Ian Swales

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Ian Swales
Ian Swales at Sheffield 2011.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Redcar
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Vera Baird
Majority 5,214 (12.4%)
Personal details
Born (1953-04-05) 5 April 1953 (age 61)
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England[1]
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s) Pat Swales
Children 3
Alma mater UMIST
Website http://www.ianswales.com

Ian Cameron Swales[2] (born 5 April 1953[3]) is a British Liberal Democrat politician. He is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Redcar in England from May 2010. Swales took Redcar from Labour incumbent Vera Baird for the Liberal Democrats in the 2010 general election, with a 21.8% swing.[4] Swales added over 10,000 votes to his 2005 general election total. This was the biggest swing against any Labour candidate in the election and also the biggest gain by any Liberal Democrat.[5] He has announced that he will stand down at the 2015 general election.[6]

Early life[edit]

Swales was born in Leeds and grew up in Harrogate where he was educated at Ashville College, Harrogate[7] Following a chemical engineering degree at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, where he met his wife, Pat, a Durham miner's daughter, he joined Yorkshire Electricity and qualified as an accountant in 1977. He moved to Teesside in 1978 to join ICI and settled in Redcar.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Swales joined the SDP when it was founded in 1981 and was a member of the first Cleveland County Committee for the SDP.[citation needed] He contested the 2005 general election in the Redcar Constituency and moved the Liberal Democrats from third to second place with a positive swing against both Labour and the Conservative parties.

In 2010 he achieved the biggest swing against Labour in the entire country in winning the Redcar seat. He made his maiden speech in Parliament on 7 June 2010.[8]

During his time in Parliament Swales has been an active member of many All Party Parliamentary Groups including Chair of the APPG for the Chemical Industry [9] and Vice-Chair of the APPG for Steel and Energy Intensive Industries. In May 2014 Swales was appointed to the taskforce group for electrification of rail in the north by the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP. The group will publish their recommendations before the 2015 general election.

Shortly after the 2010 election, Swales became an active member of the Public Accounts Committee, which sits twice a week and scrutinises all public expenditure. Perhaps most notably was his role in the corporate tax avoidance hearings involving Starbucks, Amazon and Google. Being the only accountant on the committee Swales often took the lead on tax affairs. In June 2014 Swales resigned from the Committee citing frontbench commitments.

He has sat on the Welfare Reform and Finance Bill Committees, and has campaigned against tax avoidance. [10] After his prominent role on the Public Accounts Committee Swales was promoted to Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesman. In this current role he has stressed the importance of corporate ethics and transparency in business and banking while also helping his Liberal Democrat colleague at the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, deliver income tax cuts for lower earners.

Swales regularly meets with various businesses and organizations in Parliament to promote jobs and economic investment in his Redcar Constituency.

In July 2014, he announced that he is standing down as an MP at the 2015 general election.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In his spare time Swales helps local organisations and campaigns on local issues.[citation needed] He was active in Redcar Swimming Club and since the closure of the pool has campaigned for a new one. He has been on the Committee of Coatham Memorial Hall for many years.[11]

Ian and Pat have three children and five grandchildren, two boys and three girls. Ian's interests include travel, reading, cooking, walking and genealogy.[11]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Search Results
  3. ^ Northern Echo, Ian Swales[dead link]
  4. ^ "Election 2010: Redcar". BBC News. May 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Merrick, Robert (23 September 2010). "Cable comforts Lib Dem faithful". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Redcar MP Ian Swales to stand down for 'personal reasons'". BBC News. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  7. ^ polling report | Ashville College
  8. ^ [2] Maiden Speech in Parliament]
  9. ^ [3] APPG Chemical Industry]
  10. ^ "Corporate tax avoidance debate". BBC Democracy Live. 8 January 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Ian Swales". Parliamentary Record. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Vera Baird
Member of Parliament for Redcar