The Lord McAvoy
|Opposition Chief Whip of the House of Lords|
|Assumed office |
25 January 2018
|Preceded by||The Lord Bassam of Brighton|
|Opposition Deputy Chief Whip in House of Lords|
27 May 2015 – 24 January 2018
Serving with Denis Tunnicliffe
|Preceded by||The Baroness Smith of Basildon|
|Treasurer of the Household |
Deputy Chief Whip
5 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
|Prime Minister||Gordon Brown|
|Preceded by||Nick Brown|
|Succeeded by||John Randall|
|Comptroller of the Household|
2 May 1997 – 5 October 2008
|Prime Minister||Tony Blair |
|Preceded by||Timothy Wood|
|Succeeded by||John Spellar|
|Member of Parliament |
for Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Glasgow Rutherglen (1987–2005)
12 June 1987 – 12 April 2010
|Preceded by||James Gregor Mackenzie|
|Succeeded by||Tom Greatrex|
|Born||14 December 1943|
|Political party||Labour Co-operative|
He held several positions in the Commons Government Whips Office, including Comptroller of the Household (Government Pairing Whip) from 1997 to 2008, then Treasurer of the Household (Government Deputy Chief Whip) from 2008 to 2010.
He entered the Lords after retiring as an MP shortly after the 2010 General Election, where he served as an Opposition Spokesperson for Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as a Senior Whip.
Early life and career
Tommy McAvoy was born in Rutherglen on 14 December 1943. McAvoy worked as a storeman at the Hoover factory in Cambuslang, and was a shop steward for the Amalgamated Engineering Union; following the succession of trade union mergers, he is now a member of Unite the Union (Amicus Section).
McAvoy and his wife Eleanor have four sons.
In 1982, McAvoy was elected to Strathclyde Regional Council, and served until being elected to Parliament in 1987 as the Scottish Labour and Co-operative Member for Glasgow Rutherglen. From 2005 to 2010, he sat as the member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West.
He was an opposition whip from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1996 to 1997.
When the Labour Party came into government in 1997, McAvoy was appointed as Comptroller of HM Household, the third highest position in the Government Whips' office. He retained the same job until 2008, becoming one of the longest serving Comptrollers in history. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2003. In October 2008, he was promoted to Treasurer of the Household and Deputy Chief Whip.
McAvoy has achieved the rare feat among whips of remaining popular with Labour MPs. An early day motion in July 2006 noted "the difficult task he has of securing government business whilst accommodating the parliamentary, political and personal requirements of 352 Labour colleagues" and congratulated him for "the respect he has earned from all sides of the House for his ability to perform these duties"; it was signed by 135 MPs.
On 20 February 2010, McAvoy announced that he would stand down at the next general election. The seat was retained by Labour with the election of Tom Greatrex. On 22 June 2010, McAvoy was created a life peer as Baron McAvoy, of Rutherglen in Lanarkshire, and was introduced in the House of Lords that day.
He remains to this day the longest serving Government Whip in the history of parliament with 13 years and 10 days service in the Government Whips Office. According to The Guardian: "...[his] personal crusades have been for peace in Northern Ireland and against abortion" (Andrew Roth, The Guardian).
Since his introduction to the Lords, he served as a Senior Whip. in 2012 he took on the role of Opposition Spokesman for Scotland and Northern Ireland. In May 2015, after the election of Angela Smith as Leader of the Opposition in the Lords, he took over as Opposition Deputy Chief Whip in House of Lords, serving with Denis Tunnicliffe.
On Wednesday 24 January 2018, he was elected Labour Chief Whip in the House of Lords and therefore Opposition Chief Whip, taking over from Lord Bassam.
- "Former whip Tommy McAvoy takes seat in House of Lords". BBC News. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- South Lanarkshire Council leader Eddie McAvoy to stand down at next election (Daily Record, 2016)
- Early Day Motion – EDM 2597
- "Longest-serving whip Tommy McAvoy MP to retire". BBC News Online. 20 February 2010.
- "No. 59470". The London Gazette. 25 June 2010. p. 12025.
- Today in the Lords
- Official Website
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Tommy McAvoy
- Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Tommy McAvoy MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com – Tommy McAvoy MP
- BBC News Profile
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Glasgow Rutherglen
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for Rutherglen and Hamilton West
| Comptroller of the Household
| Treasurer of the Household
|Party political offices|
| Labour Chief Whip of the House of Lords