

She contested Mole Valley for the SDP-Liberal Alliance in the 1983 and 1987 general elections and Surrey for the Liberal Democrats in the 1994 European Parliament election, but failed to be elected.


In the 1989 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).[1] Thomas was appointed in January 1996 a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey.[2]

On 6 October 1994, she was created a life peer as Baroness Thomas of Walliswood, of Dorking in the County of Surrey.[3] She sat in the House of Lords until 18 May 2016, at which point she ceased to be a member pursuant to section 2 of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014, having failed to attend during the whole of the 2015-16 session without being on leave of absence.[4]


In 1958, she had married David Churchill Thomas, but was divorced later. They have two daughters and a son.


  1. "No. 51772". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 1989. pp. 8–11.
  2. "No. 54315". The London Gazette. 13 February 1996. p. 2193.
  3. "No. 53816". The London Gazette. 11 October 1994. p. 14211.
  4. "Four absent peers cease to be House of Lords members". BBC News. Retrieved 20 May 2016.

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