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Steve Webb

Steve Webb

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Encyclopedia
Steven John Webb, better known as Steve Webb (born 18 July 1965), is an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

 politician. He is 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,...

 for Thornbury & Yate and the Minister of State for Pensions.

Background


Webb was born in West Bromwich
West Bromwich
West Bromwich is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, in the West Midlands, England. It is north west of Birmingham lying on the A41 London-to-Birkenhead road. West Bromwich is part of the Black Country...

 to Brian and Patricia Webb, and attended the local comprehensive school
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

 (Dartmouth High School
Dartmouth High School (Sandwell)
Q3 Academy, previously known as Dartmouth High School, is an Academy type secondary school located on Wilderness Lane in Great Barr, England, near the border with Birmingham in the Great Barr area of the City...

), before going on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Hertford College, Oxford
Hertford College, Oxford
Hertford College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. It is located in Catte Street, directly opposite the main entrance of the original Bodleian Library. As of 2006, the college had a financial endowment of £52m. There are 612 students , plus various visiting...

. He then worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies
Institute for Fiscal Studies
The Institute for Fiscal Studies is an economic research institute based in London, United Kingdom which specialises in UK taxation and public policy...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, where he specialised in researching into poverty, taxes and benefits. In 1995, he became a Professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 of Social Policy
Social policy
Social policy primarily refers to guidelines, principles, legislation and activities that affect the living conditions conducive to human welfare. Thus, social policy is that part of public policy that has to do with social issues...

 at the University of Bath
University of Bath
The University of Bath is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966....

.

Political career


At the 1997 General Election
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...

 Webb was elected as MP for Northavon, just north of Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, overturning a Conservative majority of over 11,000. He increased a 2,137 majority to 9,877 in the 2001 Election
United Kingdom general election, 2001
The United Kingdom general election, 2001 was held on Thursday 7 June 2001 to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media, as the Labour Party was re-elected with another landslide result and only suffered a net loss of 6 seats...

 and again to 11,033 in the 2005 Election
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

.

In 2001, Webb was promoted by Charles Kennedy
Charles Kennedy
Charles Peter Kennedy is a British Liberal Democrat politician, who led the Liberal Democrats from 9 August 1999 until 7 January 2006 and is currently a Member of Parliament for the Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency....

 to lead spokesman for the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

 on Work and Pensions, a portfolio he had worked in since 1999. He continued in this position until being appointed as Liberal Democrat Health spokesman in 2005. At the end of 2006, he started a new role co-ordinating the party's manifesto for the next General Election. In the first reshuffle after the leadership election, he was appointed Liberal Democrat Environment, Energy, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman. Following Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

's reshuffle in October 2008, he shadowed Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband
Edward Samuel Miliband is a British Labour Party politician, currently the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition...

 in the newly formed Department for Energy and Climate Change. On 8 January 2009 Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
Nicholas William Peter "Nick" Clegg is a British Liberal Democrat politician who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council and Minister for Constitutional and Political Reform in the coalition government of which David Cameron is the Prime Minister...

 announced his "General Election Team" and an "economic recovery group" with Webb appointed as Work and Pensions spokesman.

Webb is also a member of the cross-party Christians in Parliament and vice-president of the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum
Liberal Democrat Christian Forum
The Liberal Democrat Christian Forum is an association within the Liberal Democrats that aims to promote Christianity within the party and the party to other Christians. In 2007 it had a membership of more than 250...

.

Webb is one of the growing number of MPs to have a blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

 and a website
Website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

, and in 2004 his website, which makes use of SMS
Short message service
Short Message Service is a text messaging service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems, using standardized communications protocols that allow the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices...

 technology, was commended in the New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

New Media Awards and, in February 2005, led him to win the inaugural Hansard Society
Hansard Society
The Hansard Society was formed in 1944 to promote parliamentary democracy. Founded and chaired by Commander Stephen King-Hall, the first subscribers were Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee...

 E-Democracy Award. He has also recognised the emerging potential of online social utility networks by joining MySpace
MySpace
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

 and Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

, two of the biggest. He is one of the contributors to the Orange Book (2004) and is the author of a chapter in The Future of the NHS
The Future of the NHS
The Future of the NHS is a book published by xpl Publishing in 2006 . It is edited by Dr Michelle Tempest and brings together forty-four leading experts in the fields of health care, politics and policy making...

(2006) (ISBN 1-85811-369-5) edited by Michelle Tempest
Michelle Tempest
Dr. Michelle Tempest is a British psychiatrist and author. In 2010 she was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for North West Durham.-Academic background:...

.

At the 2010 general election, the constituency of Northavon was split into two new constituencies. Subsequently, Steve Webb was elected for the new Thornbury & Yate constituency which covers most of the ground originally covered by Northavon.

In a letter dated 12 April 2010 , Webb said on behalf of the Liberal Democrats: "We are very clear that all accrued rights should be honoured: a pension promise made should be a pension promise kept. Therefore we would not make any changes to pension rights that have already been built up. I have confirmed that I regard accrued index-linked rights as protected." However, as the Coalition Minister for Works and Pensions, Webb has championed a change which is almost certain to reduce the value of millions of fully accrued index-linked pensions.

During April 2011 he unveiled his pensions plan, which involved the merging of the two main pensions, ensuring a good, easy to obtain and simple pension for all.

Family


On 10 July 1993, Steve Webb married Helen Edwards, then a curate at his local church in Clapham
Clapham
Clapham is a district in south London, England, within the London Borough of Lambeth.Clapham covers the postcodes of SW4 and parts of SW9, SW8 and SW12. Clapham Common is shared with the London Borough of Wandsworth, although Lambeth has responsibility for running the common as a whole. According...

. A year later, the couple moved to Bristol, where they remain today. The couple have two children: a daughter was born in December 1995 and a son followed in May 1998.

Leadership election 2007


Given his increasing profile and popularity within the party due to his role as the manifesto chair, he was seen as a probable candidate for the social liberal grouping's vote in the future leadership election. Simon Hughes
Simon Hughes
Simon Henry Ward Hughes is a British politician and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats. He is Member of Parliament for the constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark. Until 2008 he was President of the Liberal Democrats...

 has been the previous standard bearer in the leadership elections in 1999 and 2006. On 17 October 2007 the website Bloggers4Steve announced that Webb had received enough nominations from MPs to run. Despite this, on October 18 Webb announced he was not running and would be backing Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
Nicholas William Peter "Nick" Clegg is a British Liberal Democrat politician who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council and Minister for Constitutional and Political Reform in the coalition government of which David Cameron is the Prime Minister...

 for leader.

External links

  • Steve Webb MP official site
  • The Webb Log Steve Webb's blog
  • Profile at the Liberal Democrats
  • Profile: Steve Webb BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    , 17 October 2007
  • Profile on Facebook
    Facebook
    Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

  • Profile on MySpace
    MySpace
    Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

  • Liberal Democrat Manifesto Consultation
  • Department for Work and Pensions website

News items
Video clips