Katy Clark

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Katy Clark
Katy Clark MP.jpeg
Member of Parliament
for North Ayrshire and Arran
In office
5 May 2005 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byBrian Wilson
Succeeded byPatricia Gibson
Majority9,895 (21.5%)
Personal details
Born (1967-07-03) 3 July 1967 (age 52)
Ayrshire, Scotland
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen

Kathryn Sloan Clark (born 3 July 1967)[1] is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Ayrshire and Arran from the 2005 to the 2015 general election when she lost her seat to Patricia Gibson, the SNP candidate.

Early life[edit]

Clark was born in Kilwinning went to Ayr Grammar Primary School then Kyle Academy, both in Ayr, before attending the University of Aberdeen,[2][3] receiving an LLB in 1990. She received a Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Edinburgh in 1991.[3] She qualified as a solicitor in England, Scotland and Wales.

She was a solicitor in Edinburgh and Musselburgh from 1991–98,[4] a legal officer then Head of Membership Legal Services with UNISON[5] in London from 1998-2005 where she undertook employment litigation including Europe's biggest equal pay case, where she won £35m in back pay for female nurses and other medical staff who had been unlawfully underpaid compared with their male colleagues.[4][6]

She joined the Labour Party at the age of seventeen[7] and is a member of the Unite and UNISON. Her great-great grandfather Alexander Sloan, was Labour MP for South Ayrshire from 1939 until his death in 1946.[8]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Clark unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of Galloway and Upper Nithsdale at the 1997 general election, a traditional Conservative and Scottish National Party (SNP) marginal. She finished in third place behind the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Ian Lang who lost his seat to the SNP's Alasdair Morgan.[9]

She was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election for the new seat of North Ayrshire and Arran, based substantially on the former seat of Cunninghame North whose MP Brian Wilson had retired, and the towns of Stevenston and Kilwinning from the old Cunninghame South.[10] She had a majority of 11,296,[11] and made her maiden speech on 7 June 2005.[12] She was nominated for House Magazine's 'Maiden Speech of the Year'. Following the election, The Guardian named her as one of eight new MPs "to watch".[13]

Campaigns[edit]

Socialist and anti-austerity[edit]

One of the few left-wing members of Labour's 2005 intake of MPs,[10] she was a member of the Socialist Campaign Group[14] and the Scottish Labour Party Campaign for Socialism.[15] of the twenty-four members of the Campaign Group, she was the only one under the age of 50.[10][14]

In 2010 Clark was one of only 7 MPs to vote for Diane Abbott in the 2010 Labour Leadership Election.[16]

In February 2013, Clark was among those who gave their support to the People's Assembly Against Austerity in a letter published by The Guardian newspaper,[17] and was Co-Chair of the Labour Assembly Against Austerity.

Clark established a reputation as a rebel within the Parliamentary Labour Party, voting against ID cards.[18] However, she did not consider herself to be a rebel, stating that her "views are consistent with Labour's traditions".[19]

Clark was one of 16 signatories of an open letter to Ed Miliband in January 2015 calling on the party to commit to oppose further austerity, take rail franchises back into public ownership and strengthen collective bargaining arrangements.[20]

Human rights and internationalism[edit]

Clark quickly established a reputation as a rebel within the Parliamentary Labour Party, voting against ID cards.[18] However, she did not consider herself to be a rebel, stating that her "views are consistent with Labour's traditions".[19] Clark was a Patron of the Greek Solidarity Campaign.

Clark campaigned on human rights issues and was one of 95 Labour MPs who opposed replacing Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system.[21] She supported a 'No' vote in the 2011 AV Referendum.[22]

Clark supports the call for the recognition of the state of Palestine.[23]

She was amongst a handful of MPs who opposed the bombing of Libya.

Clark was a member of the Committees on Arms Export Controls,[24] and regularly called for stricter limits on arms sales.[25]

Refugee rights[edit]

Clark has campaigned to support European Union emergency plans to ensure safety for migrants crossing the mediterranean.[26]

LGBT rights[edit]

Throughout her time an MP Clark consistently voted in favour of increased rights for LGBT+ people,[27] including voting in favour of same-sex marriage in 2013.[28]

Constituency campaigns[edit]

On local issues, she campaigned against the contracting out of lifeline ferry services with her first Parliamentary Question being about the tendering of services and for the retraining of former workers employed at the closed Simclar factory.[29][30]

Trade union campaigns[edit]

She was Secretary of the Trade Union Group of Labour MPs and Chair of the CWU Group of MPs taking up many trade union, equalities, human rights, consumer and employment rights issues in Parliament. She was also a member of the GMB, UNISON, FBU, Bakers Union, NUJ, UNITE, PCS, RMT, ASLEF and TSSA Parliamentary Groups.[3]

Royal Mail sell-off[edit]

As a member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee,[24] Clark held UBS and Goldman Sachs bankers to account, questioning them over their valuation of the Royal Mail during its selloff.[31]

Scottish Deputy Leadership Campaign[edit]

Clark stood as a left candidate to be Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party in 2014 arguing for a change in direction.[7] She lost her Commons seat of North Ayrshire and Arran at the May 2015 general election to the SNP candidate Patricia Gibson.[32]

Views[edit]

Clark is a socialist and was regarded as on the left of the Parliamentary party when she was an MP.[4]

Clark is opposed to Boris Johnson's Brexit plan, has called for a second referendum and is committed to campaigning for remain in a second referendum.[33]

After Parliament[edit]

