Alan Whitehead
Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change
Assumed office
8 October 2016
Preceded by Barry Gardiner
Member of Parliament
for Southampton, Test
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by James Hill
Majority 11,508 (24.6%)
Personal details
Born (1950-09-15) 15 September 1950 (age 73)
Website Official website

Alan Patrick Vincent Whitehead (born 15 September 1950) has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Southampton, Test since 1997.

Career in Parliament

  • 1997–1999: Member of the Select Committee on Environment Transport and the Regions
  • 1999: Parliamentary Private Secretary to Baroness Blackstone, Minister for Higher and Post 16 Education
  • June 2001 – May 2002: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (responsible for local government, the regions and the Fire Service – Whitehead was the minister responsible for Health and Safety

Current committee memberships:

  • Member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

Other memberships:

  • Chair of PRASEG, the Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group
  • Co-Chair, Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Waste Group
  • Executive Member, SERA - Labour's Environment Campaign
  • Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland
  • Member, Associate Parliamentary Ports and Merchant Navy Group
  • Member, Group on Charitable Giving
  • Member, Estonia All-Party Parliamentary Group

Whitehead voted against the Iraq war on the basis of the mission not receiving endorsement from the UN. He lobbied for changes to the Government's Education White Paper. He does not support building new nuclear power stations, believing that nuclear is uneconomic. He voted in favour of ID cards and for a ban on fox hunting.

Renewable energy politics

Whitehead has lobbied for the increased use of sustainable energy sources, particularly microgeneration. He criticised the results of the Energy Review, and was the co-author of EDM 2204 which states 'the case for nuclear has not yet been made' and urges the government to 'recognise the enormous potential for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by energy efficiency and conservation, greater use of combined heat and power, and rapid investment in the full range of renewable technologies, including microgeneration.’

As leader of Southampton City Council in 1986, Whitehead proposed that the city council take measures to become a 'self sustaining city' with regard to energy generation. One such measure was the conversion of Southampton Civic Centre to being heated by local reservoirs of geothermal energy.

Houses in multiple occupancy

Due to the high concentration of houses in multiple occupation in Southampton, in 2007 Whitehead proposed changing planning regulations which would mean a landlord would be required to apply for planning permission if they wanted to convert a family home into an HMO housing more than 4 people. The proposal is being considered as part of the government's current review of the private housing sector, which will report in October 2008.

Pre-pay meters

Whitehead is currently campaigning with the National Housing Federation to end the current pricing practice used by several energy companies which sees customers who pay for their electricity or gas via pre-pay meters pay more for the same amount of energy than customers who pay via direct debit. de]] to be made mandatory. He voted for the Bill when Alan Johnson, the new Education Secretary, accepted many of the alternative white paper's proposals.


Whitehead has rebelled against a government 3-line whip on the following issues:

  • The renewal of the UK Trident programme
  • The invasion of Iraq