Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

Speaker list for CLPs

Looking for a speaker for your next CLP meeting? Take a look at our list and get in touch to arrange the visit

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**Jenny Chapman MP is a new member of the speaker list from January 2011**

Keep your Labour meetings open, inclusive and lively…

Progress is helping local Labour parties keep their meetings open, inclusive and lively. Over 70 figures in the Labour movement have agreed to visit CLPs up and down the country to debate ideas and Labour’s future. Take a look at the 70 plus people who have put their names forward.

To request a speaker email with your top 3 choices and possible dates for a future CLP meeting.

1. Adrian Bailey – MP for West Bromwich West

Adrian Bailey MPPrior to his election in 2000, Adrian was a full time political organiser for the Co-Operative Party and a Councillor for Sandwell Borough Council. After the 2005 general election was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, John Hutton MP, the Chancellor of the Duchy, Hillary Armstrong MP and successive Ministers of State for Armed Forces, Adam Ingram MP and Bob Ainsworth MP. He has served on three House of Commons Committees: European Scrutiny Committee, Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Tripartite Committee.

Adrian is available to speak at CLPs within 100 miles of West Bromwich and in Devon and Cornwall during holidays. His main areas of expertise and interest are social enterprise, co-operatives, mutual organisations, employee share ownership, banking and finance, and business and manufacturing.

2. Alan Whitehead – MP for Southampton Test
Prior to his election in 1997, Alan was Professor of Public Policy at Southampton Institute and a city councillor. As a new MP he was appointed to the Select Committee on Environment Transport and the Regions and as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Baroness Blackstone, Minister for Higher and Post-16 Education. Between 2001 and 2002 he was Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. He was Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group; Co-Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resources Group; and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland. He was a member of the Justice Committee, the Standards and Privileges Select Committee, and the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

Alan’s special interests are energy, environment, climate change, constitutional affairs and local government.

3. Alex Bigham – Senior Associate, APCO Worldwide
Alex Bigham is a Senior Associate in APCO Worldwide’s London Office, a member of the Progress policy group on International Affairs and Secretary of Stockwell Branch Labour Party in Lambeth. Before joining APCO in March 2008, he was Head of Communications & Projects at the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC), Britain’s leading progressive think tank on international affairs. In that role he managed the FPC’s research programmes on Iran, Iraq and Pakistan and has been involved in research on the EU, the Special Relationship, faith and foreign policy and Latin America. Alex has also worked in the press office for the Labour Party in the run up to the 2005 general election, and as a researcher for Labour MPs in Parliament. He recently became a councillor for Stockwell in Lambeth.

Alex is available to speak in the Bath and London areas on foreign policy and housing.

4. Andrew Gwynne – MP for Denton & Reddish
Prior to his election in 2005, Andrew was a Labour Councillor on Tameside MBC, representing the Denton West Ward. He was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP. He previously served as a PPS to the Rt Hon Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC and a Minister in the Home Office between November 2005 and July 2007. Andrew is a member of UNITE, the Co-operative Party, the Christian Socialist Movement, the Procedure Committee and the Court of Referees. He also has also chaired Labour Friends of Israel and the North West Group of Labour MPs, and is Vice Chair of the All-Party Group on Children’s Play Areas.

Andrew is available to speak in the north west and in London.

Andrew Lewin – former PPC

Andrew LewinAndrew joined the Labour party in November 2010, after a high-profile defection from the Liberal Democrats. In May 2010 Andrew (then 23) was one of the youngest PPCs in the country and contested his home seat of Hertford & Stortford. Andrew joined the Labour party in opposition to the Coalition’s policies on the economy and the Lib Dem betrayal of young voters. He is happy to speak on any issue and offers a unique insight in how to convert and best campaign against the Liberal Democrats.
Professionally, Andrew is part of the Public Affairs team at Fishburn Hedges.

5. Andy Burnham – Shadow Secretary of State for Health & MP for Leigh
Andy Burnham was appointed as Secretary of State for Heath in June 2009. He is the MP for Leigh in Greater Manchester, elected in June 2001. Prior to that Andy was: Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Minister of State for Delivery and Reform at the Department of Health; and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality at the Home Office.

Andy is happy to speak about issues related to his former ministerial role, as well as home affairs and wider political themes.

6. Ann Clwyd – MP for Cynon Valley

Ann was elected in 1984, having spent the previous 5 years as MEP for Mid and West Wales. She then served as Shadow Minister of Education and Women’s Rights, Shadow Secretary of State for Overseas Development from 1989 to 1992, as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales in 1992, and as Shadow Secretary of State for National Heritage. She became Opposition Spokesperson for Employment in 1993 and for Foreign Affairs in 1994. Ann became a member of the International Development Select Committee in 1997, where she served until 2005. From 2001 she also served as a Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and as Chair in 2005 and 2006. She has served as Chair of both the All Party Parliamentary Human Rights and Iraq groups. Ann has also been actively involved in the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and has served as a British Delegate to the Assembly of the Council of Europe. She was selected to serve on the Privy Council by the Prime Minister in 2004.

Ann is available to speak in Wales on human rights, international issues, women’s issues, and women in politics.

7. Anna Turley – Deputy Director, New Local Government Network
Anna started her career as a fast-stream civil servant in the Home Office where she worked on a range of issues including youth crime, policing, immigration and community involvement in the criminal justice system. She worked as Special Adviser to David Blunkett MP in the Department for Work and Pensions, focusing on child poverty and equality. She then served as Special Adviser to Hilary Armstrong MP in the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Social Exclusion, Transformational Government and Better Regulation. Anna is currently the Deputy Director of the New Local Government Network, an independent think tank focused on empowering local communities and transforming public services.

