|Member of Parliament
for Houghton and Washington East
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Roland Boyes|
|Succeeded by||Constituency Abolished|
1 September 1958 |
Washington, County Durham
Fraser Kemp (born 1 September 1958) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Houghton and Washington East from 1997 to 2010, and had previously been a full-time employee of the Labour Party.
Kemp started work in the civil service from 1975 and was active in the Civil and Public Services Association trade union and in the Clause Four faction that operated inside the Labour Party. He began working full-time for the Labour Party in 1981, having previously, as a teenager, organised successful local election campaigns.
Appointed as party organiser in Leicester - where his long rivalry with Chris Rennard began, by 1984 he was an Assistant Regional Organiser in the East Midlands before being appointed as the, then youngest ever, Regional Organiser for the Labour Party in the West Midlands in 1986.
In that role he came to prominence as the election agent responsible for the two of the biggest swings to the Labour Party in history - firstly in the Mid Staffordshire by-election in 1990 (an election largely fought over the question of the Poll Tax) and then an even bigger swing in Dudley West by-election in 1994, not long after Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party.
As a result of this success Kemp was posted to the party's headquarters in Millbank Tower in London and became the party's number two member of staff as General Election Co-ordinator in 1994. He held this post until being selected as Labour candidate for Houghton and Washington East - the constituency where he grew up - in late 1996.
In 2001, Kemp unsuccessfully auditioned to be presenter of chair-based quiz show The Chair.
In 2001 Kemp was appointed to the Government Whip's Office as a junior whip but was recalled to by-election service in 2004, masterminding, along with his protégé Tom Watson, Labour's victories over the Liberal Democrats in the Hodge Hill by-election on 15 July 2004 and a much more decisive victory in the Hartlepool by-election on 30 September 2004.
Kemp was asked to play a significant role in Labour's preparation for the 2005 General Election.
Kemp retired at the 2010 general election, and his constituency disappeared in boundary changes.
Kemp married Patricia Mary Byrne in July 1989. They have two sons and a daughter.