- Stephen Twigg
name = Stephen Twigg
constituency_MP2 = Enfield Southgate
1 May 1997
5 May 2005
birth_date = Birth date and age|1966|12|25|df=yes
Enfield, United Kingdom
nationality = British
party = Labour
website = [http://www.twigg4westderby.com/home www.twigg4westderby.com]
Stephen Twigg (born
25 December 1966) is a British Labour Party politician. He served as the Member of Parliamentfor Enfield Southgate from 1997-2005. He came to prominence by defeating the sitting member for Enfield Southgate, the Conservative Cabinet minister Michael Portillo, at the 1997 general election. Twigg was made the made Minister of Statefor School Standards on 16 December 2004. [ cite web|url=http://www.dfes.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2004_0229 |title=STEPHEN TWIGG APPOINTED MINISTER FOR SCHOOL STANDARDS |accessdate=2007-11-09 |work=Department for Children, Schools and Families |publisher= Department for Children, Schools and Families] He then lost his seat in parliament at the 2005 general election.
Twigg has been selected as the
Labour Co-operativecandidate for the Liverpool West Derby constituency at the next United Kingdom general election. [cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/merseyside/6999733.stm | title=Deselected Wareing to quit Labour | date= 17 September 2007| accessdate=2007-09-24 | work=BBC News]
He became the youngest and first openly gay president of the National Union of Students in 1990cite news|title=Twigg puts down new roots |author=Polly Curtis|url=http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,1375256,00.html|date=
2004-12-16|accessdate=2007-07-27|publisher= The Guardian] representing the National Organisation of Labour Students (NOLS). In 1991 he was re-elected, despite failing to register his nomination for the position before the deadline; this forced NOLS delegates to vote to re-open nominations at the NUS Conference. The subsequent election was only able to take nominations from the floor of conference, but despite having a large number of opponents, many of whom stood to register their unhappiness at this process, Twigg won the ballot.
On leaving the NUS he became a
councillorin the London Borough of Islington, and was also Chief Whip,and briefly Deputy Leader. He worked for the UK section of Amnesty Internationaland then for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
In the 1997 election he was elected to Parliament for Enfield Southgate, the constituency in which he had been born and raised, with a
majorityof 1,433. There had been a massive 17.4% swing to him from his Conservative opponent, Michael Portillo. For many, Portillo losing his seat was the most iconic moment of the election; a book of the election by Brian Cathcart was titled "Were You Still Up for Portillo?" At his moment of victory, Twigg rolled his eyes heavenwards in a manner which eloquently expressed surprise, delight, relief and je ne sais quoi. In the Royal Festival Hallin London, the scene of the party celebrations that evening, the result elicited a massive cheer, as Portillo was not only a cabinet minister, but also was widely tipped as a future leader of the Conservative Party. Twigg was forced to give up his role as general secretary of the Fabian Societyfollowing this unexpected victory in what had been regarded as a safe Conservative seat. BBCcoverage of the result can be found [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdKexAVIUY4 here] . Twigg was the first gay man to be out at the time of his election to the House of Commons when he was elected at the 1997 general election: it was a close contest for this record, as just 21 minutes later Ben Bradshaw, also openly gay, was elected for Exeter.
In the 2001 election Twigg held the seat with an increased majority of 5,546, second place going to Conservative John Flack. Following the 2001 election, Twigg was appointed
Parliamentary Secretaryto the Leader of the House of Commons, Robin Cook, and in 2002 became a junior minister in the Department for Education and Skills. In 2004, in the government changes following the resignation of David Blunkett, he was promoted to Minister of Statefor school standards.
Whilst an MP he served as chairman of two
All Party Parliamentary Groups - on epilepsyand on youth issues. He is a former chairman of Labour Friends of Israel.
In the 2005 election, Twigg lost his seat to the Conservative Party candidate,
David Burrowes, by a margin of 1,747 votes (a swing of 8.7%). This was a surprise loss for the Labour Party, much in the same way as the seat was won from the Conservatives in 1997.cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/england/4520471.stm|accessdate=2007-07-27 |date= 2005-05-06|title=Minister Twigg beaten by Tories |publisher= BBC News] During his concession speech, Twigg claimed that he would not be the last Labour MP for Enfield Southgate.
On 12 December 2005, Twigg was arrested in
central Londonfor being drunk and incapable in a public place and taken to Marylebonepolice station. He was fined £50. Twigg commented "I had had a lot to drink and I think it [the police action] was sensible. I have no complaints whatsoever. I take full responsibility for my actions." [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4526154.stm|title=Ex-minister fined for being drunk|publisher= BBC News|date= 2005-12-14|accessdate=2007-07-27]
Twigg became chairman of Progress, an independent organisation for Labour party members, and director of the
Foreign Policy Centre, a think tankwith offices in London and Beijingwhich develops long-term multilateralapproaches to global problems. Twigg is campaigns director of the Aegis Trust, in their educational and campaigning work against genocide. He is also a trustee of the Workers Educational Associationand chairman of the [http://www.youngpeoplenow.com/home/index.cfm Young People Now] Foundation. He is an executive member of the Fabian Society.
He has been selected as the
Labour Co-operativecandidate for the Liverpool West Derby constituency at the next United Kingdom general election.
* [http://fpc.org.uk/ Foreign Policy Centre]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/stephen_twigg/enfield%2C_southgate Parliamentary voting record]
* [http://www.knittingcircle.org.uk/stephentwigg.html Review of Twigg's career in 'The Knitting Circle' website]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdKexAVIUY4 Television coverage of Twigg's defeat of Portillo in the 1997 General Election]
* [http://www.twigg4westderby.com/ Twigg's campaign site for West Derby]
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