Anna is available to speak on local government, child poverty, social exclusion, and crime and justice issues.

8. Anne McGuire – MP for Stirling
Prior to her election in 1997, Anne served as Deputy Director of the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations. She was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Scotland from November 1997 to July 1998, before becoming an Assistant Government Whip. She was appointed a Lord Commissioner to the Treasury in June 2001 and in June 2002 became Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Scotland Office. Following the Scotland Office’s incorporation in the new Department of Constitutional Affairs, Anne was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in that department with responsibility for Scotland. From 2005 to 2008 she served as Minister for Disabled People at the Department for Work and Pensions. The November 2008 Cabinet reshuffle saw Anne asked to undertake a non-ministerial special project within the Cabinet office on the voluntary sector and government. At that time, she also became a member of the Privy Council.

Anne is available to speak in London, the south east, east midlands, and Scotland excepting the Western Isles.

9. Barry Gardiner – MP for Brent North
Barry was a City Councillor in Cambridge where he chaired the Finance Committee and became the youngest mayor in the City’s 800 year history. In Parliament, he has served on the Public Accounts Select Committee, and on the Broadcasting and Procedure Select Committees. He stood on the Finance Standing Committee, has chaired the All Party Group on Sports and Leisure and the All Party Group on Commonhold and Leasehold Reform. He founded and chaired Labour Friends of India and is a regular contributor to the Gujarati and Asian press. Barry was made Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in April 2004, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Trade and Industry in May 2005 and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at DEFRA between May 2006- June 2007. In July 2007 Barry was appointed by the Prime Minister to be his special representative on forestry.

Barry is available to speak in London, the south east, and east on climate change, the economy, trade and industry and environmental issues.

10. Ben Lucas – Director, 2020 Public Services Trust & FD Public Affairs
Ben is the founding Director of the 2020 Public Services Trust. 2020 PST brings together policy makers, politicians, public service managers, civil servants, business and third sector leaders, and consumer voices, to debate and research how to improve public outcomes. It occupies a unique role as no other organisation focuses on the role and transformation of public services in Britain. Ben was formerly Head of Research and Communications at the construction trade union UCATT, before moving to become adviser to Jack Straw and then a senior consultant at Lowe Bell Political. At FD Public Affairs, Ben has provided strategic counsel to the Chief Executives, Chairmen and Corporate Affairs Directors of a number of major private, voluntary and public sector clients, including a number of major local authorities. Ben is a Trustee and founding member of the local government think tank, the New Local Government Network.

Ben is available to speak on public services in London and the south east.

11. Chris Bryant – Shadow Europe Minister and MP for the Rhondda
Before his election as an MP in 2001, Chris worked as head of Public Affairs at the BBC and as a published author of historical and biographical works. Prior to his career in politics, Chris was an ordained curate in the Church of England. After leaving the church in 1991 he worked as Frank Dobson’s election agent and in 1993 he became the Labour Party’s Local Government Development Officer. He served as Chair of the Christian Socialist Movement and as a Hackney councillor from 1993 to 1998. From May 2005 to June 2006 he was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton (Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs). Chris was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP Leader of the House of Commons, when he was then appointed to the Government as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons. In October 2009 he became Europe Minister.

Chris is available to speak in London, the south east, and Wales.

12. Dan Norris – Former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and MP for Wansdyke
Dan is a former teacher and child protection officer. He has also written and lectured extensively on the prevention and reduction of violence. He is an Honorary University Fellow and used to be a member of Avon County Council and Bristol City Council. In 2001 Tony Blair appointed Dan as an Assistant Government Whip – a position Dan held until he stood down in 2003 to spend more time focusing on constituency work. In summer 2007 Dan was appointed to be Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, having carried out a similar role for Peter Hain when he was Northern Ireland Secretary – a role which saw Dan closely involved in the historic devolution agreement. He is a strong and consistent supporter of Freedom of Information and voted against exempting MPs from FOI requirements. Unfortunately Dan lost his seat in May 2010.

Dan is available to speak on child protection and freedom of information, among other political topics.

13. Dari Taylor – Former MP for Stockton South
Prior to her election to Parliament in 1997, Dari was an elected member of Sunderland Metropolitan Council from 1986. Dari was active in the Trade Union movement, becoming the Regional Educational Officer for the GMB Union in the Northern Region. She served as member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence from 1997 until 1999. In 2001, she was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the defence ministers Dr Lewis Moonie and Lord Bach of Lutterworth. In July 2003, she accepted the position of Parliamentary Private Secretary to Hazel Blears, Minister of State in the Home Office. She held this position until July 2005, when she was appointed to the Intelligence & Security Committee by the Prime Minister. Dari narrowly lost her seat in May 2010.

14. David Coats – Associate Director of Policy, The Work Foundation
David has been Associate Director of Policy at The Work Foundation since February 2004. He is responsible for The Work Foundation’s engagement with the public policy world, seeking to influence the national conversation about the world of work. He is recognised as an expert commentator on employment relations and quality of working life issues. David was a member of the Low Pay Commission from 2000-2004 and was appointed to the Central Arbitration Committee in 2005. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Involvement and Participation Association, a number of academic advisory panels and the steering committee of Unions 21.

15. David Hanson – Former Minister of State for Home Affairs & MP for Delyn
David has represented Delyn in Parliament since 1992, and was PPS to the Prime Minister between 2001 and 2005. In 2005 he became Minister of State for Northern Ireland, and Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice in 2007. His political interests include foreign affairs, health, heritage, local government, South Africa, and Solvent Abuse prevention.

He is available to speak on crime and policing issues across the country.

16. Denis MacShane – MP for Rotherham
Denis was elected as MP for Rotherham in 1994. Before his election, he had campaigned in Poland with Solidarity during the Soviet period, before being arrested and deported back to the UK in 1982. He campaigned with and became president of the National Union of Journalists, and later became policy director of the International Metal Workers’ Federation before serving as director of the European Policy Institute until his election. Following the 1997 Labour victory he worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, first as a Parliamentary Private Secretary and then as Minister for Europe between 2001 and 2005. He was then appointed by the Prime Minister to the Privy Council in 2005, and is a British representative to the Council of Europe.

17. Ellie Levenson – Author and Freelance Journalist
Ellie Levenson is the author of ‘The Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism’ (published July 2009). A freelance journalist for publications including The Independent, where she is a frequent columnist, and The Guardian, and a lecturer in journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London, Ellie is a former member of staff at the Fabian Society and a member of Tottenham CLP.



19. Emily Thornberry – MP for Islington South & Finsbury
Emily was elected to Parliament in 2005. Before becoming an MP, she campaigned successfully at the national level with trade unions and parents’ groups for more family-friendly employment policies and access to childcare – particularly for women. She is backed by the TGWU and has strong links with other trade unions. As a human rights lawyer, she has many years’ experience of representing people as a criminal lawyer, working to achieve greater justice, equality and human rights. She is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG), a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee and a former member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee. She helped make changes to the Companies Bill to require companies to take into account the social and environmental effects of their behaviour, has campaigned for a Marine Bill to protect our seas and is currently working on a private members Bill that aims to give Housing Association tenants a greater say in how their Estates are managed. She also recently won the Environment MP of the year award, beating David Cameron.

20. Emma Reynolds – Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East
Prior to her election as MP for Wolverhampton North East, Emma worked at the heart of Government as Special Adviser to Rt. Hon. Geoff Hoon in Downing Street and the House of Commons. She previously lived and worked in Brussels, where she helped set up a small business that supported British companies in understanding and influencing EU laws. She then went on to become Robin Cook’s political adviser in his capacity as President of the Party of European Socialists.

Emma is available to speak on the economy, Obama’s fiscal stimulus, the European elections, and beating the Tories in the next General Election.

21. Fiona Mactaggart MP – MP for Slough
Fiona was first elected MP for Slough in 1997. Before becoming an MP, Fiona was director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. She has been an inner London primary school teacher and a university lecturer at London University Institute of Education and worked in a private company. She was also Chair of Liberty. In Parliament, Fiona was responsible for changes to the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, which entitled people who held second-class British status and no other citizenship, to register as British citizens. She has actively campaigned against people-trafficking and is leading a campaign for changes in the law on prostitution.
Fiona served as a Home Office Minister between 2003 and 2006, when she had responsibility for race equality, community policy and civil renewal, and the criminal justice system including victims and witnesses, prison casework, criminal injuries compensation and prostitution. She was co-Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party Women’s Committee and runs a mentoring scheme for Labour women who want to stand for Parliament.

Fiona is available to speak in Berkshire and surrounding counties.

22. George Howarth – MP for Knowsley
George was elected as an MP in 1986, first working as MP for Knowsley North and since 1997 as MP for the then newly created constituency of Knowsley North and Sefton East. Prior to his election, he served as Chief Executive of the Wales Cooperative Centre from 1982 and as a councillor for the Huyton District and Knowsley Borough councils from 1971. In 1997 he became Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office and then served in the Northern Ireland Office from 1999. Since leaving the Government in 2001 he has served on a number of select committees and was a member of the Modernisation Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee.

George is available to speak in London and the south east on weekdays, and in the North West whilst on recess and at weekends.

 23. Guy Lodge – Associate Director, Institute for Public Policy Research  
Before joining ippr in October 2004, Guy worked at The Constitution Unit, in The School of Public Policy, University College London. Guy is also a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations, at Oxford University. In 2007 he acted as an adviser to the Flanagan Review of Policing. He also leads a joint ippr and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP research programme on the ‘Smarter State’. Guy co-edits Public Policy Research, ippr’s leading politics and policy journal.

Guy is available to speak in London, and the south east.

24. Hilary Armstrong – Former MP for North West Durham
Hilary was elected to Parliament in 1987, and became an Opposition frontbench spokesperson on Education. In 1992, she assumed a role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Smith and in 1995 was made Opposition spokesperson on the Environment and London. Following the 1997 election she became Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Transport, and the Regions during which time she helped lead Government reforms of local governance and the removal of Section 28 from law while overseeing the creation of the government’s Social Exclusion Unit. In 1999 Hilary was made a member of the Privy Council. Following the 2001 General Election, Hilary was promoted to the Cabinet and given the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Government Chief Whip. In May 2006, the Prime Minister appointed Hilary to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Social Exclusion. Hilary stepped down in 2010.

25. James Crabtree – Senior Editor, Prospect
James works as Senior Editor at Prospect, the UK’s leading monthly magazine of politics and ideas. He is also a trustee of the charity UK Citizens Online Democracy, whose main activity is running, an organisation that builds websites to improve people’s lives. James was Research Director of the Work Foundation’s iSociety research programme, where he spent three years examining the impact of technology in the UK.

