Hilary Benn

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The Right Honourable
Hilary Benn
MP
Hilary Benn.jpg
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Assumed office
11 May 2015
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Douglas Alexander
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
In office
7 October 2011 – 11 May 2015
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Caroline Flint
Succeeded by Emma Reynolds
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
In office
8 October 2010 – 7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Rosie Winterton
Succeeded by Angela Eagle
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
11 May 2010 – 8 October 2010
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Ed Miliband
Preceded by Nick Herbert
Succeeded by Mary Creagh
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by David Miliband
Succeeded by Caroline Spelman
Secretary of State for International Development
In office
6 October 2003 – 28 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by The Baroness Amos
Succeeded by Douglas Alexander
Member of Parliament
for Leeds Central
Assumed office
10 June 1999
Preceded by Derek Fatchett
Majority 16,967 (37.7%)
Personal details
Born Hilary James Wedgwood Benn
(1953-11-26) 26 November 1953 (age 62)
London, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Rosalind Caroline Retey (1973–1979)
Sally Christina Clark (1982–present)[1]
Alma mater University of Sussex
Website Official website

Hilary James Wedgwood Benn (born 26 November 1953) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Leeds Central since a by-election in 1999 and has served as Shadow Foreign Secretary since May 2015.

Born in Hammersmith, the son of Tony and Caroline Benn, he studied Russian and East European Studies at the University of Sussex. He then worked for two trade unions, ASTMS and MSF. After joining the Labour Party, Benn was elected a councillor on Ealing Borough Council on which he served for several years, and was twice the unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for the Ealing North constituency. After the 1997 general election, Benn was a special adviser to David Blunkett before winning a by-election in Leeds Central in 1999.

Benn served in the cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development from 2003 to 2007 and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2007 to 2010. In opposition he served as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2010, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons from 2010 to 2011, and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2011 to 2015.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Hammersmith, London, he is the second son of former Labour Cabinet Minister Tony Benn and educationalist Caroline Benn. Benn is a fourth-generation MP - his father, his grandfather Lord Stansgate, and his great grandfathers Sir John Benn and Daniel Holmes were all Members of Parliament, mostly with factions of the Liberal Party.[2]

Benn attended Norland Place School, Westminster Under School, Holland Park School and the University of Sussex where he graduated in Russian and East European Studies. Benn has an older brother, Stephen, a younger sister Melissa and younger brother, Joshua.[3] Reflecting on his upbringing, he said: "I grew up in a household where we talked about the state of the world over breakfast, when we ate at night, and all points in between."[4]

Political career[edit]

Pre-parliamentary career[edit]

On leaving university, Benn became a research officer with the ASTMS and later became Head of Policy for Manufacturing Science and Finance.[5] He reportedly applied for head of Labour Party research under the leadership of John Smith, but did not get the job.[6]

In 1980 he was seconded to the Labour Party to act as a joint secretary to the finance panel of the Labour Party Commission of Inquiry. In 1979 he was elected to Ealing Borough Council where he served as deputy leader from 1986 to 1990.

He was the Labour parliamentary candidate for Ealing North in the 1983 and 1987 general elections. On both occasions he was defeated by the Conservative candidate Harry Greenway. Reflecting on the defeat in the 1983 general election, Benn said: "That was a formative experience for me because we went out on the doorstep and we didn't win the public's confidence. It made me very uncomfortable. Personally, that left a mark on me."[7]

At the 1997 general election, Benn was on the shortlist for the seat of Pontefract and Castleford, but eventually lost out to Yvette Cooper.[8] Following the 1997 general election and the election of a Labour government, Benn served as a special adviser to David Blunkett, then the Secretary of State for Education and Employment.

Early parliamentary career[edit]

In 1999, Benn was selected as the Labour candidate for the Leeds Central by-election, 1999 following the death of Derek Fatchett. During the by-election campaign he described himself as "a Benn, but not a Bennite".[9][10] Benn won the by-election on 10 June 1999 by just over 2,000 votes, following a turnout of 19%, the smallest in a by-election since World War II.[11] Regarding the turnout, he said: "The turnout is very disappointing and in a democracy this is a concern for all of us."[12]

He made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 23 June 1999. He was re-elected MP for Leeds Central in the 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015 general elections. He shares premises for his constituency office with Richard Corbett, a Labour Member of the European Parliament.

