Andrew MacKinlay

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Andrew MacKinlay
Member of Parliament
for Thurrock
In office
9 April 1992 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Timothy Janman
Succeeded by Jackie Doyle-Price
Personal details
Born (1949-04-24) 24 April 1949 (age 64)
London, England, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Ruth Segar
Religion Roman Catholic

Andrew Stuart MacKinlay (born 24 April 1949) is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Thurrock from 1992 until he stepped down at the 2010 general election.

Early life[edit]

Andrew Mackinlay was educated variously at St Joseph's School, Wembley; Our Lady Immaculate Primary School, Tolworth; Salesian College (grammar school, now called Salesian School, Highfield Road, Chertsey), and Kingston College. He worked for ten years from 1965 as a committee clerk with Surrey County Council and from 1975 until his election to parliament he was a union official with the National Association of Local Government Officers (NALGO). He joined NALGO in 1965 and the Labour Party the following year. He was elected as a councillor in 1971 in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and served for seven years.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career[edit]

He stood unsuccessfully for Labour in the following elections:

In 2003, he famously described Dr. David Kelly as "chaff" during Dr. Kelly's appearance before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. His question was:

I reckon you are chaff; you have been thrown up to divert our probing. Have you ever felt like a fall-guy? You have been set up, have you not?[1]

so in this context "chaff" is a reference to the radar countermeasure rather than to something of little value. It emerged during Kelly's subsequent inquest that Kelly had been deeply upset by his treatment before the Committee and he had privately described an MP, assumed to be MacKinlay, as an "utter bastard" [2][3] MacKinlay reportedly apologised to Kelly's wife for the remark following Kelly's death.

According to one report, in May 2007, MacKinlay made the nomination that resulted in Gordon Brown having enough nominations to be certain of not facing a contest over the leadership of the party.[4] However, another report states that the decisive nomination was made by Tony Wright[5] with MacKinlay yet to nominate at that point.

Notice of resignation[edit]

On 24 July 2009, he announced that he would not stand at the next General Election due to disillusionment with the way in which other MPs caved in to party pressure rather than standing up for their beliefs.[6] He said that the final straw was the failure of a number of Labour MPs who had expressed support for Gary McKinnon, awaiting extradition to the US on computer hacking charges, to vote against a review of the extradition treaty.[7]

Damages win[edit]

On 1 October 2009, MacKinlay accepted a public apology and libel damages from the BBC over allegations made on BBC2’s Newsnight programme that he proposed an amendment to a Government motion on MPs’ expenses so he would benefit financially.[8][9][10] The damages were reported as being £15,000.[11]

Afghanistan war[edit]

On 4 September 2009, MacKinlay supported the views of Eric Joyce on the Afghanistan war.[clarification needed][12]

Personal life[edit]

He is a keen researcher on World War I history, travelling and discovering Ireland, and is an honorary patron of Tilbury Football Club. He married his wife Ruth (née Segar) on 21 October 1972. They have two sons and a daughter. When an MP, he employed his wife as his Personal Assistant.[13] He is a member of the editorial board of the political magazine 'Total Politics',;[14] his daughter, Sarah MacKinlay was editor until August 2009.[15]

Political views and controversies[edit]

Mackinlay publicly supports the abolition of the monarchy.[16]

On 28 June 2008, he was reported by Mail Online to have received a warning from Downing Street after MI5 discovered that he was holding meetings with a suspected Russian spy Alexander Polyakov, officially a counsellor at the Russian Embassy in London; it was also claimed that MacKinlay had been targeted by aides of Russia's richest man, Oleg Deripaska, as a 'stooge' for use in a High Court battle.[17]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Media files[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Timothy Janman
Member of Parliament for Thurrock
1992–2010
Succeeded by
Jackie Doyle-Price