Shaun Woodward


Shaun Woodward

Infobox Minister
honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable
name = Shaun Woodward
honorific-suffix =



office = Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
term_start = 28 June 2007
term_end =
primeminister= Gordon Brown
predecessor = Peter Hain
successor = Incumbent
constituency_MP2 = St Helens South
parliament2 =
majority2 = 9,309 (26.2%)
predecessor2 = Gerald Bermingham
successor2 = Incumbent
term_start2 = 7 June 2001
term_end2 =
constituency_MP3 = Witney
parliament3 =
majority3 =
predecessor3 = Douglas Hurd
successor3 = David Cameron
term_start3 = 1 May 1997
term_end3 = 7 June 2001
birth_date = Birth date and age|1958|10|26|df=yes
birth_place = Bristol
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
spouse =
party = Labour (1999-)
Conservative (Until 1999)
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = Jesus College, Cambridge
occupation =
profession =
religion = Anglican [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199899/cmhansrd/vo990125/debtext/90125-13.htm House of Commons Hansard Debates for 25 Jan 1999 (pt 13) ] ]


website =
footnotes =

Shaun Anthony Woodward MP (born 26 October 1958, Bristol) is a British politician, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Labour Member of Parliament for St Helens South.

Early life

Woodward was educated at the independent Bristol Grammar School and Jesus College, Cambridge where he studied English Literature. From 1981-2, he was Parliamentary Lobbyist for the National Consumer Council. From 1982-90, he worked as a researcher and producer for BBC TV News and Current Affairs on the programmes "That's Life!", "Panorama" and "Newsnight". He subsequently wrote a book about Ben Hardwick. From 1991-2, he was Director of Communications for the Conservative Party.

Member of Parliament

He was selected as Douglas Hurd's successor as Conservative candidate for the safe seat of Witney at the 1997 election, having previously been a senior official of the party. Elected with a large majority, he was a front-bench spokesman on London for the Conservative opposition under William Hague until 1999, when he was sacked for supporting the repeal of Section 28, a regulation which prevented the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools.

Defection to the Labour Party

Woodward then controversially left the Conservative party to move to the ruling Labour Party. In the June 2001 general election he decided not to contest his Witney seat under the Labour banner and instead found a safe Labour seat in St Helens South. His successor in Witney was David Cameron, who subsequently became leader of the Conservatives. When news of Woodward's intention to stand reached St Helens, a strong left-wing challenge was put forward in an attempt to deny the former Conservative the safe Labour seat. Neil Thompson of the Socialist Alliance and Michael Perry of the Socialist Labour Party both contested the St Helens South seat and received a total of 12% of the vote between them. Woodward won the seat with a much reduced 49% of the vote. [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/hoc/constituency/0,9338,-1326,00.html St Helens South | Aristotle | Guardian Unlimited Politics ] ] As a Labour MP, Woodward served on the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and was a prominent supporter of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

In May 2005, Woodward was re-elected in St Helens South receiving 54% of the vote and his majority increased. However, the Liberal Democrats candidate, Brian Spencer, saw his party's vote increase from 23% in 2001 to 28%. Michael Perry of the Socialist Labour Party contested the seat again and received just under two percent of the vote. [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/hoc/constituency/0,9338,-1326,00.html St Helens South | Aristotle | Guardian Unlimited Politics ] ]

In government

After the 2005 election he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office.

In the May 2006 reshuffle, Tony Blair appointed Woodward Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport with responsibilities for the digital handover for TV. On 28 June 2007, in his first cabinet, newly appointed Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Woodward as the Northern Ireland Secretary, replacing Peter Hain. Woodward chooses not to receive a Ministerial salary because of his personal wealth. As Ulster Secretary, Woodward reportedly became a close confidant of Prime Minister Brown. This was largely due to Woodward's previous first hand experiences of the beleaguered Conservative government of John Major. [cite news | last = | first = | coauthors = | title =Shaun Woodward becomes unlikely confidant of Gordon Brown | work = | pages = | language = | publisher =Daily Telegraph | date =2008-08-21 | url =http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/labour/2463416/Shaun-Woodward-becomes-unlikely-confidant-of-Gordon-Brown.html| accessdate =2008-09-16 ]

Personal life

He married Camilla Davan Sainsbury, daughter of the former Conservative MP Tim Sainsbury of the wealthy supermarket Sainsbury family, on 2 May 1987 in Newbury. They have one son (Thomas, born July 1989) and three daughters (Eleanor, born May 1991, Olivia, born October 1993, and Katherine, born September 1996). He was [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/profiles/story/0,9396,461476,00.html said in 2001] to be the only Labour MP with a butler—a myth that Woodward has done little to quash.

Works

*"Death by Television" by Esther Rantzen, Shaun Woodward (Century, 1999) ISBN 0-7126-2543-7
*"Drugwatch: Just Say No!" by Sarah Caplin, Shaun Woodward (Corgi, 1986) ISBN 0-552-12820-1
*"Ben: Story of Ben Hardwick" by Esther Rantzen, Shaun Woodward (Penguin Character Books, 1985) ISBN 0-563-20331-5
*"That's Life" Survey on Tranquillisers" by Ron Lacey, Shaun Woodward (BBC, 1985) ISBN 0-563-20294-7

References

External links

* [http://www.shaunwoodward.com Shaun Woodward MP] official site
* [http://www.nio.gov.uk/index/about-the-nio/biographies/shaun-woodward-bio.htm Northern Ireland Office - Shaun Woodward MP] biography and portfolio
* [http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/joint_committee_on_human_rights.cfm Joint Committee on Human Rights]
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-5668,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Shaun Woodward MP]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/shaun_woodward/st_helens_south TheyWorkForYou.com - Shaun Woodward MP]
* [http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Shaun_Woodward&mpc=St+Helens+South The Public Whip - Shaun Woodward MP] voting record
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/mpdb/html/500.stm BBC News - Shaun Woodward] profile 24 March, 2005
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/gordonbrown/story/0,,2114144,00.html "Guardian" Profile: Shaun Woodward] 28 June 2007


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