Harry Jenkins

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Harry Jenkins

Harry Jenkins.jpg
Jenkins early in his political career
26th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
12 February 2008 – 24 November 2011
DeputyAnna Burke
Peter Slipper
Preceded byDavid Hawker
Succeeded byPeter Slipper
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Scullin
In office
8 February 1986 – 5 August 2013
Preceded byHarry Jenkins Sr.
Succeeded byAndrew Giles
Personal details
Henry Alfred Jenkins

(1952-08-18) 18 August 1952 (age 68)
Melbourne, Victoria
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
RelationsHarry Jenkins Sr. (father)
Alma materAustralian National University (BSc)
OccupationPublic servant
WebsiteAustralian Parliament webpage
Speaker Harry Jenkins at his post during an address to the Australian Parliament by visiting US President Barack Obama in 2011.

Henry Alfred "Harry" Jenkins, AO (born 18 August 1952), Australian former politician, was a member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Scullin, Victoria, from the 1986 by-election until August 2013 for the Australian Labor Party.

Jenkins served as the 26th Speaker of the House of Representatives, from 2008 until his unexpected resignation as Speaker on 24 November 2011.[1][2][3]


Jenkins was born in Melbourne. His father was Dr Harry Jenkins, who was Member for Scullin from 1969 to 1986 and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986. Jenkins Jnr was educated at the Australian National University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1975, and was a public servant before entering politics. He succeeded his father in the seat of Scullin in 1986.

Jenkins was Deputy Speaker 1993–1996 and Second Deputy Speaker from 1996 to his election as Speaker in 2008. He was the Opposition candidate for Speaker after the 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2004 elections.[4]

42nd Parliament[edit]

He was elected by Labor caucus on 29 November 2007 to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 42nd Parliament. This was carried by a formal vote on 12 February 2008. He succeeded Liberal incumbent David Hawker. Although Speakers normally carry the courtesy title while in office 'the Honourable', Jenkins said his personal preference was that it not be used.

He is the first speaker whose parent also held the post.

43rd Parliament[edit]

The Labor Party renominated Jenkins as Speaker in the 43rd Parliament, and he was elected unopposed when the Parliament opened on 28 September 2010.[5][6][7]

On 31 May 2011, after a contentious debate on carbon pricing in which Jenkins declared a "general warning" for all members, Liberal MP Bob Baldwin interjected and was named by Jenkins. Baldwin was supported by the Coalition and by independent member Rob Oakeshott and West Australian National member Tony Crook. The resulting vote on suspending Baldwin for 24 hours failed 71–72. Convention would normally have required Jenkins to resign as Speaker, but the House of Representatives immediately thereafter approved a motion of confidence in the Speaker and he remained in the position.[8][9]

He resigned as the Speaker of the House of Representatives on 24 November 2011, stating, "My desire is to be able to participate in policy and parliamentary debate, and this would be incompatible with continuing in the role of Speaker."[1][2][3][10]

Jenkins retired from politics at the 2013 election.


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Jeremy (24 November 2011). "Parliament in turmoil as Speaker resigns". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b Coorey, Phillip (24 November 2011). "Speaker's shock resignation may change balance of power". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b Shannahan, Dennis; Packham, Ben (24 November 2011). "House Speaker Harry Jenkins resigns". The Australian. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Jenkins, Henry (Harry) Alfred". Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
  5. ^ "Harry Jenkins Set For Speaker's Role". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  6. ^ Rae, Marian (24 September 2011). "Australia's Gillard Nominates Speaker Amid Risk of Parliamentary Deadlock". Bloomberg. New York City. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Harry Jenkins elected Speaker". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  8. ^ Shannahan, Dennis (1 June 2011). "Oakeshott nearly brings down the house". The Australian. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Commonwealth of Australia – House of Representatives" (PDF). Hansard. 31 May 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2011.
  10. ^ Siegel, Matt (24 November 2011). "Labor Party Fortifies Edge in Australia". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2011.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
David Hawker
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Peter Slipper
Preceded by
Harry Jenkins Sr.
Member for Scullin
Succeeded by
Andrew Giles