Alan Johnson (UK politician)

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Alan Johnson MP

Alan Johnson has been the Labour Party member of Parliament (MP) for Hull West and Hessle since 1997. He is a former Labour government minister who held various cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown including Secretary of Health (2007-09) and Home Secretary (2009-2010). He was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer until he resigned for personal reasons in January 2011.


Born in 1950, Johnson is an ex-postman who became leader of the Communication Workers Union, before moving into Parliament. He is seen as old Labour. [1]

Johnson served on the Trade and Industry Select Committee until he was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Financial Secretary to the treasury in December 1997. A year later he became PPS to the Paymaster General. Alan was promoted to the position of minister for competitiveness at the Department of Trade and Industry in summer 1999.

Previously, he served as Minister of State for Employment Relations and Regions, at the DTI, Industry was added to his portfolio in 2002. In the reshuffle of June 2003, Johnson was given a new post with another department he was the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Higher and Further Education at the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). The following year, he was asked to sit on the cabinet taking on the role of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. In May 2006, Alan Johnson was moved from Trade and Industry Secretary to Secretary of State for Education and Skills, to be replaced by Alistair Darling.[2]

Government positions

  • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2004-2005
  • Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 2005-2006
  • President of the Board of Trade 2005-2006
  • Secretary of State for Education and Skills 2006-2007
  • Secretary of State for Health 2007- 2010

Spinning the truth

After the launch of the Energy Review in January 2006, Johnson described himself as being neutral on nuclear power. However, Johnson was accused by environmentalists of pushing a "spin operation" in favour of nuclear power after he endorsed the technology saying that the government would have to "bite the nuclear bullet" and arguing that "doing nothing was not an option" for Britain. [3][4]


Johnson launched the new Government anti-obesity initiative Change4Life on November 2008. Change4life is backed by the advertising industry. Johnson said the UK government was looking to create a "lifestyle revolution" and welcomed the co-operation of the food industry. "Ten million people visit their corner shops every day and 36 million shop at Asda and Tesco each week - the fact that grocers and supermarkets are on board means we can really influence what goes into our shopping trolleys," Johnson said. "It's unprecedented for supermarkets to join the Government and pledge to cut prices on healthy food."[5]


In March 2007 Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya donated £5,000.00 to Johnson.[6]



  1. Jason Nisse, "Alan Johnson: This job's a Laugh, Even When your Enemies go Nuclear", The Independent, January 29, 2006.
  2. Alan Johnson Website Alan Johnson Biography
  3. Steve Connor and Jonathan Brown "Tackle Nuclear Waste Disposal First, Warn Advisers", The Independent, January 24, 2006
  4. Christopher Adams and James Blitz "Reactor Policy to be Made After 3-Month Public Airing", Financial Times, January 23, 2006
  5. Department of Health Change4Life, November 11 2008, Accessed December 9 2008
  6. Electoral Commission, Donation Search, accessed 9 March 2015