Tommy McAvoy

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"Thomas McAvoy" redirects here. For the American judge, see Thomas James McAvoy.
The Right Honourable
The Lord McAvoy
Treasurer of the Household
Deputy Chief Whip
In office
5 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Nick Brown
Succeeded by John Randall
Alistair Carmichael
Member of Parliament
for Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Glasgow Rutherglen (1987-2005)
In office
12 June 1987 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by James Gregor Mackenzie
Succeeded by Tom Greatrex
Personal details
Born (1943-12-14) 14 December 1943 (age 71)
Nationality Scottish
Political party Labour Co-operative
Website Official website

Thomas McLaughlin McAvoy, Baron McAvoy PC (born 14 December 1943) is a British Labour Co-operative politician who was the Member of Parliament[1] for Rutherglen and Hamilton West from 2005 to 2010, having previously been MP for Rutherglen from 1987 to 2005. McAvoy was Deputy Chief Whip of the Government, otherwise known as Treasurer of the Household, from 2008 to 2010.

Early life and career[edit]

McAvoy worked as a storeman at the Hoover factory in Cambuslang, and was a shop steward for the Amalgamated Engineering Union; following the succession of trade union mergers, he is now a member of Unite the Union (Amicus Section). McAvoy and his wife Eleanor have four sons.

Political career[edit]

In 1982, McAvoy was elected to Strathclyde Regional Council, and served until elected to Parliament in 1987 as the Labour Co-operative member for Glasgow, Rutherglen. From 2005 to 2010, he sat as the member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

He was an opposition whip from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1996 to 1997. According to The Guardian: "...[his] personal crusades have been for peace in Northern Ireland and against abortion" (Andrew Roth, The Guardian).

When the Labour Party came into government in 1997, McAvoy was appointed as Comptroller of HM Household, the third highest position in the Government Whips' office. He retained the same job until 2008, becoming one of the longest serving Comptrollers in history. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2003. In October 2008, he was promoted to Treasurer of the Household and Deputy Chief Whip.

McAvoy has achieved the rare feat among whips of remaining popular with Labour MPs. An early day motion in July 2006 noted "the difficult task he has of securing government business whilst accommodating the parliamentary, political and personal requirements of 352 Labour colleagues" and congratulated him for "the respect he has earned from all sides of the House for his ability to perform these duties"; it was signed by 135 MPs.[2]

On 20 February 2010, McAvoy announced that he would stand down at the next general election.[3] The seat was retained by Labour with the election of Tom Greatrex. On 22 June 2010, McAvoy was created a life peer as Baron McAvoy, of Rutherglen in Lanarkshire,[4] and was introduced in the House of Lords that day.[5]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gregor Mackenzie
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Rutherglen
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Succeeded by
Tom Greatrex
Political offices
Preceded by
Timothy Wood
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
John Spellar
Preceded by
Nick Brown
Treasurer of the Household
Succeeded by
John Randall