The Rt Hon Stephen Timms is currently the Member of Parliament for East Ham and the Shadow Minister for Employment. He is also the Labour Party's Faith Envoy.
Stephen entered Parliament in 1994 as Labour's MP for Newham North East through a by-election on 9th June 1994, and was re-elected to the new constituency of East Ham in May 1997. Stephen has concentrated on regeneration in East London - including regeneration partnerships, the Thames Gateway initiative, Stratford international station on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, and the Olympics in Newham in 2012.
Stephen was formerly Financial Secretary to the Treasury after being appointed to the position in October 2008. He had strategic oversight of taxation as a whole, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, and European and international tax issues. In August 2009 he was also appointed as Minister for Digital Britain, and was responsible for coordinating the government's aim to expand broadband access across the UK. After Ed Milliband's election as leader of the Labour Party, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment.
Since June 2007, Stephen has also been the first ever Labour Party Vice Chair for Faith Groups, and is presently working with different faith communities across the country as the Party's Faith Envoy.
Prior to his current Ministerial roles, Stephen was Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform at the Department for Work for Pensions. His portfolio included the labour market, welfare reform, Jobcentre Plus, and employment programmes such as the New Deal.
Stephen’s first Ministerial appointment was in July 1998 when he was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the then Department for Social Security. From January 1999 he served as Minister of State at the Department of Social Security, and in July 1999 he was appointed as Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
Between June 2001 and September 2004, Stephen served in a number of other Ministerial roles, including as Minister for School Standards at the Department for Education and Skills, E-Commerce and Competitiveness at the Department for Trade and Industry, and Energy, E-Commerce and Postal Services.
In September 2004, he was appointed as Financial Secretary to the Treasury for the second time, before becoming the Minister for Pensions Reform in the Department for Work and Pensions from May 2005, where he was was heavily involved with the Reform of Pensions Legislation following the publication of the Turner Commission in 2005. In May 2006 he was appointed to the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He was appointed in June 2007 as Minister for Competitiveness at the newly-formed Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, where he was responsible for enterprise, growth and business investment.
Stephen advised Labour's information society policy forum in Opposition and was the honorary president of the Telecommunications Users Association and a member of the Council of the Parliamentary Information Technology Committee. In Opposition he served on Parliamentary Standing Committees including the 1996 Broadcasting Bill, the 1996 Housing Bill and the 1995 Finance Bill. He was a member of the Treasury Select Committee from January 1996, and was Secretary of the Parliamentary Labour Party's Treasury Committee, until the 1997 election. He was also a member of the Tax Law Review Committee of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Before entering Parliament, Stephen worked in the telecommunications industry for fifteen years, first for Logica and then for Ovum. He managed Ovum's telecommunications reports business until his election. He was elected to Newham Council in 1984 and chaired the Planning Committee from 1987 to 1990, before serving as Leader of the Council from 1990 to 1994.
Stephen was born in 1955 and was educated at Farnborough Grammar School before reading mathematics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He has lived in the East London Borough of Newham since 1979, and married Hui-Leng in 1986.
Stephen is also a member of the Ramblers Association and is Chair of the Christian Socialist Movement.