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Robert John Blackman (born 26 April 1956) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who has been a joint-secretary[2] and an executive member of the 1922 Committee since May 2012 [3] and has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Harrow East since the 2010 general election. He was also the Greater London Assembly member for Brent & Harrow between 2004 and 2008.

Bob Blackman

Official portrait of Bob Blackman crop 2.jpg
Executive Secretary of the 1922 Committee
Assumed office
17 May 2012
Serving alongside
Nigel Evans
ChairmanSir Graham Brady
Preceded byPeter Bone & Christopher Chope
Member of Parliament
for Harrow East
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byTony McNulty
Majority1,757 (3.4%)
Member of the London Assembly
for Brent and Harrow
In office
10 June 2004 – 1 May 2008
Preceded byToby Harris
Succeeded byNavin Shah
Personal details
Born (1956-04-26) 26 April 1956 (age 62)[1]
Kensington, London, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Nicola Blackman
ResidenceWembley, London
Alma materUniversity of Liverpool
(Physics and Mathematics
Bachelor's degree)
ProfessionBT
telecommunications engineer
Websitebobblackmanmp.com
parliament..bob-blackman

Contents

Early life and careerEdit

Blackman was born in Kensington on the 26 April 1956. He was state educated at Preston Manor High School, where he was Head Boy. He has subsequently served as a school governor at the same school. He studied at the University of Liverpool, where he was president of the Students Union. He joined the sales team of Burroughs Machines (later Unisys) on graduation. He worked in various sales and management positions for BT and worked at their training school in Milton Keynes as a tutor[4] and later as a Regulatory Compliance Manager for BT[5] until his election to Parliament.

Political careerEdit

Blackman unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate in the Tokyngton ward of London Borough of Brent Council in 1986. Four years later, he stood in the Preston Ward and was elected; he retained the seat until 2010, when he did not stand. [6] He was the leader of the Conservative group on Brent council from 1990 to 2010, having been council leader between 1991 and 1996, when his party lost control of the Council. From June 2006 to May 2010, he was Deputy Leader of Brent Council, the Conservatives having formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

He unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative Party parliamentary candidate for Brent South at the 1992 election, for Bedford at the 1997 election, and for Brent North at the 2005 election.

He unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative Party candidate for the constituency seat of Brent and Harrow of the London Assembly at the 2000 elections, losing to the Labour Party candidate Toby Harris. However, he subsequently defeated Harris at the 2004 assembly elections and was elected as the Conservative's Group Whip on the London Assembly. In the 2008 elections, Blackman lost his seat to the Labour candidate, Navin Shah by a 1,649 votes.[7]

Member of ParliamentEdit

In the 2010 general election, Blackman gained the Harrow East constituency from Labour's Tony McNulty. He was subsequently re-elected in 2015 and 2017.

In 2010 he was elected a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.[8] and was elected Secretary of the 1922 Committee in 2015.[9] In Parliament, Blackman currently serves on the Procedure Committee, the Backbench Business Committee and the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.[10]

Blackman supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum.[11] He subsequently joined the European Research Group - the primary Eurosceptic lobbying group within Parliament, which is currently chaired by Jacob Rees-Mogg.[12]

Blackman is an Officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel group and has been part of several delegations to Israel,[13] including during the Operation Defensive Shield conflict when he visited for an Israeli military briefing on the Iron Dome defence system.[14]

CampaignsEdit

Blackman called for the adoption of plain packaging legislation for cigarettes,[15] and supported Cameron's plan calling for energy companies to provide simplified energy bills to their customers.[16] On 1 July 2015, Blackman was elected Chair of the All Party Political Group on Smoking and Health, after serving as its Secretary for several years.[17][18]

In December 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his approval for same-sex marriage.[19] In response, on Friday 7 December 2012, Blackman told the BBC News Channel that David Cameron's backing of religious same-sex marriages was wrong "on principle" and that marriage had to be "between one man and one woman".[20] According to the Harrow Times, he was accused of hypocrisy by a former fellow Brent council colleague who claimed she had an 11-year affair with him whilst he was married.[21] On 5 February 2013 MP Bob Blackman voted against the bill in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on marriage equality in Britain.[22] In 2012, when the Conservative Party launched its consultation into legalising same-sex marriages, Blackman suggested that David Cameron should resurrect Section 28, stating that he strongly believed that "Section 28 was the right rules to have in school so that we should not in any way shape or form promote same-sex relationships" and said he would be "very opposed" to seeing teachers being forced to say same-sex relationships are equivalent to heterosexual relationships. Shortly after, Blackman's Labour predecessor Tony McNulty branded him a "complete idiot" on Twitter.[23]

