|Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care|
|Assumed office |
7 October 2016
|Preceded by||Diane Abbott|
|Shadow Minister without Portfolio|
14 September 2015 – 7 October 2016
|Preceded by||Jon Trickett|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Gwynne|
|Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office|
7 October 2013 – 14 September 2015
|Deputy Chairman of the National Executive Committee|
11 July 2013 – 7 October 2016
Harriet Harman (Acting)
|Preceded by||Tom Watson|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Member of Parliament|
for Leicester South
|Assumed office |
5 May 2011
|Preceded by||Peter Soulsby|
Jonathan Michael Graham Ashworth
14 October 1978
Salford, Greater Manchester, England
|Political party||Labour and Co-operative|
|Alma mater||Durham University|
Jonathan Michael Graham Ashworth (born 14 October 1978) is a British Labour and Co-operative politician who has served as Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care since 2016 and Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester South since 2011.
Ashworth worked as an adviser to Gordon Brown and head of party relations for Ed Miliband. He was first elected at a by-election in 2011, following the resignation of his predecessor Peter Soulsby.
In October 2016, Ashworth was appointed Shadow Health Secretary by party leader Jeremy Corbyn, shadowing Jeremy Hunt and later Matt Hancock alongside the Shadow Minister for Social Care Barbara Keeley. In April 2020, Ashworth was reappointed to the position by new leader Keir Starmer, gaining the additional portfolio of social care in England.
Ashworth was born in Salford, brought up in north Manchester and educated at Philips High School in Bury and Bury College before studying politics and philosophy at the University of Durham. In 2000 he served as National Secretary of Labour Students.
Labour Party Officer (2001–2004)
Ashworth began working for the Labour Party as a Political Research Officer in 2001, and was the Economics and Welfare Policy Officer from 2002 to 2004. In 2003, he was seconded to the Scottish Labour Party to work on the Scottish Parliament election campaign, where he worked closely with then-Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. Following the election, Scottish Labour remained the single-largest party at Holyrood and were re-elected, but the coalition with the Scottish Lib Dems remained in place.
Special Adviser (2004–2011)
From 2004, he was appointed as Special Adviser to Chief Secretaries to the Treasury Paul Boateng, Des Browne and Stephen Timms, but in practice he worked for Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. His main job was liaising with the Labour movement and an Evening Standard profile said "his contact book was "stuffed with constituency officers and union organisers", and there was newspaper speculation that he would be Political Secretary at 10 Downing Street in a potential future Brown government.
When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007, Ashworth was appointed deputy Political Secretary with the role of linking the Government to the trade unions. There was speculation later that year that Ashworth might be selected to replace John Prescott as the official Labour candidate for Kingston upon Hull East, although it came to nothing. Ashworth spent most of the Crewe and Nantwich by-election campaign in the constituency.
His experience at Downing Street during the outbreak of swine flu in 2009 meant that he was one of the few people still working in a high-profile Westminster post in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred  though, being in opposition then, he was unable to contribute as fully as he might have.
After the Labour Party were defeated at the 2010 general election, Ashworth became Political Secretary to the acting party leader Harriet Harman. He did not publicly support any candidate in the subsequent leadership election because of his role working for Harriet Harman but he was described as a "key member" of Ed Miliband's team on the day after Miliband won the Labour leadership election. When Miliband was elected as Leader of the Labour Party, he asked Ashworth to join his office as Head of Party Relations.
Parliamentary Candidate (2011)
With a general election imminent, Ashworth was identified as someone who the Labour Party leadership wished to find a seat for. He was linked with a possible candidature in Mansfield should the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) Alan Meale decide to stand down, but Meale decided to seek re-election despite widespread speculation he was to retire from Parliament. Ashworth was then identified as a potential candidate for Nottingham East when the sitting MP John Heppell retired, but the selection went to former MP Chris Leslie when the Labour National Executive Committee chose to impose Leslie at the last minute.
Ashworth sought selection in Leicester South in 2011 when the sitting MP Peter Soulsby decided to resign to seek election as Mayor of Leicester. He was immediately identified as the front-runner for the selection and was backed by the major trade unions including his own Unite, GMB and UNISON.
Ashworth was also endorsed by the Co-Operative Party and is also a Co-Operative Party MP. He was selected on the first ballot by the local party, and held the seat with an increased majority on 5 May 2011.
Member of Parliament (2011–)
Following the row over alleged undue influence of trade unions in the Labour Party in the Falkirk Parliamentary Selection in 2013, Ashworth penned a piece for The Daily Telegraph claiming that it is ordinary people – not the unions – who choose Labour MPs.
Following his election as Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn appointed Ashworth to the Shadow Cabinet role of Shadow Minister without Portfolio. In December 2015, Ashworth voted against the resolution to authorise RAF bombing of ISIL in Syria.
Ashworth was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Health in October 2016. Following the 2017 general election, he went on record to say a Labour government would not repeal the controversial Health and Social Care Act 2012 despite Labour's manifesto commitment to do so.
In December 2019, it was reported 4,668 patient deaths during the year were linked to safety incidents at hospital, mental health and ambulance trusts. Ashworth held "years of Tory cutbacks" responsible for understaffing and for increasing pressures, which put patients at risk.
