Phil was elected Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth in 1997.

He is married to Tracey and has two sons. He lives in Lees and London.

He is Minister of State at the Home Office responsible for borders and immigration.

Brought up in Burnley, he originally hails from Scunthorpe where his late father and all his family worked in the steel mills. His mother was a school dinner lady and is now retired.

Phil Woolas began in local politics when he was 16 by getting involved in a campaign to get a pelican crossing outside his school. He says he’s in politics “to fight for equality and the belief that if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us”.

Educated at Manchester University, he worked in television (where he became Jeremy Paxman’s producer). Then for 10 years worked as a national officer for the GMB union.

Phil says his best achievement in Parliament was being one of the team who introduced the national minimum wage. Locally, he is proud of getting £5 million grants for disabled school students’ equipment. His successful campaign for the new cancer centre in Oldham comes a close second.

Phil is a workaholic. He spends nearly every weekend in Oldham. On weekdays he is in Parliament and on his ministerial duties. He loves the job and prizes the common sense of Oldhamers as an antidote to the heated world of politics.

Football is a passion. Phil is a lifelong Manchester United fan (including “when we were relegated!”). Many agree Phil’s intervention saved Rugby League in Oldham when he persuaded the taxman to hold off from the Roughyeds. He has also championed the cause of Oldham Athletic.

Phil is Oldham’s voice in Government. Whether it is new schools and clinics, neighbourhood policing, housing or social services, his weekly return trip to London is to “bring back the bacon” for Oldham East and Saddleworth.