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Derek Murray Wyatt FRSA (born 4 December 1949) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sittingbourne and Sheppey from 1997 to 2010, having previously been a councillor in the London Borough of Haringey. He was also a rugby union player who played for the England national rugby union team.

Derek Wyatt

Member of Parliament
for Sittingbourne and Sheppey
In office
2 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byGordon Henderson
Personal details
Born (1949-12-04) 4 December 1949 (age 69)
Woolwich, London, UK
Political partyLabour
Children2 (1 daughter, 1 son)
Alma materUniversity of Exeter

Early lifeEdit

Wyatt was educated at Westcliff County High School, Colchester Royal Grammar School, St Luke's College, Exeter (Certificate of Education 1971), the Open University (BA. Hons 2:1 in Art and Architecture 1978), and St Catherine's College, Oxford, where he was a research student from 1981 to 1982. From 1986 to 1988, he was a Director of William Heinemann. He was Head of Programmes at Wire TV from 1994 to 1995, and Director of the Computer Channel on BSkyB from 1995 to 1997.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Derek Wyatt founded and was chairman of the British House of Commons all party internet group from 1997 to 2007 when he led the merger of it to two other groups – mobile and communications. The new name is the All party communications Group and he is now co-Chairman with John Robertson MP. He advocates forcing internet service providers (ISPs) through licensing to take steps to block spam before it arrives in inboxes. The MP wanted Ofcom, the communications regulator, to take responsibility for licensing internet service providers – and fine those who fail to meet agreed standards.

He was on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee from 1997 to 2005 and the Public Accounts Committee in 2007 before becoming the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Minister for the Arts and unofficially to Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Minister for Sport in July 2007. In February 2009 he became PPS to Lord Mark Mallock-Brown at the Foreign Office. He chaired six all party committees in the House of Commons. In the critical votes on Iraq, he voted against intervention.

He won an ISPA Hero's Award (2006) for his work on seeing the Computer Misuse Act onto the statute book and the New Statesman Award (2006) for the best web site of an Elected Representative. Politicsonline nominated him as one of the top ten visionaries in the internet space also in 2006. Back in 2004, he was voted, in an online poll, as one of the top 100 Internet Visionaries. He founded the Oxford Internet Institute in 2000. In 2007, his web site won the British Computer Award for "best engagement" and in 2008 for the best over all site. He launched a second web site: in October 2007. His web site was updated 4 or 5 times a day and received upwards of 70,000 hits a week with about 15,000 unique visitors. It was one of the first MPs' web sites to be legally deposited with the British Library and can still be accessed at .

In the 2005 general election, he won the 3rd smallest majority of any MP, at just 79 votes, after 2 recounts.

On 1 July 2009, Wyatt announced he would stand down at the 2010 general election.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Wyatt was a top-class rugby union player. He won one full cap for England as a wing, coming on as a replacement for David Duckham against Scotland at Murrayfield in February 1976. At the time, Wyatt was playing club rugby for Bedford where his record of 145 tries in 152 games stretched over five seasons still placed him second in the club's all-time list as of 2016;[2] he would later be a regular for Bath where he equalled the club try scoring record (29 tries) in his first two seasons.[3] He was also a player on the 1975 England rugby union tour of Australia and played for England against the United States at Twickenham in October 1977 in a match for which England did not award full caps. Wyatt scored four tries in the match. He subsequently played for Oxford in the 1981 Varsity Match in which Rothmans Rugby Yearbook described him as the player of the day.[4] He also represented the Barbarians on two Easter Tours in 1979 and 1980[2] and played for Eastern Counties in the 1975 County Championship final, in which he scored a conversion.[5] At school he was rated No.1 long jumper as a Youth and Junior and as a senior represented Essex AAA in the British Games jumping against the great Lynn Davies. He has written or edited seven books on rugby and his latest was published in June 2011 (co-authored with Colin Herridge) entitled Rugby 2011: A Preview of the World Cup 2011. He was Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby Union group for 13 years and introduced an annual lecture and an awards dinner. He has recently been made Life President of the Club.

Since standing down as an MP, he has formed his own company – Amber Digital Consultancy Ltd – and has helped set up joint ventures in Egypt and India and advised on the Wikileaks story. He chairs Trinity Hospice in Clapham, the oldest English hospice which celebrated its 120th year in 2011; he sits on the board of CAABU, the Egypt British Business Council and Editorial Intelligence as well as still being on the Advisory Board at the Oxford University Internet Institute (which he founded). Wyatt is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Liveryman at the Hon. Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, and a Fellow of the Industry & Parliamentary Trust; he is also a Freeman of the City of London. He is a trustee of Major Stanley's at Oxford University RFC and he is a very small shareholder of Charlton Athletic F.C..

He is divorced and has a daughter and a son.


  1. ^ "Labour MP not seeking re-election". BBC News Online. 1 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b "My Life in Rugby: Derek Wyatt – former England, Bedford, Bath and Oxford University winger". The Rugby Paper. 10 May 2016.
  3. ^ Griffiths, John (26 April 2010). "The first official multi-race team in SA, MPs with international honours and Varsity Blues". Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  4. ^ Jenkins, Vivian (1983). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1982–83. Rothmans Publications Ltd. p. 144. ISBN 0-907574-13-0.
  5. ^ Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1975-76. London: Queen Anne Press. 1975. p. 128. ISBN 0362002215.

External linksEdit