Andrew Gwynne

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Andrew Gwynne
MP
Official portrait of Andrew Gwynne crop 2.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Assumed office
14 June 2017
Serving with John Healey
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Shadowing Sajid Javid
James Brokenshire
Preceded by Roberta Blackman-Woods
Labour Party Co-National Campaign Coordinator
Assumed office
14 June 2017
Serving with Ian Lavery
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Office established
Shadow Minister without Portfolio
In office
7 October 2016 – 14 June 2017
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Jon Ashworth
Succeeded by Ian Lavery
Member of Parliament
for Denton and Reddish
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Andrew Bennett
Majority 14,077 (35%)
Personal details
Born (1974-06-04) 4 June 1974 (age 44)
Manchester, England, UK
Political party Labour
Spouse(s)
Allison Dennis (m. 2003)
Children 3
Alma mater Tameside College
Wrexham Glyndŵr University
University of Salford
Website Official website

Andrew John Gwynne MP (born 4 June 1974) is a British Labour Party politician and has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Denton and Reddish since 2005, replacing the retiring Andrew Bennett.

He was re-elected in 2015 with a majority of 10,511. He was again re-elected in 2017 with an increased majority of 14,077, representing a 12.7% increase since the 2015 general election (63.5% share of the vote).[1] Following the 2017 general election, Gwynne was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Gwynne does not hold responsibilities for Housing in England, as John Healey serves as Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, as Jeremy Corbyn has indicated that if Labour form the next government, they will create a separate government department for housing.

He was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister without Portfolio by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in October 2016 and then became Campaigns and Elections Chair in February 2017. [2] He is a member of the Unite Trade Union, the Co-operative Party and the Christians on the Left.

Early life[edit]

Born and brought up in Manchester, Gwynne was educated at Egerton Park Community High School (now called Denton Community College) in Denton, Tameside College of Technology in Ashton-under-Lyne, North East Wales Institute of Higher Education in Wrexham from 1992 to 1995 and the University of Salford from 1995 to 1998, earning a BA in Politics and Contemporary History.[3]

Early political career[edit]

At the age of 21, he became England's youngest councillor, when on 2 May 1996 he was elected on to Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, representing the Denton West Ward for the Labour Party. He was re-elected in 2000 and 2004, when he topped the poll in an "all out" election resulting from boundary changes in the borough. From 1998 to 2001, he chaired the Denton and Audenshaw District Assembly and during 2003–4 he chaired the Resources and Community Services Scrutiny Panel.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Government and frontbench posts[edit]

On 5 May 2005, at the age of 30, Gwynne became the youngest Labour MP in the 2005 Parliament. He was appointed to the House of Commons Procedure Committee in June 2005 and, despite having only been elected six months earlier, on 10 November 2005, Gwynne was promoted to become a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to The Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, as Minister of State for Criminal Justice and Offender Management at the Home Office. Between July 2007 and June 2009, he served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP. During this period he was also elected chair of Labour Friends of Israel, and led delegations of British MPs to Israel and the Palestinian territories.[4] In June 2009, he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, then Ed Balls.

In October 2010, Gwynne became a Shadow Transport Minister, with responsibility for passenger transport. In the Opposition front bench reshuffle of October 2011, he was appointed to the Shadow Health team by Ed Miliband, and was reappointed in September 2015, following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader.[5]

Gwynne is involved in the campaign for justice for the victims and families of the Tainted Blood Scandal, reaffirming his commitment to the cause on World AIDS Day 2016.[6] He said in 2016: "This scandal saw thousands of people die, and thousands of families destroyed through the negligence of public bodies".[7]

Campaign activity[edit]

Gwynne took a lead role in organising Labour in the 2015 Oldham West and Royton by-election which was seen as an attempt by the Conservative Party to reinvent themselves as the party of working people, and of reaching out into the parts of the north of England which had not been fertile political territory for them in recent decades[8][9] Gwynne said he hoped "I can do the memory of Michael Meacher proud by helping to return a Labour MP for the seat".[10] Labour's Jim McMahon comfortably held the seat with a 10,000-plus majority and increased his share of the vote.

Referred to by longtime-ally Andy Burnham as "one of the Labour Party's best campaigners and a strong voice in Greater Manchester",[11] Gwynne was chosen to run Burnham's mayoral campaign in Greater Manchester. After supporting Burnham to be selected as Labour's candidate over favourite, Tony Lloyd, Gwynne remained as lead on Burnham's campaign in 2017.

Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act[edit]

In 2010, Gwynne introduced the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act to restrict the activities of vulture funds. Vulture funds buy the debts of poor countries, usually at a significant discount, and wait until the government has received relief from foreign creditors. As debtor countries have usually long defaulted on the loans, the vultures sue for the full debt – plus costs and interest – in courts around the world. This world-leading legislation prevents vulture funds making exorbitant profits out of debt restructuring of heavily indebted poor countries, limiting how much vulture funds can sue for in UK courts to the amount they would have got if they had taken part in debt relief. The UK government estimates the Act will save £145 million over six years.[12] Similar legislation has now been passed in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

News of the bill's success was warmly welcomed by charity and religious groups. "This bill clips the wings of the vultures who prey on vulnerable nations and who drive them deeper into debt and poverty", said Richard Vautrey, vice-president of the Methodist Conference.[13]

In 2016, Gwynne was invited to give a keynote speech on the ways to tackle vulture funds and the damage they cause to developing nations at the 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva.[14]

Appointment to Shadow Cabinet[edit]

