Jim Knight

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The Lord Knight of Weymouth

Lordjimknight2017.jpg
Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byTony McNulty
Succeeded byChris Grayling
Minister for the South West
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byBen Bradshaw
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Minister of State for Schools and Learning
In office
5 May 2006 – 5 June 2009
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Gordon Brown
Preceded byJacqui Smith
Succeeded byVernon Coaker
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs
In office
6 May 2005 – 5 May 2006
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byBarry Gardiner
Member of Parliament
for South Dorset
In office
7 June 2001 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byIan Bruce
Succeeded byRichard Drax
Personal details
Born (1965-03-06) 6 March 1965 (age 53)
Bexley, United Kingdom
Political partyLabour and Co-operative
Alma materFitzwilliam College, Cambridge

James Philip "Jim" Knight, Baron Knight of Weymouth, PC FRSA[1] (born 6 March 1965) is a British Labour and Co-operative Party politician, who served as the Member of Parliament for South Dorset from 2001 until 2010, when he lost his seat to Richard Drax of the Conservative Party. Knight held several ministerial posts during his time as an MP, including: Minister for the South West and Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform.

It was announced in the 2010 Dissolution Honours that he would be made a life peer. Knight is now chief education and external officer at TES Global Ltd, and a Visiting Professor at the London Knowledge Lab of the Institute of Education in London.

Education[edit]

Knight was educated at Eltham College, an independent school in Mottingham in South-East London, followed by Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he studied Geography, Social & Political Sciences from 1984–87, gaining a BA Hons.

Early career[edit]

Knight was Manager of Central Studio in Basingstoke from 1988–90[2]. From 1990–91, he was Director of West Wiltshire Arts Centre Ltd, then Director of Dentons Directories Ltd in Westbury from 1991–2001[3].

Election history[edit]

Knight first stood for Parliament at the 1997 general election as the Labour Party candidate for South Dorset, but narrowly lost by just 77 votes[4]. He was, however, elected on the same day to Mendip District Council, on which he served until 2001; including as Labour Group leader [5].

At the 2001 general election, he was elected as the Member of Parliament for South Dorset by 153 votes in the only Labour gain from the Conservatives that year[6]. At the 2005 general election, Knight increased his majority to 1,812 votes, but with a small decrease in his share of the vote[7]. At the 2010 general election, Knight lost his seat to Conservative Richard Drax by 7,443 votes after an 11.4% drop in his share of the vote[8].

Knight was the campaign co-ordinator for Ed Balls' unsuccessful Labour Party leadership campaign in 2010[9].

Parliamentary career[edit]

Knight was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2005–06. He then moved to become Minister of State for Schools in the Department for Education and Skills. On 28 June 2007, when Gordon Brown disbanded the department, Knight moved to the newly created Department for Children, Schools and Families, as the Minister for Schools and Learners[10]. In October 2008 following the reshuffle, Knight became a member of the Privy Council[11].

In 2009, when MPs expenses were revealed following a leak in the Daily Telegraph[12], Knight was ranked 171 out of 645 in the MPs' expenses list, claiming £155,987 in 2007/2008, compared with £137,970 in 2006/2007, of which £94,135 was for staff, £9,746 was for a communications allowance and £4,993 was for personal living expenses.[13]

In his first Parliament, Jim Knight generally voted in line with party policy, including all major votes such as those on the Iraq war and top-up fees[14].

Jim Knight held the following positions:

  • 2003–2004 – Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rosie Winterton then Minister of State at the Department of Health
  • 2004–2005 – Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministerial Team at the Department of Health
  • 2005–2006 – Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, the Landscape & Biodiversity
  • 2006–2009 – Minister of State for Schools
  • 2009–2010 – Minister of State for Employment
  • 2009–2010 – Minister for the South West

After politics[edit]

Knight was created a Life Peer on 23 June 2010 taking the title Baron Knight of Weymouth, of Weymouth in the County of Dorset.[15][16]

In April 2014 he stepped down from the Labour front bench in the House of Lords to take up a full-time role as managing director – Online Learning at Tes Global Ltd, building an online professional development and training service for teachers. Knight was subsequently appointed chief education and external officer at Tes Global.

In 2011, Knight was appointed as Chair of digital and social inclusion charity Good Things Foundation (then Tinder Foundation). He stood down as chair in 2016. However he remains a patron of The Technology, Pedagogy and Education professional association (www.itte.org), Good Things Foundation. He is the co-owner of XRapid, an app that diagnoses malaria and is a board member of Apps for Good. He is also the deputy chair of the Nominet Trust.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of members' Interests, Cabinet Office, March 2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ http://www.basingstokegazette.co.uk/news/1154878.Minister_makes_college_comeback_for_big_day/
  3. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2070036.stm
  4. ^ p.308, Waller, Criddle, "The Almanac of British Politics", Psychology Press, 2002
  5. ^ https://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-knight-of-weymouth/4160
  6. ^ p.371, Waller, Criddle, "The Almanac of British Politics", Psychology Press, 2007
  7. ^ p.372, Waller, Criddle, "The Almanac of British Politics", Psychology Press, 2007
  8. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/england/8660695.stm
  9. ^ http://archive.edballs.co.uk/blog/?p=463
  10. ^ https://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-knight-of-weymouth/4160
  11. ^ https://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/privy-council/privy-council-members/privy-counsellors/
  12. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5297606/MPs-expenses-Full-list-of-MPs-investigated-by-the-Telegraph.html
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  14. ^ http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Jim%20Knight&display=summary
  15. ^ http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100407165838/http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/135065/ministers_interests.pdf
  16. ^ "No. 59471". The London Gazette. 28 June 2010. p. 12149.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ian Bruce
Member of Parliament for South Dorset
20012010
Succeeded by
Richard Drax
Political offices
Preceded by
Jacqui Smith
Minister of State for Schools and Learners
2006–2009
Succeeded by
Vernon Coaker
Preceded by
Tony McNulty
Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Chris Grayling
Preceded by
Ben Bradshaw
Minister for the South West
2009–2010
Position abolished