Biographies


Will-StrawWill Straw@wdjstraw – is the Founder of Left Foot Forward, Associate Director for Strategic Development at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He was a 2007-08 Fulbright Scholar and worked for four years at HM Treasury. He is a former President of the Oxford University Student Union and co-edited “The Change We Need: What Britain can learn from Obama’s victory“.

James BloodworthJames Bloodworth@J_Bloodworth – is the Editor of Left Foot Forward. He has previously written for the Times, the Independent, the Guardian, the Spectator, the New Statesman and the New Republic. James previously worked as a data journalist in the business-to-business sector and has a masters in political journalism. He often appears on the television and radio as a political commentator.

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Aaron-PorterAaron Porter@AaronPorter – is the president of the National Union of Students. He studied English Literature at the University of Leicester and served as a sabbatical officer at the students’ union.

Alex-HernAlex Hern@AlexHern – is a staff writer at the Guardian and previously worked as an intern for Left Foot Forward. He graduated St Peter’s College, Oxford, in 2011 and is a former Parliamentary researcher. Alex is an avid comic aficionado and critic. His personal blog can be found here, and you should follow him on twitter.

Amanda-RamsayAmanda Ramsay@AmandaRamsay – writes for Left Foot Forward on a range of public policy areas. She is a writer with a background in UK politics, communications, business and government relations. Amanda is a sometime commentator on the BBC, and has many years of Parliamentary experience, from research and communications work for a government minister to working for the Times and the Evening Standard. Her website can be found here.

Ann-PettiforAnn Pettifor@AnnPettifor – writes for Left Foot Forward on banking and economic policy. She is the director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME) and a fellow of the new economics foundation (nef).

Asher-DresnerAsher Dresner@AsherDresner – analyses political speeches for Left Foot Forward. His MA was in Political Communications, with a dissertation on leaders’ party conference speeches over the last thirty years; Asher runs speechwriting consultancy The Speechwriter and blogs here.

Asif-SangeDr. Asif Sange writes on health issues. He works as a hospital doctor in the NHS and has done for five years, after graduating from Dundee Medical School – currently he is based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Asif is a Labour Party activist and works part time as a research assistant for Lord Patel of Blackburn.

AshwinAshwin Kumar@KumarAshwin – is director of Liverpool Economics and vice chair of the homelessness charity Broadway. He has previously worked as a senior civil servant at the Department for Work and Pensions, as an adviser to Gordon Brown and as rail passenger director at the consumer watchdog Passenger Focus. He writes in a personal capacity.

Ben-FoxBen Fox works in the European Parliament and writes for Left Foot Forward on economics and the EU. He is the chairman of GMB Brussels.

Ben-MitchellBen Mitchell@bmitchellwrites – writes for Left Foot Forward on foreign affars, civil liberties and public policy. He is a freelance policy analyst whose blog can be found here and is the deputy editor of Speaker’s Chair.

Carl-PackmanCarl Packman@CarlRaincoat – writes book reviews for Left Foot Forward. He is a health researcher in the day, has written for the Guardian, New Statesman, Tribune Magazine, The Philosopher’s Magazine and blogs regularly at Though Cowards Flinch and Liberal Conspiracy. He is currently writing a book on consumer debt.

Caroline-MortimerCaroline Mortimer@CJMortimer – writes on US politics. She is a freelance political blogger.

Casper-ter-KuileCasper ter Kuile@cterkuile – writes on international climate policy. He is Co-Director of the UK Youth Climate Coalition and a recent University of Warwick graduate. He now supports Solitaire Townsend’s work at Futerra Sustainability Communications.

Claire-FrenchClaire French@clairee_french – is a former Left Foot Forward intern. She is now enrolled on an NCTJ multimedia journalism course, a columnist at Tribune Magazine, and has published work with a number of other print and online publications. Claire’s blog can be found at www.clairefrench.co.uk.

Claudia-TomlinsonClaudia Tomlinson@CS_Tomlinson – has a background in the public, charity and community sector. She writes for Left Foot Forward on health, inequality, domestic politics, Africa, the USA and Canada as special areas of interest. Claudia’s blog can be found at http://writtenwordtoday.wordpress.com.

Conor-McGinnConor McGinn@conormcginn – manages a charity that works with prisoners and their families, the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas. He recently ran as a Labour candidate in a local election in the London Borough of Islington.