Jeremy Corbyn's Leadership Campaign[edit]

Clark was an early supporter of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign,[34] a key strategist on Jeremy Corbyn's 2015 leadership campaign and appointed as his Political Secretary in November 2015, following his election as leader.[35]

Labour Party Democracy Review[edit]

In 2017 Jeremy Corbyn tasked Clark with leading a review into the democratic functioning of the Labour Party at every level including Labour Leadership Elections, the makeup of the National Executive Committee, giving Labour members greater say in party policy, building Constituency Labour Parties, local and regional Government and improving the situation of women, LGBT+, BAME, disabled and young members.[36]

Announcing the review in a message to Labour Members Clark said:

"We want our members to be at the heart of our party – to have more power – over policy, how we campaign, organise and run our party, just as we want the people of Britain to be at the heart of deciding how our communities, economy and society are organised. That is what the democracy review is about.[37]

The Democracy Review reported in September 2018, and rule changes to increase party democracy were adopted.[38] Clark has suggested that she would like these reforms to go further and that some of her proposed reforms were watered down.[39]

2019 European Parliament Elections[edit]

She stood as a Labour candidate on the London list in the 2019 European Parliament Elections, but was not elected.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Clark lives in Vauxhall, having moved to London in 1998,[41] and has one daughter.[42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Clark, Kathryn Sloan, (Katy)". UK Who's Who. Oxford University Press. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. ^ "ASLEF backs Katy Clark". ASLEF.org.uk. Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. 5 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Katy Clark - working hard for North Ayrshire and Arran - | Biography | IWC2". web.archive.org. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Interview: Katy Clark". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  5. ^ Staff, Guardian (10 October 2005). "Class of 2005: eight to watch". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  6. ^ Browne, Anthony (15 July 2001). "Nurses set for £35m equal pay triumph". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b "ASLEF backs Katy Clark". www.aslef.org.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  8. ^ Staff, Guardian (10 October 2005). "Class of 2005: eight to watch". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  9. ^ "BBC NEWS | VOTE 2001 | RESULTS & CONSTITUENCIES | Galloway & Upper Nithsdale". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "Katy Clark". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  11. ^ "2005 UK Parliamentary Election". north-ayrshire.cmis.uk.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Page cannot be found". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  13. ^ Staff, Guardian (10 October 2005). "Class of 2005: eight to watch". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Socialist Campaign Group News". web.archive.org. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  15. ^ "History of the Campaign for Socialism". Campaign for Socialism. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  16. ^ Bartley, Paula (2019). Labour women in power : cabinet ministers in the twentieth century. Cham, Switzerland. ISBN 9783030142889. OCLC 1101789583.
  17. ^ "People's Assembly opening letter". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 5 February 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Identity Cards Bill — Third Reading: Recent Votes". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Class of 2005". The Guardian. 10 October 2005.
  20. ^ Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction - why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Katy Clark, former MP, North Ayrshire and Arran". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Labour MPs and Lords say NO to AV". Archived from the original on 14 December 2011.
  23. ^ "Backbench Business — Palestine and Israel: 13 Oct 2014: House of Commons debates". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Katy Clark". UK Parliament. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  25. ^ "Katy Clark - Contributions - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  26. ^ Clark, Katy (22 June 2015). "Sign the petition to back EU emergency plan to save lives & provide refuge to those on boats in the Mediterranean https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_tide_of_death_loc_uk/?bspxsjb&v=60606 …". @KatySClark. Retrieved 17 October 2019. External link in |title= (help)
  27. ^ "Katy Clark, former MP, North Ayrshire and Arran". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  28. ^ Urquhart, Conal (5 February 2013). "How did your MP vote on the gay marriage bill?". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  29. ^ Tempest, Matthew; correspondent, political (21 February 2007). "Prime minister's questions". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  30. ^ "Engagements - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  31. ^ Wearden, Graeme (20 November 2013). "Royal Mail bankers accused of botching privatisation and costing taxpayers - as it happened". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  32. ^ "North Ayrshire and Arran - 2015 Election Results - General Elections Online". electionresults.parliament.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  33. ^ Clark, Katy (17 October 2019). "Boris Johnson's Brexit deal must be rejected - it's worse than Theresa May's and will make the country worse-off. We need to go back to the people and let them decide in a referendum. I will campaign for a remain vote. #Katy4Vauxhall". @KatySClark. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  34. ^ Clark, Katy (4 June 2015). "Hope @jeremycorbyn gets enough nominations - for a real debate on economy, @UKLabour meltdown in Scotland and reclaiming our radical roots". @KatySClark. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  35. ^ "Corbyn hires former MP ally as his political secretary". Labour List. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  36. ^ Elgot, Jessica (19 September 2017). "Labour review to ask NEC to agree more powers for members". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  37. ^ ""Thousands" of submissions pour in for Labour's democracy review". LabourList. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  38. ^ "Labour's ruling executive agrees controversial rule changes on leadership contests and deselection on MPs". The Independent. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  39. ^ "Labour's Democracy Review criticised by its architect". The Red Roar. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  40. ^ Bloom, Dan; Milne, Oliver (27 May 2019). "European election results in full - summary and breakdown for where you live". mirror. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  41. ^ "Katy Clark for Vauxhall". Katy Clark for Vauxhall. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  42. ^ "Kate Hoey deselection moves bring Labour's national faction fight to Lambeth". OnLondon. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2019.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Brian Wilson
Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire and Arran
20052015
Succeeded by
Patricia Gibson