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Michael Vincent Dugher (born 26 April 1975[1]) is a former British Labour politician who was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Barnsley East at the 2010 general election.[2] He has held several senior positions within the party, including Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. He did not stand at the 2017 general election.[3]

Michael Dugher
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
In office
13 September 2015 – 5 January 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byChris Bryant
Succeeded byMaria Eagle
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
5 November 2014 – 13 September 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded byMary Creagh
Succeeded byLilian Greenwood
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
7 October 2013 – 5 November 2014
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded byJon Trickett
Succeeded byLucy Powell
Labour Party Vice Chair
In office
7 October 2011 – 5 November 2014
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded byStephen Timms
Succeeded byJon Trickett
Shadow Minister without Portfolio
In office
7 October 2011 – 7 October 2013
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded byJon Trickett
Succeeded byJon Trickett
Member of Parliament
for Barnsley East
In office
7 May 2010 – 3 May 2017
Preceded byJeff Ennis
Succeeded byStephanie Peacock
Personal details
Michael Vincent Dugher

(1975-04-26) 26 April 1975 (age 44)
Edlington, England
Spouse(s)Joanna Dugher
Alma materUniversity of Nottingham
WebsiteOfficial website

In April 2017, Dugher was announced as UK Music's new chief executive, replacing outgoing chief executive Jo Dipple. He took up the role in May 2017.[4][5]

Early life and careerEdit

Born and raised in Edlington, South Yorkshire, where he was educated. He also attended The McAuley School in Doncaster and read Politics at the University of Nottingham. He was national chairman of Labour Students in 1997.

He was the Head of Policy of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union in 2000 to 2001.[6][7]

From 2001–2002, Dugher was a special adviser to Transport Minister John Spellar at the Department of Transport, Local Government and Regional Affairs. After this, he worked as a special adviser to Geoff Hoon from 2002–2008. Hoon was successively the Secretary of State for Defence, the Leader of the House of Commons and the Government Chief Whip.[8] During 2006–2007, Dugher worked as a corporate lobbyist for American multinational Electronic Data Systems (EDS), one of the government's largest IT contractors.[9]

Dugher worked at 10 Downing Street from 2008–2010 as the Chief Political Spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[10]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Before his election at the 2010 general election as the MP for Barnsley East, Dugher stood unsuccessfully for Skipton and Ripon, then held by the Conservative David Curry, at the 2001 general election.[11]

Dugher was a Shadow Minister of Defence before becoming the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition. In 2011, he was promoted to Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister without Portfolio, a role in which he co-ordinated shadow ministers' responses to the government.

In November 2012, Miliband appointed Dugher to the position of Labour Party Vice Chair with responsibility for communications strategy.[12][dubious ]

In the October 2013 reshuffle, he became Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office[13] and in November 2014 was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Transport replacing Mary Creagh. As Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Dugher told the New Statesman that he wanted to see "more public control of the railways" under a Labour government.[14]

Dugher has been an Executive Committee member of the British-American Parliamentary Group.[15]

In the Labour leadership election of 2015, he was campaign manager for Andy Burnham.[16][17] He was also a supporter of Tom Watson for the deputy leadership election.

In September 2015, Dugher replaced Chris Bryant as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.[10] However, in January 2016, he was sacked from the position in Jeremy Corbyn's first reshuffle,[18][19] as announced by Dugher himself via Twitter.[20] Dugher did not take telephone calls from Corbyn the previous day.[21] Several shadow cabinet ministers publicly supported Dugher, with Andy Burnham saying that "Michael Dugher is Labour to the core & has served our Party with distinction".[20] Dugher said that Corbyn did not like an article he had written for the New Statesman, saying "I took a decision to speak out and I paid a price for it".[22] Dugher described his article "I said despite all the stuff you’ve read in the newspapers: I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is a man motivated by revenge, I didn’t think he’ll do these mass sackings as an act of revenge over Syria that we’ve read about every day, every week, for several weeks. I was defending Jeremy and I was defending the 'new politics'".[22]

He did not stand in the 2017 general election, stating, "It's time now for me to make a difference in life outside of politics. It's also time that I do what is best for my wife and children, whom I love with all my heart."[23]

