Chris Williamson (politician)

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Chris Williamson
Official portrait of Chris Williamson crop 2.jpg
Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
Assumed office
3 July 2017
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Member of Parliament
for Derby North
Assumed office
9 June 2017
Preceded by Amanda Solloway
Majority 2,015 (4.1%)
In office
6 May 2010 – 7 May 2015
Preceded by Bob Laxton
Succeeded by Amanda Solloway
Personal details
Born (1956-09-16) 16 September 1956 (age 60)
Derby, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Maggie Amsbury[1]
Alma mater Leicester Polytechnic

Christopher Williamson (born 16 September 1956[2]) is a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Derby North from 9 June 2017,[3] having served previously for the same seat from 2010 until 2015.[4] He was Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government for three years between October 2010 and October 2013.[5]

Williamson was also previously a local councillor in Derby, representing the Normanton ward from 1991 until his resignation in 2011.[6] He was twice leader of Derby City Council.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Derby, he attended the St John Fisher Primary School in Alvaston; Castle Donington High School, and St Thomas More High School, Allenton before Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) where he obtained a CQSW in 1985.[citation needed]

He worked as a mechanical engineering apprentice for a year from 1972 before working six years as a bricklayer. He was a social worker in Derby between 1983 and 1986 before working as a welfare rights officer. He has been vegan since the 1970s.[7]

Williamson joined the Labour Party in 1976 and became a councillor in 1991 and became Leader of the Labour Group on Derby City Council. He was Leader of Derby City Council on two separate occasions. He is a member of the League Against Cruel Sports and is vice chair of the Local Government Anti Poverty Forum.[8]

Parliamentary career[edit]

First term (2010–15)[edit]

Williamson was the second newly elected MP of the 2010 intake to make his maiden speech in the House of Commons, speaking in response to the Queen's Speech on 25 May 2010.

In October 2010, he became Shadow Fire and Emergency Services Minister within the Shadow Communities and Local Government team after only four months as an MP but after the reshuffle of the party in 2013 his role as shadow minister was replaced by Lyn Brown.[9]

He served as a member of the Communities and Local Government Committee between July and November 2010 and November 2013 to March 2015.[10]

He was one of 16 signatories of an open letter to Ed Miliband in January 2015 calling on the party to commit to oppose further austerity, take rail franchises back into public ownership and strengthen collective bargaining arrangements.[11]

At the 2015 general election, Williamson lost the Derby North seat to Amanda Solloway of the Conservative Party.

Second term (2017–present)[edit]

Williamson is a staunch ally of the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and has been described as the "most pro-Jeremy Corbyn candidate in England’s most marginal constituency".[12] Corbyn has described Williamson as a "very great friend", saying that his defeat in the 2015 general election was "a shock" and "the worst result of that night".[13] Williamson expressed that his campaign in Derby North would be a "test case for Corbynism".[14] and Corbyn came to campaign for Williamson on 6 May 2017 during the snap general election campaign.

At the 2017 general election, Williamson reclaimed his seat from Amanda Solloway of the Conservative Party with a majority of 2,015 votes.

On 3 July 2017 Williamson was appointed as Shadow Fire and Emergency Services Minister within the Shadow Home Office team.[15][16]


  1. ^ "House of Commons – The Register of Members' Financial Interests – Part 2: Part 2". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Parliament UK
  4. ^ Derby Telegraph
  5. ^ "Chris Williamson MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "DERBY North MP Chris Williamson has resigned from his position as councillor for Normanton after 20 years.". This is Derbyshire. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Kerry McCarthy MP full transcript (column 898), World Vegan Day, Adjournment Debate, House of Commons, 1 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Chris Williamson – Parliamentary candidates". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ed Miliband shifts Leftwards at conference but Rightwards in the PLP". Left Futures. 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2017-07-10. 
  10. ^ "Chris Williamson MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2017-07-10. 
  11. ^ Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction – why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Life as Labour’s most pro-Jeremy Corbyn candidate in England’s most marginal constituency". Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Corbyn: Chris Williamson losing Derby North was 'the worst result of that night'". 11 February 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Corbyn Must 'Absolutely' Remain Labour Leader Even If He Loses The Election, Says Ally". 3 May 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Reshuffle 2: The Maintenance of the Malcontents". New Socialist. 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2017-07-10. 
  16. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn appoints 20 MPs to Labour’s front bench". Labour Press. Retrieved 2017-07-10. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Bob Laxton
Member of Parliament for Derby North
Succeeded by
Amanda Solloway
Preceded by
Amanda Solloway
Member of Parliament for Derby North