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Tom Harris is a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, writing mainly on politics and the Labour Party, of which he was a member for 34 years. He served as the Labour MP for Glasgow South (formerly Glasgow Cathcart) from 2001 to 2015, when his was one of 40 Labour seats that succumbed to the SNP electoral tsunami of that year.
As an MP Tom became the Labour government’s longest serving railways minister, serving under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He was also parliamentary aide to Patricia Hewitt when she was Secretary of State for Health, and to John Spellar when he was Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office.Tom was one of Parliament’s pioneers in the use of social media and is the author of Why I’m Right And Everyone Else Is Wrong (Biteback, 2011), a collection of posts from his erstwhile and popular blog. His latest book, Ten Years in the Death of the Labour Party, was published in 2018.
Before entering parliament, Tom worked as a journalist and then as press officer to the Scottish Labour Party in the run-up to the 1992 general election. He then worked in various public relations roles in the public sector before his election as an MP in 2001.
In March 2016, having publicly declared his intention to vote Leave in the EU referendum, Tom accepted the role of Director of Scottish Vote Leave.
As well as his role at the Telegraph, Tom runs his own public affairs company, Third Avenue Public Affairs, with his wife, Carolyn. As an experienced member of various House of Commons select committees (and, as a government minister and Director of Scottish Vote Leave, as a witness at select committees) he also provides training to clients who have been invited to give evidence to MPs.
Through Third Avenue Public Affairs, Tom’s recent work has included a major independent report for National Express, one of the world’s leading transport providers, analysing the degree to which the company values those who work for it. The report is based on face-to-face interviews with National Express employees, managers and workers’ representatives at locations in the UK, Spain and the United States. He is also the author of an analysis, undertaken on behalf of ScotRail/Abellio, of the Scottish railway system and how it might be improved.
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