Open main menu

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.

Ian Pearson
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
In office
5 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
ChancellorAlistair Darling
Preceded byKitty Ussher
Succeeded byJustine Greening
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Economics and Business
In office
5 October 2008 – 9 June 2009
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Sec. of StateThe Lord Mandelson
Preceded byGareth Thomas
Succeeded byPat McFadden
Minister of State for Science
In office
28 June 2007 – 5 October 2008
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Sec. of StateJohn Denham
Preceded byMalcolm Wicks
Succeeded byThe Lord Drayson
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
29 May 2002 – 13 June 2003
Prime MinisterTony Blair
ChancellorGordon Brown
Preceded byDavid Clelland (2001)
Succeeded byJim Murphy
Member of Parliament
for Dudley South
Dudley West (1994–1997)
In office
16 December 1994 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byJohn Blackburn
Succeeded byChris Kelly
Personal details
Born (1959-04-05) 5 April 1959 (age 60)
Dudley, Worcestershire, England
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Warwick, Balliol College, Oxford

Early lifeEdit

Political careerEdit

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.[1] He won the seat with nearly 70% of the votes, with the Conservative candidates polling at less than 20%.[2]

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".[3] 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".[4]

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.[5] 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.

On 21 January 2010, Pearson announced that he would not contest the next general election.[6]


  1. ^ Cosgrave, Patrick (13 October 1994). "Obituary: John Blackburn". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  2. ^ Results of Byelections in the 1992–97 Parliament
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Ryanair hits back in 'green' row". BBC News. 5 January 2007. Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  5. ^ "Pearson is named science minister". BBC News. 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Dudley MP standing down". Birmingham Post. 21 January 2010. Archived from the original on 24 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2010.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Blackburn
Member of Parliament for Dudley West
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Dudley South
Succeeded by
Chris Kelly
Political offices
Preceded by
Malcolm Wicks
Minister of State for Science
Succeeded by
The Lord Drayson
Preceded by
Gareth Thomas (Promoted to Minister at the DBERR)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Economics and Business
2008 – 2009
Position abolished
Preceded by
Kitty Ussher
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Justine Greening