Steve Reed (politician)

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Steve Reed

Official portrait of Mr Steve Reed crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Croydon North
Assumed office
29 November 2012
Preceded byMalcolm Wicks
Majority32,365 (54.3%)[1]
Lambeth Council Leader
In office
4 May 2006 – 29 November 2012
DeputyJackie Meldrum
Preceded byPeter Truesdale
Succeeded byLib Peck
Labour Group Leader on Lambeth Council
In office
September 2002 – 29 November 2012
Preceded byTom Franklin
Succeeded byLib Peck
Lambeth Borough Councillor
for Brixton Hill Ward
In office
7 May 1998 – 29 November 2012
Succeeded byMartin Tiedemann
Personal details
Steven Mark Ward Reed

(1963-11-12) 12 November 1963 (age 55)
St Albans, Hertfordshire, England
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield

Steven Mark Ward Reed OBE (born 12 November 1963) is a British Labour and Co-operative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Croydon North since 2012. He was previously the Leader of Lambeth Council from 2006 to 2012.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Reed was born and raised in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and his family worked at Odhams printing factory in Watford until it closed down in 1983.[4][5] Around this time, he joined the Labour Party before going on to study English at Sheffield University.[5] He worked in the educational publishing industry from 1990 to 2008.[5]

In March 2008 he narrowly lost out to Chuka Umunna for selection as Labour's 2010 election candidate for the Streatham constituency.

Lambeth Council[edit]

Reed first stood for the Lambeth London Borough Council in the 1998 election and won the Town Hall ward (now Brixton Hill). In 2002 Labour lost control of Lambeth council to a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, and in response, Reed was elected leader of the opposition.

After Labour won back control of Lambeth Council in 2006, Reed was appointed the council's leader. During his tenure, Lambeth went from being rated London's worst-run borough, with a one-star rating in the Audit Commission's annual inspection in 2006, to having a three-star rating in 2009.[6][7] At the 2010 election, Labour gained seats from the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, making it the first time that Labour had been re-elected to lead in Lambeth for twenty years.

Reed held a number of significant positions in local government. He was:

  • Deputy Leader of Local Government Labour, an association representing Labour councillors nationally;[8]
  • Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Association;[9]
  • London Councils board member for Children's Services and Employment;[10]
  • Chairman of Central London Forward, a lobbying group representing five inner-London boroughs;[11]
  • A board member representing London’s boroughs on the London Enterprise Partnership;[12]
  • Co-Chair of the Vauxhall-Nine Elms-Battersea regeneration board;[13]
  • Chairman of the London Young People’s Education and Skills Board;[14]
  • Served as a member of the London Board of the Homes and Communities Agency between 2009–11.[15]

In May 2010, Reed launched a consultation on plans to turn Lambeth into the country’s first co-operative council[16][17] intending to deliver better services more cost-effectively by giving more control to communities and service users, reported in The Guardian newspaper as a possible new model for Labour in local government.[18] The final report of Lambeth Council's Cooperative Council Commission[19] laid out the plans for achieving this objective and Lambeth Council is now putting a transformation plan into effect.

Reed was reported to the Standards Board by a Conservative councillor after he disclosed that she was barred from voting on financial matters because of her refusal to pay council tax on one of her properties for several years.[20] This information was legally disclosable and no sanction was imposed.[21]

Reed was named one of the three most influential council leaders in the country by the Local Government Chronicle in 2011[22] and was the highest-ranked Labour politician in the 2010 Pink List compiled by The Independent on Sunday.[23]

Reed was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to local government.[24]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Reed's first attempt to enter Parliament was in Lambeth, contesting the Labour nomination for the Streatham Constituency in 2008, on the retirement of Keith Hill. In March of that year, Reed was beaten to the nomination by Chuka Umunna. On 3 November 2012, Reed narrowly defeated former Croydon Council leader Val Shawcross by only three votes,[25] to become the Labour candidate for the historically safe Labour seat of Croydon North, following a selection meeting of the local Croydon North Constituency Labour Party.[26] The by-election followed on from the death of the former MP for Croydon North Malcolm Wicks and was won by Reed on 29 November 2012.

In October 2013 Reed was appointed a Shadow Home Office Minister by Labour Leader Ed Miliband.[27]

In the 2015 general election, Reed again stood for the Croydon North constituency. He was elected as MP with 33,513 votes (a 62.5% share, up 6.6% from the previous General Election in 2010) and a majority of 21,364 (39.9%) with a 62.3% turnout.[1]

On 27 June 2016, Reed resigned as Shadow Minister for Local Government as part of the mass resignation of the Labour Shadow Cabinet against Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour party.[28][29] He supported Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[30]

In June 2018 Reed attempted to get a bill through parliament to make hospitals reveal details about how and when they use physical force against patients. Hospital staff would also under the bill get training about the possibility of unconscious bias against minority groups like young black men with mental health problems. Reed notes the death of his constituent, Olaseni Lewis, who died aged 23 during use of restraint at Bethlem hospital.[31] A filibuster by Philip Davies prevented the bill succeeding.[32] Reed's bill was passed on 6 July 2018; it requires that police attending mental hospitals to apply restraints to wear body cameras.[33]

Reed noted flammable cladding involved in the Grenfell Tower fire. Reed stated, “You (James Brokenshire) have not yet gone far enough to guarantee public safety. We urge you to reconsider and extend the scope of the ban on flammable cladding so everyone in our country can be reassured the buildings they use are safe from fire.”[34]


  1. ^ a b "Croydon North parliamentary constituency – Election 2015". BBC News. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Committee details". Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Steve Reed selected as Labour's candidate in Croydon North". LabourList. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c GarethD2011 (26 November 2012). "Steve Reed: A favourite in Croydon North but not in Lambeth? | Croydon Advertiser". Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  6. ^ Lambeth is London's worst-run borough, by Ross Lydall, Evening Standard, 22 February 2007
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Local Government Association". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Site is Down".
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 September 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Lambeth Council plans to be a cooperative". BBC News. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  17. ^ O'Hara, Mary (30 July 2008). "Council moves to tackle violent crime". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  18. ^ Stratton, Allegra (17 February 2010). "John Lewis Council". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 December 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Lambeth Council leader Steve Reed to face misconduct hearing". 8 September 2010.
  21. ^ "Decision - Complaint 02/09-10: Councillor Steve Reed | Lambeth Council". 10 March 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  22. ^ Local Government Chronicle 'LGC 50' 2011:
  23. ^ "The IoS Pink List 2010". The Independent. London. 1 August 2010.
  24. ^ "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 12.
  25. ^ "Steve Reed wins Labour selection for Croydon North". Brixton Blog. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  26. ^ "Steve Reed selected as Labour candidate for Croydon North by-election". Croydon Advertiser. London. 3 November 2012. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013.
  27. ^ "Confirmed: Labour's new frontbench team in full - LabourList". 8 October 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  28. ^ Steve Reed [@SteveReedMP] (27 June 2016). "I have resigned as Shadow Minister for Local Government. Here is my letter of resignation" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  29. ^ "Labour shadow cabinet and ministers resignations - the letters in full". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  30. ^ Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Mirror. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  31. ^ Steve launches Seni’s Law to protect mental health patients
  32. ^ Conservative MP blocks new law to control use of force in mental health units by speaking for almost three hours
  33. ^ MPs pass mental health restraint bill after filibuster fears The Guardian
  34. ^ Government to review safety advice amid new high-rise cladding fears The Guardian

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Malcolm Wicks
Member of Parliament
for Croydon North