In 2016, he was drawn second in the annual Parliamentary ballot for a Private Member's Bill and subsequently put together a Homelessness Reduction Bill in partnership with national homelessness charity, Crisis.[24] It was the first Private Member's Bill to be supported by a Select Committee.[25] After receiving Government support at 2nd Reading, it passed through all stages in Parliament unopposed in both Houses and received Royal Assent on Thursday 27 April 2017.[26]

ControversyEdit

In 2000, it was made public that Blackman had had an 11-year affair (which began in the late 1980s) with a colleague he met whilst working as a councillor at the Brent East Conservative Association. His then mistress, Carol Shaw, gave an affidavit about their affair to a solicitor in 2000 - after being persuaded to do so by one of Blackman's rivals who hoped to see him ousted as a group leader. The affidavit was copied and distributed amongst his fellow Conservative councillors - one of whom was his wife, Nicola Blackman - by the rival. In 2012, after Blackman had publicly spoken about his opposition to same-sex marriage, he was accused of hypocrisy by Shaw.[27]

In 2015, the Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) made a judgement that Blackman had submitted 732 inaccurate mileage claims.[28] According to IPSA he claimed up to 10 miles for a 2-mile journey, making him the highest mileage MP, claiming almost twice the mileage as the 10 next highest MPs.[29]

Blackman has been accused of stirring up racial tensions as a result of racial bias for hosting Tapan Gosh, an anti-Islam campaigner from India at a House of Commons event in October 2017,[30] as well as sharing Islamophobic posts on Twitter by far-right activist Tommy Robinson and being a member of numerous anti-Islam groups on Facebook.[31] These comments and others by Conservative candidates and representatives led the Muslim Council of Britain to call for an independent inquiry into alleged Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.[31]

Personal lifeEdit

Blackman is married to former Conservative Party councillor Nicola Blackman, and the couple live in Wembley. He employs his wife as a part-time Office Manager on a salary up to £39,999.[32]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bob Blackman MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. ^ Nigel Evans
  3. ^ "New faces on Tory 1922 committee". 17 May 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  4. ^ "Biography". Bob Blackman. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Blackman responds to statement on the Leveson Inquiry". DeHaviland. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  6. ^ "London Borough of Brent Election Results 1964-2010" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Brent & Harrow 2008 Election Result". BBC News. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Communities and Local Government Select Committee". UK Parliament Website. UK Parliament. Retrieved 8 January 2012.[]
  9. ^ "1922 Committee Results". Conservative Home Website. Conservative Home. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Bob Blackman MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  11. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Letter from European Research Group to PM May". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  14. ^ Mason, Rowena; correspondent, political (30 July 2014). "Tory MPs' visit to Israel condemned as bad timing". Retrieved 16 June 2017 – via The Guardian.
  15. ^ Emma Innes (30 November 2012). "Harrow MP calls for cigarettes to be sold in plain packets (From Harrow Times)". Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  16. ^ Emma Innes (21 November 2012). "Harrow East MP supports government energy plans (From Harrow Times)". Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  17. ^ Blackman, Bob (2 July 2015). "Delighted to be elected Chairman of APPG for Action on Smoking & Health". Twitter..
  18. ^ "Register Of All-Party Parliamentary Groups [as at 6 January 2017]". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Gay marriage: David Cameron backs church role". BBC News. BBC. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  20. ^ Joe Murphy, "Anti-homosexual Section 28 was right for schools, says Tory MP", London Evening Standard, 10 December 2012 [1]
  21. ^ Emma Innes (17 December 2012). "Harrow East MP Bob Blackman at heart of national newspaper storm". Harrow Times. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  22. ^ "The House of Commons.2013.Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012–2013". publications.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  23. ^ "Tory MP Bob Blackman: Cameron should be re-introducing Section 28 not letting gays marry". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  24. ^ "No One Turned Away". No One Turned Away. Crisis. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Homelessness Reduction Bill supported by Committee". UK Parliament. 14 October 2016.
  26. ^ "Homelessness Reduction Bill". UK Parliament.
  27. ^ "Sanctity of marriage? After eleven years in my bed, he's one to talk! The ex-mistress of a Tory MP who champions traditional matrimony gives a devastating account of their affair". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  28. ^ Datoo, Siraj (4 February 2015). "Tory MP Pays Back His Expenses After Making 734 "Inaccurate" Claims". BBC.
  29. ^ "Tory MP Bob Blackman's 700 'inaccurate expenses claims'". Daily Telegraph. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  30. ^ "Anti-Islam extremist who praised Rohingya massacre hosted in Commons". 26 October 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  31. ^ a b Fisher, Lucy (31 May 2018). "Muslim Council of Britain demands inquiry into Tory 'Islamophobia'". The Times. Retrieved 14 August 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
  32. ^ "IPSA". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 June 2018.

External linksEdit