Michael Lavalette
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Michael Lavalette
Michael Lavalette during a Make Poverty History Rally.

Michael Lavalette (born 1962) is a member of the Socialist Workers Party and former local councillor in Preston, Lancashire, England. He was first elected as a Socialist Alliance candidate shortly after the Iraq War began in 2003. In 2007, he was re-elected, this time standing for the Respect Party. In the Respect split in 2007 he remained loyal to the SWP and broke with George Galloway.[1] Re-elected in 2012 as an Independent Socialist, he was affiliated with TUSC until he retired from his seat in 2015.[2]

He is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Liverpool Hope University, formerly having worked at both Liverpool and Central Lancashire universities. Along with Chris Jones, Iain Feguson, and Laura Penketh, he was an author of the Social Work manifesto for a new engaged practice[3] and organiser of the Liverpool and Glasgow conferences of the Social Work Action Network (SWAN), which stands in the radical social work tradition and seeks to oppose the increased managerialism and privatisation within the social work profession, and to promote social work practice based on principles of social justice.[4]

At the end of 2008 the Social Work Action Network ran a campaign defending social workers in the aftermath of the Baby P tragedy.[5] Shortly after, along with Iain Ferguson, he wrote a polemical pamphlet called 'Social Work After Baby P' that included significant contributions from academics, practitioners and senior trade union officers.[6]

Lavalette originally joined his local Labour Party in North Ayrshire at the age of 16 in 1979, but by January 1981 he had left to join the SWP. In the early 1990s he moved to Preston for work and became politically active in the local labour movement.

In Preston he continues to be politically active. He is the co-ordinator of the local Stop the War Coalition. He organised a solidarity day in Preston for victims of the Asian Tsunami and has led campaigns against hospital privatisation, Islamophobia, the wars in the Middle East and support for local trade unionists on strike.

In May 2007 he was re-elected to Preston council and held his seat until May 2011, when he lost it to Labour. In December 2010 Michael Lavalette proposed a motion to Preston City Council calling for opposition to cuts, job losses and privatisations. This motion had the backing of the local trades council and of 'Preston Against Cuts'. 5 Labour councillors had voted and spoken in favour of this motion at these meetings. When it came to the full council meeting however, all the Labour councillors voted against this motion, and for an amendment supporting 'fairer' cuts backed by the Liberals and Tories.[7]

In May 2012 he contested the seat again as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition supported candidate and was re-elected.

Lavalette regularly contributes to the Lancashire Evening Post.

Electoral history

2003 Local Election

Lavalette stood as a Socialist Alliance Against the War candidate. He was well known in the area as the leader of the local Stop the War Coalition. The "Against The War" label was crucial in gaining him victory in a ward with over 40% Muslim voters.[]George Galloway was alleged to have backed Michael Lavalette in this election, which was one of the charges that led to George Galloway being expelled from the Labour Party.[8]

Preston City Council Elections: Town Centre Ward 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Socialist Alliance Michael Lavalette 546 37.81
Labour Musa Ahmed Jiwa 440 30.47
Conservative Julian Sedgewick 228 15.79
Liberal Democrats Liam Pennington 220 15.24
Majority 106 1.34
Turnout 1,444 28.0
Socialist Alliance gain from Labour Swing

2004 European Election

In 2004 he was the lead candidate in the Respect list for the 2004 European Election in the North West England region.

European Election 2004: North West England[9]
List Candidates Votes % ±
Labour Gary Titley, Arlene McCarthy, Terry Wynn
Brian Simpson, Theresa Griffin, Rosie Cooper, Albert Catterall, Rupa Huq, Ebrahim Adia
27.4 −7.1
Conservative Den Dover, David Sumberg, Robert Atkins
Jacqueline Foster, David Newns, Alfred Doran, Eveleigh Dutton, Leslie Byrom, James Mawdsley
24.2 −11.2
Liberal Democrats Chris Davies, Saj Karim
Helen Flo Clucas, Qassim Afzal, Stan Collins, Allison Seabourne, Paula Keaveney, Neil Corlett, Alison Firth
15.9 +4.2
UKIP John Whittaker
Gregg Beaman, John Browne, Gerald Kelley, Alan Weddell, Stephen Roxborough, Richard Buttrey, Graham Cannon, Roy Hopwood
257,158 11.7 +5.2
BNP Nick Griffin, Martin Wingfield, Anthony Jones, Patricia Thomson, David Joines, Ralph Ellis, Richard Chadfield, Anita Corbett, Barry Birks[10] 134,959 6.4 +5.1
Green John Whitelegg, Gina Dowding, Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, Kay Roney, Peter Cranie, Vernon Marshall, Vanessa Hall, Kenneth McIver, James Craig 117,393 5.6 +0.0
Liberal Steve Radford, David Green, Hazel Williams, Philip Burke, Christopher Lenton, Christopher Barnes, Michael Butler, Robin Radnell, Daniel Wood 96,325 4.6 +2.4
English Democrat Christine Constable, Mark Wheatley, Julia Howman, Stephen Pipe, Lauren Spratt, Phillip Evans, Robert Abrams 34,110 1.6 N/A
Respect Michael Lavalette, Ahmed Hadi, Sabiha Vorajee, Alexander McFadden, Stephen Metcalfe, Madeline Heneghan, Richard Searle, Edna Greenwood, Susan Mary Bond 24,636 1.2 N/A
Countryside Party Rodney Black, Richard Malbon, Richard Ormrod, Kevin Tomkinson 11,283 0.5 N/A
ProLife Alliance Fiona Pinto, Julia Millington, Kathleen Delarmi, Rosanne Allen, Fiona Daly 10,084 0.5 N/A
Independent Ronald Alan Neal 8,318 0.4 N/A
Turnout 2,115,163 40.9 +21.2

2005 General Election

In 2005 he stood as a Respect candidate in the Parliamentary elections for Preston coming fourth with almost 7% of the vote, saving his deposit.[11]

General Election 2005: Preston
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Mark Hendrick 17,210 50.5 -6.5
Conservative Fiona Bryce 7,803 22.9 -0.1
Liberal Democrats William Parkinson 5,701 16.7 +3.5
Respect Michael Lavalette 2,318 6.8 +6.8
UKIP Ellen Boardman 1,049 3.1 +3.1
Majority 9,407 21.6
Turnout 34,081 53.8 +4.6
Labour Co-op hold Swing -3.2

2007 Local Election

Lavalette kept his council seat, Preston Town Centre, with 1179 votes (more than 52%) increasing his majority by over 19%.[12]

Preston City Council Elections: Town Centre ward 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Respect Michael Lavalette 1,179 52.3 +14.2
Labour Salim Desai 717 31.8 +1.1
Liberal Democrats Helen Greaves 206 9.2 -6.1
Conservative Susan Horn 87 3.9 -12.0
Green Rupert Wadsworth 63 2.8 N/A
Majority 462 20.45 +19.11
Rejected ballots 7 {{{change}}}
Turnout 2,259 46.4
Respect hold Swing

2011 Local Election

In May 2011 he lost his seat to Labour. He stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate because the SWP had left Respect in 2007 and since joined TUSC.

Preston City Council Elections: Town Centre ward, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Yakub Patel 964 45.7 +13.9
TUSC Michael Lavalette 840 39.8 -12.5
Conservative Jonathan Cooper 305 14.5 +10.6
Majority 124 5.9
Rejected ballots 17 {{{change}}}
Turnout 2,109 38.9
Labour gain from TUSC Swing

2012 Local Election

Lavalette successfully stood as an independent in 2012 in the ward which he has always stood in, Town Centre. Due to making the decision to stand at the last minute he did not have time to gain documents giving him the right to stand for Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition so had to stand as an independent candidate.[]

Preston City Council Elections: Town Centre ward 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Michael Lavalette 967 48.5 N/A
Labour Salim Desai 872 43.8 +2.9
Conservative David Treasure 154 7.7 -5.2
Majority 95
Turnout 1,993
Independent gain from Labour Swing

Published works

  • The Forgotten Workforce: Scottish Children at Work (1991)(Glasgow, Scottish Low Pay Unit) ISBN 1 872466 01 X
  • Child employment in the capitalist labour market (1994) (Aldershot, Ashgate) ISBN 1 85628 600 2
  • Solidarity on the waterfront: the Liverpool lock out of 1995/96 (with Jane Kennedy) (1996) (Liverpool, Liver Press) ISBN 1 871 201 06 3
  • Social policy: a conceptual and theoretical introduction (edited with Alan Pratt) (1996)(London, Sage) ISBN 0-803-97532-5
  • Anti-racism and social welfare (edited with Laura Penketh and Chris Jones) (1998) (Aldershot, Ashgate) ISBN 1-84014-507-2
  • A thing of the past?: child labour in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (editor) (1999)(Liverpool, Liverpool University Press) ISBN 0-312-21811-7
  • Child labor: a world history companion (with Sandy Hobbs and Jim McKechnie) (1999)(New York, ABC-CLIO) ISBN 0-87436-956-8
  • Class struggle and social welfare (edited with Gerry Mooney) (2000)(London, Routledge)ISBN 0415201047
  • Social Policy: A conceptual and theoretical introduction (second edition) (Edited with Alan Pratt)(2001) (London, Sage) ISBN 0-7619-6952-7
  • Leadership and social movements (edited with Colin Barker and Alan Johnson)(Manchester, MUP) (2001) ISBN 0-7190-5902-X
  • Rethinking social welfare: a critical perspective (with Iain Ferguson and Gerry Mooney) (2002)(London, Sage) ISBN 0-7619-6417-7
  • Children, welfare and the state (edited with Barry Goldson and Jim McKechnie) (2002)(London, Sage)ISBN 0761972331
  • A Palestine Journey; Respect For Palestine (pamphlet)
  • Globalisation, global justice and social work (edited with Iain Ferguson and Elizabeth Whitmore)(2005)(London, Sage)ISBN 0415325382
  • Social Policy: Theories, concepts and issues (Third Edition) (Edited with Alan Pratt) (2006) (London, Sage) ISBN 1-4129-0170-7
  • George Lansbury and the rebel councillors of Poplar (foreword by George Galloway) (2006)(London, Bookmarks) ISBN 1-898877-44-0
  • International Social Work and the Radical Tradition (edited with Iain Ferguson) (2007)(Birmingham, Venture Press) ISBN 978-1-86178-076-8
  • Social Work After Baby P: Issues debates and Alternative Perspectives(Edited with Iain Ferguson) (2009) (Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University Press) ISBN 978-1-898749-02-8
  • Radical Social Work Today (Editor) (2011)(Bristol, Policy Press) ISBN 9781847428172
  • Social Work in Extremis (edited with Vassilios Ioakimidis) (2011) (Bristol, Policy Press) ISBN 978-1-84742-718-2
  • Voices From the West Bank (with Chris Jones) (2011) (London, Bookmarks) ISBN 978-1-905192-82-3
  • Capitalism and Sport: Politics, Protest, People and Play (editor) (2013) (London, Bookmarks)ISBN 978-1909026308


  1. ^ Hilary Wainwright "Any Respect Left?", The Guardian, 16 November 2007
  2. ^ http://www.tusc.org.uk/16982/12-05-2014/socialist-councillors-can-help-boost-resistance
  3. ^ Social Work and Social Justice: a manifesto for a new engaged practice http://www.socialworkfuture.org/?page_id=50
  4. ^ Helen Carter Time is of the Essence The Guardian 11 March 2009
  5. ^ SWAN Stop Witch-hunting Social Workers http://www.socialworkfuture.org/?page_id=56
  6. ^ I. Ferguson and M. Lavalette (2009) Social Work After baby P: Issues, debates and alternative perspectives (Liverpool, Hope University Press)
  7. ^ Socialist Worker 8 January 2011 http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=23498
  8. ^ Galloway expelled from Labour
  9. ^ "2004 Election candidates". UK Office of the European Parliament. Archived from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  10. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20040603081051/http://www.bnp.org.uk/freedom/regions/nwcand.html
  11. ^ Michael Lavalette: Electoral history and profile http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/person/9613/michael-lavalette
  12. ^ RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - News

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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