Chris Pond

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Chris Pond
Member of Parliament
for Gravesham
In office
1 May 1997 – 5 May 2005
Preceded by Jacques Arnold
Succeeded by Adam Holloway
Personal details
Born (1952-09-25) 25 September 1952 (age 63)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Carole Tongue

Christopher Richard Pond, (born 25 September 1952) is a former Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Gravesham in Kent, from 1997 to 2005.[1]

Early life[edit]

He went to the Minchenden School[2] (became comprehensive in 1967, and was merged into the Broomfield School in 1984) in Southgate, London. At the University of Sussex, he gained a BA in Economics in 1974.[2]

From 1974-5, he was a research assistant in Economics at Birkbeck College.[3] From 1975-9, he was a research officer at the Low Pay Unit (now called the Low Pay Commission).[2] He lectured in Economics at the Civil Service College (now called the National School of Government) from 1979-80.[2] From 1981-2, he was a visiting lecturer in Economics at the University of Kent.[3] At the University of Surrey, he was a visiting professor from 1984-6. He was a consultant for the Open University from 1987-8, and 1991-2.[3]

Parliamentary career[edit]

At the 1987 general election, Pond unsuccessfully contested the Welwyn Hatfield constituency.[4]

He won the Gravesham seat at the 1997 general election, beating the sitting Conservative Party MP, Jacques Arnold. He was re-elected at the 2001 general election, and served as a member of the Social Security Select Committee, Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Treasury and then minister in the Department for Work and Pensions.

Pond introduced a Private Members Bill, the Employment of Children Bill in 1998, which subsequently led to greater protection for children at work. He campaigned with the Marchioness Action Group for a Public Inquiry into the sinking of the Marchioness, for greater safety measures and for the introduction of lifeboats on the Thames. At the May 2005 general election, he lost his seat in Parliament to the Conservative Party candidate, Adam Holloway.[5]

In February 2005, Pond was arrested by the police after an alleged incident of criminal damage. He had removed a sign illegally threatening to clamp his heavily pregnant wife’s car and placed it on the door of a neighbour who he believed had been responsible, leaving traces of glue. After the decision whether to prosecute him was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and to the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, Pond received a police caution.[6][7][8]

After being defeated in the 2005 election, Pond was appointed as Chief Executive of The National Council for One Parent Families.[2] In 2007 he became Director of Financial Capability at the Financial Services Authority.[9][10] Since 2005, he has been Chair of Capacitybuilders, a Cabinet Office sponsored funding agency for charities and social enterprises.[11] He is a Trustee of the End Child Poverty Campaign and of the National Family and Parenting Institute. He is also an independent director of Cape Claims Services, an asbestos compensation scheme.

Personal life[edit]

He married Carole Tongue in 1990. They have one daughter, but divorced in 1999. He is now married to Lorraine (former councillor and mayor of Tower Hamlets). They have a daughter aged 4 and a son aged 15 months.

Chris has run 16 marathons, eleven of them in London, raising thousands for charity. He ran the London Marathon again in April 2009 in support of Gingerbread (the charity for lone parents), Macmillan Cancer Care and United Response (the learning disability and mental health charity)


  1. ^ "Ask Aristotle: Chris Pond". The Guardian website (London). Retrieved 10 March 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e Alison Benjamin (12 October 2005). "As one door closes…". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Candidate: Chris Pond". BBC News: Vote 2001. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "UK General Election results June 1987". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "Election 2005: Labour restrict their Kent losses". BBC News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  6. ^ Ian Gallagher (20 March 2005). "Minister arrested for attack on young mother". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 3 November 2007. 
  7. ^ Joanna Bale (21 March 2005). "Parking row MP escapes court action". London: The Times. Retrieved 3 November 2007. 
  8. ^ Mark Townsend and Gaby Hinsliff (20 March 2005). "Minister comes unstuck over 'glue gate'". London: The Observer. Retrieved 5 November 2007. 
  9. ^ "Chris Pond appointed as Director of Financial Capability for the FSA". Financial Services Authority. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  10. ^ Tony Bonsignore (3 October 2007). "Former Labour minister given key FSA role". CityWire. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  11. ^ "Biography: Chris Pond". Financial Services Authority. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jacques Arnold
Member of Parliament for Gravesham
Succeeded by
Adam Holloway