On 10 December 2019, it emerged that Ashworth had told a friend that he did not believe Labour would win the 2019 general election due to be held two days later. He said that this was largely due to the unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn and voters outside the cities blaming Labour for not delivering Brexit. His friend, who was a Conservative activist, leaked a recording of the conversation to Guido Fawkes. Ashworth later claimed that he was joking and just "joshing around".
Ashworth supported Lisa Nandy in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election. When Keir Starmer won the contest, he decided to keep Ashworth on as Shadow Health Secretary, extending his portfolio to include social care. Conservative Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock had praised Ashworth for his help devising government policy on the COVID-19 pandemic after the pandemic spread to the United Kingdom in January 2020.
Ashworth came under scrutiny in April 2020 following a leaked internal Labour report, which showed his wife Emilie Oldknow (then Director of Labour's Governance and Legal Unit) had written numerous messages abusive of Labour MPs and had privately engaged with Labour's General Secretary Iain McNicol during the 2017 United Kingdom general election campaign to plan for the replacement of Labour's leader. He replied to his constituents on social media saying he knew nothing of the report or of the actions it documented.
Ashworth became engaged to Emilie Oldknow, the East Midlands Regional Director for the Labour Party, in 2008. She was the official Labour candidate for Sherwood at the 2010 general election, but was not elected. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah attended the couple's wedding on 3 July 2010 in Derbyshire. They have a daughter, Gracie, born in May 2011 shortly after his by-election victory, and a second daughter, Annie.
- Health (2016–20). Barbara Keeley held the brief of social care in England until Keir Starmer appointed Ashworth with the additional responsibilities of social care.
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- "Ashworth, Jonathan Michael Graham". Who's Who 2012 (online ed.). A & C Black. 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- "Cabinet and ministerial appointments following the June 2017 general election" (PDF). NHS Providers. 6 July 2017. p. 10. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- "Your Strong Voice for Leicester South: Jon Ashworth: Standing to be your new MP". Jonashworth.org. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Bright young things beavering away for Team Brown". London Evening Standard. 27 June 2007.
- "Jon Ashworth MP". BBC Democracy Live. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "The Times guide to the Government". The Times. London. 13 May 2005.
- "Gordon gets his team prepared to take over No 10". London Evening Standard. 6 September 2006.
- "Who's in the running to succeed Prescott?". Hull Daily Mail. 22 August 2007.
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- Elgot, Jessica (13 March 2021). "No 10 was a plague pit". The Guardian.
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- "Parliamentary career for Jonathan Ashworth - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
- Ashworth, Jon (4 July 2013). "Labour's links to the trade unions? I'm proud of them". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Ferguson, Mark (11 July 2013). "Jonathan Ashworth to replace Tom Watson on Labour's NEC". LabourList. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
- Martin, Dan (9 June 2015). "Jon Ashworth backs Yvette Cooper over city neighbour Liz Kendall in Labour leadership race". Leicester Mercury. Archived from the original on 17 September 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
- "Who nominated who in the 2015 Labour deputy leadership election?". New Statesman. London. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
- Martin, Dan (14 September 2015). "Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth becomes Jeremy Corbyn's shadow minister without portfolio". Leicester Mercury. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
- Martin, Dan (3 December 2015). "Jon Ashworth the only MP from Leicester and Leicestershire to vote against Syria air strikes". Leicester Mercury. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
- "Labour Will not Roll Back Health and Social Care Act – Healthcare Times". healthcaretimes.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017.
- Deaths of 4,600 NHS patients linked to safety incidents Archived 9 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian
- "General election 2019: Jonathan Ashworth apologises after Corbyn criticism leak". BBC News. 10 December 2019. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
- "Here are the 23 MPs backing Wigan's Lisa Nandy in the Labour Party leadership contest". www.wigantoday.net. Retrieved 9 February 2020.[permanent dead link][dead link]
- Bastani, Aaron (17 April 2020). Labour Official Who Undermined Party and Mocked Staff Was in Running for General Secretary Under Starmer Archived 18 April 2020 at the Wayback Machine. Novara Media. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
- Jonathan Ashworth Official post ("I remain shocked, upset and deeply hurt by the report as do many others across the Labour Party. I also knew absolutely nothing about it or it’s contents."). Facebook. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- Schofield, Kevin (25 February 2020). "Fresh blow for Labour as senior official dubbed 'brains of the party' quits". Politics Home. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
- Parsons, Rob (8 May 2010). "Farmer Mark in a thriller at dawn". Nottingham Evening Post.
- "Guest Appearance". The Sunday Telegraph. London. 4 July 2010.
- "Oh baby! Joy for city's new MP as Gracie born". Leicester Mercury. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2016.[permanent dead link][dead link]
- "Jonathan Ashworth interrupted by daughter during BBC News interview". BBC News. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jon Ashworth.|
- Jon Ashworth MP
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Leicester South
|Party political offices|
| Deputy Chair of the Labour Party
| Shadow Minister without Portfolio
| Shadow Secretary of State for Health