Andrew lives in Colne, in the heart of Pendle, and was elected on 6th May 2010. Before being elected to Parliament he was a self-employed insurance consultant running a small business in Greater Manchester. The pressures of working six days a week and running a business in the current economic climate ensured Andrew was well aware of the pressures small businessmen across Pendle face.
Andrew is involved in numerous groups across Pendle. He is Honorary Vice president of Pendle Phoenix RUFC and a Patron of SELRAP, the AHS Foundation and East Lancashire Against Fluoridation. Andrew also serves as a school governor at an infant school in Nelson. In his spare time he enjoys walking and in 2008 took part in a trek along the Great Wall of China personally raising over £5,000 for charity. In 2010 Andrew ran the Pennine Lancashire 10K raising over £1,000 for Pendleside Hospice.
Andrew campaigned vigorously against the controversial shake-up of hospital services which saw the removal of blue-light emergency services from Burnley General Hospital on 1st November 2007. In 2006/2007 Andrew spoke out against the proposed cuts to the local fire service, which saw the loss of a fire engine in Colne and one in Barnoldswick. He also conducted a major survey of residents views on crime and anti-social behavior across Pendle during which over 35,000 "We Do Not Buy or Sell at this Door" cards were provided free to local residents.
Since his election Andrew has been a strong voice for the local area, regularly raising the concerns of local residents and businesses in the House of Commons. Andrew has been particularly vocal on the importance of manufacturing jobs and the aerospace sector to Pendle frequently raising the concerns of local firms. Under the last Government 1.8 million manufacturing jobs were lost, including thousands in Pendle and Andrew is determined to support our local manufacturers. Andrew has also championed apprenticeships as a way to reverse Labour’s legacy of rising young unemployment, helping secure a 74% increase in opportunities for young people locally within his first two years as MP.
In addition to asking questions and making speeches Andrew has so far led three debates in Parliament. A debate on the murder of three members of the Yousaf family from Nelson on 12th October 2010 that was attended by over 300 Pendle residents. A debate on the plight of Pakistani Christians on 22nd March 2011 and a debate on the effect of new property regulations on holiday lettings on 14th June 2011. The debate on property regulations followed a meeting between Andrew and the Hoseasons Group who employ over 500 in Earby and led directly to the Coalition Government axing new regulations that would have placed additional costs on over 50,000 small businesses.
On 28th June 2011 Andrew proposed a Bill, to change Bail laws following the murder of Jane Clough, who lived in Barrowford. Andrew’s Bail (Amendment) Bill was to confer upon the prosecution a right of appeal against judges’ decisions to grant bail, a right that at the time did not exist. In October 2011 following a hard fought campaign the Government agreed to support the Bill and in 2012 Government Amendments were brought forward, to achieve the aim of Andrew’s Bill. A huge achievement for Jane’s parents, John and Penny Clough, and for all those involved in the ‘Justice for Jane’ campaign.
Andrew holds monthly advice surgeries in seven different towns and villages across Pendle.