Craig-BerryCraig Berry@CraigPBerry – is a pensions policy officer at the TUC. He worked previously as Lecturer at the University of Warwick, head of policy at the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) and policy advisor at HM Treasury. His book Globalisation and Ideology in Britain was published by Manchester University Press in 2011.

Chris CreeganChris Creegan@Chris_Creegan – writes on a wide range of issues with a particular interest in equality, human rights and social justice. He previously worked at NatCen Social Research and Unison. 

Daisy-BlacklockDaisy Blacklock@dresstotheleft – writes for Left Foot Forward on a range of policy issues. She studied English at the University of Exeter and runs the Dress to the Left blog.

Dan-HoldenDan Holden@DanSHolden – was previously an intern at Left Foot Forward and now works at Shifting Grounds. He is a University of Liverpool graduate with a fervent interest in social policy, specifically education. Dan has previously written for Shifting Grounds and is a devotee of The Wire and all things Tom Waits.

Daniel-WickhamDaniel Wickham@DanielWickham93 – is a freelance journalist, youth worker and student going on to read History and Politics at university.

Darren-ShirleyDarren Shirley@darrenshirley – writes for Left Foot Forward on energy efficiency and green energy; he works for WWF UK and is an energy efficiency campaigner, climber and part time politics student. Darren writes for Left Foot Forward in a personal capacity.

David-TaylorDavid Taylor@DavidTaylor85 – writes on development policy. He is chair of the Labour Campaign for International Development (LCID). He formerly worked as a Campaigner for Oxfam and Wada Na Todo – the national campaign against poverty in India – and as a student activist with People & Planet on Fairtrade.

Duncan-WeldonDuncan Weldon@DuncanWeldon – writes on the economy and economic policy. He is an econmist and has worked at the Bank of England, as a Partner in a fund management firm and for the Labour Party; Duncan currently works for an international trade union. His blog, “Duncan’s Economic Blog”, can be found here.

Ed-JacobsEd Jacobs@EdJacobs1985 – writes on devolved and local government. He works as a political consultant at the only Northern based consultancy, The Public Affairs Company. Ed has previously helped establish and run a student news website therundown.co.uk.

Frank-SpringFrank Spring writes for Left Foot Forward on defence and foreign policy. He has a background in policy, politics, and non-profits, and is currently a change and innovation consultant in New York and Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and KCL’s world-renowned Department of War Studies.

Fred DowdFred Dowd is currently a final year Politics undergraduate at the University of Kent, Canterbury.

Ged-CarrollGed Carroll@r_c – is director, digital strategies at Ruder Finn and is a member of the faculty at Econsultancy. He has previous worked for a number of brands including Yahoo! and as guest lecturer at LaSalle Business and Engineering School, Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona. He speaks regularly on digital issues and youth marketing. In a prior life he ran warehouse parties and worked in an oil refinery. His personal blog can be found at renaissancechambara.jp.

George-ReadingsGeorge Readings@GeorgeReadings – writes for Left Foot Forward about counter-extremism and counter-terrorism policy; he is a security risk analyst and previously at Quilliam, the world’s first counter-extremism think tank. He studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS.

Graeme-CookeGraeme Cooke writes on welfare and labour market policy. He is head of the Open Left project at Demos and was expert advisor to the Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions between 2008 and 2009.

Guy-ShrubsoleGuy Shrubsole@guyshrubsole – writes about environmental politics. He works for the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC), and was a member of the UK Youth Delegation to the Copenhagen climate talks. He has previously worked for Defra and the New Zealand government. Guy is writing in a personal capacity for Left Foot Forward.

Howard-ReedHoward Reed established Landman Economics in 2008. He remains Director. He was previously chief economist at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

James-HallwoodJames Hallwood@jhallwood – is Chair of the Young Fabians; and works in public affairs for a trade union.

Jill-RutterJill Rutter is an Associate Fellow at IPPR; she writes for Left Foot Forward on a range of issues that include family policy and migration.

Johanna-Thomas-CorrJohanna Thomas-Corr@JohannaTC – writes on education policy. She is a freelance writer and journalist, was formerly arts editor of City Am newspaper, and has written on education, religion and business. She is currently writing her first novel, set in a state school.

