Ian Lavery

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Ian Lavery
Ian Lavery MP.jpg
Lavery speaking at TULO Reception
Member of Parliament
for Wansbeck
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Denis Murphy
Majority 7,031 (18.4%)
President of the National Union of Mineworkers
In office
Preceded by Arthur Scargill
Succeeded by Nicky Wilson
Personal details
Born (1963-01-06) 6 January 1963 (age 52)[1]
Ashington, Northumberland, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Children Ian, Jr., Liam
Profession Miner
Website www.ianlavery.org.uk

Ian Lavery (born 6 January 1963) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wansbeck since the 2010 general election. Lavery was the President of the National Union of Mineworkers.

Early life[edit]

Lavery has lived in Ashington all of his life. After leaving old East School school, Lavery started on a youth training scheme, before working in the construction industry. Following a recruitment campaign by the National Coal Board, he commenced work at Lynemouth Colliery in January 1980.[2] In July 1980 Lavery started a mining craft apprenticeship. In 1981 he transferred to Ellington Colliery and went to college, receiving a HNC in Mining.

Miners' Strike 1984–85 and Presidency of the NUM[edit]

During the 1984–85 Miners' Strike Lavery was the only apprentice in the North East area who refused to go to work.[3] He was arrested seven times during the strike.

In 1986, Lavery was elected onto the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) committee at Ellington Colliery as Compensation Secretary. Later, he was voted on to the Northumberland Executive Committee, and then on to the North East Area Executive Committee. He claims that because of his union activity, he was barred by management from completing his HND qualification:

"I was the only one in the whole of the North East Area who had completed the HNC who wasn't given that opportunity. I went to see the manager, not that I would have gone by the way, and he said that they didn't think I would be interested. I asked him if he had thought to ask me, and he said no, not really, and he was smiling as he said it."

Following the miners strike, Lavery became a more active member of the Labour Party and Trade Union movement. He rose through the ranks to become the first cabinet Chairman of the Wansbeck District Council. Following this appointment, Lavery would then be appointed General Secretary of the Northumberland area through the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).[4] In 1992 Lavery stood for the National Executive Committee of the NUM. In the subsequent ballot, he was elected in the first round having gained more than 50 per cent of the vote. When Arthur Scargill stepped down as NUM President in August 2002, Lavery was elected through the normal balloting procedures, although he stood unopposed. He was perceived by many in the NUM as "the natural successor to Arthur Scargill".[5] Under his leadership membership of the union fell from over 200,000 to just 1,855 members in 2011.[6]

Member of Parliament[edit]

In February 2010 Lavery became the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party for Wansbeck[7][8] and was duly elected Member of Parliament (MP) on 6 May 2010 with a reduced majority of 7,031. He has been critical of New Labour figures, particularly those who have enjoyed lucrative work in the private sector, who prominently voice resistance to any attempt by the Labour Party to shift away from Blairite policies.[9] Lavery speaks in the commons on matters such as local regeneration, employment, energy, climate change, poverty, internationalism and sport.[8] Lavery also chairs the trade union group.[10]

One of Lavery's main acts within Parliament was to bring forward a Ten Minute Rule bill on the Government's introduction of the Bedroom Tax.[11] During the debate, Conservative Party whips were in the lobby trying to persuade MPs not to vote, however the bill passed unanimously with a vote of 226 to 1 in favour of the bill.[12] Despite Lavery's efforts, the bill failed to pass in its second reading, with a vote of 253 in favour, and 304 against.[13]

From 2010–11 Lavery was part of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, and since 2010 has been a member of the Regulatory Reform Committee. Lavery was also a member of Draft Deregulation Bill Committee during 2013,[8] and a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee since 2010.[14]

On 19 March 2015, Lavery was allocated a question for Prime Minister's Questions. Lavery asked the Prime Minister for an apology to the North East after an increase in the cost of living, decrease in wages and shorter life expectancy's.[15] Despite the Prime Minister stating that in the Wansbeck constituency unemployment benefit count had fallen 28% and the youth claimant count had fallen by 32% during the last Parliament, figures still show that salaries had dropped from £485 to £479 and that the north east still has the largest unemployment figures in the country.[16] [17]


In 2011 during Prime Minister's Question Time Lavery asked a question about health advisor Mark Britnell, whom he mistook as being appointed by the Conservative Party, whereas in fact Britnell was appointed by the Labour Party. Lavery condemned Britnell's actions, only for David Cameron to point out that Britnell was in fact an advisor to the Labour administration. Lavery also got Britnell's first name wrong.[18]

In 2012 Lavery was forced to resign as a Parliamentary aide to Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman after going against the party whip to increase the pension age.[19]

Lavery employs his wife as a parliamentary assistant and in 2012 she was given a taxpayer-funded pay rise from between £5,000–£9,999 to between £20,000–£24,999.[20]

In 2014 Lavery posed for a photograph with his son who had blackened his face to look like Michael Jackson. The photograph caused an outcry among some of Lavery's constituents who said they found it offensive.[21]

In 2015 Lavery said that the Labour party leadership believe that people in the North East of England are "stupid" and an "irrelevance".[22]

Personal life[edit]

Lavery married his wife Hilary in 1986, they have two sons, Ian Jnr and Liam. Liam is a town councillor for the college ward of Ashington.[23]

Lavery is a Trustee of; CISWO in the North East Area, Northumberland Aged Mineworkers' Homes Association and Woodhorn Colliery Museum, he is a Patron of Headway for South East Northumberland as well as Wansbeck Disability Forum and is Chair of Ashington Community Football Club and the Hirst Welfare Centre. Lavery is also Chairman and trustee of the Pitman Painters.[4]


  1. ^ "Who's Who". ukwhoswho.com. Retrieved 10 February 2015. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "The Great Debate Contributors: Ian Lavery". thegreatdebate.org.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Apprentice protest
  4. ^ a b "Ian Lavery Labour Party MP in Wansbeck – about me". Ian Lavery. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Lavery as potential successor to Arthur Scargill
  6. ^ "Documents lodged on the website of the Trades Union Certification Officer". The website of the Trades Union Certification Officer. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Labour Win". Labour Win. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Ian Lavery MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Lavery, Ian (7 February 2015). "We Will Not Be Their Fools". morningstaronline.co.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Trade Union Group". Trade Union Group. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Lavery, Ian. "Ian Lavery MP on bedroom tax: Parliament must axe charge on being poor". The Mirror. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Bid to scrap bedroom tax to get second Commons reading". 24dash.com. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  13. ^ http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140226/debtext/140226-0002.htm#140226113000002
  14. ^ "Energy and Climate Change Committee – membership". UK Parliament. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Engagements". theyworkforyou.com. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  16. ^ http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2015-03-18b.754.3&s=speaker%3A24963#g761.1
  17. ^ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-jobless-rate-goes-8865833
  18. ^ "David Cameron 'had never heard' of adviser who warned on NHS reforms". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Pearson, Adrian (7 December 2012). "Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery resigns as aide over pensions battle". journallive. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  20. ^ Lyons, James (13 September 2013). "MPs' expenses: Taxpayer-funded pay rises for dozens of MPs' relatives worth up to £327,000". Mirror. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Anti-racism MP under fire after posing with son blacked up to look like Michael Jackson". The Telegraph. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  22. ^ Daniel, Brian (4 January 2015). "Tories seize on Ian Lavery's 'elite' comments about Westminster politicians". nechronicle. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Liam Lavery – College Ward – Councillors". Ashington Town Council. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Denis Murphy
Member of Parliament for Wansbeck
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Arthur Scargill
President of the National Union of Mineworkers