Labour MP Tristram Hunt appointed director of the V&A

The former shadow education secretary, first elected in 2010 in Stoke-on-Trent Central, will leave parliament, though no start date has yet been set

Tristram Hunt
Tristram Hunt

The Labour MP and former shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt is to leave parliament to become director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hunt, who was first elected as the MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central in 2010, served as shadow education secretary from October 2013 to September 2015, when Ed Miliband was leader of the Labour Party.

A by-election will now be held in Hunt’s constituency.

A spokesman for the V&A said no date had yet been set for Hunt to take up his new role. He said the museum would not be disclosing his salary at this time.

According to the museum’s latest accounts for the year to 31 March 2016, Martin Roth, Hunt’s predecessor as director, was paid a salary of between £145,000 and £150,000, with bonuses and pension benefits pushing the total amount paid to between £225,000 and £230,000 for the year.

As well as his political career, Hunt is a historian, writer and broadcaster, lectures on modern British history at Queen Mary University of London and specialises in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly Victorian urban history.

Hunt is also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a patron of the British Ceramics Biennial and played a role in saving the Wedgwood Collection in 2014, which was gifted to the V&A and is on loan to the Wedgwood Museum in Stoke-on-Trent.

He has written several history books, including The English Civil War At First Hand and Ten Cities That Made An Empire, and has presented more than a dozen documentary series on the BBC and Channel 4.

Hunt said: "I have loved the V&A since I was a boy, and today it is a global leader in its unrivalled collections, special exhibitions, academic research and visitor experience.

"I am particularly pleased that, through the V&A ownership of the Wedgwood Collection, my passion for education in Stoke-on-Trent can continue. The combination of the power of the collections and the expertise of an inspirational team is what makes the V&A the world’s greatest museum of art, design and performance. I am honoured to take on this exciting opportunity."

Nicholas Coleridge, chairman of the V&A, said: "I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Tristram Hunt as director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He has a highly compelling mixture of experience across public life, the arts, history, education and academia, and knows our collections well from his writing and broadcasting. In addition, he is an informed and articulate leader and communicator on numerous facets of culture, both historic and contemporary, and I greatly look forward to working with him at the V&A."

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