Navnit Dholakia was appointed Baron Dholakia of Waltham Brooks and introduced to the House of Lords on 29 October 1997. Between 1959 and 1962 he was Chairman of Brighton Young Liberals and then moved into representative politics, being elected to Brighton Borough Council in 1961 where he served until 1964. He was elected as President of the Liberal Democrats in September 2000 and has also been the front bench spokesperson on Home Affairs for the Liberal Democrats.

He is associated with numerous organisations, is President of Nacro and serves on the House of Lords’ Appointments Commission and on the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. Previously he has held appointments with the Commission for Racial Equality and with the Police Complaints Authority, Ethnic Minority Advisory Committee of the Judicial Studies Board and Lord Carlisle’s Committee of the Parole Systems Review. He has also served as a magistrate and as a member of the Board of Visitors for HM Prison Lewes.

Lord Dholakia has won a number of prominent awards including ‘Asian of the Year’ in November 2000. He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India in January 2003. In 2008 he was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship by Lions Clubs International Foundation.