Tom Brake

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The Right Honourable
Tom Brake
Tom Brake Standard.jpg
Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
Assumed office
4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Leader Andrew Lansley
William Hague
Preceded by David Heath
Member of Parliament
for Carshalton and Wallington
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Nigel Forman
Majority 5,260 (11.5%)
Personal details
Born (1962-05-06) 6 May 1962 (age 52)
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrat
Spouse(s) Candida Goulden
Alma mater Imperial College London

Thomas Anthony Brake, known as Tom Brake, (born 6 May 1962) is a British, Liberal Democrat politician.

He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Carshalton and Wallington. Brake is currently the Liberal Democrat candidate for Carshalton and Wallington for the United Kingdom general election, 2015.

Early life[edit]

Brake was born in Melton Mowbray, moving to France when he was eight. He was educated at the Lycée International School in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in the western suburbs of Paris, and Imperial College London, where he obtained a BSc in Physics in 1983. He was a computer software consultant with Hoskyns (Capgemini) from 1983 until his election to Westminster.

Political career[edit]

Early Career[edit]

Tom was actively involved in human rights issues as a student. He was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Hackney in 1988, leaving the council in 1990. In 1994 Brake was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Sutton and sat on the council until 1998.

Brake stood for election to Parliament at the 1992 general election in Carshalton and Wallington, but was defeated by Conservative Nigel Forman.

Parliamentary career[edit]

In what proved to be a close contest, Brake was elected at the 1997 general election as the Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, beating Nigel Forman with a majority of 2,267, and has remained the MP since. He made his maiden speech on 10 June 1997. Nigel Forman retired after the 1997 election and was replaced by a new candidate in the shape of Ken Andrew, whom Brake defeated in 2001, 2005 and again in 2010 with an increased majority.

After the 1997 election, party leader Paddy Ashdown placed Brake on the frontbench as a spokesman on the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Following the 2001 General Election, then party leader Charles Kennedy appointed him a spokesman on Transport, Local Government and the Regions. In 2002 he became a Transport spokesman. He joined the Liberal Democrat Frontbench Team in 2003 as the lead International Development spokesman. After the 2005 General Election he became the Transport spokesman. He was relieved of this position under the new leadership of Sir Menzies Campbell in March 2006, and he later that year became spokesperson for local government. In February 2007, he was also appointed as the party’s frontbench spokesperson for London and the Olympics. In 2008 he was also appointed as a Home Affairs Shadow Minister.

Brake speaking in 2013

Before he was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Brake was the Secretary of the All-Party Group for World Government, Treasurer of the All-Party Human Rights group, a member of the Franco British Parliamentary Relations group.[1]

In June 2010 Brake was named Co-Chair of the new Liberal Democrat Backbench Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities. Brake will Co-Chair the committee alongside Baroness Hamwee and Lord Thomas of Gresford OBE QC.[2]

In September 2010 Brake attempted to introduce a bill "to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to remove provisions permitting Ministers to overrule decisions of the Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal; to limit the time allowed for public authorities to respond to requests involving consideration of the public interest; to amend the definition of public authorities; and for connected purposes."[3]

On 11 June 2011, it was announced Brake would be appointed a Privy Counsellor in the Queen's 2011 Birthday Honours list.[4] On 13 July 2011, Brake was officially appointed and made the affirmation of office.[5]

On the 4th of September 2012 he was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, replacing Liberal Democrat David Heath MP who was promoted to Minister of State in DEFRA.

Between 2014 to 2015, Brake was an Assistant Whip for HM's Treasury. In January 2015 Tom was appointed to the Liberal Democrat General Election Cabinet as the party's Leader of the House of Commons and London spokesperson.

Personal life[edit]

Brake spent ten years living in France during his childhood and speaks fluent French, with some Portuguese and Russian. He married Candida Goulden in 1998, and they have two children: Ben and Amy.[2] In his spare time, Brake enjoys running, swimming and cycling. These pursuits have enabled him to compete in competitions such as the ‘Grim Challenge,’ which helped him raise £2500 for a local charity, Cricket for Change. He was featured in the May 2015 issue of Men's Health (British magazine).


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nigel Forman
Member of Parliament for Carshalton and Wallington