Ian Swales

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Ian Swales
Ian Swales at Sheffield 2011.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Redcar
In office
6 May 2010 – 7 May 2015
Preceded by Vera Baird
Succeeded by Anna Turley
Majority 5,214 (12.4%)
Personal details
Born (1953-04-05) 5 April 1953 (age 65)
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England[1]
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s) Pat Swales
Children 3
Alma mater UMIST
Website http://www.ianswales.com

Ian Cameron Swales[2] (born 5 April 1953[3]) is a British Liberal Democrat politician. He was the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Redcar in England. Swales took Redcar from Labour incumbent Vera Baird for the Liberal Democrats in the 2010 general election, with a 21.8% swing.[4] Swales added over 10,000 votes to his 2005 general election total. This was the biggest swing against any Labour candidate in the election and also the biggest gain by any Liberal Democrat.[5] He stood down at the 2015 general election.[6]

Early life[edit]

Swales was born in Leeds and grew up in Harrogate where he was educated at Ashville College, Harrogate[7] Following a chemical engineering degree at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, where he met his wife, Pat, a Durham miner's daughter, he joined Yorkshire Electricity and qualified as an accountant in 1977. He moved to Teesside in 1978 to join ICI and settled in Redcar.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Swales joined the SDP when it was founded in 1981 and was a member of the first Cleveland County Committee for the SDP.[citation needed] He contested the 2005 general election in the Redcar Constituency and moved the Liberal Democrats from third to second place with a positive swing against both the Labour and Conservative parties.

In 2010, Swales achieved the biggest swing against Labour in the entire country in winning the Redcar seat. He made his maiden speech in Parliament on 7 June 2010.[8]

During his time in Parliament, Swales was an active member of many All Party Parliamentary Groups including Chair of the APPG for the Chemical Industry [9] and Vice-Chair of the APPG for Steel and Energy Intensive Industries. In May 2014 Swales was appointed to the taskforce group for electrification of rail in the north by the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, MP.

Shortly after the 2010 election, Swales became an active member of the Public Accounts Committee, which sits twice a week and scrutinises all public expenditure. Perhaps most notable was his role in the corporate tax avoidance hearings involving Starbucks, Amazon and Google. Being the only accountant on the committee Swales often took the lead on tax affairs.[citation needed] In June 2014 Swales resigned from the Committee citing frontbench commitments.

Swales sat on the Welfare Reform and Finance Bill Committees, and campaigned against tax avoidance.[10] After his prominent role on the Public Accounts Committee, Swales was promoted to Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesman. In that role he stressed the importance of corporate ethics and transparency in business and banking[citation needed] while also helping his Liberal Democrat colleague at the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, deliver income tax cuts for lower earners.

Swales regularly met with various businesses and organizations in Parliament[citation needed] to promote jobs and economic investment in his Redcar constituency.

In January 2015, Swales was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to Vince Cable, MP, who at the time was Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

In July 2014, Swales announced that he was standing down as an MP at the 2015 general election, for "personal reasons".[6]

Personal life[edit]

In his spare time Swales helps local organisations and campaigns on local issues.[citation needed] He was active in Redcar Swimming Club and since the closure of the pool has campaigned for a new one. He has been on the Committee of Coatham Memorial Hall for many years.[11]

Following his retirement from Parliament Swales continued to participate in local industry issues. In August 2015 he joined the Board and became Chair of the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), the body that represents companies in the chemical, pharmaceutical, polymer, renewable energy and materials, steel and biotechnology process industries in North-East England.[12]

Ian and Pat have three children and five grandchildren, two boys and three girls. Ian's interests include travel, reading, cooking, walking and genealogy.[11]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Search Results
  3. ^ Northern Echo, Ian Swales[dead link]
  4. ^ "Election 2010: Redcar". BBC News. May 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Merrick, Robert (23 September 2010). "Cable comforts Lib Dem faithful". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Ian Swales is standing down for 'personal reasons'". BBC News. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  7. ^ polling report | Ashville College
  8. ^ [2] Maiden Speech in Parliament]
  9. ^ [3] APPG Chemical Industry]
  10. ^ "Corporate tax avoidance debate". BBC Democracy Live. 8 January 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Ian Swales". Parliamentary Record. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Gibson, Robert (11 August 2015). "Former MP Ian Swales takes over as chairman of industry cluster NEPIC". GazetteLive. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Vera Baird
Member of Parliament for Redcar
Succeeded by
Anna Turley