Claire Ward

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Claire Ward
Claire Ward.JPG
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice
In office
9 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Shahid Malik
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
5 October 2008 – 9 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Liz Blackman
Succeeded by Helen Jones
Member of Parliament
for Watford
In office
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Tristan Garel-Jones
Succeeded by Richard Harrington
Majority 1,148 (2.3%)
Personal details
Born (1972-05-09) 9 May 1972 (age 42)
North Shields
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of Hertfordshire
Brunel University
The College of Law

Claire Margaret Ward (born 9 May 1972[1]) is a British Labour Party politician. She served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Watford from 1997 to 2010, and was a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice from 2009 to 2010.

Early life and career[edit]

Ward was born in North Shields, Northumberland, the daughter of Frank and Cathy Ward.[2][3] Both her parents were Labour Party councillors and her father stood unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate for Hertsmere in the 1987 general election.[4] She was brought up in Elstree, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, where she attended the Loreto College, an all-girls Roman Catholic school in St Albans, and studied at the newly created University of Hertfordshire (Hatfield Polytechnic until 1992) where she earned an LLB degree in Law in 1993.[4][5] She then did an MA in Britain and the European Union at Brunel University,[6] before qualifying as a solicitor at the College of Law in London.[7] From 1995–98, she was a trainee solicitor.[8]

Ward joined the Labour Party, the Co-operative Party and the Transport and General Workers' Union at the age of 15, becoming an active member of Young Labour.[9][10] In 1990 she won the South East TUC Mike Perkins Memorial Award for Young Trade Unionists before being elected as the Youth Representative on Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) the following year.[10][11]

She was elected as a Councillor on Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council in 1994, where she served as Mayor from 1996–97.[6][8] She stepped down from the Labour Party NEC in 1995 upon her selection as the party's candidate for Watford.[4]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Ward was elected to Parliament in 1997, succeeding the former Conservative Party Deputy Chief Whip Tristan Garel-Jones who retired, and defeating Conservative candidate Robert Gordon by 5,792 votes, thereby becoming MP for Watford.[12] Her election was notable in that she was aged 24, although she was not quite the youngest MP, being 50 days older than Chris Leslie, the new MP for Shipley.[4][13]

After her election, Ward became a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.[8] From 2000 to 2002, she was the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Chocolate and Confectionery Industry Group.[14][15][16] In the 2001 general election she retained her seat by 5,555 votes and was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Hutton.[12][17]

The increasing dominance of local politics in Watford Borough council by the Liberal Democrats, including the election of a Liberal Democrat Mayor, led to speculation that Ward would find re-election extremely difficult. Ward even accused staff from the council of harassment during the 2005 general election campaign.[18] However, she managed to hold off a strong Liberal Democrat challenge from Sal Brinton; despite a 12% swing against her, Ward held the seat with a majority of 1,148 votes, approximately 2.3% of the electorate. The Conservative candidate was narrowly forced into third place with 793 fewer votes than Brinton, making Watford a three way marginal seat.[19]

Upon her re-election in May 2005, Ward was appointed an Assistant Government Whip before being promoted to full Whip, as a Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, on 5 May 2006.[20][21] She was promoted again in October 2008 to Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, the lowest of the senior Whips.[22] At the June 2009 Cabinet reshuffle, she replaced Shahid Malik as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice.[23]

She claimed over £90,000 in second home allowance between 2004 and 2009, despite living less than 30 miles from Westminster. Upon publication of MP's expenses in 2009, Ward defended her choice to fund a second home in Westminster from her parliamentary allowance, citing her need to balance her public duties with her duties as a mother of small children.[24][25] Ward was one of 98 MPs who voted in favour of legislation which would have kept MPs expense details secret.[26]

She lost her seat at the 2010 general election when she finished third in the election in Watford with 14,750 votes, behind the Conservative Party candidate Richard Harrington (19,291 votes) and the Liberal Democrat Sal Brinton (17,866 votes).

Activity in Parliament[edit]

The Labour Party was in Government throughout Ward's time in Parliament. As of the end of 2009, Ward has rebelled against the Government's stated or majority position 19 times out of 2,629 votes she has attended, a rebelling rate of 0.72%. She has on occasion voted against her party line on changes to the schedule of the House of Commons, and the Government's position on reform of the House of Lords. In 2004, she voted with the Conservatives in favour of introducing a ban on the "reasonable chastisement" of children.[27] In 2008, in a free vote,[28] On a free vote, Ward voted against her party's majority position on abortion, where she unsuccessfully voted in several separate bills for a reduction in the time when an abortion can be carried out from 24 weeks.[29]

In her period as a backbench MP, Ward made speeches about age discrimination,[30] secondary school admissions,[31] against electoral reform,[32] the European Union,[33] Eurostar,[34] transport safety,[35] in favour of lowering the voting age,[36][37] the Millennium Dome,[38] pensions,[39] Football hooliganism,[40] defence procurement,[41] the economy,[42] education,[43] broadcasting regulation,[44] Religious schools,[45] chocolate production,[46] home safety,[47] female prisoners,[48] the National Lottery,[49] licencing laws,[50] tree management by Network Rail,[51] school closures in Leavesden,[52] asylum seekers,[53] Normandy Landings,[54] and fox hunting.[55]

