Alan Howarth, Baron Howarth of Newport
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Howarth of Newport
|Member of Parliament
for Newport East
1 May 1997 – 5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Roy Hughes|
|Succeeded by||Jessica Morden|
|Member of Parliament
9 June 1983 – 1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Constituency Created|
|Succeeded by||John Maples|
11 June 1944 |
Marylebone, England, UK
|Alma mater||King's College, Cambridge|
He is the son of Major Thomas Howarth MC (headmaster of King Edward's School, Birmingham, Second Master of Winchester College and High Master of St. Paul's School) and Margaret Teakle. She was a WREN in the Second World War. He was educated at Rugby School and gained a BA in History from King's College, Cambridge in 1965.
Having been awarded a CBE in the 1982 New Year's Honours for political service, Howarth was Conservative Party MP for Stratford-on-Avon, first elected in 1983. He served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science from 1989 to 1992.
In 1995 he defected from the Conservative Party to the Labour Party, the first MP to defect directly from the Conservatives to Labour, and the first former Conservative MP to sit as a Labour MP since Sir Oswald Mosley. He wanted a new seat to contest as a Labour candidate and, after failing to win the seats of Wentworth and Wythenshawe and Sale East, he was selected for the safe Labour seat of Newport East in Wales. The miners' leader Arthur Scargill stood against him under the Socialist Labour Party banner, but he easily held the seat for Labour.
After the election victory of 1997 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Employment, becoming Minister for the Arts at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport the following year. He is also a member of the Privy Council. He was dropped from the government after the 2001 general election. He stood down from the House of Commons at the 2005 general election. Jessica Morden was selected to replace him as candidate by the Constituency Labour Party.
He was criticised when it was claimed that he and his partner, Baroness Hollis, live next door to each other but both claim expenses from the House of Lords. He and Baroness Hollis are one of the few couples to both hold noble titles in his or her own right.
He married Gillian Chance in 1967. They divorced in 1996 and they have two sons (born 1977 and April 1985) and two daughters (born 1974 and 1975).
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon
|Member of Parliament for Newport East
|Minister for the Arts