20 under 40: parliament's rising stars

This week's <em>New Statesman</em> profiles 20 MPs who are ambitious, ahead of the pack, and under t

The last election saw the arrival of 227 new MPs, the biggest rookie intake since 1997. The New Statesman, in association with Insight Public Affairs, has compiled a list of 20 MPs aged under 40 who we think have the brightest prospects in the House. The list excludes frontbenchers, although among them are sure to be future ministers and even prime ministers. As the NS leader notes this week: "so far, the 2010 generation has shown itself to be independent-minded and politically precocious, with a reassuring tendency to defy the whips".

We will be following them and reporting back on their progress in the years ahead. For now, here is the list. You can read profiles of these MPs in this week's NS, currently available on the newsstands.

Rushanara Ali (Lab) - born 1975

Luciana Berger (Lab) - 1981

Rehman Chishti (Con) - 1978

Stella Creasy (Lab) - 1977

Michael Dugher (Lab) - 1975

Sam Gyimah (Con) - 1976

Duncan Hames (Lib Dem) - 1977

Matthew Hancock (Con) - 1978

Tristram Hunt (Lab) - 1974

Jo Johnson (Con) - 1971

Gregg McClymont (Lab) - 1976

Lisa Nandy (Lab) - 1979

Priti Patel (Con) - 1972

Dominic Raab (Con) - 1974

Rachel Reeves (Lab) - 1979

Rory Stewart (Con) - 1973

Jo Swinson (Lib Dem) - 1980

Elizabeth Truss (Con) - 1975

Chuka Umunna (Lab) - 1978

John Woodcock (Lab) - 1978

 

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Commons Confidential: Smith, selfies and pushy sons

All the best gossip from party conference, including why Dennis Skinner is now the MP for Selfie Central.

Owen Smith discovered the hard way at the Labour party conference in Liverpool that one moment you’re a contender and the next you’re a nobody. The party booked a luxurious suite at the plush Pullman Hotel for Candidate Smith before the leadership result. He was required to return the key card the day after Jeremy Corbyn’s second coming. On the upside, Smith no longer had to watch his defeat replayed endlessly on the apartment’s giant  flat-screen TV.

The Labour back-room boffin Patrick Heneghan, the party’s executive director of elections, had good cause to be startled when a TV crew pounced on him to demand an interview. The human submarine rarely surfaces in public and anonymity is his calling card. It turns out that the bespectacled Heneghan was mistaken for Owen Smith – a risky likeness when vengeful Corbynistas are on rampage. There’s no evidence of Smith being mistaken for Heneghan, though. Yet.

Members of Labour’s governing National Executive Committee are discovering new passions to pass the time during interminable meetings, as the Mods and the Corbs battle over each line of every decision. The shadow cabinet attack dog Jon “Sparkle” Ashworth, son of a casino croupier and a bunny girl, whiles away the hours by reading the poetry of Walt Whitman and W B Yeats on his iPad. Sparkle has learned that, to echo Whitman, to be with those he likes is enough.

I discovered Theresa May’s bit of rough – the grizzled Tory chairman, Patrick McLoughlin, a former Derbyshire coal miner – does his gardening in steel-toecapped wellies stamped “NCB” from his time down the pit thirty years ago. He’ll need his industrial footwear in Birmingham to kick around Tories revolting over grammar schools and Brexit.

Another ex-miner, Dennis Skinner, was the MP for Selfie Central in Liverpool, where a snap with the Beast of Bolsover was a popular memento. Alas, no cameras captured him in the Commons library demonstrating the contorted technique of speed-walkers. His father once inquired, “Why tha’ waddling tha’ bloody arse?” in Skinner’s younger days, when he’d top 7mph. Observers didn’t dare.

The Northern Poorhouse minister Andrew Percy moans that he’s been allocated a broom cupboard masquerading as an office in the old part of parliament. My snout claims that Precious Percy grumbled: “It’s so small, my human rights are violated.” Funny how the only “rights” many Tories shout about are their own.

The son of a very prominent Labour figure was caught trying to smuggle friends without passes into the secure conference zone in Liverpool. “Don’t you know who I am?” The cop didn’t, but he does now.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 29 September 2016 issue of the New Statesman, May’s new Tories