Ian Austin (politician)
|Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister|
27 June 2007 – 4 October 2008
Serving with Angela Smith
|Prime Minister||Gordon Brown|
|Preceded by||Keith Hill|
|Succeeded by||Jon Trickett|
|Member of Parliament
for Dudley North
5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Ross Cranston|
8 March 1965 |
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
|Alma mater||University of Essex|
Ian Christopher Austin (born 8 March 1965) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dudley North since the 2005 general election. He was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government from 2009 to 2010.
Austin was born on 8 March 1965 and was adopted as a baby by Dudley school teachers Fred and Margaret Austin. Having failed the eleven-plus to attend King Edward's School, Birmingham, he was educated at the Dudley School from 1977 to 1983.
His father, Fred (a Czech Jew who was adopted by an English family on the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia), was head of the Dudley School from its formation in 1975 until his retirement in 1985. Fred Austin, born Fredi Stiler, was awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honours List for 2006 in recognition of his service to the communities of Dudley.
Keen to obtain a National Union of Journalists card, he took a job with Black Country Publishing in Netherton where his personal interest in sport, especially cycling (he is now Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group) and football, led him to work as a journalist on Midland Sport Magazine.
Austin was elected as a councillor in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley in 1991, and served until 1995. He then moved to become press officer for the West Midlands Labour Party until 1998, when he spent a year as Deputy Director of Communications for the Scottish Labour Party.
In 1999 he was appointed a political advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (later Prime Minister), Gordon Brown. He held the position until his election in 2005, and was well known as one of Gordon Brown's closest lieutenants.
Austin was reprimanded by the Speaker of the House of Commons for heckling during Prime Minister's Questions on 18 October 2006, and he was subsequently described by David Cameron as one of Gordon Brown's "boot boys". The following week he was rebuked again by the Speaker for comments made towards the Conservative benches.
After Gordon Brown became prime minister on 27 June 2007, Austin was tipped for a post in Brown's inner political circle. The following day, he was appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Gordon Brown with a special provision to attend cabinet meetings. He was moved to a new position in the 2008 reshuffle, becoming an Assistant Whip for the Government. In the June 2009 reshuffle he entered Government as a minister for the first time, becoming Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government and Minister for the West Midlands.
He was re-elected at the 2010 general election, ahead of Conservative Party candidate Graeme Brown. While his own seat was a marginal in this parliamentary term, the other three Labour MPs for the borough of Dudley lost their seats. Austin nominated Ed Balls, who came third, for the Labour leadership election of 2010. Under Ed Miliband he served as Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport between 2010 and 2011 and Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions between 2011 and 2013.
On 1 June 2012, he apologised after claiming that a Palestinian human rights group had denied the Holocaust happened. Members of Friend of Al-Aqsa made reference to the fact that Austin had written about the group in an article written on the Labour Uncut website in 2011.
In the 2015 Parliament, Austin joined the education select committee, and was appointed as chair of the Labour Party's education committee. Regarded as to the right of the party, he has been critical of party leader Jeremy Corbyn's approach, calling for him to stop acting like a "student union president".
In July 2016, Austin was reprimanded by the Speaker of the House of Commons for heckling the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by shouting "sit down and shut up" and "you're a disgrace", as Corbyn criticised the 2003 invasion of Iraq in his response to the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry.
In May 2009, The Daily Telegraph reported that Austin had tried to split a claim for stamp duty on buying his second home in London into two payments and tried to claim the cost back over two financial years. This allowed him to claim the majority of the money (£21,559, just £75 short of the maximum) under his second-home allowance in the 2005/06 financial year. He then claimed for the remaining £1,344 stamp duty cost in 2006–2007, together with his legal fees. In all, he went on to claim £22,076 (£34 short of the maximum)in the next financial year.
It also reported that Austin "flipped" his second-home designation weeks before buying a £270,000 London flat, and that he had claimed £467 for a stereo system for his constituency home, shortly before he changed his second-home designation to London. He then spent a further £2,800 furnishing the new London flat.
Austin is married with two sons and one daughter. The family live in Kingswinford in Dudley and the children attend local schools. His listed interests are cycling, football and literature.
- Claughton, John (28 November 2013). "Getting rid of the grammar schools destroyed opportunities for so many". The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "My escape from the clutches of Nazis - Stourbridge pupils hear incredible story". Express & Star. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "New Year Honours awards for all". BBC News. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Register Of All-Party Groups: Cycling". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Q1. ". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 18 October 2006. col. 867–868. Archived from the original on 31 October 2006.
- Assinder, Nick (24 October 2007). "Fireworks in the Commons". BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- Assinder, Nick (28 June 2007). "Who's who: Brown's inner circle". BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Labour remains hold of Dudley North". Dudley News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Ian Austin". Parliament UK. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- "Dudley North MP Ian Austin sorry for Holocaust claim". BBC News. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Deputy Speaker tells Labour MP: Stand up. Say sorry". BBC News. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- Wintour, Patrick (5 November 2015). "Labour moderates flex muscles by capturing key backbench offices". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- "A Labour MP told Jeremy Corbyn to 'sit down and shut up' while he was criticising the Iraq War". 2016-07-06. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- Jonathan Walker (7 July 2016). "Labour MP Ian Austin defends himself after heckling Jeremy Corbyn over Iraq War". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- Watt, Holly (19 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: Ian Austin tried to split the stamp duty on sunsets in Waterloo". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Ian Austin MP speaks out over his expenses claims". Dudley News. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- Ian Austin MP official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Dudley North