John-MillingtonJohn Millington@JMstar1 – writes on a range of issues, focusing on industrial relations, economics, arts and sport. He is a freelance journalist and athlete, and editor of The Daily Dreadnaught blog.

Joss-GarmanJoss Garman@jossgarman – writes on the environment. He is a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace and a co-founder of Plane Stupid. Joss is blogging in a personal capacity.

Joy-JohnsonJoy Johnson writes for Left Foot Forward on the media. She is a former political journalist with ITN and the BBC and is currently a visiting lecturer at City University and the University of Westminster. Joy writes a regular column for Tribune magazine and is a member of the editorial board of the British Journalism Review.

Kate-BellKate Bell is a freelance policy consultant, and is also studying for at the LSE; she was formerly Director of Policy Advice and Communications at Gingerbread and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Kate-HudsonKate Hudson@CNDuk – is the general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND); she writes on nuclear weapons policy.

Kayte-LawtonKayte Lawton is a research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research. Prior to joining ippr, Kayte worked in research administration at World Cancer Research Fund and Liverpool John Moores University.

Kevin-GulliverKevin Gulliver@KevinGulliver – writes for Left Foot Forward about housing and the impact of government policy on low income communities. He is the director of Birmingham-based research charity the Human City Institute and chair of the Centre for Community Research but writes in a personal capacity; Kevin’s interests are social and economic policy, especially relating to housing, health, communities and inequalities.

Kevin-MeagherKevin Meagher is a former head of communications at Advantage West Midlands and public affairs manager for United Utilities PLC. He was also special adviser to Labour Northern Ireland secretary, Shaun Woodward. He is now a freelance communications consultant.

Larry-SmithLarry Smith writes on US politics. He is a former parliamentary aide now working for a consultancy.

Laura-WoodLaura Wood writes for Left Foot Forward on human rights. She used to work for the Aspen Institute supporting Mary Robinson’s work and has lived in both Washington, DC and New York.

Liam-ThompsonLiam Thompson is a freelance journalist, reporter and writer specialising in cities, culture and politics.

Marcus-RobertsMarcus Roberts@marcusaroberts – writes for Left Foot Forward on defence. He is a campaigns consultant and foreign policy analyst. In the 2008 election he was an Obama Volunteer Organiser in Ohio having lost elections on Democratic campaigns in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Mark-AndersonMark Anderson is a freelance legal translator and former parliamentary assistant with a background in law and languages. He specialises in EU affairs.

Mark-ThompsonMark Thompson@MarkReckons – writes for Left Foot Forward on drugs policy and electoral reform. He is an award-winning Liberal Democrat blogger who writes the Mark Thompson Blog. He is a company director of Southfacing Services, an energy efficiency consultancy and software company.

MarkoMarko Attila Hoare@markoah – is a Reader at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University, London. His work has appeared in publications including The Guardian, Open Democracy, Prospect, Standpoint and Liberal Conspiracy. His books include The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War – A History and The History of Bosnia from the Middle Ages to the Present Day.

Martin-McCluskeyMartin McCluskey@martinmccluskey – writes on education policy. He is an assistant policy adviser for a large public body and was President of the Oxford University Students Union.

Matt Broomfield@hashtagbroom – is editor of Isis and former culture editor of Cherwell, the UK’s leading student magazine and student newspaper respectively. Matt BroomfieldjHis journalism, poetry and creative writing have been featured in the Independent on Sunday, Bare Fiction, Vulture, Liberal Arts London, Left Foot Forward, the National Youth Theatre, the National Poetry Society, the Young Poets’ Network and Don’t Flop.

Matt-GwilliamMatt Gwilliam@MattGwilliam – writes for Left Foot Forward on all areas of policy, in particular international human rights and education. He is studying for a PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research, and is a member of the Young Fabians.

Matt-OwenMatt Owen@Matt0wen – writes for Left Foot Forward on a range of issues, in particular national and international drug policy, American foreign policy, and human rights concerns globally. He is a recent graduate of the University of East Anglia’s American Studies department and is currently a freelance writer and fundraiser for Amnesty and Reprieve.

