Stephen Doughty
Official portrait, 2020
Shadow Minister for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs[a]
Assumed office
9 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byAfzal Khan
In office
28 October 2015 – 6 January 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byDavid Hanson
Succeeded byFabian Hamilton
Shadow Minister for International Development
In office
9 April 2020 – 4 December 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry
In office
22 June 2015 – 28 October 2015
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byIain Wright[b]
Succeeded byKevin Brennan[c]
Member of Parliament
for Cardiff South and Penarth
Assumed office
15 November 2012
Preceded byAlun Michael
Majority12,737 (25.2%)
Personal details
Born (1980-04-15) 15 April 1980 (age 41)
Cardiff, Wales
Political partyLabour Co-op
Alma materCorpus Christi College, Oxford
University of St Andrews

Stephen John Doughty[1] (born 15 April 1980)[2] is a Welsh Labour and Co-operative Party politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Cardiff South and Penarth since 2012.[3] He has been the Shadow Minister for Africa and a Shadow Minister for International Development since 2020.

Early life

Doughty was born in Cardiff before his family moved to the Vale of Glamorgan. After attending Llantwit Major Comprehensive School, he studied at Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Canada[4][5] (when he served as a member of British Columbia Youth Parliament), at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University (from which he graduated with an upper second-class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics),[6] and at the University of St Andrews.[7]

Early career

After time spent working in Denmark, Doughty returned to the UK, where he became an advisor to Labour MP Douglas Alexander.[8] He then worked in various roles for Oxfam International, before becoming the head of Oxfam Cymru in 2011.[9]

From 2004 to 2009 Doughty was a trustee of the British section of United World Colleges.[2]

In March 2010, prior to the May 2010 General Election, the BBC's political correspondent David Cornock reported [10] that Doughty was one of the candidates on Labour's shortlist for the Pontypridd parliamentary constituency. The other candidates on the short-list were Jayne Brencher, Delyth Evans, Bethan Roberts, and Owen Smith—who was selected and who subsequently retained the seat for Labour at the general election.

Doughty and his father had been long-time family friends of Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Alun Michael. Michael said "Stephen Doughty’s father and I first met 40 years ago when I was a youth worker and he was involved with an Army youth group. I have known Stephen since he was a baby".[11] When Alun Michael announced his decision to step down as Cardiff South and Penarth MP in order to stand for election as South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, the Western Mail reported on 13 July 2012 that Michael had been "interfering inappropriately" in Labour's selection process for his putative successor in the constituency in order to ensure his preferred candidate (Stephen Doughty) was included on the shortlist. Michael subsequently admitted that he had indeed spoken personally to Labour leader Ed Miliband, to the party's general secretary Iain McNicol and to members of the National Executive Committee, with the purpose of "preventing a stitch-up" and "stopping a candidate from outside being imposed on the local party".[11] After Michael's intervention Doughty's name was included in the final short list along with four other candidates, Kate Groucutt, Karen Wilkie, Nick Thomas-Symonds and Jeremy Miles. Doughty was selected in a vote by constituency Labour Party members on 14 July 2012.[12]

Parliamentary career

In the parliamentary by-election on 15 November 2012, Doughty was voted in as the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth. He took the seat with a majority of 5,334, taking 47.3% of the vote.[3] This enhanced Labour's majority in the area, which previously stood at 4,709.[13]

Doughty made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 28 November 2012.[14]

In January 2013, Doughty was appointed to the Labour Shadow Treasury team as an aide to Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.[15]

Following Iain Wright's election as the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee chair, Doughty succeed him in the Shadow BIS team as the Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry in a June 2015 mini-reshuffle.[16][17]

In October 2015, he was moved to a position as a Shadow Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for Africa, South Asia and International Organisations, under Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn.[18]

In December 2015 Stephen Doughty made the decision to support air strikes against Syria, a decision for which he was criticised by many of his constituents and political activists via social media. Mr Doughty called the police to deal with the 'personal threats' he had received.[19]

He supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party leadership election.[20]

Doughty endorsed Keir Starmer in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election.[21]

Keir Starmer appointed Doughty Shadow Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development, responsible for Africa and international development.[22]

In 2021, Doughty apologised for asking a constituent to give him some diazepam, a Class C illegal drug without a prescription, for anxiety ahead of a flight in 2019.[23][24]


In January 2016, Doughty announced that he had resigned as a shadow Foreign Minister on the live Daily Politics programme, saying that he supported the sacked Pat McFadden's views on terrorism and accusing members of the Labour leadership team of lying about the reasons for McFadden's sacking.[25] According to McFadden he was sacked for comments in the debate on the Paris bombings which condemned "the view that sees terrorist acts as always being a response or a reaction to what we in the west do".[26]

