Bob Blackman


Robert John Blackman (born 26 April 1956)[2] is a Conservative Party politician serving as the Executive Secretary of the 1922 Committee since 2012 (serving jointly with Nigel Evans until 8 January 2020 when Evans became Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means),[3] and has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Harrow East since 2010. He was also the Greater London Assembly member for Brent & Harrow between 2004 and 2008.

Bob Blackman

Blackman in 2020
Executive Secretary of the 1922 Committee
Assumed office
17 May 2012
Serving with Nigel Evans (2017–2020)
LeaderDavid Cameron
Theresa May
Boris Johnson
ChairmanSir Graham Brady
Cheryl Gillan
Charles Walker
Preceded byPeter Bone &
Sir Christopher Chope
Member of Parliament
for Harrow East
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byTony McNulty
Majority8,170 (16.5%)
Member of the London Assembly
for Brent and Harrow
In office
10 June 2004  1 May 2008
Preceded byToby Harris
Succeeded byNavin Shah
Personal details
Born (1956-04-26) 26 April 1956 (age 65)[1]
Kensington, London, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Nicola Blackman
ResidenceWembley, London
Alma materUniversity of Liverpool (BSc)
ProfessionBT
telecommunications engineer
Websitebobblackman.org.uk
parliament.uk biography

Early life and career


Blackman studied at the University of Liverpool and left with a Bachelor of Science degree.[2] While at Liverpool, he was president of the students' union. He joined the sales team of Burroughs Machines (later Unisys) on graduation. He worked in various sales and management positions for BT and worked at their training school in Milton Keynes as a tutor[4] and later as a Regulatory Compliance Manager for BT[5] until his election to Parliament.

Political career


Blackman unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate in the Tokyngton ward of London Borough of Brent Council in 1986. Four years later, he stood in the Preston ward and was elected; he retained the seat until 2010, when he did not stand.[6] He was the leader of the Conservative group on Brent council from 1990 to 2010, having been council leader between 1991 and 1996, when his party lost control of the council. From June 2006 to May 2010, he was Deputy Leader of Brent Council, the Conservatives having formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

He unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative Party parliamentary candidate for Brent South at the 1992 election, for Bedford at the 1997 election, and for Brent North at the 2005 election.

He unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative Party candidate for the constituency seat of Brent and Harrow of the London Assembly at the 2000 elections, losing to the Labour Party candidate Toby Harris. However, he subsequently defeated Harris at the 2004 assembly elections and was elected as the Conservative's Group Whip on the London Assembly. In the 2008 Assembly election, Blackman lost his seat to the Labour candidate Navin Shah by a 1,649 votes.[7]

Member of Parliament


In the 2010 general election, Blackman gained the Harrow East constituency from Labour's Tony McNulty. He was subsequently re-elected in 2015 and 2017.

In 2010 he was elected a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.[8] and was elected Secretary of the 1922 Committee in 2015.[9] In Parliament, Blackman currently serves on the Procedure Committee, the Backbench Business Committee and the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.[10]

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, Blackman was one of 72 Conservative MPs voting 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.[11]

Blackman supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum.[12] He subsequently joined the European Research Group, the primary Eurosceptic lobbying group within Parliament, which is currently chaired by Mark Francois.[13]

Blackman is an Officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel group and has been part of several delegations to Israel,[14] including during the Operation Defensive Shield conflict when he visited for an Israeli military briefing on the Iron Dome defence system.[15]

In 2015, the Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) made a judgement that Blackman had submitted 732 inaccurate mileage claims.[16] According to IPSA he claimed up to 10 miles for a two-mile journey, making him the highest-mileage MP, claiming almost twice the mileage as the 10 next-highest MPs.[17]

In 2017, Blackman drew criticism from Tom Peck of The Independent for hosting Tapan Ghosh, an anti-Islam extremist from India, at a House of Commons event in October 2017,[18] as well as sharing anti-Islam posts on Twitter by far-right activist Tommy Robinson and being a member of numerous anti-Islam groups on Facebook.[19] These comments and others by some Conservative candidates and representatives led the Muslim Council of Britain to call for an independent inquiry into alleged Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.[19]

In March 2019, Blackman was among a group of MPs who argued for a number of measures to encourage people to quit smoking and prevent young people from taking it up, including raising the legal smoking age to 21 and introducing a levy on large tobacco companies.[20]

In August 2019, Blackman expressed his support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoking Article 370 of the Constitution of India, calling the article an "anomaly", adding that "Kashmiri Pandits must be guaranteed right of return after they were the victims of ethnic cleansing".[21]

Campaigns


Blackman called for the adoption of plain packaging legislation for cigarettes,[22] and supported Cameron's plan calling for energy companies to provide simplified energy bills to their customers.[23] On 1 July 2015, Blackman was elected Chair of the All Party Political Group on Smoking and Health, after serving as its Secretary for several years.[24][25]

In 2012, when the Conservative Party launched a consultation into legalising same-sex marriages, Blackman suggested that David Cameron should resurrect Section 28, stating that he strongly believed that "Section 28 was the right rules to have in school so that we should not in any way shape or form promote same-sex relationships" and said he would be "very opposed" to seeing teachers being forced to say same-sex relationships are equivalent to heterosexual relationships.[26]

