Toby Perkins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Toby Perkins
Toby Perkins MP addressing joint NCVO Acevo fringe (6192116652).jpg
Shadow Minister for Small Business
Assumed office
7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Chuka Umunna
Member of Parliament
for Chesterfield
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Paul Holmes
Majority 549 (1.2%)
Personal details
Born (1970-08-12) 12 August 1970 (age 43)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Nationality English
Political party Labour
Occupation Politician

Matthew Toby Perkins[1] (born 12 August 1970[2]) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Chesterfield since 2010, winning the seat from Liberal Democrat Paul Holmes.[3] Before taking the seat, he was a councillor in the town.[4]


Perkins is son of V.F. and Teresa Perkins; he has one sister, Polly. He is the great-grandson of A. P. Herbert, Independent Member of Parliament for Oxford University (1935–1950). He left Silverdale Comprehensive School in Sheffield in 1987 without completing his A Levels and worked as a Sales Representative, Recruitment Manager and Care Manager before setting up a rugby product business.[5]

Perkins is a member of the Unite trade union and was a Director of Families First Co-operative, a social enterprise that runs an early years nursery in Chesterfield. Shortly before his election, he was involved in setting up the Chesterfield Flood Victims Appeal.

Following his election to Parliament in 2010, he questioned David Cameron in the very first Prime Minister's Questions of the 2010 session. He backed David Miliband for the Labour leadership and was named by the Financial Times as one of the best six newcomers of the first 100 days of the 2010 parliament.[6]

Under Ed Miliband he became the first member of the 2010 intake [7] to speak from the front bench when becoming a Shadow Education Minister in September 2010 under Andy Burnham and because of his business and entrepreneurial background, he was moved into the Shadow Business team as Shadow Minister for Enterprise and Small Business in 2011, under Chuka Umunna. A former councillor for the Rother Ward on Chesterfield Borough Council (2003-2011), elected in 2003 and 2007 for the Rother ward, he was elected to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee prior to his promotion in October 2010.

As Shadow Business Minister he is responsible for Labour's policies on Access to Finance, Small Businesses, Regulation/ de-regulation, Insolvency, Procurement, Pubs and the High Street. He led the Labour Party's Opposition day debate in January 2013 that saw the Government concede the need to institute a statutory code of regulation in the pub company industry to re-balance the share of Risk and Reward between pub companies and their tenants. In January 2014 he criticized the Coalition Government over the fact that 26 pubs per week were closing.

A former Chesterfield, Sheffield Tigers RUFC and Derbyshire Rugby Union player, he qualified as a rugby coach in 2006 and coached a junior team at Sheffield Tigers RUFC. He follows Sheffield United, Chesterfield FC and British Tennis. A friend of Jonny Marray the British Tennis player who won the Wimbledon Mens Doubles title in 2012 . He is married to Suzie (née Francis), who was born in Boythorpe, Chesterfield, and they have two children, Lewis and Chloe.

Perkins' victory over Liberal Democrat Paul Holmes saw him overturn a majority of 3,000 to win by 549 votes despite a national swing against the Labour Party. Results show that the victory was largely due to retention of the existing Labour vote, with a net gain of 61 votes for Labour, as there was a 7.5% swing towards the Conservative party in Chesterfield.[8][9]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Paul Holmes
Member of Parliament for Chesterfield