Bob Ainsworth MP has announced that it is not his intention to seek nomination to stand at the next General Election. Bob has been the MP for Coventry North East for over twenty years. During that time he has held many positions in the Labour Government, becoming Secretary of State for Defence in 2009-2010.
“It has been an enormous privilege to represent a seat in Coventry, the City where I was born and raised, and I want to thank my constituents and the very many people who have supported me over time.
“We are now past the half way point in this Parliament and I believe it is time to let my Local Party know my decision to allow them to look for a new candidate. I wish them well and promise to help whoever they choose in any way that I can.
“I will continue to work for my constituents and represent them to the best of my ability for the remainder of this Parliament.
“I am particularly proud to have represented our Armed Forces in Government and to have produced the “Service Personnel Command Paper” that raised the level of compensation for those injured on operations. I am also proud of the many equipment improvements we introduced, including Vallon mine detection, increasing the number of armoured vehicles and introducing the Warthog protected patrol vehicle.”
Bob Ainsworth grew up on the Woodend council estate in Coventry. He went to Foxford School but left at 15. He worked at Jaguar for 20 years where he became involved in the Union and then the Labour Party. He became a senior shop steward and Union Branch President. He went on to be a Councillor and then Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council.
He was elected to Parliament in 1992. He became a Whip in 1995. He was made a minister in 2001 first for aviation and then with responsibility for drugs and organised crime. While at the Home Office he moved drug policy in the direction of more treatment and harm minimisation.
In 2003 Tony Blair made him Deputy Chief Whip. In 2005 he was appointed to the Privy Council. When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in 2007 he became Minister for the Armed Forces and then in 2009 he was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Defence. He wrote the Service Personnel Command Paper which made improvements to the healthcare, education provision and compensation payments for the Armed Forces. He ordered improved mine detection equipment and commissioned work on what was to become the Warthog protected patrol vehicle.
He became Shadow Defence Secretary when Labour lost in 2010, but stood down from the front bench 5 months later. He currently serves on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and recently Chaired the Joint Committee on the Draft Enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill.
Locally he led the campaign for a new hospital and the redevelopment of the contaminated old gas works, now the site of the Ricoh Arena, home to Coventry City Football Club. He also secured £50million New Deal money for Woodend, Henley Green and Manor Farm.
Bob intends to stay active in the local community. He will continue speaking to students at schools and Universities, and supporting local environment groups.
He is married to Gloria. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.