Early ministerial career (2001–2003)[edit]

Following the 2001 general election, Benn was appointed as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for International Development.[13] In 2002, he was reshuffled to become the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prisons and Probation in the Home Office, serving as a deputy to Lord Falconer as Minister of State (Criminal Justice).[14] At the Home Office he led a task force investigating internet paedophilia, which subsequently recommended the introduction of the new offence of 'grooming'.[15] In January 2003, he had responsibility for introducing the Sexual Offences Bill in the House of Commons.[16]

In May 2003, he was moved from the Home Office back to the Department for International Development, where he served as Minister of State. He also acted as the Department's Commons spokesperson, as then-Secretary of State for International Development, Baroness Amos, was a member of the House of Lords.[11][17]

Secretary of State for International Development (2003–2007)[edit]

In 2003, Benn was raised to the cabinet from his position as Minister of State to become Secretary of State for International Development, after Baroness Amos was appointed as Leader of the House of Lords. When he informed his family, his father Tony said that "The house rocked with delight."[6] Following his first Department for International Development (DfID) question time, Benn was criticised by Liberal Democrat international development spokesperson Tom Brake over his comments about opening Iraq up to foreign investors.[18]

The Guardian noted that one of Benn's main challenges as Secretary of State for International Development would be the "fraught reconstruction of Iraq".[11] In February 2004, Benn said that restoring security in Iraq would be "absolutely fundamental" to a reconstruction effort.[19]

Benn oversaw the DfID response to the 2003 Bam earthquake, which included "helping to co-ordinate efforts on the ground, liaise with other international relief organisations and work with the Iranian government to ensure that the right equipment gets to where it is needed as quickly as possible."[20] He subsequently oversaw the UK's response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2005 Sumatra earthquake, which he responded to "with skill".[7]

In July 2004, Benn set out five stages to end the War in Darfur that had begun in February 2003. The stages were: "to get help to the people in the camps and elsewhere", "to get more people and more capacity on the ground to deliver this aid", "security - urgently", getting the "government of Sudan... to disarm the militias and provide security to the people" and "Finally, this crisis needs a political solution".[21] On 13 June 2005, he committed an additional £19 million to the African Union security mission in Darfur, bringing the total UK contribution to £32 million.[22] Benn led the UK negotiating team at the 2006 Darfur peace negotiations.[23]

Benn was also a critic of the United Nations at times. In December 2004, he called for reform of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNHCA), and also said that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was "supposed to coordinate but does not have the power of resources to do the job properly".[24] Benn has also been credited with helping to found the Central Emergency Response Fund.[23]

Benn played an important role in increasing the UK's foreign aid budget and securing debt relief for the poorest countries at the 31st G8 summit.

In 2007, the New Statesman noted that "Benn's work at DfID... has often been at odds with the Bush administration". In particular, an example was Benn's opposition to the US's policy of increasing abstinence when it to fighting AIDS in Africa, whereas Benn took a "harm reduction" approach. He was also dismissive of US policy, saying: "Abstinence-only programmes are fine if you want to abstain, but not everybody does."[25]

Labour Party Deputy Leadership election, 2007[edit]

In late October 2006, Benn announced that he would be standing in the 2007 Labour Party Deputy Leadership election.[26] One of his earliest backers was Dennis Skinner, and it was also announced that Ian McCartney would play an important role in his campaign.[27] On 6 December, an open letter was published in The Guardian signed by six Labour parliamentarians that said Benn's election as Deputy Leader could rebuild a "coalition of trust" in the Labour Party.[28][29]

In 2007, Benn was the bookmakers' favourite for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party.[30] Early polls in the deputy leadership contest showed him to be the grassroots' favourite - in a YouGov poll of party members, Benn was top with 27%, followed by Education Secretary Alan Johnson with 18%, Environment Secretary David Miliband with 17%, Justice Minister Harriet Harman with 10%, and Labour Party Chair Hazel Blears with 7%.[31] The contest was launched on 14 May 2007 after the resignation of incumbent deputy leader John Prescott, Benn had some difficulties securing the necessary 45 nominations required to get on the ballot paper but he acquired the support needed to join five other candidates—Hazel Blears, Harriet Harman, Alan Johnson, Peter Hain and backbencher Jon Cruddas.[32][33] Supporting nominations from constituency Labour Parties showed Hilary Benn obtaining 25%, Jon Cruddas 22%, Harriet Harman 19%, Alan Johnson 14%, Hazel Blears 12% and Peter Hain 8% of the constituency parties that voted. The contest closed on Sunday 24 June 2007 with Harriet Harman winning. Benn was eliminated in the 3rd round of voting having reached 22.33% of the votes. Harriet Harman was elected in the 5th round with 50.43% of the vote.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2007–2010)[edit]

