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Malcolm Wicks

Malcolm Wicks

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Malcolm Hunt Wicks is a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 who has been the Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Croydon North
Croydon North (UK Parliament constituency)
Croydon North is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election...

 since 1997
United Kingdom general election, 1997
The United Kingdom general election, 1997 was held on 1 May 1997, more than five years after the previous election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party ended its 18 years in opposition under the leadership of Tony Blair, and won the general...

. He was MP for Croydon North West from 1992 to 1997.

Early life and education


Wicks was born in Hatfield
Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Hatfield is a town and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England in the borough of Welwyn Hatfield. It has a population of 29,616, and is of Saxon origin. Hatfield House, the home of the Marquess of Salisbury, is the nucleus of the old town...

, Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 to Arthur Wicks
Arthur Wicks
Arthur Ernest Wicks was a Labour politician and last chairman of the London County Council. He was first elected to the Shoreditch Metropolitan Borough Council in the 1950s, and became chairman of housing, at a time when Shoreditch had one of England's highest concentrations of municipal...

, a Labour member of the London County Council
London County Council
London County Council was the principal local government body for the County of London, throughout its 1889–1965 existence, and the first London-wide general municipal authority to be directly elected. It covered the area today known as Inner London and was replaced by the Greater London Council...

 and later Greater London Council
Greater London Council
The Greater London Council was the top-tier local government administrative body for Greater London from 1965 to 1986. It replaced the earlier London County Council which had covered a much smaller area...

. He was educated at the independent Elizabeth College, Guernsey
Elizabeth College, Guernsey
Elizabeth College is an independent school in the town of St Peter Port, Guernsey, founded in 1563 under the orders of Queen Elizabeth I.- History :...

; North West London Polytechnic
University of North London
The University of North London was a university in the United Kingdom from 1992 to 2002. On 1 August 2002, it merged with London Guildhall University to form London Metropolitan University. The former University of North London premises now form the new university's north campus, situated on...

 and the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

 gaining a BSc
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 in Sociology.

Early career


From 1968-70, he was a research fellow of the Department of Social Administration at the University of York
University of York
The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

, then a research worker at the Centre for Environmental Studies
Centre for Environmental Studies
The Centre for Environmental Studies was an environmental think-tank in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1967 by the second Wilson government as an independent charitable trust for the purpose of advancing education and research in the planning and design of the physical environment...

 from 1970-2. Wicks worked in the Urban Deprivation Unit (abolished in 1978) of the Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

 as a social policy analyst from 1974–77, and was a lecturer in Social Administration at Brunel University
Brunel University
Brunel University is a public research university located in Uxbridge, London, United Kingdom. The university is named after the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel....

 from 1970-74. From 1977-8, he was a lecturer in Social Policy at the Civil Service College (now called the National School of Government
National School of Government
The National School of Government is a part of the Cabinet Office that runs training, organisational development and consultancy courses for UK civil servants and private individual learners...

) in Ascot
Ascot, Berkshire
Ascot is a village within the civil parish of Sunninghill and Ascot, in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. It is most notable as the location of Ascot Racecourse, home of the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting...

, then research director and secretary of the Study Commission on the Family from 1978-83. He was later Director of the Family Policy Studies Centre
Family Policy Studies Centre
The Family Policy Studies Centre was a charity which carried out independent policy studies research and policy analysis on family issues and trends...

 from 1983-92. He has been the author and co-author of many publications, including a work on hypothermia, Old and Cold: hypothermia and social policy and A Future for All: Do we need the Welfare State? His keen concern about fuel poverty
Fuel poverty
A household is said to be in fuel poverty when they cannot afford to keep adequately warm at reasonable cost, given it's income. The term is mainly used in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, although the concept also applies everywhere in the world where poverty may be present.As the term fuel...

 led to him to act as a Trustee of the National Energy Foundation
National Energy Foundation
The National Energy Foundation is an independent British charity, established to encourage the more sustainable use and generation of energy.- Aims :...

 (1988–94).

He was involved in politics in Croydon
London Borough of Croydon
The London Borough of Croydon is a London borough in South London, England and is part of Outer London. It covers an area of and is the largest London borough by population. It is the southernmost borough of London. At its centre is the historic town of Croydon from which the borough takes its name...

, chairing his local Constituency Labour Party
Constituency Labour Party
A Constituency Labour Party is an organisation of members of the British Labour Party who live in a particular UK parliamentary constituency in England, Scotland and Wales. The Labour Party in Northern Ireland has, since February 2009, been organised as a province-wide Constituency Labour Party...

 and standing for election to Croydon Council before his election to parliament.

Parliamentary career


He was first elected in 1992 for Croydon North West
Croydon North West (UK Parliament constituency)
Croydon North West was a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.- Politics and history of the constituency :...

 after having previously contested the seat unsuccessfully in 1987.

Wicks' Private Member's Bill
Private Member's Bill
A member of parliament’s legislative motion, called a private member's bill or a member's bill in some parliaments, is a proposed law introduced by a member of a legislature. In most countries with a parliamentary system, most bills are proposed by the government, not by individual members of the...

 reached the statute books, becoming the Carers (Recognition & Services) Act 1995, recognising the needs of family carers.

He was Chairman of the Education Select Committee from 1998 until his July 1999 appointment as Minister for Lifelong Learning in the Department for Education and Employment. In July 2001 he moved to the Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions is the largest government department in the United Kingdom, created on June 8, 2001 from the merger of the employment part of the Department for Education and Employment and the Department of Social Security and headed by the Secretary of State for Work and...

, where he spent four years, first as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, and then as Minister of State
Minister of State
Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "minister of state" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister...

, for Pensions. In May 2005, he was appointed as Minister for Energy at the Department of Trade and Industry in the post-election Cabinet reshuffle. In a mini-reshuffle on 10 November 2006, following the retirement of Lord Sainsbury
David Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville
David John Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville, FRS , is a British businessman and politician. From 1992 to 1997, he served as the Chairman of Sainsbury's . He was made a life peer in 1997, and currently sits in the House of Lords as a member of the Labour Party...

, Wicks was appointed as Minister of State for Science and Innovation in the same department.

In Gordon Brown's first reshuffle on 28 June 2007, Wicks was moved to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform was a United Kingdom government department. The department was created on 28 June 2007 on the disbanding of the Department of Trade and Industry , and was itself disbanded on 6 June 2009 on the creation of the Department for Business,...

, which replaced the Department of Trade and Industry, to resume his old role as Minister for Energy.
He is a vice-president of Carers UK and the Alzheimer's Society
Alzheimer's Society
Alzheimer’s Society is a United Kingdom care and research charity for people with dementia and their carers.It is a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

. Wicks stood down from the government in October 2008, accepting an appointment to the Privy Council and becoming the Prime Minister's special representative on international energy issues.

Wicks was re-elected as the MP for Croydon North on 6 May 2010 with an increased majority of 16,483.

He married Margaret Baron in 1968 and they have a son and two daughters.

Current Political Issues


As Minister for Energy, Malcolm Wicks was not averse to political controversy. Conservationists have strongly objected to the UK government allowing oil and gas prospecting in the Moray Firth. This they claim has put precarious populations of cetaceans at risk. A coalition of conservation groups including WWF
World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

, The Wildlife Trust, the Marine Conservation Society
Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society a UK charity for the protection of the seas around the United Kingdom, and for the protection of their shores and wildlife.According to their website MCS's Vision is:Their website also states:...

 and the RSPB have written to Malcolm Wicks "urging him to abandon the plans," which they claim could have "potentially lethal impacts" on various species including the most northerly population of Bottlenose Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Bottlenose dolphins, the genus Tursiops, are the most common and well-known members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphins. Recent molecular studies show the genus contains two species, the common bottlenose dolphin and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin , instead of one...

s in the world.

The government claims that in deciding to proceed with a 25th offshore licensing round BERR excluded a number of blocks on the basis of recommendations of previous Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA). Those in the process of Appropriate Assessment consultation, have also not been offered.

The SEA recommended that the blocks in or overlapping with the boundaries of the Moray Firth and Cardigan Bay Special Areas of Conservation should also be withheld from licensing for the present whilst the further assessments initiated following the 24th Licensing Round applications are concluded. The government therefore excluded 11 blocks in the Cardigan bay area and 10 in the Moray Firth.

Further, any licences awarded in the 25th Round will contain conditions to protect environmental interests and those of other sea users. Activities carried out under the licences will be subject to a range of legislation designed to protect the marine environment, including legislation that implements the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives in respect of offshore oil and gas activities.

External links



Articles by Malcolm Wicks