Andrew Gwynne


Andrew John Gwynne (born 4 June 1974) is a British politician. A member of the Labour Party, he has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Denton and Reddish in Greater Manchester since 2005, when he replaced the retiring Andrew Bennett.

Andrew Gwynne

Official portrait, 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
In office
14 June 2017  6 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byRoberta Blackman-Woods
Succeeded bySteve Reed
Labour Party Co-National Campaign Coordinator
In office
10 February 2017  5 April 2020
Serving with Ian Lavery
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byJon Trickett
Succeeded byAngela Rayner
Shadow Minister without Portfolio
In office
7 October 2016  14 June 2017
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byJon Ashworth
Succeeded byIan Lavery
Member of Parliament
for Denton and Reddish
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byAndrew Bennett
Majority6,175 (16.0%)
Member of Tameside Council
for Denton West
In office
2 May 1996  1 May 2008
Preceded byStephen Poole
Succeeded byDawson Lane
Personal details
Born
Andrew John Gwynne

(1974-06-04) 4 June 1974 (age 47)
Manchester, England, UK
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)
Allison Dennis
(m. 2003)
Children3
Alma materTameside College
Wrexham Glyndŵr University
University of Salford
Websiteandrewgwynne.co.uk

Gwynne was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister without Portfolio by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in October 2016. Following the 2017 general election, he was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with John Healey serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Housing with responsibility for housing in England.

Gwynne served as the Labour Party Co-National Campaign Coordinator alongside Ian Lavery from 2017 to 2020. He is a member of the Unite Trade Union, the Co-operative Party and the Christians on the Left.

Early life


Born and brought up in Manchester, Gwynne was educated at Egerton Park Community High School (now called Denton Community College) in Denton, Tameside College of Technology in Ashton-under-Lyne, North East Wales Institute of Higher Education in Wrexham from 1992 to 1995 and the University of Salford from 1995 to 1998, earning a BA in Politics and Contemporary History.[1]

Early political career


At the age of 21 Gwynne became England's youngest councillor, when on 2 May 1996 he was elected to Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, representing the Denton West Ward for the Labour Party. He was re-elected in 2000 and 2004, when he topped the poll in an "all out" election resulting from boundary changes in the borough. From 1998 to 2001 he chaired the Denton and Audenshaw District Assembly, and during 2003–04 he chaired the Resources and Community Services Scrutiny Panel.

Parliamentary career


On 5 May 2005, at the age of 30, Gwynne became the youngest Labour MP in the 2005 Parliament.

Government and frontbench posts

He was appointed to the House of Commons Procedure Committee in June 2005 and, despite having only been elected six months earlier, on 10 November 2005, Gwynne was promoted to become a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to The Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, as Minister of State for Criminal Justice and Offender Management at the Home Office. Between July 2007 and June 2009, he served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP. During this period he was also elected chair of Labour Friends of Israel, and led delegations of British MPs to Israel and the Palestinian territories.[2] In June 2009, he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, then Ed Balls.

In October 2010 Gwynne became a Shadow Transport Minister with responsibility for passenger transport. In the Opposition front bench reshuffle of October 2011 he was appointed to the Shadow Health team by Ed Miliband. He was reappointed in September 2015, following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader.[3]

Gwynne is involved in the campaign for justice for the victims and families of the tainted blood scandal, reaffirming his commitment to the cause on World AIDS Day 2016.[4] He said in 2016: "This scandal saw thousands of people die, and thousands of families destroyed through the negligence of public bodies".[5][better source needed]

Campaign activity

Gwynne took a leading role in organising Labour in the Oldham West and Royton by-election, occasioned by the death of long-serving MP and former junior minister Michael Meacher, in 2015.[6][7] Gwynne said he hoped that "I can do the memory of Michael Meacher proud by helping to return a Labour MP for the seat".[8] The Labour candidate Jim McMahon held the seat with a 10,000-plus majority and increased the party's share of the vote.

Andy Burnham chose Gwynne to run Burnham's mayoral campaign in Greater Manchester. After supporting Burnham's successful attempt to be selected as Labour's candidate over the favourite, Tony Lloyd, Gwynne remained as lead on Burnham's campaign in 2017.

Gwynne was asked to run Andy Burnham’s re-election campaign as Mayor in 2021.[9] The campaign focussed on transport improvements, clean air and housing. The campaign saw Andy Burnham increase his vote share and successfully win every ward in Greater Manchester.

He is a member and former Chair of Labour Friends of Israel.[10] In 2018 Gwynne was named as a member of a Facebook group where individuals had shared anti-Semitic material. When a reporter confronted him about the group he stated that he had been added to it without his permission.[11]

Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act

In 2010 Gwynne introduced the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act to restrict the activities of "vulture funds". Vulture funds buy the debts of poor countries, usually at a significant discount, and wait until the government has received relief from foreign creditors. As debtor countries have usually long defaulted on the loans, the vultures sue for the full debt – plus costs and interest – in courts around the world. This legislation prevents vulture funds from making exorbitant profits out of debt restructuring of heavily indebted poor countries, limiting how much vulture funds can sue for in UK courts to the amount they would have got if they had taken part in debt relief. The UK government has estimated that the Act will help to save 145 million pounds over six years.[12] Similar legislation has now been passed in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

In 2016 Gwynne was invited to give a keynote speech on ways to tackle vulture funds and the damage they cause to developing nations at the 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva.[13]

Appointment to Shadow Cabinet

Gwynne was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2016, working in the opposition Cabinet Office team and becoming the spokesperson for the Shadow Cabinet in media appearances. In November 2016 he took a key role in helping to reform the proposed constituency boundaries in the Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill drawn up by MP Pat Glass, and presented the Disability Equality Training (Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers) Bill, which sought to provide support to disabled users of taxi services. The Bill received cross party support, but due to a filibuster by two Conservative MPs, Sheryll Murray and Tom Pursglove, it was not voted on.[14]

In 2017 Gwynne was appointed to lead Labour's campaign for the Copeland by-election following the resignation of Jamie Reed.[15] Gwynne focused the campaign on Conservatives plans to cut services at West Cumberland Hospital and to move some hospital facilities, including maternity services, to Carlisle, 80 miles away.[16]

In February 2017 Gwynne was appointed as the Labour Party’s Co-National Campaign Coordinator while retaining some of his Cabinet Office duties and his role as a spokesperson. He shared this post with Ian Lavery.[17]

During the 2017 general election campaign Gwynne clashed with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Sky News, calling Johnson a "pillock" in a debate over Brexit policy.[18][19]

He was re-elected in 2015 with a majority of 10,511. He was again re-elected in 2017 with an increased majority of 14,077, representing a 12.7% increase since the 2015 general election (63.5% share of the vote).[20] Following the 2017 general election, Gwynne retained his role as the Labour Party’s Co-National Campaign Coordinator, and was promoted to become Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, replacing Grahame Morris.[21]

He was again re-elected in 2019 with a much reduced majority of 6,175, (50.06% share of the vote). Only 58.3% of the electorate turned out to vote in the Denton and Reddish constituency (ranked 53rd lowest turnout of 650 constituencies).[22] In April 2020, one day after Keir Starmer was elected as the new Labour leader, Gwynne resigned from his position as Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary.[23]

Personal life


He is the son of sports commentator and reporter John Gwynne. He married Allison Dennis in March 2003 in Tameside, and they have two sons and a daughter.[24] Allison Gwynne serves as a councillor for Denton North East Ward of Tameside Council.[25]

Gwynne has talked about experiencing depression at points during his political life, as well as suffering a pulmonary embolism.[26] In July 2020 it was revealed that he had COVID-19 for 16 weeks, a state called "long COVID".[27]

References


  1. "About Andrew". Andrew Gwynne MP. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  2. "We must not be diverted from seeking a resolution | Progress | News and debate from the progressive community". Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  3. "Labour Frontbench". Labour Party. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  4. CampaignTB (2 December 2016). "A Message from Andrew Gwynne MP on World AIDS Day 2016". YouTube.
  5. "Infected Blood: 21 Jan 2016: House of Commons debates – TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou.
  6. "The Oldham By-election Is the First Crucial Test of Osborne's 'Northern Powerhouse'". Huffington Post. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  7. Eaton, George (4 December 2015). "Labour win Oldham West by-election with 11,000 majority". New Statesman. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  8. "Andrew Gwynne to take lead organising for Oldham West by-election". Labour List. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  9. "Log into Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 2 July 2021. Cite uses generic title (help)
  10. "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  11. Hope, Christopher (7 April 2018). "Labour MP Andrew Gwynne admits he is member of Facebook group where anti-Semitic posts are shared". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  12. "NEW CRACKDOWN ON VULTURE FUNDS as Jersey adopts new Debt Relief laws". Andrew Gwynne MP. 21 November 2012. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  13. "135th IPU Assembly to debate human rights as a precursor of conflict – British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union". bgipu.org. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  14. "Protest against MP after disability bill blocked". Plymouth Herald. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.[permanent dead link]
  15. "Gwynne pledges fightback as Corbyn asks him to spearhead Copeland by-election bid". LabourList. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  16. "Labour's Copeland campaign: Your NHS is not safe in the Tories' hands". Labour List. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  17. "Labour reshuffle: Lavery and Gwynne replace Jon Trickett as elections chiefs". Labour List. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  18. "Labour MP tells Boris Johnson 'don't be a p*****k' in fiery TV clash". Evening Standard. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  19. "Johnson and Labour election chief in fiery spat". Sky News. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  20. "Denton & Reddish parliamentary constituency – Election 2017" via www.bbc.com.
  21. "Notes on the Reshuffle". New Socialist. 18 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  22. Baker, Carl; Uberoi, Elise; Cracknell, Richard (30 June 2021). "Denton & Reddish parliamentary constituency – Election 2019". House of Commons Library General Election 2019: full results and analysis. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. Smulian, Mark (6 April 2020). "Gwynne quits and tells Starmer to seek ideas from councils". lgcplus.com.
  24. "Council: Minutes of the Meeting, 8th April 2003 [111. Civic Mayor's Announcements: (a) Marriage of Councillors Alison and Andrew Gwynne]". tameside.gov.uk. Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 9 January 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  25. "Councillors For The Ward Of Denton: North East". tameside.gov.uk. Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  26. Proctor, Kate (17 January 2019). "Mental health has haunted my political life, says Labour's election guru Andrew Gwynne". Evening Standard. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  27. "Gwynne column: Suffering from long-term Covid illness". Quest Media Network. Retrieved 14 August 2020.