Clive Lewis (politician)
|Shadow Minister for Sustainable Economics|
|Assumed office |
12 January 2018
Serving with Lyn Brown
|Preceded by||Anneliese Dodds|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy|
6 October 2016 – 8 February 2017
|Preceded by||Jon Trickett (Business, Innovation and Skills)|
Barry Gardiner (Energy and Climate Change)
|Succeeded by||Rebecca Long-Bailey|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Defence|
27 June 2016 – 6 October 2016
|Preceded by||Emily Thornberry|
|Succeeded by||Nia Griffith|
|Member of Parliament|
for Norwich South
7 May 2015 – 6 November 2019
|Preceded by||Simon Wright|
Clive Anthony Lewis
11 September 1971
|Alma mater||University of Bradford|
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
|Branch/service||British Army (Territorial Army)|
|Years of service||2006–2009|
|Unit||7th Battalion, The Rifles|
He studied at the University of Bradford before being elected to various student union roles and then serving as vice-president of the National Union of Students. Lewis then worked as a TV reporter for BBC News, becoming BBC Look East's chief political correspondent. He was also one of the Labour government's National Black Role Models. In 2006, he passed out of Sandhurst as an infantry officer with the Territorial Army, and he served a three-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009.
Appointed to Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence in June 2016, Lewis was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the October 2016 reshuffle. He left the Shadow Cabinet on 8 February 2017 in protest over the Labour Party's decision to whip its MPs into voting to trigger Article 50, but rejoined the front bench a year later.
Early life and education
Born in London, Lewis grew up on a council estate in Northampton, the son of a single father. He was the first member of his family to attend university, reading economics at the University of Bradford before being elected student union president, and later vice-president of the National Union of Students. In November 1995, he was a signatory to a letter that argued for the abolition of student loans, saying "Any loans system will be unfair".
Lewis was suspended from the role in 1996 by then-president Jim Murphy of the NUS for attending a debate on free education organised by the Campaign for Free Education (CFE). Murphy's actions were condemned in an early day motion authored by Ken Livingstone which received the backing of 13 MPs. Running on a campaign of a return to full grants and free education, Lewis ran as the CFE candidate for president of the National Union of Students in 1996. He lost the election to Douglas Trainer, the Labour Students candidate, by 586 to 458 votes.
Lewis' first job was as a security guard at BBC World News in London. After completing a post-graduate diploma in journalism, he worked on local newspapers in Northampton and Milton Keynes before being accepted into the BBC's News Trainee Scheme. He went on to work as a broadcast journalist in Nottingham, Norwich, and Coventry. He then became a senior broadcast journalist and the main reporter on the BBC's Politics Show East.
Lewis joined the Territorial Army, passing out of Sandhurst Military Academy in 2006 as an infantry officer with 7 Rifles. In 2009, he served a three-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. Shortly after returning from his tour of duty, he faced depression, saying "I just felt like I was being crushed by it all." However, he recovered after receiving counselling from the Ministry of Defence.
Lewis was selected as the Labour Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich South at the party's hustings in November 2011, defeating challengers including Blur drummer Dave Rowntree. Norwich South had been won by Simon Wright of the Liberal Democrats in the 2010 general election by a margin of just over 300 votes, defeating former Home Secretary and Education Secretary Charles Clarke.
In April 2015, Lewis commented in an interview for the New Statesman (in jest), in response to a question on whether he was taking his upcoming victory for granted, he would only lose if he was "caught with [his] pants down behind a goat with Ed Miliband at the other end". He subsequently apologised for the remark, saying he was "sincerely sorry" if anyone had been offended by the comment.
On 7 May 2015, Lewis was elected MP for Norwich South, winning 19,033 votes, 39.3% of the total vote, giving him a 15.8% majority of 7,654. Lewis, in his victory speech, declared New Labour to be "dead and buried" and promised to stand up for Norwich's most vulnerable against an "onslaught of cuts" by the governing Conservative Party. In keeping with these views, Lewis is a member of the Compass Management Committee.
Lewis was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015. Corbyn credited Lewis with getting his nominations "off the ground". Lewis has been described as an "ally" of Corbyn, and one of his "early backers".
Following a large number of resignations from Corbyn's shadow cabinet after the 2016 EU referendum, Lewis was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence. In September 2016, at the Labour party 2016 Conference when Lewis was preparing to give his first speech as Shadow Defence Secretary, a section announcing that he "would not seek to change" Labour's current policy on nuclear weapons was changed by Corbyn's communications advisor Seumas Milne. Lewis was informed of the change by a post-it note. A month later, Corbyn removed Lewis from the defence brief, replacing him with his fellow nuclear abolitionist Nia Griffith MP.
Lewis was then re-appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The move was viewed as a tactical demotion, though still a helpful career progression for Lewis.
As a candidate, Lewis often broke from the party line on issues such as nuclear weapons, tuition fees and immigration. Locally, Lewis supported the campaign to prevent Hewett School, a comprehensive school in Norwich, from being turned into an academy.
In June 2015, Lewis was elected Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group. On how his views influence his politics, he has said that "Central to being a humanist, which I am, is the core understanding that doubt and criticism are essential attributes in the quest for knowledge." In July 2015, he became a patron of the Anti Academies Alliance.
