Ivan Lewis (born 4 March 1967) is a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bury South since 1997. Lewis was the initial Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in Ed Miliband's first shadow cabinet and held this post until October 2011 at which point he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for International Development. In the October 2013 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle he was moved to the position of Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, but did not retain the post in the reshuffle after Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader on 13 September 2015.
Lewis continually served in various government ministerial positions under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from 2001 to 2010. After the Labour Party lost the May 2010 General Election, he was subsequently elected to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2010.
Lewis was born in Prestwich, in the Bury South constituency which he now represents, to a British Jewish family. He was educated at William Hulme Grammar School in Manchester, followed by Stand Sixth Form College and Bury College.
Prior to his election in 1997, he worked in the voluntary sector from 1986 to 1997 for Outreach, learning disabilities support group Contact Community Care Group – which Lewis helped to create at 19 years old – and as Chief Executive of the Manchester Jewish Federation.
Lewis also served as a Councillor on Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, being elected in 1990 at 23 years of age and held the position of Chairman of the Council’s Social Services Committee. He has often been seen walking with his two alsations up Bury New Road.
Between June 2001 and June 2002, Lewis was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Young People and Learning within the Department for Education and Skills and then for Adult Learning and Skills. From June 2002 to May 2005, he became Under-Secretary of State for Skills and Vocational Education in the same department.
As a junior minister Lewis was responsible for the White Paper, 21st Century Skills: Realising our Potential, launched in 2003. It proposed increased support for adults seeking to gain technical and craft qualifications where regional skills shortages existed, removing the age limit for Modern Apprentices and making information and communications technology the third essential "skill for life" alongside literacy and numeracy.
Lewis was also involved with a scheme to introduce apprenticeships for 14-year-olds alongside their schooling, commenting that Britain needed to challenge "uniquely snobbish" attitudes toward vocational education
On 29 June 2007, in Gordon Brown's first reshuffle as Prime Minister he was re-appointed to the post of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Health, the only junior minister to survive the reshuffle where he held on to the brief for social care and added mental health services.
Minister for Care Services 2006 to 2008
As minister for care services Lewis lead the introduction of Putting People First, the then Government’s policy (accepted by the incoming Coalition Government) to personalise the provision of social care services for the elderly and people with disabilities. The policy offered adults eligible for care services the ability choose their own care services from a "personal budget", and shifted some responsibilities from the NHS to councils.
Lewis described his own policy changes as "arguably the biggest redistribution of power from the state to the citizen that we have ever seen" whilst the Guardian’s David Brindle praised Lewis for having done a "huge amount" to raise the profile of social care.
Department for International Development & Foreign Commonwealth Affairs
On 3 October 2008, Lewis moved to the Department for International Development. At DfID Lewis spearheaded a campaign to persuade other Governments and multilateral agencies to prioritise maternal health.
He remained there until June 2009, when he was promoted to Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Lewis was responsible for the UK's Middle East policy, the UK's relations with the US and China, counter terrorism and counter proliferation.
In October 2010, Lewis was elected by his fellow Labour MPs to the Shadow Cabinet and appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport by Labour Leader Ed Miliband.
In October 2013 Lewis was moved in a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle from the International Development portfolio to the Shadow Northern Ireland one. However, despite his reshuffle, which was seen by many commentators as a demotion, he fulfilled a standing commitment to outline Labour's vision on International Development at The University of Manchester, during Manchester Policy Week. In the September 2015 Labour shadow cabinet reshuffle under the newly elected leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lewis offered to continue in the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland amid the troubling political situation there. His offer was rejected by Corbyn and he subsequently returned to the backbenches.
One Nation Labour
Lewis has been one of the key figures influencing the Labour Party’s political thinking and direction during Ed Miliband's leadership. He was one of the co-originators of the notion of ‘One Nation Labour’, which formed the foundation of Ed Miliband’s keynote speech at the Labour Conference held in Manchester in September 2012.
Lewis had originally floated the concept in a chapter written for The Purple Book, a collection of essays written by mainly senior figures in the Party offering new policy ideas.
In February 2016 Lewis announced his intentions to seek the Labour candidacy nomination for the post of the directly elected Mayor of Greater Manchester. On August 9, 2016 the Labour Party announced that Andy Burnham would be the mayoral candidate.
In March 2008 Lewis became the first Government Minister to publicly warn that the Labour Party was losing touch with ordinary people under the leadership of Gordon Brown in an article written for Progress Online. Lewis stated that he believed that the Government had lost touch with what fairness meant to the mainstream majority.
"We cannot afford to be reticent or selective about what fair means in today's Britain. Fairness means everyone paying an appropriate level of tax. It is true there is nothing wrong with being 'stinking rich' providing you pay a significantly higher proportion in tax than your fellow citizen with a modest disposable income. Fairness means a Labour government not remaining silent when any company rips the consumer off or directors of poorly performing organisations in the public or private sector receive extortionate bonuses. Fairness means equal treatment and opportunities for women and ethnic minorities in the workplace, not skilled white men denied career opportunities in the name of equality."
Text Messages Incident
In 2008, the Department of Health confirmed that Ivan Lewis had made an apology for his behaviour when in 2007 he began sending increasingly intimate text messages to then aide Suzie Mason, which ultimately led to her registering concern, and successfully seeking an alternative position within the Civil Service before leaving for the private sector. Nick Cohen pointed out in The Observer on 14 September 2008 that the revelations about Lewis's private life followed articles by Lewis which constituted coded attacks on Gordon Brown.
In his book The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour, the journalist Andrew Rawnsley suggests that Lewis was a target of ‘Gordon Brown’s Hit Squad’. In relation to the Suzie Mason story, Rawnsley wrote:- "Yet there were few Labour MPs who doubted that the story was planted by No 10, which was privy to a confidential Whitehall report about the Civil Servant. The hit on Lewis stunned Ministers who regarded themselves as unshockable." The story was leaked twelve months after the events occurred. Senior Civil Servants dealing with the Mason issue advised that no action should be taken against Lewis.
In 2009, The Guardian reported that, following a promise to assist British users of the drug "Vioxx" (produced by Merck) with legal fees in their attempt to claim damages, Lewis changed his mind within hours of an "expensive lobbying effort" by Merck. Vioxx has been shown to increase the risk of heart failure in users.
On 27 September 2011, Lewis addressed the Labour Party conference in Liverpool outlining a proposal for "a new system of independent regulation" of the press and of journalists that "as [with] other professions the industry should consider whether people guilty of gross malpractice should be struck off", though without specifying in any detail how this might be achieved.
- Jessica Elgot (14 May 2010). "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
- "Ivan Lewis appointed minister at Department for Education and Skills". DfES. 14 June 2001. Archived from the original on 27 March 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "Jewish Labour MP Slams Jeremy Corbyn for anti-Semitic ties". Haaretz. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- Mp, Labour (18 October 2002). "Ivan Lewis". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Ngaio Crequer (11 July 2003). "Hearty welcome for skills strategy". TES-Newspaper. Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "Apprenticeships for 14 year olds". BBC. 10 May 2004. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Mithran Samuel (1 August 2008). "Ivan Lewis challenges adult care sector to deliver". Community Care. Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- David Brindle (7 October 2008). "At least it's not the sackThe social care sector will miss Ivan Lewis, says David Brindle". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Saiqa Chaudhari (12 October 2011). "Ivan Lewis becomes shadow international development minister". The Bury Times. Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "Labour's new Shadow Cabinet in full". 7 October 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013.
- Owen Bennett (8 October 2013). "Ed Miliband axes Twigg and Byrne in Shadow Cabinet reshuffle". The Daily Express. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- "Labour's International Development Strategy". 13 December 2013. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Patrick Wintour (9 September 2011). "Labour looks like Party of Urban Elite, Ivan Lewis warns in essay". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Robert Winnett (31 March 2008). "Gordon Brown out of touch say Minister' 31 March 2008". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 31 July 2011.
- Ian Kirby and Sophy Ridge (6 September 2008). "Government Health Minister Ivan Lewis apologises after bombarding civil servant Susie Mason with personal text messages". News of the World. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Nick Cohen (14 September 2008). "Call off your mafioso aides, Mr Brown". The Observer. London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Goldacre, Ben (9 May 2009). "The danger of drugs ... and data". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
- Ivan Lewis (27 September 2011). "Labour Party Conference: Ivan Lewis's speech in full". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
- Helen Lewis Hasteley (27 September 2011). "Labour's odd plan to get bad journalists 'struck off'". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011.
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Articles authored at Journalisted
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament
for Bury South
|Economic Secretary to the Treasury
| Succeeded by|
The Lord Warner
|Minister of State for Care Services
| Succeeded by|
|Minister of State for International Development
| Succeeded by|
|Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
| Succeeded by|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
| Succeeded by|
|Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
| Succeeded by|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
| Succeeded by|