Jeff Smith (British politician)

Jeff Smith (born 26 January 1963) is a British Labour Party politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Manchester Withington since 2015, and the Shadow Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Music since 4 December 2021. A former Manchester City Councillor, he served as a senior opposition whip in Parliament from 2015 to 2021, and Shadow Minister for Local Government from May to 4 December 2021.

Jeff Smith
Official portrait of Jeff Smith MP crop 2.jpg
Shadow Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Music
Assumed office
4 December 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byAlison McGovern (Sport)
Alex Sobel (Tourism & Heritage)
Shadow Minister for Local Government
In office
14 May 2021 – 4 December 2021
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byKate Hollern
Succeeded byMike Amesbury
Shadow Lord Commissioner of HM Household
In office
18 September 2015 – 14 May 2021
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Keir Starmer
Preceded byPosition Established
Member of Parliament
for Manchester Withington
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byJohn Leech
Majority27,905 (52.7%)
Personal details
Born (1963-01-26) 26 January 1963 (age 59)
Manchester, United Kingdom
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Manchester
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and careerEdit

Smith was a pupil at the private Manchester Grammar School,[1] and graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Politics and Economics in 1984.[2] He was a member of the University of Manchester Students' Union Executive from 1984 to 1985 as the Entertainments Officer.

A former councillor for Old Moat ward on Manchester City Council from 1997, he served as the Executive Member for Finance on the council and was a governor at Parrs Wood High School.[3][4]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Smith was selected as the Labour Party candidate for the Manchester Withington constituency in June 2013,[5] ahead of Angela Rayner and fellow Manchester Councillor Andrew Simcock.[6] At the general election in May 2015, Smith was elected MP for Manchester Withington on behalf of Labour, defeating the incumbent Liberal Democrat John Leech, with a majority of 14,873.

Smith served as a senior Opposition whip from 2015 to 2021.[7]

He supported Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[8]

In July 2015, Smith voted to prevent the government's Welfare Bill going through on the second reading, and voted against it at the third reading.[9]

Smith campaigned to remain in the European Union.[10] In January 2017, he voted against triggering Article 50.[11] On 14 March 2019, Smith voted to reject Theresa May's Brexit deal and a no-deal Brexit.[12]

Smith was re-elected in the 2017 snap general election, securing 71.7% of the vote and more than doubling his majority over next-placed John Leech to 29,875 (55.8%).

He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health,[13] and sits on the advisory board of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.[14] He is Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.[15]

Smith co-founded the Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform with Thangam Debbonaire[16] and is Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform.[17] On 20 April 2020, Smith appeared in a virtual online 4/20 event hosted by Voltfacehub, where he spoke in favour of the decriminalisation and regulation of the drug cannabis.[18]

Smith was appointed as the Shadow Minister for Local Government in the May 2021 Labour reshuffle, filling the position made vacant following Kate Hollern's resignation.[19] Smith was appointed Shadow Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Music on 4 December in the Shadow Culture department.

Personal lifeEdit

Smith's mother was born in Dublin. His grandfather, Jack McDermott, was an Irish trade unionist who brought his family to Manchester when he was elected general secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers.[20]

Smith's Jewish great-grandmother, Rosa Simonson, came to Manchester in the 1880s to escape antisemitic persecution in what is now Poland.[21]

Before being elected, Smith was an event manager and DJ,[22] and has performed regularly at V Festival and club nights Poptastic in Manchester and Star in Leeds.[23]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kelly, Richard (29 May 2015). "Pupil Plebiscites and Leftist Leanings: Political Participation and Manchester Grammar School, 1906–2015". Political Studies Association. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  2. ^ "SMITH, Jeffrey". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. Vol. 2017 (online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) (subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries)
  3. ^ "The Governing Body". Manchester, UK: Parrs Wood High School. Archived from the original on 25 November 2014.
  4. ^ "The Members of the Executive: The Executive Members in 2013 / 14". manchester.gov.uk. Manchester City Council. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014.
  5. ^ Wheatstone, Richard (10 June 2013). "Gloves are off as candidates set to do battle for Withington seat". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  6. ^ Crick, Michael (6 November 2013). "Unite choosing Labour's candidates: is Cameron correct?". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Labour makes new Whips Office appointments". LabourList. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  8. ^ Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Mirror. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  9. ^ jeffsmithmp (23 July 2015). "Why we voted against the Welfare Bill – and why we abstained". Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  10. ^ "EU vote: Where the cabinet and other MPs stand". BBC News. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  11. ^ Williams, Jennifer (26 January 2017). "Labour MP Jeff Smith risks being sacked as whip after refusing to back Brexit vote". men. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  12. ^ correspondent, Peter Walker Political (14 March 2019). "What are the amendments to the article 50 extension vote and how did MPs vote?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  13. ^ "APPG on mental health". APPG on mental health. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Advisory board". Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Crispin Blunt and Joan Bakewell elected as Chair and Co-Chair of humanists in Parliament". Humanists UK. 13 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Founders". Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  17. ^ "All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform". All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Login • Instagram". Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  19. ^ Rodgers, Sienna. "Reshuffle: Keir Starmer's new Labour frontbench in full". LabourList. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Twitter". twitter.co.uk.
  21. ^ "Holocaust Memorial Day - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  22. ^ "About". 8 January 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  23. ^ Staff writer (19 April 2010). "Corridors of Power to Wheels of Steel". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2017.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Manchester Withington

2015–present
Incumbent