Karl Turner (British politician)

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Karl Turner

Karl Turner 2019 (cropped).jpg
Turner in 2019
Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales
In office
11 January 2016 – 26 June 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byCatherine McKinnell
Succeeded byShami Chakrabarti
Member of Parliament
for Kingston upon Hull East
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byJohn Prescott
Majority1,239 (3.7%)
Personal details
Karl William Turner

(1971-04-15) 15 April 1971 (age 48)
Kingston upon Hull, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Leanne Turner
Alma mater

Karl William Turner (born 15 April 1971) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kingston upon Hull East since the 2010 general election. He was appointed Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales in January 2016 by Jeremy Corbyn, before resigning from that role in June of that year. Following the 2017 general election he was appointed as Shadow Shipping, Aviation and Road Safety Minister within the Shadow Transport team.

Early life[edit]

Karl William Turner[1] was born on 15 April 1971[2] in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire.[3] He was raised in the city[4] and was educated at Bransholme High School from 1984 to 1987, leaving at the age of 16.[5] He attended HCC Training to study business administration from 1987 to 1989.[6] Later, Turner became a self-employed antiques dealer.[7]

He returned to education in the late 1990s to study A Levels at Hull College, before graduating with a law degree as a mature student from the University of Hull in 2004.[5] He became a barrister in 2005 after passing the Bar Vocational Course at Northumbria University and went on to practice criminal law for the Max Gold Partnership in Hull.[7]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Turner in 2017

Turner was selected by the Labour Party as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Kingston upon Hull East in March 2008 after John Prescott announced he would not stand again.[7][8] He was elected for the constituency at the 2010 general election with a majority of 8,597, a long way from the 23,000 his predecessor had and this was further reduced to just 1,239 during the 2019 general election. [9]


He was appointed Shadow Solicitor General by Labour leader Ed Miliband on 3 December 2014, and continued to serve as an opposition whip.[10]

On 11 January 2016, Turner was appointed Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales to replace Catherine McKinnell, who resigned following a reshuffle to the Shadow Cabinet of Jeremy Corbyn.[11] On 26 June 2016, Turner resigned from the Shadow Cabinet following the EU referendum, among a number of his colleagues unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.[12][13] On 14 October 2016, it was announced that Turner had returned to Labour's frontbench as a Whip.[14]

Following the 2017 general election he was appointed as Shadow Shipping, Aviation and Road Safety Minister within the Shadow Transport team.[15]


In April 2014, Turner referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards after complaints were made in relation to invitations to a £45-a-head Labour Party fundraising event, sent using parliamentary email accounts.[16] The Commissioner for Standards concluded that there should be no inquiry.[16]

He supported Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour leadership election.[17]

Speaker John Bercow has described Turner as the "noisiest member of the House".[18]

Alleged sexual misconduct[edit]

On 12 March 2018, allegations of sexual misconduct against Turner were reported in the British press. Turner was said to have commented in 2014 that a woman who had had a double mastectomy had removed her 'great' breasts and commented further on her buttocks and, in 2015, had slapped her buttocks.[19] Turner, via his solicitors, denied making any such comments or behaving inappropriately.[19] The Labour Party said it had not received a formal complaint and that it takes complaints about inappropriate behaviour "extremely seriously".[20]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Leanne Turner.[21]


  1. ^ "Karl William Turner". Companies House. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Karl Turner MP". BBC News. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Karl Turner". Politics.co.uk. Senate Media. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Labour MP Karl Turner denies sexually harassing woman who had a mastectomy". i. London. 6 September 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  5. ^ a b "About Karl". Karl Turner. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Alumni – Profiles: Hull Training Graduates: Karl Turner MP". HCC Training. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "Turner's bid for history books". Hull Daily Mail. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Prescott's Hull East successor confirmed". Hull Daily Mail. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Hull East". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Labour reshuffle: Peer takes shadow attorney role". BBC News. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  11. ^ Dathan, Matt (11 January 2016). "Jeremy Corbyn appoints Karl Turner Shadow Attorney General after suffering latest frontbench resignation". The Independent. London. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  12. ^ "East Hull MP Karl Turner quits Labour shadow cabinet as Jeremy Corbyn revolt grows". Hull Daily Mail. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  13. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Perraudin, Frances; Slawson, Nicola (27 June 2016). "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Karl Turner returns to Jeremy Corbyn front bench as Labour whip". Hull Daily Mail. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Reshuffle 2: The Maintenance of the Malcontents". New Socialist. 8 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  16. ^ a b "MP will not face spending probe". The Yorkshire Post. Leeds. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  17. ^ Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  18. ^ "On the Brexit hot seat". Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  19. ^ a b Hughes, Laura (12 March 2018). "Senior Labour MP accused of 'slapping' woman's buttocks". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  20. ^ Heffer, Greg (12 March 2018). "Labour MP Karl Turner denies misogyny after allegedly 'slapping woman's buttocks'". Sky News. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  21. ^ Harley, Nick (15 April 2013). "Burglar raided MP's east Hull home". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 November 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Prescott
Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull East
Political offices
Preceded by
Catherine McKinnell
Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Shami Chakrabarti