David Drew (politician)

David Elliott Drew (born 13 April 1952) is a British Labour Co-op politician who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stroud from 1997 to 2010, and regained the seat in 2017[1] before losing the seat for the second time at the 2019 general election.

David Drew
Drew in 2017
Shadow Minister for Farming and Rural Affairs
In office
3 July 2017  12 December 2019
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byMary Glindon
Succeeded byDaniel Zeichner
Member of Parliament
for Stroud
In office
8 June 2017  6 November 2019
Preceded byNeil Carmichael
Succeeded bySiobhan Baillie
In office
1 May 1997  12 April 2010
Preceded byRoger Knapman
Succeeded byNeil Carmichael
Personal details
Born (1952-04-13) 13 April 1952 (age 69)
Gloucestershire, England, UK
Political partyLabour Co-op
Spouse(s)Anne Drew
ChildrenTwo daughters and two sons
Alma materUniversity of Nottingham, University of Birmingham, University of the West of England

Early life

Drew was born in Gloucestershire, the son of an accountant, and was educated at the Kingsfield School, Kingswood before attending the University of Nottingham where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1974 and the University of Birmingham where he qualified as a teacher and received his Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 1976. He studied for a master's degree at the Bristol Polytechnic, gaining an MA in historical studies in 1988. He was awarded a Master of Education from the University of the West of England in 1994.[2]

Drew began his professional career in education as a teacher at the Princethorpe College in Rugby, Warwickshire in 1976, moving in 1978 to teach at St Michael's School in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. In 1982, he moved back to his native Gloucestershire teaching at the Maidenhill School in Stonehouse, before moving to the Dene Magna Community School in Mitcheldean in the Forest of Dean. Throughout his teaching career he was a member of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, and was a branch secretary 1984–1986. In 1986, he became a senior lecturer in education at the University of West England, where he remained until his election to Westminster in 1997, and remains a member of the University and College Union.

Political career

Drew was elected as a councillor for the Stevenage Borough Council in Hertfordshire for a year in 1981, and was elected as a councillor for the Stroud District Council in 1987, where he served until 1995. He was also elected to the Stonehouse Town Council in 1987. To make the collection of tiers of local government complete, he was elected as a councillor on the Gloucestershire County Council in 1992, stepping down on his election to Parliament. He was elected as the secretary to the Stroud Constituency Labour Party for a year in 1992. He has also been a member of UNISON since 1990.

Drew first contested Stroud at the 1992 general election, moving Labour into second place ahead of the Liberal Democrat candidate, coming second to the incumbent Conservative, Roger Knapman, by 13,405 votes. However, he succeeded in taking the seat from Knapman at the 1997 general election with a majority of 2,910 on a +10.8% swing. Winning in the 2001 and 2005 elections he remained MP for Stroud until 2010.

Drew in 2009

Drew made his maiden speech on 17 June 1997.[3] He successfully defended his majority in 2001 general election, and retained it, but with a narrow majority of just 350, in the 2005 general election. In Parliament, he was a member of the Agriculture Select committee, and its successor Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee from 1999 until 2010.

Drew was identified by The Herald newspaper in Glasgow following the 2005 election as one of the more frequent Labour backbench rebels, having 'rebelled' over both the Iraq War and terror legislation during the 2001 parliament.[4] His staunch Eurosceptic stance was also at odds with the pro-European views of leading members of the New Labour government.[5] A member of the Socialist Campaign Group, he nominated John McDonnell in the 2007 Labour leadership election.[6][7]

During the 2010 general election, he lost by 1,299 votes (2.0%) to the Conservative Neil Carmichael who took 40.8% of the vote, with Liberal Democrat Dennis Andrewartha taking 15.4%.[8] Despite the loss, he won more votes than in the 2005 election, as well as managing to obtain the smallest losing Labour swing in the whole of England.

In the 2011 local elections, Drew returned to Stroud District Council after being elected to the Farmhill and Paganhill seat, taking 63.9% of the vote.[9]

He stood as the Labour Co-operative candidate for Stroud at the 2015 general election, but failed to take the seat. He challenged Carmichael again at the 2017 general election and regained it with a 9.3% rise, securing a narrow majority of 687 over the Conservatives on a 77% voter turnout.[10] Following his return to the Commons, he was appointed as Shadow Farming and Rural Affairs Minister on 3 July 2017 by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.[11][12]

Although formerly a Eurosceptic, in February 2019, Drew gave a speech against Prime Minister Theresa May's deal to leave the EU, saying he feared Brexit would "become one of the biggest domestic policy disasters this country has known." He also compared it to the 2003 Iraq War as one of the country's biggest foreign policy disasters.[13] He subsequently lost his seat for a second time in the 2019 general election[14] following a high-profile campaign by Green candidate Molly Scott Cato.[15]

Personal life

Drew has been married to his second wife Anne Baker since 1990 and has two daughters and two sons. They live in Stonehouse. He has been a vegetarian for over 40 years.

He was appointed Chairman of Forest Green Rovers in May 2010, and later became Vice Chairman.[16] He resigned from the role upon his re-election to the Commons in June 2017.[17]


  1. "Dr David Drew MP". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. "Drew, David Elliott". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. 2018 (February 2018 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 14 February 2018. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  3. Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (17 June 1997). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 17 Jun 1997 (pt 21)". Publications.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "REBEL HELL LABOUR Tony Blair has a projected majority of just 66 but 34 of his MPs with a rebel streak could spell defeat in the Commons. Will the Labour malcontents finally curb his ambitions?". The Herald. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  5. "Drew fights on in 'strange' Stroud". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  6. "The State of the New PLP". New Socialist. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  7. "Who's backing John McDonnell?". The Guardian. 16 May 2007. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 3 October 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  8. "Election 2010 | Constituency | Stroud". BBC News. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  9. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "'I should retire more often!' - David Drew reclaims Stroud for Labour in dramatic election night". Stroud News and Journal. Archived from the original on 16 August 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  11. "David Drew MP to oversee waste and recycling for Labour - letsrecycle.com". letsrecycle.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  12. "Reshuffle 2: The Maintenance of the Malcontents". New Socialist. 8 July 2017. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  13. "David Drew's speech to Parliament". David Drew MP. Archived from the original on 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  14. "Stroud parliamentary constituency - Election 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  15. Gloucestershire Live https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/political-rivals-boo-shout-shame-3640317
  16. v Tranmere Rovers (H). "Staff And Board Of Directors / About Forest Green Rovers / Home - Forest Green Rovers Football Club". Forestgreenroversfc.com. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  17. "Newly elected Stroud MP David Drew steps down as vice-chairman of Forest Green Rovers". Stroud News and Journal. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.