Doughty's appearance on the Daily Politics became contentious after it emerged that Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC's political editor, had arranged for Doughty to make his public announcement on the programme just before Prime Minister's Questions. According to Labour's spokesman, it was an "unacceptable breach of the BBC's role and statutory obligations. By the BBC's own account, BBC journalists and presenters proposed and secured the resignation of a shadow minister on air ... apparently to ensure maximum news and political impact."[27] The Labour Party's Director of Communications Seumas Milne made a formal complaint to the BBC.[28] "Neither the programme production team, nor Laura, played any part in his decision to resign", Robbie Gibb, the BBC head of live political programmes wrote to Milne. "As you know it is a long standing tradition that political programmes on the BBC, along with all other news outlets, seek to break stories. It is true that we seek to make maximum impact with our journalism which is entirely consistent with the BBC’s editorial guidelines and values."[28][29] Doughty said on Twitter that he had resigned "shortly before I did the interview so there was not time for spin doctors to start smearing me".[28]

Personal life

Doughty lives in the Splott area of Cardiff. He has been a Cub and Scout leader since 2004, and is a Cardiff City season ticket holder.[30] He features in the Pinc List of leading Welsh LGBT figures.[31] Doughty is a Christian.[32][33]


  1. ^ Africa, South Asia and International Organisations (2015–16)
  2. ^ (Competitiveness and Enterprise)
  3. ^ (Trade, Investment and Intellectual Property)


  1. ^ Acting Returning Officer (16 November 2012). "Declaration of Result of Poll" (PDF). Cardiff Council. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b "U.W.C. Great Britain Limited". Dellam Corporate Information. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Labour victory in Cardiff South and Penarth by-election". BBC. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Stephen Doughty, Pearson College alumnus elected MP in Wales". UWC Pearson College. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  5. ^ Stephen Doughty (1 March 2013). "Optimistic, interventionist Labour government". Progress Online. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  6. ^ Oxford University Registry
  7. ^ "About Stephen". Stephen Doughty. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  8. ^ Withers, Matt (19 June 2012). "Lobbyist says Labour's candidate for by-election must be a woman". Wales Online. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Penarth by-election: Labour, Communist, Socialist Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates". Penarth Times. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  10. ^ "David Cornock". Twitter.
  11. ^ a b Martin Shipton (13 July 2012). "Alun Michael at the centre of selection row over next Cardiff South MP". walesonline.
  12. ^ "Oxfam boss Stephen Doughty is Labour by-election candidate". BBC. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Stephen Doughty: Vote a 'resounding rejection' of coalition". ITV. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  14. ^ Cornock, David (28 November 2012). "Stephen Doughty makes his maiden speech in Commons". BBC. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Penarth MP Stephen Doughty appointed to Labour's shadow Treasury team". Penarth Times. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  16. ^ "New role for Dan Jarvis in mini-reshuffle". LabourList. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Cardiff South and Penarth MP promoted in shadow cabinet reshuffle". Penarth Times. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  18. ^ "Appointment of Stephen Doughty MP as Shadow Foreign Office Minister". Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  19. ^ David Deans (4 December 2015). "Cardiff MP Stephen Doughty believed to have made police complaint over 'personal threats' after Syria vote". walesonline.
  20. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  21. ^ AS, Stephen Doughty MP / (7 January 2020). "Talented group of friends putting themselves forward for @UKLabour Leader. Crucial issues being raised we *all* need to listen to. But after talking to many on challenges the UK, Wales + our party face I have nominated @Keir_Starmer to best help us oppose Tories, reunite +".
  22. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (9 April 2020). "Shadow ministers appointed as Starmer completes frontbench". LabourList. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Stephen Doughty: MP sorry for asking constituent for diazepam". BBC News. 2 May 2021. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  24. ^ "Watchdog investigates Welsh MP who asked constituent for diazepam". 16 July 2021.
  25. ^ "MP quits Labour team over leader's office 'lies'". BBC. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  26. ^ Watt, Nicholas (6 January 2016). "McFadden's supporters describe removal as vindictive". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Labour files official complaint about BBC 'orchestrating' Doughty resignation". The Herald. Glasgow. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  28. ^ a b c Watt, Nicholas; Sweney, Mark (8 January 2016). "BBC justifies decision to allow Stephen Doughty to resign live on Daily Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  29. ^ Waugh, Paul (8 January 2016). "Labour Party Formally Complains To BBC Over Stephen Doughty's Live On-Air Resignation In Jeremy Corbyn's Reshuffle; BBC Rejects 'Orchestrated' Charge". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  30. ^ Best, Jessica (13 November 2012). "Cardiff South and Penarth by-election: The candidates". Wales Online. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  31. ^ "Pinc List 2017". Wales Online. 19 August 2017.
  32. ^ "Endorsements for Christians on the Left". Christians on the Left. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  33. ^ "Drug allegations 2021". BBC Online.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byAlun Michael Member of Parliament for Cardiff South and Penarth 2012–present Incumbent