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Martin Wright

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  1. Name: Martin Wright Age: 40 (Born 11th March 1977, Bath) Gender: Male Ethnicity: White British Sexuality: Homosexual Avatar: Jason Kander Discord Username: Morgan Education: King Edward’s School, Bath (1988-1995) BSc Politics, Philosophy and Economics; London School of Economics (1995-1998) Career: Senior Investment Officer, Barclays de Zoete Wedd (1998-1999) Vice President and Head of European Investment, Barclays de Zoete Wedd (1999-2002) Managing Director, Wright Investments (2002-2009) Campaign Manager and Agent, Don Foster for Bath (2005) Financial Policy Consultant, Nick Clegg (2009-2010) Party: Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) Constituency: Bath Political Career: Member, Bath and North East Somerset Council (2003-2010) Cabinet Member for Finance, Bath and North East Somerset Council (2005-2007) Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Bath and North East Somerset Council (2007-2010) Member of Parliament for Bath (2010-2015, 2017-Present) President, Liberal Democrats (2012-2014) Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister (2014-2015) Biography: Martin was born to Dr Harold and Patricia Wright (nee Adderton), a local GP and homemaker respectively. He grew up in a politically lively household, with his father a Labour voter and mother a Conservative voter he always joked that he was a Liberal Democrat by birth. Martin was Harold and Patricia’s third child, and he came relatively late - with a ten year age gap between him and his nearest sibling. A quiet child, Martin excelled at school. His parents encouraged extra-curricular activities and he found his two passions, tennis and debating. He joined both teams and was found to be a skilled speaker and debater, eventually becoming captain of the school’s debating team and winning the national Observer Schools Mace Debating Championship in 1993. At 18 Martin attended the London School of Economics to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics and like his time at school he excelled in his studies, at times eschewing the usual student night life opting for greater study. He did however join the Debating Society and joined the Liberal Democrats and became an active campaigner across London and in the Young Liberals. In his final year of University he was elected President of LSE Young Liberals. It was also during this time that he met Locryn Chenoweth and they instantly hit it off. To Martin, relatively boring and straight laced, the artistic and creative Cornishman was very exciting. They became an official couple in January 1997 but kept it a secret from their families. After his graduation the pair moved in together. After finishing LSE he was employed by Barclays in their investment banking division as a Financial Analyst. He demonstrated an aptitude for economics and investment and quickly moved upwards in the industry moving to JP Morgan and later returning to Barclays as Managing Director and Head of European Investment in 1997. During his time at Barclays he remained active within the London Liberal Democrats, albeit from a quieter perspective due to his employment. In the early 2000s he was approached by Bath Liberal Democrats to run for council. In 2001 he came out to his parents and introduced Locryn as his partner. Thankfully, Martin’s parents were incredibly welcoming and accepting. In 2002 Martin and Locryn moved to Bath, where Martin had decided to establish his own small investment firm focused on green industries and technologies. During his time in the city he had amassed a tidy fortune that he put into his new business and was able to support himself and Locryn. Their relationship however began to fray, with Martin fully out of the closet and Locryn still not out to his parents; they were leading a double life and it caused significant arguments. The relationship hit its end after Locryn came out to his parents, they thought that it would ease the tension but it did not. The rifts that had formed between the two of them worsened and during Martin's election campaign to Bath and North East Somerset council they split. The break up between the two of them hit Martin hard. For the majority of their relationship it was a very happy time. And the bittersweetness of the time hit Martin hard for he won his seat on BNES council at the same time. As his political career began to take off he set his sights further than his local council and began to aim for Parliament. His investment company began to shift to favourable investments that he could use to build his green credentials. On BNES council he quickly was promoted to Cabinet Member for Finance. He served in that role until 2007. After the 2007 Local Elections and the Liberal Democrats went into opposition on BNES council Martin was elected Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Bath and served in that role up until his election to Parliament in Bath. Seen as a sensible councillor, he sought to build consensus where possible in order to continue to push a Liberal Democrat agenda. During his time as a councillor he set his sights on Bath as a seat he wanted. He quickly became a confidante of Don Foster, the sitting MP, and served as his Campaign Manager in the 2005 General Election. It was during this election that Don confided in Martin that he was considering standing down before the next election. Martin knew that he had to strike while the iron was hot, and after the 2005 General Election he cultivated relationships with senior members of the party. Many of whom he had worked with and campaigned with during his student days and while living in London. In 2009, Martin sold his investment company for a reported profit of £3.5 million, and then took up a role as a Financial Policy advisor to Nick Clegg. In 2009, Don Foster announced he was standing down at the next election. The contest for selection was fierce. As one of the safest Lib Dem seats and Lib Dem held for many years it attracted candidates from far and wide. Martin was selected and was elected at the 2010 election. As a new MP finding himself on the Government benches he had to find his feet fast. He remained on the backbenches and was appointed to the Treasury Select Committee. A loyal MP throughout his first term. In 2012 Martin was elected President of the Liberal Democrats. During the debate on same sex marriage he gave a passionate defence of its introduction, sharing his personal story and reflecting on a failed relationship because of their fear of coming out and how if society’s attitudes had been different in the early 2000s their relationship might have endured. In 2014 Martin was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and remained in post until the 2015 General Election. In the Liberal Democrat wipe out of 2015 Martin was a casualty like so many of his colleagues. After taking an extended break with his husband to the South of France he began to consider his next career move, and with unfinished business in politics he resolved to fight for Bath again. During 2015 and 2017 he published a book on his first term in Parliament. In 2016 he was re-selected as the candidate for Bath and began campaigning across the constituency. In 2017 he was returned to Parliament.
  2. Name: Andrew Wright Avatar: Jeremy Wright MP Age: 49 (12/11/1975) Sex: Male Ethnicity: White British Marital Status: Married, with children Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual Party: Conservative and Unionist Party Political Outlook: One Nation Conservative, Wet, Loyalist. Closely linked with the Cameron reforms of the late 2000s and early 2010s. A vocal proponent of the coalition at the time and actively campaigned for Remain. Supportive of Brexit since the referendum. Andrew is ruthlessly pragmatic. Constituency: Bracknell Year Elected: 2010 Education: RGS Guildford (prep-sixth form); BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Balliol College, Oxford (1993-1996) Career: Adviser, Conservative Research Department (1996-1998), Press Officer, William Hague MP (1998-2001), Director of Communications, Hyland Communications (2001-2005); Managing Director, Wright & Co. (2005-2010) Political Career: Member for Bracknell (2010 – Present); Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, DCMS (2013-2014); Minister of State for Schools (2014-2016); Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (2016-2019)
  3. Mr Speaker, I never thought I would find myself in this position, but after that statement by the Prime Minister I find myself in agreement with his predecessor in our opposition to fracking. I do wonder if the Prime Minister considers his former boss to have lost his mind when the manifesto he put forward at the last election placed a moratorium on all fracking. There’s not much I agree with this Conservative Government but the moratorium on fracking was the right decision to protect our environment and countryside, but like any sensible idea from a Conservative – it never lasts long. It is rather interesting to hear this new Prime Minister stand at that despatch box and decry the manifesto that he was elected on as something that is rooted baseless fear and climate paranoia. Is that what he told his constituents? I wonder if the Prime Minister will welcome hydraulic fracturing to his constituency, although it matters what his constituents think of course. Will the Prime Minister be a vocal proponent for drilling in Rugby, or will the Prime Minister’s seat be spared that fate? Well, we all know what Conservative Associations can be like. If he doesn’t, I’m certain his backbenchers will soon find out what it is like to really upset their constituents. Returning back to the Prime Minister’s broken promise, well his broken manifesto, which clearly states that no new fracking would be approved unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely. No science has been presented, no new evidence, no new statistics that demonstrates the categoric safety of fracking beyond a shadow of a doubt. That is because there is none, Mr Speaker. He and I both know that the science is not there and this is a decision the Prime Minister is taking to suit his political ideology over the needs and safety of all of our constituents. Fracking does not bring down the costs of energy prices, because it is unstable and based on British Geological Society own reports show that the levels of shale gas could be much lower than expected. And even Cuadrilla admits that the average production of a well would require the UK to have over 20,000 wells to deliver what they claim. That’s a lot of community buy in the Prime Minister is going to need. Fracking will be harmful to our natural environment and will not deliver the energy security that the Government believes it will. Nor will this new fast tracking of oil and gas exploration licenses. Because, Mr Speaker, there is no oil field that will instantly start producing oil tomorrow for use, quite the opposite actually. It will take years for new exploration to start producing oil, so what are we supposed to do until then? Continue to depend on foreign energy because the Government has spectacularly failed to act in their 12 years of governing. And even when this new, fast tracked licenses start to deliver oil there will be no real benefit for Britain because the moment that license is issued the oil they discover