Andy was born on the 29th September 1960 and has been a Member of Parliament for Ealing, Acton and Shepherds Bush since 2005 , when he retired from his position as Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council. He is Labour candidate for the new Hammersmith seat, which includes Shepherds Bush, in the next general election.
Growing up in Hammersmith & Fulham
Andy’s family moved to Fulham in the 1880s. He was born there in 1960 and attended Peterborough Primary School in Clancarty Road. At 11, he went to Latymer Upper School in King Street, and then to Exeter University between 1979 and 1982.
For the next 16 years he lived in Fulham. In 1998, he moved to live off the Askew Road in Shepherds Bush.
In the 1980s, he had a series of jobs in the voluntary, public and private sectors. Andy worked for the British Safety Council, a charity based in Hammersmith Broadway, and for Hammersmith & Fulham Council in libraries around the borough and at Fulham Town Hall. He also worked for commercial PR firms and in Parliament for two years as a researcher for Michael Meacher MP, when he was Shadow Secretary for Employment and Social Security.
He saved up to go to law school and after three years training became a barrister in 1993, practising from Bridewell Chambers in Blackfriars. From general criminal and civil law he moved on to specialise in personal injury and housing law. He stopped practising when elected MP for Ealing, Acton & Shepherds Bush in 2005.
Political and community activity in Hammersmith & Fulham
In 1983 he joined the Fulham Labour Party and in 1986 was elected a councillor for Gibbs Green Ward (later North End) in West Kensington, a seat he held for the next 20 years. He was elected deputy leader of the council in 1991 and leader in 1996, stepping down in 2005.
For almost 20 years he was a director of Broadway, the charity for the single homeless, and on the board of Hammersmith & Fulham Community Law Centre. He is still a governor of William Morris Sixth Form in Baron’s Court, which he helped set up in 1993.
In his maiden speech on 23rd June 2005 he spoke of the racial diversity of his constituency with 50 major first languages, and its extremes of wealth and poverty.
Some of his achievements and campaigns since his election have included:
Post Offices Closures- Successfully campaigned to prevent 5 local post office closures Shepherds Bush Job Centre Plus - Successfully campaigned to keep this branch open and now it is expanding its services within the community. Visited Gaza and pressed the Government on the plight of the Palestinians Heathrow - A committed opponent of a third runway at Heathrow for twenty years, Andrew continues to oppose expansion of the airport and resigned from the Government in order to independently campaign against it. Affordable Housing – Led the campaign against the Tory Council’s attempts to slash affordable housing in the borough He campaigned successfully against the council’s attempt to close Ginglik , a much loved local venue.
Parliamentary Career and Interests
In June 2007 Andy was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Malloch Brown, Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. In January 2009 he resigned to campaign against plans to build a Third Runway at Heathrow Airport.
Prior to this he was PPS to Lord Jones of Birmingham, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (and Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform) between July 2007 and October 2008, and PPS to Stephen Ladyman, Minister of State, Department of Transport between November 2005 and June 2007.
Andy has also been Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party London Regional Group since 2007. He is currently a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee (since October 2009) and the London Regional Select Committee (since January 2010). Previously he was member of the Regulatory Reform SC (2005-07) and Children, Schools and Families SC (2007-09).
Andy’s interests include Palestine and the Middle East. He has made several trips to Gaza and the West Bank, and was part of the first Parliamentary delegation to enter Gaza after the 2009 invasion. He is a member of the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and on the Policy Committee of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.
Andy is Vice Chair of The Conflict Issues APPG and the Gypsy and traveller Law Reform APPG. His interests are reflected in the other APPGs of which he is a member, including country groups for Somalia, Kosovo, Spain and Cuba. He is a member of Labour Friends of Poland and of the Caribbean, and of domestic groups for Crossrail and for Housing Need and Homelessness.
He speaks frequently in the Commons on housing, local government and education. He has also been involved with Climate Change debates and efforts to promote local carbon reduction targets. He is a fierce defender of Human Rights both internationally and in his local area, and has actively campaigned in his constituency on issues such as restricting Air Passenger Duty, opposing Heathrow expansion, opposing cuts in essential services, asset stripping and the demolition of social housing.