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Barry Sheerman

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Title: Barry Sheerman  
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Subject: Huddersfield East (UK Parliament constituency), Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2010, Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2015, Governors of the London School of Economics, People from Sunbury-on-Thames
Collection: 1940 Births, Academics of Swansea University, Alumni of the London School of Economics, Alumni of the University of London, Governors of the London School of Economics, Labour Co-Operative Mps, Living People, Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for English Constituencies, People Educated at Hampton School, People from Huddersfield, People from Sunbury-on-Thames, Uk Mps 1979–83, Uk Mps 1983–87, Uk Mps 1987–92, Uk Mps 1992–97, Uk Mps 1997–2001, Uk Mps 2001–05, Uk Mps 2005–10, Uk Mps 2010–15, Uk Mps 2015–20
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Barry Sheerman

Barry Sheerman
Barry Sheerman in 2012
Chair of the Education Select Committee
In office
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
Preceded by Malcolm Wicks
Succeeded by Graham Stuart
Shadow Minister of State for Social Security
(Shadow Minister for Disabled People)
In office
8 July 1992 – 12 May 1994
Leader John Smith
Preceded by Unknown
Succeeded by Next known is Tom Clarke
19 October 1995
Member of Parliament
for Huddersfield
Huddersfield East (1979–1983)
Assumed office
3 May 1979
Preceded by Joseph Mallalieu
Majority 4,472 (11%)
Personal details
Born (1940-08-17) 17 August 1940
Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour Co-operative
Alma mater London School of Economics, University of London
Profession Academic

Barry John Sheerman (born 17 August 1940) is a British Labour Co-operative politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Huddersfield since the 1979 general election.


  • Early life 1
  • Parliamentary career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
    • News items 5.1
    • Video clips 5.2

Early life

Sheerman was born on 17 August 1940 in Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex and went to Hampton Grammar School (became the independent Hampton School in 1975) on Hanworth Road in Hampton then Kingston Technical College. He was educated at the London School of Economics (BSc Economics 1965) and at the University of London (MSc 1967). He became a lecturer at the University of Wales, Swansea in 1966 and remained there until his election to parliament in 1979.

Parliamentary career

Sheerman unsuccessfully contested Taunton in the October 1974 election, and became the MP for Huddersfield East from 1979 to 1983 and for Huddersfield since the 1983 general election. Sheerman has held the Huddersfield seats since, with his majority as low as 3,955 in 1983 and as high as 15,848 in the 1997 general election. In the most recent general election in 2015, Sheerman's majority was increased to 7,345 with a swing of 6.1% to Labour.

From 1983 to 1988 he was the Labour spokesperson on education and employment; for Home Affairs (as Shadow Deputy Home Secretary) from 1988 to 1992; and for Disabled People's Rights from 1992 to 1994. He was Chair of the House of Commons Education and Skills select committee from 2001 to 2010, renamed the Children, Schools and Families Committee in 2007. Under his chairmanship, the Committee was often critical of government policy. Sheerman warned the government not to "lose their nerve" over reforming secondary education exam system back in 2005,[1] and in 2006 said it was "naive" to allocate local school places through parental choice, with lottery selection being the best way to avoid "bloody awful" schools existing as a side effect of parents pushing for their children to study elsewhere.[2] During Sheerman's chairmanship, the select committee produced reports on subjects such as home education, education outside the classroom, and young people not in education employment or training (NEETs).

He is Chair of the Labour Forum for Criminal Justice and of the Cross-Party Advisory Group on Preparation for European Monetary Union. Outside parliament, he is Chair of the National Educational Research and Development Trust, and a trustee of the National Children's Centre. His political interests are listed as trade, industry, finance, further education, education, economy, the European Union, South America and the United States. His recreations include walking, biography and films. In 1993, Sheerman co-wrote, with Isaac Kramnick, a biography of the Labour intellectual Harold Laski.

In June 2009, Sheerman called for a secret ballot of the Parliamentary Labour Party on whether Gordon Brown should continue in office as prime minister. This followed widespread criticism of Brown's performance and the resignation of Cabinet member James Purnell. Sheerman later reassured his local party chairman that he had not directly called for Brown's resignation.[3]

Sheerman called for a London catering company to employ "British workers" in a Twitter exchange on 23 April 2012.[4] The comments reached the national press. In response Sheerman said the objection to him speaking out was "pernicious political correctness".[5]

He is founder and chairman of Policy Connect, a cross-party, non-profit think tank based in London, where he regularly chairs seminar events and research inquiries. He is also chair and co-chair of a number of official All-Party Parliamentary Groups, including the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group, the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group, and the Bullying All-Party Group. Since 2012, Sheerman has led the Schools to Work Commission, the Labour Party's policy review on the transition from education to employment.[6]

In June 2015, Sheerman caused controversy when he argued that lowering the voting age to 16 would raise the risk of sexual abuse.[7]

Personal life

Barry Sheerman married Pamela Elizabeth Brenchley in 1965 in north Surrey, with whom he has one son (born in 1978) and three daughters (born in 1970, 1972 and 1981). He lives in a flat in Almondbury, Huddersfield.[8]


  1. ^ "End A-level 'obsession', says MP". BBC. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "'"Parental school choice 'naive. BBC. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Gibson, Barry (6 June 2009). "Huddersfield MP Sheerman called to account by local party members". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Barry Gibson "Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman demands British jobs for British workers after disappointing bacon buttie", Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 25 April 2012
  5. ^ "MP accused of 'xenophobia after complaining that Polish cannot make decent bacon sandwich", Daily Telegraph, 25 April 2012
  6. ^ University of Warwick, 'The Schools to Work Commission'
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Barry John Sheerman at Check company". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 

External links

  • MP Homepage
  • - Barry Sheerman
  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Barry Sheerman
  • Ask Aristotle
  • BBC Politics
  • Children, Schools and Families Committee, NEET: Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training
  • Children, Schools and Families Committee, The Review of Elective Home Education
  • Children, Schools and Families Committee, Transforming Education Outside the Classroom

News items

  • Appointments in October 2009
  • Single mothers hostels in September 2009
  • School bully in November 2006
  • Choice of schools in August 2006
  • Gas safety in February 2006
  • Obsession with A levels in February 2005
  • Women are brighter than men in December 2004

Video clips

  • 2020 Vision on the Environment in schools in November 2009 on YouTube
  • Money skills at the Galpharm Stadium in October 2009 on YouTube
  • Religion in schools on Teachers TV in January 2008 on YouTube
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph Mallalieu
Member of Parliament for Huddersfield East
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Huddersfield
Political offices
Preceded by
Shadow Minister of State for Social Security
(Shadow Minister for Disabled People)

Succeeded by
Next known is Tom Clarke 1995
Preceded by
Malcolm Wicks
Chairman, Education & Skills Select Committee
Committee abolished
New title Chairman, Children, Schools and Families Select Committee
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