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Phil Sawford MP

Member of Parliament
for Kettering
In office
1 May 1997 – 5 May 2005
Preceded by Roger Freeman
Succeeded by Philip Hollobone

Born 26 June 1950 (1950-06-26) (age 59)
Loddington, Northamptonshire
Nationality English
Political party Labour

Philip Andrew Sawford (born 26 June 1950), also known as Phil Sawford, is an English politician and former Member of Parliament for Kettering.


Early life

Sawford was born in Loddington, a small village in Northamptonshire just west of Kettering, in 1950. He went to Loddington CE primary school. He was educated at Kettering Grammar School and became an apprentice carpenter. He went on to become a steelworker in 1977 until the closures and mass redundancies at Corby Steelworks in 1980. Sawford won a place at Ruskin College, Oxford gaining a Diploma in 1982, and later gained a BA degree from the University of Leicester in 1985. He forged a career in training and personnel development, in parallel with his political activity in the Labour Party and as a local Councillor. He was first elected as a Desborough Town Councillor, then Kettering Borough Councillor, representing the Desborough Loatland Ward from 1977 to 1997. In 1991 Labour became the largest party on the Borough Council and Sawford became Leader of the Council. In 1995 Labour won overall control of the council and Sawford was re-elected as the council Leader, a post he held until he entered Parliament. From 1985-97, he worked for a training partnership in Wellingborough.

Parliamentary career

He contested Wellingborough in 1992.

He won his seat in the 1997 election, defeating Conservative Cabinet minister, Roger Freeman. Sawford won after three recounts, which meant the election result was one of the last to declare. Sawford increased his majority in the 2001 election. Over eight years as an MP he established a reputation as a constituency focused MP who championed local issues.

He lost it to the Conservative Philip Hollobone in the 2005 election, in line with the national swing against Labour. He was re-selected as the Labour Parliamentary Candidate in 2007. The boundaries of Kettering Constituency will change at the next General Election, giving the seat a notional Labour majority.

He is on the left of the Labour Party, and a member of the Socialist Campaign Group. He is a sworn republican, an outspoken campaigner for the abolition of hunting, and was an opponent of the US/British invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Personal life

He married Rosemary Stokes on May 1 1971, with two sons Lee Sawford and Andrew Sawford.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Roger Freeman
Member of Parliament for Kettering
Succeeded by
Philip Hollobone


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