Ian McCartney

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The Right Honourable
Sir Ian McCartney
Minister of State for Trade
In office
5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Ian Pearson
Succeeded by The Lord Jones of Birmingham
Labour Party Chair
Minister without Portfolio
In office
4 April 2003 – 5 May 2006
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by John Reid
Succeeded by Hazel Blears
Member of Parliament
for Makerfield
In office
11 June 1987 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Michael McGuire
Succeeded by Yvonne Fovargue
Personal details
Born (1951-04-25) 25 April 1951 (age 63)
Kirkintilloch, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Website www.ianmccartney.com

Sir Ian McCartney (born 25 April 1951) is a former British politician, the Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) for the Makerfield constituency between 1987 to 2010, and served in the Cabinet, from 2003 to 2007, when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister. He was made a Knight Bachelor in the 2010 Dissolution Honours List.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire,[2] to the late Labour MP for Dunbartonshire East, Hugh McCartney, and his wife, Margaret, a trade unionist. Ian McCartney has two sisters, Irene and Margaret.

Educated at Lenzie Academy,[3] he left the school at the age of 15 "under a bit of a cloud" without any qualifications or school prizes.[4] He led a paper-boys' strike at the age of fifteen,[5] and had a number of jobs after leaving school, including a seaman, a local government manual worker, and a kitchen worker.[6] He was a councillor for the Abram ward (Metropolitan Borough of Wigan) from 1982 to 1987.[7]

Parliamentary career[edit]

McCartney became the MP for Makerfield following the 1987 general election. He was one of the founders of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group the same year, and was its first chairman.[8] He held a number of positions during Labour's period in opposition, and was variously a spokesman on Health, Employment, Education and Social Services. In 1994 he ran John Prescott's successful campaign to become Labour's Deputy Leader. McCartney was one of the shortest MPs, standing five feet, one inch tall. He described himself on his parliamentary notepaper as the "Socialist MP for Makerfield".[9]

On 23 May 2009, McCartney announced he would not stand again at the 2010 general election due to poor health.[10][11][12]

Ministerial career[edit]

McCartney was made Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry following the 1997 general election when Labour came to power.[6] While at the DTI he introduced a major package of new employment rights which including the first ever right to paid holidays, whistleblowing protection and the National Minimum Wage,[6] and steered the Competition Act through Parliament.As a former low paid worker who had been sacked upon asking for a pound pay rise after having a child, McCartney later described the minimum wage as very important to him saying that he would have "died in the ditch" for it.[6] During this time he was also responsible for employment relations, the Post Office, Company Law and inward investment.

In 1999 he was moved to Minister of State at the Cabinet Office where he was responsible for modernising Government and E-Government. During this year his drug addict son Hugh McCartney died of a heroin overdose in a Glasgow tenement block. In 2001 he became Minister of State for Pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions, and he was promoted to the Cabinet as Minister Without Portfolio and Party Chair in April 2003.

Between October 2004 and October 2005, he was Chairman of the Labour Party in two capacities - as the Party Chair (appointed by the party's leader) with a seat in the Cabinet, and as the Chair of the National Executive Committee (elected by the members of the NEC). He was also chair of the party's National Policy Forum, which formulates Labour party policy.[13] The NPF also oversaw the 'Big Conversation' project, which saw the Labour Government try to consult the general public on the future direction of party and government policy. Trusted by both leadership and membership, he was seen as a key link between the Government and the wider Labour movement.[citation needed]

He worked to make the role of Party Chair a voice for Labour Party members within the Labour Government. As architect of the Warwick Agreement by Labour's National Policy Forum, he was a key figure in co-ordinating the election manifesto for Labour's third term general election campaign. In 2006 he took a three-month leave of absence following heart bypass surgery,[14] and publicly told of his fight to lose weight for the sake of his health. His return to frontline politics was marked by his speech to the Labour Party 2006 Spring Conference in Blackpool in which he shed a tear while celebrating 100 years of the Parliamentary Labour Party. He returned to government as Minister of State for Trade in May 2006, attending Cabinet but not voting at it, but stepped down in 2007 when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

Beginning in October 2007 McCartney worked with the construction, engineering and nuclear energy company Fluor, providing them with advice in anti-corruption and business ethics policies; political, economic, environmental and regulatory issues; and outside relations including working with trade unions.[15] After details of this position were published in The Independent McCartney stated unequivocally that he personally receives none of the remuneration for this role, instead using part of the fee to employ someone in the House of Commons from his Makerfield constituency. The remainder is used to support the Women's Interlink Foundation,[16][17][18] a charity based in India which rescues street children and disadvantaged women who are exposed to poverty and sometimes at the risk of rape and murder, providing them with clean drinking water, health treatments, housing and education.

