Fabian Hamilton

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Fabian Hamilton
Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament, Latin America and the Caribbean
In office
8 November 2016 – 5 September 2023
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Keir Starmer
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byAnna McMorrin
Shadow Minister for the Middle East
In office
30 June 2017 – 9 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byCatherine West
Succeeded byWayne David
Shadow Minister for Europe
In office
29 June 2016 – 4 July 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byPat Glass
Succeeded byKhalid Mahmood
Member of Parliament
for Leeds North East
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded byTimothy Kirkhope
Majority17,089 (33.8%)
Leeds City Councillor
for Wortley Ward
In office
Preceded byPat Fathers
Succeeded byDavid Blackburn
Personal details
Fabian Uziell-Hamilton

(1955-04-12) 12 April 1955 (age 68)
London, England, UK
Political partyLabour
SpouseRosemary Ratcliffe
Alma materUniversity of York
WebsiteOfficial website

Fabian Uziell-Hamilton (born 12 April 1955) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Leeds North East since 1997. He served as Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament, Latin America and the Caribbean from November 2016 to September 2023.[1][2]

Education and early career[edit]

Fabian Uziell-Hamilton was born in London to a British Jewish family.[3] His grandfather was a rabbi.[4] His father Mario, a solicitor, and his mother Adrianne, a judge,[5] were members of the Liberal Party, for which his father was several times an election candidate. He was educated at Brentwood School in Essex where he participated in the school's dramatic productions, playing a minor role in the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar alongside Douglas Adams and Griff Rhys Jones.[6] He then attended the University of York where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree.

From 1978, he worked as a taxi driver for a year before working as a graphic designer. From 1994 until his election to Parliament in 1997, he was a computer systems consultant with Apple Macintosh Computer Systems.

He was elected as a councillor to the City of Leeds Council in 1987, stepping down in 1998. He was elected as the chairman of the Leeds West Constituency Labour Party in 1987.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Hamilton contested Leeds North East at the 1992 general election but was defeated by the sitting Conservative MP Timothy Kirkhope by 4,244 votes, gaining a 5.9% swing from the Conservative Party to Labour.[7]

Despite having achieved the highest Labour swing in the North of England, the constituency Labour Party voted, by a margin of one vote, in favour of an all-women shortlist. Hamilton was quoted by The Independent as saying:

For six years, I was chair of Leeds city council's equal opportunities committee. Equal ops was my life. And to find that, as far as the Labour Party is concerned, equal opportunity now means positive discrimination, came as a real shock to me. I am told that my generation of men will just have to stand back and make way for women. And I understand why certain women in the Party have pushed that policy. But I think they're wrong. What they don't seem to take on board is that I've only got one life, too. I didn't choose my time on earth any more than I chose my sex or my race. And I really mean it when I say that being kept out of a job just because I'm a man offends me as deeply as being kept out of a job just because I'm a Jew.[8]

Leeds North-East made its selection on 1 July 1995, selecting Liz Davies, a barrister and councillor in the London Borough of Islington. Davies defeated four local women, two of whom were Leeds city councillors.[citation needed] Her selection was vetoed by the National Executive Committee, allegedly for her left-wing politics; unhappy with the situation, opponents took out an unsuccessful private prosecution against Hamilton under the Companies Act in connection with his printing business.[9] Hamilton won the subsequent selection process.

He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 general election when he defeated Kirkhope by 6,959 votes. He made his maiden speech on 23 June 1997, in which he explained that his constituency stretches from the inner-city Leeds district of Chapeltown all the way out to Harewood House, the stately home of the Earls of Harewood.[10]

He is said to be the first MP to hold a virtual surgery for constituents who can go to his constituency office while he is in London, and converse via webcam.[11]

He was a signatory of an open letter to the then-Labour Party leader Ed Miliband in January 2015 calling on the party to commit to oppose further austerity, take rail franchises back into public ownership and strengthen collective bargaining arrangements[12] Hamilton was re-elected as the MP for Leeds North East at the 2019 General Election with a 17,089 majority.[13]

In the 2023 British shadow cabinet reshuffle he returned to the backbenches.[14]

Middle East[edit]

Hamilton is a signatory of the Euston Manifesto[15] and of the statement of principles of the Henry Jackson Society a neoconservative foreign policy think tank.

