Ian Phares Pearson (born 5 April 1959) is a British Labour Party politician who was a member of parliament (MP) from 1994 until 2010, representing Dudley West from 1994 until 1997, and then Dudley South from 1997 until his retirement from the House of Commons at the 2010 general election. He served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 2008 to 2010.
Having unsuccessfully contested Bexhill and Battle in the 1983 general election, Pearson entered parliament for Dudley West in a by-election in December 1994, winning a Conservative seat left vacant by the death of John Blackburn in October of that year. He won the seat with nearly 70% of the votes, with the Conservative candidates polling at less than 20%.
Boundary changes saw him move to the newly created constituency of Dudley South in 1997.
Pearson served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Paymaster-General Geoffrey Robinson from 1997 until Robinson was forced to resign in 1998. In 2001 he returned to the government as a whip. In 2002 he moved to the Northern Ireland Office as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. After the 2005 general election he was promoted to Minister of State for Trade in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In the PM's 2006 reshuffle, he was appointed as Minister of State for Climate Change and Environment at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
In an interview with The Guardian published on 5 January 2007, Pearson courted considerable controversy by publicly criticising several airlines, particularly Ryanair, for failing to pull their weight in lowering UK carbon emissions. He described Ryanair as "the irresponsible face of capitalism". In response, Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, claimed Ryanair had made a considerable investment in environmentally friendly planes and technologies and had the lowest fuel use per passenger figures of any British airline. O'Leary described Pearson as a "silly", adding that Pearson "hadn't a clue what he [was] talking about".
On 29 June 2007, Pearson was moved in Gordon Brown's first reshuffle to become a Minister of State in the newly created Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills under Secretary of State John Denham. Whilst there he was criticised for not doing anything to avert the current funding crisis at the Science and Technology Facilities Council hitting UK Astronomy and particle physics. In Gordon Brown's next reshuffle of 3 October 2008, Pearson was moved to the Treasury as Economic Secretary, also becoming Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Economics and Business. In the June 2009 reshuffle Pearson retained his role at the Treasury but lost his business role as the department was merged to create the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
- Cosgrave, Patrick (13 October 1994). "Obituary: John Blackburn". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- Results of Byelections in the 1992–97 Parliament
- Wintour, Patrick (5 January 2007). "Labour targets airlines over carbon emissions". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 2 March 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
- "Ryanair hits back in 'green' row". BBC News. 5 January 2007. Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
- "Pearson is named science minister". BBC News. 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
- "Dudley MP standing down". Birmingham Post. 21 January 2010. Archived from the original on 24 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
- Official website
- Ministerial Responsibilities – Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
- Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Ian Pearson MP
- Ian Pearson MP on TheyWorkForYou
- Kaupthing Involvement
- "Ian Pearson MP, Minister of State (Climate Change and the Environment)". Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 5 April 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
- Interview with Ian Pearson on his science responsibilities. Published in Research Fortnight, July 2007
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Dudley West
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for Dudley South
1997 – 2010
| Minister of State for Science
The Lord Drayson
Gareth Thomas (Promoted to Minister at the DBERR)
| Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Economics and Business
2008 – 2009
| Economic Secretary to the Treasury