Labour politician, campaigner on climate change, and Patron of Humanists UK
Colin Challen was born in Scarborough, and worked as an accountant, postman, printer and publisher until 1990, when he took up professional politics as an organiser for the Labour Party. He was elected a councillor on Kingston upon Hull City Council for eight years from 1986, stood for Parliament in the 1992 general election, and was elected MP for Morley and Rothwell in 2001
As an MP, he served on several select committees: The Environmental Audit Committee, the Joint Committee on Consolidation of Bills (since 2001), and the Unopposed Bills Panel (since 2004). He also founded the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change in 2005, and has written that he believes the “catastrophic destabilisation of global climate represents the greatest threat that humanity faces.” In 2004, Challen presented a Ten Minute Rule Bill introducing the idea of Tradable Energy Quotas to Parliament, as a way of guaranteeing that promised emissions reductions would actually be achieved, and in 2009, he tabled an Early Day Motion calling for all internal UK flights to be phased out before the end of the year, in order to reduce greenhouse gases. He also urged Parliament to cut the national speed limit to 55 mph, and to dedicate two hours of prime-time television each week to explain the dangers posed by climate change. He also wrote a book on the subject, “Too Little Too Late: The politics of climate change” ( 2009 Picnic Publishing).
His constituency was abolished in the 2010 general election, and he stood down in order to devote his time to campaigning on climate change and local politics. In May 2011, he was elected as a Labour member of Scarborough Borough Council.
Colin Challen is also an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.