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Ivan Henderson

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Ivan Henderson
Labour Group Leader on Essex County Council
Assumed office
May 2016
DeputyMichael Danvers (2016–2017)
Julie Young (2017–2021)
Adele Brown (2021–2023)
Lee Scordis (2023–)
Preceded byJulie Young
Essex County Councillor for Harwich
Assumed office
2 May 2013
Preceded byRicky Callender
Member of Parliament
for Harwich
In office
1 May 1997 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byIain Sproat
Succeeded byDouglas Carswell
Tendring District Councillor for Harwich and Kingsway
Harwich East (1995–2019)
Assumed office
5 May 2011
Preceded byLawrie Payne
In office
4 May 1995 – 1 May 1997
Preceded byF Good
Succeeded byLawrie Payne
Personal details
Born (1958-06-07) 7 June 1958 (age 66)
Political partyLabour
SpouseJo Henderson

Ivan John Henderson (born 7 June 1958) is a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Harwich from 1997 to 2005. He is currently a member of Essex County Council for Harwich.

Early life


Henderson attended the Sir Anthony Deane Comprehensive, now known as the Harwich and Dovercourt High School.

Henderson was previously a Harwich Town Councillor and Tendring District Councillor. He was a stevedore for Harwich International Port. He became a trade union official.

Parliamentary career


When elected in 1997, he was Harwich's first Labour MP.

In Parliament he was a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Home Office, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Department for Work and Pensions and the Treasury. He worked closely with Gordon Brown until he lost his seat to the Conservative Douglas Carswell in the 2005 general election. In the 2010 general election Henderson contested the Clacton constituency, aside from the town of Harwich itself, which contained much of the former constituency of Harwich, however he was unsuccessful.[1]

Ivan Henderson continues to play an active role in local politics, acting as the Labour Party's spokesman for Harwich and Clacton. Recent work includes the Kirby Cross Sports Pavilion,[2] where funding that was obtained by Tendring District Council came about through Henderson's discussions with the Football Association. When it came to be opened, Ivan managed to secure a visit from Richard Caborn MP. He also successfully campaigned for Trinity House HQ to remain in Harwich, he was later reelected to his former East Ward on the Town and District council.

Post-parliamentary career


Boundary changes saw the old Harwich constituency reconstituted into the new Harwich and North Essex and Clacton constituencies. Henderson was selected to contest the Clacton seat for the 2010 UK General Election. In the election Henderson polled 25% of the vote, putting him more than 12,000 votes behind the incumbent Conservative MP Douglas Carswell.[3]

After this parliamentary setback, Henderson was elected to Tendring District Council in 2011, winning Harwich East ward in his hometown.

In 2013 he was elected as an Essex County Councillor for Harwich unseating the incumbent Conservative Ricky Callender.[4] He was later reelected in 2017. He has since become the leader of the Labour Group on both councils.[5]

In 2021 Henderson became Mayor of Harwich, and said he was extremely "proud" to have done so, saying that now he has been a representative at all levels, he feels that "he has completed the set".[6]

Personal life


From his first marriage, he has one son and a daughter; from his second marriage he has one son. He married Jo'Anne Atkinson on 13 June 1992. His children are Joseph Henderson, Stuart Henderson and Melissa Henderson.

His wife is also a member of Tendring District Council.


  1. ^ "Election 2010 - Constituency - Clacton". BBC News.
  2. ^ http://www.clactonlabourparty.org.uk/news/54-ivan-attends-opening-of-kirby-sports-pavilion [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ https://electionresults.parliament.uk/election/2010-05-06/Results/Location/Constituency/Clacton/ [bare URL]
  4. ^ "Elections". Archived from the original on 6 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Ivan Henderson – Leader of the Labour Group – Harwich Branch". 3 March 2013.
  6. ^ "New town mayor 'proud' to be taking on prestigious role". 20 May 2021.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Harwich
Succeeded by