Lewis has criticised British involvement in Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. He said: "It’s sickening to think of British-built weapons being used against civilians and the government has an absolute responsibility to do everything in its power to stop that from happening. But as ministers turn a blind eye to the conflict in Yemen, evidence that humanitarian law has been violated is becoming harder to ignore by the day."
Lewis has also criticised Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Lewis said that safety risks and problems had been known since 2014. Lewis also said, "This has become a national disgrace. We are looking at a national and local system-wide failure of governance, commissioning, regulation and inspection. Unless we change course, I know exactly what's coming next. Senior trust board members will mouth the same platitudes about lessons being learnt and plans for change—even though those same people have long track records of failure in various parts of the local NHS." Lewis maintains the Care Quality Commission has, "the power to put the trust into Special Administration and get rid of this board".
2017 Labour Party conference
Clive Lewis was accused of groping a woman at Momentum's "World Transformed" event at the 2017 Labour party conference. In response, Lewis said he was "pretty taken aback" by the accusation and "completely" and "categorically" denied it. On 12 December 2017, he was cleared by Labour's National Executive Committee sexual harassment panel.
Video footage, taken at a fringe event at the same conference, emerged in which Lewis told the (male) actor Sam Swann to “get on your knees, bitch”. Lewis' language attracted criticism from Labour colleague, Stella Creasy, who said: “It’s not OK. Even if it’s meant as a joke, it reinforces menace that men have the physical power to force compliance.” Commenting later, Swann said, "It is clearly jovial and nothing vicious ... I think Clive Lewis is an absolute legend." Lewis subsequently tweeted an apology, in which he described his behaviour as "offensive and unacceptable".
Clive Lewis married Yorkshire school teacher and actress Katy Steel on 6 May 2017. Their infant daughter won praise from House of Commons Speaker John Bercow: "I must just say to the House ... that for all the turbulence and discord of today's proceedings the little baby who has been observing them has been a model of impeccable behaviour from start to finish."
- Extinction Rebellion, ed. (2019). "Chapter 26: A Green New Deal". This Is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook. Penguin Books. pp. 155–161. ISBN 9780141991443.
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- "Politics Show East". BBC News. 14 September 2005. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- Lewis, Clive. "Why the Military?". Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- "BBC journalist battles Afghanistan depression". BBC News. 9 February 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- Dan Grimmer (19 November 2011). "TV reporter picked as Labour's candidate for Norwich South". Norwich Evening News. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
- "Norwich South Labour candidate sorry for Ed Miliband goat joke". BBC News. 17 April 2015. Archived from the original on 20 April 2015.
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- "Compass Management Committee 16/18". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
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- "Clive Lewis appointed to Labour frontbench". ITV News. 18 September 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "Shadow Cabinet Appointments" (Press release). The Labour Party. 2 June 2016. Archived from the original on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- Bush, Stephen (26 September 2016). "Why Clive Lewis was furious when a Trident pledge went missing from his speech". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- Schofield, Kevin (26 September 2016). "Clive Lewis Trident speech changed by Seumas Milne on conference autocue". Politics Home. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- Stephen Bush; Helen Lewis; Julia Rampen (7 October 2016). "Jeremy Corbyn reshuffles the shadow cabinet". New Statesman. London. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- Corbyn reappoints Clive Lewis to Labour front bench. Archived 13 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine BBC NEWS. Published 12 January 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- Clive Lewis returns to frontbench in Labour reshuffle. Archived 12 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian. Author – Heather Stewart. Published 12 January 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- "Why Labour should make the case against Trident renewal". New Statesman. London. 18 January 2013. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
- Dan Falvey (1 May 2015). "Interview: Clive Lewis". Concrete. Norwich: University of East Anglia. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
- Dan Grimmer (20 April 2015). "Decision on Norwich's Hewett School should be local, says shadow chancellor Ed Balls". Eastern Daily Press. Norwich. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
- "Clive Lewis elected Chair of All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group". British Humanist Association. 15 June 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "Crispin Blunt and Joan Bakewell elected as Chair and Co-Chair of humanists in Parliament". Humanists UK. 13 September 2017. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Lewis, Clive (18 August 2015). "Why I was right to criticise Gordon Brown's economic credibility". New Statesman. London. Archived from the original on 7 October 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
- "Clive Lewis MP announced as new patron of the Anti-Academies Alliance" (Press release). Anti Academies Alliance. 3 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- Ewen MacAskill; Paul Torpey (16 September 2016). "One in three Saudi air raids on Yemen hit civilian sites, data shows". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016.
- Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust remains 'inadequate' BBC
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 November 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Labour clears MP Clive Lewis of sexual harassment Archived 12 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine. BBC NEWS. Published 12 December 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- "Labour MP Clive Lewis apologises for 'get on your knees' comment". The Guardian. 20 October 2017. Archived from the original on 4 November 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- "Black Rod opens the Houses of Parliament – just for Clive and Katy to marry". Norwich Eye. 6 May 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- Laura Forsyth (13 June 2018). "John Bercow praises behaviour of BABY in the Commons and says she was conducting herself better than most MPs – including her politician father". This is Money. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- Mikey Smith (13 June 2018). "PMQs descends into chaos as Ian Blackford kicked out and SNP MPs storm out in protest". Daily Mirror, London. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clive Lewis.|
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Norwich South
| Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
| Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change