In early 2008, he spent time working with the Obama campaign during the New Hampshire presidential primary race.

James is available to speak in London and the south east, as well as elsewhere with advance planning.

26. James Hulme – Head of Communications, New Local Government Network
James is Head of Communications, responsible for media and external relations at NLGN. Previously he was Parliamentary and Government Relations Officer at Citizens Advice, one of the UK’s largest NGOs, where he was responsible for liaison with MPs, Peers and other central and local government contacts. He also implemented the organisation’s programme of events at the three main party political conferences.

In 2004 he worked on behalf of the John Kerry presidential campaign in Philadelphia and has worked on a number of UK General Election campaigns.

James is available to speak in London and the south east, and elsewhere with advance planning.

27. James Plaskitt – Former MP for Warwick & Leamington
Before being elected to Parliament in 1997, James served as leader of the Oxfordshire County Council Labour group from 1990 to 1996. Prior to his work in public service, he held lectureships at University College, Brunel University, and on the faculty of Christ Church College, Oxford. He served on the Treasury Elect Committee of the House of Commons from 1999. In 2005 he was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Work and Pensions, where he served until October 2008. Unfortunately James lost his seat in May 2010.

James is available for speaking engagements in the Midlands.

30. Jamie Hanley – National Policy Forum
Jamie is a partner in leading trade union law firm Morrish Solicitors. He represents Yorkshire & The Humber on National Policy Forum and all UK CLPs on the Joint Policy Committee chaired by the PM. He is chair of Pudsey CLP; winner of Party’s ‘best campaign in a key seat’ award for 2005 General Election.

Jamie is happy to speak on any subject given enough preparation time.

31. Jane Roberts – Chair, Councillors Commission
Jane Roberts has extensive experience in local government. She was a councillor for the London Borough of Camden for 16 years, and Leader of the Council from 2000 until 2005. She is currently carrying out work for the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) and the Local Government Leadership Centre. She is an Associate Fellow at Warwick University working with the Leadership Development Research Programme at Warwick Business School. Professionally, Jane is a medical doctor specialising in child and adolescent psychiatry, and Director of Quality and Performance at Islington Primary Care Trust. She became Chair of the charity Parenting UK in December 2006. She has been a member of a number of commissions covering children’s services, local government, sustainability and governance. Most recently, she has been a member of the Gilbert Teaching and Learning Review 2020 and has been appointed to the new OfSTED Board.

She is also a member of the board of trustees of the Institute of Public Policy Research (ippr), and New Local Government Network (nlgn). In addition to numerous articles, she has published a number of academic papers in paediatrics, psychiatry and child psychiatry and was co-editor and contributor to ‘The Politics of Attachment’ (Free Association Books 1996).

Jane is available to speak on local government and occupational health.

32. Jessica Asato – Former Acting Director, Progress
Jessica Asato was until recently Acting Director of Progress. Prior to working at Progress, Jessica was a health policy researcher at the Social Market Foundation focusing on the issues of demographic change and paying for older people’s care.

Jessica is a former Chair of the Young Fabians, and now sits as an Executive Member of the Fabian Society. Jessica has also been a former Vice-Chair of Young Labour, and worked for the Labour Party during the General Election in 2005. She recently launched the first group blog for Labour Women.

Jessica is the Chair of Jack Taylor Special School for children with disabilities and learning difficulties, and is the Joint Acting Chair of Brook, which is a charity working to promote better sexual health among young people. Last July Jessica set up the Gareth Butler History Trust to raise money to pay for disadvantaged students to go on school history trips. Jessica is also a Trustee of Westminster Challenge, a charity which works to bring politicians together to fundraise for charity, and is an advisor to Education Action and the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-semitism. Jessica recently became a councillor in Islington.

Jessica is happy to travel to CLPs across the country, to speak about Progress’ work or any political issue. Other Progress staff members can speak if Jessica is not available.

33. Jessica Studdert
Jessica Studdert works in policy and public affairs for a large street homeless charity in London. She has previously worked in policy at a childcare charity and prior to that was Events Director and Researcher at the Fabian Society. During her time at the Fabian Society she co-authored a pamphlet Facing Out: How party politics must change to build a progressive society, which argued for a new model of party activity designed to increase activism and membership. She has experience of party campaigning both in the UK where she is an active member of the Labour Party and in the US, where she campaigned on behalf of Barack Obama in Ohio during his 2008 election victory.

Jessica can speak on subjects related to the Labour Party including reform of the Party, campaigning in the 21st Century, lessons for the Labour Party from NGOs and Obama.

34. Jim Knight – Former Minister of State for Work & Pensions, Minister for the South West and MP for South Dorset
Jim was elected in the 2001 general election. Before entering Parliament, Jim managed a publishing company, based in the West Country, for 10 years. Prior to that, he managed arts venues and worked for a small scale travelling theatre company. He was formerly Director of Fire Protection Association Ltd. and Chair of the Fire Protection Council. He served as Mendip District Councillor from 1997 to 2001, and was Labour group leader there from 1999.

In Parliament, he served as Under-Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, Landscape, and Biodiversity in DEFRA from 2005 to 2006, and then became Minister of State for Schools in the Department for Education and Skills. In 2007, he became Minister for Schools and Learners in the Department for Children, Schools, and Families. Unfortunately Jim lost his seat in May 2010.

Jim is able to speak in Dorset and the surrounding counties.

