Sir Ian McCartney
|Minister of State for Trade|
5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
|Prime Minister||Tony Blair|
|Preceded by||Ian Pearson|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Jones of Birmingham|
|Chairman of the Labour Party|
Minister without Portfolio
4 April 2003 – 5 May 2006
|Prime Minister||Tony Blair|
|Preceded by||John Reid|
|Succeeded by||Hazel Blears|
|Minister of State for Pensions|
8 June 2001 – 4 April 2003
|Prime Minister||Tony Blair|
|Preceded by||Jeff Rooker|
|Succeeded by||Malcolm Wicks|
|Member of Parliament |
12 June 1987 – 12 April 2010
|Preceded by||Michael McGuire|
|Succeeded by||Yvonne Fovargue|
|Born||25 April 1951|
Sir Ian McCartney (born 25 April 1951) is a British Labour politician who was Member of Parliament (MP) for Makerfield between 1987 and 2010, and served in the Cabinet from 2003 to 2007, when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister. He was made a Knight Bachelor in the 2010 Dissolution Honours List.
Educated at Lenzie Academy, he left the school at the age of 15 "under a bit of a cloud" without any qualifications or school prizes. He led a paper-boys' strike at the age of fifteen, and had a number of jobs after leaving school, including a seaman, a local government manual worker, and a kitchen worker. He was a councillor for Abram ward, Wigan, from 1982 to 1987.
McCartney became the MP for Makerfield following the 1987 general election. He was one of the founders of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group the same year, and was its first chairman. He held a number of positions during Labour's period in opposition, and was variously a spokesman on Health, Employment, Education and Social Services. In 1994, he ran John Prescott's successful campaign to become Labour's Deputy Leader. McCartney was one of the shortest MPs, standing five feet, one inch tall. He described himself on his parliamentary notepaper as the "Socialist MP for Makerfield".
McCartney was made Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) following the 1997 general election when Labour came to power. While at the DTI he introduced a major package of new employment rights that included whistleblowing protection and the National Minimum Wage and the first-ever right to paid holidays, and steered the Competition Act through Parliament. As a former low-paid worker who had been sacked upon asking for a pound pay rise after having a child, McCartney later described the minimum wage as very important to him, saying that he would have "died in the ditch" for it. During this time he was also responsible for employment relations, the Post Office, Company Law and inward investment.
He was moved to be Minister of State at the Cabinet Office in 1999, where he was responsible for modernising Government and E-Government. During this year his drug addict son Hugh McCartney died of a heroin overdose in a Glasgow tenement block. In 2001, McCartney became Minister of State for Pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions, and he was promoted to the Cabinet as Minister Without Portfolio and Party Chair in April 2003.
Between October 2004 and October 2005, he was Chairman of the Labour Party in two capacities - as the Party Chair (appointed by the party's leader) with a seat in the Cabinet, and as the Chair of the National Executive Committee (elected by the members of the NEC). He was also chair of the party's National Policy Forum, which formulates Labour party policy. The NPF also oversaw the 'Big Conversation' project, which saw the Labour Government try to consult the general public on the future direction of party and government policy. Trusted by both leadership and membership, he was seen as a key link between the Government and the wider Labour movement.
He worked to make the role of Party Chair a voice for Labour Party members within the Labour Government. As architect of the Warwick Agreement by Labour's National Policy Forum, he was a key figure in co-ordinating the election manifesto for Labour's third term general election campaign. In 2006 he took a three-month leave of absence following heart bypass surgery, and publicly told of his fight to lose weight for the sake of his health. His return to frontline politics was marked by his speech to the Labour Party 2006 Spring Conference in Blackpool in which he shed a tear while celebrating 100 years of the Parliamentary Labour Party. He returned to government as Minister of State for Trade in May 2006, attending Cabinet but not voting at it, but stepped down in 2007 when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.
Beginning in October 2007 McCartney worked with the construction, engineering and nuclear energy company Fluor, providing them with advice in anti-corruption and business ethics policies; political, economic, environmental and regulatory issues; and outside relations including working with trade unions. After details of this position were published in The Independent McCartney stated unequivocally that he personally receives none of the remuneration for this role, instead using part of the fee to employ someone in the House of Commons from his Makerfield constituency. The remainder is used to support the Women's Interlink Foundation, a charity based in India which rescues street children and disadvantaged women who are exposed to poverty and sometimes at the risk of rape and murder, providing them with clean drinking water, health treatments, housing and education.
In August 2008, after admitting that some of his claims for furnishing his second home were "inappropriate," McCartney repaid £15,000 of expenses claimed for among other items, a dining table, 18-piece dinner set and champagne glasses. McCartney has asked for the review and although only a portion of the amount was deemed excessive McCartney said he felt strongly that the full amount should be returned. McCartney commented that as a senior minister he held meetings at home and "had to feed guests."
In May 2009 after stepping down citing health issues, McCartney said his family had urged him to step down following a further bout of illness after his 2005 heart surgery, and that he was also being treated for disc injury and was possibly facing further surgery.
Hugh, known as "Shug", had battled drug addiction since his teenage years. Only recently released from prison, he had been trying to break his habit. In 2002, McCartney gave an interview with the Sunday Herald discussing his son's experiences in the justice system and how he [Ian McCartney] believed "the way we deal with addicts sentenced his son to death". In 2003, McCartney stated in an interview that he still breaks down over the death of his only son.
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- "National Policy Forum Consultation Document : Improving health and social care" (PDF). Image.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
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- "Welcome to womensinterlinkfoundation". Womensinterlinkfoundation.org. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
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- Jack O'Sullivan (23 September 1999). "Addicted son of minister 'could have been saved'". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- "McCartney's son felt 'suicidal'". BBC News. 22 September 1999. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
-  Archived 4 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "Drugs steal your dreams, says minister who lost son - This Britain, UK - The Independent". Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- "Minister's emotional farewell to son". BBC News. 30 September 1999. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- "Sunday Herald". Sunday Herald. 19 June 2002. Archived from the original on 7 December 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- "I still break down over the death of my only son Ian McCartney gives his first interview as chairman of the Labour Party to Colin Brown". HighBeam Research. Retrieved 2015-10-05.[dead link]
- "Ian McCartney". NNDB. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ian McCartney.|
- The Guardian article on McCartney
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Ian McCartney MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Ian McCartney MP
- The Public Whip - Ian McCartney voting record
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Makerfield
| Minister without Portfolio
| Minister of State for Trade
The Lord Jones of Birmingham
|Party political offices|
| Socialist societies representative on the Labour Party National Executive Committee
| Labour Party Chair
| Chair of the Labour Party