While representing England's Bury North constituency in the British Parliament, this Labour Party politician was convicted of false accounting during the United Kingdom Parliamentary Expenses Scandal of 2009. In early 2011, he began serving a prison sentence; in May of that year, he was placed under house arrest.
After graduating from the University of London, he received a teaching certificate from the University of Leeds and subsequently earned a graduate degree in philosophy. Before beginning his parliamentary career, he taught at the Manchester College of Arts and Technology.
During his time in Parliament, he championed environmental and educational causes.
He was born and raised in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. He later settled in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, with his wife and three children.
He and fellow Labour Party politician Ed Balls were both investigated for misuse of government funds; the charges against Balls were ultimately dropped.