Kevin Barron

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Kevin Barron

Sir Kevin Barron has been the Labour MP for Rother Valley since 1983.[1]

Political career

Barron served as shadow spokesperson on energy and climate change 1988-93, on work and pensions 1993-95, and on health 1995-98.[1]

Barron was a member of the Joint Intelligence and Security Committee from 1997 to 2004. He has been a member of the Liaison Committee since 2005. He chaired the Commons Health Committee from 2005 to 2010. He served on the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee from 2005 to 2013, chairing it from 2010 to 2013. On 7 January 2013, the Committee on Standards and Privileges was replaced by the Committee on Standards and the Committee of Privileges.

Since 2013, he has chaired separate Standards and Privileges Committees. As chairman, Barron was responsible for overseeing the ethical standards in the Commons and monitoring any questionable activities by MPs. On March 2016, Barron stepped aside from chairing the standards committee. Since 2010, he has served on the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.[1]

In 2006, Barron was one of four senior politicians who pulled out of receptions organised by Bell Pottinger Public Affairs following revelations that the firm was charging clients to meet them.[2]

In November 2015, Barron became a member of the Select Committee on Privileges.[3]

Expenses Scandal

On October 2012, while standing as the chairman of the standards and privileges committee, Kevin Barron was implicated in an expenses scandal when it was revealed he claimed £1,500 of taxpayer money a month to rent a home belonging to Jon Trickett, the former shadow minister for the cabinet office.[4] Barron began renting the home after selling his tax-funded flat for a profit of almost £500,000. By renting property from another MP, Barron was exploiting a loophole that allowed him to continue to claim rent allowance. The rental agreement was terminated after it was revealed.

Standards Committee Scandal

On March 2016, it was revealed that Barron, while still serving as the chairman of the standards committee, agreed to arrange events for a group of pharmaceutical companies in Parliament in return for personal payment of over £9000.[5] The agreement included allowing companies to sponsor events in the House of Commons. Amongst them were the Japanese Pharmaceutical Group, with which he had met over dinner three times.

His activities were in direct breach of parliamentary rules which prohibit MPs from making any personal financial gain using Commons resources. Barron said the proceeds of the arrangement had all been given to charity, and therefore was not illegal. Shortly after however, Barron stepped down from his role and announced he had referred himself to the parliamentary standards commissioner.[6]

The disclosures came after Tommy Sheppard, another MP sitting on the standards committee, failed to declare shareholdings worth more than £200,000, and Geoffrey Cox neglected to register more than £400,000 of outside earnings.[7] A campaign group has since called for the committee panel to be radically overhauled.[8]

Fighting INEOS fracking licences in his constituency

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

Barron's constituency includes Ineos' controversial shale gas site in the village of Harthill in South Yorkshire. In June 2018 the UK planning inspectorate gave the petrochemical giant the go-ahead to explore for shale gas at Hartill, overturning an earlier unanimous rejection of Ineos' planning permission application by Rotherham Borough Council.[9] Ineos had bypassed the Council’s planning process and taken its application direct to central government.

Barron said that he was 'very disappointed' about the decision. 'I will continue to fight this decision as I still believe there are too many unanswered questions around fracking,' he tweeted. [10]

Barron had previously criticised Ineos' engagement with local communities over both the proposed Hartill and Woosetts shale gas sites in his constituency in August 2017:

It is not acceptable for people to be in the dark about plans that will affect their lives. It was outrageous that the first time many people in Woodsetts knew about the plan was when court ordered injunction notices were posted around the village. I attended Woodsetts Parish Council meeting on Wednesday night and made it clear to the INEOS representative that this was not acceptable and they must engage in a much more proactive way. I am also in the process of arranging a meeting with their directors to make sure the message is clearly heard at the highest levels within the company. I fully understand that these plans will be causing a huge amount of worry for people in the two villages affected and I will be doing all I can to try and alleviate some of that worry. [11]

In June 2019 Barron announced he had joined the Woodsetts Against Fracking residents’ campaign against Ineos plans to explore for shale gas in their village.

This came ahead of a public inquiry opening on 11 June into Ineos' drilling scheme for Woodsetts. [12]

Previously, Barron had voted against greater regulation for fracking in the UK to extract gas in national parks and had abstained on the high-profile Infrastructure Bill vote in January 2015.

All-party group on fracking

In March 2018 Barron was appointed vice-chair of a new Westminster all-party group on the impact of commercial fracking in the UK. The group held an evidence session on the impacts of fracking in June 2018.




  • Address: 9 Lordens Hill, Dinnington, Sheffield, S25 2QE
  • Telephone: 01909 568611
  • Fax: 01909 569974


  • Address: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
  • Telephone: 020 7219 4432; 020 7219 6306
  • Fax: 020 7219 5952
  • Email:

Web & Social media


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rt Hon Mr Kevin Barron,, accessed 8 September 2013.
  2. Ravi Chandirimani, BPPA under fire over 'cash for access', PR Week UK, 28 September 2006.
  3. Dods people, 'Arrivals, moves and departures', Civil Service World, accessed 3 November 2015
  4. Holly Watt, Claire Newell and Robert Winnett, Expenses scandal: Kevin Barron claimed £1,500 a month to rent from colleague, The Telegraph, 19 October 2012, accessed 4 October 2016.
  5. Claire Newell, Edward Malnick, Luke Heighton and Charles Young, Commons watchdog chair Sir Kevin Barron hosted parliamentary events for drugs firm, The Telegraph, 9 March 2016, accessed 4 October 2016.
  6. Edward Malnick and Claire Newell, Commons watchdog chair Sir Kevin Barron steps aside from committee over 'rules breach', The Telegraph, 10 March 2016, accessed 4 October 2016.
  7. Edward Malnick and Claire Newell, MPs must no longer police themselves, says sleaze watchdog Lord Bew, The Telegraph, 9 March 2016, accessed 4 October 2016.
  8. Edward Malnick, Claire Newell and Lyndsey Telford, MP's standards body 'needs radical reform', The Telegraph, 11 March 2016, accessed 4 October 2016.
  9. Appeals Casework Portal Reference: APP/P4415/W/17/3190843,, Planning Inspectorate, Decision date 7 June, accessed same day.
  10. Kevin Barron, Twitter, 7 June 2018, accessed 8 June 2018
  11. Kevin demands better community work from INEOS, Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley website, 22 August 2017
  12. Drill or Drop, On eve of inquiry MP backs “I am Woodsetts” campaign against Ineos shale drilling, 10 June 2019
  13. Health APPG Register Feb 16,, accessed 19 February 2016