John Heppell

John Heppell (born 3 November 1948) is a former British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nottingham East from 1992 until he stepped down at the 2010 general election. He was Vice-Chamberlain of the Household from 2005 to 2007.

John Heppell
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
6 May 2005  28 June 2007
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJim Fitzpatrick
Succeeded byLiz Blackman
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
12 June 2001  11 May 2005
Prime MinisterTony Blair
ChancellorGordon Brown
Preceded byClive Betts
Succeeded byDavid Watts
Member of Parliament
for Nottingham East
In office
10 April 1992  12 April 2010
Preceded byMichael Knowles
Succeeded byChris Leslie
Personal details
Born (1948-11-03) 3 November 1948
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyneside, UK
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Eileen Golding

Early life

Heppell was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyneside and was educated locally at the Rutherford Grammar School (now the Westgate Community School) in Fenham, then the South East Northumberland Technical College (became North Tyneside College and now called Tyne Metropolitan College) in Wallsend, and he completed his education at the Ashington Technical College (now called Northumberland College) on College Road in Ashington. He worked for the National Coal Board from 1964 as a fitter until he left in 1970 to work as a fitter in Nottingham. He joined British Rail in 1975, originally as a diesel fitter, becoming a workshop supervisor in 1978 until he left in 1989.

Parliamentary career

Heppell was elected as a councillor to Nottinghamshire County Council in 1981, serving as the deputy leader for three years from 1989, stepping down from the council in 1993. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1992 general election for Nottingham East by defeating the sitting Conservative MP Michael Knowles by 7,680 votes and remained the MP there until 2010. He made his maiden speech on 11 May 1992, in which he recalled that it was in his constituency at Sneinton that the founder of the Salvation Army William Booth launched his crusade against poverty in the early 19th century.[1]

In Parliament, Heppell was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Leader of the House of Lords Ivor Richard in 1997 and became the PPS to the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in 1998. He became a member of the Tony Blair government following the 2001 general election when he was appointed as a Lord Commissioner to the Treasury and Government Whip and was promoted within the Whips Office becoming the Vice-Chamberlain of the Household following the 2005 general election. He held this office until June 2007. He was a member of the selection select committee from 2001.

Heppell has been married to Eileen Golding since 1974 and they have two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.[2] He used to have knuckle tattoos with the words 'love' and 'hate', but they have since been removed.[3] He is a member of the General, Municipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union having resigned from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers in 2002. He is a keen ornithologist.[2]

On 26 March 2010, Heppell announced that he would stand down at the 2010 general election due to his wife suffering from breast cancer.[4]


  1. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 11 May 1992". Hansard. 11 May 1992.
  2. "Biography". Labour Party. Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2007.
  3. "John Heppell". BBC News Online. British Broadcasting Corporation. 17 October 2002. Archived from the original on 9 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  4. "MP John Heppell to stand down". Nottingham Evening Post. 26 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012.
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Fitzpatrick
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
Succeeded by
Liz Blackman
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Knowles
Member of Parliament for Nottingham East
Succeeded by
Chris Leslie
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