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Sir Bernard Christison Jenkin (born 9 April 1959) is a British Conservative politician. He has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Harwich and North Essex since the 2010 general election. He was first elected to represent Colchester North in the 1992 general election, and went on to represent North Essex before the current Harwich and North Essex constituency was created.
Sir Bernard Jenkin
|Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party for Candidates|
6 December 2005 – 7 November 2006
|Preceded by||Andrew MacKay|
|Succeeded by||John Maples|
|Shadow Secretary of State for the Regions|
11 November 2003 – 6 May 2005
|Preceded by||David Davis (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)|
|Succeeded by||Caroline Spelman (Local Government Affairs and Communities)|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Defence|
18 September 2001 – 6 November 2003
|Leader||Iain Duncan Smith|
|Preceded by||Iain Duncan Smith|
|Succeeded by||Nicholas Soames|
|Member of Parliament|
for Harwich and North Essex
North Essex (1997–2010)
Colchester North (1992–1997)
Assumed office |
9 April 1992
|Preceded by||Antony Buck|
|Born||9 April 1959|
|Spouse(s)||Anne Strutt (1988 - present)|
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College, Cambridge|
He was elected Chairman of the Public Administration Select Committee in May 2010. He was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, and had responsibility for candidates until 7 November 2006 when this role was given to John Maples. Jenkin was sacked from his position over a race row regarding the use of the racial descriptor "coloured", which is widely considered an offensive term within the UK, in referring to British Asian Conservative A-List candidate Ali Miraj.
He is a long-standing critic of the European Union, believing that the European Union undermines the United Kingdom's national sovereignty, and he was one of the Maastricht Rebels during the premiership of John Major. In the 2016 EU Referendum, he supported Brexit and since 2017 has been one of the most vocal supporters of the Eurosceptic pressure group Leave Means Leave.
Jenkin was born on 9 April 1959 to Patrick Jenkin (later Baron Jenkin of Roding), the life peer and former cabinet minister. He is a male-line descendant of the scientist Fleeming Jenkin. He was educated at Highgate School, William Ellis School (also in Highgate) and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a Choral Exhibition and gained an BA honours degree in English literature in 1982. He was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1982. He worked for Ford and the private equity company 3i as Manager of Legal & General Ventures from 1989–92. From 1992–95, he was an advisor to Legal & General Group plc.
Declaring that he wanted to "illustrate that people in the South-East haven't forgotten about Scotland", Jenkin stood for election in Glasgow Central in the 1987 general election. At the 1992 general election he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Colchester North. When that constituency was abolished for the 1997 general election, he was returned to the House of Commons for the newly-re-established North Essex constituency.
In John Major's 1992–1997 government, Jenkin was one of the "Maastricht Rebels" who defied the party whip to oppose the Maastricht Treaty. William Hague appointed him Shadow Minister for Transport (1998–2001). He has also served as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence (2001–03) under Iain Duncan Smith and as Shadow Regions Secretary (2003–05) for Michael Howard. He has also been Shadow Energy Minister. In the 2010 Parliament Jenkin chaired the Public Affairs Committee.
In January 2014 Jenkin drafted a letter calling for prime minister David Cameron to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU to give the House of Commons powers to veto EU legislation, which was ultimately signed by 95 MPs, and reportedly backed by another six. Following the Scottish Independence Referendum and promises made to further devolve powers to Scotland Jenkin called for the creation of an "English First Minister" and for departments responsible for policy that applied only in England to be accountable only to the English MPs
Jenkin, who gained a reputation as a critic of the Coalition government, also led calls to drop the House of Lords Reform Bill 2012. Jenkin voted in favour of same sex marriage in 2013 "as a matter of principle", whilst acknowledging the decision to hold the debate caused much "political unhappiness".
In May 2009 Jenkin was reported by The Daily Telegraph to have used £50,000 in expenses to pay his sister-in-law rent on the property he uses as his constituency home. Jenkin claimed that he was just paying "an honest and reasonable rent" for the property. On 27 October 2009, it was initially recommended that Bernard Jenkin pay back £63,250 by expenses auditor Sir Thomas Legg. This is the highest amount known to have been recommended after an audit of MPs' claims on second homes expenses. This amount was reduced to £36,250 following an appeal.
Jenkin is the Vice-President of the UK charity Combat Stress, which offers residential treatment to ex-servicemen and women suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. To mark his 50th birthday, he held a fundraising event in March 2009 which raised over £50,000 for the charity.
Jenkin married Anne Caroline Strutt in 1988 and has two sons. He is a long-time acquaintance of screenwriter Richard Curtis, who typically includes a character named 'Bernard' in everything he writes.
- Stott, Matt (8 May 2015). "Bernard Jenkin majority surges". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "Jenkin axed in Cameron reshuffle". BBC News. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
- Browne, Anthony (9 November 2006). "Jenkin in new race row after 'coloured' remark". The Times. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "Co-Chairmen - Political Advisory Board - Supporters". Leave Means Leave.
- "Cahoots, mon", The Times, 25 November 1986.
- Ross, Tim (11 January 2014). "95 Tory MPs call for EU law veto". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Tory backbencher calls for 'England First Minister'". ITV. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Watt, Nicholas (10 July 2012). "Rebel Tories scupper motion for House of Lords reform bill". Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Jenkin, Bernard. "Why I, a practising member of the Church of England, will vote for same-sex marriage today". Conservative Home. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Winning candidates for select committee Chairs announced". UK Parliament. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- "Stop MP humiliation – archbishop". BBC News. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
- "MP told to repay £63,250 expenses". BBC News. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
- Parkes, Tom (27 October 2009). "MP ordered to pay back more than £60,000". Daily Gazette (Colchester). Retrieved 29 October 2009.
- Watt, Holly (30 January 2010). "MPs' expenses: Bernard Jenkin has repayment halved". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- "Colchester: Gala event for charity". Essex County Standard. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- Hoggart, Simon (2 December 2010). "Register MPs' hobbies? Please no". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- "The people's choice?". BBC News. 22 March 2002. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
- Born, Matt (13 November 2003). "Why Tory MP is the father of all Bernards". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Bernard Jenkin|
- Bernard Jenkin MP official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Contributions in Parliament during 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 at Hansard Archives
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Bernard Jenkin CV
- Bernard Jenkin MP biography at the site of the Conservative Party
- ePolitix.com – Bernard Jenkin
- Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Bernard Jenkin MP
- BBC News – Bernard Jenkin profile 20 June 2006
- on YouTube
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Colchester North
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament|
for North Essex
| Member of Parliament
for Harwich and North Essex
Iain Duncan Smith
| Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
as Shadow Secretary of State for
the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
| Shadow Secretary of State for the Regions
as Shadow Secretary of State for
Local Government Affairs and Communities