Ivan Lewis

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Ivan Lewis
MP
Ivan Lewis 2.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Vernon Coaker
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
In office
7 October 2011 – 7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Harriet Harman
Succeeded by Jim Murphy
Shadow Secretary of State for
Culture, Media and Sport
In office
8 October 2010 – 7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Ben Bradshaw
Succeeded by Harriet Harman
Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
8 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Bill Rammell
Succeeded by Jeremy Browne
Minister of State for International Development
In office
5 October 2008 – 8 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Gillian Merron
Succeeded by Michael Foster
Minister of State for Care Services
In office
15 May 2006 – 3 October 2008
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Gordon Brown
Preceded by The Lord Warner
Succeeded by Phil Hope
Member of Parliament
for Bury South
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by David Sumberg
Majority 3,292 (6.8%)
Personal details
Born (1967-03-04) 4 March 1967 (age 47)
Prestwich, Lancashire, England
Nationality English
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Divorced

Ivan Lewis (born 4 March 1967) is a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bury South since 1997. Lewis was the initial Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in Ed Miliband's first shadow cabinet and held this post until October 2011 at which point he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for International Development. In the October 2013 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle he was moved to the position of Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Lewis continually served in various government ministerial positions under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from 2001 to 2010. After the Labour Party lost the May 2010 General Election, he was subsequently elected to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Born in 1967, Lewis was born in the Bury South constituency which he now represents.[citation needed] to a British Jewish family.[1] He was educated at the then independent William Hulme Grammar School in Manchester, followed by Stand Sixth Form College (now closed, formerly Stand Grammar School) as well as Bury College.

Lewis married Juliette Fox in June 1990 in Stockport. The couple have two sons and are now divorced. He is also a lifelong Manchester City fan.[2]

Prior to his election in 1997, he worked in the voluntary sector from 1986 to 1997 for Outreach, learning disabilities support group Contact Community Care Group - which Lewis helped to create at 19 years old - and as Chief Executive of the Manchester Jewish Federation.[citation needed]

Lewis also served as a Councillor on Bury Council, being elected in 1990 at 23 years of age and held the position of Chairman of the Council’s Social Services Committee.[3]

Political career[edit]

After Lewis' election as MP for Bury South, he would be later appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Stephen Byers from July 1999 to June 2001.

In Government[edit]

Between June 2001 and June 2002, Lewis was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Young People and Learning within the Department for Education and Skills and then for Adult Learning and Skills. From June 2002 to May 2005, he became Under-Secretary of State for Skills and Vocational Education in the same department.

As a junior minister Lewis was responsible for the White Paper, 21st Century Skills: Realising our Potential, launched in 2003. It reportedly aimed to increase support for adults seeking to gain technical and craft qualifications at level 3 (two A-levels or equivalent). The White Paper suggested removing the age limit for Modern Apprentices and made information and communications technology the third essential "skill for life" alongside literacy and numeracy.[4]

Lewis also introduced a pilot scheme for young apprenctices aged 14–16.[citation needed]

Lewis was then Economic Secretary to the Treasury from May 2005 to May 2006. Lewis was moved to a junior ministerial position in the Department of Health in the Cabinet reshuffle in May 2006.

On 29 June 2007, in Gordon Brown's first reshuffle as Prime Minister he was re-appointed to the post of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Health, the only junior minister to survive the reshuffle where he held on to the brief for social care and added mental health services.

Minister for Care Services 2006 to 2008[edit]

During his time in this brief Lewis made huge efforts to raise the profile of social care issues and make transformative change to the delivery of care services. Specifically he led on the introduction of Putting People First, the then Government’s policy (accepted by the incoming Coalition Government) to personalise the provision of social care services for the elderly and people with disabilities. This also set out a framework for greater integration between social care, the NHS and other Community Services. Lewis challenged Local Authorities to ensure that these service users had access to personal budgets in order that they could shape the provision of their own care in order to meet their own specific needs. This would be achieved by the service user utilising the personal budget to purchase services or pay for leisure activities of their choosing and not be reliant on rigid ‘one size fits all’ Council provided services. Lewis challenged Local Authorities to ensure that all publicly funded service users had access to a personal budget by 2011.[5]

