Michael Connarty

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Michael Connarty
Michael connarty.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Linlithgow and East Falkirk
Falkirk East (1992–2005)
In office
9 April 1992 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Harry Ewing
Succeeded by Martyn Day
Personal details
Born (1947-09-03) 3 September 1947 (age 70)
Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Margaret Mary Doran
Alma mater University of Glasgow, University of Stirling

Michael Connarty (born 3 September 1947) is a British Labour Party politician, who served as the Member of Parliament for Linlithgow and Falkirk East from 2005 until 2015, and Falkirk East (1992–2005).

Early life[edit]

Connarty was born in Coatbridge. He attended St. Patrick's, the local Roman Catholic High School and was a year below John Reid; future MP for Motherwell North (1987–1997) (later Hamilton North and Bellshill) (1997–2005) and Airdrie & Shotts (2005–-2010). Connarty was also in the year above another future MP; Helen Reilly (later Liddell) who was MP for Monklands East (1994–97) and also Airdrie & Shotts (1997–2005). He then studied at the University of Stirling, (1967–72) where he was elected as the sabbatical President of the Student Association from 1970–71 and received a BA in Economics in 1972.[citation needed]

He returned to study at Jordanhill College and Glasgow University, where he received a Diploma in Childcare and Education (DCE) in 1975. He was a special needs teacher for sixteen years from 1976, until his election to the House of Commons in 1992. He was also an Economics and Modern Studies teacher at a secondary school. Connarty was elected as Honorary President of Stirling Student Association in 1983-84.[citation needed]

He became a councillor on the Stirling District Council in 1977, becoming Council Leader in 1980, until he left the council in 1990. He was a founding member and Financial Comptroller of the Loch Lomond, Stirling and Trossachs Tourist Board 1981–1990. Connarty was also a director of Stirling Economic and Enterprise Development Company (SEEDCO) from 1984–1990.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career[edit]

He unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary constituency of Stirling at the 1983 general election but finished 5,133 votes behind the future Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Forsyth. Connarty ran against Forsyth again at Stirling at the 1987 general election, although Forsyth won by a narrow margin of 548 votes.

Connarty was selected as the Labour candidate for Falkirk East at the 1992 general election following the retirement of the sitting MP, Harry Ewing. Connarty was elected with a majority of 7,969 votes. He used his maiden speech on 13 May 1992 to raise concerns about the fragility of the petro-chemical industry at Grangemouth, the largest town in Falkirk East.[1]

Following the 1997 general election he became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Film and Tourism Tom Clarke but this appointment lasted only until 1998 when Clarke was sacked from the government. Connarty spent his parliamentary career as a backbencher. In 1998, he became a member of the European Scrutiny Select Committee, which is the committee responsible for scrutinising the legislation set by the European Parliament. He was appointed as the Chair of the Committee from 2006–10. In 2002, Connarty was one of three MPs behind the revival of the Tribune Group of left-wing Labour MPs.[2]

As a result of the Fifth Periodical Review of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, the Falkirk East constituency was merged with Linlithgow and the new constituency was renamed Linlithgow and East Falkirk, and was elected to this new constituency in 2005.[3] The Spectator awarded him the "Inquisitor of the Year Award" in the Threadneedle/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards in 2007, recognising his Chairmanship during the committee investigation into the Lisbon Treaty.[4] In November 2008, he was one of 18 MPs who signed a Commons early day motion in support of forming a Team GB football team for the 2012 Olympic Games, contrary to the position held by the football governing bodies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who all had reservations that such a move would block them competing as individual nations in future tournaments.[5]

In 2011, he was appointed a UK Parliament representative on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). In 2013, he was elected as Chair of the PACE sub-committee on Education, Youth and Sport issues. He successfully acted as rapporteur for a report on recommendations on "Youth Access to Fundamental Rights" adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly in April 2013. He was a member of a special Ad-hoc Sub Committee investigating "Governance and Corruption in Football" meeting with FIFA and EUFA and the ECA. The report was tabled by Anne Brasseur (ALDE, Luxembourg) and adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly in 2013. He was appointed Rapporteur for a follow - up report on The Reform of Football Governance focusing on FIFA and EUFA (and the awarding of the Football World Cup to Qatar by FIFA) in January 2014. After a series of hearings held in 2014, he authored a report that noted the extent of the corruption that was involved and recommended that the process should be rerun.[6]

He is a supporter of Humanists UK and was Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group.[7] and vice president of the National Youth Jazz Collective.

Connarty was Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking 2011–15. He was an active participant in the Parliamentarians Against Human Trafficking network working with like minded politicians across the EU, set up by the Human Trafficking Foundation. His Private Members Bill, Transparency of UK Company Supply Chains, which would have required UK Companies to audit and report on the ethical quality of their supply chain, was "talked out" by Conservative MP for North East Somerset, Jacob Rees-Mogg, during its second reading on 18 January 2013.[8]

During the Scottish independence referendum, 2014, Connarty campaigned with Better Together.[9] He stood for re-election at the 2015 general election, but was defeated by the SNP candidate, Martyn Day, who won with a majority of 12,934.[10]

Personal life[edit]

He married Margaret Doran in 1969, and have a son and daughter together. They also have two granddaughters and a grandson.

Controversies[edit]

On 19 May 2009, the Daily Telegraph revealed that Connarty was the fifth highest claiming MP in the UK, having claimed £156,207 in allowances between 2007 and 2008, excluding travel costs.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Wintour, Patrick (7 May 2002). "Labour MPs to revive Tribune group". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  3. ^ Buchanan, Jill (12 May 2005). "MP backs Brown as Labour win in Falkirk". Falkirk Herald. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Threadneedle/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards". The Spectator. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Scots MPs back British Olympic soccer team". The Scotsman. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Gibson, Owen (27 January 2015). "2022 Qatar World Cup vote should be rerun, claims Council of Europe". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Transparency Bill progress, parliament.uk; accessed 14 August 2015.
  9. ^ Buchanan, Jill (10 June 2014). "Falkirk Herald hustings puts Referendum in the spotlight". Falkirk Herald. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  10. ^ McAngus, Scott (14 May 2015). "New East Falkirk MP settling in at Westminster". Falkirk Herald. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "Scottish MP faces expenses claims". BBC News. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Harry Ewing
Member of Parliament for Falkirk East
19922005
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Linlithgow and East Falkirk
20052015
Succeeded by
Martyn Day