Michael John Gapes (born 4 September 1952) has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ilford South since the 1992 general election.
Mike Gapes was a founder member and convenor of the Clause Four Group in 1974, and the sixth Chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students from 1976 to 1977, taking over following the defeat of Militant tendency. In 1977 he was appointed as the first National Student Organiser of the Labour Party.
He worked at Labour Party Headquarters for 15 years from 1977 until 1992 including serving from 1988 to 1992 as International Secretary of the Labour Party, and prior to that as a Policy Research Officer.
Mike Gapes was a member of the Labour Party's National Policy Forum and Joint Policy Committee 1996–2005; Chair of the Co-operative Party's Parliamentary Group 2000–01, and Trade union liaison officer for the London Group of Labour MPs 2001–05.
Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North
He contested Ilford North at the 1983 General Election but was defeated by the sitting Conservative MP Vivian Bendall by some 11,201 votes.
Member of Parliament for Ilford South
He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1992 General Election for Ilford South when he defeated the sitting Conservative MP Neil Thorne by just 402 votes. He has remained the MP there since.
In Parliament he joined the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in 1992 and after the 1997 General Election he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office Paul Murphy and also worked for the other Minister of State Adam Ingram until 1999 when he joined the defence select committee. Following the 2001 General Election he was again appointed a PPS to the Minister of State at the Home Office Jeff Rooker for a year. He rejoined the defence select committee in 2003. Following the 2005 General Election he served as the chairman of the foreign affairs select committee until 2010, the most senior position in international affairs in British politics outside the Government. He was re-elected at the 2010 General election but could not continue as Chair of the Select Committee because Labour lost the election . He was however re-elected to serve as a Labour member of the committee from 2010 to 2015, 2015–17, and after the 2017 General Election.
He has been an officer of many all party Parliamentary Groups, he is currently Chair of the All Party Crossrail Group, Chair of the Global Security and non Proliferation Group and Chair of the United Nations group . He was part of the Northern Ireland team which negotiated the Belfast Agreement in Belfast in 1998.