He supports Labour Friends of Israel[16] and was critical of Ed Miliband's stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict in 2014.[17]

Parliamentary offices[edit]

Fabian Hamilton with Labour leader Ed Miliband at the Royal Armouries in Leeds in 2011

In Parliament he served as a member of the Administration Select committee 1997–2001, and has been a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee since the 2001 general election. He is also the chairman of the all party groups on business services, prison health, and civil contingency, he also serves as the vice-chairman of the all-party Iran group. He also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet.[18]

On 7 January 2016, Hamilton was appointed a shadow Foreign Minister, outside the Shadow Cabinet.[19][20]

On 29 June 2016, Hamilton was appointed as Shadow Europe Minister to replace Pat Glass, who resigned over concerns about Corbyn's leadership. Hamilton resigned a few days later on 4 July 2016, saying that he was troubled by Corbyn's response to the Chakrabarti Inquiry into anti-Semitism.[21]

On 8 November 2016, Corbyn fulfilled a campaign pledge as Hamilton was appointed as Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament – the first time this role had been held. The role covers North Africa, the Middle East, North Korea and Labour Party policy on nuclear weapons. When elected Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer kept the role as Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament, with Hamilton continuing in the role.[22]

Expenses scandal[edit]

In 2009 The Daily Telegraph reported that Hamilton had incorrectly claimed £3,000 on expenses for mortgage payments.[23] In addition to the interest on the mortgage, which can be claimed as an expense, Hamilton claimed for interest on an equity release scheme on the house, which cannot.

Hamilton responded in a statement that this was "a genuine mistake" and that the money was paid back when the error was discovered by the House of Commons Fees Office.[24] The Telegraph also accused Hamilton of "flipping" his second home designation to decorate and furnish both his constituency home in Leeds and London flat.[23] Hamilton defended his actions and accused the Daily Telegraph of "deliberately misrepresenting" him.[24]

Personal life[edit]

He married Rosemary in 1980: they have two daughters and a son.

He is a keen cyclist, and once cycled to Aachen, Germany, raising funds for the Funzi and Bodo Trust, a children's charity based in Kenya.[25] He speaks fluent French.[3][20]

As a result of mergers, he has successively been a member of Graphical, Paper and Media Union, Amicus and Unite.


  1. ^ McGrath, Hannah. "Corbyn appoints minister for peace and disarmament". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Front Bench Appointment". www.leedsne.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b Elgot, Jessica (14 May 2010). "New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  4. ^ Jackman, Josh (8 May 2015). "Election 2015: Fabian Hamilton increases majority in Leeds North East". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  5. ^ Hamilton, Fabian | Who's WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U18773. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4.
  6. ^ Julius Caesar (programme). Brentwood: Brentwood School. 1968.
  7. ^ "Election 1992: The Full Results". The Independent. 11 April 1992. p. 31.
  8. ^ Dickson, E. Jane (15 July 1995). "No man's land". The Independent. p. 8 (Features).
  9. ^ "MP accuses opponents of legal chicanery". The Lawyer. 11 April 1997.
  10. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 23 Jun 1997 (pt 7)".
  11. ^ "Live from London … your MP". Yorkshire Evening Post. 23 October 2008. p. 15.
  12. ^ Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction – why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Leeds North East parliamentary constituency – Election 2019". BBC News. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  14. ^ Belger, Tom; Jones, Morgan (4 September 2023). "Labour reshuffle news: Full shadow cabinet and frontbench as shakeup unfolds". LabourList. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  15. ^ "The Euston Manifesto". Archived from the original on 29 November 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2007.
  16. ^ "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. 16 July 2019.
  17. ^ Dysch, Marcus (8 April 2015). "Labour man says it's a rough ride with Miliband". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  18. ^ "All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet".
  19. ^ Perraudin, Frances (7 January 2016). "Six junior shadow ministers appointed as Corbyn completes reshuffle". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  20. ^ a b Proctor, Kate (8 January 2016). "So who is Labour's new golden boy Fabian Hamilton?". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  21. ^ Elgot, Jessica (4 July 2016). "Jeremy Corbyn issues defiant video urging Labour unity". Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  22. ^ "Shadow Cabinet". The Labour Party. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  23. ^ a b Prince, Rosa (13 May 2009). "Fabian Hamilton overclaimed for mortgage while living with mother". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  24. ^ a b "Fabian Hamilton MP | Statement on Expenses Claims". 4 July 2009. Archived from the original on 4 July 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Fabian Hamilton: I am cycling to Germany for my latest charity challenge". www.yorkshirepost.co.uk. 9 August 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Leeds North East

Political offices
Preceded by Shadow Minister of State for Europe
Succeeded by
New office Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament