Kelvin Hopkins

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Kelvin Hopkins
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Assumed office
28 June 2016
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Maria Eagle
Member of Parliament
for Luton North
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by John Carlisle
Majority 9,504 (22.3%)
Personal details
Born (1941-08-22) 22 August 1941 (age 75)
Leicester, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Patricia Langley
Alma mater University of Nottingham

Kelvin Peter Hopkins (born 22 August 1941) is an English Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Luton North since 1997.


Kelvin Hopkins was born in Leicester, the son of physicist Harold Hopkins FRS, and was educated at the Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School for Boys, Barnet, North London and the University of Nottingham where he was awarded a BA degree in Politics, Economics and Mathematics with Statistics. In his early years he was for a time (1958–63) a "semi-professional" jazz musician playing tenor saxophone and clarinet.[1]

With the exception of two years as a lecturer at the St Albans FE College (now called Oaklands College) from 1971 he has worked entirely within the trade union movement. He joined the Trades Union Congress as an economist in 1969, and rejoined the TUC following his stint in education in 1973. He was appointed as a policy and research officer with NALGO in 1977, leaving its successor UNISON in 1994.

Political career[edit]

Hopkins was a councillor on Luton Borough Council for four years from 1972. He unsuccessfully contested Luton North at the 1983 General Election finishing in second place some 11,981 votes behind the sitting Conservative MP John Carlisle. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 General Election for Luton North with a majority of 9,626 (taking it from the Conservatives, with over half of the total votes) and has remained the MP there since. He made his maiden speech on 28 November 1997.[2]

In parliament he was a member of the broadcasting select committee for two years from 1999, and has served on the Public Administration Select Committee since 2002. He has also served as an adviser to the Minister of Sport Richard Caborn on yachting since 2002. He is a member of many all-party groups and is the chairman of the group on further education and lifelong learning; he serves as the vice-chairman on the groups on jazz appreciation; historic vehicles; Norway; constitution and citizenship; transport infrastructure and trans-European networks; he also serves as the treasurer to the group on building societies and financial mutuals. He is on the left wing of the party, being a member of the Socialist Campaign Group[citation needed] and is a British Eurosceptic.[3] Hopkins is known for his rebellious stance amongst Labour MPs, described as a "rebellion prone leftwing economist" by Andrew Roth of The Guardian.[4]

In the fiscal year of 2007–08, total expenses claims amounted to £121,809, of which second home allowance was £1,242.[5] He also emerged well from the 2009 MPs expenses scandal, being deemed a Daily Telegraph "saint" for minimal second home claims.[6]
In June 2010, he was selected as a Labour member of the Transport Select Committee.[7]

Hopkins has signed the People's Pledge a newly created cross party campaign for an EU referendum and is a member of its Advisory Council.[8] He 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[9]

He is a supporter of homoeopathy, having signed an early day motion in support of its continued funding on the National Health Service.[10]

Kelvin Hopkins was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015.[11]

In 2016 Hopkins was one of the leading Labour figures supporting the Leave campaign in the UK Referendum on EU membership.[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

He married Patricia Mabel Langley on 21 August 1965 in Barnet and they have a son and a daughter. A French speaker, he is a keen photographer and saxophonist and enjoys sailing on the Norfolk Broads. He is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association, as well as a vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.[14] He is a governor of Luton Sixth Form College (since 1993). He has lived in Luton since November 1969.[1] He commutes to Westminster on the train via Thameslink.


  • The Economy: A NALGO Review" by Kelvin Hopkins, 1991


  1. ^ a b Kelvin Hopkins, Bio
  2. ^ Hansard, 28 November 1997 Column 1251
  3. ^ Dathan, Matt (28 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn warned much of his agenda will not be achievable if Britain stays in the EU". The Independent. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Kelvin Hopkins: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "2009 MP Expenses for Kelvin Hopkins, MP for Luton North". BBC News. 19 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "MPs' expenses: The saints (Part i)". Daily Telegraph. 20 June 2009. p. 47. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "New MPs elected to select committees". 24 June 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  8. ^ A referendum on Britain staying in the EU is long overdue and now essential, writes Kelvin Hopkins Tribune Magazine 18 April 2011
  9. ^ Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction - why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Tredinnick, David (29 June 2010). "Early Day Motion No. 342 British Medical Association Motions on Homeopathy". 
  11. ^ "Who nominated who for the 2015 Labour leadership election?". Retrieved on 15 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Labour Leave – Half of PM's EU negotiation team accepted "duty of loyalty" to EU". Labour Leave. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  13. ^ Kelvin Hopkins MP: The Socialist Case for Brexit - Cambridge Brexit Campaign. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016 – via YouTube. 
  14. ^ "All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group". British Humanist Association. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Carlisle
Member of Parliament
for Luton North

Political offices
Preceded by
Maria Eagle
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport