Wes Streeting

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Wes Streeting
WesStreetingHKF.jpg
Streeting in 2011 when Chief Executive of the Helena Kennedy Foundation
53rd President of the National Union of Students
In office
1 July 2008 – 10 June 2010
Preceded by Gemma Tumelty
Succeeded by Aaron Porter
Personal details
Born (1983-01-21) 21 January 1983 (age 31)
Tower Hamlets, London, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater Selwyn College, Cambridge
Occupation Charity executive
Religion Christian[1]
Website Wes Streeting's Blog

Wesley "Wes" Paul William Streeting (born 21 January 1983) is Deputy Leader of the Labour Group in the London Borough of Redbridge and the Labour Party's Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North for the 2015 General Election.

Previously, his career has been in the voluntary sector, most recently as Head of Education at Stonewall, where he led their 'Education for All' campaign to tackle homophobia in schools. He was previously Chief Executive of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, an educational charity that promotes access to higher education to students from further education colleges through bursaries, mentoring and work placements. He is a former National President of the National Union of Students (NUS) in the United Kingdom.

Early life & Education[edit]

Born in Tower Hamlets, Streeting attended Westminster City School, a voluntary aided, Christian school in Victoria, central London.

Streeting is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where he read History at Selwyn College. He served as the President of the Cambridge University Students' Union for 2004-5, and as Selwyn College's Entertainments' Officer and Junior Common Room President.

After graduating Streeting worked for the Labour Party-related Progress organisation for a year.[2]

NUS President[edit]

Streeting was elected as NUS President in April 2008 as a candidate from Labour Students. He beat his closest rival Ciarán Norris, an independent candidate, in the fourth round of voting by 496 votes to 376 after the elimination of Daniel Randall, the Education Not for Sale candidate and the NUS Black Students' Officer, Ruqayyah Collector, who stood as a candidate of the Student Broad Left. He had been a member of the NUS National Executive Committee since 2005, having previously held the post of Vice President (Education) from 2006–08.

In April 2009, Streeting was elected to a second term after a landslide victory against Rob Owen, a member of the Socialist Worker Student Society and member of the Another Union Is Possible slate, by 631 votes to 140. The same conference also reaffirmed NUS' new stance on higher education funding. More controversially, it voted to support moves to introduce minimum pricing of alcohol, prompting concerns about the impact on students and students' unions.[3]

As Vice-President of NUS, Streeting was a strong proponent of his predecessor Gemma Tumelty's proposed reforms to the NUS governance structures, which had been denounced and narrowly defeated by many left wing groups in NUS as an attack on NUS democracy.[4] His election was reported by The Guardian newspaper as 'a move that will lend weight to the fight to modernise the union'[5] and within seven months of taking office, revised reform proposals were submitted, passed and ratified by two extraordinary conferences to adopt the new constitution. Critics have argued, however, that the conferences were undemocratic, with a significant number of delegates not having been elected by cross-campus ballot. A large proportion of FE colleges were also unable to attend.

He was a leading figure in efforts to change the NUS' position on higher education funding in advance of the Government's 2009/10 independent review of Higher Education Funding in England.[6] The NUS now opposes lifting the current cap of £3,145 on student fees instead of calling for free education entirely, although it remains implacably opposed to the current top-up fees system. In June 2009, NUS published an alternative model for funding universities.[7] This system, which NUS calls a 'progressive graduate contribution' would generate double the revenue of the current top-up fee arrangements by collecting a progressive contribution linked to graduates' earnings for a fixed period of twenty years into a so-called 'People's Trust For Higher Education' which would then release funding to universities through the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The publication was welcomed by the higher education sector as a serious contribution, but it has attracted critics from the left and the right.

As NUS President, Streeting was a non-executive director of the NUS' trading arm, NUS Services Ltd and of Endsleigh Insurance. He was also a non-executive director of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), as well as the Higher Education academy, having served on their board as Vice President (Education) when he was also a non-executive director of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIAHE). Shortly after his election as NUS President, Streeting was appointed as a member of the government's Youth Citizenship Commission, chaired by Professor Jonathan Tonge of Liverpool University, which published its report in June 2009.[8]

His membership of Labour Students and strong support for the Labour Party have led to charges by Streeting's opponents that he is too close to the Brown government, though Streeting denies this and says he will defend students' interests regardless.[9] He is a member of the Labour Students' National Committee. In March 2009 Pink News listed him as the 33rd most powerful LGBT politician in the UK.[10] In 2009 Wes chaired the Question Time Panel at National Student Pride in Brighton.

Political career[edit]

Councillor: 2010–present[edit]

Upon leaving NUS, Wes Streeting was elected as a Labour Party councillor on Redbridge London Borough Council, for the Chadwell ward, in a July 2010 by-election, holding the seat for Labour by 220 votes, and winning with 31.5% of the vote (a fall of 1.4% for Labour in the ward) on a 25.5% turnout (a fall of 34.5% in turnout).[11][12] The by-election had been triggered by a previous Labour candidate having been elected two months earlier when he was ineligible to serve on the council.[13] As a result of his election, Streeting gave up his job as a public sector consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as Redbridge Council was a current audit client of the firm, forcing Streeting to choose between keeping his job or forcing a second by-election.[14]

Shortly after leaving PwC, Streeting was appointed as Head of Policy and Strategic Communications for Oona King's unsuccessful bid to win the Labour Party's nomination to be their candidate in the 2012 London Mayoral election.[15]

Streeting was elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Group in October 2011, 15 months after his election to the Council.[16]

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North, 2013-2015[edit]

On 27 October 2013 Wes Streeting was selected by Ilford North Constituency Labour Party to contest the 2015 general election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raphel Aahren (25 December 2009). "British academia less hostile to Israel than perceived, asserts student leader". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Wes Streeting. "About Wes". Wes Streeting's blog. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Woolcock, Nicola (3 April 2009). "NUS wants end to cheap student beer". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  4. ^ www.nusdemocracy.org.uk
  5. ^ Anthea Lipsett (2 April 2008). "New NUS president voted in | Students". London: EducationGuardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  6. ^ "NUS drops free education doctrine | Students". London: EducationGuardian.co.uk. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  7. ^ "Funding Blueprint launch : Funding Our Future: Campaigns". NUS.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Home – Youth Citizenship Commission". Ycc.uk.net. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  9. ^ Wes Streeting for National President
  10. ^ "The 50 most powerful gay, lesbian and bisexual people in British politics". Pink News. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ "REDBRIDGE: Ineligible councillor resigns". East London and West Essex Guardian Series (Newsquest Media Group). 25 May 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "The Week in Higher Education". Times Higher Education. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  15. ^ Jess Freeman (12 August 2010). "What's stopping Oona King?". Total Politics. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Councillor Wes Streeting". Redbridge London Borough Council. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Gemma Tumelty
President of the
National Union of Students

2008–2010
Succeeded by
Aaron Porter