Chris Bryant

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Chris Bryant
MP
Official portrait of Chris Bryant crop 2.jpg
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
In office
13 September 2015 – 26 June 2016
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Angela Eagle
Succeeded by Paul Flynn
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
In office
11 May 2015 – 13 September 2015
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded by Harriet Harman
Succeeded by Michael Dugher
Shadow Minister of State for the Arts
In office
3 December 2014 – 11 May 2015
Leader Edward Miliband
Preceded by Helen Goodman
Succeeded by Vacant
Shadow Minister of State for Welfare Reform
In office
8 October 2013 – 3 December 2014
Leader Edward Miliband
Preceded by Ian Austin
Succeeded by Helen Goodman
Shadow Minister of State for Immigration
In office
7 October 2011 – 8 October 2013
Leader Edward Miliband
Preceded by Gerry Sutcliffe
Succeeded by David Hanson
Shadow Minister of State for Political Reform
In office
12 May 2010 – 7 October 2011
Leader Edward Miliband
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Wayne David
Under Secretary of State for Europe and Asia
In office
13 October 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Glenys Kinnock
Succeeded by David Lidington
Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
9 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Gillian Merron
Succeeded by Alistair Burt
Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
In office
5 October 2008 – 9 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Helen Goodman
Succeeded by Barbara Keeley
Member of Parliament
for Rhondda
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Allan Rogers
Majority 13,746 (41.8%)
Personal details
Born Christopher John Bryant
(1962-01-11) 11 January 1962 (age 57)
Website Official website
Commons website


Christopher John Bryant (born 11 January 1962) has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rhondda since the 2001 general election and most recently the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons until resigning on 26 June 2016. He was previously the Shadow Minister for the Arts, Minister of State for Europe, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. He was re-elected in June 2017.

Political career

After leaving the priesthood in 1991, Bryant made a radical career move and began work as the election agent to the Holborn and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party, where he helped Frank Dobson hold his seat in the 1992 general election. From 1993 he was Local Government officer for the Labour Party; he lived in Hackney and was elected to Hackney Borough Council in 1993, serving until 1998. He became Chairman of the Christian Socialist Movement. He is also a member of the Labour Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East group. From 1994 to 1996 he was London manager of the charity Common Purpose.

He was Labour candidate for Wycombe in the 1997 general election (where he lost by 2,370 votes), and Head of European Affairs for the BBC from 1998. His selection for the very safe Labour seat of Rhondda in South Wales in 2000 surprised many people given Bryant's background – gay, a former Anglican vicar, and someone who had been a Conservative as a student. He says of his surprise selection "I fell off the chair, and my opponents certainly did". Fifty-two people applied for the candidature and a local councillor was hot favourite to win. He retained the seat comfortably at the 2001 general election with a 16,047 majority, one of the largest in the country.

In 2003, Bryant voted with the government in joining the Iraq War with an invasion.

From 2004 until 2007, Bryant was chairman of the Labour Movement for Europe, succeeded by Mary Creagh MP. Bryant is a signatory of the Henry Jackson Society principles.

Bryant was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs Charlie Falconer. In Gordon Brown's autumn 2008 reshuffle, Bryant was promoted from his role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Harriet Harman to the ministerial position of Deputy Leader of the House of Commons otherwise known as Parliamentary Secretary to the House of Commons. This was followed by another move in the June 2009 reshuffle, when he moved to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. On 13 October 2009, he was also appointed Minister for Europe.

Following the defeat of the Labour government at the General Election of 2010, Bryant returned to the back benches. He stood as one of 49 candidates for election to the 19 places in the Shadow Cabinet in the internal Labour Party poll of October 2010. He polled 77 votes, reaching 29th position on the list. He has held various opposition portfolios since 2010, most notably Shadow Leader of the House of Commons under Jeremy Corbyn.