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Gregory James Pope (born 29 August 1960) is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hyndburn from 1992, until retiring at the 2010 general election. He was a government whip from 1997 until 2001.

Greg Pope
Member of Parliament
for Hyndburn
In office
10 April 1992 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byKen Hargreaves
Succeeded byGraham Jones
Personal details
Born (1960-08-29) 29 August 1960 (age 59)
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Catherine Fallon
Children3
ResidenceBlackburn, Lancashire
Alma materUniversity of Hull
OccupationAssistant General Secretary, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales

Early lifeEdit

Pope was born and raised in Great Harwood, the only son of Sam and Sheila Pope. He went to St Marys College R.C. Grammar School on Shear Brow in Blackburn, now St Mary's Sixth Form College, Blackburn. He studied Politics at the University of Hull, graduating in 1981.

Pope was elected to serve on Hyndburn Borough Council in 1984 until 1988, and he also served briefly on Blackburn Borough Council from 1989 to 1990.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Pope unsuccessfully fought Ribble Valley at the 1987 Election, placing third, before gaining Hyndburn from the Conservative Ken Hargreaves in 1992. Considered a Blairite,[1] Pope is a signatory of the Henry Jackson Society. He was a member of the backbench committee on Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2001.

In April 2000, as a whip, Pope inadvertently approved a Liberal Democrat clause in the government's utilities bill, committing the government to meet 10% of electricity requirements from green sources by 2010. Pope said: “We were doing a series of government amendments. I realised I'd shouted aye too many times. I'm not overjoyed about it.” The error led the government to instruct its MPs to vote against the clause.[2]

In July 2003, Pope admitted leaking confidential Foreign Affairs Select Committee evidence, to The Guardian chief political correspondent Patrick Wintour. The move was described as an attempt to “bounce” MPs on the committee into clearing Alastair Campbell of “sexing up” the so called Dodgy Dossier. This was of evidence into the threat, posed by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.[3]

On 11 June 2009, Pope announced that he would stand down at the 2010 Election.[4] In November 2009, Graham Jones, who later became his successor, was chosen as an candidate to succeed him by Labour.[5] In April 2010, he revealed he nearly didn't stand in 2005. However, quite a few of his friends and family talked to him and persuaded him to have one more term, which he did have.[6]

Parliamentary expensesEdit

In December 2009, Greg Pope claimed £21,613 in expenses in a single year (2008–2009)[7][8] and £7,295 of Additional Cost Allowance , which included household furnishings and mortgage payments. This was over a two year period.[9]

After politicsEdit

On 19 April 2010, Pope was appointed as the deputy director of the Catholic Education Service (CES).[10] In March 2017, he left the CES to become the Assistant General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales.

Personal lifeEdit

In July 2006, in a survey of MPs, Pope somewhat controversially chose Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols as his favourite album. “It changed music forever and meant we never had to listen to Boney M again.”[11]

He married Catherine Fallon on 2 August 1985; they have three children. Catherine, known as Kate, is the General Secretary of the Association of Educational Psychologists, a registered trade union representing educational psychologists working in the United Kingdom.[12] Their son, Conor, is deputy editor of New Labour pressure group, Progress.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cabinet concern over PM's stance, Tania Branigan and Alexi Mostrous, The Guardian, 29 July 2006
  2. ^ Whip's error on Lib-Dem clause "farcical", Financial Times, 19 April 2000
  3. ^ MPs' fury over ploy to rescue Campbell, Paul Eastham, Daily Mail, 4 July 2003
  4. ^ "Greg Pope to step down as Hyndburn MP", Lancashire Telegraph, 11 June 2009
  5. ^ "Hyndburn Labour successor to Greg Pope announced". lancashiretelegraph.co.uk. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Highs and lows, but no regrets for Greg Pope MP". accringtonobserver.co.uk. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Expenses: Hyndburn MP Greg Pope claims £21,000", Lancashire Telegraph, 11 December 2009
  8. ^ "Allowances by MP – Greg Pope", UK Parliament
  9. ^ "Revealed: MP Greg Pope’s £7,295 claim for house expenses", Accrington Observer, 18 June 2009
  10. ^ Greg Pope joins CESEW as its new Deputy Director Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Catholic Education Service, 19 April 2010
  11. ^ "Seventies rock still a big hit with MPs", Daily Mail, 27 July 2006
  12. ^ "AEP - Organisation".
  13. ^ "Progress | News and debate from the progressive community | The Progress Team". www.progressonline.org.uk. Retrieved 6 February 2017.

External linksEdit