Stephen Kinnock

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Stephen Kinnock
Stephen Kinnock - World Economic Forum on Europe and Central Asia 2011.jpg
Stephen Kinnock at the World Economic Forum on Europe and Central Asia held in Vienna, Austria, 6 June 2011
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Denmark
Assumed office
3 October 2011
Monarch Margrethe II
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Preceded by Sólrun Løkke Rasmussen
Personal details
Born (1970-01-01) 1 January 1970 (age 44)
Tredegar, Wales, UK[1]
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Relations Neil Kinnock (father), Glenys Kinnock (mother)
Children 2

Stephen Kinnock (born 1 January 1970)[2] is the husband of Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and a British executive who has held various senior positions with the British Council prior to joining the World Economic Forum in January 2009 as director, head of Europe and Central Asia.[3] On the Xynteo website he is listed as 'managing director of the GLTE partnership', a green lobbying organisation.[4]

Stephen Kinnock describes himself as from a 'Labour and Trade Union family'.[5] That is, he is the son of Neil Kinnock, former leader of the Labour Party and ex-chair of the British Council, and Glenys Kinnock, a former Labour Member of the European Parliament and Minister of State (2009–10) at the UK Foreign Office.

He is married to the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. They met met in their twenties while working in Brussels and married in a civil ceremony in 1996. However, they live separate lives with Stephen Kinnock only spending weekends there (fewer than 33 per year, according to his wife's tax return, although she later claimed 'every weekend of the year' when applying to have her husband registered as co-owner of their house) leading to some speculation on the nature of the marriage or allegations of tax evasion.[6]


After attending Drayton Manor High School, and having achieved a degree in Modern Languages from Queens' College, University of Cambridge, and an MA from the College of Europe in 1993, Stephen Kinnock worked as a research assistant at the European Parliament in Brussels before becoming a British Council Development and Training Services executive based in Brussels from 1997.

The British Council was involved in a major tax-dispute over its alleged failure to register commercial activities in Russia and pay taxes.[7][8][9][10] In St. Petersburg on 15 January 2008, Kinnock was detained for an hour for drunk driving before being released, after claiming diplomatic immunity and refusing to take an alcohol breath test. British diplomatic spokesmen confirmed that before driving, Kinnock had a glass of wine, but that he was not drunk because it was less than allowed by Russian norms,[11] and that he might at most have committed a minor traffic offence.[12][13]

Following the closure, imposed by the Russian authorities, of the St. Petersburg office, Kinnock took up a position with the British Council in Sierra Leone.[14]

From January 2009 he was employed by the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland, as director, head of Europe and Central Asia.[3]

In August 2012 he took up a position at Xyntéo in London, a business advisory company that helps global businesses go beyond the green basics and reinvent the way they grow. Kinnock is managing director of the 'Global Leadership and Technology Exchange',[15] a partnership which aims to bring together some of the world’s leading businesses to discuss and act upon routes that can be taken to bring about resource-efficient growth'.[16]

In March 2014 it was announced that Kinnock had been selected as the Labour Party candidate for the seat of Aberavon in Wales for the General Election of 2015 despite having no connections to the area .[17]

He has been referred to as a 'red prince' as one of several sons of senior Labour Party figures to have be selected for safe seats.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Kinnock has been married to the Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt since 1996. The couple have two daughters.[19]

In June 2010, the Danish tabloid B.T. accused Kinnock of tax evasion.[20] At that time he was paying tax in Switzerland where his workplace was situated, and therefore had his main residence there, although his wife's political website states that 'The family lives in Østerbro in Copenhagen'.[21] The couple had previously stated to the media that Kinnock would spend his weekends in Denmark, sometimes including Thursday, and that he regarded his home and base as being exclusively with his family in Copenhagen. According to the tabloid, he would possibly exceed 183 days a year in Denmark, meaning he would be fully taxable there. Helle Thorning-Schmidt repudiated the accusations but said the couple would ask the Danish tax authority for an audit.[22][23] The audit by the Danish Tax & Customs Administration (SKAT) was concluded on 17 September 2010, and in its Official Report SKAT stated that 'Mr Kinnock does not have tax liability for 2007, 08, or 09, as he does not reside in this country within the meaning of the Danish Tax at Sources Act' [various Danish newspaper reports as of 18 September 2010.]


  1. ^ Andreyeva, Yelena (2006-11-28). "British Council Chief Imparts Value of Internationalism". The St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg). Retrieved September 14, 2011. Born in 1970 in a small town named Tredegar in South Wales [...] 
  2. ^ "Stephen Kinnock og spørgsmålet om beskatning i Danmark" (in Danish). The Danish Union of Journalists. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Stephen Kinnock to head World Economic Forum's Europe and Central Asia team", WEF press release 2 Dec 2008
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "UK condemns Kinnock son arrest", WalesOnline 16 Jan 2008
  8. ^ "Russia warned over 'intimidation'", BBC News 16 Jan 2008
  9. ^ "'Now we really have a crisis' – Russia's man in London leaving the Foreign Office yesterday", The Guardian 17 Jan 2008
  10. ^ "British Unit Is Alleging 'Intimidation' By Moscow: Culture Offices Shut In Growing Dispute", Washington Post 18 Jan 2008
  11. ^ British Council shut down, FSB blamed, St. Petersburg Times, 18. januar 2008
  12. ^ British Council suspends office after Russian police probe,, 17 Jan 2008
  13. ^ Neil Kinnock’s son held by police as Russia steps up diplomatic war, The Times, 17. januar 2008
  14. ^ Daily Hansard (end of column 1128), House of Commons Publications and Reports 20 Mar 2008
  15. ^ Xynteo press release, 24 Aug 2012
  16. ^ Dr Osvald M. Bjelland, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xyntéo
  17. ^ "Neil Kinnock's son Stephen selected to fight Aberavon seat". BBC News. 22 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ BBC profile of Helle Thorning-Schmidt
  20. ^ B.T. afslører Helle Thorning og manden : Scorer kassen i skattely, B.T., 23 June 2010 (in Danish)
  21. ^ Helle afsløret af bommert på egen hjemmeside, B.T., 24 June 2010 (in Danish)
  22. ^ Opposition leader requests audit of husband, The Copenhagen Post, 24 June 2010
  23. ^ "Kinnock's son faces fresh tax allegations", Daily Telegraph, 14 August 2010