Stephen Kinnock


Stephen Nathan Kinnock (born 1 January 1970) is a British politician serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Aberavon since 2015. A member of the Labour Party, he has been Shadow Minister for Immigration since 2022.

Stephen Kinnock
Official portrait, 2020
Member of Parliament
for Aberavon
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byHywel Francis
Majority10,490 (33.2%)
2021–2022Armed Forces
2020–2021Asia and the Pacific
Personal details
Stephen Nathan Kinnock

(1970-01-01) 1 January 1970 (age 54)
Tredegar, Wales
Political partyLabour
(m. 1996)
Alma mater

Early life and education edit

Kinnock was born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, the son of British politicians Glenys Kinnock and Neil Kinnock.[1][2] He describes himself as from a "Labour and Trade Union family".[3]

Kinnock was educated at Drayton Manor High School, a comprehensive school in Hanwell, London. He studied Modern Languages at Queens' College, Cambridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. He studied for a Master of Arts (MA) degree at the College of Europe in Bruges, graduating in 1993.

Although Kinnock's mother was a Welsh speaker, his father was not; he has suggested that Glenys "was reluctant to use Welsh with me for fear of shutting him out".[4] He began learning the language properly as an adult, making a pledge to do so when he stood as a parliamentary candidate for a Welsh constituency: "Languages go right to the root of me (..) a politician I want to reach out and listen. Languages are a major part of that."[5]

Early career edit

Kinnock worked as a research assistant at the European Parliament before becoming a British Council Development and Training Services executive based in Brussels in 1997. He held various positions with the British Council including director of its St. Petersburg office. Following the Russian authorities' closure of this office,[6][7][8] Kinnock was posted to the British Council in Sierra Leone.[9]

In January 2009, he joined the World Economic Forum as director, head of Europe and Central Asia, based in Geneva, Switzerland.[10] In August 2012, he took up a position at the business consultancy Xyntéo in London, Kinnock was managing director of the "Global Leadership and Technology Exchange" in 2012.[11]

Refuted tax evasion allegation

In June 2010, the Danish tabloid newspaper B.T. accused Kinnock of tax evasion.[12] At that time, he was paying tax in Switzerland where his workplace was situated, and where he had declared his main residence, although his wife's political website stated that "The family lives in Østerbro in Copenhagen".[13] The couple had previously stated to the media that Kinnock would spend his weekends in Denmark, sometimes including Thursday, and that he regarded his home and base as being exclusively with his family in Copenhagen. According to the newspaper, he would possibly exceed 183 days a year in Denmark, meaning he would be fully taxable there. His wife rebutted the accusations but said the couple would ask the Danish tax authority for an audit.[14][15] The audit was concluded on 17 September 2010, and concluded that "Mr Kinnock does not have tax liability for 2007, 08, or 09, as he does not reside in this country within the meaning of the Danish Tax at Sources Act".[16][17][18]

Political career edit

Kinnock speaking at the 2016 Labour Party Conference

In March 2014, Kinnock was selected as the Labour Party candidate for the seat of Aberavon in Wales for the 2015 General Election.[19] He defeated candidates including Jeremy Miles to win the selection.[20] On 7 May 2015, he was elected the Member of Parliament for Aberavon with a majority of 10,445.

Kinnock was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the shadow Business, Innovation and Skills team in September 2015. He resigned as PPS in June 2016 and supported Owen Smith's failed attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party leadership election.[21][22]

During the 2017 general election campaign, Kinnock was one of four MPs critical of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party who were followed for six weeks for the BBC documentary Labour: The Summer that Changed Everything. The documentary showed Kinnock predicting the poll would "not be a good night" for Labour, and his response to Labour gains in the election.[23][24][25] He was re-elected in 2017 with an increased majority of 16,761, and 68.1% of the vote share.

Kinnock held his seat at the 2019 general election with a majority of 10,490 and a vote share of 53.8%.[26] He endorsed Lisa Nandy in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election.[27]

Following Keir Starmer's election as Labour Leader in April 2020, he was appointed as Shadow Asia and Pacific Minister.[28] Kinnock changed role in the December 2021 front bench reshuffle, becoming Shadow Armed Forces Minister,[29][30] and moved again in February 2022, following Jack Dromey's death, to become Shadow Immigration Minister.

COVID-19 non-compliance allegation

Kinnock posted a photo on Twitter after travelling from Wales to London to visit his father on his birthday on 28 March 2020 – five days after the lockdown came into force. They were social distancing, but South Wales Police responded: "We know celebrating your Dad's birthday is a lovely thing to do; however, this is not essential travel. We all have our part to play in this, we urge you to comply with @GOVUK restrictions, they are in place to keep us all safe. Thank you." Kinnock stated that "this was essential travel as I had to deliver some necessary supplies to my parents".[31]

Personal life edit

His father, Neil Kinnock, is a former Leader of the Labour Party and was also a European Commissioner and Vice President of the European Commission. His mother, Glenys Kinnock, formerly served as a Labour Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

In 1996, Kinnock married Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who later became Prime Minister of Denmark. They met when both attended the College of Europe. The couple have two children,[32] including a child who came out as transgender and non-binary in 2022, aged 22.[33] Their grandfather Neil Kinnock spoke of his pride after his grandchild came out as transgender.[34]

Kinnock is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society.[35]

When his father was created a Life peer in 2005 as Baron Kinnock of Bedwellty, Kinnock was granted the prefix The Honourable as the son of a baron.