In 2007, Benn was appointed as the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, following the election of Gordon Brown as Leader, and the movement of David Miliband from the role to Foreign Secretary.[34] As Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, it was his responsibility to respond to the threat to cattle from Mycobacterium bovis, colloquially referred to as bovine tuberculosis (TB). The recommended option from the Chief Scientific Advisor until 2007, Sir David King, was a badger cull.[35] In April 2010, a badger cull was announced in Wales, after the high court in Cardiff rejected a legal challenge from The Badger Trust.[36]

During the parliamentary expenses scandal, Benn was picked out by several national newspapers as one of only three senior members of the Labour Party to have presented expenses beyond reproach. "When all Westminster MPs' total expenditures are ranked, Benn's bill is the 15th least expensive for the taxpayer," said The Guardian.[37]

Opposition (2010–present)[edit]

Benn served as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2010 during Harriet Harman's interim leadership of the Labour Party. In the Shadow Cabinet of Ed Miliband, announced on 8 October 2010, he was appointed Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. When Miliband reshuffled his cabinet on 7 October 2011, he was named Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Shadow Foreign Secretary[edit]

After the 2015 UK general election, in the Second Shadow Cabinet of Harriet Harman, Benn was named Shadow Foreign Secretary, after the previous incumbent, Douglas Alexander, had not been re-elected. On 17 June, Benn deputised for Harriet Harman at Prime Minister's Questions, when David Cameron was away in Europe, and Benn was Harman's unofficial deputy.[38] One of the questions he asked challenged George Osborne, who was deputising for Cameron, over whether HMS Bulwark was under active review as revealed in a report by The Guardian.[39] Writing for the New Statesman, George Eaton commended Benn's performance, saying: "Benn smartly denied the Chancellor the chance to deploy his favourite attack lines by devoting his six questions to national security and the Mediterranean refugee crisis, rather than the economy."[40]

In September 2015, both leadership and deputy leadership elections took place in the Labour Party. Benn supported Caroline Flint in the deputy leadership election,[41] and Andy Burnham in the leadership election.[42] Following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party in September, Benn retained the role of Shadow Foreign Secretary in Corbyn's shadow cabinet, and stressed that Labour would campaign to remain in the EU "under all circumstances".[43] This was later affirmed by a joint statement released by both Benn and Corbyn, which said that "Labour will be campaigning in the referendum for the UK to stay in the European Union."[44]

On 20 September, Benn signalled that Labour could back Prime Minister David Cameron's plans for airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria: "What we’ve said consistently is that the government, if it has got a proposal, should bring that to the House of Commons. In relation to airstrikes, we shall look at the objectives. At the moment we don’t know what the proposal is... We will judge that against the objective, the legal base..."[45] In November 2015, after the Paris attacks that had occurred a few days earlier, Benn initially agreed with Corbyn's position rejecting the proposal for Britain to launch airstrikes against ISIL in Syria and any intervention.[46] However, Benn subsequently supported plans laid out by the Prime Minister, and said he would not resign over his disagreement with Corbyn because he was "doing [his] job as the Shadow Foreign Secretary".[47][48] Benn had voted in favour of the Iraq War in 2003 and the 2011 military intervention in Libya,[49] but voted against military intervention against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2013.[50]