belongs to them to sell as they wish. And sell to the foreign market they will. These license-holders are multinational, private equity firms or state-backed oil firms owned by other governments – well atleast the Tories are happy for some governments to profit of our oil, it just won’t be the British government. There is no legal requirement for these firms to sell to the domestic UK market, and the oil predominantly found in the North Sea oil fields is not even oil that we use in UK refineries. In October 2021, when this country was entering the energy crisis there was extraordinarily high levels of oil and gas exports – in fact in October 2021 exports were the highest for a decade. So, claims that unleashing UK oil and gas will deliver energy security for the UK is a redherring at best – what this Government will be ensuring is that Oil and Gas giants will continue to make record profits after giving them a £7 billion loan. Even if the government were to suddenly change their tune and start a state-backed oil firm there would be no long term results. Let’s look at one example, Abigail Gas field. Thai gas field is located to the East of Scotland - it will cost millions to develop and to access the gas but will only produce enough gas to mett UK demand for 36 hours. That’s 36 hours total. Let’s look at another example, Rosenbank oil field to the west of Shetland, it is believed that this oil field has over 300 barrels of oil - that sounds great - but the license holder for this oil field is Equinor. The Norweigan oil and gas giant which is back by the Noreweigan government. So it is Norway that will profit from this oil not the UK. Mr Speaker, these are just two examples of existing licenses and the reserves of oil and gas in the North Sea is dwindling with every new license issued. And new drilling will not lead to greater prosperity or energy security for the UK - just more profit for oil and gas giants. That’s who the Government is supporting with this plan, not the British people. What I am also surprised with is this Government’s flagrant disregard of the international commitments it made at COP26 which is clear in the need to transition away from fossil fuels and to move towards greater renewable energy sources. COP26 was not something that was forced onto this Conservative Government but it was something they actually negotiated and led. It seems the Conservative tendency of reneging on international agreements hasn’t ended with the change of leadership, however I did expect a little more time to have passed before they completely forgot they were ones who brokered it. And it is quite galling to see the Government weaken the emission trading scheme, watering it down so polluters can pollute even more and pollute even cheaper. This plan from the Government is the Prime Minister standing with his arms wide open ready for polluters and oil and gas companies to jump right on in. And why should we be surprised? That is exactly what they bought with their 3 month decision to not increase fuel prices. Britain is addicted to gas and like any addict we can’t see that our supply is running out and it is killing us. And the Government is acting like a dealer forcing more and more oil and gas into our country that we are nowhere near kicking the habit. It is time that this country take serious steps to ensure our energy security for the long term, energy that is produced in the UK for the benefit of the UK. Green, renewable energy that lasts, nuclear, wind, solar, wave - we have the expertise and technology ready to go but this Government will not invest in it. They would rather ingratiate themselves to oil barons instead of delivering for British people with the energy that they want and need. Our country needs a government that will deliver energy security and independence that is sustainable and credible, frankly Mr Speaker this Government is neither of those things. Labour will make those right calls, Labour will invest in our country’s real energy security, Labour will protect our natural resources from wanton destruction. It’s time for this tired, tory government to go.
