Andrew Dismore

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Andrew Dismore AM
Member of the London Assembly
for Barnet and Camden
Incumbent
Assumed office
4 May 2012
Preceded by Brian Coleman
Majority 21,299 (12.8%)
Member of Parliament
for Hendon
In office
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Matthew Offord
Personal details
Born (1954-09-02) 2 September 1954 (age 59)
Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater London School of Economics

Andrew Hartley Dismore (born 2 September 1954) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of the London Assembly for Barnet and Camden since 2012, and was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hendon from 1997 until 2010.

Early life[edit]

Dismore was born in Bridlington, Yorkshire, the son of a hotelier. He was educated at Bridlington Grammar School before attending the University of Warwick, where he received a LLB in 1975, and the London School of Economics, where he was awarded his LLM in 1976. He graduated from The College of Law in 1978.

Professional life[edit]

Dismore joined the Labour Party in 1974. After a brief time during his studies when he worked as an education officer with the General, Municipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union, he began his professional career as a partner with Robin Thompson and Partners Solicitors in 1978. He became a partner in the firm Russell Jones & Walker Solicitors in 1995.

He was elected as a councillor on Westminster City Council in 1982, becoming the Labour group leader in 1990. During his time there, he led the criticism of Shirley Porter and the homes for votes scandal.

Member of Parliament[edit]

He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 general election for the new seat of Hendon, defeating John Gorst, the sitting Conservative MP for the former constituency of Hendon North, by 6,155 votes. He made his maiden speech on 6 June 1997, in which he criticised the government of John Major for closing the Edgware general hospital A & E department.[1] He became a member of the Social Security select committee in 1998, and after the 2001 general election its replacement, the Work and Pensions Select Committee, on which he remained until 2005. He was a member of the Standards and Privileges Select Committee from 2001 until 2010 and the Human Rights and Liaison committees since 2005 to 2010 (chairing the Joint Committee on Human Rights).

Dismore asked Tony Blair a parliamentary question about Holocaust memorial and education, and received a written answer on 10 June 1999. This led to the establishment of Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.[2] He set the 21st century record for a filibuster in the House of Commons[3] by talking for 197 minutes during the debate of the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Protection of Property) Bill.[4]

In the 2010 general election Andrew Dismore lost his seat by 103 (0.2%) votes to Conservative candidate and former Hendon ward councillor Matthew Offord. In his losing speech Dismore accused Offord of "mud-slinging" and "name calling" and being disrespectful to his long term partner. He also stated that "This has not been a clean fight, in my view it's been a pretty dirty campaign. It's my eighth public election and I have never seen such a barrage of personal slurs and lies in this campaign."[5]

He was a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples.[6]

Following his defeat, he was selected as the Labour Party candidate for the Barnet and Camden constituency in the 2012 London Assembly election, defeating Conservative incumbent Brian Coleman.

Criticism[edit]

In 2003, Mr Dismore was criticised by fellow MPs for his conduct in the House of Commons during debate of the Government Powers (Limitation) Bill in 2003, tabled in response to the Jo Moore scandal. During debate, Dismore used parliamentary procedure to interrupt criticism of Tony Blair in relation to the use of 'Special Advisors' (political appointees). It led to the following response by John Bercow, now Speaker of the House: "On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Given the legitimate concern of all right hon. and hon. Members about the esteem or lack of it in which the House is held by the wider public, and in light of the fact that this country could be on the brink of a declaration of war, are you aware of any precedent for an hon. Member—in this case, Mr. Dismore—seeking to deny the right of another hon. Member to develop the argument in support of a Bill to circumscribe Government powers, through a piece of jocular parliamentary game playing?"

His colleague, Eric Forth followed: "The matter is worse than my hon. Friend has described. I am sure that I witnessed Government Whips seeking to prevent or dissuade Government Members from entering the Lobbies, a matter which surely must be proven beyond doubt by the fact that although Mr. Dismore sought to exclude the public from our deliberations through his spurious motion a moment ago, you have declared that there were no votes in favour of his motion, not even his own. On the basis of what Government Back Benchers, in collusion with Whips and indeed Ministers, have just done in this House of Commons, surely the House is left hovering on the edge of disrepute. Is there nothing that can be done to prevent this sort of abuse?"

The Chair for the session, Deputy Speaker Alan Haselhurst, provided a brief, timid response which did not address abuse of parliamentary procedure, remarking only that the Dismore's conduct was "not without precedence". [7]

In 2009, the Daily Telegraph reported that he had claimed expenses equivalent to 487 journeys between Parliament and his constituency home, although the Commons only sat for 145 days. [8] Mr Dismore was subsequently cleared of these charges by The Committee on Standards in Public Life.

It was revealed by the BBC in March 2010, that Mr Dismore had annual trips to Cyprus, funded by the Cypriot Parliament. Mr Dismore failed to declare this interest on a number of Parliamentary Questions and Early Day Motions, despite providing this information on the register of members’ interests.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew Dismore MP's maiden speech, Hansard.
  2. ^ Origins of Holocaust Memorial Day, SomethingJewish.
  3. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (2005-12-02). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 2 Dec 2005 (pt 7)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  4. ^ "UK | UK Politics | MP's marathon speech sinks bill". BBC News. 2005-12-02. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  5. ^ "Ousted Labour MP Andrew Dismore makes vitriolic speech (From Times Series)". Times-series.co.uk. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  6. ^ All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples - Profile, parliament.uk
  7. ^ "Government Powers (Limitation) Bill". TheyWorkForYou.com. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "MPs' expenses: Andrew Dismore claimed for equivalent of three car journeys to Commons a day". London: Telegraph. 2009-11-24. Archived from the original on 27 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  9. ^ "Andrew Dismore MP: Foreign trips and rule breaches". BBC. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

News items