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The Rt. Hon Alan Johnson MP has been the Member of Parliament for Kingston Upon Hull West and Hessle since 1997. He rose to power in the Blair New Labour Government, eventually becoming Home Secretary, the office he held until Labour’s defeat in the 2010 election.
Johnson’s first career choice was that of postman, starting his rounds in London in 1968. He joined the Union of Communication Workers and subsequently became the youngest General Secretary in their history when he was elected in January 1992.
This success and exposure to politics contributed to his standing for parliament in the safe Labour seat of Hull West and Hessle in 1997. Alan held various junior minister roles until his appointment in 2004 as Secretary of State for Work & Pensions. In May 2006, following the English local elections, his brief was changed to that of Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
In Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s first Cabinet, in June 2007, Johnson was appointed as Secretary of State for Health. During a reshuffle two years later he was selected to be Home Secretary, becoming Shadow Home Secretary when the Conservatives won the general election in 2010. He briefly held the post of Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequor in Ed Milliband’s first shadow cabinet.
Alan counts helping the British Fishermen’s Association secure their claim for compensation as one of his greatest achievements, having been the subject of his maiden speech in 1997. 25 years after distant water trawlermen had their industry destroyed by the agreement that the government reached with Iceland to end the so-called Cod Wars compensation was provided. The initial scheme was deemed unfair by the Ombudsman and it wasn’t until 2012 that closure was eventually achieved.
There has been much speculation about him standing for the role of Mayor of London. Alan has said that he might stand in the 2016 elections, but he would step down in 2015 if he wanted to become Mayor of London.
A brilliant speaker, possessing the rare ability to present both serious political content and witty, light hearted current affairs based humour with equal skill.
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