  4. Name: Simon Godwin Avatar: Paul Rudd Age: 48 (13th February 1973) Sex: Male Ethnicity: British White Marital Status: Married Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual Party: Labour Political Outlook: Labour First tradition – he believes that the most important thing for Labour to focus on is to be in Government and is critical of those who seek ideological purity over the success of the party. Sits closest to a Brownite. Constituency: Hove Year Elected: 2005, and then 2015 Education: Westminster School (1984-1989); BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Selwyn College, Cambridge (1991-1993) Career: Parliamentary Assistant, Margaret Beckett MP (1993-1994); Policy Adviser, The Smith Institute (1994-1998); Special Adviser, Secretary of State for Social Security Alistair Darling (1998-2001); Head of Communications, Shelter (2001-2003); Director of Campaigns, Shelter (2003-2005); Director, The Smith Institute (2011-2015) Political Career: MP for Hove (2005-2010, 2015-Present); Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister (2007-2008); Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2008-2009); Minister of State for Housing and Planning (2009-2010)*; Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning (2015-2016); Member, Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee (2017-2019); Chair, Labour Friends of Israel (2018-2019); Member, Public Accounts Committee (2019-2021). Bio: Simon Godwin was born to Jack and Lucy Godwin (nee Williams), two academics in the field of History and Philosophy. Simon was their second child of three and only son. Jack and Lucy Godwin were members of the Labour Party, and were prominent members in the Brighton Labour party, and Simon grew up around politics and political figures. One of his earliest memories was Barbara Castle sat at his parent’s dinner table, which was in 1978 in the run up to the general election. From a young age he showed an aptitude for the humanities, including history and geography. He attended Westminster School, where he was a member and later captain of the debate team and played midfield for the school’s hockey first team. In 1991 he attended Selwyn College where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. At Cambridge, Simon was what you would expect a future politician to be; ambitious, opinionated and smug. He was a member of the Cambridge Union and was elected President in his final year. Graduating Cambridge he immediately went to Parliament to serve as Parliamentary Assistant to Margaret Beckett. In 1994 the Smith Institute was established, and Simon took on the role of Policy Adviser focusing on Local Government policy. He remained with the Smith Institute for 4 years when he was hired by Alistair Darling as his Special Adviser. In 2001, he left Government to work in the third sector for Shelter, eventually rising to Director of Campaigns for the charity. It was during this time at Shelter that he experienced the horror that it is to be homeless and destitute, that governments of all colours must do more to tackle homelessness nationally. In 2003 he met his wife, Luciana, a political reporter for the Guardian. In 2006 they had a daughter, Jessica. Simon had been politically active since a teenager, and during his time at university and during his career his commitment to the Labour party only strengthened, and he actively pursued election to Parliament. In 1997, only four years out of University, he stood for Mid Sussex and despite that Labour landslide he was unsuccessful. In 2001 he stood again in Mid Sussex and was unsuccessful. In 2003 the sitting MP for Hove announced his retirement, and with thanks to his connections in the party and close familial links in the area he was successful in selection and was later elected in 2005. Hove had long been a bellwether seat, accurately predicting the national result, and upon taking his seat he made his maiden speech where he highlighted the impressive work the Labour government had on reducing poverty but delivered a call to action for the Government to do more on tackling homelessness and rough sleeping. Simon had long been a supporter of Gordon Brown and the Tribune wing of the party. He believed deeply in the ideals of Labour first and that the success of the Parliamentary Labour Party was paramount, and only through Labour holding Government could they truly deliver the change the country needed. For the first two years of being an MP he remained a loyal backbencher, and in 2007 was appointed PPS to the PM, and his ascent up the greasy pole began quickly being promoted to junior minister in DCLG and later Minister of Housing and Planning. The young MP was being noticed within the party and was a popular fixture on the Sunday news shows. He was seen as a rising star in the party. However, disaster struck in 2010. The bellwether nature of his Hove seat proved true and he lost to the Conservatives by a whisker - something he lays blame for at the Liberal Democrats - for the Conservative vote share barely moved but there was a direct correlation between the increase in the Lib Dem vote share to his decreased vote share. Ever since then, and the ensuing Lib Dem/Tory alliance he distrusts the liberals and lays more than enough blame at their feet for austerity. Now without a job he had to decide what his next steps were. Fortunately, with more than enough contacts within the party and a vacancy at the Smith Institute he was hired as its Director. A post he held up until his re-election in 2015. Keeping his feet fully submerged in the Labour party he was able to attract big names to the Institute and his time there was some of the happiest times of his life, it almost was enough to keep him from running for Parliament again. But in 2014, and the state of the country after years of the Coalition and their austerity politics he knew that he had to get back into the ring fully. He was re-selected for the Hove constituency and returned to Parliament on an increased majority to his 2005 election. The bellwether status of Hove seemed to be broken. Despite being out of