Nick Herbert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the physicist and author of Elemental Mind, see Nick Herbert (physicist).
The Right Honourable
Nick Herbert
Nick Herbert - minister for policing and criminal justice.jpg
Minister of State
for Police and Criminal Justice
In office
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Hanson
Succeeded by Damian Green
Shadow Secretary of State
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
19 January 2009 – 11 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Peter Ainsworth
Succeeded by Hilary Benn
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
In office
2 July 2007 – 19 January 2009
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Oliver Heald (then DCA)
Succeeded by Dominic Grieve
Member of Parliament
for Arundel and South Downs
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Howard Flight
Majority 16,691 (29.9%)
Personal details
Born Nicholas Le Quesne Herbert
(1963-04-07) 7 April 1963 (age 51)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Nationality English
Political party Conservative
Domestic partner Jason Eades
Residence Arundel
Alma mater Magdalene College, Cambridge
Religion Christian [1]

Nicholas Le Quesne "Nick" Herbert (born 7 April 1963) is a British Conservative Party politician and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Arundel and South Downs. He was Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice, with his time split between the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice from 2010-2012.[2]


Herbert was educated at Haileybury and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read law and land economy. He was appointed as the director of public affairs at the British Field Sports Society in 1990 and remained in that position for six years.

He joined Business for Sterling in 1998 as their chief executive where he helped launch the campaign against adopting the Euro currency, before becoming a director of the think tank Reform in 2000 until his election to parliament in 2005.

Political career[edit]

He unsuccessfully contested the Northumberland seat of Berwick-upon-Tweed at the 1997 general election where he finished in third place some 8,951 votes behind the veteran Liberal Democrat MP Alan Beith.

In 2001 he co-founded the Reform think tank which focuses on reforming public services via private sector involvement and de-regulation.

Herbert speaking at a policing conference, 2010

His selection to contest the West Sussex seat of Arundel and South Downs at the 2005 general election did not come about without incident. The sitting Conservative MP, Howard Flight, had been forced to resign as a vice chairman of the party and had the whip removed by Michael Howard in 2005 after he had told a Conservative Way Forward meeting that the Conservatives would have to make more cuts than they were promising.[3] With no whip, he was not considered as an approved candidate and, despite protest and the local association refusing to select a new candidate, he finally resigned just a month before the election.[4] Herbert was selected[5] and elected, holding the seat with a slightly reduced majority of 11,309. He made his maiden speech on 6 June 2005.[6]

On his election, he became the first "out" gay Conservative MP to be open about his homosexuality at the time he was initially elected (he is not the first out gay Conservative MP; that distinction goes to Alan Duncan, who voluntarily came out in 2002[7] and Michael Brown, who was 'outed' in 1994).[8] Herbert lives in Arundel with his civil partner Jason Eades.

Shadow Cabinet[edit]

After his election to Parliament, Herbert joined the Home Affairs Select Committee. After David Cameron became leader of the Conservative Party, Herbert was appointed as a Shadow Minister for home affairs on 16 December 2005. This meant he had to leave the Home Affairs Select Committee. In July 2007, he joined the Shadow Cabinet for the new position of Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, shadowing veteran Labour minister Jack Straw.[9] On 19 January 2009 he was made Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


On the Coalition forming between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in May 2010, Herbert was appointed as a Minister of State at the Home Office with responsibility for policing and at the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for criminal justice. To undertake this role, Herbert was appointed a Privy Counsellor on 9 June 2010.[10] One of the policies Herbert championed was the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners to replace police authorities.[11]

Herbert decided to step down from Government at the time of David Cameron's first major reshuffle in September 2012 when he was not offered a promotion to the Cabinet.[12][13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Herbert joined his long-term partner, Jason Eades, in civil partnership in early January 2009 after a 10-year relationship.[14]


  1. ^ "'Equality' was said so often it became as bruised as an old peach". Daily Mail (London). 
  2. ^ "Ministers of State – Ministry of Justice". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Tory quits in 'hidden cuts' row, BBC News.
  4. ^ Flight to end battle with Howard, BBC News.
  5. ^ Flight replacement sparks new row, BBC News.
  6. ^ House of Commons Hansard Debates for 6 Jun 2005 (pt 30)
  7. ^ Tory MP says "I'm gay", BBC News.
  8. ^ "The Best for News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities & TV". London: The Sun. Retrieved 15 May 2010. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Cameron reshuffles shadow team". BBC News. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Privy Council appointments, 9 June 2010". Privy Council. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  11. ^ Wesley Johnson (4 September 2012). "Police commissioners champion Nick Herbert quits amid reshuffle". The Independent (London). Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Nigel Morris and Oliver Wright (8 September 2012). "Sacked – and angry. New awkward squad is out to get the PM". The Independent (London). Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Nicholas Cecil (6 September 2012). "No one blubbed when I sacked them, insists David Cameron". Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Scott Roberts (4 September 2012). "Gay Tory MP Nick Herbert resigns from government". Pink News. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Howard Flight
Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs
Political offices
New creation Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
Succeeded by
Dominic Grieve
Preceded by
Peter Ainsworth
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Succeeded by
Hilary Benn
Preceded by
David Hanson
Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice
(previously Minister of State for Security, Crime, Counter-Terrorism and Policing)