Profile: Labour’s new PLP Chair

20th March, 2012 10:27 am

Last week Dave Watts was elected as Labour’s new PLP Chair. But who is he? Kevin Meagher profiles the new “shop steward for Labour MPs”:

If dictionaries had photos, then it’s a fair bet that if you looked up the word ‘genial’ there would be a picture of Dave Watts, the new chair of the parliamentary Labour party (PLP).

The affable Labour MP for St Helens North beat Leyton and Wanstead’s John Cryer by 138-88 to the role that’s invariably described as “shop steward for Labour MPs”.

His main tasks will be chairing the weekly meeting of Labour MPs and representing backbenchers’ concerns to the leadership. He succeeds Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd who is off to stand as Greater Manchester’s police commissioner.

Around a quarter of the entire PLP is made up from the north west bloc, and Watts, a former regional whip, was well-placed to call in favours from his colleagues. A task made all the easier, it has to be said, because Dave Watts is definitely one of Labour politics’ nice guys.

Elected for his home town of St. Helens North in 1997 (where he was previously leader of the council), Watts served as PPS to ministers including John Spellar and John Prescott before completing a five-year stint in the whips’ office.

He is the type of rootsy yet pragmatic figure the party’s MPs need right now. He is a settler of tempers, not of scores. An able backroom fixer he will bring some much needed ‘real world’ perspective to the top of the party. This is a smart appointment.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]

Latest

  • Comment Featured Angela Rayner: Tory cuts to Sure Start are hurting the most vulnerable families

    Angela Rayner: Tory cuts to Sure Start are hurting the most vulnerable families

    Earlier this month, Tory-controlled Hampshire County Council announced the closure of 43 of its 54 Sure Start centres. It was a record-breaking event, because their decision took the total number of Sure Start centres lost under this Tory Government, and the Coalition before it, to more than 800. What a record for the Tories. Hampshire County Council’s own report into the closures said that in 2010 there had been 83 children’s centres provided “across the whole of Hampshire.” Government cuts […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Uncategorized Britain seems to be fragmenting but English socialism is being reborne

    Britain seems to be fragmenting but English socialism is being reborne

      by Tom Kelsey and Jon Wilson The referendum brought to light deep fractures that risk destroying the left, and with the prospect of a bruising leadership election the divisions seem to be getting wider. Working class voters in once industrial towns and cities think their political leaders are out-of-touch with no understanding of life in a country many feel is rapidly changing for the worse. The idea of the nation, particularly of a resurgent England, has become a channel […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Uncategorized As the dust settles on the vote for Brexit, it is time to reach out to our democracy’s missing millions

    As the dust settles on the vote for Brexit, it is time to reach out to our democracy’s missing millions

    At a critical point in the development of the Labour party leadership, this article offers a few thoughts on a future Labour agenda for democratic reform that transcends internal politicking. After four years of working at Bite The Ballot, a party-neutral youth democracy movement – and one that unites decision-makers of all persuasions in its work – I can say that British politics still has a long way to go on the road to democratic renewal. Though the pieces are still […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured We must bring politics back to our communities rather than leave people to rely on Westminster “elites”

    We must bring politics back to our communities rather than leave people to rely on Westminster “elites”

    All told, it’s not been a good few months for the standing of our politicians. Whether you think there was a good case to have a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU or not, the reason we were all put through it was ultimately one of internal Conservative party management. A fundamental question about who we are as a nation and how to best represent our interests was embarked upon because David Cameron thought it was his best […]

    Read more →
  • News Kinnock: Labour must show that its socialism can “work in practice”

    Kinnock: Labour must show that its socialism can “work in practice”

    Neil Kinnock has criticised “ideological flights of fancy”, and said that Labour needs to show that socialism can “work in practice” before it can be successful. The former leader has said that winning parties have to be “professional” as well as having a “sense of belief”, and launched a strong attack on “career politicians”. “You can enchant people by ideological flights of fancy, but that’s not going to help them at all,” Lord Kinnock told BBC programme Conversations this week. He said […]

    Read more →
x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit