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About Ian Swales

Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar Constituency

I was elected as the new MP for Redcar constituency in May 2010, overturned Labour MP Vera Baird's 12,116 majority with a swing of 21.8%. This was England's largest swing and the largest swing between any of the three largest parties at the 2010 general election and is a significant result in what has long been considered a Labour stronghold.

Redcar constituency 2010 General Election Result in full

Ian and Family at Jubilee Garden Party, Borough Park

I was born in Leeds and grew up in Harrogate. Following a Chemical Engineering degree at Manchester University I joined Yorkshire Electricity and qualified as an Accountant in 1977. I moved to Teesside in 1978 to join ICI and settled in Redcar with my wife Pat. Pat is a Durham miner's daughter whose family used to come to Redcar on holiday. We have 3 wonderful children who all went to school in Redcar and who have given us 5 grandchildren (so far).

At ICI I held a wide variety of financial and business management roles and my work here took me all over the world. At one time I had staff spread across Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. I worked at ICI's European HQ in Brussels for 3 years in the 1980s and took part in major chemical industry re-structuring. In 1997 I moved to become global Head of Leadership Development for ICI before leaving in 1999 to start my own training and consultancy business. My clients have ranged from venture capital companies and start-ups to large public and private organisations.

I contested the 2005 General Election in the Redcar constituency and achieved large swings against both Labour and Conservative parties.

Redcar constituency2005 General Election Result in full

My priority is always jobs and I am constantly working to encourage new business to consider Redcar constituency, existing business to expand and for the Government to plough further investment in the area.

One of my priorities in Parliament is the work I do on the Public Accounts Committee. Through this work I have taken an active interest in big businesses who are not paying their taxes and I am passionate about making sure that taxes really are fair, and that means everyone paying their fair share. If you want to know more about this and the work I have done over the years on the Public Accounts Committee then please click here.

In my spare time I try to help local organisations and campaigns on important local issues. I was very active in Redcar Swimming Club and since the closure of the pool I have been campaigning for a new one. I am looking forward to this becoming a reality in early 2014 and hope to have some involvement. I have also been on the Committee of Coatham Memorial Hall for many years.

Some of my other interests and hobbies include walking, travelling, keeping fit, cooking, reading and community activity.