Sir Michael Cathel Fallon is a British politician of the Conservative Party serving as the Member of Parliament for Sevenoaks since 1997. From 2014 to 2017, he was Secretary of State for Defence and a member of the National Security Council, he was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Minister of State for Energy, Minister of State for Portsmouth. Fallon was born in Scotland, to Martin Fallon OBE, a surgeon, he was educated at Craigflower Preparatory School near Dunfermline and at Epsom College, an independent boys' school in Surrey. He read Classics and Ancient History at the University of St Andrews, graduating in 1974 with a Master of Arts degree; as a student, Fallon was active in the European Movement and the "Yes" youth campaign in the 1975 referendum. After university he joined the Conservative Research Department, working first for Lord Carrington in the House of Lords until 1977 and as European Desk Officer until 1979, he became Research Assistant to Baroness Elles in 1979, around the time that she became an MEP.
He was selected as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Darlington in July 1982, fought the Darlington by-election on 24 March 1983, held after the Labour MP Ted Fletcher had died. Although Fallon lost to Labour's Ossie O'Brien by 2,412 votes, he defeated O'Brien 77 days by 3,438 votes in the 1983 general election, he remained MP for Darlington until the 1992 general election, when he was defeated by Labour's Alan Milburn by a margin of 2,798 votes. He re-entered Parliament at the 1997 general election, holding the safe Conservative constituency of Sevenoaks following the retirement of the sitting Tory MP, Mark Wolfson. Fallon was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Energy Cecil Parkinson following the 1987 general election, in 1988 joined the government of Margaret Thatcher as an Assistant Whip, becoming a Lord Commissioner to the Treasury in 1990. Fallon, alongside Michael Portillo and Michael Forsyth, visited Margaret Thatcher on the eve of her resignation in a last-ditch and unsuccessful attempt to persuade her to reconsider her decision.
Thatcher appointed Fallon Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Education and Science in July 1990, a position he continued to hold under the new premiership of John Major. In this office Fallon headed legislation that led to the local management of schools, which among other changes gave schools a greater degree of financial independence, including control of their own bank accounts and cheque books, he remained in that office until his 1992 general election defeat. Between 1992 and 1997, Fallon set up a chain of children’s nurseries called Just Learning with funding from the British Dragons' Den member Duncan Bannatyne, becoming chief executive. Following his return to Parliament at the 1997 general election he was appointed Opposition Spokesman for Trade and Industry and Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, but he resigned from the front-bench owing to ill-health in October 1998, remained on the backbenches until his promotion as Deputy Chairman of the Party.
From 1999 he was a member of the Treasury Select Committee, chairman of its Sub-Committee. He served as a 1922 Committee executive between 2005–07. In September 2012, he was made Privy Councillor upon his appointment as Minister for Business and Enterprise. Fallon has been a director at Tullett Prebon, a leading brokerage firm in the City of London, one of the biggest supporters of the privatisation of Royal Mail. In January 2014, Fallon was appointed Minister for Portsmouth, subsequently being promoted to the Cabinet, on 15 July 2014, as Secretary of State for Defence. In February 2016, the week after a leaked United Nations report had found the Saudi-led coalition guilty of conducting "widespread and systematic" air strikes against civilians in Yemen – including camps for internally displaced people, schools, religious centers and markets – and the same day the International Development Select Committee had said that the UK should end all arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of ongoing, large-scale human rights violations by the Kingdom's armed forces in Yemen, Fallon was criticised for attending a £450-a-head dinner for an arms-industry trade-body.
In December 2016, Fallon admitted that UK-supplied internationally banned cluster munitions had been used in Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign in Yemen. In April 2017, Fallon confirmed that the UK would use its nuclear weapons in a "pre-emptive initial strike" in "the most extreme circumstances" on BBC Radio's Today programme. In an interview by The Daily Telegraph in 2016, before the EU membership referendum, Fallon described himself as Eurosceptic, critical of many aspects of the EU, but said that he wanted Britain to remain in the EU, in the face of multiple threats from Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and international terrorism. During the run-up to the 2015 general election, Fallon wrote an article in The Times saying that Ed Miliband had stabbed his brother in the back to become Labour leader and he would stab Britain in the back to become prime minister. Fallon subsequently declined the opportunity to describe Miliband as a decent person and his comments embarrassed some Conservative supporters.
