Stephen Doughty

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This article is about the UK Member of Parliament. For the cricketer, see Stephen Doughty (cricketer).
Stephen Doughty
MP
Member of Parliament
for Cardiff South and Penarth
Assumed office
15 November 2012
Preceded by Alun Michael
Personal details
Born (1980-04-15) 15 April 1980 (age 36)
Cardiff, Wales
Nationality British
Political party Labour Co-operative
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Oxford
University of St Andrews
Religion Christian[1]
Website stephendoughty.org.uk

Stephen John Doughty[2] (born 15 April 1980)[3] is a British Labour and Co-operative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Cardiff South and Penarth since a 2012 by-election that resulted from previous MP Alun Michael standing down to contest the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.[4] He was previously a Shadow Foreign Office Minister but resigned live on television on 6 January 2016.[5]

Early life[edit]

Doughty was born in Cardiff before his family moved to the Vale of Glamorgan. After attending Llantwit Major Comprehensive School, he studied at Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Canada[6][7] (when he served as a member of British Columbia Youth Parliament), at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University (from which he graduated with a upper second-class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics),[8] and at the University of St Andrews.[9]

Early career[edit]

After time spent working in Denmark, Doughty returned to the UK, where he became an advisor to Labour MP Douglas Alexander.[10] He then worked in various roles for Oxfam International, before becoming the head of Oxfam Cymru in 2011.[11]

From 2004 to 2009 Doughty was a trustee of the British section of United World Colleges.[3]

In March 2010, prior to the May 2010 General Election, the BBC's political correspondent David Cornock reported [12] that Doughty was one of the candidates on Labour's shortlist for the Pontypridd parliamentary constituency. The other candidates on the short-list were Jayne Brencher, Delyth Evans, Bethan Roberts, and Owen Smith—who was selected and who subsequently retained the seat for Labour at the general election.

Doughty and his father had been long-time family friends of Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Alun Michael. Michael said "Stephen Doughty’s father and I first met 40 years ago when I was a youth worker and he was involved with an Army youth group. I have known Stephen since he was a baby".[13] When Alun Michael announced his decision to step down as Cardiff South and Penarth MP in order to stand for election as South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, the Western Mail reported on 13 July 2012 that Michael had been "interfering inappropriately" in Labour's selection process for his putative successor in the constituency in order to ensure his preferred candidate (Stephen Doughty) was included on the shortlist. Michael subsequently admitted that he had indeed spoken personally to Labour leader Ed Miliband, to the party’s general secretary Iain McNicol and to members of the National Executive Committee, with the purpose of "preventing a stitch-up" and "stopping a candidate from outside being imposed on the local party".[13] After Michael's intervention Doughty's name was included in the final short list along with four other candidates, Kate Groucutt, Karen Wilkie, Nick Thomas-Symonds and Jeremy Miles. Doughty was selected in a vote by constituency Labour Party members on 14 July 2012.[14]

Parliamentary career[edit]

In the parliamentary by-election on 15 November 2012, Doughty was voted in as the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth. He took the seat with a majority of 5,334, taking 47.3% of the vote.[4] This enhanced Labour's majority in the area, which previously stood at 4,709.[15]

Doughty made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 28 November 2012.[16]

In January 2013, Doughty was appointed to the Labour Shadow Treasury team as an aide to Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.[17]

In the reshuffle following the 2015 General Election, Doughty joined the Business, Innovation and Skills team as Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry.[18]

In October 2015, he was moved to a position as a Shadow Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for Africa, South Asia and International Organisations, under Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn.[5]

In December 2015 Stephen Doughty made the decision to support air strikes against Syria, a decision for which he was criticized by many of his constituents and political activists via social media. Mr Doughty called the police to deal with the 'personal threats' he had received.[19]

Resignation[edit]

In January 2016, Doughty announced that he had resigned as a shadow Foreign Minister on the live Daily Politics programme, saying that he supported the sacked Pat McFadden's views on terrorism and accusing members of the Labour leadership team of lying about the reasons for McFadden's sacking.[20] According to McFadden he was sacked for comments in the debate on the Paris bombings which condemned "the view that sees terrorist acts as always being a response or a reaction to what we in the west do".[21]

Doughty's appearance on the Daily Politics became contentious after it emerged that Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, had arranged for Doughty to make his public announcement on the programme just before Prime Minister's Questions. According to Labour's spokesman, it was an "unacceptable breach of the BBC's role and statutory obligations. By the BBC's own account, BBC journalists and presenters proposed and secured the resignation of a shadow minister on air ... apparently to ensure maximum news and political impact."[22] The Labour Party's Director of Communications Seumas Milne made a formal complaint to the BBC.[23] "Neither the programme production team, nor Laura, played any part in his decision to resign", Robbie Gibb, the BBC head of live political programmes wrote to Milne. "As you know it is a long standing tradition that political programmes on the BBC, along with all other news outlets, seek to break stories. It is true that we seek to make maximum impact with our journalism which is entirely consistent with the BBC’s editorial guidelines and values."[23][24] Doughty said on Twitter that he had resigned "shortly before I did the interview so there was not time for spin doctors to start smearing me".[23]

Personal life[edit]

Doughty lives in the Splott area of Cardiff. He has been a Cub and Scout leader since 2004, and is a Cardiff City season ticket holder.[25] Whilst studying at Oxford, he was a founder member of the singing group Out of the Blue.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Endorsements for Christians on the Left". Christians on the Left. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Acting Returning Officer (16 November 2012). "Declaration of Result of Poll" (PDF). Cardiff Council. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "U.W.C. Great Britain Limited". Dellam Corporate Information. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Labour victory in Cardiff South and Penarth by-election". BBC. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Appointment of Stephen Doughty MP as Shadow Foreign Office Minister". press.labour.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Stephen Doughty, Pearson College alumnus elected MP in Wales". UWC Pearson College. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Stephen Doughty (1 March 2013). "Optimistic, interventionist Labour government". Progress Online. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  8. ^ Oxford University Registry
  9. ^ "About Stephen". Stephen Doughty. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Withers, Matt (19 June 2012). "Lobbyist says Labour's candidate for by-election must be a woman". Wales Online. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Penarth by-election: Labour, Communist, Socialist Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates". Penarth Times. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "David Cornock". Twitter. 
  13. ^ a b Martin Shipton (13 July 2012). "Alun Michael at the centre of selection row over next Cardiff South MP". walesonline. 
  14. ^ "Oxfam boss Stephen Doughty is Labour by-election candidate". BBC. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Stephen Doughty: Vote a 'resounding rejection' of coalition". ITV. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Cornock, David (28 November 2012). "Stephen Doughty makes his maiden speech in Commons". BBC. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Penarth MP Stephen Doughty appointed to Labour's shadow Treasury team". Penarth Times. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Stephen Doughty MP – Cardiff South and Penarth / Dde Caerdydd a Phenarth Stephen promoted in Labour reshuffle: 'Honoured to be new Shadow Trade and Industry Minister'". 
  19. ^ David Deans (4 December 2015). "Cardiff MP Stephen Doughty believed to have made police complaint over 'personal threats' after Syria vote". walesonline. 
  20. ^ "MP quits Labour team over leader's office 'lies'". BBC. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  21. ^ Watt, Nicholas (6 January 2016). "McFadden's supporters describe removal as vindictive". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  22. ^ "Labour files official complaint about BBC 'orchestrating' Doughty resignation". The Herald. Glasgow. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  23. ^ a b c Watt, Nicholas; Sweney, Mark (8 January 2016). "BBC justifies decision to allow Stephen Doughty to resign live on Daily Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  24. ^ Waugh, Paul (8 January 2016). "Labour Party Formally Complains To BBC Over Stephen Doughty's Live On-Air Resignation In Jeremy Corbyn's Reshuffle; BBC Rejects 'Orchestrated' Charge". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  25. ^ Best, Jessica (13 November 2012). "Cardiff South and Penarth by-election: The candidates". Wales Online. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alun Michael
Member of Parliament for Cardiff South and Penarth
2012present
Incumbent