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For the British television writer, see Chris Bryant (writer)

Christopher John Bryant (born January 11, 1962) is a British politician and is the Labour Member of Parliament for Rhondda, which he has held since 2001.


Chris Bryant was born in Cardiff to English parents. He was educated at Cheltenham College, an independent school in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and at Mansfield College, Oxford where he received a B.A. degree in English in 1983 and the MA(Oxon). He then trained for the priesthood in the Church of England at Ripon College, Cuddesdon in Oxfordshire, where he obtained a further degree in theology. Although initially a member of the Conservative Party, he joined the Labour Party in 1986 after leaving Oxford. From 1986 he served as a Curate at the Church of All Saints, High Wycombe and from 1989, as a Youth Chaplain in Peterborough.

Labour Party

In 1991 Bryant made a radical career move and began work as Agent to Holborn and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party, where he helped Frank Dobson hold his seat in the 1992 general election. From 1993 he was Local Government officer for the Labour Party; he lived in Hackney and was elected to Hackney Borough Council in 1993, serving until 1998. Also in 1993, he became the Chairman of the Christian Socialist Movement. He is also a member of the Labour Friends of Israel lobby group.

In 1996 he became a full-time author, writing biographies of Stafford Cripps and Glenda Jackson. He was Labour candidate for Wycombe in the 1997 general election, and Head of European Affairs for the BBC from 1998.

Member of Parliament for Rhondda

His selection for the rock-solid Labour seat of Rhondda in South Wales in 2000 surprised many people given Bryant's background in the Church of England and former membership of the Conservative Party. He retained the seat comfortably with a 16,047 majority, one of the biggest in the country, although there was a swing to Plaid Cymru compared with the 1997 general election.

Bryant is a Christian Socialist, a member of the Co-operative Party (an organisation in electoral agreement to the Labour Party of which he is also a member), the Fabian Society, Amnesty International and the Trade Union Amicus. He is a strong supporter of British membership of the European Union, opposed to legalisation of drugs, strongly against fox hunting and in favour of an elected House of Lords.

Between the 2005 General Election and June 2006, he was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs Charlie Falconer.

On 5 September 2006 he and Siôn Simon co-ordinated a letter which was signed by 15 Labour backbenchers calling for Tony Blair's immediate resignation. [1][2][3]

Chris Bryant is a supporter of Burberry Workers who in Septembers 2006 Burberry announced the closure in March 2007 of their factory in Treorchy, South Wales, moving 310 jobs to China.

Controversy Over Private Life

Bryant is openly gay, but he was ridiculed in the press when he was discovered to have solicited anonymous sex and posed wearing only underpants on a gay dating site, Gaydar, whilst an MP [4][5][6].

On the 25th September 2006 The Guardian newspaper ran four spoof diary articles called "Chris Bryant's Manchester Diary", which did not make it clear that they were spoofs; Bryant called in his solicitors to get an apology [7], but not before other media outlets [8] had commented under the impression that they were genuine.


  • Glenda Jackson: The Biography by Chris Bryant, 1999, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-255911-0
  • Stafford Cripps: The First Modern Chancellor by Chris Bryant, 1997, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, ISBN 0-340-67892-5
  • Possible Dreams: Personal History of the British Christian Socialists by Chris Bryant, 1996, Hodder & Stoughton Religious, ISBN 0-340-64201-7

External links

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