References edit

  1. ^ "Stephen Kinnock og spørgsmålet om beskatning i Danmark" (PDF) (in Danish). The Danish Union of Journalists. 28 August 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  2. ^ Andreyeva, Yelena (28 November 2006). "British Council Chief Imparts Value of Internationalism". The St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2011. Born in 1970 in a small town named Tredegar in South Wales [...]
  3. ^ "Labour MP for Aberavon" Archived 1 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine, no date.
  4. ^ J.C. (12 June 2020). "Où est le post office?". TLS. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  5. ^ "The Power of Languages". UKRI. p. 26. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Russia warned over 'intimidation' Archived 19 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine", BBC News 16 January 2008
  7. ^ "'Now we really have a crisis' – Russia's man in London leaving the Foreign Office yesterday Archived 16 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine", The Guardian 17 January 2008
  8. ^ "British Unit Is Alleging 'Intimidation' By Moscow: Culture Offices Shut In Growing Dispute Archived 1 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine", The Washington Post, 18 January 2008.
  9. ^ Daily Hansard Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine (end of column 1128), House of Commons Publications and Reports 20 March 2008
  10. ^ "Stephen Kinnock to head World Economic Forum's Europe and Central Asia team Archived 12 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine", WEF press release 2 December 2008
  11. ^ "Xyntéo – GLTE Russia New Growth Partnership roundtable". 25 July 2014. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014.
  12. ^ B.T. afslører Helle Thorning og manden : Scorer kassen i skattely Archived 26 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine, BT, 23 June 2010 (in Danish)
  13. ^ Helle afsløret af bommert på egen hjemmeside Archived 27 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine, BT, 24 June 2010 (in Danish)
  14. ^ Opposition leader requests audit of husband[permanent dead link], The Copenhagen Post, 24 June 2010
  15. ^ Swaine, Jon; Beckford, Martin (14 August 2010). "Kinnock's son faces fresh tax allegations". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Thorning-Schmidt eyes victory" Archived 14 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Politiken, 17 September 2010.
  17. ^ Spongenberg, Helena (20 September 2010). "Nordic Social Democrat parties are losing their historic power". EU Observer. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Infomedia søgning (MS3)". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Neil Kinnock's son Stephen selected to fight Aberavon seat". BBC News. 22 March 2014. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  20. ^ Pitel, Laura (11 January 2024). "There's a lukewarm welcome in the valleys for Kinnock's boyo". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  21. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". the Guardian. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  23. ^ Horton, Helena (21 November 2017). "Stephen Kinnock given a dressing down by former Danish PM wife for post exit poll TV appearance". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Helle Thorning Schmidt: Former Danish PM hailed for magnificent admonishment of Labour MP husband Stephen Kinnock in BBC documentary". The Independent. 21 November 2017. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  25. ^ Hayward, Will (21 November 2017). "Everything we learned about Stephen Kinnock and politics from the BBC documentary on Labour's summer". Wales Online. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  26. ^ "Aberavon parliamentary constituency – Election 2019". Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  27. ^ Kinnock, Stephen (4 January 2020). "I'm proud to be backing @lisanandy because she understands how our Party must change if it is to re-build trust. She has a clear, radical & realistic plan around which our entire movement can unite, and she will lead with purpose, drive, courage and dynamism. #LabourLeadership". @SKinnock. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  28. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (9 April 2020). "Shadow ministers appointed as Starmer completes frontbench". LabourList. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  29. ^ Smith, Mikey (4 December 2021). "Full list of all the junior shadow ministers in Keir Starmer's Labour frontbench". mirror. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  30. ^ "London Playbook: Nightmare before Christmas — Chatty Strat — Plan B plans". POLITICO. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  31. ^ Parveen, Nazia (29 March 2020). "Stephen Kinnock targeted by police for visiting father, Neil". The Guardian.
  32. ^ "Profile: Danish PM-elect Helle Thorning-Schmidt". BBC News. 16 September 2011. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  33. ^ Parsons, Vic (21 February 2022). "'Beloved grandson' of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock comes out as non-binary". Pink News. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  34. ^ Ames, Jonathan (21 February 2022). "Neil Kinnock is proud as grandson comes out as transgender". The Times. London.
  35. ^ "Honorary Associates". Archived from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2019.

External links edit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Aberavon