Ben Chapman - a
Ben Chapman, born
James Keith Chapman on July 8, 1940, is a British politician and
former Member of Parliament (MP). The son of a farmer, he attended
the Appleby Grammar School in central England before joining the
British Civil Service after graduation in 1958, working for the
Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. He served in the Royal
Air Force Reserve as a Pilot Officer from 1959 through 1961. In
1962, he began working for the Ministry of Aviation where he stayed
until 1970 when he started work at the Board of Trade.
In 1974, Chapman entered into a foreign service career, serving as
the First Secretary of the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam,
Tanzania. In 1978, he was sent to Accra, Ghana, and was later named
the Commercial Councillor at the British Embassy in Beijing, China.
Upon his return, he was named Deputy Regional Director for the
Department of Trade and Industry in 1991. From 1993 through 1995,
Chapman was the Director of Trade and Industry for Government Office
On February 27, 1997, following the death of Conservative MP, Barry
Porter, Ben Chapman beat former Tory counsellor in Sefton, Les Byrom,
to win the by-election (special election) for Wirral South, and
becoming the first Labour Party member to ever represent the
district. Chapman had been given the nod to run last minute after
the previous candidate, Ian Wingfield, resigned after being accused
of domestic violence.
After Labour Party wins across the board, Chapman became
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the
Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Richard
Caborn. Two years later, in 1999, he followed Caborn back to the
Department of Trade and Industry, where he had served as the
Assistant Secretary in the early 1980's and then as a Director from
1991 through 1995. After the 2001 General Election, Caborn was named
Minister of Sport for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport,
where Chapman stayed on as his Private Secretary until the 2005
General Election when Chapman was named to the Intelligence and
Security Committee as a Cabinet Position where he served until 2010.
Since leaving office, he has worked to save the Clatterbridge Centre
for Oncology, has fought to keep Wirral's library systems open, and
has recently acknowledged working with Lee Mavers on a musical
project, reportedly entitled, "Gary Jones's nod down for David
Kelly's goal in the 2000 Worthington
Chapman was married in 1999 to Maureen Ann Kelly, and they live in
Heswall, Wirral. He has three daughters from a previous marriage,
and is an avid fan of the opera.
Chapman has held the following positions throughout his career:
Vice-Chair, All Party Parliamentary Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus Group; Secretary, All-Party Parliamentary Chile Group; Chair,
All-Party Parliamentary Vietnam Group; Chair, All-Party
Parliamentary Cleaning and Hygiene Products Industry Group; PPS to
Richard Caborn, minister of state, department of culture, media and
sport; PPS to Richard Caborn, minister of state, department of trade
and industry; Chair, All-Party Parliamentary China Group; All-Party
Parliamentary British-Turkey Group; PPS to Richard Caborn, minister
of state, department of environment, transport and regions.
Throughout his career, Chapman has voted in the following ways:
"Very strongly for:" removing hereditary peers from the House of
Lords, allowing ministers to intervene in inquests, a ban on
hunting, replacing Trident, the introduction of foundation
hospitals, the Iraq War, and Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
"Strongly for:" equal gay rights, more EU integration, a stricter
asylum system, and introducing ID cards.
"Moderately for:" a ban on smoking.
"Moderately against:" a wholly elected House of Lords.
"Strongly against:" an investigation into the Iraq War, and laws to
stop climate change.
He has also voted "a mixture of for and against" such issues as a
transparent Parliament, and greater autonomy for schools.
This site has been designed and
produced by Pamela Derby, in the interests of giving a balanced
picture of Ben Chapman's career. It is not in any way endorsed by Mr
Chapman, who has had no part whatsoever in creating the site and
was, and may still be, unaware of it's existence.
Copyright Pam Derby 2010