Nick Thomas-Symonds

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Nick Thomas-Symonds

Official portrait of Nick Thomas-Symonds crop 2.jpg
Shadow Solicitor General for England and Wales
Assumed office
9 October 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
ShadowingRobert Buckland = Lucy Frazer
Preceded byJo Stevens
Shadow Minister for Security
Assumed office
5 July 2017
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
ShadowingBen Wallace (politician)
Preceded byFirst Member appointed to post
Shadow Minister of State for Employment
In office
11 January 2016 – 27 June 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
ShadowingPriti Patel
Damian Hinds
Preceded byEmily Thornberry
Succeeded byMargaret Greenwood
Shadow Minister of State for Pensions
In office
17 September 2015 – 11 January 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byGregg McClymont
Succeeded byAngela Rayner
Member of Parliament
for Torfaen
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded byPaul Murphy
Majority10,240 (26.6%)
Personal details
Born (1980-05-26) 26 May 1980 (age 39)
Blaenavon, Torfaen
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Rebecca Nelson
Alma materSt Edmund Hall, Oxford

Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds, FRHistS (born 26 May 1980) is a Welsh Labour Party politician, barrister, and academic. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Torfaen since May 2015.[1] Before entering Parliament, he was a chancery and commercial barrister at Civitas Law.[2][3] He is also the author of Attlee: A Life in Politics and Nye: The Political Life of Aneurin Bevan.

Early life and education[edit]

Thomas-Symonds was born in Panteg Hospital, Griffithstown, Torfaen, and was brought up in Blaenavon. He attended St. Felix R.C. Primary School, Blaenavon, and St. Alban's R.C. High School, Pontypool. He then studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, between 1998 and 2001.[4]


Legal career[edit]

In October 2004, Thomas-Symonds was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn.[4] He was a barrister specialising in chancery and commercial law, and received numerous accolades for his work. In December 2009, he was awarded a "Red Bag" by Leading Counsel for his work. By 2011, he was already noted as 'a great asset' as a junior in the Court of Appeal by the Legal 500.[5] He regularly featured in Chambers and Partners as a “Leader in the Field” and was identified as a "rising star on the Wales and Chester [legal] circuit".[4] In Chambers and Partners 2016 he was described as “absolutely brilliant”.[6]

Academic career[edit]

Thomas-Symonds was appointed a Don at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, at the age of 21 and became Lecturer in Politics at the college, teaching British Politics and Government since 1900; Modern British Government and Politics; Government and Politics of Europe; and Government and Politics of the United States. He is the youngest individual to be appointed as an Oxford Don, since 1945. Thomas-Symonds taught for other Oxford colleges, including Harris Manchester College. He also taught US Politics on the Oxford Department of Continuing Education's 'Foundations of Diplomacy' course.[7] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2012.

Thomas-Symonds has published two political biographies: Nye: The Political Life of Aneurin Bevan and Attlee: A Life in Politics.

Political career[edit]

Thomas-Symonds was selected as prospective Labour parliamentary candidate for Torfaen on 7 March 2015 and subsequently won the seat in the General Election on 7 May 2015. He made his maiden speech on 28 May 2015, without notes. Chris Bryant MP said he had delivered the speech “with panache”.

After a brief stint on the Justice Select Committee, he was appointed Shadow Pensions Minister on 17 September 2015 before being promoted to Shadow Employment Minister on 11 January 2016.[8][9] He resigned the role of Shadow Employment Minister on 27 June 2016,[10] later supporting Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[11] On 11 October 2016 he accepted the position of Shadow Solicitor General and on 3 July 2017 he was appointed as Shadow Security Minister within the Shadow Home Affairs Team.[12][13]

He has served as Chair of four All-Party Parliamentary Groups: Off-Patent Drugs; Industrial Heritage; Legal & Constitutional Affairs; and Archives & History.[14]

Nick Thomas-Symonds was drawn in the ballot for a Private Members’ Bill on 4 June 2015 and introduced the Off-Patent Drugs Bill. This ran out of time at Second Reading on 6 November 2015,[15] but substantial parts of the Bill were later incorporated into the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill on 29 January 2016.[16] As a result of promises secured by Nick Thomas-Symonds MP the British National Formulary has started to include off-label drugs in their new indication where there is sufficient evidence.[17]

On 8 December 2015, Nick Thomas-Symonds was chosen as “Member to Watch” at the Welsh Politician of the Year Awards.[18]

Selected works[edit]

  • Thomas-Symonds, Nicklaus (2010). Attlee: a life in politics. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1845117795.
  • Thomas-Symonds, Nicklaus (2014). Nye: The Political Life of Aneurin Bevan. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1780762098.


  • The Battle of Grosmont, 1405: A Reinterpretation’ Gwent Local History, Volume 97, Autumn 2004. (Researched by Gareth McCann).
  • ‘Michael Foot’s Handling of the Militant Tendency: A Reinterpretation,’ Contemporary British History, Volume 19, No 1, Spring 2005.
  • ‘Oratory, Rhetoric and Politics: Neil Kinnock’s Thousand Generations Speech of 1987,’ Llafur: Journal of the Welsh People's History Society, Vol. 9, No. 3, 2006.
  • ‘The Hard Sell: When does a new car actually belong to the purchaser?' Solicitors’ Journal, Volume 154, Number 35, 21 September 2010.
  • ‘The Problem of the ‘Lame Duck' Government: A Critique of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act’, Parliamentary Affairs, 66(3), July 2013 pp. 540–556, ISSN 0031-2290 (print) ISSN 1460-2482 (online) (written with Dr Raymond Youngs).


  1. ^ "Torfaen".
  2. ^ Simmons, Richard (10 April 2015). "City solicitors, a 22-year old UKIP law grad and a barrister standing for the Whigs: the legal profession's MP hopefuls". Lawyer 2B. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Profile: Nick Thomas-Symonds". Civitas Law. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds". St Edmund Hall. University of Oxford. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Nick Thomas-Symonds | St Edmund Hall |". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  6. ^ "News | Civitas - Civil and Public Law Barristers Cardiff". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Home | St Edmund Hall". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Labour names first-time MP as shadow pensions minister". Citywire. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Nick Thomas-Symonds appointed Shadow Minister for Employment". Torfaen Constituency Labour Party. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Torfaen MP latest to quit Labour front bench". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  11. ^ Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Mirror. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Nick Thomas-Symonds promoted to Shadow Solicitor General - Nick Thomas Symonds MP". Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Reshuffle 2: The Maintenance of the Malcontents". New Socialist. 8 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Register Of All-Party Parliamentary Groups [as at 28 April 2016]". Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  15. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 06 Nov 2015 (pt 0002)". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  16. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 29 Jan 2016 (pt 0001)". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood named Welsh Politician of the Year | Wales - ITV News". Retrieved 10 September 2016.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Paul Murphy
Member of Parliament
for Torfaen