Roy Kennedy, Baron Kennedy of Southwark

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Roy Kennedy, Baron Kennedy of Southwark (born 9 November 1962),[1] is a British Labour Co-operative Party politician and life peer.

Early life[edit]

Born in Lambeth to Irish parents, Kennedy grew up in Southwark attending St Joseph's Primary School in Camberwell and St Thomas the Apostle School in Peckham.

Political career[edit]

In 1986 at the age of 23, Kennedy was elected as a Councillor representing the ward of Newington on Southwark Council and he held a variety of positions on the council including Deputy Leader of the Council.

Appointed to the full-time staff of The Labour Party in 1990, he took up the post of organiser for the party in Coventry in 1991. He was instrumental in the defeat of the Militant MP Dave Nellist, who had been deselected as a Labour candidate, in the 1992 general election. In 1994, he moved to the East Midlands and was Regional Director from 1997 to 2005.

At the end of 2005 he took up the post of Director of Finance and Compliance joining the senior management team of the Labour Party.

He was appointed an Honorary Alderman by Southwark Council in 2007.

He was made a life peer in Gordon Brown's dissolution honours list in 2010,[2] and was created Baron Kennedy of Southwark, of Newington in the London Borough of Southwark on 21 June 2010,[3] and he made his maiden speech in the House of Lords on 21 July 2010.[4]

On 30 September 2010 he left the employment of the Labour Party, after more than twenty years service, though remained a Labour Party trustee until April 2011.[5] The next day, 1 October 2010, he was appointed as an Electoral Commissioner, on the nomination of the Labour Party. He was the first ever Labour Party member to serve as an Electoral Commissioner but decided to seek election to Lewisham Council in May 2014 rather than serve a second term on the Electoral Commission. He was replaced on the Electoral Commission by the former Minister and MP for Lewisham East Bridget Prentice.[6]

He has been an Opposition Whip and Front-bench Spokesperson in the Lords on Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice and DCLG matters since October 2011.[7]

Since joining the Lords, he has spoken up in support of Credit Unions on numerous occasions and is the Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions. He is a Director of London Mutual Credit Union which is one of the largest and most successful credit unions in the UK.[8]

He is also one of a group of 48 Labour MPs and Peers that are also members of the Cooperative Party Parliamentary Group. [9]

In early 2014 he was elected as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Voter Registration.

He was elected in May 2014 to Lewisham Council representing the ward of Crofton Park, which is in the Lewisham Deptford Parliamentary Constituency.[10]

Community work[edit]

Kennedy is a trustee of the United St Saviour's Charity which was founded in 1540 and funds a broad range of community initiatives and provides sheltered accommodation for retires in Southwark.[11] A governor of Morley College which is part of the Special Designated Institutes which includes City Lit, Ruskin College, WEA, and Northern College.[12] President of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists[13]which is a small specialist trade union and Vice President of the Southwark Chamber of Commerce.[14]

He is a trustee of the Ackroyd Community Centre which hosts a variety of services for the local community across Forest Hill, Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Kennedy is a supporter and season ticket holder at Millwall Football Club.

His wife is Alicia Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of Cradley, a former Deputy General Secretary of the Labour Party and now life peer on the Labour benches [16] She was also elected to Lewisham Council in May 2014 representing the ward of Brockley, which is also in the Lewisham Deptford Parliamentary Constituency.[17]