Doug Henderson (Labour politician)

For other people with similar names, see Douglas Henderson (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
Doug Henderson
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
In office
28 July 1998  29 July 1999
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by John Reid
Succeeded by John Spellar
Minister of State for Europe
In office
5 May 1997  28 July 1998
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by David Davis
Succeeded by Joyce Quin
Member of Parliament
for Newcastle upon Tyne North
In office
12 June 1987  12 April 2010
Preceded by Robert Brown
Succeeded by Catherine McKinnell
Personal details
Born (1949-06-09) 9 June 1949
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Geraldine Daly
Alma mater University of Strathclyde

Douglas John Henderson (born 9 June 1949) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Newcastle upon Tyne North from 1987 to 2010. In 2015 he was appointed chairman of Falkirk F.C.[1]

Early life

Doug Henderson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and educated at the Waid Academy, Anstruther before going on later to study Economics at both the Central College of Commerce, Glasgow, and the University of Strathclyde. He was an apprentice engineer with Rolls-Royce in Glasgow for two years from 1966, before joining British Rail as a clerk for a year in 1968. After university he joined the National Union of General and Municipal Workers trade union as a research officer in 1973 and remained employed by the union (and its successor the GMB Union) until he was elected to parliament 24 years later. In 1975 he was appointed as the GMB's Scottish organiser, moving to become the organiser in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1985.[2]

Parliamentary career

He was the chairman of the Scottish Labour Party in 1984 and was elected to the House of Commons at the 1987 General Election for Newcastle North in Tyneside following the deselection of the sitting Labour MP Robert Brown. Henderson held the seat with a majority of 5,243, and in the 2005 election, he received 50% of the vote with a majority of 7,023; this was down from a majority of 14,450 and 60.2% share in 2001.[3]

He was promoted to the frontbench by Neil Kinnock in 1988 as a spokesman on trade and industry, until he moved under the new leadership of John Smith to serve as a spokesman on the environment in 1992. Following Smith's death in 1994 he was moved by Tony Blair to become the Deputy shadow Leader of the House of Commons and spokesman on John Major's citizens' charter. In 1995 he became a home affairs spokesman. When the first Blair government was elected at the 1997 General Election he was made a Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with the brief of Minister for Europe, before moving to the Ministry of Defence in 1998 as the Minister for the armed forces. He was sacked in 1999 amid speculation that his close association with and perceived loyalty to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown eventually cost him his government job, and he became an increasingly outspoken backbencher. In May 2006, Henderson joined other Labour MPs in urging Prime Minister Tony Blair to set a date to step down following the dismissal of Charles Clarke as Home Secretary. He stated that "Quite frankly, Tony Blair has done his bit and it is now time for him to tell us when he is going to go."[4] He is the vice chairman of the all party groups on the Philippines; Malaysia; and the chocolate and confectionery industry. He spoke in favour of government plans to replace Trident in the debate on 14 March 2007.

Henderson is also employed as a member of fast food chain McDonald's advisory board, work that "normally takes about 10 days a year and a bit of preparation."[5] for which he receives a salary of £25,000 per year. This information was revealed after MPs were required to supply details of non-Parliamentary earnings.[5]

During the coverage of leaked Parliamentary expenses details in 2009, it was revealed that Henderson claimed £800 for telephone calls from a house in Anstruther, Scotland in 2007/08. Henderson confirmed that he lives and works at his home in Fife, more than 150 miles from his constituency in Newcastle. The Sunday Telegraph newspaper rated him as "one of the worst for value-for-money,"[6] in their assessment of MPs "based on how much work they did in parliament compared to their overall expenses."[6] The MP was present at half of House of Commons votes in 2007/08 and claimed £151,860 in expenses.[6]

On 4 July 2009, Henderson announced his intention to stand down at the next general election.[7]

Personal life

Doug Henderson is a season ticket holder of Falkirk F.C. and was appointed club chairman in 2015.[1] He married Janet Margaret Graham in 1974 and they had a son and a daughter before they divorced. He married again in 2002 to Geraldine Daly.


Political offices
Preceded by
David Davis
Minister for Europe
Succeeded by
Joyce Quin
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