Harry van Bommel
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Harry van Bommel was born on 24 June 1962 in Helmond. After completing his secondary education in Zwolle, he did his military service before returning to Zwolle to train as a teacher. He then studied political science at the University of Amsterdam, completing his course in 1994, going on to teach Dutch and English at a technical school.
Harry van Bommel has been a member of the SP since 1986. In 1990 he was elected to the Amsterdam East district council and in 1994 to Amsterdam City Council, where in the local elections four years later the SP made the biggest net gains. Until 1994 he was also a member of the SP executive committee, where he had responsibility for students and schoolchildren.
Following the SP's entry into parliament Van Bommel became education policy worker for the new group, working on, amongst other things, the controversial report on (the reduction of) opportunities for young people (Alles Kids?). Since May 1998 Harry van Bommel has been a Socialist Party MP, now responsible for European and foreign affairs, development aid and general affairs.