- Ben Chapman (politician)
name = Ben Chapman
caption =Chapman outside South Wirral High School
constituency_MP = Wirral South
majority = 3,724 (9.4%)
term_start = 1 May 1997
birth_date = Birth date and age|1940|07|8|df=yes
nationality = British
spouse = Maureen Ann Kelly Byrne
party = Labour
Ben Chapman was born in
Kirkby Stephen, the son of a farmlabourer, he was educated at the [http://www.appleby.cumbria.sch.uk Appleby Grammar School] on "Battlebarrow" (B6542) in Appleby. He joined the British Civil Servicein 1958, initially in the Ministry of Pensionsand National Insurance, moving to the Ministry of Aviationin 1962 where he remained until he joined the Board of Tradein 1970. In 1974 he became the First Secretary at the British High Commissionin Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and then in 1978 he was posted to Accra, Ghana. He became the Assistant Secretary at the Department of Trade and Industryin 1981, before he was posted as the Commercial Counsellor at the British Embassyin Beijing, China. He was appointed a director at the Department of Trade and Industry in 1991 before he left the civil service in 1995 after 37 years. He then went into business on the Wirral.
He joined the Labour Party in 1996 and within nine months he was a member of Parliament, when he won the Wirral South by-election on 27 February 1997 on a 17% swing with a majority of 7,888 and he is has remained the MP there since. The by-election was caused by the death of the Conservative MP Barry Porter on 3 November 1996. Ben Chapman, the only Labour MP to have represented Wirral South, made his
maiden speechon 12 March 1997. [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199697/cmhansrd/vo970312/debtext/70312-41.htm#70312-41_spnew2] Just 63 days after his election he had to return to his constituents and ask for a new mandate at the 1997 general election, which they duly gave him.
After the election of the Labour government in 1997, Ben Chapman became the
Parliamentary Private Secretaryto Richard Cabornwho was the Minister of Stateat the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, he then returned in the same position with Caborn to his old stomping ground at the Department of Trade and Industry in 1999. Following the 2001 General Election Caborn was made the Minister of Sport at the Department for Culture, Media and Sportand took Chapman with him. Chapman ceased to be Caborn's PPS after the 2005 General Election and he now sits on select committees.
Chapman is looking forward to his retirement after the next general election
He married Maureen Ann Kelly (Byrne) on July 10 1999 in Westminster and they live in
Heswall, and he has three daughters from a previous marriage. An operalover, he was a Pilot Officerin the Royal Air ForceReserve 1959-61.
* [http://www.ben-chapman.org.uk/ Ben Chapman MP] official site
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-917,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Ben Chapman MP]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/ben_chapman/wirral_south TheyWorkForYou.com - Ben Chapman MP]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/mpdb/html/635.stm BBC Politics]
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