Parliament for five years he quickly slotted back into the PLP, with most of his friends still there but a radically different party. In the 2015 leadership contest he nominated and supported Andy Burnham. He was sceptical of Jeremy Corbyn and the movement he represented, one that did not seem serious about pursuing political power but as a loyal member of the party he accepted a position within his Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning. At first he relished being back in the cut and thrust of frontbench politics, but he became increasingly frustrated with the leadership, and at one point joked with a frontbench colleague “Who’s he going to say next? Doris from down the fucking road?” 2016. The fateful year of the referendum and the leadership challenge. Simon was pro-EU but had never really been pressed on the topic before. During the referendum he openly supported the Remain Campaign. He campaigned across the South of England, and actively supported cross-party campaigning with Simon joining Conservative, Green and Liberal Democrat (through gritted teeth) politicians and campaigners to bolster the national campaign. After the referendum campaign, and the accusations made of Jeremy Corbyn, which he agreed with, Simon joined the numerous resignations from the Shadow Cabinet, and supported Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership challenge. After leaving the frontbench, Simon became more vocal in his criticism of the Labour leadership and their failure to cut through against a robotic and uncaring Prime Minister. In the 2017 General Election, Simon was re-elected again with a massive majority. The 2017 election may have quietened the critics of Corbyn but it did not silence them, for despite all their gains they failed to remove the Conservatives from office. Since the election Simon has joined the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee and was elected Chair of Labour Friends of Israel in 2018. With the accusations of anti-Semitism levelled at the Labour leader Simon has called on Corbyn to resolutely condemn anti-Semitism, pursue an active campaign of expulsion of anti-Semites from the Labour Party and commit to immediate action to tackle anti-Semitism within the Labour party. Simon was an opponent to the deals brought back by the Prime Minister and has voted against the deals every step of the way. However, now that Britain has left the EU he has accepted that reality and has said publicly that he will “scrutinise the trade deal negotiated by this Government, but I am not holding my breath that they will succeed.” After the 2019 election Simon supported Jess Phillips initially, and then transferred his support to Lisa Nandy during the leadership contest and was reported saying “Thank God Corbyn has gone, the biggest embarrassment the Labour party has ever suffered through.” Simon has since been a loyal supporter of the Starmer/Rayner leadership. *Approved by Blakesley and did not attend Cabinet.
  5. Name: Helen Drake Avatar: Gillian Anderson Age: 53 (12//4/1955) Sex: Female Ethnicity: White Marital Status: Married Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual Party: Conservative and Unionist Party Political Outlook: Thatcherite, euro-sceptic, socially liberal, fiscally conservative Constituency: Surrey Heath Year Elected: 2001 Education: LLB Law, University of Surrey Career: Criminal Barrister Political Career: MP, Surrey Heath (2001-Present); Member, Public Accounts Committee (2003-2005); Shadow Local Government Minister (2005-2006); Shadow Justice Minister (2006-2007); Minister of State, Local Government and Communities (2007)
  6. Speaker of the House The Government has confirmed that they accept this amendment as friendly. Division! Clear the lobbies (again)
  7. Speaker of the House Is this amendment accepted as friendly?
  8. Leader of the Liberal Democrats: Meredith Hansen-Charles Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats: Simon Hughes Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer: Vince Cable Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Simon Hughes Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department: Lembit Opik Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families: David Laws Shadow Secretary of State for Communities: Lynne Featherstone Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Welfare: Steve Webb Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Infrastructure, and the Environment: Ed Davey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence: Norman Baker Lib Dem Chief Whip: Alastair Carmichael Shadow Leader of the House of Commons: Nick Clegg Shadow Leader of the House of Lords: Baroness Williams of Crosby
  9. Name: Meredith Hansen-Charles Avatar: Kate Mulgrew Age: 60 (19/06/1947) Sex: Female Ethnicity: White Marital Status: Civil partnered Sexual Orientation: Lesbian Party: Liberal Democrats Political Outlook: Beveridge Group, former SDP, Social Liberal, Europhile, pro-devolution Constituency: Cardiff Central Year Elected: 2005 Education: BA Classics, Somerville College, Oxford (1965-1968); Pupilage, Inner Temple (1970) Career: Barrister, Wales and Chester Circuit (1970-1975); Director of Policy, United Nations Development Fund for Women (1976-1980); Queen’s Counsel (1980); Visiting Law Lecturer, Cardiff University (1980-1999); Executive Director, Welsh Women’s Aid (1983-1987); Board Member, Electoral Reform Society (1987-1993); Founder and Director, Lawyers for Devolution (1993-1997); Board Member, Yes for Wales!; Member, National Assembly Advisory Group (1997-1999). Political Career: Councillor, Cyncoed Ward, Cardiff Council (1987-2005); Assembly Member, Cardiff Central, National Assembly for Wales (1999-2005); Minster of Culture, Sport and Welsh Language, Welsh Assembly Government (2000-2003); Acting Deputy First Minister of Wales (2001-2002); Member of Parliament, Cardiff Central (2005-Present); Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Wales (2005-2006); Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Home Affairs (2006-2007)
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