Simon Lightwood

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Simon Lightwood
Official portrait, 2022
Shadow Minister for Local Transport[a]
Assumed office
27 September 2022
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded bySam Tarry
Member of Parliament
for Wakefield
Assumed office
23 June 2022
Preceded byImran Ahmad Khan
Majority4,925 (17.9%)
Personal details
Born
Simon Robert Lightwood

(1980-12-15) 15 December 1980 (age 42)
South Shields, England
Political partyLabour and Co-operative[1][2]
Alma materBretton Hall College
Websitewww.simonlightwood.org.uk

Simon Robert Lightwood (born 15 December 1980)[3] is a British Labour Party politician serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Wakefield since the 2022 by-election, following the resignation of Conservative MP, Imran Ahmad Khan.[4][5] He has been Shadow Minister for Local Transport since 2022.[6] Lightwood is also notable for being the last Member of Parliament to swear his Oath of Allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, as his by-election was the last before her death three months later.

Early life and education[edit]

Lightwood was born in 1980 and grew up in poverty in South Shields.[7] After his family home was repossessed when he was aged 13, he was forced to live with his grandmother, away from his parents.[8] Lightwood has a degree in theatre acting from Bretton Hall College and bought his first house in Wakefield.[7]

Early career[edit]

Lightwood was a case worker for Mary Creagh, MP for the constituency from 2005 to 2019. He later worked for the National Health Service,[8][9] and has served on the Labour Party's National Policy Forum as a Yorkshire representative.[10] At the time of running for parliament, he was head of communications for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.[11]

Parliamentary career[edit]

On 3 May 2022, Imran Ahmad Khan resigned as MP for Wakefield after being convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy, thus forcing a by-election. On 12 May, Lightwood was announced as one of four Labour Party candidates for the longlist, alongside Community Union employee Kate Dearden; Sam Howarth, an employee of Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis and who had previously worked for Jenny Chapman; and Rachael Kenningham.[12]

Wakefield Constituency Labour Party (CLP) selected Dearden and Lightwood for the shortlist,[13] but the following day, the entire CLP executive committee (barring one externally appointed individual)[14] resigned in protest at the absence of any candidates on the list who lived in Wakefield.[12] In a statement, they said: "We asked for local candidates, but there are none. Three prominent council and local Labour candidates, including the deputy council leader didn't even make it onto the 'long list'. A short list of four was requested by our representative on the panel to give members some choice but the NEC members insisted on just two."[15]

Lightwood was selected on 15 May.[16] The local Labour committee walked out of the room, but The Guardian reported that "several officers appeared to be uneasy about the walkout".[17]

Lightwood was elected on 23 June 2022 with a 4,925 majority.[18] He made his maiden speech on 11 July 2022, paying tribute to some of his predecessors (Mary Creagh, David Hinchliffe and Walter Harrison) but declined to talk positively about his direct predecessor (Khan), instead celebrating victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence.[19]

He later became a patron of LGBT+ Labour.[20]

At the 2022 Labour Party Conference, Lightwood was appointed Shadow Minister for Buses and Taxis taking over from Sam Tarry.[21]

In 2023, he successfully lobbied the Government to ban far-right Danish politician Rasmus Paludan from entering the UK after he threatened to come to Wakefield to burn a Quran.[22]

Political views[edit]

In his maiden speech, Lightwood supported a windfall tax in response to the cost of living crisis.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Lightwood lives in Ossett within the Wakefield constituency with his husband, having pledged to move from his previous home in Calderdale to Wakefield following his election.[23][11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Shadow Minister for Buses and Taxis (2022–23)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "@simonlightwood" on Twitter
  2. ^ "Simon Lightwood". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  3. ^ "Simon Robert Lightwood". api.parliament.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  4. ^ "Wakefield by-election: Labour wins back Red Wall seat from Conservatives". Sky News. Retrieved 2022-06-24.
  5. ^ "Imran Ahmad Khan: MP resigns after being found guilty of sexually assaulting 15-year-old boy". Sky News. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Meet our Shadow Cabinet". The Labour Party. Retrieved 2023-09-09.
  7. ^ a b Parsons, Rob (2022-06-10). "Wakefield by-election candidate says his family home was repossessed". YorkshireLive. Retrieved 2022-06-24.
  8. ^ a b Adu, Aletha (2022-06-18). "Labour's Wakefield candidate Simon Lightwood insists he's not an 'outsider'". The Mirror. Retrieved 2022-06-24.
  9. ^ "Meet the Labour candidate who is competing to become Wakefield's next MP". www.yorkshirepost.co.uk. 19 May 2022. Retrieved 2022-06-24.
  10. ^ "Simon Lightwood / National Policy Forum / About Labour Policy Forum / Labour Policymaking". policyforum.labour.org.uk. Retrieved 2022-06-24.
  11. ^ a b "Head of communications at NHS Trust chosen as Labour candidate in Wakefield by-election". Halifax Courier. 20 May 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  12. ^ a b Chappell, Elliot (13 May 2022). "Exclusive: Wakefield local party executive resigns over selection process". LabourList. Archived from the original on 15 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  13. ^ Doherty, Caitlin (12 May 2022). "Labour shortlists trade unionist and NHS staff member as potential Wakefield by-election candidates". The Yorkshire Post. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  14. ^ Chappell, Elliot [@elliot_chappell] (May 15, 2022). ""Consequently, The Executive Committee (including all the Officers bar one externally appointed individual) is resigning in consequence, and it will be for the full Constituency General Management Committee to receive our resignations and take matters forward."" (Tweet). Retrieved 23 May 2022 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Bloom, Dan; Dickinson, Katie (13 May 2022). "Wakefield Labour group's entire committee resigns in by-election candidates row". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 13 May 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Wakefield Labour candidate chosen after committee walks out". BBC News. 15 May 2022. Archived from the original on 15 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  17. ^ Elgot, Jessica (15 May 2022). "Wakefield Labour chiefs walk out of final vote on byelection candidate". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  18. ^ Airey, Tom (24 June 2022). "Wakefield by-election result: Labour defeat Tories to retake seat". BBC News. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  19. ^ a b Lightwood, Simon (11 July 2022). "Energy (Oil and Gas) Profits Levy Bill". Hansard.
  20. ^ "Patrons". LGBT+ Labour. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  21. ^ "Sacked Labour MP Sam Tarry faces reselection battle before party conference". The Guardian. 2022-08-24. Retrieved 2022-09-29.
  22. ^ "Danish far-right leader banned from UK over threat to burn Quran in Wakefield". BBC News. 20 March 2023. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  23. ^ "STATEMENT OF PERSONS NOMINATED AND NOTICE OF POLL" (PDF). 25 May 2022. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Wakefield
2022–present
Incumbent