Matthew-PittMatt Pitt@MattPitt1766 – writes for Left Foot Forward on issues ranging from A to Z but takes special interest in the economy and questions surrounding Scottish separation. He recently wrote a chapter on the case for a ‘British Investment Bank’ in the book ‘What Next for Labour’ and now works as a Parliamentary Assistant for William Bain MP (Labour, Glasgow North East).

Michael-HarrisMike Harris@Cllr_MikeHarris – writes on civil liberties, libel reform and free speech. He is a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Lewisham and is Head of Advocacy at free speech organisation Index on Censorship, he is also a public affairs and social media consultant with clients including the Libel Reform Campaign, environmental charities and trade unions.

Mike GilesMike Giles@mgonthemike – writes for Left Foot Forward on civil liberties, human rights and freedom. He currently works in political communications, having previously been an aide and speechwriter to an MP; his personal website can be found here.

Naomi-CookeNaomi Cooke writes for Left Foot Forward on pensions policy. She is the GMB National Pensions Officer.

Natan-DoronNatan Doron@NatanDoron – is a researcher at the Fabian Society. He writes on environment policy as well as on a range of economic and political issues. Natan was born in Israel and has also lived in China where he worked for Greenpeace.

Nicola-SmithNicola Smith@NicolaTUC – writes on labour market issues. Nicola is the Head of the Economic and Social Affairs Department at the TUC, and is a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee; she also writes at Touchstone.

Nigel-StanleyNigel Stanley has been head of campaigns and communications at the TUC since May 1997, and was the TUC’s first Parliamentary Officer from 1994 until his promotion.

Oli-de-BottonOli de Botton@OlideB – also writes on education policy. He is a former assistant head teacher at a challenging London comprehensive and a graduate of the Teach First scheme. He is currently an education consultant.

Patrick-BuryPatrick Bury also writes on defence and foreign policy. Patrick is a former captain in the Royal Irish regiment who has fought in Afghanistan, and is author of the upcoming Simon&Schuster book “Callsign Hades”.

Paul-EvansPaul Evans@paul0evans1 – writes about representative democracy and decentralisation. Paul is a London-based blogger with a mixed track-record over at Never Trust a Hippy and the Local Democracy Blog.

Dr-Prateek-BuchDr Prateek Buch@PrateekBuch – is a Liberal Democrat activist in Waltham Forest, and an executive member of the Social Liberal Forum. Prateek works as a research scientist.

Richard-DarlingtonRichard Darlington@RDarlo – is Head of News at IPPR. He was Special Adviser to Douglas Alexander at DFID and advised Douglas Alexander in his role as Labour’s General Election Co-ordinator. After the election he was Head of the Open Left project at Demos and was previously Special Adviser to Ruth Kelly at DfE.

Richard-ExellRichard Exell also writes on labour market issues. He is the TUC’s senior policy officer covering social security, tax credits and labour market issues, including the debates about the European social model and labour market flexibility. He represents the TUC on the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, as well as with Unemployed Workers’ Centres, and he also writes at Touchstone.

Robert-RobinsonRoland Marcelin-Horne@RoMarcelinHorne – writes for Left Foot Forward on all areas of policy and on political events of all parties. Roland is a Labour blogger and activist, social entrepreneur, business owner, school governor and supporter of all things Welsh and Irish; he is the creative director of Aquarium Architecture.

Robert-RobinsonRobert Robinson@robertwrobinson – writes on domestic politics and policy. He has a background in education policy and also works in the coffee business, @flatcapcoffeeco.

Ruwan-SubasingheRuwan Subasinghe@RuwanSubasinghe – Ruwan writes for Left Foot Forward on workers’ rights and trade unions. He is an in-house lawyer at the International Transport Workers’ Federation, a Global Union Federation of 779 transport trade unions representing over 4.6 million workers worldwide. He writes for Left Foot Forward in a personal capacity.

Sam-BaconSam Bacon@sambaconsam – writes for Left Foot Forward about international development and foreign affairs. Sam is the UK Government Relations Coordinator at the Global Poverty Project and an ex-community organiser.

salmanSalman Shaheen@SalmanShaheen – is the Editor of International Tax Review magazine and a freelance journalist. He was written for the Times of India, New Statesman, Evening Standard, New Internationalist and Liberal Conspiracy and co-hosted First Edition with Jon Snow. Salman graduated with a double first in social & political sciences from Jesus College, Cambridge and an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia. He writes for Left Foot Forward on politics, economics and tax.