35. Joan Ryan – former MP for Enfield North
Joan was elected as MP for Enfield North in 1997, whereafter she served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Andrew Smith MP. In 2002 she was made an Assistant Government Whip and was soon after made a Lords Commissioner. In 2006 she was made Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Nationality, Citizenship, and Immigration at the Home Office. In 2007 she left Government and became the Prime Minister’s Special Representative to Cyprus. Before her election to Parliament, she worked as a teacher of Sociology and Religious Studies, and served on the Barnet Borough Council, of which she became Deputy Leader in May 1994. She was one of the first set of female candidates to receive the support of ‘Emily’s List’ when standing in the General Election in 1997. Unfortunately Joan lost her seat in May 2010.

Joan is available to speak in London and the south east.


37. Kate Green – MP for Stretford and Urmston
Before becoming an MP Kate was chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, and before that director of the National Council for One Parent Families (now Gingerbread) as well as serving as a magistrate for 16 years. Kate has campaigned on a whole range of issues, for a living wage for local authority workers, and for increases in child benefits. Kate has extensive experience of government, and national policy and was a member of the National Employment Panel which advised Ministers on labour market policies, and chaired the London Child Poverty Commission, reporting to the Mayor and local councillors.

38. Leighton Andrews – AM for the Rhondda
Leighton was elected as Welsh Assembly Member for the Rhondda in 2003, and was re-elected in 2007 with a result that was Labour’s strongest showing in the Assembly elections that year. Immediately prior to his election he worked as a lecturer in the Cardiff Journalism School, having previously worked as Head of Public Affairs for the BBC. He had acted as co-founder of the Yes for Wales campaign for devolution, and has since authored the book Wales Says Yes on the topic. Whilst in the Assembly, Leighton has served as chair of the South Wales Central regional committee, and became Deputy Minister for Social Justice and Public Services Delivery following the 2007 election. He then was appointed Deputy Minister for Regeneration within the Department for Energy and Transport and Department for Social Justice and Local Government.

Leighton is available to speak in the Midlands and Wales.

39. Lucy Powell – Labour PPC for Manchester Withington
Lucy was selected as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Manchester Withington in March 2007. She is currently leading a project for a major investment fund for Manchester – the Innovation Fund – working for NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), together with the local authorities, universities and businesses. Prior to this Lucy was the Director of Britain in Europe, the pro-European campaign. She started her career working in Parliament for Bev Hughes MP, now Minister for Children. Unfortunately Lucy was unable to win in May 2010.

Lucy is available to speak in the North West.

40. Luke Akehurst – Hackney Councillor
Luke has been a Councillor for Hackney’s Chatham Ward and Labour Group chief whip since 2002. He has been a Labour Party activist since 1988, and was the National Secretary of Labour Students in 1995-1996. He has worked as a Labour Party organiser, Local Government Political Assistant, and as a Public Affairs consultant specialising in defence and aerospace. He stood as Parliamentary Candidate for Aldershot in 2001 and Castle Point in 2005. Luke authors his own political blog, writing on Labour party and UK politics and public issues.

Luke is available to discuss political strategy, beating the Lib Dems, the direction of the Party, and topical issues such as Trident renewal.

41. Margaret Jay – Baroness Jay of Paddington
Margaret Jay’s political career began during her work as a broadcaster with the BBC, during which time she worked on ‘Panorama’ while serving on successive NHS health authorities in London. In 1988 she became the first director of the National AIDS Trust and in 1992 became a Labour peer in the House of Lords. Following the 1997 Labour victory, she became a Minister of State in the Department of Health. The following year she was appointed Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Privy Seal, and Minister for Women. She voluntarily left her cabinet positions in 2001 and has since pursued work in media and has served as Chair of the Overseas Development Institute and co-chair of the cross-party Iraq Commission.

Margaret is happy to speak in London, the south east, and the South West.

42. Mark Rusling – Former Chair, Young Fabians
Mark RuslingMark is a Councillor in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, where he is Junior Cabinet Member for Employment and Child Poverty. For his day job, he works as Head of Office for former Higher Education Minister, David Lammy MP. He is a former Chair of the Young Fabians and has worked in the legal and energy industries, as well as for a UN think-tank. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is originally from York.

Mark is available to speak on campaigning strategy, foreign policy and issues around local government and communities.

43. Martin Phillips – National Policy Forum

Martin is currently a member of the National Policy Forum from the South East region. In this capacity, he also serves as a member of the Health Policy Commission considering strategies and policy for improving health standards and the NHS. Martin helped set up ‘southern Comfort’, a campaign aiming to help Labour win in the South east region. He lives in Surrey and has a particular interest in health, housing and environmental issues.

44. Matt Browne – Former Director, Policy Network

Matt is currently a Visiting Fellow at American Progress, working on building trans-Atlantic and international progressive networks and studying trans-Atlantic policy issues. Matt is also the former director of Policy Network-the international thinktank founded by Tony Blair, Gerhard Schroeder, Goran Persson and Giuliano Amato-and remains a member of the organization’s governing board and advisory council. During his time at Policy Network, Matt worked closely with a host of progressive leaders, prime ministers’ and presidents’ offices across the globe, and international organizations such as the UN and WTO. He has also worked as director of public affairs in APCO Worldwide’s London office, where he ran the company’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa government relations practice. Matt also ran the international press operation for New Labour’s General Election campaigns in 2001 and 2005.

Matt is available to speak in and around York and London on modern campaigning, the Obama campaign, Obama/Brown and the progressive ‘moment’.

