Brian White, Labour MP who saved vellum – obituary


Brian White, who has died aged 59, was Labour MP for Milton Keynes North-East from 1997 to 2005, having received the “hopeless” seat within the landslide that introduced New Labour to energy, and later a well-liked mayor of the self-proclaimed “new metropolis”.

Gaunt and bearded, White – a programs analyst by career – championed

e-commerce and was a number one gentle within the Parliamentary info expertise committee (Pitcom). But he secured a reprieve for an previous expertise when he killed a transfer to cease printing Acts of Parliament on vellum, saving 12 jobs with a neighborhood agency.

White’s legacy is his Sustainable Vitality Act of 2003, which, amongst different issues, requires the Authorities to state yearly whether or not it’s reaching local weather change targets. It scraped by the Commons with 30 seconds to spare following a fraught Committee Stage.

A former chairman of Milton Keynes planning committee, White performed a vital half within the improvement of Stadium mk, now the house of MK Dons. John Prescott was reluctant to offer planning permission, however White talked him spherical and the stadium opened in 2007.

Brian Arthur Robert White was born on Might 5 1957 and introduced up in Belfast, attending the town’s Methodist Faculty. At 17, he travelled to London. Requested at Heathrow for his passport, he declared that having arrived from one other a part of the UK he didn’t want one. He was briefly held as a doable IRA suspect.

His first job was at HM Customs and Excise’s VAT laptop headquarters in Southend. He was paid to go to racecourses and place bets, with colleagues checking whether or not they had been correctly accounted for by the bookies. He went on to play a central function in designing the computerised VAT accounting system, a lot of which continues to be in use.

In 1983 White went freelance, in Washington, Finland (the place he married) and Canada. After a brief spell with Canada Life, he joined Abbey Nationwide in 1986, staying till his election to Parliament.

He was elected to Milton Keynes council in 1987, changing into its deputy chief and secretary of the Native Authorities Affiliation Labour Group. From 1994 he additionally served on Buckinghamshire County Council.

Milton Keynes North-East was rated a certainty for the Conservatives when White was chosen to struggle it. But the anti-Tory swing was so sturdy that he captured the seat – one of many 10 Labour had least anticipated to win – by 240 votes.

At Westminster White opposed plans by native Conservatives to offer Milton Keynes a grammar faculty, spoke towards searching and applauded the Good Friday Settlement, criticising hard-line Unionists who stood out towards it.

Re-elected in 2001 with an elevated majority (1,829), he campaigned for sustainable vitality and served on the Regulatory Reform and Public Administration Choose Committees. Although he didn’t vote for the invasion of Iraq, he paid the political worth, shedding his seat in 2005 to the Conservative Mark Lancaster. 

Out of the Commons, White was re-elected to Milton Keynes council in 2007, serving till his dying. He was mayor in 2013-14. He additionally turned a marketing consultant to expertise and vitality corporations. At numerous instances he was chairman of the Nationwide Vitality Basis and the United Sustainable Vitality Company, and a board member of the Nationwide Vitality Basis and the Renewable Fuels Company.

White was identified with most cancers in Might, on the day he and his spouse deliberate to trade contracts to purchase a retirement villa in Spain. “If studying about my signs persuades only one individual to seek the advice of a physician sooner than I did, then it is going to all be price it,” he informed his native paper.

Brian White married Leena Lindholm in 1984. She survives him, along with his two stepsons.

Brian White, born Might 5 1957, died July 5 2016


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