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James Jacob Gilchrist Berry[1] (born 29 December 1978) is a British Conservative Party politician and former solicitor serving as the Cabinet attending Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse, at the Cabinet Office and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, since July 2019.[2]


Jake Berry

Jake Berry MP (Gov).jpg
Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth
Assumed office
24 July 2019
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
In office
14 June 2017 – 24 July 2019
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byAndrew Percy
Member of Parliament
for Rossendale and Darwen
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byJanet Anderson
Majority3,216 (6.4%)
Personal details
Born (1978-12-29) 29 December 1978 (age 40)[1]
Liverpool, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
Charlotte Alexa
(m. 2009; div. 2016)
Domestic partnerAlice Robinson
Children1
ResidenceHelmshore
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield and Chester College
ProfessionSolicitor
WebsiteOfficial website

He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rossendale and Darwen, having won the seat at the general election of 2010, defeating the sitting Labour Party MP Janet Anderson by a majority of 4,493 votes.[3][4]

Early lifeEdit

Berry was born in Liverpool on 29 December 1978 and educated at Liverpool College, before studying for a Law degree at Sheffield University.[1] He trained at Chester College and in the City of London, before becoming a solicitor in 2003.[1][5] He worked for a number of legal practices,[1] specialising in housing and development law.[5]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Berry was elected in the general election of 2010 as MP for Rossendale and Darwen. He won against incumbent MP Janet Anderson, who held the position for eighteen years, in an 8.9% swing to the Conservatives. Berry overturned a Labour majority of 3,616 to win by 4,493 votes.[4][6]

In 2010, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Grant Shapps, the Minister for Housing and Local Government at the Department of Communities and Local Government, following Shapps to the Cabinet Office in 2012.[4][5]

In April 2013, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, asked Berry to join the Number 10 Policy Unit, headed by Jo Johnson. His roles in this position include advising the Prime Minister on housing, regional growth and local government.[7]

Having grown his moustache for the Movember charity appeal in November 2013, Berry claimed he had been compared to the television detective Magnum, P.I., and a porn star of the 1970s.[8] Berry sponsored legislation, the Local Government (Religious etc. Observances) Bill, which gave councils the right to hold religious prayers at the start of meetings.[9]

In the general election of 2015, Berry was returned as MP for Rossendale and Darwen, with an increased majority of 5,654.[10] From July 2015 until January 2017, Berry served on the Parliamentary Finance Committee.[11]

In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Berry was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property.

The Conservative Government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.[12] Berry was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 Referendum.[13] Berry was again returned as MP in June 2017, but with a reduced majority of 3,216.[14]

Following the election, Berry was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, making him the third Northern Powerhouse minister in the space of two years.[15] Upon the accession of Boris Johnson to the premiership, Berry was promoted to Minister of State, with attendance at cabinet meetings. He was appointed to the Privy Council the next day.[16]

ControversiesEdit

In May 2016, it emerged that Berry was one of a number of Conservative MPs being investigated by police in the United Kingdom general election, 2015 party spending investigation, for allegedly spending more than the legal limit on constituency election campaign expenses.[17] However, in April 2017, Lancashire Police confirmed that no further action would be taken.[18]

In March 2018, he described campaigners who forced the aerospace firm BAE Systems to withdraw as a sponsor of a flagship arts festival in North East England as "subsidy addicted artists" and "snowflakes".[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Berry lives in Helmshore, Rossendale and London.[20][21] He married Charlotte Alexa in 2009,[1] but they divorced in September 2016.[22] His new partner, Alice Robinson, gave birth to a baby boy in March 2017.[23]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Berry, James Jacob Gilchrist, (Jake)', Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2011 ; online edn, Nov 2011 accessed 30 November 2012
  2. ^ "Jake Berry MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  3. ^ Jake Berry MP Archived 5 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Westminster Parliamentary Record. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Jake Berry Archived 2 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine, www.parliament.uk. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Jake Berry, Conservative Party website. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Conservative gains in Lancashire". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  7. ^ Winnett, Robert (24 April 2013). "David Cameron recruits Boris's brother for Number 10". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  8. ^ "Movember MP Jake Berry 'looks like 1970s porn star'". BBC. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Local Government (Religious etc. Observances) Bill 2014–15". UK Parliament. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  10. ^ "VIDEO: Jake Berry retains Rossendale and Darwen seat for Conservatives". Lancashire Telegraph.
  11. ^ "Jake Berry MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ bbc.co.uk/elections
  15. ^ Lucy Roue (7 July 2017). "I went to interview the Northern Powerhouse minister - but ended up in a room with secret documents". manchestereveningnews.co.uk. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  16. ^ "ORDERS APPROVED AND BUSINESS TRANSACTED AT THE PRIVY COUNCIL HELD BY THE QUEEN AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE ON 25TH JULY 2019" (PDF). Privy Council Office. 2019.
  17. ^ "Election Expenses Exposed". Channel 4 News. 23 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Rossendale MP Jake Berry in the cleared in election expenses investigation". Rossendale Free Press. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  19. ^ Perraudin, Frances (9 March 2018). "Minister criticises 'snowflake' artists who opposed arms firm sponsorship". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated". Rossendale Borough Council. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  21. ^ "About Jake". Jake Berry. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  22. ^ Robinson, Jon (20 September 2016). "Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry in divorce from wife". Lancashire Telegraph.
  23. ^ "MP Jake Berry reveals delight after birth of his first child". 8 March 2017.

External linksEdit