Hugh Bayley

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Hugh Bayley
Hugh Bayley.jpg
Member of Parliament
for York Central
City of York (1992-2010)
Assumed office
9 April 1992
Preceded by Conal Gregory
Majority 6,451 (13.9%)
Personal details
Born (1952-01-09) 9 January 1952 (age 62)
Maidenhead, Berkshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Fenella Jeffers
Alma mater University of Bristol
University of York

Hugh Bayley (born 9 January 1952) is a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament for York Central. He held the City of York seat from 1992 to the 2010 general election, when boundary changes took effect.

Early life[edit]

Bayley was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire and was educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College, the University of Bristol, where he obtained a Politics BSc degree in 1974; and the University of York where he was awarded a BPhil degree in Southern African Studies in 1976. After his studies in 1975 he became a District Officer and later a National Officer with NALGO until 1982.

He was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Camden in 1980. He became the General Secretary of the International Broadcasting Trust in 1982. Bayley stepped down as a councillor and moved to York to take up a post as Research Officer in Health Economics at the University of York from 1987-92. He was a lecturer in Social Policy at the University from 1986 until 1998.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Hugh Bayley was nominated as the Labour candidate for York at the 1987 general election but was defeated by just 147 votes by the Conservative Conal Gregory. After the election, Hugh Bayley became a Health Economics Research Fellow at the University of York, and became a member of the local health authority.

Conal Gregory and Hugh Bayley again fought it out at the 1992 general election in York and this time Bayley won by a comfortable margin. After his election he made his maiden speech on 7 May 1992 and joined the Health Select Committee. The name of the York constituency was changed (though with unaltered boundaries) and Bayley won a majority of over 20,000 at the 1997 general election.

After the election, Bayley became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Health Frank Dobson who lived near York. He was promoted to Tony Blair's government in 1998 as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Social Security, responsible for incapacity, maternity and disability benefits, and vaccine damage.[1] He was deputy on bringing the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill through the Commons, which attracted much criticism from backbench Labour MPs over plans to means-test and restrict access to incapacity benefit.[2][3] He was dropped from government after the 2001 general election.

He has since served on the International Development Committee. He was the founding member of the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group, serving as Chair for several years and is now Vice Chair. He has been President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly since November 2012.[4] He is also a Chairman of the Public Bill Committee. The City of York constituency was abolished in 2010, with Bayley being elected in the 2010 general election to represent the successor constituency York Central.

He is a loyal backbencher, rarely voting against his party.[5]

At the outset of the 2010 parliament, Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow appointed Bayley as a temporary Deputy Speaker to serve for two weeks until the election of Deputy Speakers.[6] Bayley accepted the appointment, but stated that he would serve only temporarily and would not run for a Deputy Speakership, as he preferred to be able to represent his constituents by speaking out on issues before the House.[7]

On 5 December 2014, Bayley announced his intention to stand down as a Labour MP at the 2015 general election.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He was active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in his student days and is a lover of jazz. On 22 December 1984 in Camden, he married Fenella Jeffers from Nevis. They have a son (born November 1985) and a daughter (born December 1987).


  1. ^ "UK Politics - Department of Social Security". BBC. 15 October 1999. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Paul Waugh and Sarah Schaefer (18 May 1999). "Ministers 'panic' on benefits revolt". The Independent. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Michael White (11 January 2000). "Minister offers £5m welfare concession". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Hugh BAYLEY". NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Hugh Bayley MP, York Central (
  6. ^ p.9
  7. ^ Deputy Speaker role for York Central MP Hugh Bayley (From York Press)
  8. ^ "Hugh Bayley to stand down as Labour MP". Retrieved 5 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Conal Gregory
Member of Parliament for the City of York
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for the York Central