John Healey (born 13 February 1960) has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wentworth and Dearne since 1997, and Minister of State for Housing. In 2010 he was elected to the shadow cabinet and appointed shadow health secretary. He stood down from the role in October 2011 and was succeeded by Andy Burnham. He is currently Shadow Secretary of State for Housing.
Healey served as a member of the education and employment select committee from 1997 until he became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown in 1999. He was given an executive position following the 2001 general election in an appointment as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State] for the Department for Education and Skills.
Healey was promoted in 2002 to the position of Economic Secretary to the Treasury and nominally again following the 2005 general election when he took the role of Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
Healey's responsibilities included government statistics, (including the Office for National Statistics which is to become an independent body after passage of the current bill he has been steering through parliament), along with implementation of the government's 10 year strategy for science and innovation, which directs spending of around £5 billion a year. Inter alia, this has led to the controversial abolition of the Research Assessment Exercise. However, he has never made a speech on this area of responsibility and did not answer questions about it.
On 29 June 2007, he was moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government as a result of a government reshuffle. His position as Financial Secretary was filled by Jane Kennedy. Shortly after his appointment he was announced as the Floods Recovery Minister, with responsibility for assisting the recovery from recent widespread flooding across the United Kingdom. It was announced he would be appointed to the Privy Council in October 2008.
In a Cabinet reshuffle on 5 June 2009, he was appointed Minister of State (Housing), replacing Margaret Beckett who had resigned. While Minister of State for Housing and Planning he was critised for suggesting that more people are renting rather than buying their own homes was a good thing.
Healey has held the following positions:
- November 1999-June 2001 - Parliamentary Private Secretary to Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer
- June 2001-May 2002 - Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Skills
- May 2002-May 2005 - Economic Secretary to the Treasury
- May 2005-June 2007 - Financial Secretary to the Treasury
- June 2007-June 2009 - Minister of State for Local Government
- July 2007-June 2009 - Minister for Flood Recovery
- June 2009–May 2010 - Minister of State for Housing
- May 2010-October 2010 - Shadow Minister of State for Housing
- October 2010–October 2011 - Shadow Secretary of State for Health
Healey came second in the election for the shadow cabinet in 2010, and was appointed shadow health secretary.
Healey maintains affordable housing should be a right, not a privilege. Healey wrote, "The housing market is broken, and, after eight long years it is clear that current Conservative housing policy is failing to fix it. Ministers talk big about housebuilding targets to be reached some time in the next decade. But what new homes we build, and who they’re for, matter just as much as how many we build. To make housing more affordable, we need to build more affordable homes, and to hardwire housing affordability through the system, from planning to funding to delivery. The public know this: eight in 10 people think ministers should be doing more to get affordable housing built. We will build for those who need it, including the very poorest and most vulnerable, with a big boost to new social rented homes. And we will also build Labour’s new affordable homes for those in work on ordinary incomes who are priced out of the housing market and being failed by housing policy. This is the “just coping” class in Britain today, who do the jobs we all rely on – IT workers, HGV drivers, joiners, warehouse managers, lab technicians, nurses, teaching assistants, call centre supervisors, shop staff."