Miliband's response saying that Fallon had fallen below his usual standards and demeaned himself were seen by the New Statesman as dignified, contrasting with Fallon's counter-productive personal attack. According to The Daily Telegraph Fallon, Deputy Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, claimed for mortgage repayments on his Westminster flat in their entirety. MPs ar
2005 United Kingdom general election
The 2005 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 5 May 2005, to elect 646 members to the House of Commons. The Labour Party led by Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, with Blair becoming the only Labour leader beside Harold Wilson to form three majority governments. However, its majority now stood at 66 seats compared to the 160-seat majority it had held; as of 2019, it remains the last general election victory for the Labour Party. The Labour campaign emphasised a strong economy. Despite this, Labour retained its leads over the Conservatives in opinion polls on economic competence and leadership, Conservative leaders Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard struggled to capitalise on Blair's unpopularity, with the party trailing Labour in the polls throughout the 2001-5 Parliament; the Conservatives campaigned on policies, such as immigration limits, improving poorly-managed hospitals and reducing high crime rates, all under the slogan "Are you thinking what we're thinking?".
The Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, were opposed to the Iraq War, given that there had been no second UN resolution, collected votes from disenchanted Labour voters. Tony Blair was returned as Prime Minister, with Labour having 355 MPs, but with a popular vote of 35.2%. In terms of votes, it was only narrowly ahead of the Conservatives, but still had a comfortable lead in terms of seats; the Conservatives returned 198 MPs, with 32 more seats than they had won at the previous general election, won the popular vote in England, while still ending up with 91 fewer MPs in England than Labour. The Liberal Democrats saw their popular vote increase by 3.7% and won the most seats of any third party since 1923, with 62 MPs. Anti-war activist and former Labour MP George Galloway was elected as the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow under the Respect – The Unity Coalition banner. In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party, the more moderate of the main unionist parties, which had dominated Northern Irish politics since the 1920s, was reduced from six MPs to one, with party leader David Trimble himself being unseated.
The more hardline Democratic Unionist Party became the largest Northern Irish party, with nine MPs elected. Following the election, Conservative leader Michael Howard resigned and was succeeded by future Prime Minister David Cameron. Blair resigned as both Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party in June 2007, was replaced by then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown; the election results were broadcast live on the BBC, presented by Peter Snow, David Dimbleby, Jeremy Paxman and Andrew Marr. The governing Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, was looking to secure a third consecutive term in office and to retain a large majority; the Conservative Party was seeking to regain seats lost to both Labour and the Liberal Democrats since the 1992 general election, move from being the Official Opposition into government. The Liberal Democrats hoped to make gains from both main parties, but the Conservative Party, with a "decapitation" strategy targeting members of the Shadow Cabinet; the Lib Dems had wished to become the governing party, or to make enough gains to become the Official Opposition.
In Northern Ireland the Democratic Unionist Party sought to make further gains from the Ulster Unionist Party in unionist politics, Sinn Féin hoped to overtake the Social Democratic and Labour Party in nationalist politics.. The pro-independence Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru stood candidates in every constituency in Scotland and Wales respectively. Many seats were contested by other parties, including several parties without incumbents in the House of Commons. Parties that were not represented at Westminster, but had seats in the devolved assemblies and/or the European Parliament, included the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, the UK Independence Party, the Green Party of England and Wales, the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Socialist Party; the Health Concern party stood again. A full list of parties which declared their intention to run can be found on the list of parties contesting the 2005 general election. All parties campaigned using such tools as party manifestos, party political broadcasts and touring the country in what are referred to as battle buses.
Local elections in parts of England and in Northern Ireland were held on the same day. The polls were open for fifteen hours, from 07:00 to 22:00 BST; the election came just over three weeks after the dissolution of Parliament on 11 April by Queen Elizabeth II, at the request of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Following the death of Pope John Paul II on 2 April, it was announced that the calling of the election would be delayed until 5 April. Thanks to eight years of sustained economic growth Labour could point to a strong economy, with greater investment in public services such as education and health; this was overshadowed, however, by the issue of the controversial 2003 invasion of Iraq, which met widespread public criticism at the time, would dog Blair throughout the campaign. The Chancellor, G
The Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside is a metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England, is part of the Tyneside conurbation. The borough council's main office is at Cobalt Business Park in Wallsend; the local authority is North Tyneside Council. North Tyneside is bounded by Newcastle upon Tyne to the west, the North Sea to the east, the River Tyne to the south and Northumberland to the north. Within its bounds are the towns of Wallsend, North Shields and Whitley Bay, which form a continuously built-up area contiguous with Newcastle; the borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the county borough of Tynemouth, with the borough of Wallsend, part of the borough of Whitley Bay, the urban district of Longbenton and part of the urban district of Seaton Valley, all of which were in Northumberland. The following places are located in North Tyneside: Annitsford Backworth Battle Hill Benton Burradon Camperdown Cullercoats Dudley Earsdon Forest Hall Holystone Howdon Killingworth Longbenton Meadow Well Monkseaton Moorside Murton New York North Shields Northumberland Park Palmersville Percy Main Preston Seaton Burn Shiremoor Tynemouth Wallsend Wellfield West Allotment West Moor Whitley Bay Willington Unlike most English districts, its council is led by a directly-elected mayor Labour's Norma Redfearn.
As of March 2016, the council is Labour led, Labour having 51 councillors, the Conservatives 7 and the Lib Dems 2. The council is elected "in thirds", with one councillor from each three-member ward elected each year for the first three years, the mayoral election being held on the fourth year. With three councillors elected from each of 20 wards, there are 60 councillors in total. Riverside By-Election, 4 July 2013 - Labour hold Wallsend By-Election, 16 November 2012 - Liberal Democrat gain from Labour For earlier results see North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council elections. North Tyneside lies in the coalfield that covers the South-East of the historic county of Northumberland, it has traditionally been a centre of heavy industry along with the rest of Tyneside, with for example the Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend, export of coal. Today most of the heavy industry has gone, leaving high unemployment in some areas; the borough is the 69th most deprived in England, out of 354. However some parts function as wealthy dormitory suburbs such as Tynemouth.
Recent growth has come in the A19 corridor with retail parks. Two key roads serve North Tyneside: The A19 which leaves the A1 north of Newcastle and runs through the borough and through the Tyne Tunnel to South Tyneside and towards the South; the Coast Road runs from Newcastle to the coast. For most of its length it is grade-separated. North Tyneside is served by 17 stations on the Tyne & Wear Metro on a loop from Newcastle through Wallsend, North Shields, Whitley Bay and back to Newcastle. Trains operate at least every 15 minutes, with extra services in the peak hours. Most of the stations serving North Tyneside fall into fare zones B and C. There are no National Rail stations in the borough, despite the East Coast Main Line and Blyth and Tyne routes passing through; the nearest National Rail station is Newcastle, served by the Tyne & Wear Metro. North Tyneside has an extensive bus network, with most areas benefiting from direct services to Newcastle. Many areas have direct bus services to Blyth or Morpeth.
The principle bus operators in the area are Arriva North East, Go North East and Stagecoach in Newcastle. The Shields Ferry links North Shields to South Shields, in South Tyneside. There is an international ferry terminal at Royal Quays in North Shields, with a service to Amsterdam. Segedunum Roman fort is in Wallsend; the Stephenson Railway Museum in New York, named after George Stephenson and Robert Stephenson who hailed from Tyneside and lived in West Moor in North Tyneside 1802–1824. Tynemouth Castle and Priory North Tyneside includes coastline covering Tynemouth and Whitley Bay Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth St. Mary's Island in Whitley Bay North Shields Fish Quay, Clifford's Fort and the High and Low Lights of North Shields Frederikshavn in Denmark Mönchengladbach in Germany Oer-Erkenschwick in Germany Halluin in France Klaipėda in Lithuania Coatzacoalcos in Mexico Charlotte in North Carolina Archives of North Tyneside (including boroughs of Tynemouth and Whitley Bay and Longbenton Urban District are preserved and accessible at Tyne and Wear Archives Service Wallsend Town Information regarding the town centre and areas covering Wallsend in North Tyneside can be found here
The NHS Confederation the National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts, is a membership body for organisations that commission and provide National Health Service services founded in 1990. The predecessor organisation was called The National Association of Health Authorities in England & Wales, it has offices in England and Northern Ireland. NHS Confederation income is generated via number of different activities. 48% is generated through membership subscriptions. Income is re-invested in the delivery of the NHS Confederation’s charitable objectives and in the development and delivery of its member products and services; the NHS Confederation trustees annual report and accounts are published on the Charity Commission's website. The NHS Confederation represents organisations that provide NHS services, its members include acute trusts, ambulance trusts, community health service providers, foundation trusts, mental health providers, clinical commissioning groups, some independent and voluntary sector healthcare organisations that deliver services within the NHS.
It claims to represent the NHS as a whole and has a number of networks to support its members in areas of specific concern to their part of the healthcare system. These include: Mental Health Network NHS Partners Network NHS Clinical Commissioners National Association of Primary Care Association of Ambulance Chief Executives Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care Welsh NHS Confederation NHS European Office NHS Employers organisation. NHS Providers known as the Foundation Trust Network, was a network within the NHS Confederation until it decided to become independent in 2011; the NHS Confederation delivers a number of industry-wide support functions for the NHS including: the NHS Employers organisation that represent trusts in England on workforce issues the NHS European Office that promotes the priorities and interests of the NHS to European Institutions and provides information and advice to NHS trusts on relevant European Union developments The NHS Confederation holds an annual conference and exhibition for chairs, chief executives and non-executive directors' senior figures and decision makers from health and social care.
The NHS Confederation produces regular reports on key health care issues. View their publication online, it produces an annual guide to the NHS called the NHS Handbook The Chief Executive is Niall Dickson. The current chairman is Stephen Dorrell. NHS Confederation website Annual conference & exhibition website NHS Confederation events and seminars NHS Confederation reports NHS Employers
David William Donald Cameron is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016. He was the Member of Parliament for Witney from 2001 to 2016 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2005 to 2016, he identifies as a one-nation conservative, has been associated with both economically liberal and liberal policies. Born in London to an upper-middle-class family, Cameron was educated at Heatherdown School, Eton College, Brasenose College, Oxford. From 1988 to 1993 he worked at the Conservative Research Department, assisting the Conservative Prime Minister John Major, before leaving politics to work for Carlton Communications in 1994. Becoming an MP in 2001, he served in the opposition shadow cabinet under Conservative leader Michael Howard, succeeded Howard in 2005. Cameron sought to rebrand the Conservatives, embracing an socially liberal position; the 2010 general election led to Cameron becoming Prime Minister as the head of a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats – the youngest holder of the office since the 1810s.
His premiership was marked by the ongoing effects of the late-2000s financial crisis. His administration introduced large-scale changes to welfare, immigration policy and healthcare, it privatised the Royal Mail and some other state assets, legalised same-sex marriage in Great Britain. Internationally, his government intervened militarily in the Libyan Civil War and authorised the bombing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; when the Conservatives secured an unexpected majority in the 2015 general election he remained as Prime Minister, this time leading a Conservative-only government. To fulfil a manifesto pledge, he introduced a referendum on the UK's continuing membership of the EU. Cameron supported continued membership. Cameron has been praised for modernising the Conservative Party and for decreasing the United Kingdom's national deficit. Conversely, he has been criticised by figures on both the left and right, has been accused of elitism and political opportunism. Cameron is the younger son of Ian Donald Cameron a stockbroker, his wife Mary Fleur, a retired Justice of the Peace and a daughter of Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet.
Cameron's parents were married on 20 October 1962. The journalist Toby Young has described Cameron's background as being "upper-upper-middle class". Cameron was born in Marylebone and raised at Peasemore in Berkshire, he has a brother, Alexander Cameron QC, a barrister, two sisters, Tania Rachel and Clare Louise. His father, was born at Blairmore House near Huntly and died near Toulon, France, on 8 September 2010. Blairmore was built by Cameron's great-great-grandfather, Alexander Geddes, who had made a fortune in the grain trade in Chicago, before returning to Scotland in the 1880s. Blairmore was sold soon after Ian's birth. Cameron has said, "On my mother's side of the family, her mother was a Llewellyn, so Welsh. I'm a real mixture of Scottish and English." He has referenced the German Jewish ancestry of one of his great-grandfathers, Arthur Levita, a descendant of the Yiddish author Elia Levita. From the age of seven, Cameron was educated at two independent schools: at Heatherdown School in Winkfield in Berkshire, which counts Prince Andrew and Prince Edward among its old boys.
Owing to good grades, Cameron entered its top academic class two years early. At the age of thirteen, he went on to Eton College in Berkshire, following his father and elder brother, his early interest was in art. Six weeks before taking his O-Levels he was caught smoking cannabis, he admitted the offence and had not been involved in selling drugs, so he was not expelled. Cameron passed twelve O-Levels and three A-levels: History of art, he obtained three'A' grades and a'1' grade in the Scholarship Level exam in Economics and Politics. The following autumn, he passed the entrance exam for the University of Oxford, was offered an exhibition at Brasenose College. After leaving Eton in 1984, Cameron started a nine-month gap year. For three months he worked as a researcher for his godfather Tim Rathbone Conservative MP for Lewes, during which time he attended debates in the House of Commons. Through his father, he was employed for a further three months in Hong Kong by Jardine Matheson as a'ship jumper', an administrative post.
Returning from Hong Kong, Cameron visited the Soviet Union, where he was approached by two Russian men speaking fluent English. Cameron was told by one of his professors that it was "definitely an attempt" by the KGB to recruit him. In October 1985, Cameron began his Bachelor of Arts course in Philosophy and Economics at Brasenose College, Oxford, his tutor, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, has described him as "one of the ablest" students he has taught, with "moderate and sensible Conservative" political views. Guy Spier, who shared tutorials with him, remembers him as an outstanding student: "We were doing our be
A trade union called a labour union or labor union, is an association of workers in a particular trade, industry, or company created for the purpose of securing improvement in pay, working conditions or social and political status through collective bargaining and working conditions through the increased bargaining power wielded by creation of a monopoly of the workers. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with employers; the most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring and promotion of workers, workplace safety and policies. Unions may organize a particular section of skilled workers, a cross-section of workers from various trades, or attempt to organize all workers within a particular industry; the agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers.
Trade unions traditionally have a constitution which details the governance of their bargaining unit and have governance at various levels of government depending on the industry that binds them to their negotiations and functioning. Originating in Great Britain, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution. Trade unions may be composed of individual workers, past workers, apprentices or the unemployed. Trade union density, or the percentage of workers belonging to a trade union, is highest in the Nordic countries. Since the publication of the History of Trade Unionism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the predominant historical view is that a trade union "is a continuous association on wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment." Karl Marx described trade unions thus: "The value of labour-power constitutes the conscious and explicit foundation of the trade unions, whose importance for the working class can scarcely be overestimated.
The trade unions aim at nothing less than to prevent the reduction of wages below the level, traditionally maintained in the various branches of industry. That is to say, they wish to prevent the price of labour-power from falling below its value". A modern definition by the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that a trade union is "an organization consisting predominantly of employees, the principal activities of which include the negotiation of rates of pay and conditions of employment for its members."Yet historian R. A. Leeson, in United we Stand, said: Two conflicting views of the trade-union movement strove for ascendancy in the nineteenth century: one the defensive-restrictive guild-craft tradition passed down through journeymen's clubs and friendly societies... the other the aggressive-expansionist drive to unite all'labouring men and women' for a'different order of things'. Recent historical research by Bob James in Craft, Trade or Mystery puts forward the view that trade unions are part of a broader movement of benefit societies, which includes medieval guilds, Oddfellows, friendly societies, other fraternal organizations.
The 18th century economist Adam Smith noted the imbalance in the rights of workers in regards to owners. In The Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapter 8, Smith wrote: We hear, it has been said, of the combination of masters, though of those of workmen, but whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate When workers combine, masters... never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combination of servants and journeymen. As Smith noted, unions were illegal for many years in most countries, although Smith argued that it should remain illegal to fix wages or prices by employees or employers. There were severe penalties for including execution. Despite this, unions were formed and began to acquire political power resulting in a body of labour law that not only legalized organizing efforts, but codified the relationship between employers and those employees organized into unions.
The origins of trade unions can be traced back to 18th century Britain, where the rapid expansion of industrial society taking place drew women, rural workers and immigrants into the work force in large numbers and in new roles. They encountered a large hostility in their early existence from employers and government groups; this pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labour spontaneously organized in fits and starts throughout its beginnings, would be an important arena for the development of trade unions. Trade unions have sometimes been seen as successors to the guilds of medieval Europe, though the relationship between the two is disputed, as the masters of the guilds employed workers who were not allowed to organize. Trade unions and collective bargaining were outlawed from no than the middle of the 14th century when the Ordinance of Labourers was enacted in the Kingdom of England but their way of thinking was the one that endured dur
Frank Gordon Dobson is a British Labour Party politician. He was the Member of Parliament for Holborn and St. Pancras from 1979 to 2015, he served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Health from 1997-1999, was the official Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London in 2000 finishing third in the election, behind Conservative Steven Norris and the winner, Labour-turned-Independent Ken Livingstone. Dobson stood down at the United Kingdom general election, 2015. Dobson was born in York in 1940, his father, a railwayman, died. Dobson attended Dunnington County Church of England Primary School and the Archbishop Holgate Grammar School, he studied Economics at the London School of Economics, gaining a BSc in 1962. He worked at the headquarters of the Central Electricity Generating Board from 1962-1970 and for the Electricity Council from 1970-75. After contesting a seat on Camden London Borough Council in 1964, he was elected in 1971 and was chosen unopposed as Labour Group Leader and therefore Leader of the Council, after the resignation of Millie Miller in 1973.
He stood down as Leader and resigned from the Council in 1975 on taking up a non-partisan job as Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Local Ombudsman, which he held until 1979. At the 1979 general election, Dobson was elected as MP for St Pancras South, he voted for Tony Benn for Labour Deputy Leader in 1981 but thereafter became disillusioned, chose to align with what he called the "sane left". His pugnacious style of politics earned him rapid promotion to the front bench where he served in several important posts from 1982, he once remarked about Hazel Blears, 4'10" in height, "The good thing about global warming is that Hazel Blears will be the first to go when the water rises." After the privatisation of the Rover Group in 1988 he quipped, "The price charged for Rover was so low that there is some suspicion that Lord Young thought it was a dog." As Spokesman on Environment and London from 1994, he led the national Labour response to the series of scandals over City of Westminster council and its former leader Shirley Porter.
Following Labour's landslide victory at the 1997 general election, Dobson was appointed as Secretary of State for Health. This was a high-profile post but Dobson found it hard to make a big impact, he faced interference from civil servants, who would claim that Blair raised the issue of further private sector involvement in meetings with Dobson, which Dobson said to them "just wasn't true". He had his hands tied by the decision to stick within spending limits set by the previous Conservative government. Dobson wrote a memo to Blair, saying "If you want a first-class service, you have to pay a first-class fare – and we're not doing it." When money was diverted to the NHS, Blair credited Dobson for kickstarting it. Dobson's abolition of the internal market in the NHS was reversed by his successor, Alan Milburn, who Dobson has said was "carried away with the idea that the private sector could make a big contribution". Dobson was manoeuvered by the Labour Party leadership into announcing his resignation as an MP in order to stand as Mayor of London in the inaugural elections.
He beat Ken Livingstone in the Labour Party's internal selection, helped by its electoral college system and the absence of any requirement for affiliated trade unions to ballot their members. In May 2000, Livingstone won the Mayoral election as an independent candidate. Dobson finished in third place behind the Conservative candidate Steven Norris, just ahead of the Liberal Democrat candidate Susan Kramer. Dobson was subsequently re-elected as an MP, albeit with reduced majorities, at the 2001 and 2005 general elections. In 2000, Dobson was named "Beard 2000" by the Beard Liberation Front, amid controversy over his claim that Labour spin doctors had told him to shave off his prize-winning beard for the upcoming elections for Mayor of London. Dobson said that he had told them to "Stick it up their wickit". Frank Dobson has been the subject of controversy for living in a council flat whilst receiving a six-figure ministerial salary, he continues to live there, despite owning a large property in Yorkshire.
In an interview in July 2014, he responded to this criticism, saying: "I first lived there when we were subtenants of a subtenant of a private landlord. We were sold to Camden council. What should I have done? Exercised the right to buy, which I voted against?"In the Labour leadership controversy following Tony Blair's declaration he would step down within a year of September 2006, Dobson called for Blair to step down right away and end uncertainty. He attacked Alan Milburn for making a "terrible mess" of the NHS. Milburn had been mentioned by Charles Clarke as a potential future Labour leader several hours earlier. Dobson has been criticised for hypocrisy for saying he was against Post Office closures voting for their closure in Parliament. In the expenses scandal, he supported the Speaker of the House in his attempts to block exposure of expenses – arguing he was being scapegoated, he supported the Speaker in allowing a warrant-less search of the offices of Member of Parliament, Damian Green.
A survey of his constituents revealed that, in 2008, Dobson responded to 69 letters out of 269 sent through WriteToThem.com, putting him in 605th place out of 638 MPs for which data was available. Dobson's brother, was a school teacher who died of liver cancer on the eve of Labour's landslide general election victory in 1997. Dobson married Janet Mary Alker in 1967, they have three children. No