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Steven John Webb MP

Member of Parliament
for Northavon
Assumed office 
2 May 1997
Preceded by Sir John Cope (Conservative)
Majority 11,033 (18.7%)

Born 18 July 1965 (1965-07-18) (age 44)
Birmingham, England
Political party Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s) Helen
Children 2
Alma mater Hertford College, Oxford
Profession Academic
Religion Anglican
Website Steve Webb MP (Website)

Steven John Webb, better known as Steve Webb, is a British politician, the Member of Parliament for Northavon and the Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.



Webb was born in West Bromwich on 18 July 1965 to Brian and Patricia Webb, and attended the local comprehensive school (Dartmouth High School), before going on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Hertford College, Oxford. At the age of twenty-one he left university to work at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, where he specialised in researching into poverty, taxes and benefits. In 1995, he became a Professor of Social Policy at the University of Bath.

Political career

At the 1997 General Election Webb was elected as MP for Northavon, just north of Bristol, overturning a Conservative majority of over 11,000. He increased a 2,137 majority to 9,877 in the 2001 Election and again to 11,033 in the 2005 Election.

In 2001, Webb was promoted by Charles Kennedy to lead spokesman for the Liberal Democrats on Work and Pensions, a portfolio he had worked in since 1999. He continued in this position until being appointed as Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health 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 Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Energy, Food and Rural Affairs. Following Gordon Brown's reshuffle in October 2008, he shadowed Ed Miliband in the newly-formed Department for Energy and Climate Change. On 8 January 2009 Nick Clegg announced his "General Election Team" and an "economic recovery group" with Webb appointed as Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary.[1]

Webb is also a member of the cross-party Christians in Parliament and vice-president of the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum. [2]

Webb is one of the growing number of MPs to have a blog and a website, and in 2004 his website, which makes use of SMS technology, was commended in the New Statesman New Media Awards and, in February 2005, led him to win the inaugural Hansard Society E-Democracy Award. He has also recognised the emerging potential of online social utility networks by joining MySpace and Facebook, 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 (2006) (ISBN 1-85811-369-5) edited by Michelle Tempest.


On July 10 1993, Steve Webb married Helen Edwards, then a curate at his local church in Clapham. 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 has been the previous standard bearer in the leadership elections in 1999 and 2006. On October 17, 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 for leader.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Clegg reveals Liberal Democrat General Election Team Liberal Democrat official website. Retrieved on 14 January 2009.
  2. ^ Liberal Democrat Christian Forum Official Website
  3. ^ Clegg picking up Lib Dem backers, BBC News Online, 18 October 2007

External links


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