Gavin was born in 1981 and grew up in Luton, with his father and grandfather working at the Vauxhall plant which dominated the town, and continues to produce vans to this day. He went to local state schools in the town, before receiving a bursary to study Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge.
Serving as a Member of Parliament is Gavin’s first job in politics. Prior to being elected, he worked for a local church. He is Patron to Stepping Stones, a charity dedicated to supporting women who have suffered abuse, or are affected by substance misuse, offending, or poor mental health; and serves as Chair of Luton Against Sexual Exploitation.
Outside of politics, Gavin enjoys travel, cooking and following Formula One. He has a young daughter and lives in Luton with his partner, Amy.
Gavin was first elected as the MP for Luton South in 2010 at the age of 28. He has increased his majority each subsequent election and in 2017 received nearly two-thirds of all votes cast. In his first term as an MP, he was appointed Shadow Minister for the Environment in 2011, and was made Shadow Minister for International Development in 2013.
Since 2015, Gavin has served on the Women and Equalities Committee and in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution, where he has been an outspoken advocate for ending sexual exploitation of women and girls and for strengthening the laws around human trafficking.
“At the root of today’s broken politics lie our broken political parties”
Gavin’s statement 18 February 2019
This is my first, and only, job in politics. Representing my home town is a great honour. And I stepped up to do it because for me, serving your community in that way is public service.
We’re leaving the Labour Party not only because of what it has become, but because, like millions of others, we find that our values no longer find expression in today’s broken politics.
We believe that ours is a great country. Perhaps more importantly, so do the vast majority of the British people.
We believe that our first duty is to do what it takes to keep people safe.
We don’t think that every problem in the world is created by the West – in fact, we’re proud of our values, home and abroad.
We want to work with other countries around the world to tackle our shared challenges, not turn our face against them.
We believe that a strong economy delivers the best public services, and that government is the custodian of money that others have worked hard to earn.
We back well-regulated business but in return we expect them to provide decent, secure and well-paying jobs.
We believe in the innate creativity of individuals – people are powerful, and they’re capable of taking responsibility in their own lives. They should.
And Government should work to remove the barriers of poverty, prejudice and discrimination that hold all too many back.
We believe in strong democratic institutions – a free press, the rule of law, and a politics that doesn’t only bow to the loudest voices.
We’re sent to parliament to exercise our best judgement and provide leadership; we are representatives accountable to those who elect us.
And, we believe that these are values that are shared by most of the British people, our friends, and our neighbours.
These are values that would once have been considered mainstream in our parties of government. But not any more. Today they seek to set our communities against one another, poisoning our debate and dividing our country.
At the root of today’s broken politics, lie our broken political parties, guilty of a wilful failure of action and an abdication of responsibility. The complete absence of leadership at the moment our country needs it most. Competing visions of the past; providing no hope for Britain’s future.
To express these values in today’s Labour Party is no longer possible. It’s turned its back on the British public – their hopes and ambitions.
That is why we have taken this step today.