Alan Meale

Sir Alan Meale
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment
In office
6 May 1997 – 29 July 1999
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Chris Mullin
Member of Parliament
for Mansfield
In office
11 June 1987 – 3 May 2017
Preceded by Don Concannon
Succeeded by Ben Bradley
Personal details
Born (1949-07-31) 31 July 1949 (age 71)
Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England
Nationality English
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Diana Gilhespy
Alma mater Durham University,
Sheffield Hallam University

Sir Joseph Alan Meale (born 31 July 1949) is a former British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mansfield from 1987 to 2017.

Early life

Meale attended St Joseph RC School in Bishop Auckland and studied at Ruskin College (in Oxford), and Durham University,[1] his CV also mentions Sheffield Hallam University.[2]

Meale's website lists his previous occupations as author, editor, development officer, trade union official, researcher, political adviser and journalist.[2]

Parliamentary career

Meale entered Parliament on 11 June 1987[3] and made his maiden speech on 3 July 1987 in the Tourism debate where he commented on the poverty, lack of provision, opportunity and services in the Mansfield community.[4] Meale was a whip from 1992 to 1994 when he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Prescott in Prescott's different portfolios until 1998.[5]

Meale served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions under John Prescott from January 1998 to January 1999.[1] He became a government whip Council of Europe Delegation in 2007 and acting Leader of the UK Delegation in 2010.[6] He has been the chair of the British Section of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Cyprus Group since 2007.[5]

In 1998, Michael Ancram accused Meale of "cronyism" following allegations in The Sunday Times that he had lobbied on behalf of Anthony Kleanthous, the millionaire Greek-Cypriot chairman of Barnet football club. Kleanthous wanted to build a £14 million stadium on green belt land, 140 miles from Meale's constituency. The Sunday Times article said that Britain's Greek-Cypriot lobbying groups had paid for Meale and his wife to go to Cyprus and donated thousands of pounds to Labour. Meale denied cronyism, whilst Kleanthos insisted he had not donated to the Labour party and said it was "a bit racist" to link his business interests to Greek-Cypriot political lobbying efforts based on his ethnicity.[7][8]

Meale was Vice Chair of the APPG for Cyprus,[9] and was regarded by Greek Cypriot groups as one of their "oldest and closest friends in Parliament".[10] According to Meale, he first became interested in the political situation in Cyprus back in 1987 when Tony Benn advised him to "pick a political issue and stick with it".[10]

In the run-up to the UK referendum on membership of the European Union, Meale campaigned to remain in the EU.[11]


Meale was mentioned in the Parliamentary expenses scandal having claimed £13,000 over 4 years for gardening. The limit set retrospectively by Sir Thomas Legg was £1,000 /year.[12] The Legg Report showed that Meale repaid £11,859.47.[13]

Alternative medicine

Meale was one of sixteen MPs to sign an early day motion tabled by Conservative MP David Tredinnick regretting the British Medical Association's opposition to further National Health Service funding of homoeopathy.[14]

Personal life

Meale married Diana Gilhespy on 10 March 1983, his second wife; he has a son and daughter from his first marriage in 1970. Meale was knighted by Prince Charles officiating at the ceremony in January, 2012, after the 2011 Birthday Honours list was announced, chosen for his "public and political service".[15][16][17]


  1. ^ a b "Politics – Ask Aristotle: Alan Meale MP". London: Guardian Newspapers. Archived from the original on 30 November 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Alan Meale MP – personal website". Archived from the original on 7 May 2009.
  3. ^ "Alan Meale:Labour MP for Mansfield". Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  4. ^ "House of Commons debates:Tourism". 3 July 1987. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  5. ^ a b "BBC Democracy Live:Alan Meale". BBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  6. ^ "PACE Member File". Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  7. ^ "UK Politics:Minister denies cronyism allegation". BBC News. 25 October 1998. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  8. ^ Sengupta, Kim (26 October 1998). "Millionaire: I paid no cash to Labour". Independent. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  9. ^ "British-Cyprus All-Party Parliamentary Group". Parliament UK. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  10. ^ a b Gavos, Thasanis (1 August 2014). "Sir Alan Meale: The Cyprus issue will be over and we'll all wonder why it took so long". Famagusta Gazette. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  11. ^ "EU vote: Where the cabinet and other MPs stand". BBC News. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  12. ^ Swaine, Jon (11 December 2009). "MPs' expenses: Alan Meale won battle over £1,300 for 'garden cabin'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  13. ^ "Review of past ACA payments" (PDF). House of Commons Members Estimate Committee. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  14. ^ Tredinnick, David (29 June 2010). "Early Day Motion No. 342 British Medical Association Motions on Homeopathy". Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  15. ^ "Sir Alan knighted by Prince Charles". Chad, Mansfield local newspaper, 18 January 2012, p.24 Accessed 29 March 2017
  16. ^ "No. 59808". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2011. p. 2.
  17. ^ "Queen's birthday honours list: Knights". The Guardian. London. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.

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