In August 2008, after admitting that some of his claims for furnishing his second home were "inappropriate," McCartney repaid £15,000 of expenses claimed for among other items, a dining table, 18-piece dinner set and champagne glasses. McCartney has asked for the review and although only a portion of the amount was deemed excessive McCartney said he felt strongly that the full amount should be returned. McCartney commented that as a senior minister he held meetings at home and "had to feed guests."[11][19][20]

In May 2009 after stepping down citing health issues, McCartney said his family had urged him to step down following a further bout of illness after his 2005 heart surgery, and that he was also being treated for disc injury and was possibly facing further surgery.[21][22][23]

Personal life[edit]

He was married firstly to Jean (née Murray), with whom he had son Hugh and daughters Yvonne and Karen, later divorcing.[24] Son Hugh died aged 23 of a drugs overdose in 1999 in his flat in Parkhead.[25]

Hugh, known as "Shug",[26] had battled drug addiction since his teenage years. Only recently released from prison, he had been trying to break his habit.[27] In 2002, McCartney gave an interview with the Sunday Herald discussing his son's experiences in the justice system and how he [Ian McCartney] believed "the way we deal with addicts sentenced his son to death".[28] In 2003, McCartney stated in an interview that he still breaks down over the death of his only son.[29]

McCartney's second and current wife is Ann Kevan Parkes, whom he married in 1988.[24][27][30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peerages, honours and appointments". Number 10. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  2. ^ http://www.nndb.com/people/819/000159342/
  3. ^ "Ian is Labour's top man". Kirkintilloch Herald. 8 April 2003. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "The rise of little big man". HighBeam Research. 
  5. ^ "Ian McCartney will be missed as an MP". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Minimum wage: Ex-MP Ian McCartney recalls its introduction". BBC News Online. 13 May 2011. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Learning from Scotland". The Glasgow Herald (Google News). 
  8. ^ Andy Wilson (5 March 2010). "Royal Navy ready to break new ground against Blackpool in Challenge Cup". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Sylvester, Rachel (17 May 2003). "How the fast-food failure is now a quickfire success". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph). Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Senior Labour MP is to stand down". BBC News. 23 May 2009. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Labour MP Ian McCartney to stand down". The Daily Telegraph (London). 23 May 2009. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Sky News: MPs' Expenses: Andrew Mackay and Ian McCartney to Quit at Next Election after Telegraph Revelations". Sky News. 23 May 2009. Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  13. ^ The Guardian (London) http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Society/documents/2003/06/03/health.pdf |url= missing title (help). 
  14. ^ Landberg, Reed V. (5 October 2005). "U.K. Labour Party Chairman to Undergo Heart Bypass Operation". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Cash-for-access row as former Labour minister Ian McCartney entertains nuclear boss in Commons". Mail Online (London: Daily Mail). 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Welcome to womensinterlinkfoundation". Womensinterlinkfoundation.org. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Mr Ian McCartney MP v The Independent". Complaints.pccwatch.co.uk. 31 March 2009. Archived from the original on 13 August 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Ian McCartney MP - Corrections". The Independent (London). 17 October 2008. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "Ex-Labour chief Ian McCartney's champagne-flute bill". Mail Online (London: Daily Mail). 18 May 2009. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  20. ^ Allen, Nick (17 May 2009). "Ian McCartney claimed for champagne flutes and £700 table and chairs: MPs expenses". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  21. ^ Castle, Tim (23 May 2009). "Former Labour party chairman stepping down as MP". Reuters. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  22. ^ "McCartney to quit". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Police and policing,Labour,MPs' expenses". The Guardian (London). 23 May 2009. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. 
  24. ^ a b Jack O'Sullivan (23 September 1999). "Addicted son of minister 'could have been saved'". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "McCartney's son felt 'suicidal'". BBC News. 22 September 1999. Archived from the original on 25 February 2003. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  26. ^ The Independent on Sunday (London) //web.archive.org/web/20100404135925/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/drugs-steal-your-dreams-says-minister-who-lost-son-721182.html |archiveurl= missing title (help). Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. 
  27. ^ a b "Minister's emotional farewell to son". BBC News. 30 September 1999. Archived from the original on 24 February 2003. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  28. ^ "Sunday Herald". Sunday Herald. 19 June 2002. Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  29. ^ "I still break down over the death of my only son Ian McCartney gives his first interview as chairman of the Labour Party to Colin Brown". HighBeam Research. 
  30. ^ "Ian McCartney". NNDB. Archived from the original on 15 April 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael McGuire
Member of Parliament for Makerfield
19872010
Succeeded by
Yvonne Fovargue
Political offices
Preceded by
John Reid
Minister without Portfolio
2003–2006
Succeeded by
Hazel Blears
Preceded by
Ian Pearson
Minister of State for Trade
2006–2007
Succeeded by
The Lord Jones of Birmingham
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Reid
Labour Party Chair
2003–2006
Succeeded by
Hazel Blears
Preceded by
Mary Turner
Chair of the Labour Party
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Jeremy Beecham