The next president of the Thomas Paine Society will be Lewes MP Norman Baker.
He will follow in the footsteps of past presidents Tony Benn and Michael Foot.
Speaking at a reception celebrating his election in Portcullis House, Westminster, on Wednesday December 17, Norman said: “It is a tremendous honour to have been asked to be president of a society dedicated to one of the most courageous, far-sighted and lucid thinkers this country has ever produced.
“Tom Paine’s observations are timeless and as relevant today as they were back in the 18th century. I see my role not just as one that reveres his memory, but as one that seeks to use his insights to effect change in society today.”
The Thomas Paine Society promotes debate about the radical ideas of the writer and their application to current issues.
Paine lived in Lewes for six years during the 18th century where he developed his poltiical ideas.
Chairman of the society Paul Myles, who lives in Lewes, added: “The reason we asked Norman Baker to become the President of The Thomas Paine Society UK was that he genuinely represents the Liberal position.
“He is a rare, sometimes lonely, voice of reason in the tradition of Thomas Paine. We are delighted that he accepted.”
At the event Paul Myles gave a talk on ‘Strands of Liberal Political Thought from the 18th Century until Now’.
A group from Lewes then performed Tom Paine and the Case of the Excise Officers in the form of a mummers play by Dr Micheal Turner, Mayor of Lewes. Visit www.thomaspaineuk.com