Andy is the former Member of Parliament for Corby and East Northamptonshire. He was elected in November 2012, gaining the first Parliamentary seat for Labour from the Conservatives in over a decade, and the first by-election gain since 1997. Andy’s campaign involved the biggest ever listening exercise in the area, with contact made directly with tens of thousands of people who shared their views on local issues and priorities.
During his time in office, Andy has worked with constituents to oppose cuts to A&E, maternity and children's services at Kettering General Hospital, reverse plans to close Corby's ambulance station, get streetlights turned back on, help young adults to get their first jobs and supported and secured extra funding assistance for local businesses. Andy has organised local initiatives including 'Bill Busters' to help people lower their utility bills and 'Experience Corby' to help young people find employment. Andy has worked hard to tackle bad practice by local employment agencies. He set up, jointly with Corby Council, the Employment Agencies Forum and they have developed a code which 12 agencies have now signed up too. He also worked with HMRC and pressed for all local agencies to be inspected, following which some have been fined for bad practice. Andy holds regular surgeries and has taken up issues on behalf of over 5,000 individual constituents.
In Parliament Andy was rated by the independent 'They Work For You' website as one of the most active MPs. He regularly contributes to questions, including raising issues at PMQs, and he has secured parliamentary debates on issues ranging from bus services to podiatry. Andy has introduced three Private Members Bills - the Zero Hours Contracts Bill 2013-14 to prohibit the abusive use of Zero Hours Contracts, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority Bill, to extend the powers of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the Railways (Pubic Sector Operators) Bill which would end the ban on public operators on the railways. Andy was appointed as Labour's Shadow Local Government Minister in October 2013 and he led campaigning for power and funding to be devolved from central government to local communities.
Andy grew up in Desborough, a small Northamptonshire town near to Corby, where his father and grandfathers were steelworkers. He went to a local comprehensive school, then studied history at Durham University. Andy’s first job was working in the warehouse at a local factory, he went on to run a small business and then to head up a national charity.
Andy is married to Jo, a primary school teacher, and they have two children, Sam and Poppy. In his spare time Andy enjoys walking in the Northamptonshire countryside and he is happiest when all the family and their Jack Russell, Flossy, find time to visit Barnwell Country Park, East Carlton or Twywell Hills and Dales. Andy is a member of the Corby Town Supporters Trust and the Rushden and Diamonds Supporters Trust. He is Patron of Raunds St Peters Church Appeal and is Vice President of Glendon and District Scouts, which covers the Corby area.