Charity leaders elected as Labour and Green MPs

05 Jul 2024 News

Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Green Party

Bristol Green Party

Several charity leaders have left the sector to become MPs after successfully running as candidates in yesterday’s general election.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) chief executive Melanie Ward, Resolution Foundation CEO Torsten Bell, International Rescue Committee (IRC) UK executive director Laura Kyrke-Smith and Oasis Community Housing leader David Smith all won seats for the Labour Party, which was elected nationally by a landslide.

Green Party co-leader and MCS Foundation CEO Adrian Ramsay won his Waveney Valley seat from the Conservative Party, which lost more than 200 seats across the country.

Lucy Frazer, culture minister before the election was called, failed to win the newly created seat of Ely and East Cambridgeshire, losing to the Liberal Democrat candidate.

The most recent civil society minister Stuart Andrew won his seat for the Conservatives in Daventry, as did former minister Nigel Huddleston in Droitwich and Evesham and ex-charities adviser Danny Kruger won his seat in East Wiltshire.

Former charities minister Tracey Crouch, meanwhile, stepped down at the election for personal reasons.

Green co-leader leaves charity role

Ramsay was one of four Green candidates who won seats in yesterday’s election and has stepped down from the environmental charity he led for five years.

The MCS Foundation confirmed that David Cowdrey and Brian Wright would be its joint acting chief executives while the trustees recruit a permanent replacement for Ramsay.

Chair Fabio Nehme said that the MCS Foundation had “grown substantially in size and scope and delivered real impact” during Ramsay’s tenure.

“The MCS Foundation wishes Adrian well in this new phase of his career and encourages all political parties to commit to decarbonising homes, heat and energy.

“We will continue to work with everyone across the political spectrum to drive positive change.”

MAP CEO steps down

In a statement today, MAP confirmed that Ward had permanently stepped down following her election to parliament in the Scottish seat of Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy.

“We will therefore imminently begin the process for recruiting our next permanent CEO, to drive the organisation to ever-greater impact, and uphold our commitment to the full realisation of the rights to health, dignity and justice for the Palestinian people,” it said.

“We will update supporters with further details soon.”

IRC UK also confirmed that Kyrke-Smith had left the charity after being elected in Aylesbury.

Meanwhile, former League Against Cruel Sports chair Dan Norris was elected as Labour MP for North East Somerset and Hanham, winning against Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Homelessness charity leader becomes Labour MP

Oasis Community Housing also confirmed that Smith would leave the homelessness charity after becoming MP for North Northumberland.

Chair Nick Salisbury congratulated Smith and said the charity’s chief operating officer Sarah Lister would be its acting CEO.

“We thank David for his energy and leadership over the past seven years: expanding our drop-in and emergency projects, rapidly re-mapping our support services on the announcement of Covid lockdown, launching the charity’s very important and influential Tackling Trauma campaign, and for taking us through the rebrand to become who we are today, Oasis Community Housing,” he said.

“Now, looking forward for Oasis Community Housing, Sarah Lister has kindly agreed to become our acting CEO, whilst we seek to recruit a new permanent CEO.

“Sarah has been with the charity for six years and is our current chief operating officer, and carries with her a wealth of skill and experience.”

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