|Member of Parliament
for North Ayrshire and Arran
5 May 2005 – 30 March 2015
|Preceded by||Brian Wilson|
|Succeeded by||Patricia Gibson|
3 July 1967 |
|Alma mater||University of Aberdeen|
Kathryn Sloan Clark (born 3 July 1967) 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.
Clark went to Ayr Grammar Primary School then Kyle Academy, both in Ayr, before attending the University of Aberdeen, receiving an LLB in 1990. She was the chairwoman of the Labour club there. She received a Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Edinburgh in 1991. She was a solicitor in Edinburgh and Musselburgh from 1991-8 and then a legal officer with UNISON in London from 1998-2005. She joined the Labour Party at the age of seventeen and is a member of the TGWU and UNISON. Her great-great grandfather, former coal-miner Alexander Sloan, was Labour MP for South Ayrshire from 1939 until his death in 1946.
She 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.
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. She had a majority of 11,296, and made her maiden speech on 7 June 2005. 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". One of the few left-wing members of Labour's 2005 intake of MPs, she is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group and the Scottish Labour Party Campaign for Socialism; of the twenty-four members of the Campaign Group, she was the only one under the age of 50. Clark is also a republican.
Clark quickly established a reputation as a rebel within the Parliamentary Labour Party, voting against ID cards. However, she does not consider herself to be a rebel, stating that her "views are consistent with Labour's traditions". On local issues, she campaigned against the contracting out of lifeline ferry services and for the retraining of former workers employed at the closed Simclar factory. Clark campaigned on human rights issues and was one of 95 Labour MPs who opposed replacing Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system. She supported a 'No' vote in the 2011 AV Referendum.
On 13 January 2015, Clark was the only Labour MP to vote against the Charter for Budget Responsibility. 28 of her fellow Labour MPs supported the Coalition-led proposal, the remaining 228 either abstained or were absent for the vote. She 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.
Clark lost her Commons seat of North Ayrshire and Arran at the May 2015 general election to the SNP candidate Patricia Gibson. Clark was appointed as the political secretary of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the end of the following October.
- People's Assembly opening letter http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/feb/05/people-assembly-against-austerity 5 February 2013, The Guardian Newspaper.
- Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction - why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Corbyn Puts Clark Top Of Politics Team". Morning Star. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Her website
- The Labour Party - Katy Clark MP official biography
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Katy Clark MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Katy Clark MP
- BBC Politics page
- The Public Whip - Katy Clark MP voting record
- Video clip: Speaking at the People's Assembly in 2007
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire and Arran