NUS presidents: where are they now?
Last night Wes Streeting, the former president of the National Union of Students (2008-10), was elected Labour councillor for the London Borough of Redbridge. In light of this, Total Politics takes a look at what the last five presidents are now doing and, you guessed it, they’re all (bar James) current political lefties.
2006-2008: In 2006 Gemma Tumelty was much applauded for being the first NUS president to speak at the TUC’s conference. It is not surprising therefore that, putting aside a brief spell as a London campaigner for End Child Poverty, she is now programmes officer at the TUC and a firm Labour supporter. Well, I suppose it is always handy to get a foot in the door.
2004-06: I seriously hope Kat Fletcher is new to Twitter. She is head of volunteers for Ed Milliband’s campaign team but only has 200 followers... This does seem a bit hypocritical considering she ran for NUS president because she wanted to bring an end to previous presidents being too closely allied to Labour governments. Politicians can always change their mind.
2002-04: Mandy Telford, a devout member of the National Organisation of Labour Students, unsurprisingly went on to continue working in socialist politics. She started with the trade union Amicus and is currently special adviser to Tessa Jowell. Labour is even close to her heart as her husband, John Woodcock, was recently elected MP for Barrow and Furness.
2000-02: Owain James left his presidency and started working for several international charities including Oxfam and Make Poverty History. He is currently co-ordinator for the Global Campaign for Education which is focussing on 1Goal, an initiative which sees to use football to ensure that education for all is a lasting impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
1998-00: Andrew Pakes is currently Labour councillor for Southwark. He stood for MP in 2010 for Milton Keynes North but was defeated by Mark Lancaster. He seems one to watch as the politico is current chair of a Labour-linked environment campaigning group, Socialist Environment and Resources Association.
NUS representatives and Kat Fletcher lobby parliament.
Image: Getty Images
If this blog post interests you then pick up a copy of the next issue of Total Politics (out next Friday) which gives a history of student activism.