Alun Michael

The Right Honourable Alun Michael (born August 2, 1943) is a Welsh politician. He is Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Cardiff South and Penarth. He has been a member of the Privy Council since 1998.

He became an MP at the 1987 general election, inheriting a safe Labour seat from former Prime Minister James Callaghan. With Labour's landslide victory in the 1997 general election, he became a junior minister in the Home Office. He was responsible for steering the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 through the House of Commons. Amongst other things, this Act introduced ASBOs or Anti-social Behaviour Orders.

Also in 1998, following the resignation of Ron Davies, he was made Secretary of State for Wales, and later on First Secretary (the title would be updated to First Minister in October 2000) and leader of the Labour Party in the National Assembly for Wales. While he was the favoured candidate of the Westminster government for this rôle, he was less popular within Wales, and was later forced to resign in favour of Rhodri Morgan.

In 2001 he was appointed Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Local Environmental Quality, a post within DEFRA. He was the minister most closely connected with a ban on hunting with dogs, for which he attracted much criticism from hunt supporters. Michael was also criticised for the way he cited scientific research in Parliamentary debates, after citing the research of Sir Patrick Bateson as "incontrovertible" proof of need for a total ban, Sir Patrick replied, "Only somebody who was scientifically illiterate could argue that evidence from a new area of research was 'incontrovertible'" [1] ( [2] (

In 2004 he presided over the enactment of the Hunting Act which banned hare-coursing, beagling, fox hunting, mink and stag hunting in the UK from February 2005. At the time this law was being debated, and immediately after it was passed, Michael cancelled a number of government and party appointments, blaming protests from hunt supporters.

Following the 2005 general election for the House of Commons, Michael retained his seat and was moved to a ministeral post in the Department for Trade and Industry as Minister of State for Industry and the Regions.

Michael's former assistant, Lorraine Barrett, is the Welsh Assembly member for Cardiff South and Penarth.


  • Dragon on Our Doorstep: New Politics for a New Millennium in Wales by Alun Michael (University of Wales,Aberystwyth, 2000) ISBN 0953782905
  • Labour in Action: Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime - a Collection of Essays edited by Alun Michael (Fabian Society, 1997) ISBN 0716330334

External links

Preceded by:
Ron Davies
Secretary of State for Wales
Succeeded by:
Paul Murphy
Preceded by:
First Secretary to the National Assembly for Wales
Succeeded by:
Rhodri Morgan

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