Described by The Guardian as a Big Beast of British politics, Jack Straw has proudly held two of the traditional Great Offices of State - that of Home Secretary (from 1997 to 2001), and then Foreign Secretary (from 2001 to 2006), both during Tony Blair's tenure as Prime Minister. He was, in addition, Lord Chancellor and Secretary Of State For Justice during Gordon Brown's premiership. He is one of only three MPs to have served in Cabinet continuously during the Labour Party's term in Government from 1997-2010.
First elected as a Member Of Parliament in 1979, Jack remains an MP to this day, loyally serving the people of Blackburn as the longest-serving MP of that large and diverse constituency.
After having been called to the Bar and then working as a Special Advisor to Cabinet Ministers Barbara Castle and Peter Shore, Jack became the Opposition Spokesman On Education And The Environment, before being appointed Home Secretary after Labour won the 1997 General Election. Key legislation was introduced during his tenure as Home Secretary, including the Freedom Of Information Act and the incorporation of the European Convention On Human Rights into British Law. Jack's time as Home Secretary also had its share of controversies, including the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and Pinochet affair.
Jack has written and co-authored a number of books, including an autobiography - Last Man Standing: Memoirs Of A Political Survivor, published in 2012.
Jack's experience in many significant international policy areas enables him to talk with authority to audiences around the world on such subjects as the role and workings of the UK government, the future of the EU, Middle East conflicts, the rise of South Asia as an industrial powerhouse, the need for close international relations in changing political climates, international law, security, and the reform of global institutions.
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- Former rugby union player, who played at prop for Bath and England.
- An award winning newscaster, Fiona is a regular presenter of both the 6 O’clock and 10 O’clock News and has fronted the Antiques Roadshow as lead presenter since 2008.
- Currently playing Cain Dingle in Emmerdale.