Sara-IbrahimSara Ibrahim@sara_e_ibrahim – writes for Left Foot Forward on foreign affairs and legal issues. Sara is the chair of the Young Fabians and a barrister.

Sarah-MulleySarah Mulley@sarahmulley – writes on immigration policy. She is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) and has previously worked for the UK Aid Network, the Global Economic Governance Programme, and HM Treasury.

Seph-BrownSeph Brown@SephRBrown – Seph writes for Left Foot Forward on the Middle East and Foreign Policy. He is the Events and Membership Officer for the Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu). He previously worked with the Palestinian Authority on economic and trade issues and has worked for the Labour Party as a parliamentary researcher and General Election organiser.

Shamik-DasShamik Das@shamikdas – is the former editor of Left Foot Forward. He read maths at UCL and has passed the NCTJ journalism training course. His biggest passion is watching, playing and commenting on cricket. Shamik’s personal blog can be found at www.shamik.co.uk.

Shashank-JoshiShashank Joshi@ShashJ – writes on foreign policy, in particular the Middle East and North Africa. He is a doctoral student of international relations at the Department of Government, Harvard University, and an Associate Fellow at he Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. Shashank’s blog can be found at shashankjoshi.wordpress.com.

Shelly-AsquithShelly Asquith@ShellyAsquith – is a campaigns assistant at One Society.

Sophia-ParkerSophia Parker@sophiaparker – writes on economic inequality and the impact of government policies on different social classes. She is a Research Associate at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and previously worked for the Resolution Foundation, as Director of Policy and Research and then Acting Director.

Stephen-HendersonStephen Henderson@Malarky67 – writes for Left Foot Forward on cancer-related issues; he is a bioinformatics researcher at the University College London Cancer Institute.

Sue-MarshSue Marsh@suey2y – writes for Left Foot Forward on disability rights and health issues. She is a campaigner against public service cuts and has long campaigned against the Welfare Reform and Health and Social Care acts; Sue blogs at Diary of a Benefit Scrounger.

Sunder-KatwalaSunder Katwala@nextleft – is the general secretary of the Fabian Society, the world’s oldest think tank; he blogs at Next Left and Liberal Conspiracy.

Tim-HortonTim Horton@timjhorton – is research director of the Fabian Society. Prior to this he worked in the Labour Party’s Policy Unit and in 2005 was a Special Adviser at the Department of Trade and Industry. Before this he was a policy analyst in HM Treasury’s Enterprise and Growth Unit.

Toby-ThomasToby Thomas@tobyjthomas – is an intern at Left Foot Forward and has just graduated from Oxford with a degree in History. He is a fervent Liverpool FC fan.

Tom-MudddimerTom Muddimer@TomMuddimer – writes on labour markets, housing and welfare in the UK. He is a SOAS Development Studies postgraduate where his research interests were rural labour markets in sub-Saharan Africa. Tom is a waiter and enjoys outdoor swimming.

Tom-RouseTom Rouse@TRouse11 – is an activist with Yes! To Fairer Votes in the West Midlands. Tom is the co-founder/editor of The Grapevine website.

Tony-BurkeTony Burke@TonyBurke2010 – writes for Left Foot Forward on manufacturing policy and workers’ rights. He is the assistant general secretary of Unite, a member of the TUC Executive Committee and General Council, a member of the Labour Party National Policy Forum, the trade union co-ordinator for the Morning Star newspaper and chair of the Campaign For Trade Union Freedom. As well as LFF, he contributes to The Manufacturer blog and runs his own blog at Power In A Union.

Tony-DolphinTony Dolphin writes for Left Foot Forward on economics. He is senior economist at the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) and has previously worked for the Treasury and Department for Education.

Will-HorwitzWill Horwitz@willhorwitz – writes for Left Foot Forward on inequality and the benefits system; he works in the policy team of Community Links, an innovative east London charity based in Newham. Will also volunteers for The Equality Trust, and has previously worked for Oxfam on UK poverty issues.

Zoe-GannonZoe Gannon@compassoffice – writes for Left Foot Forward on a range of political and economic issues, including banking, taxation and the pharmaceutical industry; she is the head of research and clerk to the High Pay Commission set up by the think tank Compass.

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