New role for former miner

Ian Lavery has been elected chairman of the trade union group for Labour MPs.

The Wansbeck MP takes over from Tony Lloyd as he is giving up his Manchester Central seat to run for election as the city’s first police commissioner later this year.

Mr Lavery has been MP for Wansbeck since 2010, retaining the seat for Labour after Denis Murphy stood down.

The 49-year-old, formerly a miner at Ellington and Lynemouth’s collieries, was voted in as president of the National Union of Mineworkers in 2002, taking over from Arthur Scargill.

A father of two, he has lived in Ashington all his life.

He was he was honoured to have been invited to chair the trade union group.

“As a group of MPs, we have an important role to play in parliament representing the views and interests of millions of trade unionists across the country,” said Mr Lavery.

Among his priorities in his new role is rallying opposition to controversial recommendations in a government-commissioned report by Adrian Beecroft that would make it easier for employers to sack their workers.

“We must not fall into the trap of accepting compromises on certain parts of the Beecroft recommendations,” he said.

“This is a charter for rogue bosses. It is a bad bosses’ bonanza.

“People must be aware that this is only the beginning of an all-out assault on working people, and if Labour wins the next election, we must repeal Beecroft in its entirety.”