Martin Salter - working hard for Reading West
Martin Salter.
Martin Salter.
"I believe that MPs should be full-time representatives of their constituents. I hold no parliamentary consultancies or other private external interests."

Political Biography

Martin John Salter

Born Hampton, Middlesex. 19 April 1954 to Ray and Naomi Salter

Home Tilehurst, Reading.

Married to Natalie

Email -


Labour MP for Reading West 1 May 1997 to 12 April 2010

Won a Labour Majority 2,997 at 1997 General Election - overturning a Conservative Majority of 13,298.

Won a Labour Majority 8,849 at 2001 General Election - second highest swing to Labour in the UK.

Won a Labour Majority 4,682 at 2005 General Election - one of only 6 Labour MPs to secure a majority in excess of the 1997 landslide.

Trade Union Activity

Member of Transport and General Workers’ Union (now UNITE).

Former Shop Steward, TGWU & UCATT

Convenor Steward, TGWU

Member of the Trade Union Group of Labour MPs

Constituency development agreements with UNISON and UNITE

 Political Career before Parliament

Labour Party Member from the age of 17

Member, Co-operative Party

Community activist and secretary of local resident’s association 1980-84

Councillor, Reading Borough Council 1984-96

Chair of Leisure Committee 1986 -88

Deputy Leader, Reading Borough Council 1987-96

Labour Parliamentary Candidate in Reading East 1987

Founding Member and organiser, Network of Labour Councils in South 1986-96

Parliamentary Career

Elected Labour MP for Reading West  - 1st May 1997

Elected Chair of South East Group of Labour MPs - 1999

Appointed South East Convenor of Labour’s Parliamentary Campaign Team - 1999-2001

Appointed Parliamentary spokesman on angling and shooting - 2002 to 2010

Appointed Deputy National Convenor of Labour’s Parliamentary Campaign Team - 2003 - 05

Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Education and Skills - 2005 (resigned over Education White Paper).

Elected by Labour MPs to the Parliamentary Committee - 2005-08 (representing the views of backbenchers to the Prime Minister)

Vice Chair Labour Party (Environment) - 2007 to 2010                                                                                        

House of Commons Select Committees

Northern Ireland 1997-November 1999

Modernisation - 2001- 05

Home Affairs - 2006 - 2010

Parliamentary Reform - 2009 to 2010

Parliamentary Groups

Chair: All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gurkha Rights

Chair: All Party Parliamentary Group on Angling

Chair: All Party Parliamentary Group on Community Banking

Vice Chair: All Party Parliamentary Group on Third World Solidarity

Secretary:  All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir

Member: Human Rights, Youth Affairs, Multiple Sclerosis, Rwanda & Genocide, Environment, Far East Prisoners of War, Thames, Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis All-Party Parliamentary Groups.

Founder: Labour Friends of Searchlight

Charities and Organisations

Patron: Downs Syndrome International Swimming, Berkshire MS Therapy Centre, ABC to Read, Thames Valley Positive Support, Angling Projects, Reading Initiative for Tsunami Action, Arthritis Matters, British Association of Shooting and Conservation

Trustee: Thames Rivers Restoration Trust and Reading Local History Trust

Vics President: YMCA

Governor: John Madejski Academy, Reading

Member: Greenpeace, National Trust, Amnesty International, Angling Trust.


On line political contributor for the Daily Telegraph.

Various articles in the national and local press including:  Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Fabian Review, New Statesman, House of Commons Magazine, Total Politics, Tribune & Punch, Tackle and Guns, Coarse Fisherman. Coarse Angling Today .

Initiated two local history books:- Newtown - The Inside Story (oral history project) and Routes to Reading (stories of immigration to the town)

Co-author of The Severn Barrage Digest 

Political Interests

Political campaigning, Environment, Water Policy, Climate Change, International Development, Local Government, Northern Ireland, Home Affairs and Parliamentary and Constitutional Reform.

 Countries of Interest

 India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Australia, Ireland and Canada

 Registered Business Interests

 None apart from occasional writing

Leisure Interests

Angling, Reading Football Club, Walking, Campervanning Gardening

Selection of Martin’s Political Campaigns and Achievements

  •  Led a delegation of parliamentarians to Northern Ireland to campaign across the sectarian divide for the 1998 Belfast Agreement.
  • Presented with a Labour Party ‘Diversity Champion Award’ by the Reverend Jesse Jackson
  • Led the campaign in Parliament for settlement rights for ex-Gurkha soldiers through the Home Affairs Select Committee and setting up the APPG on Gurkha Rights.
  • Worked to secure the introduction of the new Marine Bill to protect the marine environment, introduce coastal access and overhaul fisheries legislation.
  • Secured a change in the law to ban the possession of extreme pornographic images following the murder of a constituent’s daughter by a man obsessed with “snuff movies”.
  • Campaigned for tighter rules to tackle the difficult issue of forced marriage in minority communities.
  • Campaigned against the proposed new third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport alongside climate change activists.
  • Introduced a Private Member’s Bill to prevent MPs taking second jobs or having outside business interests.
  • Campaigned to extend abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland
  • Successfully organised the campaign to elect John Bercow MP as the new Speaker of the House of Commons.
  • Led the Parliamentary campaign against the privatisation of Air Traffic Control persuading the government to adopt a not-for-profit Trust.
  • Co-authored the 2006 “Alternative Education White Paper” following his resignation as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Schools Minister.
  • Led moves to modernise the working hours and procedures of the House of Commons.
  • Successfully lobbied for legislation to control the sale of replica guns.
  • Campaigned against the rise of the far-right and organised racist groups.