One of the few former miners remaining in the Commons, Kevin Hughes was first elected in 1992, having served as chair of the Social Services Committee on Doncaster Borough Council.
His initial political interests were focused on the future of the mining industry and on local regeneration, as well as the quality of local NHS services. As a strong minded organiser, he was soon picked to become a Whip, and served in this capacity throughout the 1997 Parliament. He was disappointed to be included in the general clearing out of the Whips’ Office which followed the 2001 election, but soon found his feet again as a backbencher, and took the opportunity to voice disappointment with the government’s record in the NHS.
He has also been campaigning vigorously in support of proposals for a new airport to be built locally. He is a supporter of regional devolution, but opposes proportional representation and also wants to see a wholly appointed second chamber.
In 2001, he memorably lambasted critics of David Blunkett’s Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill as “the yoghurt-eating, muesli-eating Guardian-reading fraternity”.
He is a former miner and local councillor and has served as a government whip. Announcing his retirement, Mr Hughes said: “This will be a very difficult time for me and my family. We need to adjust to this situation.
“After over 25 years of public service I have been able and happy to help many people with a whole host of different problems. Now is the time for me to be with those closest to me.”
Kevin Hughes, politician, born December 15 1952; died July 2006