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Philip Andrew Sawford (born 26 June 1950) is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kettering from 1997 to 2005.

Phil Sawford
Member of Parliament
for Kettering
In office
1 May 1997 – 5 May 2005
Preceded byRoger Freeman
Succeeded byPhilip Hollobone
Personal details
Philip Andrew Sawford

(1950-06-26) 26 June 1950 (age 69)
Loddington, Northamptonshire, England
Political partyLabour


Early lifeEdit

Sawford was born in Loddington, a small village in Northamptonshire just west of Kettering, in 1950. He went to Loddington CE primary school. He was educated at Kettering Grammar School and became an apprentice carpenter. He went on to become a steelworker in 1977 until the closures and mass redundancies at Corby Steelworks in 1980. Sawford won a place at Ruskin College, Oxford gaining a Diploma in 1982, and later gained a BA degree from the University of Leicester in 1985. He forged a career in training and personnel development, in parallel with his political activity in the Labour Party and as a local Councillor. He was first elected as a Desborough Town Councillor, then Kettering Borough Councillor, representing the Desborough Loatland Ward from 1977 to 1997. In 1991 Labour became the largest party on the Borough Council and Sawford became Leader of the Council. In 1995 Labour won overall control of the council and Sawford was re-elected as the council Leader, a post he held until he entered Parliament. From 1985-97, he worked for a training partnership in Wellingborough.

Parliamentary careerEdit

He contested Wellingborough in 1992.

He won the Kettering seat in the 1997 election, defeating Conservative Cabinet minister, Roger Freeman. Sawford won after three recounts, which meant the election result was one of the last to declare. Sawford increased his majority in the 2001 election. Over eight years as an MP he established a reputation as a constituency focused MP who championed local issues.

He lost it to the Conservative Philip Hollobone in the 2005 election, in line with the national swing against Labour. He was re-selected as the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for the seat in 2007. The boundaries of Kettering Constituency changed at the 2010 General Election, giving the seat a notional Labour majority, however in the event Sawford was again defeated by Hollobone, by 20 percentage points.

He is on the left of the Labour Party, and a member of the Socialist Campaign Group. He is a sworn republican, an outspoken campaigner for the abolition of hunting, and was an opponent of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Personal lifeEdit

He married Rosemary Stokes on 1 May 1971, with two sons Lee Sawford and Andy Sawford, who was elected as the Labour MP for Corby in a by-election in 2012

External linksEdit