Hilary Benn


Hilary Benn was re-elected MP for Leeds Central on May 7th 2015 with 24758 votes, taking 55.0% of the vote.

Hilary was born in London in 1953 to Tony and Caroline Benn. He attended Holland Park Comprehensive School and Sussex University. He has been involved in public life from an early age. He was President of Ealing Acton Constituency Labour Party from 1979 to 1982. Elected to Ealing Borough Council in 1979 at the age of 25, he became Chair of the Education Committee in 1986. He served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Group for nine years from 1985-1994, and was Deputy Leader of the Council from 1986-1990. In 1988 he was elected Chair of the Association of London Authorities Education Committee. He was also a member of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities Education Committee and the Labour Party’s Education Forum.

Labour and the Trade Unions

In 1980, while a Research Officer with the Association of Scientific, Technical and Management Staffs, Hilary was seconded to the Labour Party to act as Joint Secretary to the finance panel of the Labour Party Commission of Inquiry.

In 1982, at the age of 29, he was selected as Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Ealing North, which he contested in the 1983 and 1987 General Elections.

In 1993, he was appointed as Head of Research at Manufacturing, Science, Finance – Britain’s fifth largest trade union – and in 1996 was promoted to the post of Head of Policy and Communications. He represented MSF on the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum, was an elected member of the Party’s Environment Policy Commission and a member of the Labour Party into Power Taskforce on party democracy. He also gave evidence to the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life.

From 1994 to 1999, he was Chair of the Management Committee of Unions 21 – the trade union think tank.

Into Government

Following Labour’s 1997 General Election victory, Hilary was appointed as special adviser to the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP, then Secretary of State for Education and Employment. His responsibilities included lifelong learning, and he was closely involved in the drafting of the Learning Age green paper and the Learning to Succeed White Paper.

He was also instrumental in setting up the Union Learning Fund.

Into Parliament as MP for Leeds Central

In June 1999, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Leeds Central, succeeding the late Derek Fathcett. From 1999-2001 he was a member of the Environment, Transport and the Regions Select Committee and Vice-Chair of the Backbench Education Committee of Labour MPs. In June 2001, he was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development. Between May 2002 and May 2003, he was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Community and Custodial provision at the Home Office.

In May 2003 he was appointed as Minister of State for International Development and in October that year was made Secretary of State for International Development.

Hilary was appointed to DEFRA as Secretary of State in 2007, when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party. He stayed in the post until Labour lost power in the 2010 general election.

Between October 2010 and 2011 he was Shadow Leader of the House of Common. Between October 2011 and May 2015 he covered the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and since the general election of May 2015 he is Shadow Foreign Secretary.

And finally…

When not working, Hilary enjoys gardening and watching sport. He is married and has four children.

Constituency: Leeds Central

Constituency Address: Suite 7, Unity Business Centre
26 Roundhay Road

Constituency Tel: 0113 244 1097

Date of Birth: 26 November 1953

Email: hilary.benn.mp@parliament.uk

Party: Labour

Personal Website: http://www.hilarybennmp.com/home

Westminster Address: House of Commons

Westminster Tel: 0207 219 6714

Twitter: @hilarybennmp

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hilary-Benn/112670685413656?fref=ts