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REVEALED: London MPs' lack of business experience

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Children standing in adults' shoes

More than half of London MPs have very little business experience while around a tenth have barely worked in the private sector at all, LondonlovesBusiness.com has found.

Of London’s 73 MPs, around 41 have never run a business but have instead worked as lawyers, journalists, researchers, PRs or in charity.

Most of those who do have business experience belong to the Conservative party, while those representing the Labour party are more likely to have had careers as councillors or social workers.

Despite being shadow small business minister, new MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna is an ex-employment lawyer and not a former businessman.

Lib Dem MP Ed Davey has had just four years’ experience working in the private sector, yet this hasn’t stopped him being made minister for employment, consumer and postal affairs.

Davey was the Lib Dem economics researcher from 1989 to 1993 before going to work for Omega Partners as a management consultant for four years, and then returning to the public sector as MP for Kingston and Surbiton.

David Lammy and Sarah Teather are both former “Babies of the House”: the youngest serving MP at any one time. They joined parliament at the tender ages of 27 and 29 respectively. 

Many have made the local government to central government leap: Heidi Alexander, Rushanara Ali, Lyn Brown, Jeremy Corbyn, Mike Gapes, Sarah Teather, Angie Bray, Ed Davey, Gareth Thomas, Siobhain McDonagh, Angela Watkinson, John McDonnell and Andrew Slaughter. All had careers as councillors or researchers before becoming elected.

Alongside councillor sand researchers, ex-journalists and lawyers are high up on the list of London MPs former professions.

Business people turned MPs

Teresa  Pearce Erithm and Thamesmead Senior manager at PwC
Greg Hands Chelsea and Fulham Had an eight-year career in banking
Mike Freer Finchley and Golders Green Relationship director at Barclays
Jo Johnson Orpington Ex-investment banker
Stephen Hammond Wimbledon Career in finance at a fund management house
Mark Field Cities of London and Westminster Had previous career in the VC industry
Vince Cable Twickenham Worked for Shell as chief economist advisor

Do London MPs need business experience to be effective politicians? Does a lack of private sector experience matter? Leave your comments below…




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