Jim Knight

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For the Australian rules footballer, see Jim Knight (footballer).
The Right Honourable
The Lord Knight of Weymouth
PC
JimKnightMPsmall.jpg
Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Tony McNulty
Succeeded by Chris Grayling
Minister of State for Schools and Learners
In office
28 June 2007 – 5 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Jacqui Smith
Succeeded by Vernon Coaker
Member of Parliament
for South Dorset
In office
7 June 2001 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Ian Bruce
Succeeded by Richard Drax
Majority 1,812 (3.7%)
Personal details
Born (1965-03-06) 6 March 1965 (age 49)
Bexley, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Anna Wheatley
Alma mater Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
recorded in July 2013

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James Philip Knight, Baron Knight of Weymouth [1] (born 6 March 1965) is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dorset from 2001 until 2010, when he lost his seat. Knight held several ministerial posts during his time as an MP including Minister for the South West and Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform. It was announced in the Dissolution Honours List on 28 May 2010 that he would be made a life peer. He is now Managing Director - Online Learning at TES Global Ltd, and a Visiting Professor at the London Knowledge Lab of the Institute of Education in London.

Education[edit]

Knight was educated at Eltham College, an independent school in Mottingham in south-east London, followed by Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge, where he studied Geography, Social & Political Sciences from 1984–87, gaining a BA Hons.

Early career[edit]

Knight was Manager of Central Studio in Basingstoke from 1988–90. From 1990–91, he was Director of West Wiltshire Arts Centre Ltd, then Director of Dentons Directories Ltd in Westbury from 1991-2001.

Election history[edit]

Knight first stood for Parliament in the 1997 general election as the Labour candidate for South Dorset, but lost by 77 votes. He was, however, elected on the same day to Mendip District Council, on which he served until 2001, including as Labour Group leader.

At the 2001 general election, he was elected the Member of Parliament for South Dorset by 153 votes in the only Labour gain from the Conservatives in that year. In the 2005 general election he increased his majority to 1,812, but with a small decrease in his share of the vote. In the 2010 general election Knight lost his seat to Conservative Richard Drax by 7,443 votes after an 11.4% drop in his vote.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Knight was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2005-06. He then moved to become Minister of State for Schools in the Department for Education and Skills. On 28 June 2007, when Gordon Brown disbanded the department, Knight moved to the newly created Department for Children, Schools and Families, as the Minister for Schools and Learners. In October 2008 following the reshuffle, Knight became a member of the Privy Council.

In his first Parliament, Jim Knight generally voted in line with party policy, including all major votes such as those on the Iraq war and top-up fees.

Jim Knight held the following positions:

  • 2003-2004 - Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rosie Winterton then Minister of State at the Department of Health
  • 2004-2005 - Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministerial Team at the Department of Health
  • 2005-2006 - Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, the Landscape & Biodiversity
  • 2006-2009 - Minister of State for Schools
  • 2009–2010 - Minister of State for Employment
  • 2009–2010 - Minister for the South West

Knight was created a Life Peer on 23 June 2010 taking the title Baron Knight of Weymouth, of Weymouth in the County of Dorset.[2] He was the campaign manager for Ed Balls' leadership campaign in 2010.

In April 2014 he stepped down from the Labour front bench in the House of Lords to take up a full time role as Managing Director - Online Learning at TES Global Ltd, building an online CPD service for teachers. He is also the chair of the Tinder Foundation and deputy chair of the Nominet Trust.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ian Bruce
Member of Parliament for South Dorset
20012010
Succeeded by
Richard Drax
Political offices
Preceded by
Jacqui Smith
Minister of State for Schools and Learners
2006–2009
Succeeded by
Vernon Coaker
Preceded by
Tony McNulty
Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Chris Grayling