In December 2012, David Cameron announced his approval for same-sex marriage.[27] In response, on 7 December 2012, Blackman told the BBC News Channel that Cameron's backing of religious same-sex marriages was wrong "on principle" and that marriage had to be "between one man and one woman".[28] According to the Harrow Times, he was accused of hypocrisy by a former fellow Brent council colleague who claimed she had an 11-year affair with him whilst he was married.[29] On 5 February 2013, Bob Blackman voted against the bill in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on marriage equality in Britain.[30] In March 2019, Blackman was one of 21 MPs who voted against LGBT inclusive sex and relationship education in English schools.[31][32]

In 2016, he was drawn second in the annual Parliamentary ballot for a Private Member's Bill and subsequently put together a Homelessness Reduction Bill in partnership with national homelessness charity, Crisis.[33] It was the first Private Member's Bill to be supported by a Select Committee.[34] After receiving Government support at 2nd Reading, it passed through all stages in Parliament unopposed in both Houses and received Royal Assent on Thursday 27 April 2017.[35]

Following an interim report on the connections between colonialism and properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with historic slavery, Blackman was among the signatories of a letter to The Telegraph from the "Common Sense Group" of Conservative Parliamentarians. The letter accused the National Trust of being "coloured by cultural Marxist dogma, colloquially known as the 'woke agenda'".[36]

Blackman, as chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Azerbaijan, is a close ally of the state of Azerbaijan, having carried out paid visits there on several occasions. This has caused some criticism, with some claiming that he is a beneficiary of caviar diplomacy, a lobbying strategy of Azerbaijan.[37]

Personal life


Blackman married Nicola Jennings in 1988.[2] He employs his wife as a part-time office manager on a salary up to £39,999.[38]

Honours and Awards


References


  1. "Bob Blackman MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. "Blackman, Robert, (born 26 April 1956), MP (C) Harrow East, since 2010". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u45088. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  3. "New faces on Tory 1922 committee". BBC News. 17 May 2012. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  4. "Biography". Bob Blackman. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  5. "Blackman responds to statement on the Leveson Inquiry". DeHaviland. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  6. "London Borough of Brent Election Results 1964–2010" (PDF). Plymouth University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  7. "Brent & Harrow 2008 Election Result". BBC News. 11 June 2008. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  8. "Communities and Local Government Select Committee". UK Parliament Website. UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  9. "1922 Committee Results". Conservative Home Website. Conservative Home. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  10. "Bob Blackman MP". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  11. "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". The Independent. 9 November 2012. Archived from the original on 6 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  12. Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  13. "Letter from European Research Group to PM May". Archived from the original on 2 March 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Mason, Rowena (30 July 2014). "Tory MPs' visit to Israel condemned as bad timing". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 November 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  16. Datoo, Siraj (4 February 2015). "Tory MP Pays Back His Expenses After Making 734 "Inaccurate" Claims". BBC News. Archived from the original on 9 January 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  17. "Tory MP Bob Blackman's 700 'inaccurate expenses claims'". The Daily Telegraph. 4 February 2015. Archived from the original on 15 September 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  18. "Anti-Islam extremist who praised Rohingya massacre hosted in Commons". The Independent. 26 October 2017. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  19. Fisher, Lucy (31 May 2018). "Muslim Council of Britain demands inquiry into Tory 'Islamophobia'". The Times. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  20. Jamie Doward. "MPs call for legal smoking age to be raised to 21". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 October 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  21. "Bob Blackman, Harrow East MP, shares thoughts on Article 370". Harrow Times. 12 August 2019. Archived from the original on 24 October 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  22. Emma Innes (30 November 2012). "Harrow MP calls for cigarettes to be sold in plain packets (From Harrow Times)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  23. Emma Innes (21 November 2012). "Harrow East MP supports government energy plans (From Harrow Times)". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  24. Blackman, Bob (2 July 2015). "Delighted to be elected Chairman of APPG for Action on Smoking & Health". Twitter. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  25. "Register Of All-Party Parliamentary Groups [as at 6 January 2017]". Parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 23 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  26. "Tory MP Bob Blackman: Cameron should be re-introducing Section 28 not letting gays marry". Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  27. "Gay marriage: David Cameron backs church role". BBC News. BBC. 6 December 2012. Archived from the original on 7 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  28. Joe Murphy, "Anti-homosexual Section 28 was right for schools, says Tory MP", London Evening Standard, 10 December 2012 Archived 1 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  29. Emma Innes (17 December 2012). "Harrow East MP Bob Blackman at heart of national newspaper storm". Harrow Times. Archived from the original on 26 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  30. "The House of Commons.2013.Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012–2013". publications.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  31. "MPs vote for LGBT inclusive sex and relationship education from primary school". inews. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  32. "Draft Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 – CommonsVotes". Commonsvotes.digiminster.com. 27 March 2019. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  33. "No One Turned Away". Crisis. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  34. "Homelessness Reduction Bill supported by Committee". UK Parliament. 14 October 2016. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  35. "Homelessness Reduction Bill". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  36. "Britain's heroes". Letter to the Daily Telegraph. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2021.CS1 maint: others (link)
  37. Doward, Jamie (24 November 2013). "lush hotels and caviar diplomacy: how Azerbaijan's elite wooed MPs". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  38. "IPSA". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 26 September 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  39. "British leader and 4 time MP from Conservative Party Bob Blackman dedicates his Padam Shri to Indian diaspora". India Today. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  40. "Padma Awards 2020 Announced". pib.gov.in.
  41. Desk, The Hindu Net (26 January 2020). "Full list of 2020 Padma awardees". The Hindu.