Alan Milburn

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The Right Honourable
Alan Milburn
Alan Milburn 2014.jpg
Milburn addressing the NHS Confederation Conference in 2014
Chancellor of Lancaster University
Assumed office
2015
Preceded byChris Bonington
Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
In office
10 July 2012 – 2 December 2017
Appointed byNick Clegg
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byVacant
Minister for the Cabinet Office
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
8 September 2004 – 6 May 2005
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byDouglas Alexander
Succeeded byJohn Hutton
Secretary of State for Health
In office
11 October 1999 – 13 June 2003
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byFrank Dobson
Succeeded byJohn Reid
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
23 December 1998 – 11 October 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
ChancellorGordon Brown
Preceded byStephen Byers
Succeeded byAndrew Smith
Member of Parliament
for Darlington
In office
10 April 1992 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byMichael Fallon
Succeeded byJenny Chapman
Personal details
Born (1958-01-27) 27 January 1958 (age 60)
Birmingham, England
Political partyLabour
Alma materLancaster University

Alan Milburn (born 27 January 1958) is a British Labour politician who was Member of Parliament (MP) for Darlington from 1992 to 2010. He served for five years in the Cabinet, first as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1998 to 1999, and subsequently as Secretary of State for Health until 2003, when he resigned. He briefly rejoined the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in order to manage Labour's 2005 re-election campaign. In June 2009, he told his local party he would not be standing at the 2010 general election, saying: "Standing down as a MP will give me the chance to balance my work and my family life with the time to pursue challenges other than politics."[1]

Milburn was Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission from 2012 to 2017.[2] Since 2015, he has been Chancellor of Lancaster University.

Early life and career[edit]

Milburn was born in Birmingham [3], and brought up in the village of Tow Law in County Durham, England and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He was educated at John Marlay School, Newcastle and Stokesley Comprehensive School. He went on to Lancaster University, where he resided at Pendle College and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Upper Second Class Honours in History. After leaving university, he returned to Newcastle where, with Martin Spence, he operated a small radical bookshop in the Westgate Road, called Days of Hope (the shop was given the spoonerised nickname Haze of Dope). He also studied for a PhD at Newcastle University, but did not complete his thesis.[4][5] In 1981 he married future Labour MEP Mo O'Toole, but the couple split up in the late 1980s.[5][6]

Milburn was Co-ordinator of the Trade Union Studies Information Unit (TUSIU) from the mid-1980s onwards.[5]

From 1988, Milburn co-ordinated a campaign to defend shipbuilding in Sunderland, and was elected as Chairman of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central Constituency Labour Party. In 1990 he was appointed as a Business Development Officer for North Tyneside Borough Council and elected as President of the North East Region of the Manufacturing Science and Finance (MSF) Trade Union. Meanwhile, he won the seat of Darlington in the 1992 general election.

Member of Parliament[edit]

In Parliament, Milburn allied himself with the Blairite modernisers in the Labour Party, becoming close to Tony Blair who sat for the next-door constituency of Sedgefield. Later the political editor of the New Statesman wrote that "Alan Milburn is regarded by most in Labour as the epitome of Blairite centrism and moderation."[7]

In government[edit]

Milburn in 2002

In 1997 he was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Health, an important post in which he had responsibility for driving through Private Finance Initiative deals on hospitals. In the reshuffle caused by Peter Mandelson's resignation on 23 December 1998, Milburn was promoted to the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

He became Secretary of State for Health in October 1999, with responsibility for continuing the reduction in waiting times and delivering modernisation in the National Health Service (NHS). In 2002 Milburn introduced NHS foundation trusts, "described at the time as a sort of halfway house between the public and private sectors".[8] The government increased expenditure on the NHS, although the public was sceptical over claims of improved performance.[citation needed]

Milburn was thought to be a candidate for promotion within the Government, but on the day of a reshuffle (12 June 2003) he announced his resignation. He cited the difficulties combining family life in North-East England with a demanding job in London as his reason for quitting.[9][10]

While on the backbenches he continued to be a strong supporter of Tony Blair's policies, especially his continued policy of increased private involvement in public service provision. Following his resignation as Secretary of State for Health (to spend more time with his family), Milburn took a post for £30,000 a year as an advisor to Bridgepoint Capital, a venture capital firm heavily involved in financing private health-care firms moving into the NHS, including Alliance Medical, Match Group, Medica and the Robinia Care Group.[11]

He returned to government in September 2004, with the title of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He was brought back to lead the Labour Party's campaign in the 2005 general election, but the unsuccessful start to the campaign led to Milburn taking a back seat, with Gordon Brown returning to take a very prominent role.

Backbenches[edit]

On election night in 2005, he announced he would be leaving the Cabinet for a second time, although rumours persisted that he would challenge Brown for the succession. On 10 April 2006, The Sun newspaper reported that Milburn was still unsure whether to enter the leadership election when Blair left office, which eventually occurred on 27 June the following year, with Brown subsequently assuming the prime ministerial role unopposed. On 8 September 2006, after Tony Blair had announced his intention to step down within a year, Charles Clarke suggested Milburn as leader in place of Brown. On 28 February 2007, he and Clarke launched The 2020 Vision, a website intended to promote policy debate in the Labour Party.[12]

He was the honorary president of the political organisation Progress, which was founded by Derek Draper. In 2007 Milburn worked as an advisor to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd[13] and again in 2010 acted as an advisor to the election campaign of Julia Gillard.[14] Between January and July 2009, Milburn chaired a governmental commission on social mobility, the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions.[15] The Panel reported in July 2009 with recommendations to improve social mobility by acting at every life stage – including through schools, universities, internship practices and recruitment processes.

In 2007 Milburn became a paid advisor to PepsiCo and sat on its nutritional advisory board.[16] By the time he stood down from parliament, Milburn had an income at least £115,000 a year from five companies.[17]

Later career[edit]

Despite the change of government following the May 2010 General Election, it was reported in August 2010 that Milburn had been offered a role in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition as "social mobility tsar".[18] Although not officially politically-affiliated, the role would involve advising the government on how to break down social barriers for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and help people who feel they are barred from top jobs on grounds of race, religion, gender or disability. Milburn provoked criticism from former Cabinet colleague John Prescott, and his former ally Andy Burnham, for advising the government. However, David Miliband defended Milburn claiming that he was serving the country and was not working for the Coalition Government.

In 2011, Milburn was asked by Andrew Lansley to chair the new clinical commissioning board, as part of the Coalition Government's health reforms but he rejected the offer labelling the reforms as "privatization", "cuts" and a "car crash".[19]

In 2011, Milburn contributed to The Purple Book (alongside other key figures in the Labour Party such as Ed Miliband, Peter Mandelson, Jacqui Smith, Liam Byrne, Tessa Jowell, Tristram Hunt, Stephen Twigg, Rachel Reeves and Liz Kendall). In the book, he called for the Labour Party to adopt a policy of "educational credit", a system whereby lower and middle-income families whose children attend failing schools can withdraw their children and get funding, worth 150% the cost of education at the failing school, in order to pay for a place at a higher achieving school for the child, with the money coming from the budget of the failing school. The policy was rejected by the leftwing MP Michael Meacher but was welcomed by Labour's Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg and other shadow cabinet members.[citation needed]

In 2012, a senior Number 10 adviser called for Andrew Lansley to be "taken out and shot" for introducing the Health and Social Care bill despite widespread opposition, and that Alan Milburn should be ennobled and join the coalition government as Secretary of State for Health.[20] This was rejected by David Cameron and it is understood that Milburn rejected such offer and remained in the Labour Party. He wrote in The Times attacking the reforms, but calling for the left to give an alternative.[21]

In July 2012, Milburn was appointed as Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.[22][23] He served until his resignation in December 2017.[2]

In 2013 Milburn joined PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as Chair of PwC's UK Health Industry Oversight Board, whose objective is to drive change in the health sector, and assist PwC in growing its presence in the health market.[24][25] Milburn continued to be Chairman of the European Advisory Board at Bridgepoint Capital, whose activities include financing private health care companies providing services ito the NHS,[26][27] and continued as a member of the Healthcare Advisory Panel at Lloyds Pharmacy.[28][29]

In 2015 Milburn became Lancaster University’s third Chancellor, taking over from the mountaineer Chris Bonington.[30]

Early in 2015 Milburn intervened in the British election campaign to criticise Labour's health plans, which would limit private sector involvement in the NHS. Milburn was criticised for doing so while having a personal financial interest in the private health sector.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Milburn to stand down at election". BBC News Online. 27 June 2009. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  2. ^ a b Wooding, David (2 December 2017). "Theresa May's opportunities tsar Alan Milburn resigns and accuses her of not doing enough to close country's class divide". The Sun. London. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  3. ^ http://www.nhshistory.net/cvmilburn.htm
  4. ^ O'Grady, Sean (2000-06-03). "A friend from the north". The Independent. London: Independent News & Media. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
  5. ^ a b c Brian Wheeler (13 May 2002). "Milburn's radical days". BBC. Archived from the original on 30 January 2004. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  6. ^ Andy McSmith, "Why minister apologised to female official over gossip", The Independent, 15 June 2003
  7. ^ George Eaton (20 October 2014). "Alan Milburn attacks Miliband for not being ambitious enough on the minimum wage – is he right?". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  8. ^ Butler, Patrick; Parker, Simon (14 November 2002). "Q&A: foundation trusts". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Milburn quits as health secretary". 12 June 2003. Archived from the original on 2 October 2007.
  10. ^ "Analysis: Why Milburn quit". 12 June 2003. Archived from the original on 17 March 2006.
  11. ^ "Profile: Alan Milburn". BBC. 7 September 2004. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  12. ^ Deborah Summers and Helene Mulholland (28 February 2007). "Clarke and Milburn reject 'stop Gordon' claims". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 October 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  13. ^ Ham, Paul (25 November 2007). "Lazarus lost his touch with voters". London: The Times. Archived from the original on 29 August 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  14. ^ Malkin, Bonnie (6 Aug 2010). "Alan Milburn joins Julia Gillard's election campaign". Sydney: Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  15. ^ BIS -Panel on Fair Access to the Professions Archived 18 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Smithers, Rebecca (30 May 2007). "Beyoncé, Britney ... Milburn? Ex-minister takes Pepsi challenge". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  17. ^ Robert Merrick (29 June 2009). "MP .not quitting over jobs scrutiny". The Norther Echo. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  18. ^ Alan Milburn set for third return to Government as David Cameron adviser Archived 17 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ Milburn, Alan; Mulholland, Helene (16 June 2011). "NHS reforms: amended plans are 'car crash', says Alan Milburn". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  20. ^ Patrick Butler (7 February 2012). "NHS reforms live blog – Tuesday 7 February". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 November 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  21. ^ Samira Shackle (8 February 2012). "Lansley fights another day as Cameron backs NHS reform". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  22. ^ "Alan Milburn and Neil O.Brien set to lead the drive to improve social mobility and reduce child poverty". gov.uk. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  23. ^ "Appointment of Chair, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission". House of Commons – Education Select Committee. UK Parliament. 10 July 2012. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  24. ^ "Alan Milburn will chair new PwC Health Industry Oversight Board". PricewaterhouseCoopers. 22 May 2013. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  25. ^ "Healthcare – Meet the team". PricewaterhouseCoopers. Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  26. ^ Tim Walker (24 January 2015). "'Poverty tsar' Alan Milburn makes a million". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  27. ^ "Alan Milburn". Bridgepoint Capital. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  28. ^ John Harris (28 January 2015). "No wonder Miliband wants distance from ex-Blairites on the NHS". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 29 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  29. ^ "Executive Profile – Alan Milburn". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  30. ^ "The Rt Hon Alan Milburn will start as Lancaster University's Chancellor from 1 January 2015". Lancaster University. 30 April 2014. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  31. ^ Adam Bienkov (28 January 2015). "Alan Milburn's personal interest in resisting a public NHS". politics.co.uk. Archived from the original on 31 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Fallon
Member of Parliament for Darlington
19922010
Succeeded by
Jenny Chapman
Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Byers
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
1998–1999
Succeeded by
Andrew Smith
Preceded by
Frank Dobson
Secretary of State for Health
1999–2003
Succeeded by
John Reid
Preceded by
Douglas Alexander
Minister for the Cabinet Office
2004–2005
Succeeded by
John Hutton
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
2004–2005