Colin Challen was born in Scarborough 12/6/1953 and worked as a supplier accountant for the Royal Air Force in 1971 before becoming a postman in 1974. He completed a philosophy degree at the University of Hull in 1983, setting up as a printer and publisher in 1982 running the "Hull Free Press" also known as the Hull Community Press. Challen wrote several pamphlets on civil defence, green issues and was an activist and campaigner before becoming a paid organiser for the Labour Party in 1984.
In 1986 he was elected as a Councillor for the Newlands ward [possibly also Avenue??] in Kingston upon Hull (until 1994).
After being selected for the Beverley parliamentary consituency in 1990 Challen was not elected MP in the 1992 election; he was elected MP for Morley and Rothwell (Leeds) in 2001, serving as an MP until the 2010 general election in which parts of his constituency were merged with Normanton into the new Morley and Outwood constituency. During his time as an MP Challen founded the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change in 2005.
In 2011 Challen was elected a Labour member of Scarborough Borough Council for Castle ward, and was elected leader of the Scarborough & Whitby Labour Party in 2014 having previously been deputy. He stood for election in the Derwent Valley ward (Scarborough Borough Council) in 2015 but was defeated.
Challen now works as an artist in Scarborough exhibiting regularly.
Published sources for career up to 2011: http://www.colinchallen.org/about.html; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Challen; https://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/colin-challen/1434/
Post 2011: www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk
Some information above obtained from the collection.