Open main menu

Robert Howard Marris (born 8 April 1955[1]) is a British Labour Party politician, who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wolverhampton South West. He first held the seat from 2001 until his defeat in 2010. He regained at the seat at the 2015 general election, but retired from parliament at the 2017 general election.[2]

Rob Marris
Rob Marris.JPG
Member of Parliament
for Wolverhampton South West
In office
7 May 2015 – 3 May 2017
Preceded byPaul Uppal
Succeeded byEleanor Smith
In office
7 June 2001 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byJenny Jones
Succeeded byPaul Uppal
Personal details
Born (1955-04-08) 8 April 1955 (age 64)
Wolverhampton, England
Political partyLabour
Other political
New Democratic Party
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia

Early life and careerEdit

The son of Dr. Charles Marris and Margaret Marris JP, he was born in Wolverhampton and partially educated at Warstones Primary School, before attending Birchfield Preparatory School and St. Edward's School in Oxford. He then moved to Canada and spent some time as a lumberjack, before obtaining a double first in History and Sociology from the University of British Columbia.[1] He then completed a master's degree, working as a truck driver whilst finishing his thesis.[3] Having decided he wanted a career in law in the UK and not being eligible for a UK grant, he spent 3 years driving trolleybuses, followed by a period as a forest fire fighter during which time he joined Greenpeace, newly founded in Vancouver, becoming world member no. 204. He was also a member of the New Democratic Party,[3] Canada's counterpart to the Labour Party as members of the Socialist International. He served his articles of clerkship in Wolverhampton and went to work for Thompsons solicitors, whose work he says is 90% Trade Union related,[3] until he was elected to Parliament.[4]

Parliamentary careerEdit

First terms (2001–10)Edit

First elected at the 2001 general election, on 8 July 2007, he became PPS to Shaun Woodward, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

In July 2008, Marris received the "Backbencher of the Year" award from The House, the magazine of the House of Commons.[5] Marris spoke in a "well above average" number of parliamentary debates and had a "well above average" voting record.[6]

Marris emerged well from the May 2009 political scandal of MPs expenses disclosures[7] being listed as a "saint", with minimal claims for second home. However, he was defeated in the 2010 general election by Paul Uppal of the Conservative Party.

Return (2015–17)Edit

In May 2013, Marris was selected as the Labour Party's Parliamentary candidate for Wolverhampton South West in the 2015 General Election.[4] The seat was once held by the Conservative Enoch Powell, known for his April 1968 "rivers of blood" speech in which he opposed immigration. In the run-up to the 2015 election, both Marris, his main opponent, Paul Uppal and even UKIP agreed that immigration was no longer a key issue.[8] Marris expressed concern about zero-hour contracts, foodbanks and workers earnings below living wages and whilst Uppal highlighted the improvement in community relations.[8]

In 2015, Marris introduced the Assisted dying Bill, based on Lord Falconer of Thoroton's earlier proposals in the House of Lords.[9] The bill was praised by Philip Collins, a leader writer for The Times as "a sophisticated and humane attempt" to clarify the law before the courts do so and which unlike religion "will actually ease suffering." Archbishop Welby's subsequent objections were described as "histrionic" and lacking any religious reason.[9] According to Linda Woodhead, professor of sociology of religion at Lancaster University, 70 per cent of religious people wanted the law changed.[10] The bill was rejected by 330 to 118.[11]

He was appointed a shadow Treasury Minister by Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015.[12] Among scores of colleagues, he resigned on 30 June 2016.[13] A marginal at the 2015 general election, Marris regained Wolverhampton South West with a majority of 801 votes, he stood down at the 2017 general election[2]

Outside ParliamentEdit

In June 2008, Marris was cautioned after causing damage, which he said was unintentional, to a van which was impeding his access to a bus stop. [14] He is Honorary President of the Wolves on Wheels Cycle Campaign.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Rob Marris:Political profile". BBC news. 16 October 2002. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Wolverhampton MP Rob Marris will NOT stand in 2017 General Election". Express & Star. Wolverhampton. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Ros Dodds (19 October 2000). "Profile: Rob Marris – Key to a New Political Life". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2 November 2014 – via Questia Online Library.
  4. ^ a b "about Rob". Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Walker, Jon (20 June 2008). "Backbencher of the year Marris really has a mind of his own". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Rob Marris Former MP Wolverhampton South West". Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  7. ^ "MPs' expenses: The saints (Part ii)". The Daily Telegraph. London. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  8. ^ a b Amelia Gentleman (29 April 2015). "Immigration: in Enoch Powell's former seat jobs and the economy matter more". Guardian newspapers. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  9. ^ a b Philip Collins (11 September 2015). "Ignore the slippery critics of assisted dying". The Times. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  10. ^ Rosemary Bennett and David Sanderson (16 July 2014). "Most believers back assisted dying despite opposition of church leaders". Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  11. ^ James Gallagher & Philippa Roxby (11 September 2015). "Assisted Dying Bill: MPs reject 'right to die' law". BBC news. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  12. ^ Anoosh Chakelian (18 September 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet: the full list of ministers". New Statesman. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Live updates: Labour leadership crisis: Labour MP quits shadow Treasury team". ITV News. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  14. ^ Edwards, Richard (4 June 2008). "Labour MP Rob Marris cautioned for damaging van". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  15. ^ "NATA Transport Appraisal is biased against cycling". WolvesonWheels. Retrieved 23 September 2015.

External linksEdit