45. Matt Cooke – Haringey Councillor
Matt Cooke is a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Haringey. He is the campaigns officer for Hornsey and Wood Green CLP and a former chair of the Alexandra Palace in North London, a former Olympic Ambassador for the 2012 Olympic Bid and Chair of the Fabians Policy Commission on Communities and Democracy.

For the last four years Matt has worked in Parliament for the West Midlands MP and as Special Adviser Business Minister Pat McFadden. Matt writes regularly for Progress and tweets as @mattcooke2012

Matt is available to speak across England on the future of Local Government, the Empowerment Agenda and community empowerment, the use of new technologies in campaigning and the future of the Labour Party.

46. Matt Rodda – PPC for East Surrey
Matt Rodda was recently selected as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for East Surrey. He has experience and a background knowledge of South East issues, education, as well as energy and climate change. Matt is based in Reading. Unfortunately Matt was unsuccessful in May 2010.


47. Michael Stephenson – General Secretary, Co-operative Party
Michael was elected General Secretary of the Co-operative Party in July 2008.

He previously was an adviser at 10 Downing Street, and was a political adviser in Australia for many years. He has contributed to the Guardian writing about co-operative approaches to economics, politics, and the financial crisis.

Michael is available to speak nation-wide.

48. Neil Goulbourne – GP and Vice-Chair, Socialist Health Association
Neil Goulbourne is a GP in Coventry, a Vice-Chair of the Socialist Health Association and has served as a school governor and housing association board member. He has special interests in health inequalities and public sector reform and has worked on policy issues at local, regional and national levels.

49. Paddy Tipping – Former MP for Sherwood

Paddy became Labour MP for Sherwood in 1992. Before entering Parliament, he worked as a social worker during the 1970s. From 1979 to 1983 he was Project Leader for the Church of England Children’s Society. Paddy was then a Councillor for Nottinghamshire County Council and Director of Nottinghamshire Co-operative Development Agency, and was also involved with the Nottingham Development Enterprise. Paddy has worked in a number of junior government positions starting out as PPS to Jack Straw while he was Home Secretary. He went on to be Parliamentary Secretary to the Privy Council office, and simultaneously Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, with responsibility for overseeing Millennium Bug Awareness. He was Deputy Leader of the House of Commons for the second time in 2007. He was Chairman of the sub-committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2001 to 2005, and was again PPS to Jack Straw while he was Leader of the House of Commons, from 2006 to 2007. Paddy stood down at the 2010 election.

Paddy is particularly interested in rural affairs and the countryside, environmental concerns and energy policy. He is available to speak in the Midlands.

50. Parmjit Dhanda – former MP for Gloucester
Parmjit has an educational background in engineering and information technology. Since his election to Parliament in 2001, he has shown a commitment to technology issues. He served on the Science and Technology Select Committee from 2001 to 2003, and helped to set up an all-party group on telecommunications, of which he serves as secretary. In 2004 he was appointed PPS to Stephen Twigg, Minister for Schools. After the 2005 General Election Parmjit was appointed Assistant Government Whip. In May 2006 he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families in the Department for Education and Skills. On 29 June 2007 he moved to the Department of Communities and Local Government, where he served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for a year. Unfortunately Parmjit lost his seat in May 2010.

51. Patrick Diamond
Until recently Patrick was group director of policy and strategy for the Equality and Human Rights Commission – a post to which he was appointed in August 2007. Before that, he was the director of Policy Network, an international progressive think-tank and a senior visiting fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics. He was previously adviser to Peter Mandelson during his time as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and served as special adviser on PM Tony Blair’s policy unit from 2001. Patrick recently became a councillor in Southwark.

Patrick is available to speak in London and the North of England.

52. Peter Kyle – Deputy CEO, ACEVO
Peter currently works as director of Strategy and Enterprise at the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, a body which represents leaders of charities and third sector organisations. Peter is a former aid worker and academic from the University of Sussex. He recently worked as a special adviser to social exclusion minister Hilary Armstrong and Ed Miliband, the minister for the Cabinet Office, where he had a major role in developing the third sector public service delivery action plan and the Charities Act 2006.

Peter is available to speak in London and the south east on the third sector, social exclusion, and general political issues.

53. Peter White – Former Chair, London Young Labour

Peter is a former Chair of London Young Labour. He has worked extensively with Margaret Hodge MP in her efforts to combat the rise of the British National Party in her Barking constituency in east London. Peter is able to speak about their work combating the BNP in Barking, as well as his experiences on the Obama campaign

54. Phil Wilson – MP for Sedgefield
Phil is the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield. He was elected on 19th July 2007 in a by-election held in the Sedgefield Parliamentary Constituency. Before his election, he worked as a lay-trade union official in the civil service. He then worked as a researcher for a Member of Parliament and a Member of the European Parliament. He also has extensive knowledge of working in the private sector through running his own Public Interest business, advising companies and organisations on their social responsibility and community engagement obligations.

55. Philip Collins – Former Speechwriter to Tony Blair
Philip is a former speechwriter to Tony Blair during his time as Prime Minister. He now is a leader writer for The Times, and contributes regularly to other political publications, writing especially on public speaking as a political skill. He is currently Chair of Demos, the radical thinktank.

Philip is available to speak in London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.

56. Richard Angell – Deputy Director, Progress
Richard Angell grew up in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, the son of a single parent who worked as a dinner lady. He studied public policy and government management at Birmingham University where he got involved in student politics, and he now gets involved in everything from door-to-door canvassing to campaigning during local by-elections. He was Chair of national Young Labour until April 2009, serves as Secretary of LGBT Labour, and active in his local branch Labour party in Lambeth. Until recently Richard worked for Community (the Union), and the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism. He is now Deputy Director at Progress.

