Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

About Alan










 I work very hard to help Southampton stay a prosperous, functioning city and a thriving community. It's my home and I want it to be the best place it can be.

There are several other areas that are of particular interest to me. I'm very interested in how government functions, particularly constitutional affairs. This may sound rather difficult to relate to 'real life', but how decisions are reached, and our rights are affected, can have a knock-on effect in all our lives.

I'm also very concerned about how we use energy, and how we deal with our waste as a society. I chair two parliamentary groups on renewable energy and sustainable waste, which allows me to ask the difficult questions about how we are to meet our energy needs and environmental commitments.

But I am always interested in what you think is important so please continue to get in touch and let me know.


A short biography

Alan graduated with a degree in Politics and Philosophy from Southampton University and went on to achieve a Ph.D. in Political Science. In 1980 he became a city councillor and then Leader of the Council when Labour took control in 1984. 
He worked in research for two national charities during the 1980s and early 90s, and in 1992, came off the council and became Professor of Public Policy at Southampton Institute (now Southampton Solent University).

He was first nominated by the Labour Party to stand for Southampton Test in the early 1980s, made solid progress in the seat in 1987 and 1992, and finally won in 1997.  Alan was re-elected as the Labour MP for Southampton Test in 2001 and 2005, and 2010. This was only the second time in the constituency's history where it bucked the national trend by electing an MP from a different party to the one that would go on to form a government.

As a new Labour MP, he was appointed to the Select Committee on Environment Transport and the Regions and in December 1999 was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Baroness Blackstone, Minister for Higher and Post-16 Education.  Between June 2001 and May 2002 he was Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, responsible for local government, the regions and the Fire Service. Between September 2015 and June 2016, Alan served as Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change and is currently Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change within the shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

His special interests now include Further and Higher Education (Lifelong Learning), Local Government, Constitution (Democracy), Environment, Energy and Transport. 



Alan is a Fellow of the Institute of Waste Management, and member of the Board for The Environment Centre (Southampton) and the Centre for the Third Age (Southampton).  He is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Media, Arts and Society at Southampton Solent University.

Alan is a member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee and was a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee in the last parliament.  

He served on the Climate Change Public Bill Committee in 2007, the Energy Public Bill Committee and the Joint Committee on the Draft Marine Bill in 2008, the Marine and Coastal Access Bill Committee and the Energy Bill Committee in 2009, the Energy Bill Committee in 2011, the Antarctic Bill Committee in 2012, the Energy Bill Committee in 2013 and was the Shadow Energy Team's lead on the Energy Bill Committee in 2015-16.

He tweets at @alanwhiteheadmp and blogs on energy and environment policy at Alan's Energy Blog.

It's not all serious stuff... 

Being an MP involves listening to debates in parliament and taking part in them, which can be a little dry sometimes. Thankfully, my community work in Southampton is a refreshing change. I really enjoy visiting local schools and hospitals, meeting people.


If you would like me to visit your school or community group, do get in touch.

Of course, as a Southampton local, I am a committed Saints supporter and make as much use of my season ticket as the job allows. I'm also a member of the Saints Trust. If nothing else, it reminds me that life really is hard after all!


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