Martin David Whitfield (born 1965) is a Scottish Labour Party politician and former primary school teacher. He has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for East Lothian since the 2017 snap general election, where he unseated the sitting MP, George Kerevan of the Scottish National Party.
Official parliamentary portrait by Chris McAndrew (June 2017)
|Member of Parliament |
for East Lothian
9 June 2017 – 6 November 2019
|Preceded by||George Kerevan|
|Succeeded by||Election in progress|
Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
|Alma mater||Huddersfield Polytechnic|
Early Life, Education & CareerEdit
Whitfield was born in Gosforth in Newcastle and achieved BA(Hons) in Business Law from Huddersfield Polytechnic. He worked as a solicitor between 1989 and 2001, before leaving the law profession to retrain as a teacher at the University of Edinburgh, achieving a PGCPE pass with merit in teaching in 2002.
Prior to his election, Whitfield worked at Prestonpans Primary School and served as a council member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland as well as a member of the EIS, Scotland's largest trade union. He was also Chair of Prestonpans Community Council and involved in a number of community groups.
He has supported the official recognition of non-binary people in official government documentation. He was one of 216 general election candidates to pledge support for the Israel Election Pledge.
Whitfield attracted controversy in a debate on the abuse of MPs when he claimed that "now is the time to ban anonymous social media accounts". Whitfield claimed he was echoing similar remarks from SNP MEP Alyn Smith.
In June 2018, Whitfield led an adjournment debate on the challenges faced by people with 'hidden' disabilities, particularly in relation to the use of accessible toilets and cited the Grace's Sign campaign run by a young constituent, Grace Warnock. In June 2019 he led a further backbench debate on invisible disabilities and accessibility challenges, including the new Any Disability Sign.
Whitfield has been a strong critic of the Government's Universal Credit system and was one of the first Labour MPs to call for the new benefit to be replaced entirely.
In October 2018 he attracted widespread praise after leading a Commons debate on World Menopause Day.
Following the announcement that the US would impose tariffs on Single Malt Scotch Whisky from 18 October, Whitfield took a leading role in efforts to encourage the UK Government to persuade US counterparts to reconsider the move and co-ordinated a letter to the US Ambassador.
Whitfield is a member of several All-Party Parliamentary Groups, including the Timber Industries APPG, which he chairs. He is also a member of the Commons' Science and Technology Select Committee.
- "No. 27885". The Edinburgh Gazette. 19 June 2017. p. 1076.
- "England & Wales births 1837-2006 Transcription".
- "Martin Whitfield MP". UK Parliament.
- "East Lothian parliamentary constituency - Election 2017" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "East Lothian". Election 2017. BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- "ABOUT". Martin Whitfield MP. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
- "Whitfield, Martin". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. 2018 (February 2018 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 13 February 2018. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- "Labour confirm candidate for General Election". East Lothian Courier. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "Labour confirm candidate for General Election". East Lothian Courier. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "Martin Whitfield: People's Vote is the best way to agree a decisive way forward". www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- "Why Boris Johnson's deal is 'gateway to catastrophic hard Brexit' – Martin Whitfield MP". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- "Scotland's new MPs – June 2017 — Equality Network". www.equality-network.org. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "Pledge - We Believe in Israel". We Believe in Israel. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- "UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation - Hansard Online". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "Accessibility Challenges: Invisible Disabilities - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- "Invisible Disabilities and Accessibility Challenges - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- MP, Martin Whitfield. "Time to replace Universal Credit". Martin Whitfield MP. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
- "World Menopause Day - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- "Cross-party MSPs wrote to US over whisky tariff increase". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- "Martin Whitfield MP elected new Chair of Timber Industries APPG". www.cti-timber.org. Confederation of Timber Industries. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- "Science and Technology Committee (Commons)". UK Parliament. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
- Sarwar, Anas. "Thank you for your support & encouragement. Delighted that @MartWhitfieldMP & @pauline4glasgow will be co-chairing my campaign for leaderhttps". Twitter.
- Personal website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for East Lothian
Election in progress