Gavin Shuker

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Gavin Shuker

Official portrait of Mr Gavin Shuker crop 2.jpg
Official parliamentary portrait, June 2017
Member of Parliament
for Luton South
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Margaret Moran
Majority 13,925 (30.1%)
Personal details
Born (1981-10-10) 10 October 1981 (age 37)[1]
Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour Co-operative
Spouse(s) Lucie Shuker
Children 1 daughter
Alma mater Girton College, Cambridge

Gavin Shuker (born 10 October 1981) is a British Labour Co-operative politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Luton South since 2010. Shuker successfully defended the seat after his predecessor Margaret Moran stood down following controversy over her expenses.[2] Shuker serves as Chair of the Parliamentary Co-operative Party[3] and in 2013 he was appointed as a Shadow International Development Minister.[4]

He left the Opposition Frontbench in September 2015, with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Party Leader. He cited "political differences" with Jeremy Corbyn.[5]

Education and early life

A Lutonian, Shuker was educated at two state schools: Icknield Primary and Icknield High School. He was head boy at the latter. He then attended Luton Sixth Form College before going on acquire a degree in Social and Political Sciences[6] at Girton College, Cambridge.

Shuker became leader and pastor of the City Life Church in Luton[7][8] until he stood for parliament.[6]

Political career

In May 2010 he won the seat in Luton South, beating the Conservative Nigel Huddleston, with the journalist and broadcaster Esther Rantzen a distant fourth.[9] In October 2010, he was appointed PPS to the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Sadiq Khan, and was also appointed to the transport select committee. In March 2011 he was promoted again to become Shadow Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with responsibility for water and waste.[10][11]

He is a member of the Christians on the Left.[8][12]

In the October 2013 reshuffle, he was shifted to the Shadow International Development team as a Shadow Minister of State.[4] His brief covered policy on Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, in addition to responsibility for policy on climate change, inequality, violence against women and girls and the post-2015 SDG agenda. As part of his Shadow Ministerial role, Shuker has visited Palestine, Pakistan, El Salvador and the United Nations at Geneva and New York.[13]

Alongside his frontbench activities, Shuker has served as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade, Vice-Chair of the Polar Regions All-Party Parliamentary Group, Vice-Chair of the Christians in Parliament APPG and Vice-Chair of the Thameslink Route APPG. He is a member of other APPGs, including the group on Kashmir, East-West Rail and Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.[14]

In March 2014 under Shuker’s chairmanship, the APPG on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade published a new report on the legal state of prostitution in England and Wales. The result of a year-long consultation it was the first major cross-party report on the issue since the mid-1990s. The report called for a wholesale review of the existing legal settlement on prostitution, advocating consideration of a move towards the so-called 'Nordic model'.[15] In the foreword to the APPG's report, Shuker wrote: "In short, we recommend a shift in the burden of criminality from those who are the most marginalised and vulnerable – to those that create the demand in the first place."[16]

In March 2012, Shuker was one of three MPs who signed a letter sent to the Advertising Standards Authority asking it to reverse its decision to stop the Christian group "Healing on the Streets of Bath" from making explicit claims that prayer can heal. The letter called for the ASA to provide indisputable scientific evidence that such healing did not work.[17]

Shuker has been a critic of right-wing nationalist groups such as Britain First, the English Defence League (EDL) and Liberty GB, condemning what he calls their repeated "targeting" of Luton.[18][19] He has drawn attention to the high costs of policing demonstrations by the EDL,[20] and has spoken at rallies opposing the EDL’s presence in Luton.[21]

Following the May 2015 general election, Shuker announced his intention to support Liz Kendall's campaign to be Labour leader.[22][23]

Shuker was critical of the Corbyn leadership and its allies for their position on anti-semitism [24] and questioned his future in the party as a result. [25]

On 6 September 2018, a meeting of the Luton South Constituency Labour Party passed a vote of no confidence on Shuker. [26] Luton South CLP passed their motion with 33 votes in favour of the motion with five abstentions and only three voting to support the MP.[27] After the vote, Shuker took to Twitter to declare "At a local Labour Party meeting last night a motion of no confidence in me was passed. It’s not part of any formal procedure, so it changes nothing about my role as Labour MP for Luton South". [28]

Political interests

His political interests include child poverty, student funding, transport policy, international development and debt reduction.[1]

Personal life

He was married to Lucie, whom he met at the University of Cambridge[6] but announced in 2016 that they had divorced.[29] They have a daughter, born 16 June 2013.[30][31]


  1. ^ a b "Democracy Live: Gavin Suker MP". BBC News.
  2. ^ BBC, 7 May 2010, Luton South
  3. ^ "Gavin Shuker - The Co-operative Party".
  4. ^ a b "Confirmed: Labour's new frontbench team in full - LabourList". 8 October 2013.
  5. ^ Adam Parris-Long (18 September 2015). "Gavin Shuker steps back from Labour frontbench due to political differences with Jeremy Corbyn". Luton Today. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "About Gavin Shuker". Labour Party. Archived from the original on 14 May 2010.
  7. ^ "City Life Church Luton". City Life Church. Archived from the original on 10 May 2010.
  8. ^ a b Paul Richards (8 July 2011). "God's Politicians". Progress Online. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  9. ^ Pidd, Helen (7 May 2010). "UK election results 2010: Esther Rantzen fails to win Luton South". The Guardian. London.
  10. ^ "BBC Democracy Live:Gavin Shuker MP". BBC news. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  11. ^ "BBC - Politics Points East: Promotion for Shuker".
  12. ^ They came expecting fireworks from Christians on the Left.
  13. ^ "Email updates".
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Latest Bedford News news - Beds On Sunday".
  16. ^ 'Shifting the burden' from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade
  17. ^ "Tim Farron: 'Prayer Can Heal' Letter Was A Mistake". Huffington Post UK. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  18. ^ "Luton MP Gavin Shuker tells EDL 'stop targeting town'". 5 February 2015 – via
  19. ^ "Far-right group Britain First announce Luton march after staging mosque 'invasions'".
  20. ^ "PM 'negligent' over multiculturalism speech".
  21. ^ "Stock Photography, Royalty-Free Photos & The Latest News Pictures - Getty Images".
  22. ^ "Gavin Shuker on Twitter".
  23. ^ "Supporters bullish about Kendall's chances as Toby Perkins named campaign chair - LabourList". 21 May 2015.
  24. ^ "Chair of Labour's disputes panel quits amid anti-Semitism row". Scotsman.
  25. ^ ""I think it's increasingly difficult not just for me but for other colleagues" to stay with the Labour Party, says Gavin Shuker MP after the anti-Semitism row". BBC Newsnight on Twitter.
  26. ^ "VJeremy Corbyn: Gavin Shuker vote 'not start of deselection'". BBC News. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  27. ^ Carr, Stewart (7 September 2018). "'Rumours abound' after Luton South CLP passes no confidence motion in MP Gavin Shuker". Luton Today. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  28. ^ """". Twitter.
  29. ^ MP, Gavin Shuker (20 March 2017). "Some sad news". Gavin Shuker MP. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  30. ^ "Business of the House: 4 Jul 2013: House of Commons debates - TheyWorkForYou".
  31. ^

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Margaret Moran
Member of Parliament for Luton South
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