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Liam Byrne

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Covid-19
Leader  Ed Miliband
Preceded by  Tessa Jowell
Party  Labour Party
Leader  Ed Miliband
Spouse  Sarah Byrne
Succeeded by  Rachel Reeves
Name  Liam Byrne
Preceded by  Douglas Alexander
Succeeded by  Tessa Jowell

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Role  Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Office  Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom since 2004
Children  John Byrne, Lizzie Byrne, Alex Byrne
Education  University of Manchester, Harvard Business School
Similar People  David Laws, Shabana Mahmood, Jack Dromey, Tessa Jowell, Ed Balls
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Liam Dominic Byrne (born 2 October 1970) is a British Labour Party politician who has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Hodge Hill since 2004.

Contents

Liam Byrne BBC News Treasury chief39s note to successor There39s no

He served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Gordon Brown's Government and is known for leaving a note for his Conservative successor upon his departure saying "I'm afraid there is no money."

Liam Byrne ExTreasury secretary Liam Byrne39s note to his successor

Liam byrne no money left note was a mistake


Early life

Liam Byrne Cabinet Minister tells civil servants when to bring coffee

Byrne was born in Warrington and was educated at Burnt Mill School in Harlow. He completed his A levels at The Hertfordshire and Essex High School in Bishop's Stortford. He then went on to study at the University of Manchester, where he obtained a first-class honours degree in Politics and Modern History, and was elected Communications Officer of the University of Manchester Students' Union. He also holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Liam Byrne AELP National Conference 2014

Before being elected to Parliament, he worked for the multinational consulting firm Accenture and merchant bankers N M Rothschild & Sons, before co-founding a venture-backed technology company, e-Government Solutions Group, in 2000. Between 1996 and 1997 he advised the Labour Party on the re-organisation of its Millbank headquarters, and helped lead Labour's business campaign under the 'New Labour' marque.

Parliamentary career

Liam Byrne Authoritarianism and freemarket orthodoxy in Liam Byrne39s

He was selected to contest the Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election following the resignation of the veteran Labour MP Terry Davis to become the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. After a very close contest, on 15 July 2004, the same day as Labour lost Leicester South in another by-election, Byrne held on with a majority of just 460. He made his maiden speech on 22 July 2004.

Following his re-election with an increased majority on 5 May 2005, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health, an unusually fast promotion to ministerial rank. He was re-elected at the May 2010 general election.

Byrne was shortlisted for the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award in 2015 for his work on raising money for various charities that he supports, and he remains in the directory of the Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who publication.

All-Party Parliamentary Groups

Byrne is the chair of two APPGs: the APPG on Inclusive Growth and the APPG on Children of Alcoholics. The APPG on Inclusive Growth was formed in July 2014 with the aim of finding a new consensus on inclusive growth to ensure the benefits of growth are enjoyed by all sectors of society.

The APPG on Children of Alcoholics, has produced a manifesto in support of the estimated 2.5 million children of alcoholics who live in the UK. Byrne himself was one of these children and set up the APPG after speaking publicly about his father's condition in 2015.

Home Office

Following the 2006 local elections he was promoted to Minister of State for policing, security and community safety at the Home Office, replacing Hazel Blears, one of the highest-profile roles in the government outside the cabinet. However, just a fortnight later Home Secretary John Reid moved him to the immigration role, switching portfolios with Tony McNulty. McNulty had been connected with the foreign prisoners scandal that caused Tony Blair to sack Charles Clarke in May 2006. Byrne's move was seen as an attempt by Reid to establish an entirely new team to sort out the immigration system. During this period he was also Minister for the West Midlands. Gordon Brown named him Minister for the Cabinet Office in October 2008, replacing the promoted Ed Miliband, and Byrne was appointed to the Privy Council as a result.

Immigration/taxi driver controversy

In November 2006 Byrne was responsible for a change to Immigration Rules preventing migrants who had entered under Britain's Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) having their permission to remain in Britain extended, unless they could show both that they had been earning at least £32,000 pa while in Britain and also that they had a good knowledge of English. This change was controversial because it applied retrospectively to immigrants who had entered Britain under the old rules, meaning the British Government had "moved the goalposts"–a degree became effectively an essential requirement, regardless of the skills or economic contribution that an individual could demonstrate. In their report into the changes, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights said that "The changes to the Rules are so clearly incompatible with Article 8, and so contrary to basic notions of fairness, that the case for immediately revisiting the changes to the Rules in Parliament is in our view overwhelming." Appeal cases have been won on appeal on the grounds that applicants had a legitimate expectation that the rules would not change to their detriment. A judicial review has been successfully brought against the government, with their actions when applying the new HSMP rules to those HSMP holders already in Britain as at 7 November 2006 being ruled as unlawful.

Byrne is in favour of legislation for a Migration Act similar to the 1958 immigration law in Australia which is administered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

In 2007 Byrne was criticised by London's cab drivers for his remarks that they were "low-skilled". This ignored the fact that the cabbies study the details of London's streets for an average of between three and four years before becoming licensed.

"British Day"

In June 2008, Byrne suggested the "August bank holiday" to be made a weekend of national celebration (the so-called "British Day") in a speech to a New Labour think tank. However, Scotland's August bank holiday is held on a different date from that in Wales and England. He later retracted this - after pressure from the Scottish National Party - saying he was merely trying to "get the debate started".

Since this suggestion, the concept of a British national holiday was raised again by the coalition government, with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties suggesting the May Day bank holiday may be moved to October and renamed "UK Day" or associated with the existing Trafalgar Day.

Cabinet Office

In a cabinet reshuffle on 3 October 2008 he was promoted, becoming Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Leaked staffing requirements memo

In November 2008 an 11-page memo written by Byrne entitled "Working With Liam Byrne" was leaked to the press. In the memo, Byrne listed his demands from his staff, memorably including his requirement for a cappuccino on his arrival in the office, an espresso at 3 pm, and soup between 12:30 pm and 1 pm. Byrne also instructed officials to tell him "not what you think I should know, but you expect I will get asked." He warns staff that they should "Never put anything to me unless you understand it and can explain it to me in 60 seconds... If I see things that are not of acceptable quality, I will blame you." Conservative MP Philip Davies commented that "This is not a briefing note for civil servants, it’s a briefing note for slaves." Although The Guardian described Liam Byrne as an "eager diva", a spokesman for Byrne commented that the memo had been written in 2006, and that "He is a highly efficient Minister but has become more flexible since then. Some days, he has his soup at 1:30 pm."

Departure from the Treasury

On leaving his position as Chief Secretary to the Treasury following the change of British government in May 2010, Byrne left a note to his successor David Laws saying "Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam." Byrne later claimed that it was just typical humour between politicians, but regretted it since the new government used it to justify the wave of cuts that were introduced. The note echoed Chancellor Reginald Maudling's "Good luck, old cock ... Sorry to leave it in such a mess." after the Conservatives' defeat at the 1964 election.

The note was frequently referenced by the following coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to criticise the financial record of the previous Labour government, and used as a visual prop by David Cameron in the Question Time debate preceding the following 2015 election. Byrne stated he has "burnt with shame" since 2010 over the note which had harmed the 2015 election campaign.

Road safety

Byrne has been a vocal campaigner for road safety and handed in a petition in to Parliament in 2005 demanding tougher punishments for dangerous drivers. He sat on the parliamentary committee that shaped the 2006 Road Safety Act, which increased fixed penalty fines for driving while using a mobile. In November 2007, Byrne was fined £100 and received three points on his driving licence for using his mobile phone while driving.

References

Liam Byrne Wikipedia


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