Michael Dugher was elected to serve as the Member of Parliament for the Barnsley East constituency in 2010 and was re-elected with an increased majority at the 2015 General Election.
A dedicated local MP and community campaigner, Michael is patron of a number of organisations in Barnsley including: the Barnsley Independent Alzheimer's and Dementia Support (BIADS) charity, the LIVE in Barnsley music festival, Elsecar Heritage Railway, Hallam FM Cash For Kids, the Oaks 150 Colliery Memorial charity, Wombwell Operatic Society, Worsbrough Brass Band, People's Sport in Barnsley and Worsbrough Bridge Football Club. He is also a member of the Barnsley Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and a proud member of the Royal British Legion (Hoyland and District Branch).
Born in Doncaster in 1975, Michael was brought up in Edlington, then a pit village close to his constituency in South Yorkshire. He was educated at St Mary's RC primary school, Edlington, and at the McAuley RC School, Doncaster. He went on to read Politics at the University of Nottingham, graduating in 1997.
Before being elected as the MP for Barnsley East, Michael was a communications specialist working between 2008-2010 at 10 Downing Street as the Prime Minister's Chief Political Spokesman. He was previously a Special Adviser in a variety of government roles including Defence, Transport, Local Government, as well as for the Leader of the House of Commons and for the Government Chief Whip. Michael also worked in industry as UK Director of Government Relations for EDS, then a large global technology services business (now Hewlett Packard). Before working in government he was Research Officer and later Head of Policy for the AEEU engineering union (now Unite the Union) and the National Chair of Labour Students. A former shop steward, Michael is a member of both Unite the Union and Unison.
Michael spent 2011-2016 as a member of the Shadow Cabinet including as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Transport Secretary, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, Shadow Minister without Portfolio and Vice-Chair of the Labour Party. Prior to that Michael was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, as well as Shadow Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, and briefly a member of the Public Administration Select Committee.
As a backbench MP, Michael has led a number campaigns including most recently on the NHS in defence of community pharmacies, highlighting increasing poverty and the use of food banks, and in backing demands for an inquiry into Orgreave.
Michael is active in several All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) as Vice-Chair of the APPG on Heart Disease (working closely with the British Heart Foundation), Vice-Chair of the APPG for Brass Bands, and as a 'Parliamentary Champion' for the Save the Children charity. He is also a longstanding Vice-Chair of Labour Friends of Israel and a member of the Executive Committee of the British-American Parliamentary Group. Michael is passionate about supporting our Armed Forces, their families and our veterans, and is a member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.
Michael regularly writes for the Barnsley Chronicle, the Yorkshire Post and is an occasional guest presenter on We Are Barnsley Radio. A high profile MP on television and radio, he has written for the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Daily Mirror, The Sun, The Times Red Box, Huffington Post, PoliticsHome and Total Politics magazine. He is a frequent contributor to a variety of Labour journals and blogs including the New Statesman, Tribune, Labour Uncut, Labour List, Fabian Review and Progress.
His interests include music, history, films and sport. He is married to Joanna and they have two young daughters and a son. When not in Westminster, Michael and his family live in Birdwell in Barnsley.