Paul was born at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow on 16 January 1989 to Anne Sweeney, a bank worker and John Gordon Sweeney, a shipyard worker. He was brought up in Auchinairn, and Milton. He has a younger brother, Mark, who works as a plasterer.
Paul attended St. Matthew’s Primary School and Turnbull High School in Bishopbriggs. The first member of his family to attend university, he studied at the University of Stirling, gaining a Certificate of Higher Education with Distinction in Economics and Political Science, before continuing his degree at the University of Glasgow, where he graduated with a First Class MA (Hons) in Economic History and Political Science in 2011.
At the age of 17, Paul joined the Army Reserve, initially serving in the Royal Corps of Signals with 32 Signal Regiment, before transferring to 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. He is currently one of three Labour MPs to have served in the British Armed Forces.
After undertaking an internship with BAE Systems at Portsmouth Naval Base as an undergraduate, Paul joined the company’s graduate development programme in 2011, based at the Govan and Scotstoun shipyards on the Clyde, where he undertook a series of roles in production engineering and shipbuilding operations management on the Type 45 destroyer, Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier and Type 26 frigate programmes.
At the end of 2015, Paul joined the national economic development agency Scottish Enterprise as a senior executive, working with the leadership of companies across the defence, marine, shipbuilding, aerospace and engineering sectors based in Scotland. In April 2016, he was elected as a Council Member of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland (IESIS). Paul became a member of the Unite and GMB trade unions while working at the shipyards, later joining PCS at Scottish Enterprise.
Paul has been a member of the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party since the age of 16. In the 2017 general election he stood for Glasgow North East where he won the seat back for Labour from the SNP on a 12% swing, overturning the previous electoral swing for the constituency, which had been the largest in UK electoral history. The seat and its predecessors had previously been held by Labour MPs since 1935. Paul is currently the second youngest Labour MP in Parliament.
On 3 July 2017, Paul was appointed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as the Shadow Under-Secretary of State for Scotland. He made his maiden speech to the House of Commons on 13 July 2017, during which he expressed his opposition to Tory austerity policies that had led to a fall in living standards. During the 2017 Scottish Labour leadership election, Sweeney endorsed Richard Leonard, who was ultimately the successful candidate.
In November 2018, Paul won ‘Best Scot at Westminster’ in the annual Scottish Politician of the Year awards, in part in recognition for his lobbying of the Home Secretary and Prime Minister in asylum cases such as that of Giorgi Kakava, a 10-year-old orphan who had been threatened with deportation following the death of his mother.
Paul also has an interest in built heritage and architectural issues in Glasgow. He is a member of the Glasgow City Heritage Trust, the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and has led award-winning walking tours of Springburn Park as part of the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival for several years. He was also involved in the restoration of the historic former Govan shipyard head offices into the Fairfield Heritage Centre, for which he won an award. After campaigning against the demolition of Springburn Public Halls in 2012, he founded the Springburn Winter Gardens Trust, which is working to restore the nearby Springburn Winter Gardens.
My constituency office is located at 252 Saracen Street, Glasgow G22 5LF. Regular surgeries are held throughout the constituency. To arrange an appointment at your nearest local surgery or to meet at my office, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 0141 336 2349. If would like to write to me, please address all correspondence to Paul Sweeney MP, House Of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.