Graham represented the constituency of Nottingham North [where he was born] as MP 1987-2017.It is one of the UK’s poorest areas, sending the fewest number of kids to university, and with double the national average of single parents and free school meals-it is the driving passion of his activity. He held a wide span of front bench portfolios, and served as Whip to the Deputy Prime Minister and then to the Chancellor ,positions he held for 5 years. He still regards himself as “a recovering whip, taking one day at a time”.
His ambition is to turn the UK into a modern democracy. He has written “Reinventing Democracy” and “The last Prime Minister; being honest about the UK Presidency “, and in 2010 was elected by Parliamentary colleagues in a secret ballot to be the Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, and working cross party produced a raft of reports on redeveloping a modern democracy including Devolution, independence for Local Government, improving voter engagement, a Citizens constitutional Convention for the UK, and, culminating in 2015, produced a Written Constitution for the UK-the first ever to be published by Parliament.
Damned as “very independent minded" by Blair’s No.10, he proved it in opposing the war in Iraq by helping to organise the two biggest parliamentary rebellions within a governing party in UK’s political history. Prime Ministerial preferment being unlikely thereafter he became a hyper-active backbench MP on behalf of his constituency. He firstly took on the executive role of Chair of Nottingham’s Local Strategic Partnership in 2005 which he renamed One Nottingham and set it the mission of making Nottingham the first “Early Intervention City”. In 2007 he wrote with Iain Duncan-Smith the seminal “Early Intervention: good parents, great kids, better citizens “underlining his reputation for getting things done by working cross party. In July 2010, the Prime Minister requested he carry out an Independent Review of Early Intervention for Her Majesty’s Government. He produced two influential reports, the first, Early Intervention: the next steps published January 2011, and the second of which, Early Intervention: Smart Investment, Massive Savings, was published in July 2011. He then set about building and funding a national Early Intervention Foundation to implement the findings of the reports ,the EIF opened for business in February 2013 and he Chaired it unpaid. Click for more info
As a “serial political entrepreneur” in 2014 he created, founded and is the unpaid Chair of the Charity “Rebalancing the Outer Estates” a unique initiative to facilitate, convene and build local and national partnerships in order to tackle outer city deprivation and replicate effective practise nationwide on jobs, skills, community and public health issues. The Charity with its high powered Board and connectivity has built an impressive list of achievements to date and has an ambitious future programme. He convened Parliament’s “20 most deprived constituencies” group.
Currently he is building support for a Citizens Convention so 10 M founding mothers and fathers can save UK democracy while there is still time. He now works only 5 rather than 7 days a week for the issues and people he cares about.