Alan Simpson is currently the Shadow Chancellor’s Advisor on Sustainable Economics, having previously been the Labour MP for Nottingham South from 1992 until 2010. A ‘recovering politician and lapsed economist’, he works on themes he still hopes might save the planet from its own stupidities.
Born in Bootle, Liverpool in 1948, the eldest of seven children, Alan has lived and worked in Nottingham since his student days.
Alan graduated at Trent Polytechnic in 1972 with a degree in economics. He then worked as a Community worker and on anti-vandalism projects in inner-city Nottingham before joining the Racial Equality Council as Research Officer. He has published books on racism, housing policy, inner-city policing, employment policy and Europe, along with pamphlets (and videos) on energy and climate.
A Labour Party member since 1973, Alan became a County Councilor in 1985 and was the Labour candidate for Nottingham South at the 1987 General Election. Five years later, in 1992, he was elected to the seat with a majority of 3,181. In 1997 he increased his majority to 13,364.
In Parliament, Alan was a leading campaigner on wide ranging issues about the environment and the economy. The New Statesman dubbed him, “The man most likely to come up with the ideas”. He consistently put multinational GM food companies on the defensive and fought for a safer, healthier environment.
Alan is also a longstanding anti-poverty campaigner and was Chair of the All Party Warm Homes Group for over a decade. He was also a core member of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs.
Alan became a leading voice in the opposition to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and became national Chair of ‘Labour Against The War’.
In 1999 he won the Green futures “Environmental Politician of the Year” award, and in 2003 was short-listed for the Channel 4 Politician of the Year awards. His work on ‘safe food’ and ‘sustainability’ ranged from local markets to anti-globalisation. He set up the Food Justice campaign in Parliament to challenge issues of food poverty in Britain, and in 2003 served on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
His 2003 pamphlet ‘Peoples Pensions’ – co-authored with Colin Hines and Richard Murphy – offered a radical alternative to the speculative fiasco Britain was drifting into ( and which we are still caught up in today).
Passionate about sport, Alan played for the House of Commons football team, along with its tennis and cricket teams. A lifelong Everton supporter, he was slightly embarrassed to be dubbed “the Michael Owen of the Green Benches”: as Michael Owen played for his rivals, Liverpool.
Alan left parliament in 2010 to spend more time on politics. Good humored, imaginative and iconoclastic, Alan tries to put colour and excitement into the politics of the 21st Century … and is still trying to save the planet.