Mark Lazarowicz

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Mark Lazarowicz
Mark Lazarowicz MP.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Edinburgh North and Leith
In office
7 June 2001 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byMalcolm Chisholm
Succeeded byDeidre Brock
Majority1,724 (3.6%)
Personal details
Marek Lazarowicz

(1953-08-08) 8 August 1953 (age 66)
Romford, Essex, England, UK
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
WebsiteOfficial website

Mark Lazarowicz (born Marek Lazarowicz; 8 August 1953) is a British Labour Co-operative politician and lawyer who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Edinburgh North and Leith from 2001 to 2015. In October 2010, he was appointed as part of the shadow team for the Department for International Development along with Rushanara Ali with Harriet Harman in charge[1] As of October 2011, his position of Shadow DFID Minister was taken over by Tony Cunningham.

Early life[edit]

He graduated from St. Andrews University where he had been Chairman of the St. Andrews University Labour Club with an MA in History in 1976, and the University of Edinburgh with an LLB in Law in 1992. He served as a Labour Councillor on the City of Edinburgh District Council from 1980 to 1996, and was Leader of the Council from 1986 to 1993.[2] From 1999 to 2001 he was a member of the unitary City of Edinburgh Council, serving as Executive Member for Transport.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Lazarowicz is a qualified lawyer, and practised as an advocate at the Scottish bar between 1996 and 2001. Following his defeat in the 2015 UK General Election, he returned to legal practice.[4] His legal specialisms include public law, judicial review and human rights, immigration and asylum, personal injury, and planning and environmental law. He is the joint author of "The Scottish Parliament:An Introduction", published in 1999 with new editions in 2000, 2003 and 2010.[5]

Lazarowicz has been a supporter of many environmental causes, and in 2015 he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of Scottish Environment Link.[6]

He is married with four children: Thomas, Andrew, Charlotte & Peter.[7]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Mark Lazarowicz stood for the House of Commons, unsuccessfully, for Edinburgh Pentlands at the 1987 general election and again in 1992, but was defeated by Malcolm Rifkind on both occasions. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Edinburgh North and Leith in June 2001 and was re-elected in May 2005 and May 2010,[8] for the now expanded Edinburgh North and Leith constituency.

He was a member of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. He previously served on the Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, the Scottish Affairs Committee and the Modernisation Committee.[9] Lazarowicz has succeeded in having two Private Member's Bills passed. In 2002 he piloted the Employee Share Schemes Bill through Parliament,[9][10] and in 2006 the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill,.[11][12] He won the PRASEG Parliamentarian of the Year Award in 2006 for his work in promoting renewable energy.

In 2008, he lodged a further Private Member's Bill to restrict ship-to-ship oil transfers, with the aim of preventing spillages in the Firth of Forth.[13] In response, the government introduced regulations to restrict such transfers in April 2010 [14] which were then delayed, but eventually were brought into force.[15][16]

In October 2008, Lazarowicz was made the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Global Carbon Markets and his report on the issue, Global Carbon Trading: a framework for reducing emissions was published in July 2009.[17]

He rebelled against the Labour government on the Iraq war vote in 2003, and on a number of other issues including the Digital Economy Bill and the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. He also opposed the Conservative government's Immigration Bill and retrospective legislation on workfare.[18]

Lazarowicz was defeated in the 2015 general election by the Scottish National Party's Deidre Brock.[19]


After The Daily Telegraph released details of some MPs' expenses claims in 2009, and in what the paper described as an attempt to head off embarrassing headlines, Lazarowicz announced he would repay half of the more than £5000 expenses he had claimed for legal fees regarding the extension of the lease on his London flat,[20] saying the amount was "much higher than many of the public would be prepared to accept". Later he reversed his view, stating that his expenses were entirely within the existing parliamentary rules and that a lot of people and fellow MPs had questioned his decision to pay back the money: "Why on earth am I bothering to pay back the money? That's actually the view which has come back from a large number of people I have been in contact with. Having said that I have said I will pay it back, so I'll pay it back, because I actually accept at the end of the day the fundamental principle that MPs shouldn't actually benefit from property they have acquired."[21] He eventually paid back £2,740, including £60 for taxi fares.[22]

In his audit of MPs' accommodation expenses claims, Sir Thomas Legg reported that Lazarowicz had no issues with his claims. He was therefore not required by Sir Thomas to make any repayments of his expenses.[23]


  1. ^ "Labour Shadow Cabinet | The Labour Party". Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Lazarowicz gives up his leadership". Herald Scotland. 29 March 1993. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Broughton bye election" (PDF). Broughton Spurtle. October 2001. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Mark Lazarowicz rejoins Westwater Advocates". Scottish Legal News. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Mark J. Lazarowicz". Faculty of Advocates. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Link Board & Honorary Positions". Scottish Environment Link. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Your MP for Edinburgh North and Leith". STV. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  8. ^ "General Election 2010: Lib Dem Challenge is seen off by Labour in city seats". The Scotsman. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Employee Share Schemes Bill". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  10. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (18 January 2002). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 18 January 2002 (pt 1)". Retrieved 3 May 2014.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill". 12 May 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  12. ^ Coughlan, Sean (9 March 2006). "Power from the people". BBC News. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Lazarowicz to introduce bill on ship-to-ship oil transfers". The Scotsman. 2 December 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Early day motion 308 - MARINE POLLUTION (S.I., 2010, No. 1228) (No. 2)". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Lazarowicz in call to end oil transfer safety delays". The Scotsman. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Lazarowicz hails tough new laws on oil transfers in Forth". The Scotsman. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Global Carbon Trading, a framework for reducing emissions". DECC. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Mark Lazarowicz". They Work for You. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  19. ^ "General Election 2015 Results: Edinburgh North & Leith". BBC News Online. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  20. ^ "MP to pay back some expenses". Teletext. Retrieved 29 September 2009.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "9am Briefing: Labour MP Lazarowicz to pay back £2500 in expenses". Edinburgh Evening News. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  22. ^ Moore, Matthew (13 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: Backbenchers rush to return money amid disclosure fears". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  23. ^ "Mark Lazarowicz: MPs' expenses verdicts from Sir Thomas Legg". STV. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2015.

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Alex Wood
Leader of Edinburgh City Council
1986 – 1993
Succeeded by
Lesley Hinds
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Malcolm Chisholm
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh North and Leith
Succeeded by
Deidre Brock