Kathryn Sloan Clark (born 3 July 1967) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Ayrshire and Arran from the 2005 to the 2015 general election when she lost her seat to Patricia Gibson, the SNP candidate.
|Member of Parliament |
for North Ayrshire and Arran
5 May 2005 – 30 March 2015
|Preceded by||Brian Wilson|
|Succeeded by||Patricia Gibson|
|Born||3 July 1967|
|Alma mater||University of Aberdeen|
Clark went to Ayr Grammar Primary School then Kyle Academy, both in Ayr, before attending the University of Aberdeen, receiving an LLB in 1990. She was the chairwoman of the Labour club there. She received a Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Edinburgh in 1991. She was a solicitor in Edinburgh and Musselburgh from 1991-98 , a legal officer then Head of Membership Legal Services with UNISON in London from 1998-2005 where she undertook employment litigation including Europe's biggest equal pay case.[dead link] She qualified as a solicitor in England, Scotland and Wales. She joined the Labour Party at the age of seventeen and is a member of the Unite and UNISON.[dead link] Her great-great grandfather, former coal-miner Alexander Sloan, was Labour MP for South Ayrshire from 1939 until his death in 1946.
Clark unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of Galloway and Upper Nithsdale at the 1997 general election, a traditional Conservative and Scottish National Party (SNP) marginal. She finished in third place behind the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Ian Lang who lost his seat to the SNP's Alasdair Morgan.
She was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election for the new seat of North Ayrshire and Arran, based substantially on the former seat of Cunninghame North whose MP Brian Wilson had retired, and the towns of Stevenston and Kilwinning from the old Cunninghame South. She had a majority of 11,296, and made her maiden speech on 7 June 2005. She was nominated for House Magazine's 'Maiden Speech of the Year'.
Following the election, The Guardian named her as one of eight new MPs "to watch". One of the few left-wing members of Labour's 2005 intake of MPs, she is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group and the Scottish Labour Party Campaign for Socialism; of the twenty-four members of the Campaign Group, she was the only one under the age of 50. Clark is also a republican.
Clark quickly established a reputation as a rebel within the Parliamentary Labour Party, voting against ID cards. However, she did not consider herself to be a rebel, stating that her "views are consistent with Labour's traditions". On local issues, she campaigned against the contracting out of lifeline ferry services with her first Parliamentary Question being about the tendering of services and for the retraining of former workers employed at the closed Simclar factory. Clark campaigned on human rights issues and was one of 95 Labour MPs who opposed replacing Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system. She supported a 'No' vote in the 2011 AV Referendum. She was amongst a handful of MPs who opposed the bombing of Libya.
She campaigned against austerity, was Co-Chair of the Labour Assembly Against Austerity, a Patron of the Greek Solidarity Campaign and on 13 January 2015, Clark voted against the Charter for Budget Responsibility. 28 of her fellow Labour MPs supported the Coalition-led proposal; the remaining 228 either abstained or were absent for the vote. She was one of 16 signatories of an open letter to Ed Miliband in January 2015 calling on the party to commit to oppose further austerity, take rail franchises back into public ownership and strengthen collective bargaining arrangements.
She was Secretary of the Trade Union Group of Labour MPs and Chair of the CWU Group of MPs taking up many trade union, equalities, human rights, consumer and employment rights issues in Parliament.
Clark stood as a left candidate to be Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party in 2014 arguing for a change in direction. She lost her Commons seat of North Ayrshire and Arran at the May 2015 general election to the SNP candidate Patricia Gibson.
Clark was a key strategist on Jeremy Corbyn's 2015 Leadership campaign and appointed as the Political Secretary of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in November 2015. She was then Head of the Labour Party Democracy Review which reported in September 2018. She lives in Vauxhall and has one daughter. A pro-European she stood as a Labour candidate on the London list in the 2019 European Parliament Elections.
- "Clark, Kathryn Sloan, (Katy)". UK Who's Who. Oxford University Press. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "ASLEF backs Katy Clark". ASLEF.org.uk. Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. 5 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- "Page cannot be found". UK Parliament.[dead link]
- "Our supporters include". Republic. Archived from the original on 4 March 2013.
- "Class of 2005". The Guardian. 10 October 2005.
- "Labour MPs and Lords say NO to AV". Archived from the original on 14 December 2011.
- "People's Assembly opening letter". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 5 February 2013.
- Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction - why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Corbyn hires former MP ally as his political secretary". Labour List. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
- Official website[dead link]
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Biography - Katy Clark MP Scottish Labour (Archived)
- Ask Aristotle: Katy Clark MP The Guardian[dead link]
- Video clip: Katy Clark MP - People's Assembly 20th March 2007 YouTube, 22 March 2007
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire and Arran