Name: William (Bill) Croft
Avatar: Ryan Gosling
Age: 39 (born 4th of October, 1976)
Ethnicity: White British
Marital Status: Married to Alex Beck (civil partnership since 2005, married in 2015)
Party: Liberal Democrat Party
Political Outlook: Pragmatist and detests ideologically-driven decision making. Orange Booker, classic liberal, passionate about individual rights within a democracy, progressive on social issues.
Year Elected: 2010
Education: Attended Ysgol Penglais comprehensive school, studied PPE at Oxford
Career: Columnist for the Economist, BBC Foreign Correspondent, BBC Chief Foreign Correspondent
Political Career: Ceredigion County Councilor (2008-2010), Leader of the Opposition, Ceredigion County Councilor (2008-2010), MP for Ceredigion (2010-), Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee (2011-)
William Croft, who friends and colleagues refer to as Bill, was born in Aberystwyth, Wales in 1976. The son of a Dan and Susan Croft, a shop keeper and a teacher respectively, Croft grew up in a working to middle class home and attended a comprehensive school near his home. His mother is English, originally born outside of London, and met Croft's father when she moved to Cardiff for a teaching position. As Croft grew older his father's business, Croft's Grocery, expanded first throughout Wales and then around the country, specializing in ready to eat meals and customizing their goods to meet the local traditions in which the stores are located. By the time Croft turned 18, his father's company had expanded to over 1,100 shops around the country, hiring over 75,000 employees. With the growth of his father's company came a new lifestyle for Croft, with the teenager spending a good amount of time in London and getting into a fair bit of trouble with friends. The Croft family is worth somewhere between 30 and 65 million pounds.
Taking an early interest in politics and journalism, Croft left his family home in Wales to study PPE at Oxford University. There he became president of the Oxford Union, and took a ken interest in debate and studying the modern political ideas of the early 1990s. As a student Croft was an open critic of the John Major government, an early supporter of the European Union and the opportunities it provided to small businesses across the United Kingdom. When he graduated university, he took a position as an opinion columnist at the Guardian. It was around this time that Croft began flirting with the idea of joining the Liberal Democrats doing so officially in 1999 to vote for Charles Kennedy. Living in London, Croft met a number of high profile figures in the country's journalism industry, eventually networking his way into a post as a foreign correspondent working for the BBC. While in Hong Kong filming a special on life in the city after the handover to China, in which Croft simultaneously won an award for the production and received a life-time ban from the CCP prohibiting him to step foot on Chinese territory, he met the man who would become his husband: Alex Beck. Beck, who would eventually become a captain in the Royal Navy before retiring to lead a veterans advocacy organization, would eventually begin a romance with Croft before moving in together in London. The two would get a civil partnership in 2005, adopt two children in 2008, and then formally get married in 2015.
Croft would eventually rise to the ranks of the BBC's senior foreign correspondent, covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, before coming back to Wales to raise a family. Croft returned to his childhood home, where seeing the damage that had been caused by the global recession and unhinged financial profiteers, he decided he needed to do something about it. Running in the 2008 local elections, Croft successfully became a Councilor in the Ceredigion City Council. When the Liberal Democrats were confirmed as the second biggest party, Croft put his name forward to be chosen as Leader of the Opposition on the council, and won uncontested. In 2010, former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg tapped Croft to run to replace retiring Ceredigion MP, and he successfully won the election. While a committed member of the party, Croft was firmly opposed to the concept of joining the Conservatives in a coalition, and implored the leadership to instead commit only to a Confidence and Supply. Croft felt that David Cameron wouldn't be able to keep his more right-wing colleagues in line, and therefor couldn't be seen as an honest broker. Croft often voted against the Government, including when he voted to oppose raising tuition fees and voting against certain welfare reforms. In 2012, when the Tories broke their promise to commit to election reform, Croft publicly called for the Liberal Democrats to leave the coalition.
Croft currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Select Committee. He is a classic liberal, very progressive on social issues, a big believer in equality of opportunity, and passionate about a fair tax code and strong public services that will provide an equal baseline of support for all people. He believes in Britain's continued membership of the EU, but is openly critical of the centralized power structure that he finds antithetical to an open democracy. He is a proud supporter of the Union, skeptical of foreign intervention, and highly critical of corporate and political corruption. Croft prioritizes pragmatism over ideology, and has a reputation as a shrewd deal maker.
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