On 2 December 2015, Benn made the closing speech for the official opposition in the House of Commons debate on airstrikes against ISIL in Syria. The speech opposed the position espoused by Corbyn against the government's motion.[51] The speech was applauded by MPs on both sides of the house,[52] a gesture not usually permitted in the Commons.[53] Along with a minority of shadow cabinet colleagues, he voted for airstrikes in Syria and the motion passed by a higher-than-expected majority of 174.[54] Benn's speech was described as "one of the 'greatest' in Parliamentary history".[55] Speaking to the BBC the following day, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell compared Benn's speech to that given by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003 ahead of the Iraq War. McDonnell described it as an "excellent" piece of oratory, but added: "The greatest oratory can lead us to the greatest mistakes."[56] According to Labour MP Jamie Reed, following his speech, in the eyes of Corbyn, Benn became "at best a rebel, at worst a traitor."[57]

Political views[edit]

Benn supports the maintenance of a nuclear deterrent in the UK, saying: "I think a British prime minister has to have that option. The whole purpose of the deterrent, of course, is it is trying to deter a potential enemy."[58]

Personal life[edit]

In 1973, whilst at university, Benn married fellow student Rosalind Retey. She died of cancer at the age of 26 in 1979.[59] Benn subsequently married Sally Christina Clark in 1982.[60] He has four children.[61]

Like his father, who died in March 2014, he is a teetotaller and vegetarian.[62]

Awards[edit]

