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Ian Lavery

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Preceded by  Denis Murphy
Political party  Labour
Party  Labour Party
Succeeded by  Nicky Wilson
Role  British Politician
Preceded by  Arthur Scargill
Name  Ian Lavery
Majority  7,031 (18.4%)
Children  Ian Liam

Ian Lavery idailymailcoukipix20130425article2314533
Born  6 January 1963 (age 53) Ashington, Northumberland, England (1963-01-06)

Ian lavery mp at resist austerity defend trade union rights

Ian Lavery (born 6 January 1963) is a British Labour Party politician & former trade union leader from Northumberland who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wansbeck since the 2010 general election. Born and raised Ashington, Lavery began work in the construction industry after leaving school before becoming a mining apprentice. Noted for being the sole apprentice to refuse to work during the miners' strike of 1984-1985, he gradually rose up the ranks of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and was chosen to succeed Arthur Scargill as NUM President in 2002.


Once elected to parliament in 2010, Lavery quickly established himself as a leading voice on the left-wing of the Labour Party, and has been a frequent critic of the policies espoused by members of the party's New Labour faction. He served for a time as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Deputy Leader Harriet Harman before resigning in protest of the party's position to raise the pension age. Lavery supported the candidacy of Jeremy Corbyn in both the 2015 and 2016 leadership elections, and was appointed by Corbyn to replace Tom Watson as Party Chair.

dark old days of blair gov t ian lavery going underground

Early life

Lavery has lived in Ashington in Northumberland for most of his life. After leaving old East School school, Lavery began a youth training scheme, before working in the construction industry. Following a recruitment campaign by the National Coal Board, he commenced work at Lynemouth Colliery in January 1980. In July 1980, Lavery started a mining craft apprenticeship, transferring to Ellington Colliery in 1981 and attended college, receiving an HNC in Mining.

Miners' strike 1984–85 and Presidency of the NUM

During the 1984–85 miners' strike Lavery was the only apprentice in the North East area who refused to go to work.

In 1986, Lavery was elected onto the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) committee at Ellington Colliery as Compensation Secretary. Later, he was voted on to the Northumberland Executive Committee, and then on to the North East Area Executive Committee. He has said that because of his union activity, he was barred by management from completing his HND qualification:

I was the only one in the whole of the North East Area who had completed the HNC who wasn't given that opportunity. I went to see the manager, not that I would have gone by the way, and he said that they didn't think I would be interested. I asked him if he had thought to ask me, and he said no, not really, and he was smiling as he said it.

Lavery became more active in the Labour Party and Trade Union movement. He rose through the ranks to become the first cabinet Chairman of the Wansbeck District Council. Following this appointment, Lavery would then be appointed General Secretary of the Northumberland area through the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). In 1992, Lavery stood for the National Executive Committee of the NUM. In the subsequent ballot, he was elected in the first round having gained more than 50% of the vote. When Arthur Scargill stepped down as NUM President in August 2002, Lavery was elected through the normal balloting procedures, although he stood unopposed. He was perceived by many in the NUM as "the natural successor to Arthur Scargill".

Member of Parliament

In February 2010 Lavery became the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party for Wansbeck and was duly elected Member of Parliament (MP) on 6 May 2010 with a reduced majority of 7,031.

On 8 May 2015, Lavery was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Wansbeck with 19,276 votes. Despite his party suffering nationally, Lavery's majority increased to 10,881 (28.2%) from 7,031 in 2010. Chris Galley of the Conservative Party came a distant second with 8,336 votes.

Lavery has been critical of New Labour figures, particularly those who have enjoyed lucrative work in the private sector, who prominently voice resistance to any attempt by the Labour Party to shift away from Blairite policies. Lavery has spoken in the commons on matters such as local regeneration, employment, energy, climate change, poverty, internationalism and sport. Lavery also chairs the trade union group.

Lavery attempted to bring forward a Ten Minute Rule bill on the Government's introduction of the Bedroom Tax. The Bill passed its first reading with a vote of 226 to 1, with Conservative Party whips reportedly instructing their MPs not to vote. The bill failed to pass in its second reading, with a vote of 253 in favour, and 304 against.

From 2010–11 Lavery was part of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, and since 2010 has been a member of the Regulatory Reform Committee. Lavery was also a member of Draft Deregulation Bill Committee during 2013, and a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee since 2010.

In 2011 during Prime Minister's Question Time Lavery asked Cameron whether he intended to sack health policy advisor Mark Britnell. Britnell, then head of health at KPMG and previously an advisor to Labour on private healthcare had predicted a ‘big opportunity’ for private companies with the NHS being eventually relegated to the role of an insurance provider. Cameron affected surprise claiming to have only recently heard of Britnell.

He was appointed as PPS to Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman, but was forced to resign in 2012 after going against the party whip to increase the pension age.

He was one of 16 signatories of an open letter to Ed Miliband in January 2015 calling on the party to commit to oppose further austerity, take rail franchises back into public ownership and strengthen collective bargaining arrangements.

During Prime Minister's Questions on 19 March 2015 Lavery invited the Prime Minister to apologise to the North East after cutting thousands of public sector jobs and adding to the highest unemployment levels in the UK. The Prime Minister replied that in the Wansbeck constituency unemployment benefit count had fallen 28% and the youth claimant count had fallen by 32% during the last Parliament. In a blog to the trade unions, following the July budget, Lavery described the Coalition government as "sanctioning claimants for the most minor technicalities ... controlling the employment statistics."

Lavery has urged people to donate to food banks especially during school holidays when children from poor families are not receiving free school meals.

In September 2015, Lavery became shadow minister for trade unions and civil society after Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party..


Lavery was arrested on numerous occasions during the miners' strike and in 1985 was also convicted of a charge of football hooliganism. Lavery accused the police of fabricating the hooliganism charges due to his trade union activity, saying in 2005 "In court they told lie after lie, and I was fined . . . That is why I have absolutely no respect for the police."

In 2014, Lavery posed for a photograph with his son who had blackened his face to look like Michael Jackson. According to the Daily Mail, the photograph caused an outcry among some of Lavery's constituents who said they found it offensive.

Personal life

Lavery married his wife Hilary in 1986, they have two sons, Ian and Liam. Liam is a town councillor for the college ward of Ashington.

Lavery is a trustee of: CISWO in the North East area, Northumberland Aged Mineworkers' Homes Association and Woodhorn Colliery Museum; he is a patron of Headway for South East Northumberland and Wansbeck Disability Forum. He is chair of Ashington Community Football Club and the Hirst Welfare Centre and chairman and trustee of Pitman Painters.


Ian Lavery Wikipedia