Ashok Kumar (British politician)

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Ashok Kumar
MP
Member of Parliament
for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
In office
1 May 1997 – 15 March 2010
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Tom Blenkinsop
Member of Parliament
for Langbaurgh
In office
7 November 1991 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Richard Holt
Succeeded by Michael Walton Bates
Personal details
Born 28 May 1956
Uttar Pradesh, India
Died 15 March 2010 (aged 53)
Marton, Middlesbrough,
North Yorkshire, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Residence Marton, Middlesbrough
Alma mater Aston University
Profession Research scientist
Religion Humanist[1]

Ashok Kumar (28 May 1956 – 15 March 2010)[2] was an Indian-born British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland from 1997 until his death shortly before the 2010 general election.

Early life[edit]

Kumar was born in Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh, India,[3] to Jagat Ram Saini and Santosh Kumari, who immigrated to Derby when he was twelve years of age. He attended Rykneld Boys' Secondary Modern School (later merged with Bemrose Grammar School and now Bemrose Community School), Derby. He left at 15 to study for O-levels at Wilmorton College, and attended Derby & District College of Art & Technologyfor his 'A' Levels. He then studied chemical engineering at Aston University, Birmingham where he was awarded a BSc in 1978, and an MSc in Process Analysis and Control Theory in 1980, and a PhD in Fluid Mechanics in 1982. The thesis title was Velocity distributions in a plate heat exchanger. He was a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Energy Institute.

He was a Research Fellow at Imperial College London (1982–5) and worked as a research scientist at British Steel, Middlesbrough from 1985 to 1997.

Political career[edit]

He began his political career as a local councillor for Middlesbrough Borough Council (1987–97). He became the MP for Langbaurgh at the 1991 Langbaurgh by-election, but lost the seat to the Conservative candidate in the 1992 election. He won Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland at the 1997 election, and held it until his death in 2010.[1][4]

He was a Member of Parliamentary Scientific Committee; Vice-Chair of Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies; Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST); and Chair of Northern Group of Labour MPs.

In June 2010 IChemE (the Institution of Chemical Engineers) and NEPIC (the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster) launched the Ashok Kumar fellowship post in memory of Kumar. The annual fellowship will see the successful candidate spend three months at the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST).[5]

Ashok Kumar MP was a supporter of industrial engagement and the concepts of economic clusters.[6] He regularly chaired the NEPIC MP/Industry meetings and contributed to the growth and innovation agenda of the Cluster. Tributes from NEPIC Industrialists for his work came after his untimely death.

Personal life[edit]

Ashok Kumar was a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association[1] and supported the Labour Friends of Israel.[7][8] Of Hindu and Sikh descent,[9] he described himself as a lifelong "liberal humanist".[10][11] He listed his recreations as "Cricket, badminton, reading history and philosophy, listening to jazz".[7] Aston University gave him an honorary degree in July 1997.

Kumar never married. He lived in Marton, Middlesbrough.[12]

Death[edit]

Kumar was found dead by police in his constituency home in Canberra Road,[13] Marton on 15 March 2010. Police announced that he had died from natural causes.[1][14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d ""Tributes paid to Labour MP Ashok Kumar", BBC News, 15 March 2010". BBC News. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.politicshome.com/uk/article/6626/labour_mp_ashok_kumar_has_died_.html
  3. ^ "Telegraph obituary". London: Telegraph.co.uk. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "‘Devastating loss for his constituents’ (From The Northern Echo)". Thenorthernecho.co.uk. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "IChemE and NEPIC launch Ashok Kumar fellowship". IChemE. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ Short, Patricia L (January 2006). "Making one out many in England". Chemical & Engineering News 84 (5): 25–28. 
  7. ^ a b Daily Mail, Body of Labour MP, 53, discovered after 'sudden accidental death', 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  8. ^ "LFI Members | Labour Friends of Israel". Lfi.org.uk. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "Ashok Kumar". The Daily Telegraph (London). 16 March 2010. 
  10. ^ Hansard, HC Deb 10 Jan 2002 c349
  11. ^ politics.co.uk, Ashok Kumar found dead at home, 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  12. ^ Julia Langdon (15 March 2010). "obituary". London: Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "MP Ashok Kumar found dead: Investigation launched". Metro.co.uk. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Labour MP Ashok Kumar died of natural causes". BBC News. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Holt
Member of Parliament for Langbaurgh
19911992
Succeeded by
Michael Bates
Preceded by
Constituency Created
Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
1997–2010
Succeeded by
Tom Blenkinsop