Benn was shortlisted for the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award in 2015 for his work on increasing aid at DFID, and remains in the directory of the Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who publication.[63]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Who's Who. A & C Black. 2015. 
  2. ^ Harry Cole. "Keeping it in the Family". Archived from the original on 20 February 2007. 
  3. ^ Benn, Anthony (1995). Winstone, Ruth, ed. The Benn Diaries. Hutchinson. p. 25. ISBN 0-09-1792231. 
  4. ^ Ashley, Jackie (9 November 2006). "'I'm not a natural rebel'". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "Men Who Made Labour". google.co.uk. 
  6. ^ a b Wintour, Patrick (7 October 2003). "Cabinet promotion for Hilary keeps it in the family". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b McCann, Kate (3 December 2015). "Who is Hilary Benn? Labour's leader in waiting". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Election '97: Dromey off safe seat shortlist". The Independent. 2 April 1997. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "The Benn dynasty". BBC News. 11 June 1999. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Profile: Hilary Benn". BBC News (BBC). 24 June 2007. Archived from the original on 8 August 2003. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  11. ^ a b c Nicholls, Martin (6 October 2003). "Profile: Hilary Benn". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Herbert, Ian (10 June 1999). "Benn Jnr joins father in the House". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Grice, Andrew (11 June 2001). "Blair completes his team ready for euro push". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  14. ^ Lyons, James; Merrick, Jane (28 May 2002). "Darling takes over transport hot seat". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Woolf, Marie (5 July 2002). "Paedophiles to face jail for 'grooming' victims on internet". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  16. ^ Burrell, Ian (30 January 2003). "Sex law reforms leave confusion over public acts". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Grice, Andrew (13 May 2003). "Mini-reshuffle fails to hide division in Government ranks". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  18. ^ Brake, Tom (17 October 2003). "Benn's fire-sale in Iraq". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "Benn details Iraq reconstruction aid". The Guardian. 19 February 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  20. ^ Benn, Hilary (28 October 2003). "World is pulling together for Bam". The Observer. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  21. ^ Benn, Hilary (25 July 2004). "Five vital stages to achieve peace". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  22. ^ "Minister urges Sudan to resolve Darfur crisis". The Guardian. 14 June 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  23. ^ a b "About Hilary". Hilary Benn MP. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  24. ^ Wintour, Patrick (30 December 2004). "Benn calls for reform of UN relief efforts". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  25. ^ Bright, Martin; Kampfner, John (19 February 2007). "Interview: Hilary Benn". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  26. ^ Woodward, Will (27 October 2006). "Benn may follow father in deputy leader bid". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2006. 
  27. ^ Branigan, Tania (28 October 2006). "Benn gets Skinner's support in deputy race". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  28. ^ "Benn should come to the aid of the party". The Guardian. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  29. ^ "Benn 'could rebuild trust in Labour'". The Guardian. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  30. ^ "Blears 8/1 For Deputy Labour Leader". Casino Times. 17 February 2007. Archived from the original on 20 February 2007. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  31. ^ Wells, Anthony (8 September 2006). "YouGov polls on the Labour leadership". UK Polling Report. Archived from the original on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  32. ^ "Benn short of backers". BBC News. 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2007. 
  33. ^ "Deputy hopefuls make their case". BBC News. 17 May 2007. Archived from the original on 27 May 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2007. 
  34. ^ "Profile: Hilary Benn". The Guardian. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  35. ^ Ghosh, Pallab. "Science chief urges badger cull". BBC News. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  36. ^ Morris, Steven (16 April 2010). "Badger cull in Wales gets legal go-ahead". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  37. ^ Allegra Stratton (8 May 2009). "Bargain Benn, modest Miliband (Ed, not David)". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 11 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  38. ^ Chakelian, Anoosh (17 June 2015). "Why is Hilary Benn doing PMQs?". New Statesman. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  39. ^ Alan, Travis; Rowena, Mason (17 June 2015). "UK's Mediterranean migrant rescue ship will be withdrawn, Osborne confirms". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  40. ^ Eaton, George (17 June 2015). "PMQs review: Osborne's unwise joke mars a solid debut". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  41. ^ "Nominations to close on Labour deputy leadership contest". The Guardian. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  42. ^ Wintour, Patrick (12 June 2015). "Labour splits deepen over EU referendum campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  43. ^ Wintour, Patrick; Mason, Rowena; Syal, Rajeev (14 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn appoints ally John McDonnell as shadow chancellor". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  44. ^ Wintour, Patrick (17 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn: Labour will campaign for UK to stay in the EU". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  45. ^ Mason, Rowena (20 September 2015). "Labour could back Syria strikes despite Corbyn opposition, says Hilary Benn". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  46. ^ McTague, Tom (15 November 2015). "Hilary Benn: Shadow Foreign Secretary says Labour won't back air strikes on Syria". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  47. ^ Casalicchio, Emilio (27 November 2015). "Hilary Benn: I won't quit". Politics Home. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  48. ^ Mason, Rowena; Boffe, Daniel (27 November 2015). "Hilary Benn tells Corbyn: I'm doing my job in supporting Syria airstrikes". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  49. ^ "Hilary Benn » Voting Record". theyworkforyou.com. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  50. ^ Jason Beattie (30 August 2013). "Syria: How did your MP vote in the Commons over military action?". Daily Mirror. 
  51. ^ "Syria vote: Cameron and Corbyn clash over air strikes". BBC News. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  52. ^ "Hilary Benn's Syria speech applauded by MPs". 
  53. ^ Wheeler, Brian. "Why are MPs banned from clapping?". BBC. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  54. ^ Dathan, Matt (3 December 2015). "Syria air strikes: Majority of Shadow Cabinet supported Jeremy Corbyn but third of Labour MPs rebelled". The Independent. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  55. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben. "Hilary Benn will never lead the Labour Party, say Jeremy Corbyn's allies". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  56. ^ "Hilary Benn speech reminded me of Blair - McDonnell". BBC News Online. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  57. ^ Reed, Jamie (4 January 2016). "If Jeremy Corbyn moves Hilary Benn, he'll hurt himself". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  58. ^ Watt, Nicholas; Wintour, Patrick; Mason, Rowena (30 September 2015). "Labour split on defence grows as Maria Eagle criticises Corbyn over Trident". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  59. ^ Benn, Anthony (1995). Winstone, Ruth, ed. The Benn Diaries. Hutchinson. p. 476. ISBN 0-09-1792231. 
  60. ^ Benn, Anthony (1995). Winstone, Ruth, ed. The Benn Diaries. Hutchinson. p. 538. ISBN 0-09-1792231. 
  61. ^ McCann, Kate (3 December 2015). "Who is Hilary Benn? Labour's leader in waiting". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  62. ^ Ashley, Jackie (9 November 2006). "'I'm not a natural rebel'". The Guardian (London: Guardian News & Media). Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  63. ^ "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Derek Fatchett
Member of Parliament
for Leeds Central

1999–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
The Baroness Amos
Secretary of State for International Development
2003–2007
Succeeded by
Douglas Alexander
Preceded by
David Miliband
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Caroline Spelman
Preceded by
Nick Herbert
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2010
Succeeded by
Mary Creagh
Preceded by
Rosie Winterton
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Angela Eagle
Preceded by
Caroline Flint
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
2011–2015
Succeeded by
Emma Reynolds
Preceded by
Douglas Alexander
Shadow Foreign Secretary
2015–present
Incumbent