Jim McMahon (politician)

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Jim McMahon

Official portrait of Jim McMahon crop 2.jpg
McMahon in 2017
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Assumed office
6 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byAndy McDonald
Chair of the Co-operative Party
Assumed office
3 October 2020
Preceded byChris Herries
Shadow Minister of State for Local Government
In office
10 October 2016 – 6 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded bySteve Reed
Succeeded byKate Hollern
Member of Parliament
for Oldham West and Royton
Assumed office
3 December 2015
Preceded byMichael Meacher
Majority11,127 (25.0%)
Leader of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
In office
5 May 2011 – 16 January 2016
DeputyJean Stretton
Preceded byHoward Sykes
Succeeded byJean Stretton
Personal details
Born (1980-07-07) 7 July 1980 (age 40)
Miles Platting, Manchester, England
Political partyLabour and Co-operative
Spouse(s)Charlene Duerden

James Ignatius O'Rourke McMahon OBE, FRSA (born 7 July 1980) is a British Labour Co-op politician serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport in the Shadow Cabinet of Keir Starmer since 2020.[1] He has been the Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton since a by-election in December 2015. He has been a councillor since 2003 and served as leader of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.[2] McMahon also sits on the National Executive Committee on behalf of the shadow frontbench.[citation needed]

Jim McMahon became Chair of the Co-operative Party in October 2020.

Early life and education[edit]

McMahon was born in Miles Platting, Manchester, to William McMahon, a lorry driver and Alicia O'Rourke (Breffni).[3] The family moved from Cheetham Hill when he was a child to Middleton, where he attended secondary school.[4] He left school at the age of sixteen.[3]

Professional career[edit]

McMahon started work in 1997 as an apprentice technician at Manchester University, rising to become a senior technician before leaving the profession in 2004. He then joined local government service as a regeneration officer and latterly as a town centre manager.[5][6]

Political career[edit]

Local Government[edit]

McMahon in 2015

McMahon was first elected to Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council in November 2003 as a Labour councillor for Failsworth East ward. He held various posts on Oldham Council before becoming the council's Labour group leader in 2008 after the Liberal Democrats won control of the authority. At the 2011 local elections, Labour re-gained control of the council and McMahon became its leader.[7] As council leader McMahon sat as one of the 11 members of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority with responsibility for transport.[8]

McMahon was the inaugural chairman of the Co-operative Council Innovation Network and served as the Labour leader of the Local Government Association.[9] McMahon was named the 6th most influential person in local government by The Local Government Chronicle ahead of senior government ministers.[10]

In August 2014, McMahon was elected to represent Labour councillors on the party's National Executive Committee (NEC).[8][11]

In the 2015 Labour leadership election, McMahon was reported to have supported Liz Kendall's leadership bid. Kendall finished in last place out of the four candidates (Jeremy Corbyn won, followed next by Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper), receiving less than 5% of the vote.[12]

In 2016, McMahon stood down as council leader and was replaced by his Deputy, Jean Stretton.[13]


McMahon won the selection to be Labour Party candidate at the 2015 Oldham West and Royton by-election following the death of incumbent Michael Meacher.[citation needed]

At the by-election held on 3 December 2015, McMahon was elected Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton, with 62% of the vote – an increase of seven percentage points since the 2015 general election.[14] At the by-election McMahon represented just the Labour Party rather than his later Labour and Co-operative Party affiliation.[15]

He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party[16] until being appointed to serve as Shadow Minister for Local Government and Devolution.[17] He supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party leadership election.[18]

Votes at 16[edit]

On being selected to present a Private Members Bill, McMahon moved the Representation of the People (Young People's Enfranchisement and Education) Bill 2017–19,[19] which sought to extend the franchise across the United Kingdom to eligible voters aged 16 and 17. The Bill included measures to introduce citizenship and the constitution education in schools.[citation needed]

The Bill was supported by MPs from all political parties represented in the House of Commons, with the exception of the DUP, with its supporters including Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Deputy Leader Tom Watson, Conservative Party MP Peter Bottomley, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Jo Swinson, and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.[20]

The Bill received its Second Reading in November 2017, but did not progress any further.[21] It led to the establishment of the cross party All Party Parliamentary Group on Votes at 16.[22]

Personal life[edit]

McMahon lives with Charlene Duerden in Failsworth. They have two children.[23]

Honours and distinctions[edit]

In February 2014, McMahon was named "Council Leader of the Year" during the Councillor Achievement Awards hosted by the Local Government Information Unit.[8] He was credited with leading improvements in Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council having redesignated it as a Co-operative Council.[24] Also in 2014, University Centre Oldham conferred upon him Honorary Fellowship,[25] as well as being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).[26]

McMahon was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 Birthday Honours for "services to the community in Oldham",[27] and was invested by Charles, Prince of Wales on 18 December 2015.[28]

In 2017, he was named as the Youth Voice Champion by the British Youth Council following his work on the Votes at 16 campaign.[29]


  1. ^ "Keir Starmer appoints Shadow Cabinet". The Labour Party. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  2. ^ Mowat, Tom Parfitt and Laura (5 December 2015). "'Democracy is dead' say UKIP as Labour take 100% of postal votes surge in one area".
  3. ^ a b Eaton, George (6 November 2015). "Why Labour's Oldham by-election candidate Jim McMahon is one to watch". New Statesman. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Cllr Jim McMahon, Biography", jimmcmahon.co.uk; accessed 30 November 2015.
  5. ^ Official website, JimMcMahon.co.uk; retrieved 15 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Jim set to steer town to prosperity", Manchester Evening News; retrieved 15 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Jim'll fix it", Oldham Evening Chronicle, 6 May 2011; retrieved 17 June 2014.
  8. ^ a b c "Leader Jim McMahon OBE". Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  9. ^ "What the locals really think of Oldham – Places". Lancashire Life. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  10. ^ "McMahon one of most influential in local politics", Oldham Chronicle, 3 December 2014; retrieved 29 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Labour Party NEC" Archived 15 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The Labour Party, 6 May 2011; retrieved 27 January 2015.
  12. ^ Eaton, George (6 November 2015). "Why Labour's Oldham by-election candidate Jim McMahon is one to watch". Newstatesman.com. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  13. ^ "First woman leader for Oldham Council". 9 August 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  14. ^ "Labour wins Oldham West by-election". BBC News. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Oldham West and Royton: Parliamentary By-Election Results". Oldham Council. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  16. ^ "National Executive Committee Report – 26th January 2016". Labourlist. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  17. ^ "The Greater Manchester MPs who quit Jeremy Corbyn's top team - but are now back". Manchester Evening News. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Representation of the People (Young People's Enfranchisement and Education) Bill 2017-19 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Jim McMahon: Give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to choose their government". Politics Home. 25 February 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Labour MP Jim McMahon Hits Out At The Tories For Trying To Block Debate On Youth Votes". HuffPost UK. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  22. ^ "All Party Parliamentary Group on Votes at 16". British Youth Council. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Oldham Council boss Jim McMahon quits day job". Manchester Evening News. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Jim is nations top council leader", Oldham Evening Chronicle, 26 February 2014; retrieved 17 June 2014.
  25. ^ "Graduation at University Campus Oldham", University Centre Oldham, 16 July 2014; retrieved 25 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Cllr Jim McMahon | Biography". Jimmcmahon.co.uk. 7 July 1980. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Cllr Jim McMahon | Biography". Jimmcmahon.co.uk. 7 July 1980. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  28. ^ "MP Jim McMahon says picking up OBE is 'amazing end to a busy year'". Manchester Evening News. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  29. ^ "Championing young people and campaigning to lower the voting age earns Oldham MP Jim McMahon award". The Oldham Times. Retrieved 9 July 2019.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Meacher
Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton
Political offices
Preceded by
Andy McDonald
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chris Herries
Chair of the Co-operative Party