Robert John Blackman (born 26 April 1956) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who has been a joint-secretary and an executive member of the 1922 Committee since May 2012 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.
|Executive Secretary of the 1922 Committee|
|Assumed office |
17 May 2012
|Chairman||Sir Graham Brady|
|Preceded by||Peter Bone & Christopher Chope|
|Member of Parliament |
for Harrow East
|Assumed office |
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Tony McNulty|
|Member of the London Assembly|
for Brent and Harrow
10 June 2004 – 1 May 2008
|Preceded by||Toby Harris|
|Succeeded by||Navin Shah|
|Born||26 April 1956|
Kensington, London, England
|Alma mater||University of Liverpool|
(Physics and Mathematics
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 and later as a Regulatory Compliance Manager for BT until his election to Parliament.
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. 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 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.
Member of ParliamentEdit
In 2010 he was elected a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee. and was elected Secretary of the 1922 Committee in 2015. In Parliament, Blackman currently serves on the Procedure Committee, the Backbench Business Committee and the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.
Blackman supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum. He subsequently joined the European Research Group – the primary Eurosceptic lobbying group within Parliament, which is currently chaired by Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Blackman is an Officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel group and has been part of several delegations to Israel, including during the Operation Defensive Shield conflict when he visited for an Israeli military briefing on the Iron Dome defence system.
In 2015, the Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) made a judgement that Blackman had submitted 732 inaccurate mileage claims. 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.
Blackman has been accused[by whom?] 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, 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. 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.
Blackman called for the adoption of plain packaging legislation for cigarettes, and supported Cameron's plan calling for energy companies to provide simplified energy bills to their customers. 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.
In December 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his approval for same-sex marriage. In response, on 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". 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. On 5 February 2013, Bob Blackman voted against the bill in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on marriage equality in Britain. 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.
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. It was the first Private Member's Bill to be supported by a Select Committee. 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.
- "Bob Blackman MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- Nigel Evans
- "New faces on Tory 1922 committee". BBC News. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Biography". Bob Blackman. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- "Blackman responds to statement on the Leveson Inquiry". DeHaviland. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "London Borough of Brent Election Results 1964-2010" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "Brent & Harrow 2008 Election Result". BBC News. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Communities and Local Government Select Committee". UK Parliament Website. UK Parliament. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "1922 Committee Results". Conservative Home Website. Conservative Home. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- "Bob Blackman MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- 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.
- "Letter from European Research Group to PM May". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Mason, Rowena (30 July 2014). "Tory MPs' visit to Israel condemned as bad timing". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- Datoo, Siraj (4 February 2015). "Tory MP Pays Back His Expenses After Making 734 "Inaccurate" Claims". BBC.
- "Tory MP Bob Blackman's 700 'inaccurate expenses claims'". Daily Telegraph. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
- "Anti-Islam extremist who praised Rohingya massacre hosted in Commons". The Independent. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
- Fisher, Lucy (31 May 2018). "Muslim Council of Britain demands inquiry into Tory 'Islamophobia'". The Times. Retrieved 14 August 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
- Emma Innes (30 November 2012). "Harrow MP calls for cigarettes to be sold in plain packets (From Harrow Times)". Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Emma Innes (21 November 2012). "Harrow East MP supports government energy plans (From Harrow Times)". Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Blackman, Bob (2 July 2015). "Delighted to be elected Chairman of APPG for Action on Smoking & Health". Twitter..
- "Register Of All-Party Parliamentary Groups [as at 6 January 2017]". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Gay marriage: David Cameron backs church role". BBC News. BBC. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Joe Murphy, "Anti-homosexual Section 28 was right for schools, says Tory MP", London Evening Standard, 10 December 2012 
- Emma Innes (17 December 2012). "Harrow East MP Bob Blackman at heart of national newspaper storm". Harrow Times. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- "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.
- "Tory MP Bob Blackman: Cameron should be re-introducing Section 28 not letting gays marry". Retrieved 30 December 2017.
- "No One Turned Away". No One Turned Away. Crisis. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- "Homelessness Reduction Bill supported by Committee". UK Parliament. 14 October 2016.
- "Homelessness Reduction Bill". UK Parliament.
- "IPSA". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 June 2018.