Who is Keir Mather? Selby and Ainsty's new MP and 'baby of the House'

  • 'I understand the enormity of what has just happened': Keir Mather wins the Selby and Ainsty by-election

Keir Mather has become the new member of parliament for Selby and Ainsty and, at the age of 25, is now the youngest to take a seat in the House of Commons.

As such, the winning Labour candidate earns the honorary title "baby of the House", succeeding fellow Labour MP, 26-year-old Nadia Whittome.

Mr Mather overturned a Conservative majority of more than 20,000 in the traditionally safe Tory seat – a 23.7% swing. It is the largest Conservative majority overturned by Labour at a by-election since 1945.

But the 25-year-old is already facing questions about whether his age means he is capable of the job. In one interview Conservative MP Johnny Mercer compared the new MP to the Inbetweeners, the television sitcom about a group of hapless male teenagers.

"I think we mustn't become a repeat of The Inbetweeners, you have got to have people who have done stuff," Mr Mercer said.

Who is Keir Mather?

New MP Keir Mather says "he can't wait to deliver" for his constituents. Credit: PA

Keir Mather was born in Hull in 1998 and grew up in the village of Brough. He supports rugby league club Hull Kingston Rovers.

He was named after James Keir Hardie, one of the founders of the Labour party.

Mr Mather received both his undergraduate and Master's degrees from Oxford University, studying history and politics before achieving a Master's Degree in Public Policy (MPP)

He worked as a public affairs adviser for the Confederation of British Industry for 18 months before entering Parliament and was a parliamentary researcher for Labour's shadow health secretary Wes Streeting from 2019 to 2020.

What are his priorities?

The new Labour MP said in a Twitter post: "It is the privilege of my life to be elected as the Labour MP for Selby and Ainsty".

After securing his historic victory, the 25-year-old said he "understood the enormity" of what had happened. He told journalists that his first priority in office would be setting up financial support centres in the constituency, for people to get expert help with issues including mortgage payments and energy bills.

Mr Mather said: "We have rewritten the rules on where Labour can win. People have opened their doors to us and embraced our positive vision for the future.

"The people of Selby & Ainsty have sent a clear message. For too long, Conservatives up here and in Westminster have failed us, and today that changes.

"Over the past few months, speaking to hundreds of people on the doorstep, I've encountered so much hardship. Hardship made worse by 13 years of negligence and complacency from the Conservatives."

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