Peter Soulsby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sir Peter Soulsby
Peter Soulsby.JPG
1st Mayor of Leicester
Incumbent
Assumed office
6 May 2011
Preceded by Office Created
Member of Parliament
for Leicester South
In office
5 May 2005 – 1 April 2011
Preceded by Parmjit Singh Gill
Succeeded by Jon Ashworth
Majority 8,808 (18.7%)
Personal details
Born (1948-12-27) 27 December 1948 (age 65)
Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Lady (Alison) Soulsby (died Dec 2011)
Children 3
Alma mater De Montfort University
Religion Unitarianism
Website Leicester Mayor website

Sir Peter Alfred Soulsby (born 27 December 1948) is a British Labour Party politician and the current Mayor of Leicester. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester South from 2005 until he resigned in order to contest the new post of mayor[1] in April 2011.[2]

Life[edit]

Born in Bishop Auckland, Soulsby attended the Minchenden School (a grammar school, which merged with Arnos School in 1984 to become Broomfield School although the former building is now used by Southgate College) on High Street in Southgate London, and then he studied at the City of Leicester College of Education in Scraptoft (part of Scraptoft Hall, which later was to become the Scraptoft Campus of De Montfort University until its closure in 2003) where he gained a BEd. He worked as a teacher at Crown Hills Secondary Modern School and in special needs schools.

He was first elected to Leicester City Council in 1974 and remained a Labour councillor until he was defeated in Spinney Hills ward in May 2003. Despite his own opposition to the Iraq War and his participation in rallies and marches, his defeat (and that of other sitting Labour councillors) reflected the widespread local opposition to the war.

He contested the Harborough parliamentary seat in 1979. In 1984, he stood for election to the European Parliament for the Leicester European Parliamentary constituency but lost to the Conservative incumbent Fred Tuckman by 1.6%.[3]

Since July 1998, he has been on the board of British Waterways, becoming Vice-Chairman in 2000. He is a senior Unitarian, serving on the Executive Committee of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and acting as its convenor. He was knighted in 1999 for his services to local government. He has also served as a member of the Audit Commission.

Parliamentary career[edit]

In 2004 he was the Labour Party's candidate in the Leicester South by-election–he had previously been the election agent for the previous MP, Jim Marshall, and like Marshall was not always in agreement with the party's policies. Despite his anti-war stance, Soulsby lost by 5.6% to Parmjit Singh Gill of the Liberal Democrats in a by-election which was dominated by the Iraq war and the newly formed left-wing party Respect, which took 12.7% of vote. In the 2005 general election, less than a year later, he won the seat back for Labour from Gill.

On 31 October 2006, Soulsby was one of 12 Labour MPs to back Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party's call for an inquiry into the Iraq War.[4] He also rebelled against the government on its proposals to permit the detention of terrorist suspects for 90 days without trial;[5] however, in June 2008, he supported the government on the proposal to extend the detention of terrorist suspects for 42 days.[6]
He retained his seat in the 2010 general election with a 5% swing from the Liberal Democrats.

In June 2010, he was selected as a Labour member of the political and constitutional reform committee.[7]

On 5 March 2011, Soulsby was selected as Labour's candidate for the directly elected position of Mayor of Leicester.[8] He resigned as MP for Leicester South in order to contest the Mayoral election.[9] On 1 April 2011, Soulsby was appointed Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, allowing him to formally resign as MP.[2]

Mayor of Leicester[edit]

Sir Peter Soulsby was elected as Mayor of Leicester on 5 May 2011, with a majority of 37,260.[10] In August 2011, he claimed to have delivered 99 out of 100 pledges within the first 100 days of office.[11] He said the remaining pledge on the future of the New Walk council offices would be achieved by Christmas.[11] However he was criticised by opposition councillors for not explaining what services would be cut in future.[11]

Salary review controversy[edit]

In November 2011, a salary of £100k was recommended by the Mayor's remuneration committee -a rise of £44k based on the fact that the mayor carried out the work of the city's former chief executive who was paid £175k.[12] At the time,the council was proposing £70m cuts in services and the recommendations were criticised by opposing councillors and trade unionists alike.[13] The independence of the committee, which included the Vice Chancellor of the local university, the head of the chamber of trade and a charity sector worker was also challenged by the only Conservative councillor "as they worked closely with Sir Peter".[14] The committee whose report had been leaked had also recommended fewer councillors and abolition of the post of Lord Mayor.[15] Soulsby dismissed the committee the following day, saying it had made "fundamental costing mistakes" and would have led to "totally unacceptable extra costs."[15]

In March 2012 Soulsby's salary was set at 65k, "comparable to an MP's salary."[16]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Alison[17] who died of an advanced form of cancer on 10 December 2011, aged 63 [18] and they had three daughters, one of whom is Leicester city councillor Elly Cutkelvin. He has traversed much of the British canal network in his own narrowboat.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-1265917.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Manor of Northstead". HM Treasury. 1 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Elections to the European Parliament 1979-99: Leicester". Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Labour MPs who rebelled on Iraq". BBC News. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2006. 
  5. ^ "Terrorism Bill, Clause 23 - Extension of Period of Detention to 90 days". Public Whip. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2006. 
  6. ^ "Counter-Terrorism Bill – Extension of period of detention to 42 days". The Public Whip. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Jim Pickard (24 June 2010). "Westminster select committees: Labour & Tory membership". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Ferguson, Mark (5 March 2011). "Soulsby selected as Labour's candidate for Leicester Mayor". 
  9. ^ "Sir Peter Soulsby to stand down as MP following selection as Labour’s Mayoral Candidate". East Midlands Labour Party. 5 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Elections 2011: Leicester Mayor | This is Leicestershire
  11. ^ a b c "Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby hails pledge 'success'". BBC news. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby set for £44,000 rise". BBC news. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Doughty, Steve (17 November 2011). "£70M Cuts, But Mayor Is Set For 80% Pay Rise... Which Will Put Him On £100,000!". Daily Mail (London). 
  14. ^ "Mayoral pay review panel's independence questioned". BBC News. 17 November 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Leicester mayor pay rise row panel sacked". BBC News. 18 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby's salary set at £65K". BBC News. 27 March 2012. 
  17. ^ House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests - Part 2: Part 2
  18. ^ Leicester City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby's tribute to 'loving' wife | This is Leicestershire

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parmjit Singh Gill
Member of Parliament for Leicester South
20052011
Succeeded by
Jon Ashworth