Gwynne was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2016, working in the opposition Cabinet Office team and becoming the spokesperson for the Shadow Cabinet in media appearances. In November 2016, he took a key role in helping to reform the proposed constituency boundaries as part of Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill drawn up by MP Pat Glass, and presented the Disability Equality Training (Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers) Bill which sought to provide support to disabled users of Taxi services. The latter Bill aimed to ensure that all taxi and minicab drivers understand their duties under the Equality Act 2010 and aimed to improve the experience of getting a taxi for many people living with a disability. The bill received cross party support but due a filibuster by Conservative MP's Sheryll Murray and Tom Pursglove it was not able to be voted on. In response to this, protests were organised at Murray's constituency.[15]

It is hoped that the measures will still be implemented due to support from Transport Minister, John Hayes, who has met with Gwynne and is considering adding measures to the Police and Crime Bill to protect taxi users with guide dogs, which the Government hope will gain Royal Assent in April 2017. As part of the Police and Crime Bill, the Government will be updating statutory guidance on safeguarding (including in relation to taxis and private hire vehicles). This also gives the Government an opportunity to update and strengthen the existing non-statutory guidance relating to taxis on accessibility issues within a single document. Hayes has asked his officials to conduct an analysis of local authority performance on the assistance dog and wider accessibility issues, and will be writing to each council on their performance to improve on both training and enforcement.[16]

In 2017, Gwynne was appointed to lead Labour's campaign for the Copeland by-election following the resignation of Jamie Reed.[17] Gwynne focussed the campaign on the Conservatives plans to cut services at West Cumberland Hospital, and moving some hospital facilities including maternity servicies 80-miles away to Carlisle.[18] In January 2017, it was announced that the by-election would take place on 23 February to correspond with the by-election in Stoke following the resignation of Tristram Hunt.

In February 2017, Gwynne was promoted to Elections and Campaign Chair whilst retaining some of his Cabinet Office duties and spokesperson role. He shares this new post with colleague Ian Lavery.[19]

During the 2017 general election campaign, Gwynne memorably clashed with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Sky News, calling Johnson a "pillock" in a debate over Brexit policy.[20][21]

Following the 2017 general election Gwynne retained his Elections and Campaign Chair role and was promoted to the role of Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, replacing Grahame Morris.[22] Gwynne is concerned about the effects of austerity on local government services. Gwynne stated, "The Government can no longer ignore this crisis. Unless we see additional investment into local services and local government, councils will be in an impossible position and more will follow Northamptonshire into bankruptcy. Tory austerity clearly isn’t working and has utterly failed local government."[23]

Personal life[edit]

He is the son of sports commentator and reporter John Gwynne. He married Allison Dennis in March 2003 in Tameside, and they have two sons and a daughter.[24] Allison Gwynne serves as a councillor for Denton North East Ward of Tameside Council.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Denton & Reddish parliamentary constituency – Election 2017" – via www.bbc.com.
  2. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn restores Owen Smith in low-key reshuffle". www.newstatesman.com.
  3. ^ "About Andrew". Andrew Gwynne MP. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  4. ^ "We must not be diverted from seeking a resolution | Progress | News and debate from the progressive community". Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Labour Frontbench". Labour Party. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  6. ^ CampaignTB (2 December 2016). "A Message from Andrew Gwynne MP on World AIDS Day 2016". YouTube.
  7. ^ "Infected Blood: 21 Jan 2016: House of Commons debates – TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou.
  8. ^ "The Oldham By-election Is the First Crucial Test of Osborne's 'Northern Powerhouse'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  9. ^ Eaton, George (4 December 2015). "Labour win Oldham West by-election with 11,000 majority". New Statesman. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Andrew Gwynne to take lead organising for Oldham West by-election". Labour List. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Burnham signs up Andrew Gwynne to run Greater Manchester bid". LabourList. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  12. ^ "NEW CRACKDOWN ON VULTURE FUNDS as Jersey adopts new Debt Relief laws". Andrew Gwynne MP. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  13. ^ Wray, Richard (8 April 2010). "Bill to stop vulture funds using UK courts gets royal assent". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  14. ^ "135th IPU Assembly to debate human rights as a precursor of conflict – British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union". bgipu.org. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  15. ^ "Protest against MP after disability bill blocked". Plymouth Herald. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Andrewgwynne (26 November 2016). "Denton & Reddish MP Pushes Forward with Disability Equality Training Measures". Andrew Gwynne MP. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Gwynne pledges fightback as Corbyn asks him to spearhead Copeland by-election bid". LabourList. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Labour's Copeland campaign: Your NHS is not safe in the Tories' hands". Labour List. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Labour reshuffle: Lavery and Gwynne replace Jon Trickett as elections chiefs". Labour List. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Labour MP tells Boris Johnson 'don't be a p*****k' in fiery TV clash". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  21. ^ "Johnson and Labour election chief in fiery spat". Sky News. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  22. ^ "Notes on the Reshuffle". New Socialist. 2017-06-18. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  23. ^ English councils brace for biggest government cuts since 2010 despite 'unprecedented' budget pressures The Independent
  24. ^ "Council: Minutes of the Meeting, 8th April 2003 [111. Civic Mayor's Announcements: (a) Marriage of Councillors Alison and Andrew Gwynne]". tameside.gov.uk. Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 9 January 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Councillors For The Ward Of Denton: North East". tameside.gov.uk. Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 4 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Andrew Bennett
Member of Parliament
for Denton and Reddish

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Jon Ashworth
Shadow Minister without Portfolio
2016–2017
Succeeded by
Ian Lavery
Preceded by
Roberta Blackman-Woods
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
2017–present
Incumbent