Leighton Andrews

Leighton Andrews

Infobox Politician
name=Leighton Andrews AM

birth_date =birth date and age|1957|08|11|df=y
birth_place = flagicon|Wales Cardiff, Wales
office = Assembly Member
term_start =2003
term_end =
predecessor = Geraint Davies
successor = (incumbent)
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party = Labour

Leighton Andrews (born 11 August 1957, in Cardiff) is a Welsh Labour politician, currently the National Assembly for Wales member for Rhondda since 2003.

Background and Education

Born in Cardiff, and brought up in Barry until the age of 11, then in Dorset until attending University in Bangor.

Married to Ann Beynon, BT Director Wales, the couple have two children.

He holds a BA Hons (English and History) from the University of Wales, Bangor and an MA in History from the University of Sussex. Visiting Professor, University of Westminster 1997-2002; Honorary Professor, University of Cardiff 2004-

Professional career

Former head of public affairs for the BBC from 1993-96, based in London, responsible for the BBC's relations with the UK Parliament and with the EU institutions. Lecturer at Cardiff University School of Journalism , Media and Cultural Studies immediately prior to his election to the National Assembly.

He is a published academic, whose peer-reviewed articles and chapters include "The National Assembly for Wales and broadcasting policy, 1999-2003" Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 28, No. 2, 191-210 (2006) [ [http://mcs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/28/2/191 The National Assembly for Wales and broadcasting policy, 1999-2003 - Andrews 28 (2): 191 - Media, Culture & Society ] ] ; "Wales and the UK’s Communications Legislation 2002–2003", Cyfrwng 2005, [ [http://www.cyfrwng.com/e/journal/Cyfrwng2.shtml Cyfrwng Journal ] ] and "Spin: from tactic to tabloid", Journal of Public Affairs, Volume 6, Issue 1, Date: February 2006, Pages: 31-45 [ [http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/search/allsearch?mode=quicksearch&products=journal&WISsearch1=1479-1854&WISindexid1=issn&contentTitle=Journal+of+Public+Affairs&contextLink=blah&contentOID=110484432&WISsearch2=leighton+andrews&WISindexid2=WISall&articleGo.x=0&articleGo.y=0 Wiley InterScience: Search Results ] ] and the chapter 'Lobbying for a new BBC Charter' in "The Handbook of Public Affairs" edited by Phil Harris and Craig Fleischer, Sage, 2006 [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NUsOdz4sO_0C&pg=PA247&vq=Handbook+of+Public+Affairs&ie=ISO-8859-1&sig=m2oMgCO63flJwg7b-PMME_0Jf1o] .

Chapters in other books include 'New Labour, New England', in "The Blair Agenda", Ed. Mark Perryman, Lawrence and Wishart, 1996, [ [http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/books/archive/blair_agenda.html The Blair Agenda ] ] , 'Too important to leave to the Politicians' in "The Road to the National Assembly for Wales", ed J.Barry Jones and Denis Balsom [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=134iGQAACAAJ&dq=The+Road+to+the+National+Assembly+for+Wales] , 'The Breakdown of Tom Nairn', in "Gordon Brown: Bard of Britishness," edited by John Osmond, IWA, 2006, [ [http://www.iwa.org.uk/news/press_releases/pr_bardbrit.htm Institute of Welsh Affairs ] ] and the Labour chapter in "Welsh Politics Come of Age: Responses to the Richard Commission (Paperback) " edited by John Osmond, IWA, 2004, [ [http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1871726379 Amazon.co.uk: Welsh Politics Come of Age: Responses to the Richard Commission: Books: John Osmond ] ]

Political career before the National Assembly for Wales

At the age of 29 he stood as Liberal Alliance candidate in the 1987 General Election for the Gillingham constituency. He gained 29% of the vote, losing to the Conservative Candidate. [ [http://www.election.demon.co.uk/1983EB.html United Kingdom Parliamentary Election results 1983-97: English Boroughs part 1 ] ]

On returning to Wales to live in 1996 he was appointed to the board of "Tai Cymru - Housing for Wales" by the then Conservative Secretary of State for Wales William Hague. During the referendum campaign he produced a paper with Gareth Hughes, then of the Welsh Federation of Housing Associations (now known as Community Housing Cymru) and now of ITV Wales, arguing that savings could be found to liberate more funding for housing from the Government's proposal to abolish Tai Cymru as part of the devolution settlement [ [http://www.leightonandrews.com/2007/06/return-to-housing_08.html Leighton Andrews: Return to Housing ] ]

Political career in the National Assembly for Wales

He joined Labour in the mid-1990s, following the successful referendum campaign for a Welsh Assembly. Leighton Andrews was one of the founder members of the Yes for Wales campaign and is the author of "Wales Says Yes", a history of that campaign. [http://www.amazon.co.uk/s?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=wales+says+yes Amazon.co.uk: wales says yes ] ]

In 2002 Leighton Andrews was selected to fight Rhondda for Labour, after the party's shock defeat to Plaid Cymru's Geraint Davies at the 1999 Assembly election. Andrews retook the seat, with the highest increase in Labour's vote of any constituency in Wales (+21.1%) and its highest constituency vote. In his first term as an Assembly Member, he sat on the Economic Development and Transport Committee (later called the Enterprise, Innovation and Networks Committee) (January 2005 - April 2007); Audit Committee (June 2003 - April 2007); Culture, Welsh Language and Sport Committee (June 2003 - November 2005); and Education and Lifelong Learning Committee (June 2003 - January 2005).

