Joan Ryan

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The Right Honourable
Joan Ryan
Official portrait of Joan Ryan crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Enfield North
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded by Nick de Bois
Majority 10,247 (21.1%)
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 62)
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]

Elections in 2010 and 2015[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]

In March 2013, Ryan announced she was to seek re-selection by Labour to contest the Enfield North constituency for the 2015 General Election.[8] 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.[9] Ryan stood again in 2015 and regained her seat in the House of Commons with a majority of 1,086 votes.

Labour leadership of Jeremy Corbyn[edit]

Following the general election, in August 2015 Ryan became Chair of Labour Friends of Israel. In the 2015 Labour Leadership election, she urged those voting to choose a candidate who in government could "play a constructive and engaged role in the crucial search for a" two-state solution to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. In particular, she noted the "deep concerns" which arise from the positions Jeremy Corbyn had taken in the past and the "serious questions which arise from these".[10]

During the 2017 general election, Ryan urged constituents in her election literature to vote for her because she was "independent-minded" in the context of the perceived unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn.[11] She wrote in her election letter that constituents she had spoken to had more faith in Theresa May as PM, than in Corbyn as May's potential successor. Ryan, in-line with most opinion polls, said she expected May's government to return with a much larger number of MPs, but argued that she was well placed to fight against such a Conservative majority.[11][12] In the event, her majority increased to 10, 247 (21.1%) gaining 28,177 (58.0%) in total.[13] It was the fifth time Ryan and Nick de Bois had stood against each other.[14]

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."[15]

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.[16]

Personal life[edit]

As of May 2009 Ryan lived in Enfield with her husband, Martin Hegarty, and their children.[17] She has three grandchildren.[18]


  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. ^ Leach, Ben (17 May 2009). "Joan Ryan: expenses switch after £4,500 spend". The Daily Telegraph. 
  9. ^ Mason, Rowena (24 June 2013). "Labour reselect Joan Ryan, former MP criticised over expenses". The Daily Telegraph. 
  10. ^ Dysch, Marcus (10 August 2015). "Don't vote for Jeremy Corbyn, urges new Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Elgot, Jessica (2 June 2017). "Back me despite Corbyn as May will win, Labour candidate urges voters". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  12. ^ Watts, Joe (2 June 2017). "Labour candidate defending London seat admits people have more confidence in Theresa May than Jeremy Corbyn". The Independent. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Election 2017: Enfield North". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  14. ^ Harpin, Lee (8 May 2017). "Labour owes Jews an apology, says Joan Ryan". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  15. ^ Pegg, David; Wright, Oliver (9 March 2012). "Who are the Commons moles changing Wikipedia entries?". The Independent. London. 
  16. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben (26 May 2015). "Expenses and sex scandal deleted from MPs' Wikipedia pages by computers inside Parliament". The Telegraph. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ "Election 2010: Joan Ryan, Labour Candidate for Enfield North". Enfield Independent. Newsquest Media. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 

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