Dr Alan Whitehead, Labour MP, Southampton Test

Alan Whitehead

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.

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.