Michael Meacher

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According to his web page, "Born in 1939, Michael Meacher was educated at Berkhamstead School, New College Oxford and the London School of Economics.

"He joined the Labour Party in 1962 and has been Labour Member of Parliament for Oldham West (now Oldham West and Royton) since 1970. He contested Colchester in 1966 and Oldham West in 1968.

Political career

His political appointments comprise:

  • Under Secretary for Industry, 1974-75
  • Under Secretary for Health and Social Security, 1975-79
  • Candidate for Labour Party Deputy Leadership, 1983
  • Member of Labour Party National Executive Committee 1983-89
  • Member of Shadow Cabinet 1983-1997
  • Principal Opposition Front Bench Spokesman on: Health and Social Security 1983-87
  • Employment 1987-89
  • Social Security 1989-92
  • Overseas Development and Co-operation 1992-93
  • Citizen's Charter and Science 1993-94
  • Transport 1994-95
  • Employment 1995-96
  • Environmental Protection 1996-97
  • Minister of State for the Environment and Privy Counsellor May 1997 - June 2003
  • He is a Parliamentary representative and member of UNISON.
  • He was a member of the Select Committee on the Treasury and Civil Service (1981-83).

His other affiliations are the Fabian Society, SERA and the Child Poverty Action Group.

His hobbies include reading, sport and music.

Michael Meacher's BBC Profile:

"Michael Meacher is one of Labour's longest serving MPs, having first been elected in 1970. He is also Labour's most experienced minister, having served in various roles throughout the Wilson and Callaghan administrations in the 1970s, in addition to being environment minister since 1997.

"The zenith of his career, however, came during Labour's opposition years when he sat in the shadow cabinet for fourteen years and was tipped as a future leader.

"He was formerly on the left of the party, and a close political colleague of Tony Benn.

"He stood as the left's candidate against Roy Hattersley for the deputy leadership of the Labour party in 1983, but was soundly defeated.

"Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock once described Mr Meacher as Tony Benn's 'vicar on earth'.

"He couldn't bear the left-wing firebrand and only despised him more when he moved away from his old mentor.


"But Mr Meacher kept on getting elected to the shadow cabinet by Labour MPs and, under the rules of the day, Mr Kinnock could not sack him.

"Only once Labour was elected to office did the leader have the right to form his own cabinet.

"And Mr Kinnock made no bones about the fact that, minutes after entering Downing Street, he would re-shuffle the team which had been dumped on him - and out would go Mr Meacher, amongst others.

"But the Oldham MP proved remarkably resilient. He survived into government when Mr Kinnock didn't, and was even given a job by Tony Blair, who takes a much more charitable view of him.

"Since then he has gradually moved closer to the political centre, though he remained one of the most radical members of the government.

"In August 2002 he ruffled feathers by attacking his government's record on the environment."

  1. Science and Policy Advisory Council, Global Footprint Network, accessed April 24, 2008.
  2. National Council, Internet Archive (2006), accessed June 26, 2008.
  3. Green House Advisory Group, organizational web page, accessed June 4, 2013.
  4. Climate Outreach Information Network People, organizational web page, accessed April 15, 2012.