Stephen James McCabe (born 4 August 1955) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Hall Green from 1997 to 2010, when he was elected for Birmingham Selly Oak.

Steve McCabe

Steve McCabe MP (cropped).jpg
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
2 July 2007 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
ChancellorAlistair Darling
Preceded byKevin Brennan
Succeeded byJeremy Wright
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Selly Oak
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byLynne Jones
Majority12,414 (25.1%)
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Hall Green
In office
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
Preceded byAndrew Hargreaves
Succeeded byRoger Godsiff
Personal details
Stephen James McCabe

(1955-08-04) 4 August 1955 (age 64)
Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, Scotland
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Lorraine Lea Clendon
Alma materUniversity of Bradford

Early lifeEdit

Born in the shipbuilding town of Port Glasgow on the River Clyde, McCabe attended the town's local secondary school before studying at the Moray House College (later named Moray House School of Education) in Edinburgh, where he was awarded a Diploma in Social Studies (Certificate Qualification Social Work) in 1977 and qualified as a social worker.

He worked initially as a social worker in Wolverhampton for six years from 1977, and from 1978–1982 he served as a shop steward with the National and Local Government Officers Association. In 1983, he was appointed manager of the Priory in Thatcham, providing alternatives to care and custody for young people, for Berkshire Social Services. He left the Priory in 1985 and returned to education, taking an MA in Social Work at the University of Bradford in 1986.

Following his degree, he worked as a social services lecturer at the North East Worcestershire College in Redditch. In 1989, he became a child care worker in Solihull until 1991 when was appointed as an education adviser to the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (now called the General Social Care Council). He remained in this position until his election to the House of Commons.

He was elected as a councillor to Birmingham City Council in 1990 and served until 1998, during which time he served as the chair of the city's technical services committee (highways are its major function).

Parliamentary careerEdit

McCabe was elected as the Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green at the 1997 General Election when he unseated the Conservative member Andrew Hargreaves by 8,420 votes in the Labour landslide; the first time a Labour MP held the seat.

He served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Charles Clarke in his capacity as Secretary of State for Education and Skills (2003–2004) and as Home Secretary (2004–2005). He joined the government Whips Office in 2006 as an Assistant, and from 2007 was a Lord Commissioner to the Treasury (a full Whip). He also served on various select committees, including Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee (1998–2003) and Home Affairs Select Committee (2005–2006 and 2010–2013).

In October 2006, he applied for selection to the redrawn Birmingham Selly Oak seat, which incorporated much of his existing seat. Following the announcement by Lynne Jones, the sitting member for Selly Oak, in January 2007 that she would stand down at the next election, he became the favourite to be selected for the newly drawn constituency, and was duly selected by the local Labour party. He decided not to apply for the redrawn Hall Green seat on the grounds that its boundaries were significantly different from the existing seat of the same name.[1]

He was re-elected, in Selly Oak, at the May 2010 general election.[2] In 2012, McCabe underwent open heart surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for a heart murmur.[3]

From 2013 to 2015, he served as a Shadow Minister for Education as part of Ed Miliband's front bench team.[4]

He supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[5]

McCabe called in 2013 for a referendum on remaining in the EU to be held "as soon as possible", admitting he found himself "at odds with his party" on the issue.[6] McCabe joined 18 other Labour MPs in backing a referendum on Europe in a House of Commons vote called by rebel Conservative MPs.[7]


In the 2009 expenses scandal it was revealed that McCabe had over-claimed on his mortgage by £4,059.[8]

A three-month investigation by the parliamentary fees office resulted in McCabe calling for Commons officials to be sacked.[9] He later admitted: "I did make an error in my claim and, as the letter from the fees office shows, this money was repaid in a deduction from my next claim". Between 2004 and 2008, McCabe claimed £54,699 in expenses for his second home, on which he has a £60,000 mortgage. The claims included £5,500 for a new kitchen.[8]


On 1 August 2017, McCabe was left with injuries to his face after an individual on a motorcycle in Kings Heath, Birmingham threw a brick at him, leaving him with swelling and bruises to his face. Subsequent to this, he provided a statement to the police.[10]


  1. ^ "MPs fight to be candidate". Birmingham Mail. Trinity Mirror Midlands Limited. 30 October 2006. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Birmingham City Council: General Election 2010". Archived from the original on 8 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  3. ^ Jonathan Walker (4 June 2012). "Birmingham MP Steve McCabe recovering after heart surgery". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 24 April 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Steve McCabe". Parliament UK. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  6. ^ Walker, Jonathan (7 July 2013). "Birmingham MP Steve McCabe calls for Europe referendum". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Full list of MPs who voted for an EU referendum". Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b McCabe scandal over expenses Archived 14 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 8 May 2015.
  9. ^ "McCabe calls for Commons officials to be sacked" Archived 20 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 8 May 2015.
  10. ^ Jamieson, Sophie (31 July 2017). "Labour MP Steve McCabe attacked with brick by 'motorbike thug'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Andrew Hargreaves
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hall Green
Succeeded by
Roger Godsiff
Preceded by
Lynne Jones
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Selly Oak