Iain Wright

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For other people named Ian Wright, see Ian Wright (disambiguation).
Iain Wright
MP
Iain Wright.jpg
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for 14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships
In office
9 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Sarah McCarthy-Fry (as PUS for Schools and Learners)
Member of Parliament
for Hartlepool
Incumbent
Assumed office
8 September 2004
Preceded by Peter Mandelson
Majority 5,509 (14.4%)
Personal details
Born (1972-05-09) 9 May 1972 (age 42)
Hartlepool, County Durham, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Tiffiny Wright[1]
Alma mater University College London

Iain David Wright (born 9 May 1972) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hartlepool since 2004, and is currently the Shadow Minister for Industry. He was previously Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for apprenticeships and 14-19 reform in the Department for Children, Schools and Families until 11 May 2010.

Early life[edit]

Wright was born in Hartlepool and graduated with a BA in 1994 and MA in 1995 in history from University College London. That year he joined the Labour Party and was elected as an officer of Cleveland and Richmond Young Labour. He worked as a chartered accountant for Deloitte & Touche from 1996–2003 and for the One NorthEast RDA from 2003-4 before his election. He was elected as a councillor for the Rift House ward of Hartlepool Borough Council in 2002, and a served on the council's Cabinet with responsibility for performance management.[2]

Parliamentary career[edit]

He was the only Hartlepool member on the shortlist when Peter Mandelson stepped down as Labour MP for the town in September 2004 and was easily selected as the Labour Party candidate for the by-election; during the later stages of the campaign, three local members - one of whom featured in Conservative Party leaflets and another of whom had earlier failed to win the nomination - were reported in the Guardian newspaper (which subsequently endorsed Liberal Democrat rival Jody Dunn) to have been unhappy that no other local candidate had been available. The Labour Party dismissed the claims as having come from the "usual suspects". One subsequently apologised and another was expelled.[3]

During the campaign Wright highlighted the Labour government's controversial policies for tackling anti-social behaviour as well as the Liberal Democrats' refusal to support such measures in Parliament and stressed his local origins, in contrast to his main rival's. On polling day (30 September 2004), Wright was elected with a majority of 2,033, reduced from Mandelson's majority of 14,571.

The campaign was unusually long for British by-elections - effectively having begun on 22 July (the day Peter Mandelson announced his intention to become a European Commissioner) - 71 days before polling day itself.

Wright speaking in 2013

His first act as an MP was to actively campaign for the proposed North East Regional Assembly in the referendum held in November 2004. The proposal for an assembly was rejected by 78% to 22%.

Wright was re-elected in the May 2005 General Election with an increased majority of 7,478. In June 2005, he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Health Minister Rosie Winterton, a role he resigned from on 7 September 2006.[4]

In 2006, he became Chairman of Labour Friends of Israel. He returned to Government in July 2007 as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government, before moving to the Department for Children, Schools and Families in the June 2009 reshuffle.

In May 2009,during the MP's expenses row, Wright and fellow Labour MP Tom Watson were criticised by the Daily Telegraph for "lavishing" £100,000 on a "shared central London crash pad."[5] Wright and Watson claimed the legal fees for buying the property and the following year claimed £1,431.46 legal fees for buying the freehold, which significantly enhanced the property value. Rules at the time did not require them to reimburse any profits made on the sale of the property.[6] In response, Wright said "As a new MP, I purchased furniture and electrical equipment once I was in the process of purchasing a half share of a small two-bedroom flat in London." His expenses for 2008-2009 were £136,725 and ranked 489 out of 647 MPs.[7] The Legg Report stated that he was reimbursed £805.97 for an extra month mortgage interest in 2006-2007 which he subsequently repaid.[8]

Charity work[edit]

Wright completed the 2011 Great North Run in aid of the Stroke Association. He joined his son Benjamin, 17, on the 13.1 mile run. The pair ran in aid of the Stroke Association, a cause which has been close to their hearts since Ben suffered a serious stroke in 2006. Wright completed the course in quite a time of two hours and fifty minutes, with Ben achieving a time of two hours thirty minutes.[9] Wright works a lot with local charities, chiefly children's charities. This ties in with Wright's interests as a former Parliamentary under Secretary of State for 14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/110124/part2.htm
  2. ^ His 'About' section on his website.
  3. ^ Labour kicks out party stalwart
  4. ^ MP Iain Wright resigns
  5. ^ Gordon Rayner and Rosa Prince (10 May 2009). "Iain Wright and Tom Watson lavish £100,000 on shared central London flat on MPs' expenses". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "MPs' expenses: Old rules vs new rules". BBC News. 29 Mar 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Iain Wright Labour MP for Hartlepool:Expenses". theyworkforyou.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Review of past ACA payments" (PDF). House of Commons Members Estimate Committee. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  9. ^ His website.

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Mandelson
Member of Parliament for Hartlepool
2004–present
Incumbent