Early Life and Education
Mark was born and raised in Salford, Greater Manchester. He studied electrical and electronic engineering at Liverpool Polytechnic and obtained a MSc degree in Computer Science at Manchester University.
Mark qualified as a Chartered Engineer two years after finishing his Masters degree. He also holds the University of Manchester Certificate in Education teaching qualification.
Mark was elected as a Salford City Councillor in 1987 and also served as the Chair of the Eccles Constituency Labour Party from 1990 to 1994.
Mark first entered the European Parliament in 1994 representing the Central Lancashire seat.
He became an MP in a by-election in 2000 representing Preston, Walton-le-Dale and Bamber Bridge. Mark has since been re-elected in the general elections of 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2017 where he gained 24,210 votes (majority 15,723).
Mark was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the Queen's 2018 New Years Honours list for parliamentary and political service.
Mark has been:
- Member of the the European Scrutiny Committee,
- Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Margaret Beckett as Environment Secretary and Foreign Secretary
- PPS to Jack Straw the Lord High Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Justice
- PPS to Ivan Lewis, Minister of State at the Foreign Office
- Member of the International Development Committee
- Served in the Opposition Whips Office with responsibility for Foreign Affairs Shadow Ministerial Team and the International Development Shadow Ministerial Team
- Served on the HS2 Phase One Select Committee
- Served on the Foreign Affairs Committee
Currently Mark is a member of various All Party Parliamentary Country Groups (APPG) and is Chair of the Norway Group.
Mark's political interests include:
Economic, Monetary and Industrial Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defence,
Europe and International Development.