Political viewsEdit

Dugher has held the post of Vice-Chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI).[24] He has criticised the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, saying "Boycotting Israeli institutions is ignorant, wrong and counterproductive to peace. We should be building bridges and furthering dialogue".[25][26]

He gave a keynote speech at the 'We Believe in Israel’ conference, where he said "Each time I visit Israel, my admiration for that great country grows".[27]

Following the 2015 general election, Dugher said Labour mishandled its relationship with the Jewish community through a combination of neglect and incompetence. He criticised Labour's response to the 2014 Gaza conflict and called the then Labour leader Ed Miliband’s decision to whip Labour MPs to vote for a motion recognising the State of Palestine as "catastrophic". Dugher abstained in the parliament vote on this matter, despite a three line whip and being a shadow cabinet minister.[28]


  1. ^ Profile,; accessed 22 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Barnsley East". Election 2010. BBC. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  3. ^ Schofield, Kevin (20 April 2017). "EXCL Michael Dugher: Why I'm quitting Parliament". Politics Home. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  4. ^ "UK Music appoints Labour politician Michael Dugher as new chief executive". Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  5. ^ Rice, Xan (5 June 2017). "View from Barnsley Central: on the trail with Labour's former future leader". New Statesman. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Top 50 New MPs". totalpolitics. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Michael Dugher". Huffington Post. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  8. ^ "DUGHER, Michael Barnsley East Labour". Parliamentary Yearbook. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  9. ^ David Singleton (11 May 2010). "Many lobbyists win seats but some see majority decreased". PR Week. Archived from the original on 21 March 2011.
  10. ^ a b Martinson, Jane (14 September 2015). "Michael Dugher replaces Chris Bryant as shadow culture secretary". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Democracy Live | Your representatives | Michael Dugher". BBC News. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Michael Dugher appointed Labour Party Vice Chair". LabourList. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  13. ^ Profile Archived 6 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 22 October 2014.
  14. ^ Dugher, Michael (18 February 2015). "Exclusive: Michael Dugher promises "public control" of railways under Labour". New Statesman. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  15. ^ Executive Committee Report 2014-15 (PDF) (Report). British-American Parliamentary Group. 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  16. ^ Mason, Rowena; Perraudin, Frances (21 August 2015). "Burnham campaign hints at challenge if it loses Labour leadership vote". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Dugher to manage Burnham's leadership campaign". LabourList. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  18. ^ Sparrow, Anderw (5 January 2016). "Labour reshuffle: the quotes that helped seal Michael Dugher's fate". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  19. ^ Mason, Rowena (5 January 2016). "Labour reshuffle: party divided over Corbyn sacking Michael Dugher". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  20. ^ a b Goodfellow, Mollie (5 January 2016). "Michael Dugher MP hits back at Corbyn dismissal – by adding it to his Twitter bio". The Independent. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  21. ^ Richards, Steve (20 July 2016). "The Corbyn Story". 0. Episode 2. Event occurs at 20m47s. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 20 July 2016. Dugher: What I got wind of ... they wanted to announce my sacking ... so I just got on the phone and rang some people I'd not spoken to for a long time from about sort of eight o'clock to about half past ten, when I got off the phone there were a lot of missed calls and message from Jeremy and the leaders office so I guess it just had to wait for another day.
  22. ^ a b Stone, Jon (5 January 2016). "Michael Dugher says he has 'paid the price for speaking out' against Jeremy Corbyn". The Independent. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Outgoing MP Michael Dugher to head up UK Music | Complete Music Update". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  24. ^ Wright, Oliver (10 October 2010). "Anger grows within Labour over forced Palestinian vote". The Independent. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  25. ^ "Israeli Universities Boycotted By 343 British Academics, Critics Slam Move As 'Ignorant'". 27 October 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  26. ^ Sherwood, Harriet. "Star authors call for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue rather than boycotts | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  27. ^ "LFI vice chair, Michael Dugher MP, gives keynote speech at 'We Believe in Israel' conference Labour Friends of Israel". 22 March 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  28. ^ Philpot, Robert (27 May 2015). "Labour was 'catastrophic' on Israel, says shadow cabinet member Michael Dugher". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 23 January 2016.

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