Shadow minister for civil society , Labour Party from October 2011
Gareth Thomas MP has been the shadow minister for civil society since October 2011.
He has been the Labour MP for Harrow West since the 1997 general election. He also holds the position of chair of the Co-operative Party and is a member of the Fabian Society.
In 1999 he became parliamentary private secretary to Charles Clarke, minister of state at the Home Office. He stayed with him on his promotion to the Cabinet as party chairman in 2001 and as education secretary in 2002.
In 2003 he became parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for International Development. Under Gordon Brown he combined this with being a junior minister for trade policy, at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. He was promoted to minister of state rank with the same dual brief in October 2008.
He has an economics degree from Aberystwyth University, then studied history at Kings College before qualifying as a teacher at Greenwich University.
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The £500,000 allocated by the Cabinet Office to Big Society Network and Society Network Foundation since April last year was for the Big Society Awards, Nick Hurd has confirmed.
Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, has suggested that the Big Lottery Fund is used to fund some politicians’ “hobby horses” and has called for it to be reconstituted as a charitable foundation.
Gareth Thomas, shadow minister for civil society, has written to the Big Lottery Fund, Nesta and the Social Investment Business asking them to explain their reasons for giving grants to Big Society Network and Society Network Foundation.
Shadow minister for civil society Gareth Thomas has tabled a series of Parliamentary questions to minister Nick Hurd about the government's funding of Big Society Network and the allocation of Social Action Fund money.
It's a shame that government doesn't think harder about the link between spending money & resources and outcomes.
Gareth Thomas MP has questioned William Shawcross's grasp of public concerns about the Charity Commission's ability to regulate the sector effectively in the wake of the Cup Trust scandal.
There is more pertinent information about the Work Programme already in the public domain than could be gleaned from publishing its risk register, the Department for Work and Pensions has declared.
The government has buckled to pressure from the charity sector and dropped its plans to limit tax relief on charitable giving announced in March’s Budget.
Three-quarters of large charities have already or will be making redundancies in the next year, and two-thirds will be cutting frontline services according to a survey looking into the commissioning landscape for charities.