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Kevin Hughes (politician)

Kevin Michael Hughes (15 December 1952 – 16 July 2006) was a British Labour Party politician. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Doncaster North from 1992 to 2005. He served as a government whip, and was previously a coal miner and official for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Kevin Hughes
Member of Parliament
for Doncaster North
In office
10 April 1992 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byMichael Welsh
Succeeded byEd Miliband
Personal details
Born(1952-12-15)15 December 1952
Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died16 July 2006(2006-07-16) (aged 53)
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
Political partyLabour
Other political
New Communist Party (1977-1978)
Spouse(s)Lynda Hughes
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield

Early and private lifeEdit

Hughes was born in Doncaster, the son of a coal miner. He was educated at Owston Park secondary modern, and took up his father's profession in 1970. He remained a miner until 1990, but also attended University of Sheffield for three years under a day-release scheme.

Personal lifeEdit

Kevin and Lynda Hughes married in 1972. They had a son and a daughter together. His son joined the Army, and served in the 2003 Gulf War.

Political careerEdit

Originally a Communist, he joined the New Communist Party in 1977 but left to join the Labour Party in 1978. He served as a branch delegate and member of the Yorkshire area committee of the NUM. He was elected as a member of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in 1986, and elected to Parliament in the 1992 general election for the safe Labour seat of Doncaster North. As an MP, he was sponsored by the NUM, although the number of working coal pits in his constituency had been reduced from 6 to only 1. He campaigned on pit safety issues before the privatisation of British Coal in the early 1990s.

Despite allegations being made against him by fellow councillor Ron Rose, Hughes avoided blame in the "Donnygate" scandal, which resulted in 21 former members of Doncaster council being convicted for fraud offences, and he retained his seat in the House of Commons in 1997, despite being opposed by an "anti-fraud" candidate, and again in 2001. He became a whip for the opposition in 1996, and was a junior whip in the Labour government from 1997 to 2001. He vigorously supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Hughes is renowned for his comment in Parliament about readers of The Guardian, many of whom support Labour, in support of new anti-terrorism legislation following the September 11, 2001 attacks:

"Does my right hon. Friend find it bizarre—as I do—that the yoghurt and muesli-eating, Guardian-reading fraternity are only too happy to protect the human rights of people engaged in terrorist acts, but never once do they talk about the human rights of those who are affected by them?" [1]

Hughes stood down early from Parliament in 2005 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, which claimed his life the following year.

External linksEdit