- Alun Michael
Infobox First Minister
office=First Minister for Wales!First Secretary of Wales
term_start =12 May 1999
term_end =9 February 2000
predecessor = (new post)
constituency_AM2=Mid and West Wales
assembly2 = Welsh
predecessor2 = "new seat"
term_start2 = 1999
term_end2 = 2000
constituency_MP3 = Cardiff South and Penarth
majority3 = 9,237 (25.0%)
term_start3 = 11 June 1987
birth_date = Birth date and age|1943|08|22|df=yes
nationality = British
Alun Edward Michael JP MP (born 22 August 1943) is a Welsh politician. He is Labour and Co-operative
Member of Parliamentfor Cardiff South and Penarth. He has been a member of the Privy Council since 1998.
Michael was born at Bryngwran
Anglesey, son of Leslie and Betty Michael. He attended Colwyn Bay Grammar School and Keele University.
He was Community Education Officer from 1971 to 1987, and was also a Reporter on the
South Wales Echo. He became a JP in 1972 and chaired the Cardiff Juvenile Bench before entering Parliament. He was a Cardiff City councillor from 1973 to 1989.
He became an MP at the 1987 general election, inheriting a safe Labour seat from former
Prime Minister James Callaghan. With Labour's landslide victory in the 1997 general election, he became Minister of State and Deputy Home Secretary in the Home Office. He was responsible for steering the Crime and Disorder Act 1998through the House of Commons. Amongst other things, this Act introduced ASBOs or Anti-social Behaviour Orders and statutory crime reduction partnerships. He was also responsible for the Government policy on the voluntary and community sector, and introduced the "compact" process to achieve partnership between Government and that sector.
Also in 1998, following the resignation of Ron Davies, he was made
Secretary of State for Wales, and later on First Secretary (the title would be updated to First Minister in October 2000) and leader of the Labour Party in the National Assembly for Wales. While he was the favoured candidate of the Westminster government for this role, he was less popular within Wales, and resigned in favour of Rhodri Morganafter opposition parties forced a vote of " no confidence" over the availability of Objective 1funding from the European Union.
In 2001, he was appointed
Minister of Statefor Rural Affairs and Local Environmental Quality, a post within DEFRA. He was the minister most closely connected with a ban on hunting with dogs, for which he attracted much criticism from hunt supporters. Michael was also criticised for the way he cited scientific research in Parliamentary debates, after citing the research of Sir Patrick Batesonas "incontrovertible" proof of need for a total ban, Sir Patrick replied, "Only somebody who was scientifically illiterate could argue that evidence from a new area of research was 'incontrovertible'" but Michael hit back saying that Bateson had misunderstood the way his work had been cited. [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/vo030630/debtext/30630-23.htm] [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/vo021203/debtext/21203-05.htm#21203-05_spmin3] .
In 2004, he presided over the enactment of the Hunting Act which banned
hare-coursing, beagling, fox hunting, minkand stag huntingin the UK from February 2005. At the time this law was being debated, and immediately after it was passed, Michael maintained his visits to rural areas despite threats and protest, but withdrew from the event to launch the " Right to Roam" stating that access to the countryside was too important to be interrupted by pro-hunt protestors whose plans could put the public at risk. Michael maintained that hunting was a "peripheral issue" citing social and economic issues in rural areas as "the day job". In 2004, he formally approved the order designating the New Forestas a National Park.
Michael retained his seat in the 2005 general election, and was moved to a ministerial post in the
Department of Trade and Industryas Minister of State for Industry and the Regions. He lost his ministerial position in the Cabinet reshufflein May 2006 and has thus returned to the backbenches.
Michael's former assistant,
Lorraine Barrett, is the Welsh Assembly member for Cardiff South and Penarth.
Michael is a supporter of
Somalilandand advocates for its diplomatic recognition.
Michael married in 1966 Mary Sophia Crawley, who was also at Keele University. They had five children.
*"Dragon on Our Doorstep: New Politics for a New Millennium in Wales" by Alun Michael (University of Wales,Aberystwyth, 2000) ISBN 0-9537829-0-5
*"Labour in Action: Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime - a Collection of Essays" edited by Alun Michael (Fabian Society, 1997) ISBN 0-7163-3033-4
*"Building the Future Together (Labour Party, 1997)"
* [http://www.alunmichael.com/ Rt Hon Alun Michael MP website]
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-3610.html Guardian Politics Ask Aristotle - Alun Michael MP]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/alun_michael/cardiff_south_and_penarth They Work For You - Alun Michael MP]
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