Labour Business Patrons

The Rt Hon Lord Kinnock – President

Neil Kinnock was born in Tredegar in 1942. His father was a steel worker and former collier, his mother a nurse. He graduated from University College Cardiff and became a tutor organiser for the Worker’s Education Association in South Wales. He was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Bedwellty (later Islywn) in 1970. He was elected to the Labour Party National Executive in1978 and appointed Chief Education Spokesman of the Labour Party in 1979. In 1983 he was elected Labour Party Leader and leader of HM Opposition. He stepped down from the Party leadership in 1992 and in 1995 was appointed to the European Commission. He was European Commissioner for Transport from 1995-1999 and, from 1999-2004, Vice-President of the Commission. He was made a member of the House of Lords in 2005 as Lord Kinnock of Bedwellty. He has been President of Cardiff University since 1998 and Chair of the British Council since December 2004.

Sir Sigmund Sternberg O.St.J.KCSG JP – Hon. Life President

Sir Sigmund Sternberg is a businessman and life long supporter of the Labour Party who has dedicated a great part of his life to serving the Jewish community and the cause of dialogue and interfaith relations across the globe. A member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and President of the Reform Jewish community, he has served with distinction as sole Patron of the International Council of Christians and Jews, co-founder of the Three Faiths Forum and vice-president of the World Congress of Faiths. His work for understanding and reconciliation between faith communities has taken him to every continent and has brought him recognition from nineteen countries as well as the Vatican. He is also an active participant in the work of Rotary International, whose cause he has furthered with fervour and dedication.

The Lord Haskel of Higher Broughton – Hon. Life President

Lord Haskel was a Founder Member of LFIG (now known as Labour Business) and served as its Secretary and Chairman nearly two decades. He is now Vice-President of the Group. He was made a Life Peer in October 1993 and his main activity currently is his work at the House of Lords. Previous he built up his own national and international textile business, The Perrotts Group Plc. In 1994 he became an Opposition Whip, in November 1994 he was appointed Front Bench spokesman on Trade & Industry and appointed a member of the Select Committee on Science & Technology. In May 1997 he became a member of the new Labour Government as a Government Spokesman on Trade & Industry, a Government whip and a Lord in Waiting. He stood aside in July 1999 and is now the Liaison Peer with the Department of Trade & Industry and serves on several committees and subcommittees., such as the sub-committees looking at Science & Society and at Complementary & Alternative Medicine. Also involved in Parliamentary Groups dealing with Arts & Heritage, Pensions & Financial Services, Manufacturing and IT. Chair of Trustees, Smith Institute, Deputy Chair, Institute for Jewish Policy Research.

Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP – Hon. Life President

The Rt Hon Margaret Beckett was MP for Lincoln 1974-79 and a Junior Minister in Harold Wilson’s and James Callaghan’s governments. She has been MP for Derby since 1983, holding various shadow ministerial positions. She became Deputy Leader of the Party 1992-94 and briefly Leader following the death of John Smith in 1994. She served in all Tony Blair’s cabinets successfully as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Leader of the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Employment, Food and Rural Affairs and Foreign Secretary. In October 2008, Gordon Brown appointed her Minister of Housing.

Geraint Davies MP – Vice President

The LFIG Vice President lives and works in Swansea. Born in 1960, was educated in Wales and at Oxford University, was Marketing Manager at Colgate Palmolive and is Director of travel company Pure Crete.

1986-97 Councillor New Addington, Croydon
1994-96 Chair of Housing for London Boroughs
1996-97 Leader of Council
1997 Elected MP
1997-2003 Chair of PLP Environment Transport and the Regions Committee and Chair of LFIG. Member of Public Accounts Committee
2003-2005 PPS to Lord Chancellor & Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Vice President LFIG.

Dr Peter Slowe – Vice President

Dr Peter Slowe is Chair and Chief Executive of the country’s leading global volunteering organisation, Projects Abroad, which he founded in 1992. Previously, as an academic, Peter wrote numerous papers and published the landmark Geography and Political Power. As a popular author, he has written about the First and Second World Wars and an acclaimed biography of Labour’s Manny Shinwell. He was Secretary of the Labour Finance and Industry Group from 1990 to 1994 and Chair from 1994 to 1998.

Adrian Bailey MP – LFIG Parliamentary Ambassador

Adrian has been the MP for West Bromwich West since 2000 and is the Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee. Before entering parliament, he served in local government and became deputy leader of Sandwell Borough Council.  He was also the Co-operative Party’s political organiser in the Midlands.