Leslie in 2017
|Deputy Leader of The Independent Group for Change|
4 June 2019 - 19 December 2019
|Gavin Shuker (Convener) &|
Chuka Umunna (Spokesperson)
|Change UK Spokesperson for Economics and Trade|
1 March 2019 - 19 December 2019
|Leader||Heidi Allen (Acting)|
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs|
13 June 2003 - 5 May 2005
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Regeneration and Regional Development|
29 May 2002 - 13 June 2003
|Nick Raynsford (1999)|
|Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office|
11 June 2001 - 29 May 2002
|Member of Parliament|
for Nottingham East
6 May 2010 - 6 November 2019
|Member of Parliament|
1 May 1997 - 11 April 2005
Christopher Michael Leslie
28 June 1972
|Political party||Independent (since 2019)|
|Change UK (2019)|
Labour and Co-operative (until 2019)
|Alma mater||University of Leeds|
Earlier in his political career, Leslie was the MP for Shipley from 1997 to 2005 and a minister in the Department for Constitutional Affairs from 2001 to 2005. Between 2005 and his 2010 re-election, he worked as the director of the New Local Government Network think-tank.
In 2015, between May and September, he served as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in the shadow cabinet of acting Labour leader Harriet Harman. In 2018, he lost a motion of no confidence by his constituency party. In February 2019, Leslie left Labour alongside six other MPs in protest at the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn to form The Independent Group, later The Independent Group for Change. He became the group's deputy leader following the resignations of Gavin Shuker and Chuka Umunna as convener and spokesperson respectively.
Born in Keighley, West Riding of Yorkshire, Leslie attended Bingley Grammar School before becoming a student at Leeds University graduating in 1994 with a BA in Politics & Parliamentary Studies, and gaining an MA in Industrial and Labour Studies in 1996.
Leslie gained the seat of Shipley as a Labour Co-operative candidate in the 1997 general election defeating Marcus Fox, the chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee and Shipley's Conservative MP since 1970. In the process, Leslie overturned a 12,382 majority, to return a 2,966 majority of his own. It was the neighbouring seat to his hometown of Keighley, another seat taken by Labour from the Conservatives in 1997.
Leslie was the Baby of the House when he first entered the Commons. He was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Falconer for three-and-a-half years. Leslie held his seat in 2001, but his majority was reduced by a half to 1,428.
Shortly before his 30th birthday, he became a junior minister in the Cabinet Office in 2001, following the recent election. In 2002, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. He then moved to spend almost two years as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Constitutional Affairs, working again under Falconer from 2003 to 2005. He never rebelled against a Government position during his first time in Parliament including voting in favour of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Leslie led Gordon Brown's successful (and uncontested) campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party in 2007. Having lost his seat in Shipley, in 2005, he became the director of the New Local Government Network, which was described in the Local Government Chronicle in 2001 as a "Blairite think-tank".
On 14 April 2010, he was selected as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Nottingham East in the general election campaign, after the National Executive Committee imposed a shortlist and selection panel, following the late resignation of the MP John Heppell.
In September 2011, he stood in the shadow cabinet elections but missed out on becoming a shadow cabinet minister, however he was promoted to Her Majesty's Opposition becoming Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury. On 7 October 2013, he was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet, becoming Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In May 2015, he was promoted to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, replacing Ed Balls, who had lost his parliamentary seat in the 2015 general election. In this role he opposed Labour's proposals for rent controls, while receiving income as a residential landlord himself.
Leslie supported Yvette Cooper in the 2015 Labour leadership election, and was critical of the economic policies of Jeremy Corbyn, calling them "starry-eyed, hard left". On 12 September 2015, Leslie resigned from the Labour front bench following the election of Corbyn as party leader. Leslie is a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.
In June 2018 Leslie published a pamphlet through the Social Market Foundation, where he is a member of the Policy Advisory Board, entitled Centre Ground: Six Values of Mainstream Britain. In August the same year The Guardian reported that "many saw the document as laying the intellectual groundwork for a future new [political] party," however Leslie denied this.
In September 2018, Leslie lost a vote of no confidence brought by his Constituency Labour Party and became the fourth Labour MP to have such a motion passed against him. The motion, brought by members of the Mapperley branch of Nottingham East, criticised Leslie for his "disloyalty and deceit", which it dubbed "a severe impediment to Labour Party electability", and as "incompatible" with Leslie continuing as the Labour candidate. Leslie did not attend the vote and had earlier remarked that the party had been infiltrated by the "intolerant hard left". Centrist Labour MPs rallied around Leslie online.
On 18 February 2019, Leslie and six other MPs (Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey) quit Labour in protest at Jeremy Corbyn's leadership to form The Independent Group. Leslie lost the Nottingham East constituency to the Labour candidate Nadia Whittome in the December 2019 United Kingdom general election, losing his deposit with 3.6% of the vote.
In February 2005, he married Nicola Murphy, a special adviser to Gordon Brown, in Westminster; the couple became engaged the previous year. In April 2016, Nicola Murphy founded Labour Tomorrow, an organisation which funds Labour-connected activists and groups who oppose Jeremy Corbyn as party leader.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
| Member of Parliament
for Nottingham East
| Baby of the House
| Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
| Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer