Name: The Rt. Hon. Thomas Williamson, GC, MP
Avatar: Jean-Yves Duclos
Age: 57 Years
Marital Status: Married to Marie-Antoine Bissonette
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Party: Labour Party
Political Outlook: Progressive Cosmopolitan Pragmatists
Constituency: Poplar and Limehouse (2010-Present); Poplar and Canning Town (2001-2010)
Year Elected: 2001
Education: St. Michael’s Grammar School; London School of Economics BA (Hons) in PPE.
Career: Police Officer, Metropolitan Police (1980-1995); Police Federation of England and Wales, Local President (1983-1989); PFEW, General Secretary (1990; 1992); The Guardian, Journalist (1995-2001).
Political Career: Member of Parliament, Poplar and Canning Town (2001-2010); Member of Parliament, Poplar and Limehouse (2010-Present); Home Affairs Select Committee, Member (2001-2003); Parliamentary Under Secretary, Home Office (2001-2004); Minister of State for Europe (2004-2007); Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2008-2010); Shadow Solicitor General for England and Wales (2010-2013); Shadow Secretary of State for Justice (2013-2015).
Narrative Biography: Thomas George Williamson was born on August 23, 1958 in west London to Mr. George Williamson, a police officer, and Mrs. Henrietta Williamson (née Foster), a former teacher and homemaker. Thomas was the third of six children, and the youngest of two boys. The family were firmly middle class, but owing to their large size, were very cash-poor. As such, Thomas and his brother, Marshall, attended St. Michael’s Grammar School on state subsidization, while his sisters attended a comprehensive school in the city. At St. Michael’s Thomas excelled in academics while his brother excelled in athletics. Marshall would eventually go on to represent Great Britain at the Olympics as a track and field athlete. Thomas would write 5 A-Levels: Economics, English Literature, Government and Politics, Journalism, and Law at A-Level.
Though his father had ambitions for Thomas to attend Oxford, Thomas preferred to attend the London School of Economics. Politically, Thomas had formed a left-wing opinion, and Oxford did not fit in with his ideals. The LSE, known for its left-of-centre way of thinking, was a more suitable place to complete his education. Williamson dove head-first into his time at LSE, becoming an active member of many societies, including the Labour association and the Debate and Oration societies, and he took his education very seriously, earning an Honours in PPE in 1980.
Upon graduation, Williamson took up work in his father’s old profession. He joined the Metropolitan Police Service, and immediately became involved in union activities. From 1983 to 1989, Williamson was President of his local council of the Police Federation of England and Wales and he served as General Secretary of the PFEW in 1990 and 1992. In 1994, he volunteered to serve in Belfast, believing he could “take the community policing approach that [he] had used in London to Belfast, and make a real difference.” That was not to be.
Williamson was severely injured in the line of duty in 1994. He had been stationed in Belfast for a little more than a year and, in an act of extraordinary gallantry and complete disregard for his own personal safety, Williamson had his back broken by falling debris. The following is the text of Williamson’s commendation for the receipt of the George Cross:
“ Sergeant Williamson was engaged on duty when a house was struck by a bomb and completely demolished, burying the three occupants. He led a rescue party in clearing an entry to the trapped victims under extremely dangerous conditions owing to collapsing debris and leaking gas. When conditions became critically dangerous he alone worked his way through a space he cleared and was responsible for the saving of the three persons alive.
It was then learned that other persons were buried in the adjoining premises and Williamson at once again led the rescue. The workers became exhausted after many hours of labouring unceasingly and inspiringly throughout the complete night, again falling beams and debris around him, and as a result of his superhuman efforts and utter disregard for personal injury one person was rescued alive and four other bodies recovered. Williamson was working from 11p.m. until 6.30 a.m. without pause.”
Williamson sustained several injuries during his heroic work, but an injury sustained to his back made it impossible for him to continue to discharge his duties as a Police Officer. Additionally, he cannot sit for extended periods of time without extreme pain. This has led to him using a standing desk in his parliamentary office, and he is often seen pacing in the back of the Parliamentary chamber: which the Speaker of the House has graciously allowed him to do.
After a somewhat protracted fight with the MPS, Williamson was granted disability payment to sixty five. The battle took nearly a year and practically depleted Williamson’s funds. Only by working as a freelance journalist for local and national publications, mostly reporting on policing and crime issues, did Williamson earn enough money during this time to make ends meet. His story had become publicly known since the media were very interested in reporting on a George Cross recipient, injured in the line of battle, being fobbed off by the Police Service. In 1995, once the dispute had been resolved, The Guardian newspaper offered Williamson a weekly column in their Sunday edition. The column was popular, since Williamson himself had some significant notoriety at this time, and his centre-left, middle-class, “tough on the causes of crime” views on things like crime and justice were popular with the readership. Williamson had the column for six years before being asked by Tony Blair to run for the Labour Party in the election of 2001 in the safe seat of Poplar and Canning Town. He has served as MP for that region ever since.
I may add the remainder of the narrative, but this is the important stuff.
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