John is the Labour Member of Parliament for Wentworth and Dearne in South Yorkshire and is Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.

He has previously held the following positions in the Shadow Cabinet and Labour Government:

  • Shadow Secretary of State for Housing
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Health
  • Minister for Housing and Planning
  • Minister for Local Government
  • Minister for Floods Recovery (2007)
  • Financial Secretary to the Treasury
  • Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Adult Skills

He has also been a member of the Education and Employment Select Committee and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

John was elected MP for Wentworth in 1997. Boundaries changed at the 2010 general election and he became the MP for Wentworth and Dearne.

John was born in Wakefield and educated at Lady Lumley’s Comprehensive School, Pickering, and St Peter’s School in York and Christ’s College, Cambridge.

He worked in the voluntary sector from 1984 to 1990 with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation and MIND campaigning to improve rights and services for disabled people. From 1990 to 1994 John worked in communications for Issue Communications, a PR company, and the MSF Union. He was Campaigns Director for the TUC from 1994 to 1997. He has also been a part-time tutor at the Open University’s Business School.

John is married with one son and lives in Rotherham.