Mike was elected as Batley and Spen's first Labour MP on May 1 1997. He was re-elected at the general election in 2001 with an increased share of the vote and again in 2005 with an increased majority. He was re-elected in 2010 on the new constituency boundaries.
Mike joined the Labour Party in 1966. His political interests include: law and order, animal welfare, transport, employment, health and the environment. He is a member of the Parliamentary groups on homelessness, transport, Indo-British affairs, animal welfare, ME, disablement, human rights and alcohol misuse. He is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs.
Since 1997 Mike has taken issue with a number of Government policies - particularly on benefit, human rights and civil liberties issues, the war on Iraq, university top-up fees, foundation hospitals, the Ghurkhas and the privatisation of Royal Mail. This stubborn independence is a trait with which local people seem to identify.
Mike is secretary of the alcohol and drug harm reduction and treatment group, a member of the Campaign for State Education and the Working Class Movement Library and a friend of Birzeit University.
From 1980 to 1988 he represented Cleckheaton, which was then his hometown, as a councillor on Kirklees Council. During that time he was chair of the housing and then social services committees and was deputy leader of the council. He still maintains a keen interest in local government and defending public services.
Locally, he has been patron of local charities and events as well as working to protect the Post Office network and fighting to protect, improve and develop local schools.
Mike trained as a probation officer and has a degree in history and politics from Leeds Metropolitan University. Other than politics his interests including reading, music, sport, ornithology and walking. He was also the founder member of two workers' co-operatives.
Mike supports Liverpool FC and is vice president of Batley Bulldogs Rugby League Club.
Mike lives in Batley with his wife Christine. He has two grown up children - David and Madeleine - and two stepdaughters - Danielle and Rachael.