On leaving the Department of Health and his Minister for Care Services role The Guardian’s David Brindle wrote:-[6]

The social care sector will miss him. By common consent, he has been the sector's best Labour minister and in the top three of all those appointed by both Labour and the Conservatives. Steeped in social care – he was volunteering with learning disabled people at age 14 – he has done a huge amount to raise its profile in the past two years. Whoever would have thought we would today be talking about social care setting the pace for personalisation of services across government?”

Department for International Development & Foreign Commonwealth Affairs[edit]

On 3 October 2008, Lewis moved to the Department for International Development. At DfID Lewis spearheaded a campaign to persuade other Governments and multilateral agencies to prioritise maternal health.

He remained there until June 2009, when he was promoted to Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Lewis was responsible for the UK's Middle East policy, the UK's relations with the US and China, counter terrorism and counter proliferation.

In Opposition[edit]

In October 2010, Lewis was elected by his fellow Labour MPs to the Shadow Cabinet and appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport by Labour Leader Ed Miliband.

In September 2011 Lewis was reappointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.[7]

In October 2013 Lewis was moved in a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle from the International Development portfolio to the Shadow Northern Ireland one.[8] However, despite his reshuffle, which was seen by many commentators as a demotion,[9] he fulfilled a standing commitment to outline Labour's vision on International Development at The University of Manchester, during Manchester Policy Week.[10]

One Nation Labour[edit]

Lewis has been one of the key figures influencing the Labour Party’s political thinking and future direction since the 2010 General Election. He also worked closely with Ed Miliband on Labour’s strong response to the phone hacking scandal.

He was one of the co-originators of the notion of ‘One Nation Labour’, which formed the foundation of Ed Miliband’s keynote speech at the Labour Conference held in Manchester in September 2012. Lewis had originally floated the concept in a chapter written for the ‘Purple Book’, a collection of essays written by mainly senior figures in the Party offering new policy ideas.[11]

Controversies[edit]

In March 2008 Lewis became the first Government Minister to publicly warn that the Labour Party was losing touch with ordinary people under the leadership of Gordon Brown in an article written for Progress Online. Lewis stated that he believed that the Government had lost touch with what fairness meant to the mainstream majority.[12]

Lewis wrote:-

"We cannot afford to be reticent or selective about what fair means in today's Britain. Fairness means everyone paying an appropriate level of tax. It is true there is nothing wrong with being 'stinking rich' providing you pay a significantly higher proportion in tax than your fellow citizen with a modest disposable income. Fairness means a Labour government not remaining silent when any company rips the consumer off or directors of poorly-performing organisations in the public or private sector receive extortionate bonuses. Fairness means equal treatment and opportunities for women and ethnic minorities in the workplace, not skilled white men denied career opportunities in the name of equality.”

Text Messages Incident[edit]

In 2008, the Department of Health confirmed that Ivan Lewis had made an apology for his behaviour when in 2007 he began sending increasingly intimate text messages to then aide Suzie Mason, which ultimately led to her registering concern, and successfully seeking an alternative position within the Civil Service before leaving for the private sector.[13] Nick Cohen pointed out in The Observer on 14 September 2008 that the revelations about Lewis' private life followed articles by Lewis which constituted coded attacks on Gordon Brown.[14]

In his book The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour, the journalist Andrew Rawnsley suggests that Lewis was a target of ‘Gordon Brown’s Hit Squad’. In relation to the Suzie Mason story Rawnsley wrote:- "Yet there were few Labour MPs who doubted that the story was planted by No 10, which was privy to a confidential Whitehall report about the Civil Servant. The hit on Lewis stunned Ministers who regarded themselves as unshockable." The story was leaked 12 months after the incident occurred. Senior Civil Servants dealing with the Mason issue advised that no action be taken against Lewis.

