Fabian Hamilton

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Fabian Hamilton

Official portrait of Fabian Hamilton crop 2.jpg
Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament
Assumed office
8 November 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byNew Position
Shadow Minister of State for Europe
In office
29 June 2016 – 4 July 2016
Preceded byPat Glass
Succeeded byKhalid Mahmood
Member of Parliament
for Leeds North East
Assumed office
2 May 1997
Preceded byTimothy Kirkhope
Majority16,991 (32.1%)
Leeds City Councillor
for Wortley Ward
In office
Preceded byP. Fathers?
Succeeded byDavid Blackburn
Personal details
Born (1955-04-12) 12 April 1955 (age 64)
London, England, UK
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Rosemary Ratcliffe
Alma materUniversity of York

Fabian Uziell-Hamilton MP (born 12 April 1955) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Leeds North East since 1997. He was appointed Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament in November 2016.[1][2][3]

Education and professional career[edit]

Fabian Hamilton was born in London to a British Jewish family.[4] His grandfather was a rabbi.[5] His father, a solicitor, and his mother, a judge, were both members of the Liberal Party, for which his father was several times an election candidate. He was educated at Brentwood School in Essex where he participated in the school's dramatic productions, playing a minor role in the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar alongside Douglas Adams and Griff Rhys Jones.[6] He then attended the University of York where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree. He worked initially as a taxi driver for a year from 1978 before working as a graphic designer. From 1994 until his election to Parliament he was a computer systems consultant with Apple Macintosh Computer Systems.

Political career[edit]

He was elected as a councillor to the City of Leeds Council in 1987, stepping down eleven years later in 1998. He was elected as the chairman of the Leeds West Constituency Labour Party in 1987, and he contested Leeds North East at the 1992 general election but was defeated by the sitting Conservative MP Timothy Kirkhope by 4,244 votes, gaining a 5.9% swing from the Conservative Party to Labour.[7]

Despite having achieved the highest Labour swing in the North of England, Hamilton's local constituency voted (by a margin of one vote) in favour of an all-women shortlist. At the time Hamilton was quoted by The Independent as saying:

On the decision to adopt an all-women shortlist, Hamilton was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying, "I reluctantly accepted the decision, made by a narrow margin, for a women-only shortlist. But I felt the wisest choice would have been somebody local." Leeds North-East made its selection on 1 July 1995, selecting Liz Davies, a barrister and councillor in the London Borough of Islington. Davies defeated four local women, two of whom were Leeds city councillors.[9] Her selection was vetoed by the National Executive Committee, allegedly for her left-wing politics; unhappy with the situation, opponents took out an unsuccessful private prosecution against Hamilton under the Companies Act in connection with his printing business.[10]

He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 general election when he defeated Kirkhope in a re-run at Leeds North East by 6,959 votes and has remained the MP there since. He made his maiden speech on 23 June 1997, in which he explained that his constituency stretches from the inner-city Leeds district of Chapeltown all the way out to Harewood House, the stately home of the Earls of Harewood.[11]

He is said to be the first MP to hold a virtual surgery for constituents: local people go to his constituency office while he is in London, and converse via webcam.[12]

Hamilton is a signatory of the Euston Manifesto[13] and the Henry Jackson Society. He was a signatory of an open letter to the then-Labour Party leader 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[14] He supports Labour Friends of Israel and was critical of Ed Miliband's stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict in 2014.[15]

Parliamentary offices[edit]

Fabian Hamilton with Labour leader Ed Miliband at the Royal Armouries in Leeds in 2011

In Parliament he served as a member of the Administration Select Committee 1997–2001, and has been a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee since the 2001 general election. He is also the chairman of the all party groups on business services, prison health, and civil contingency, he also serves as the vice-chairman of the all-party Iran group. He also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet.[16]

On 7 January 2016 Hamilton was appointed a shadow Foreign Minister, outside the Shadow Cabinet.[17][18]

On 29 June 2016, Hamilton was appointed as Shadow Europe Minister to replace Pat Glass, who resigned over concerns about Corbyn's leadership. Hamilton resigned a few days later on 4 July 2016, saying that he was troubled by Corbyn's response to the Chakrabarti Inquiry into anti-Semitism.[19]

On 8 November 2016, Corbyn fulfilled a campaign pledge as Hamilton was appointed as Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament. The role covers North Africa, the Middle East, North Korea and Labour Party policy on nuclear weapons.


During the Parliamentary expenses scandal, The Daily Telegraph reported that Hamilton had incorrectly claimed £3,000 on expenses for mortgage payments.[20] In addition to the interest on the mortgage, which can be claimed as an expense, Hamilton claimed for interest on an equity release scheme on the house, which cannot. Hamilton responded in a statement that this was "a genuine mistake" and that the money was paid back when the error was discovered by the House of Commons Fees Office.[21] The Telegraph also accused Hamilton of "flipping" his second home designation to decorate and furnish both his constituency home in Leeds and London flat.[20] In a statement Hamilton defended his actions and accused The Daily Telegraph of "deliberately misrepresenting" him.[21]

Personal life[edit]

He has been married to Rosemary since 1980 and they have two daughters and a son.

He has been a member of Amicus since it absorbed his former union, the Graphical, Paper and Media Union, which is now part of UNITE. He is Jewish and speaks fluent French.[4][18]

He is a keen cyclist, and cycled to Aachen, Germany, raising funds for the Funzi and Bodo Trust, a children's charity based in Kenya.[22]


  1. ^ McGrath, Hannah. "Corbyn appoints minister for peace and disarmament". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn HAS appointed a 'minister for peace'". Mail Online. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Front Bench Appointment". www.leedsne.co.uk. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b Elgot, Jessica (14 May 2010). "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  5. ^ Jackman, Josh (8 May 2015). "Election 2015: Fabian Hamilton increases majority in Leeds North East". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  6. ^ Julius Caesar (programme). Brentwood: Brentwood School. 1968.
  7. ^ "Election 1992: The Full Results". The Independent. 11 April 1992. p. 31.
  8. ^ Dickson, E. Jane (15 July 1995). "No man's land". The Independent. p. 8 (Features).
  9. ^ Hadfield, Greg (3 July 1995). "Outsider dealing". Daily Mail. p. 11 (Features).
  10. ^ "MP accuses opponents of legal chicanery". The Lawyer. 11 April 1997.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "Live from London … your MP". Yorkshire Evening Post. 23 October 2008. p. 15.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 November 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction – why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  15. ^ Dysch, Marcus (8 April 2015). "Labour man says it's a rough ride with Miliband". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  16. ^ "All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet".
  17. ^ Frances Perraudin (7 January 2016). "Six junior shadow ministers appointed as Corbyn completes reshuffle". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  18. ^ a b Kate Proctor (8 January 2016). "So who is Labour's new golden boy Fabian Hamilton?". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  19. ^ Elgot, Jessica (4 July 2016). "Jeremy Corbyn issues defiant video urging Labour unity". Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  20. ^ a b Prince, Rosa (13 May 2009). "Fabian Hamilton overclaimed for mortgage while living with mother". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  21. ^ a b http://www.leedsne.co.uk/expenses_statement.htm Archived 4 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Fabian Hamilton: I am cycling to Germany for my latest charity challenge". www.yorkshirepost.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-14.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Timothy Kirkhope
Member of Parliament
for Leeds North East

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Pat Glass
Shadow Minister of State for Europe
Succeeded by
Khalid Mahmood
New office Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament