Joan Ryan

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The Right Honourable
Joan Ryan
Member of Parliament
for Enfield North
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded by Nick de Bois
Majority 1,086 (2.4%)
In office
1 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Tim Eggar
Succeeded by Nick de Bois
Personal details
Born (1955-09-08) 8 September 1955 (age 60)
Warrington, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Martin Hegarty
Alma mater London South Bank University

Joan Marie Ryan (born 8 September 1955, Warrington) is a British Labour Party politician. She is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Enfield North, having first held the seat between 1997 and 2010, when she lost it to Nick de Bois, but regained it in 2015. She had been deputy leader of Barnet Council.[1]

Early political career[edit]

Ryan served as a local Labour Councillor for eight years. She was Chair of Policy and Finance and deputy leader of Barnet Council before being elected as Member of Parliament for Enfield North in the 1997 general election.

Ryan was parliamentary private secretary to Andrew Smith, and a senior whip. From 5 May 2006 to 29 June 2007, she was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for nationality, citizenship and immigration at the Home Office, succeeding Andy Burnham. In the 2005 election she retained her seat with a slightly reduced majority. On 29 June, it was announced that the Prime Minister had appointed Ryan as Special Representative to Cyprus and as a Privy Counsellor.

She called for a leadership election to replace Gordon Brown as Labour Party leader. For this she was fired as Vice-Chair of the Labour Party and Prime Minister's envoy to Cyprus on 14 September 2008.[2]


In October 2007, the Evening Standard reported that Joan Ryan claimed £173,691 in expenses for the 2006/2007 tax year,[3] the highest for any MP. She was the second highest claimant in the 2005/2006 tax year.

In May 2009, it was reported that Ryan had claimed more than £4,500 under the Additional Costs Allowance for work on a house she had designated as her second home.[4] In February 2010, based on an audit report looking into the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal, Ryan was asked to repay £5,121 mortgage interest.[5]

Defeat in 2010 and 2015 re-election[edit]

Ryan was defeated by Conservative candidate Nick de Bois by 1,692 votes in the 2010 general election.[6] After losing her seat, Ryan was appointed Chief Executive of the Global Tamil Forum, and later became deputy director of the successful NOtoAV campaign.[7]

She stood again in 2015 – the fourth time Ryan and de Bois had contested the seat – and regained her seat in parliament with a majority of 1,086 votes. She is Chair of Labour Friends of Israel.[8]

In March 2013, Ryan announced she was preparing to seek re-selection by Labour to contest the Enfield North constituency for the 2015 General Election. Her potential candidacy was met with displeasure from some local activists, who questioned if Ryan's high-profile problems with expenses claims[9] might cause electoral problems.

While Labour were undergoing their selection process in the neighbouring constituency of Enfield Southgate, Ryan was accused of trying to influence the result.[10]

In June 2013, Ryan was re-selected as the Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for the Enfield North constituency. Her selection was not met with wide approval from within the local party – including the Chairman Viki Pite, who said that she was "disappointed with the selection" as she felt a "fresh start" was needed.[11] After Ryan's reselection several constituents wrote to her local paper, the Enfield Advertiser, suggesting that voters had not yet forgotten the revelations about her expenses in 2009.[12] However, on 7 May 2015 she was re-elected to the House of Commons.

Accusations of editing Wikipedia from within Parliament[edit]

In 2012, The Independent reported that "[a]t least 10 attempts have been made from computers in Parliament to remove information about [Ryan's] expenses claims and a further 20 efforts to delete the information, some from her constituency of Enfield North, have also been recorded in Wikipedia's logs."[13] Entries on the present page's edit history page indicate that similar edits to hide Ryan's record continue to be made.[14] At least 10 attempts were made from computers inside the Houses of Parliament to remove information about Ryan’s expenses claims and a further 20 efforts to delete the information, some from her constituency of Enfield North, were also been recorded in Wikipedia’s logs. The efforts were successful and all mention of expenses claims were removed and instead replaced with a paragraph about edits to Wikipedia.

During the 2015 general election, The Daily Telegraph returned to this issue. In Ryan's case, the entire expenses section was deleted, including information on repairs and decorations on her home paid for out of her MP's expenses; the edits were made while Ryan was not an MP, and she denied involvement.[15]

Personal life[edit]

As of May 2009 Ryan lived in Enfield with her husband, Martin Hegarty, and their children.[16] She has three grandchildren.[17]

Although she lives in the London Borough of Enfield, Ryan does not live in her constituency of Enfield North, being approximately 150 metres (160 yd) from the constituency border.[18][19]


  1. ^ Mp, Labour (17 October 2002). "Joan Ryan". BBC News. 
  2. ^ Labour MP Joan Ryan sacked after open revolt against Gordon Brown, Daily Telegraph
  3. ^ Cecil, Nicholas; Waugh, Paul; Murphy, Joe (26 October 2007). "Revealed: London MPs claiming £9m expenses". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Leach, Ben; Jamieson, Alastair (17 May 2009). "Joan Ryan: expenses switch after £4,500 spend". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Crerar, Pippa (4 February 2010). "London MPs will lose second homes cash in expenses payback". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  6. ^ BBC. "General election 2010 results – Enfield North". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Wilson, Peter (16 April 2011). "Referendum puts Nick Clegg in the crosshairs". The Australian. 
  8. ^ Ryan, Joan (13 August 2015). "My three-step plan to win back the community's votes". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Leach, Ben (17 May 2009). "Joan Ryan: expenses switch after £4,500 spend". The Daily Telegraph. 
  10. ^ Couvee, Koos (5 June 2013). "Former MP Joan Ryan accused of trying to influence elections at Labour AGM". The Enfield Advertiser. 
  11. ^ Couvee, Koos (24 June 2013). "Joan Ryan wins Labour Backing". The Enfield Advertiser. 
  12. ^ Mason, Rowena (24 June 2013). "Labour reselect Joan Ryan, former MP criticised over expenses". The Daily Telegraph. 
  13. ^ Pegg, David; Wright, Oliver (9 March 2012). "Who are the Commons moles changing Wikipedia entries?". The Independent. London. 
  14. ^ "Expenses and sex scandal deleted from MPs' Wikipedia pages by computers inside Parliament". 26 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben (26 May 2015). "Expenses and sex scandal deleted from MPs' Wikipedia pages by computers inside Parliament". The Telegraph. 
  16. ^ "Man acquitted of harassing Enfield North MP Joan Ryan on grounds of insanity". Enfield Independent. Newsquest Media Group. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Election 2010: Joan Ryan, Labour Candidate for Enfield North". Enfield Independent. Newsquest Media. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Parliamentary General Election Enfield North Constituency Statement as to Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll" (PDF). Enfield Council. Leak, Rob. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "UK Parliament Constituency Boundaries: Enfield North". Saturday Walkers Club. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tim Eggar
Member of Parliament
for Enfield North

Succeeded by
Nick de Bois
Preceded by
Nick de Bois
Member of Parliament
for Enfield North