Ronnie Campbell

Ronald Campbell (born 14 August 1943) is a former British Labour Party politician and was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Blyth Valley from the 1987 general election until the 2019 general election.

Ronnie Campbell
Member of Parliament
for Blyth Valley
In office
11 June 1987  6 November 2019
Preceded byJohn Ryman
Succeeded byIan Levy
Personal details
Born (1943-08-14) 14 August 1943
Tynemouth, Northumberland, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Deirdre McHale
Children6 (5 sons, 1 daughter)

Early life

Campbell was born in Tynemouth, and grew up with seven siblings. He attended Blyth Ridley County High School, a secondary modern, and left school at 14 to become a coal miner. Before entering parliament he was a councillor for Croft Ward, Blyth Borough, Northumberland from 1969 and a lay official of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). He was a miner from 1958–86. Campbell led picket lines in the 1984–85 miners' strike and was arrested twice.[1]

Parliamentary career

Campbell was first elected as an MP for Blyth Valley at the 1987 general election with a majority of 853 votes, and has often voted against the government on issues such as the Iraq War. He is an outspoken socialist. When the government nationalised Northern Rock in 2008, Campbell declared it "the People's Bank" and opened an account.[2]

In May 2009, during the high-profile MPs expenses scandal, Campbell agreed to return over £6,000 of the £87,729 he had claimed for furnishings in his London home.[3][4][5]

Campbell voted for Andy Burnham in the 2010 Labour Party leadership election after the resignation of Gordon Brown. He was critical of Ed Miliband's leadership of the Labour Party, referring to him as a "right winger".[6] In 2013, he was one of 22 Labour MPs to vote against same-sex marriage, out of 255.[7]

Upon re-election in May 2015, Campbell announced that he would stand down at the next general election, although this did not materialise.[8]

Campbell was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015[9] and one of a handful of Labour MPs to publicly support leaving the European Union.[10] Campbell continued to support Brexit, and to vote against attempts to delay it, in subsequent parliamentary votes. He justified this by noting that "I am a leaver, and I always have been. MPs are elected, unlike the EU bureaucrats, and if people don't like how MPs vote then they can get rid of us and that's how it should work."[11]

Campbell was one of 13 MPs to vote against triggering the 2017 general election.[12] Having previously said he would stand down at the next election, he changed his mind, stating: "It was my intention to stand down at the next general election, however due to circumstances following the announcement of the snap election I have decided to stand again for Blyth Valley."[13]

In June 2019, Campbell confirmed that he would stand down as an MP in the following election, which was later confirmed for December 2019.[14][15] He subsequently said he would back the Conservative government's deal to leave the European Union.[16]

Personal life

Campbell married Deirdre McHale in 1967, who serves on Northumberland County Council. They have five sons, including a set of twins, and one daughter. While he served as an MP, Campbell had a reunion with a half-brother whom he had not known due to the latter's adoption.[17]

In September 2016, Campbell underwent chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.[18] He returned to Parliament on 30 November 2016 and was welcomed back during Prime Minister's Questions.[19]

His interests include horse racing.[20]

References

  1. Kelly-Jou, Mike (4 March 2014). "North East MPs reveal their roles in the great miners' strike". North East Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  2. Hoggart, Simon (19 February 2008). "A cool head in another catastrophe". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2008.
  3. Swaine, Jon (13 May 2009). "Ronnie Campbell agrees to repay £6,000 for furniture at London flat: MPs' expenses". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 February 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  4. Thompson, Liam. "Ronnie Campbell to repay expenses". News Post Leader. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  5. Swaine, Jon (13 May 2009). "Ronnie Campbell agrees to repay £6,000 for furniture at London flat: MPs' expenses". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  6. "'I think Ed Miliband is a right-winger basically. I think that's where he comes from'". Total Politics. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  7. Conal Urquhart (5 February 2013). "How did your MP vote on the gay marriage bill?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 November 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  8. Tegan Chapman (8 May 2015). "Labour's Ronnie Campbell delighted with election win – his final one". News Post Leader. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  9. 36 Labour MPs nominate Jeremy Corbyn Archived 28 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine, newstatesman.com, June 2015; accessed 8 September 2015.
  10. "EU referendum: Full list of MPs backing a Brexit vote at the historic ballot". 18 February 2016. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  11. Walker, Jonathan (12 September 2017). "Ronnie Campbell explains why he defied orders and voted for EU Withdrawal Bill". North East Chronicle. Archived from the original on 23 November 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  12. "The 13 MPs who opposed snap general election". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 April 2017. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  13. Walker, Jonathan (20 April 2017). "Ronnie Campbell votes against early General Election – but makes his own U-turn to stand again". Evening Chronicle. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  14. "I feel it is time to step aside' - Veteran MP Ronnie Campbell to stand down at next election". Chronicle Live. 26 June 2019. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  15. "General election 2019: The MPs standing down". BBC News. 15 November 2019. Archived from the original on 7 November 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  16. "Who is Ronnie Campbell? The veteran North East Labour MP causing a Brexit storm". Chronicle Live. 18 October 2019. Archived from the original on 19 October 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  17. "A tale of two brothers". Inside Out – North East and Cumbria. BBC. Archived from the original on 24 August 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  18. "Blyth MP Ronnie Campbell's stomach cancer diagnosis". ITV News. 14 September 2016. Archived from the original on 26 November 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  19. John Bercow, Speaker (30 November 2016). "Oral Answers: Prime Minister: Engagements". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 617. House of Commons. col. 1519. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  20. "North MP hot under collar at fetish mistake". Chronicle Live. 20 January 2008. Archived from the original on 15 December 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.

News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Ryman
Member of Parliament for Blyth Valley
19872019
Succeeded by
Ian Levy
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