Gordon Marsden
Official portrait, 2017
Member of Parliament
for Blackpool South
In office
1 May 1997 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byNick Hawkins
Succeeded byScott Benton
2015–2019Higher Education, Further Education and Skills
2010–2013Further Education, Skills and Regional Growth
Personal details
Born (1953-11-28) 28 November 1953 (age 70)
Manchester, Lancashire, England
Political partyLabour
Alma materNew College, Oxford (BA, MA)
Warburg Institute
Harvard University

Gordon Marsden (born 28 November 1953) is a British Labour Party politician who served as Member of Parliament for Blackpool South from 1997 to 2019.

Early life

Marsden was educated at Stockport Grammar School, an independent school in Stockport, Cheshire, followed by New College, Oxford where he was awarded a first-class degree in Modern History. He then went on to postgraduate studies at the Warburg Institute (part of the University of London) and Harvard Kennedy School, being a Kennedy Scholar in Politics and International Relations.

Before entering Parliament he had been a tutor for the Open University since 1994, as well as a public affairs adviser to English Heritage and, for twelve years, the editor of History Today and New Socialist magazine.

Parliamentary career

Marsden first contested the seat of Blackpool South in 1992 and won it in 1997. Once elected to Parliament, Gordon served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Irvine of Lairg in the Lord Chancellor's Department (2001–03), Tessa Jowell as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2003–05) and John Denham as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and shadow communities secretary (2009–10).

In 2003, he was made a Visiting Parliamentary Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford.

He sat as a member of the House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee and Education and Skills Select Committee, before it was dissolved in 2007.[1]

In May 2010, Marsden was given his first shadow ministerial brief, by acting leader Harriet Harman, as Shadow Minister for Further Education, Skills and Regional Growth.[1][2] He remained in post following Ed Miliband's election as Labour leader, but was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Transport in the October 2013 Labour frontbench reshuffle.[1]

Gordon Marsden was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015.[3]

Following Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader in September 2015, Marsden readopted his former Further Education and Skills briefs as Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Further Education and Skills.[1] In his new position, he succeeded Shadow Universities Minister Liam Byrne and Shadow Further Education and Skills Minister Yvonne Fovargue.

He was Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Skills Group and of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Veterans.

Fabian Society

Marsden is a member of the Fabian Society, of which he was the Chair from 2000 to 2001.[4] He also served as Chair of the Young Fabians and now serves as a Trustee of Dartmouth Street, the building where the Society is based.

Seaside towns

Marsden convened the first group of Labour MPs representing seaside and coastal towns. In 2007 Gordon was asked to chair a Manifesto Group for the Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Seaside and Coastal Towns.

Personal life

Marsden is gay.[5] In early 2009, Gordon was named as one of the Daily Telegraph's expenses "saints", due to the low levels of his expenses claims.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Parliamentary career for Gordon Marsden - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  2. ^ "North Durham Labour". www.facebook.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Who nominated who for the 2015 Labour leadership election?". www.newstatesman.com. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Our history | Fabian Society". Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  5. ^ Kate Watson-Smyth (22 October 2011). "'I'm gay, and I'm happy for my constituents to know about it'". The Independent.
  6. ^ "Blackpool MP named an expenses 'saint'". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2017.

Video clips

Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byNick Hawkins Member of Parliament for Blackpool South 1997–2019 Succeeded byScott Benton Party political offices Preceded byCalum MacDonald Chair of the Fabian Society 2000–2001 Succeeded byDenis MacShane