According to the TheyWorkForYou website, Ward asked many Parliamentary questions about the Croxley Rail Link, VAT, the Middle East, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.[56]

How Claire Ward voted on key issues (They Work For You):

  • Voted for introducing a smoking ban.
  • Voted for introducing ID cards.
  • Voted for introducing foundation hospitals.
  • Voted for introducing student top-up fees.
  • Voted for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
  • Voted for the Iraq war.
  • Voted against investigating the Iraq war.
  • Voted for replacing Trident.
  • Voted for the hunting ban.
  • Voted for equal gay rights.

Post-parliamentary career[edit]

Since June 2011 Ward has been executive director of the Independent Pharmacy Federation.[57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Claire Ward". BBC News. 16 March 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ Sylvester, Rachel (17 January 1999). "Hare Krishna paid for Labour MP's trip to India". The Independent (London: Independent News and Media). Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Ward, Claire. "Claire Ward's Biography". Watford Labour Party. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d Barbieri, Annalisa (11 May 1997). "Interview: Claire Ward; Age of innocence". The Independent (London: Independent News and Media). Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Hodges, Lucy (24 July 1997). "A-Z of Universities: Hertfordshire". London: The Independent. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Claire Ward- Ministry of Justice". Ministry of Justice. Crown copyright. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "Claire Ward". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c "Members of Parliament for Watford". Watford Observer (Newsquest Media Group). Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  9. ^ Castle, Stephen; Birnberg, Ariadne (9 February 1997). "The Cabinet of Tomorrow?". The Independent (London: Independent News and Media). Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  10. ^ a b McSmith, Andy (16 March 2001). "The young idealist who took on the old hand". Telegraph.co.uk (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Ms Claire Ward MP". politicalwizard.co.uk. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Vote 2001: Watford". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  13. ^ Boothroyd, David. "The Youngest Members of Parliament". Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  14. ^ "All-Party Parliamentary Chocolate and Confectionery Industry Group". House of Commons – Register of All-Party Groups. London: Parliament of the United Kingdom. 12 September 2000. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  15. ^ "All-Party Parliamentary Chocolate and Confectionery Industry Group". House of Commons – Register of All-Party Groups. London: Parliament of the United Kingdom. 14 May 2001. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  16. ^ "Official Report, Commons". London: Parliament of the United Kingdom. 20 May 2002. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  17. ^ "The 'Blair babes': Where are they now?". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 8 May 2007. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  18. ^ Meek, James (6 May 2005). "Watford: a three-way junction to Westminster". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  19. ^ "Election 2005: Watford". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 6 May 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  20. ^ "The Cabinet and new members of the Government". The Independent (London: Independent News and Media). 10 May 2005. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  21. ^ "Her Majesty s Cabinet and Ministerial list". 10 Downing Street. 5 May 2006. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  22. ^ Jeeves, Paul (6 October 2008). "Reshuffle in full: New Minister hints he may seek to impose curb on migrant arrivals". Yorkshire Post (Johnston Press Digital Publishing). Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  23. ^ "Who's who in Gordon Brown's government?". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media). 9 June 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  24. ^ Neil Skinner (25 March 2009). "Watford MP Claire Ward defends expenses claim". Watford Observer. Newsquest. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  25. ^ Ward, Claire (21 May 2009). "MP's expenses". mySociety. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  26. ^ Bremner, Charles; Robertson, David (20 May 2007). "How your MP voted on the FOI Bill". The Times (London). 
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ "MPs reject cut in abortion limit". BBC News. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  29. ^ [2]
  30. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 6 February 1998. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  31. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 11 May 1998. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  32. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 5 November 1998. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  33. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 3 December 1998. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  34. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 19 May 1999. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  35. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 20 October 1999. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  36. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 15 December 1999. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  37. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 5 March 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  38. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 21 February 2000. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  39. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 8 June 2000. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  40. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 13 July 2000. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  41. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 2 October 2000. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  42. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 13 March 2001. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  43. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 6 November 2001. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  44. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 14 January 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  45. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 6 February 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  46. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 20 May 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  47. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 18 June 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  48. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 10 July 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  49. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 23 October 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  50. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 24 May 2003. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  51. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 3 June 2003. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  52. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 30 June 2003. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  53. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 2 December 2003. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  54. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 24 February 2004. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  55. ^ "Speeches". MySociety. 15 September 2004. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  56. ^ "Committees and topics of interest". mySociety. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  57. ^ "Directors". Independent Pharmacy Federation. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tristan Garel-Jones
Member of Parliament for Watford
19972010
Succeeded by
Richard Harrington
Political offices
Preceded by
Liz Blackman
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Helen Jones
Preceded by
Shahid Malik
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Crispin Blunt
Jonathan Djanogly