Michael took over as CEO of UK Music in May 2017 after stepping down as an MP. He had represented the Barnsley East seat for seven years, during which he held senior positions in the Shadow Cabinet including Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Before being elected to the House of Commons in 2010, Michael spent eight years working in Whitehall in a variety of senior roles as a Special Advisor, including at No. 10 Downing Street as Chief Political Spokesman to the Prime Minister. Michael was also previously Director of UK Government Relations for EDS (now Hewlett Packard), a global technology services company, and Head of Policy for the AEEU (now Unite the Union).
He has had a lifelong passion for music and has worked on a cross-party basis with UK Music for many years, including as a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music.
A self-taught musician, he plays several instruments and still gigs occasionally, including a recent performance at Liverpool’s world-famous Cavern Club and on TV as a guest musician, along with members of Dodgy and Maximo Park, on Matt Forde's 'Unspun' show.
Michael helped to establish a metropolitan festival as patron of Live In Barnsley, a not-for-profit event attracting several thousand attendees that has been nominated for a number of awards. He has also been patron of Worsbrough Brass, one of Yorkshire's top brass bands, and has guest-presented a music show on local radio.