Vioxx[edit]

In 2009, The Guardian reported[15] that, following a promise to assist British users of the drug "Vioxx" (produced by Merck) with legal fees in their attempt to claim damages, Lewis changed his mind within hours of an "expensive lobbying effort" by Merck. Vioxx has been shown to increase the risk of heart failure in users.

Press Regulation[edit]

On 27 September 2011, Lewis addressed the Labour Party conference in Liverpool outlining a proposal for "a new system of independent regulation" of the press and of journalists that "as [with] other professions the industry should consider whether people guilty of gross malpractice should be struck off",[16] though without specifying in any detail how this might be achieved.[17] The proposal was slapped down by an aide to Ed Miliband: "Labour is not in the business of regulating journalists".[18]

In evidence given by Paul Dacre, Editor-in-Chief, of the Daily Mail to the Leveson Inquiry he highlighted his support for the creation of a Newspaper Industry Ombudsman.[19]

Lewis's calls in September 2011 for a new independent system of regulation of the press were echoed in the findings of Lord Justice Leveson at the conclusion of the Leveson Inquiry. Lord Justice Leveson recommended that a new press standards agency be created with a new code of conduct, to be backed by legislation, to ensure that the regulation was independent and effective. Labour Leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called for the Inquiry's finding to be accepted by the Government in their entirety.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jessica Elgot (14 May 2010). "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ivan Lewis appointed minister at Department for Education and Skills". DfES. 14 June 2001. Archived from the original on 27 March 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Mp, Labour (18 October 2002). "Ivan Lewis". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Ngaio Crequer (11 July 2003). "Hearty welcome for skills strategy". TES-Newspaper. Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Mithran Samuel (1 August 2008). "Ivan Lewis challenges adult care sector to deliver". Community Care. Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  6. ^ David Brindle (7 October 2008). "At least it's not the sackThe social care sector will miss Ivan Lewis, says David Brindle". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Saiqa Chaudhari (12 October 2011). "Ivan Lewis becomes shadow international development minister". The Bury Times. Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Labour’s new Shadow Cabinet in full". 7 October 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Owen Bennett (8 October 2013). "Ed Miliband axes Twigg and Byrne in Shadow Cabinet reshuffle". The Daily Express. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Labour's International Development Strategy". 13 December 2013. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Patrick Wintour (9 September 2011). "Labour looks like Party of Urban Elite, Ivan Lewis warns in essay’". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Robert Winnett (31 March 2008). "Gordon Brown out of touch say Minister’ 31 March 2008". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 31 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Ian Kirby and Sophy Ridge (6 September 2008). "Government Health Minister Ivan Lewis apologises after bombarding civil servant Susie Mason with personal text messages". News of the World. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Nick Cohen (14 September 2008). "Call off your mafioso aides, Mr Brown". The Observer (London: The Guardian). Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  15. ^ Goldacre, Ben (9 May 2009). "The danger of drugs ... and data". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2009. 
  16. ^ Ivan Lewis (27 September 2011). "Labour Party Conference: Ivan Lewis's speech in full". The Daily Telegraph. 
  17. ^ Helen Lewis Hasteley (27 September 2011). "Labour's odd plan to get bad journalists 'struck off'". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Andrew Porter (27 September 2011). "Labour Party Conference 2011: live". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  19. ^ Paul Dacre (12 October 2011). "Paul Dacre's speech at the Leveson inquiry". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 13 October 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Press 'need to act' after Leveson". BBC News Online. 5 December 2012. Archived from the original on 17 November 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Sumberg
Member of Parliament for Bury South
1997–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
John Healey
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
2005–2006
Succeeded by
Ed Balls
Preceded by
The Lord Warner
Minister of State for Care Services
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Phil Hope
Preceded by
Gillian Merron
Minister of State for International Development
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Michael Foster
Preceded by
Bill Rammell
Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Jeremy Browne
Preceded by
Ben Bradshaw
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Harriet Harman
Preceded by
Harriet Harman
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Jim Murphy
Preceded by
Vernon Coaker
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2013–present
Incumbent