John Spellar

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The Right Honourable
John Spellar
Jon Tandy Meets Labour Minister John Spellar (4557106957).jpg
Shadow Minister of State for
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Assumed office
9 October 2010
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Chris Bryant
Comptroller of the Household
In office
5 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Tommy McAvoy
Succeeded by Alistair Carmichael
Minister of State for Northern Ireland
In office
12 June 2003 – 11 May 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Jane Kennedy
Succeeded by David Hanson
Minister of State for Transport
In office
8 June 2001 – 12 June 2003
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by The Lord Macdonald of Tradeston
Succeeded by Kim Howells
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
In office
29 July 1999 – 8 June 2001
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Doug Henderson
Succeeded by Adam Ingram
Member of Parliament
for Warley
Warley West (1992–1997)
Assumed office
9 April 1992
Preceded by Peter Archer
Majority 10,756 (28.1%)
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Northfield
In office
28 October 1982 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by Jocelyn Cadbury
Succeeded by Roger King
Personal details
Born (1947-08-05) 5 August 1947 (age 67)
Bromley, Kent, England
Political party Labour
Alma mater St Edmund Hall, Oxford

John Francis Spellar (born 5 August 1947) is a British Labour Party politician, and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Warley. He served as a Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office, before returning to the backbenches in 2005. Spellar was Comptroller of the Household and the third most senior whip in the Whips' Office between October 2008 and May 2010.

Early life[edit]

Spellar was educated at Dulwich College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford and worked as a trade union official.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Spellar was a councillor in the London Borough of Bromley between 1970 and 1974. He fought Bromley at the 1970 general election, coming second.

He was first elected to the House of Commons in a 1982 by-election representing the Birmingham Northfield constituency, but lost at the 1983 General Election. At the 1987 General Election he stood again for the same seat, but was again unsuccessful. Spellar returned to the House of Commons in the 1992 General Election becoming the MP for Warley West and was appointed an opposition whip. Following a period as opposition spokesman for Northern Ireland in 1994, he was moved to shadow Defence ministers in 1995.

When Tony Blair formed his government in 1997, Spellar was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence, being promoted to become Minister of State for the Armed Forces in 1999. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2001 when appointed as Minister of State for Transport in the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions with rights to attend Cabinet. After the 2002 reshuffle, he became Minister of State at the Department for Transport, and moved to the Northern Ireland Office in 2003. During this time he was banned from the offices of both the Mayor of Derry and the Mayor of Belfast, because he supported the reinstatement to the British Army of convicted murderers Mark Wright and James Fisher of the Scots Guards.[1] He left the front benches in 2005, but in 2008 rejoined the government as a whip (Comptroller of the Household), in which role he served until Labour entered opposition in May 2010.

Spellar is a member of the Henry Jackson Society Advisory Council.[2]


  1. ^ "Remember Peter McBride?". (10 September 2003). Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Advisory Council". Henry Jackson Society. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jocelyn Cadbury
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield
Succeeded by
Roger King
Preceded by
Peter Archer
Member of Parliament for Warley West
Constituency Abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Warley
Political offices
Preceded by
Gus Macdonald
Minister of State for Transport
Succeeded by
Kim Howells
Preceded by
Tommy McAvoy
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
Alistair Carmichael