The Full Wiki

More info on John Leech (politician)

John Leech (politician): Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

John Leech (born 11 April 1971, Wakefieldmarker, Yorkshiremarker) is a Britishmarker politician and the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Manchester Withingtonmarker. He is a member of the Transport Select Committee and was appointed a Shadow Transport Spokesperson in 2006.


Leech went to the independent Manchester Grammar Schoolmarker, Loreto Collegemarker (Moss Sidemarker) and Brunel Universitymarker where he studied History and Politics and also where he joined the Liberal Democrats. He received an Upper-Second Class Honours degree upon graduating. After leaving university he worked as a trainee manager for McDonalds and part time at the RAC in Stockportmarker as a call centre insurance claims handler.

Political career

In 1998 Leech was elected to Manchester City Council, as a Councillor for Barlow Moormarker and later for Chorlton Parkmarker following boundary changes to the ward. He was Deputy Leader of the council's Opposition Group, acting as a spokesperson for Planning and the Environment.

Leech was elected at the 2005 general election, unexpectedly defeating Keith Bradley, the incumbent Labour Party MP, by a swing of over 17%. Leech became the first Liberal or Liberal Democrat to win a Manchester seat since 1929. Leech continued to represent Chorlton Park as a councillor in addition to duties as Member of Parliament until he stood down at local elections in May 2008.

2005 Election Campaign

During John Leech's 2005 General Election campaign he mounted a 'Save Christie Hospitalmarker' campaign, focusing on concern at the possible movement of cancer services away from one of Europe's largest cancer treatment centres. Labour Party supporters alleged that these concerns were unfounded and that there was never any risk to the hospital.

In April 2005, the Manchester Evening News reported that sixty doctors had signed a petition calling on the Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority not to move services away from Christie as part of a review of services. The doctors cited concerns that a dislocation of services from the Christie Hospital could jeopardise patient outcomes and their campaign was supported by both the University of Manchester and Cancer Research UK.

The campaign was taken up by Leech as well as the Conservative Party Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley. However, health executives reacted angrily to what they perceived as scaremongering on the part of both the Liberal Democrats and the consultants who signed the petition. The Chief Executives of the Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority and the South Manchester Primary Care Trust both denied the rumours.

The debate between Labour and Liberal Democrat party members about the validity of Leech's claims has continued since the election. Leech took a petition of 1,500 residents to the Strategic Health Authority over the threat while Labour supporters organised a separate petition of local residents to request an explanation from Leech over his conduct.

In 2006 Lib Dem Cllr Angela Gallaghermarker defected to the Labour Party citing his Christie Hospital campaign as a major factor in her decision. Gallagher had donated over £22,000 to John Leech's General Election campaign fund. Gallagher subsequently lost her seat in the 2007 Manchester local elections by 42 votes to Liberal Democrat Paul Ankers.

Parliamentary Issues

Leech has specialised in a number of areas during his time in Parliament:

  • Cancer services - He was made North-West Lung Cancer Champion by the UK Lung Cancer Coalition.
  • Road safety - Leech was made Parliamentarian of the Month for December 2006 and Parliamentarian of the Year for 2008 by the road safety charity Brake.
  • Light Rail - He is a founding member of the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group .

Political Offices

Personal life

Leech is an amateur dramatics enthusiast (Manchester Road Players) and his father is a Methodist minister. Leech is also a football supporter, and season-ticket holder, following Manchester City F.C. and an enthusiastic member of the Parliamentary Football team.


External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address