Richard is available to speak nation-wide.

57. Richard Watts – Campaign Coordinator, Sustain’s ‘Children’s Food Campaign’
Richard is a Labour councillor in Islington, where he is group spokesperson for children’s services. He works as campaign coordinator for Sustain’s Children’s Food Campaign, which aims to improve children’s diets by protecting them from junk food marketing, clearer food labelling, teaching all children to cook and better quality food in schools. Before this he worked for a range of campaigning organisations including The Campaign Company (a company specialising in giving professional campaign advice) and Britain in Europe. He has also worked on a number of political development projects in the Balkans, including helping former KLA guerrillas to form a political party in Kosovo, and is a local councillor in North London. He is available to speak in London and the east.

58. Robbie Erbmann – Policy Officer, Co-operative Party
Robbie has been the Policy Officer at the Co-operative Party since January 2008. Previously he worked as a public policy researcher for both Mutuo and the Co-operative Party. He is now a Special Adviser to Tessa Jowell.

Robbie is available to speak about matters relating to the activities of the Co-operative Society. He can speak during the week at locations within an hour of London and travel further at weekends.

59. Roberta Blackman-Woods – MP for the City of Durham
Before being elected in 2005 Roberta was a university professor in social policy and had previously served as a local councillor. Roberta’s interests in Parliament are housing, planning, international development, foreign affairs and regeneration. She chairs the Associate Parliamentary Group for Afghanistan and the All-Party Balanced and Sustainable Communities Group. In Durham she works with local people to highlight the importance of planning and housing policies to the City, with the new unitary council to sensitively regenerate the City Centre and surrounding villages, and with the local NHS trust for the best health services for the area.

Roberta is available to speak in the North East on housing and planning, education and skills, and Afghanistan and international development.

60. Rohini Simbodyal – Enfield Councillor
In February 2009 Rohini won a stunning victory in the Jubilee by-election in Enfield, becoming a councillor at the age of 21. She can speak about her experiences as a by-election candidate, a young councillor, and about issues relating to young people.

61. Roger Liddle – Vice-Chair, Policy Network
Roger served as Special Adviser on European Matters to Tony Blair. He got his start in politics in 1976 by becoming Special Adviser to William Rodgers, Secretary of State for Transport. From there he became Director of the Public Policy Centre, undertaking pioneering work on the regulation of privatised industries, exchange rate policy, regional policy, science and industrial policy, employee participation and wage determination, and choice in public services. He then moved into the private sector for 10 years, taking the position of Managing Director of Prima Europe Ltd – a consultancy company advising on the impact of politics and regulation at European and national level. He is currently vice-Chair of Policy Network and a visiting fellow at the European Institute at the LSE. He specialises in European issues and the future of the European Social model.

He is available to speak in London and the north of England.

62. Ruth Smeeth – Labour PPC for Burton
Ruth is currently the Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Burton Constituency, campaigning to succeed retiring Labour MP Janet Dean. Ruth works with a national anti-racism grassroots campaign, encouraging people to get involved in their communities and work together to defeat racism. She has experience actively campaigning against extremism and the BNP. Unfortunately Ruth was unsuccessful this time around in Burton.

Ruth is available to speak across the Midlands.

63. Sally Keeble – Former MP for Northampton North
Since her election to Parliament, Sally has built up a reputation locally and nationally as a strong, campaigning MP. Her campaigns have brought in legislation to combat careless driving, introduce housing reforms, help women pensioners and carers and she is now campaigning on binge drinking. Sally was a newspaper journalist before she went into politics.

She is available to speak in London and the East Midlands on economics, international development, housing issues, and the Home Office.

64. Simon Fanshawe – Activist and Entertainer
Since 1978, Simon has combined the careers of broadcaster, writer and comedian with that of a social activist and Board member. He has exceptional skills of presentation, chairing, and strategic thinking. He operates in the public domain as a provocateur and opinion former. He operates in the private and charity sphere as a Board director. He is an outspoken proponent of diversity and has been active in the gay rights movement for thirty years.

Simon specialises in speaking on equality, local activism, regeneration, arts, and culture.

65. Siobhain McDonagh – MP for Mitcham and Morden
Prior to entering Parliament in 1997, Siobhain worked and campaigned actively on housing and welfare issues in her native area of London. She was elected to Merton council in 1982, becoming the youngest councillor in London at that time.

After her election to Parliament, she continued to work on improving NHS services for the elderly and to provide more after-school activities for young people. She championed local health service improvements, including the reopening of one hospital and preventing the closing of another. She maintains a strong and active engagement with her constituency, where she was born and has lived most of her life, actively working for improvements to local services including schools, transport, health, and youth services.

66. Stephen Beer – Chair, Vauxhall CLP
Stephen is Chair of Vauxhall CLP, a Senior Fund Manager (managing a UK equity portfolio) at the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church and Political Communications Officer at the Christian Socialist Movement.

67. Stephen Burke – Chief Executive, Counsel and Care
Stephen Burke has been active in the Labour Party since the mid-1980s. He has been a councillor in Hammersmith & Fulham, where he was leader of the council and cabinet member for social services and housing. He also led on health and social care across London. Stephen is currently chief executive of Counsel and Care, the national charity working with older people, their families and carers to get the best care and support. Previously he was director of the national childcare charity, Daycare Trust, where he led the campaign for children’s centres in every community. He is on the board of several national organisations including ACEVO.

