Michael Dugher

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Michael Dugher
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
In office
13 September 2015 – 5 January 2016
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Chris Bryant
Succeeded by Maria Eagle
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
5 November 2014 – 13 September 2015
Leader Ed Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded by Mary Creagh
Succeeded by Lilian Greenwood
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
7 October 2013 – 5 November 2014
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Jon Trickett
Succeeded by Lucy Powell
Vice Chair of the Labour Party
In office
7 October 2011 – 5 November 2014
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Stephen Timms
Succeeded by Jon Trickett
Shadow Minister without Portfolio
In office
7 October 2011 – 7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Jon Trickett
Succeeded by Jon Trickett
Member of Parliament
for Barnsley East
Assumed office
7 May 2010
Preceded by Constituency established
Majority 12,034 (31.2%)
Personal details
Born Michael Vincent Dugher
(1975-04-26) 26 April 1975 (age 40)
Edlington, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Joanna Dugher
Alma mater University of Nottingham
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Website Official website

Michael Vincent Dugher (pronounced DUG-ər; born 26 April 1975)[2] is a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Barnsley East since the 2010 General Election.[3] He has held various senior positions within the party, including Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Edlington, South Yorkshire, he went to school in the village and in Doncaster and read Politics at the University of Nottingham.

He was the Head of Policy of the AEEU trade union (2000–2001).

He has been a longtime friend of fellow Labour MP Jon Ashworth,[4] both of whom would later work together as part of the Office of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Special adviser career[edit]

2001–2002: He worked as a special adviser to Transport Minister John Spellar at the Department of Transport, Local Government and Regional Affairs.

2002–2008: He worked as a special adviser to Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, the Leader of the House of Commons and the Government Chief Whip.[5]

2008–2010: He worked at 10 Downing Street as the Chief Political Spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[6]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Before his election in 2010, Dugher stood unsuccessfully for Skipton and Ripon, then held by the Conservative David Curry, at the 2001 general election.[7]

Dugher was a Shadow Minister of Defence before becoming the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition. In 2011 he was promoted to Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister without Portfolio, a role where he could roam across portfolios and co-ordinate shadow ministers' attacks on the government.

In November 2012, Miliband appointed Dugher to the position of Vice-Chair of the Labour Party with responsibility for communications strategy.[8][9][dubious ]

In the October 2013 reshuffle he became Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office[10] and in November 2014 was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Transport replacing Mary Creagh. As Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Dugher told the New Statesman that he wanted to see "more public control of the railways" under a Labour government.[11]

In the Labour leadership election of 2015, he was Andy Burnham's campaign manager.[12][13] He was also a supporter of Tom Watson for the deputy leadership election.

In September 2015, Dugher replaced Chris Bryant as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.[6] However, in January 2016, he was sacked from the position in Jeremy Corbyn's first reshuffle, as announced by Dugher himself via Twitter.[14][15] Several shadow cabinet ministers publicly supported Dugher, with Andy Burnham saying that "Michael Dugher is Labour to the core & has served our Party with distinction."[16] Dugher said that Corbyn did not like an article he wrote for the New Statesman, saying "I took a decision to speak out and I paid a price for it.”[17] Dugher described his article “I said despite all the stuff you’ve read in the newspapers: I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is a man motivated by revenge, I didn’t think he’ll do these mass sackings as an act of revenge over Syria that we’ve read about every day, every week, for several weeks. I was defending Jeremy and I was defending the 'new politics'.”[17]

Political views[edit]

Dugher has held the post of Vice-Chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI).[18] He has criticised the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, saying "Boycotting Israeli institutions is ignorant, wrong and counterproductive to peace. We should be building bridges and furthering dialogue."[19][20]

He gave a keynote speech at the 'We Believe in Israel’ conference, where he said "Each time I visit Israel, my admiration for that great country grows."[21]

Following the 2015 general election, Dugher said Labour mishandled its relationship with the Jewish community through a combination of neglect and incompetence. He criticised Labour's response to the 2014 Gaza conflict and called the then Labour leader Ed Miliband’s decision to whip Labour MPs to vote for a motion recognising the State of Palestine as "catastrophic". Dugher abstained in the parliament vote on this matter, despite a three line whip and being a shadow cabinet minister.[22]

Outside interests[edit]

In between serving as Geoff Hoon's special adviser, he worked for a year (2006-2007) as a corporate/government lobbyist for American multinational Electronic Data Systems (EDS), one of the government's largest IT contractors.[23]


  1. ^ Profile, catholicherald.co.uk; accessed 22 October 2014.
  2. ^ Profile, ukwhoswho.com; accessed 22 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Barnsley East". Election 2010. BBC. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  4. ^ https://twitter.com/JonAshworth/status/684321006295642112
  5. ^ "DUGHER, Michael Barnsley East Labour". Parliamentary Yearbook. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Jane Martinson (14 September 2015). "Michael Dugher replaces Chris Bryant as shadow culture secretary". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  7. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/representatives/profiles/16861.stm
  8. ^ http://labourlist.org/2012/11/michael-dugher-appointed-labour-party-vice-chair/
  9. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2234946/Ed-Milibands-new-Mr-Fixit-Michael-Dugher-real-calamity.html
  10. ^ Profile, labour.org.uk; accessed 22 October 2014.
  11. ^ Dugher, Michael (18 February 2015). "Exclusive: Michael Dugher promises "public control" of railways under Labour". New Statesman. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Rowena Mason, Frances Perraudin (21 August 2015). "Burnham campaign hints at challenge if it loses Labour leadership vote". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  13. ^ http://labourlist.org/2015/05/dugher-to-manage-burnhams-leadership-campaign/
  14. ^ Michael Dugher (5 January 2016). "I've just been sacked". Michael Dugher. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Labour reshuffle: Jeremy Corbyn sacks Michael Dugher". 
  16. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/michael-dugher-mp-hits-back-at-corbyn-dismissal-by-adding-it-to-his-twitter-bio-a6797676.html
  17. ^ a b http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/michael-dugher-says-he-has-paid-the-price-for-speaking-out-against-jeremy-corbyn-a6797881.html
  18. ^ Oliver Wright (10 October 2010). "Anger grows within Labour over forced Palestinian vote". The Independent. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  19. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/10/27/israeli-universities-boycotted-academics-palestine_n_8397644.html
  20. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/22/star-authors-jk-rowling-hilary-mantel-israel-palestinian-boycott-guardian-letter
  21. ^ http://www.lfi.org.uk/lfi-vice-chair-michael-dugher-mp-gives-keynote-speech-at-we-believe-in-israel-conference/
  22. ^ Robert Philpot (27 May 2015). "Labour was 'catastrophic' on Israel, says shadow cabinet member Michael Dugher". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  23. ^ "Many lobbyists win seats but some see majority decreased", prweek.com; accessed 22 October 2014.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Barnsley East

Political offices
Preceded by
Jon Trickett
Shadow Minister without Portfolio
Succeeded by
Jon Trickett
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
Succeeded by
Lucy Powell
Preceded by
Mary Creagh
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Succeeded by
Lilian Greenwood
Preceded by
Chris Bryant
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Succeeded by
Maria Eagle
Party political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Timms
Vice-Chair of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Jon Trickett