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Tom Clarke MP

Member of Parliament
for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
Coatbridge and Chryston 1997-2005
Monklands West 1983-1997
Coatbridge and Airdrie 1982-1983
Assumed office 
24 June 1982
Preceded by James Dempsey
Majority 19,519 (50.9%)

Born 10 January 1941 (1941-01-10) (age 69)
Nationality Scottish
Political party Labour
Alma mater Scottish College of Commerce

Thomas "Tom" Clarke, CBE, JP (born 10 January 1941) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill since 2005.

Tom Clarke was born in Coatbridge. He was educated at All Saints Primary School in Airdrie and Columba High School in Coatbridge (in the same class as fellow Labour MP Jim Cunningham), followed by the Scottish College of Commerce in Glasgow. He was assistant director of the Scottish Council for Education Technology. He became a deputy director of the Scottish Film Council, where he wrote the synopses for the film library catalogue. He was also president of the British Amateur Cinematographers Central Council (based in Epsom) and organised the Scottish International Amateur Film Festival. He became a councillor on the Coatbridge Town Council aged 23 in 1964 where he served until it was abolished in 1974, and then became a member for its replacement the Monklands District Council until he was elected to parliament in 1982. He was selected to contest the 1982 Coatbridge and Airdrie by-election caused by the death of the sitting Labour MP James Dempsey. Clarke won the by-election on 24 June 1982 with a majority of 10,090, and he has remained an MP.


In parliament

Clarke became known quite quickly in parliament for his work on issues surrounding disabled people and in 1986 he sponsored the 'Disabled Persons (Services, Representation and Consultation) Act'.[1] After the 1987 General Election he became an opposition spokesman on social services under the leadership of Neil Kinnock. He became a member of the Shadow Cabinet of John Smith as the Shadow Scottish Secretary in 1992 and as the Shadow Overseas Development Secretary in 1993, leaving the Shadow Cabinet in 1994, when again he became a spokesman on social security under the leadership of Tony Blair. In 1992 Clarke was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (called myalgic encephalomyelitis in the United Kingdom) but has since recovered.[2]

Following the 1997 General Election he became the Minister for Film and Tourism with the rank of Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and also became a member of the Privy Council. He was dropped from government the following year and has remained on the backbenches since.

He has been a justice of the peace since 1972, and won an award for his film 'Give us A Goal' in the same year; and was awarded the CBE in 1980. In the 2005 general election, Tom Clarke gained the largest majority in Parliament (19,519). He is a member of the GMB and British Film Institute.


External links


News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Dempsey
Member of Parliament for Coatbridge and Airdrie
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Monklands West
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Coatbridge & Chryston
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill


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