Stephen is available to talk on social and economic policy issues.

68. Sir Steve Bullock – Mayor of Lewisham
Steve is from Teesside, but he began his career in local government doing policy work for the Greater London Council in the mid-1970s. He worked there until 1986, after which he worked for the Local Government Association and in delivering training for local government officers. Meanwhile, he was elected to the Lewisham council in 1982 and became its leader from 1988 to 1993. He also dedicated himself to health services, running a local community health council and later became chair of the Lewisham Hospital Trust, where he continued after stepping down from his council position in 1998. Steve became Lewisham’s first directly elected mayor in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006. He has focused on quality of life and community development whilst in office, and maintains a dedication to promoting local governance, for which he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2007. He was again re-elected in 2010.

Steve is available to speak about local government and related topics, as well as the need for a fourth term for Labour.

69. Steve Ladyman – Former MP for South Thanet
Steve became a councillor for Thanet in 1995 and was elected to Parliament in 1997. As an MP he has taken special interests in Autism, science, energy, the economy, environment, transport, regional, and health policies. He served as a Health minister from 2003 to 2005, working on children’s health, autism and other long-term conditions, adult social services, and prison health. From 2005 to 2007 he was Minister of State for Transport, before being appointed a Vice Chair of the Labour Party for the South East region by the Prime Minister. Unfortunately Steve lost his seat in May 2010.

Steve is available to speak in the south east on campaigning issues, the political situation, social care, and transport.

70. Steve McCabe -MP for Birmingham Selly Oak
Steve’s commitment to public service began in his career in social work in the 1980s, working with young offenders and in child protection, and as a researcher for the British Association of Social Workers and before becoming an MP was an Adviser for the Central Council of Education and Training in Social Work. In 1990, he was elected to the Birmingham City Council and worked extensively on transport and environmental quality of life. Whilst in Parliament, Steve has maintained his work and interest in community care and youth issues. His main interests include tackling anti-social behaviour, security, transport and the economy. A large part of Steve’s parliamentary time has been spent on crime and regeneration issues. He was previously PPS to Charles Clarke at the Education Department and Government Whip at the Department of Health.

Steve is available in London, the south east, and the Midlands to speak on crime, security, social work, health, Iran, the Middle East, and education.

71. Steve Reed – Leader of Lambeth Council
Steve became leader of Lambeth Council in 2006 after a landslide win in which Labour took the council back from the Lib Dems. It was the only Labour gain in the country that year. Since then Steve has worked to turn Lambeth Council around, sorting out the council finances and leading a nationally-acclaimed strategy to tackle guns, knives and gangs. Last year Steve chaired Progress’ policy group on crime and justice.

He is available to speak across England on crime, youth services, housing, local government, community empowerment, voluntary sector partnerships, worklessness, the credit crunch, diversity and diverse representation, political communications and campaigning.

72. Steve Terry – Labour PPC for Hertford & Stortford
Steve works for UNISON as the London Region Labour Link officer. He is chair of Walthamstow CLP, and was PPC for Hertford & Stortford.

73. Stuart King – Labour PPC for Putney
Stuart was born and raised in Wandsworth, where he held several Labour party positions before his election to the council in 1998. He was previously Labour’s spokesperson for environmental issues, focusing on the state of the Borough’s streets, parks, and recycling services. He has also focused on community development and regeneration issues, including fighting against the closure of the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo and Asian Community Centre by the Tory-led council. He became the Council’s Labour leader in 2005 and has championed affordable housing, schools, and recreational services for the community since then. Stuart was selected as Labour’s PPC for the constituency in 2007, and has since committed to making transport and affordable housing his top priorities. Unfortunately Stuart was unsuccessful in May 2010.

He is available to speak in London and the south east on general political issues, social mobility, housing, home affairs and prisons.

74. Tessa Jowell – Former Olympics Minister and MP for Dulwich and West Norwood
Tessa Jowell was appointed as Minister for the Olympics and Paymaster General in June 2007. In this role, she had direct responsibility for delivery of the Government’s overall Olympic programme and reported to the Prime Minister. She also had responsibility for Humanitarian Assistance, which involved providing care and support to victims of major disasters both at home and abroad. Tessa has been the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood since 1992. She was born in London and was educated at St Margaret’s School in Aberdeen and the universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Goldsmith’s, London. She was a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford (1993-2001). Tessa’s previous Ministerial appointments were Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2001-2007), Minister of State for Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities at the Department for Education and Employment (1999-2001) and Minister of State for Public Health at the Department of Health (1997-1999).

Tessa is available to speak in London and the south east.

75. Wes Streeting – former President, National Union of Students
Wes was re-elected by a wide margin to the post of President of the NUS, after having served as NUS’ Vice-President for Education. He has a strong interest in education policy, particularly on widening participation, and has held a number of positions within the higher education sector, notably membership of the ‘Burgess Group’ on measuring and recording student achievement. He has also been a strong proponent of HE admissions reform as a member of the UK HE Sector Delivery Partnership Steering Group on admissions. Wes was a non-executive director of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education from 2006 to 2008 and has been a non-executive director of the Higher Education Academy since 2006.

76. Jenny Chapman – MP for Darlington

Jenny was elected MP for Darlington in 2010.
Previously she worked as senior parliamentary researcher for Darlington Labour MP Alan Milburn. She was elected as a Darlington councillor for the Cockerton West ward in 2007. She served on the council’s cabinet.

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