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Jack Straw

Jack Straw 2.jpg
Shadow Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
11 May 2010 – 7 October 2010
Leader Harriet Harman
Preceded by William Hague (Senior Member of the Shadow Cabinet)
Succeeded by Harriet Harman
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
Shadow Lord Chancellor
In office
11 May 2010 – 7 October 2010
Leader Harriet Harman
Ed Miliband
Preceded by Dominic Grieve
Succeeded by Sadiq Khan
Secretary of State for Justice
Lord Chancellor
In office
28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by The Lord Falconer of Thoroton
Succeeded by Kenneth Clarke
Leader of the House of Commons
Lord Privy Seal
In office
5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Geoff Hoon
Succeeded by Harriet Harman
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
8 June 2001 – 5 May 2006
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Robin Cook
Succeeded by Margaret Beckett
Home Secretary
In office
2 May 1997 – 8 June 2001
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Michael Howard
Succeeded by David Blunkett
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
20 October 1994 – 2 May 1997
Leader Tony Blair
Preceded by Tony Blair
Succeeded by Michael Howard
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment
In office
24 July 1992 – 20 October 1994
Leader John Smith
Preceded by Bryan Gould
Succeeded by Frank Dobson
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science
In office
13 July 1987 – 18 July 1992
Leader Neil Kinnock
Preceded by Giles Radice
Succeeded by Ann Taylor (Education)
Member of Parliament
for Blackburn
Assumed office
3 May 1979
Preceded by Barbara Castle
Majority 9,856 (21.7%)
Personal details
Born
John Khoo Cheng Straw

3 August 1946 (1946-08-03) (age 73)
Buckhurst Hill, Essex, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Anthea Weston (1968–1977)
Alice Perkins (1978–present)
Children Daughter (deceased), son, daughter
Alma mater University of Leeds
Inns of Court

John Whitaker Straw (born 3 August 1946) is a British politician who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Blackburn from 1979 to 2015. Straw served in the Cabinet from 1997 to 2010 under the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He held two of the traditional Great Offices of State, as Home Secretary from 1997 to 2001 and Foreign Secretary from 2001 to 2006 under Blair. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Justice throughout Brown's Premiership. Straw is one of only three individuals to have served in Cabinet continuously under the Labour government from 1997 to 2010.

After the Labour Party lost power in May 2010, Straw briefly served as Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Justice Secretary, with the intention to stand down from the frontbench after the subsequent 2010 Labour Shadow Cabinet election.

In February 2015 Channel 4 Dispatches and The Daily Telegraph accused Straw of impropriety following a meeting they set up with a fictitious Chinese company. Straw strongly denied the allegations and referred himself to Parliament’s Commissioner for Standards. In September 2015 the Commissioner for Standards dismissed all allegations that he had brought the House of Commons into disrepute and criticised Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph’s conduct.

Personal life

Straw's first marriage, in 1968, to teacher Anthea Weston, ended in divorce in 1977. They had a daughter, Rachel, born on 24 February 1976, who died after five days because of a heart defect.

On 10 November 1978 he married Alice Perkins, a senior civil servant. In 2006 Straw's wife joined the board of the country's largest airports operator BAA, shortly before it was taken over by the Spanish firm Ferrovial. They have two adult children, Will and Charlotte.

He supports his local football club Blackburn Rovers, and was made an honorary vice president of them in 1998 by Jack Walker.

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