Vernon Coaker

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Vernon Coaker
MP
Vernon Coaker MP.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Jim Murphy
Shadow Secretary of State for
Northern Ireland
In office
7 October 2011 – 7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Shaun Woodward
Succeeded by Ivan Lewis
Minister of State for Schools
In office
8 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Jim Knight
Succeeded by Nick Gibb
Member of Parliament
for Gedling
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Andrew Mitchell
Majority 1,859 (3.9%)
Personal details
Born (1953-06-17) 17 June 1953 (age 61)[1]
City of Westminster, London, England
Nationality English
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Heaton
Children 1 son, 1 daughter
Residence Cotgrave
Alma mater University of Warwick, Trent Polytechnic
Profession Teacher
Website vernon-coaker-mp.co.uk

Vernon Rodney Coaker (born 17 June 1953) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Gedling since 1997. Coaker served in the Government as the Minister of State for Schools from 2009 to 2010, and he has been the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence since October 2013.

Early life[edit]

Coaker went to Drayton Manor Grammar School in London.[1] He studied for an Economics and Politics BA (Hons) at the University of Warwick, then obtained a PGCE at Trent Polytechnic (Clifton College of Education).[1]

Coaker worked as a teacher, becoming a History teacher at Manvers Pierrepont School (now the Carlton Road Centre of Castle College Nottingham) from 1976–1982, then Head of Department at Arnold Hill School from 1982–1988.[1] From 1989–1995 he was a senior teacher at Bramcote Park School and from 1995–1997 he was Deputy Headmaster at Big Wood School in Bestwood, Nottingham.[1] He is a member of the NUT.

Political career[edit]

Coaker served as a district councillor for the Cotgrave Ward in Rushcliffe from 1983–1997 and was leader of the Labour group on the council between 1987 and 1997.[1] He contested the Rushcliffe constituency seat in 1983. He contested Gedling in 1987 and 1992, before defeating Andrew Mitchell in the 1997 election, becoming the first Labour MP to win the Gedling seat.

After a number of Parliamentary Private Secretary roles, Coaker became a government whip in May 2005 having been as assistant whip since June 2003.[1] He served as a Minister of State at the Home Office between 2008 and 2009 before being moving to take up the role of Minister of State for Schools and Learning between 2009 and 2010. [1]Following the Labour defeat at the 2010 General Election, Coaker was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in October 2011.[1]

Political positions[edit]

Shortly after being appointed Minister for Drugs & Crime Reduction in the May 2006 reshuffle, he revealed to the Coventry Evening Telegraph that he had had "one or two puffs" of cannabis as a student but did not enjoy it.[2] His admission was made during a nationwide tour to evaluate the effectiveness of the governments drugs strategy.
He also supports people taking part in shooting sports and angling.[3]

In January 2010, Coaker apologised for remarks that misled MPs. Coaker had earlier told MPs that 70 police officers were hurt as a result of a Climate Change protest at Kingsnorth power station. In fact, there were only 12 injuries that were legally reportable with just four of those involving contact with another person.[4] The remaining eight injuries included "wasp sting", an injury while "sitting in a car", and an officer succumbing "to sun and heat". There were 68 injuries in total with the rest being treated by first aiders at the scene. The whole operation had involved more than 1,000 officers.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He married Jacqueline Heaton on 23 December 1978 in Basford and they have a daughter and a son.[1] He supports Tottenham Hotspur. His wife, who is a teacher, was a town councillor in Cotgrave.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j ‘COAKER, Vernon Rodney’, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012 ; online edn, Nov 2012 accessed 9 Jan 2013
  2. ^ "Drugs minister 'smoked marijuana'". BBC news. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Shooting Times
  4. ^ a b "Apology over policing 'injuries'". BBC News. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Parish Council Election Results 2003

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Andrew Mitchell
Member of Parliament for Gedling
1997–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Shaun Woodward
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Ivan Lewis
Preceded by
Jim Murphy
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
2013–present
Incumbent