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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Mark Fisher

Date of birth

29 October 1944

Political profile

Like his fellow Old Etonian Tam Dalyell, Mark Fisher is a leading member of Labour's backbench awkward squad, but is a more recent convert to the art of opposing one's own party.

He served as arts minister in the Blair government until 1998 and had previously been a member of the Labour frontbench for many years, mainly as a heritage spokesman.

In government, he pursued the same libertarian and internationalist ideas he has consistently espoused, proposing wider access to the arts and considering the return of the Elgin Marbles.

He was dropped, however, in favour of Conservative defector Alan Howarth.

Mr Fisher helped to found the Parliament First group, seeking to restore Parliament's importance and power from the executive and was an organiser of the rebellion over select committee membership.

That was part of his persistent criticism of the government, especially on constitutional issues, and he has become a regular rebel against the party whip.

Mr Fisher is also a member of the left-wing Tribune group and refused the offer of a peerage shortly before the 2001 election.

Contact

markfishermp@parliament.uk

Constituency office 01782 284009

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