Ben Chapman (politician)


Ben Chapman (politician)

Infobox MP
honorific-prefix =
name = Ben Chapman
honorific-suffix =MP



caption =Chapman outside South Wirral High School
constituency_MP = Wirral South
parliament =
majority = 3,724 (9.4%)
predecessor = Barry Porter
successor = Incumbent
term_start = 1 May 1997
term_end =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1940|07|8|df=yes
birth_place = Kirkby Stephen
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
spouse = Maureen Ann Kelly Byrne
party = Labour
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =
occupation =
profession =
religion =


website =
footnotes =

James Keith Chapman, known as Ben Chapman, (born 8 July 1940) is a British politician and former civil servant. He is the Labour Member of Parliament for Wirral South.

Early life

Ben Chapman was born in Kirkby Stephen, the son of a farm labourer, he was educated at the [http://www.appleby.cumbria.sch.uk Appleby Grammar School] on "Battlebarrow" (B6542) in Appleby. He joined the British Civil Service in 1958, initially in the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, moving to the Ministry of Aviation in 1962 where he remained until he joined the Board of Trade in 1970. In 1974 he became the First Secretary at the British High Commission in 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 Industry in 1981, before he was posted as the Commercial Counsellor at the British Embassy in 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.

Parliamentary career

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 speech on 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 Secretary to Richard Caborn who was the Minister of State at 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 Sport and 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

Personal life

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 opera lover, he was a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force Reserve 1959-61.

External links

* [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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