Brian Jenkins (politician)

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Brian Jenkins
MP
Member of Parliament
for Tamworth
South East Staffordshire (1996–1997)
In office
11 April 1996 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by David Lightbown
Succeeded by Christopher Pincher
Majority 2,569 (5.9%)
Personal details
Born (1942-09-19) 19 September 1942 (age 71)
Pontypridd, Wales
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater London School of Economics

Brian David Jenkins (born 19 September 1942) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamworth from 1997 until 2010, and has lived in the constituency for over 50 years. From 1996 to 1997, he was MP for South East Staffordshire before minor boundary changes in 1997.

Early life[edit]

He went to Kingsbury High School (now called Kingsbury School) on Tamworth Road in Kingsbury, Warwickshire. He then attended Coventry College (now called City College Coventry) and Coleg Harlech. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics where he obtained a BSc in Economics and Wolverhampton Polytechnic where he gained a PGCE. He was a student from 1975 to 1981.

From 1961 to 1968, Jenkins was an instrument mechanic for the CEGB. From 1968 to 1973, he was an industrial engineer at Jaguar Cars Ltd in Coventry, and Percy Lane Products[1] in Tamworth (1973–1975). From 1981 to 1983, he was a college lecturer at the Isle of Man College, then at Tamworth College (now South Staffordshire College) (1983–1996).

Parliamentary career[edit]

Jenkins was elected to the House of Commons at the South East Staffordshire by-election in April 1996, following the death of Conservative Party MP David Lightbown. He had contested the seat in 1992.

The South East Staffordshire constituency was abolished in boundary changes at the 1997 general election, when he was returned to Parliament for the new Tamworth constituency. He was re-elected at the 2001 general election and again in 2005, but lost the seat to the Conservatives in 2010.

He was Leader of Tamworth Borough Council 1995–6 and has also served as Mayor 1993–4.

Committees on which he has served include the Public Accounts Committee, the Standards and Privileges Committee and the House of Commons Defence Select Committee. He make regular contributions in the chamber, with his attendance rated as "well above average".[2]

Expenses history[edit]

Mr Jenkins was placed in the category of "the saints" during the 2009 MPs expenses scandal published in The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph.

Warren Clegg controversy[edit]

A Mail on Sunday story on 24 May 2009 accused Jenkins of attempting to bully Warren Clegg, a local Conservative Party activist, with threats of legal action in response to allegedly libellous allegations Mr Clegg had made in the local press.[3] Clegg had accused Jenkins of failing to reply to letters questioning his stance regarding the treatment of Gurkhas, and of habitually failing to respond to correspondence that Mr Clegg had sent him.

In response, Jenkins wrote to Clegg stating that he had no record of receiving a letter regarding Gurkhas from Mr Clegg. He also said that he had replied to previous letters Mr Clegg had sent regarding Gaza. The letter asked for a public apology to be given and "false claims" to be retracted, and that if this was not forthcoming legal action might be pursued.

Clegg's mother responded to the legal threats by contacting the Daily Mail, writing to the Prime Minister and handing copies of the letter to Conservative blogger Iain Dale.[4] At no stage was the important contextual information about the role of Warren Clegg as a local Conservative Party activist and member of Conservative Future made apparent by either the Mail on Sunday or Iain Dale.

Bloggers later discovered a photograph of Warren Clegg in his role in Conservative Future pictured with Conservative Party leader David Cameron on the Conservative Party website which, in some eyes, damaged the credibility of the claims being made.[5]

Mr Jenkins later shared extensive previous correspondence he had had with Mr Clegg with local Tamworth paper, The Herald.[6] However, Mr Clegg continues to deny writing any letters to Brian Jenkins and has stated that he plans to use the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to force the MP to come up with the referred documents.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Jenkins married Joan Dix on 12 October 1963 with whom he has a son and daughter.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Lightbown
Member of Parliament for South East Staffordshire
19961997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Tamworth
19972010
Succeeded by
Christopher Pincher