His re-election in 2007 with Labour's highest vote in Wales, despite a national swing against Labour, was seen as an acknowledgment of his efforts.

Political career as a Minister

Andrews was appointed to the Welsh Assembly Government on 31 May 2007, as a Deputy Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery, with special responsibility for housing. His speech in the Assembly on 27 June set out the broad thrust of the housing agenda which was to form the policy of the new coalition government. [3. ^ http://www.assemblywales.org/bus-home/bus-chamber/bus-chamber-third-assembly-rop.htm?act=dis&id=54731&ds=6/2007#rhif3]

On 19 July he was appointed as Deputy Minister for Regeneration in the coalition government.

Burberry Campaign

On 6 September 2006 Burberry announced the closure of its Treorchy factory. Immediately the GMB union announced a campaign to save the factory, backed by Andrews and local MP Chris Bryant. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/5320818.stm BBC NEWS | Wales | Burberry workers to fight closure ] ] [ [http://www.gmb.org.uk/Templates/PressItems.asp?NodeID=94661 GMB Burberry Workers To Demonstrate At Welsh Assembly ] ]

Over the next six months one of the most high-profile campaigns [ [http://www.keepburberrybritish.typepad.com/ Keep Burberry British ] ] against factory closures ever seen in Wales took place, with protests from international celebrities and pickets of Burberry stores around the world.

Andrews secured the support of Burberry ‘face’ and Hollywood actor Ioan Gruffudd, the first of many celebrities to come on board. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/5361162.stm BBC NEWS | Wales | Hollywood star in Burberry battle ] ] [ [http://keepburberrybritish.typepad.com/campaign/2006/11/ioan_gruffudd_s.html Keep Burberry British: Ioan Gruffudd speaks up for Burberry workers ] ] [ [http://www.gmb.org.uk/Templates/PressItems.asp?NodeID=94846 GMB Members At Burberry In South Wales Warmly Welcome Support Of Actor Ioan Gruffudd To Keep The Factory Open ] ]

He was described by GMB senior organiser Mervyn Burnett at the rally on the last day of the factory ‘as the Assembly member who has been at the forefront of this campaign’ [ [http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KMO3SSdpbcg YouTube - Burberry Last Day Rally Part 1 ] ]

The factory closed in March 2007, with the loss of 300 jobs. [ [http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2007/03/23/39820/burberry-south-wales-factory-to-close-and-300-jobs-to-go-despite-high-profile.html Economics, government & business - Burberry South Wales factory to close and 300 jobs to go despite high-profile protests - 23/03/2007 ] ] .Though the factory closed, the campaign secured an extended life for its operation, better redundancy terms for the Burberry workers, and a trust fund for the Rhondda worth £150,000 per year over the next ten years. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6130114.stm BBC NEWS | Wales | Closure put back at Burberry site ] ] [ [http://www.gmb.org.uk/Templates/PressItems.asp?NodeID=94711 Burberry Agrees To Keep Treorchy Factory Open Until End Of March 2007 ] ] [ [http://www.gmb.org.uk/Templates/PressItems.asp?NodeID=95189 Statement On Behalf Of Allan Garley Gmb, Leighton Andrews Am & Chris Bryant Mp On The Agreement Reached With Burberry Regarding Treorchy Factory ] ] [ [http://keepburberrybritish.typepad.com/campaign/2007/03/campaign_succes.html Keep Burberry British: Campaign successes ] ] In her review of the year 2007, the Rhondda-born journalist Carolyn Hitt said

Labour AM Leighton Andrews and MP Chris Bryant fought a passionate campaign to save 300 jobs at the Burberry clothing factory in their Rhondda constituency. But even the added celebrity glitter of Dame Judi Dench, Ioan Gruffudd and Emma Thompson couldn’t persuade the grasping label to stay. The campaign did, however, ensure a better redundancy deal and long-term community fund for the workforce.
[http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/columnists/2007/12/31/that-was-the-year-that-almost-wasn-t-91466-20298548/ That was the year that almost wasn’t - icWales ] ]

The BBC recognised Leighton Andrews and Rhondda MP Chris Bryant for their work in the campaign naming them as joint campaigners of the year in the 2007 BBC Wales political awards. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7125523.stm BBC NEWS | Wales | Jones takes top politician award ] ]


His media and debating skills were recognised in December 2005 when he was named as Best New AM in the ITV Wales Political Awards; and Best Communicator in the BBC Wales AM-PM awards.

Attitude to devolution

Andrews voted 'Yes' in the first referendum on devolution in 1979, his first ever vote. He was one of the founders of the Yes campaign in 1997.

Andrews supports primary law-making powers for the National Assembly for Wales, provided they are approved by the people of Wales in a referendum. He argued at the Welsh Labour Special Conference in September 2004 that this should have been Welsh Labour's response to the Richard Commission, arguing "Are we really going to say that Rhodri Morgan cannot have primary law-making powers when Gerry Adams and the Reverend Ian Paisley can?" [ [http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/politics-news/tm_objectid=14635288&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=united-behind-uncertainty-name_page.html United behind uncertainty - icWales ] ]


External links

* [http://www.leightonandrews.com Website and blog of Leighton Andrews AM]
* [http://new.wales.gov.uk/?lang=en Website of the Welsh Assembly Government]
* [http://politics.icwales.co.uk/pdfs/25_Assembly_Handbook.pdf Assembly Handbook]

Offices held

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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