A parliamentary private secretary to several Ministers during the Labour years and an assiduous committee man, Adrian Bailey won the chairmanship of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee in 2010.
In the first ballot of its kind he easily defeated the senior MP Barry Sheerman and the returnee Geraint Davies. He had served on the committee for the past three years. The victor in the by-election of 2000 after the resignation of the Speaker Betty Boothroyd, he has held West Bromwich West ever since.
Adrian began his time in politics in local government, becoming deputy leader of Sandwell Borough Council, secretary of the local Labour Party, and the Co-operative Party’s political organiser in the Midlands. He is credited with transforming the finances of the council while chairing the finance committee. A former librarian, he has been a quiet, loyal backbencher, serving on a number of committees.
Born in 1945 and educated at Cheltenham Grammar School and Exeter University, he was a librarian with Cheshire County Council, and was described by the Birmingham Post as “a walking encyclopaedia of lower level football after a lifetime supporting Cheltenham Town”.
He says his proudest achievements in Parliament have been successfully lobbying the British and US governments for derogation from tariffs on local steel exports; getting an emergency housing transfer for a woman threatened by a violent ex-husband; incorporation of a recommendation into the Children’s Act, and his election as Chair of the BIS Select Committee.