Paul Brannen is a Labour Member of European Parliament for the North East of England. Paul is a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee in the European Parliament. Paul is leading a campaign to try and get farmers a fair price for their milk, as milk prices have fallen to a level that is unsustainable for British dairy farmers and does not allow them to make a living wage, and ultimately for a uniform scheme where all supermarkets stock fairly priced, UK farmer-friendly products carrying a clearly identifiable and universal certification label.
Paul Brannen grew up on Tyneside, the eldest of four children. His father was, and is, an active campaigner for social justice, helping establish the first Oxfam shop in North Shields, and he encouraged Paul from an early age to take an interest in international development and the wider world. Paul took up debating as a pupil at Walbottle High School in Newcastle, winning the Northumbria Police Debating Competition.
Paul studied theology and religious studies at Leeds University and it was here that he found his political feet. He became an active member of the Anti-Apartheid Society, the Labour Club and the Amnesty Group. He was well known for standing up for progressive causes, including picketing Barclays Bank in opposition to its support for apartheid. In his final year at Leeds he was President of the Students’ Union.
After Leeds University Paul worked for the Anti-Apartheid Movement in London where working highlights including disrupting the Mike Gatting rebel tour to South Africa and meeting Nelson Mandela shortly after his release from jail.
Paul then worked as a press officer for the Labour Party during the period of the leadership of Neil Kinnock. After the 1992 General Election he became Christian Aid's first ever Head of Campaigns, leading their work on fair trade.
Returning to the North East, Paul worked for the leadership development organisation Common Purpose and as a result he has a strong network of political, business and voluntary sector contacts across the region.
Paul served five years on Newcastle City Council and twice stood for the Westminster Parliament; Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1997 and Hexham in 2001.
Following the successful completion of an MBA at Durham University Paul returned to London to work for Christian Aid as Head of Advocacy, a role which put him in charge of the organisation's policy, campaigning, lobbying and media work. In this leadership role Paul was responsible for major campaigns on climate change and tax justice.
Paul was selected by Labour Party members in the North East to be their lead male candidate in the 2014 EU election. After a hard fought election campaign he was successfully elected to the European Parliament in May, along with Jude Kirton-Darling, to represent the region for a five year term.
Paul lives in Newcastle.