Craig Whittaker

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Craig Whittaker

Official portrait of Craig Whittaker crop 2.jpg
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
Assumed office
16 April 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byAndrew Stephenson
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
9 January 2018 – 16 April 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
ChancellorPhilip Hammond
Preceded byMark Spencer
Succeeded byAlister Jack
Member of Parliament
for Calder Valley
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byChristine McCafferty
Majority609 (1.0%)
Personal details
Craig Whittaker

(1962-08-30) 30 August 1962 (age 56)
Radcliffe, Lancashire, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Elaine Wilkinson

Craig Whittaker (born 30 August 1962[1]) is a British Conservative Party politician. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Calder Valley in 2010. Whittaker retained the seat in 2015 and in 2017

Whittaker has served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.[2] Whittaker currently serves as HM Lord Commissioner to The Treasury in the Government Whips Office and was appointed in the re-shuffle of January 2018. Prior to this role, he served as an Assistant Whip. He was appointed to that role in June 2017 after the General Election.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in 1962 in Radcliffe, Lancashire, Whittaker emigrated to Australia at the age of five with his parents. In 1984, he returned to England and settled in Yorkshire. He was a Retail General Manager for a high street retailer and was involved in Retail Management from leaving high school in Australia, after completing his Higher School Certificate.[3] He was the Branch Manager at Wilkinson for six years and then became the Retail General Manager for PC World for an eleven-year period until 2009.[4] During his time living in Heptonstall, a village in the borough, he served on the Parish Council from 1998–2003.[5]

In 2003, Whittaker was elected to Calderdale Council for the Brighouse Ward, gaining the seat from the Labour Party[6] He stood down from the Council at the 2004 local elections. In 2007, he was once again elected to Calderdale Council, this time for the neighbouring ward of Rastrick, securing 1,336 votes for the Conservatives and increasing the Party’s majority.[7] During this period, Whittaker served as the Cabinet Member for Children & Young People.[3] Whittaker is a former Chair of the Calder Valley Conservatives[5] and a former Conservative Party agent who managed the unsuccessful 2005 general election campaign of Liz Truss, then the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Whittaker was selected to be the Conservative Party’s candidate for Calder Valley in March 2007.[3] In the May 2010 general election, he was elected as the MP for constituency being the first Conservative to represent the seat since before the 1997 general election, securing a 3.6% increase in the Conservative vote and polling 20, 397 votes.[8]

Whittaker served on the Education Select Committee in the 2010–2015 Parliament.[9] He set up a charity, Together for Looked after Children, to support the life chances of children in care in Calderdale, which he discussed in his maiden speech in Parliament in 2010.[10][11] During his time on the Committee, he spoke out against the Government on occasion and criticised policy in relation to transferring responsibility for careers advice to schools, describing it as a "bit of a pigs ear".[12] He also served as chair for the Parliamentary group for children in care.[13]

In May 2012, he argued against legalising same sex-marriage on the basis it could lead to successive governments supporting polygamy or "three way marriages".[14]

In the run up to the 2015 general election, Whittaker attracted criticism for sharing, via a tweet, a Daily Mail newspaper column by Richard Littlejohn headlined "Vote Labour? I'd rather trust Jimmy Savile to babysit".[13][15]

Following his re-election in 2015, he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire MP.[16] He was subsequently appointed as PPS to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley.[2] He was appointed as Assistant Whip in June 2017 following the General Election.

In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Whittaker was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative Government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.[17]

Whittaker was one of 79 Conservative MPs who supported a 2011 rebel motion calling for a referendum on the EU.[18][19] He also joined a 2013 rebel amendment expressing regret at not including the referendum in the government's plans.[20] Whittaker subsequently backed the government's plans to hold a referendum,[21] and supported Remain during the 2016 EU membership referendum.[22] Following the referendum he said he supported the result and the government's position on triggering Article 50.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Whittaker is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints[24] and lives with his wife, businesswoman Elaine Wilkinson, in Rastrick.[3] The couple married in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at the Palace of Westminster in August 2011.[25] He employs his daughter Sophie as a part time Constituency Support Officer on a salary just under £20,000.[26]

Craig Whittaker was arrested on Boxing Day 2011 for allegedly assaulting his son, Lee, outside a petrol station in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire,[27] but the Crown Prosecution Service found no grounds for any charges to be laid against him.[28]


  1. ^ "Craig Whittaker". Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d "Craig Whittaker". Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Meet Your MP". 11 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Craig Whittaker". 28 December 2010. Archived from the original on 28 December 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  6. ^ "Brighouse: Election of Local Councillors 2003 - 01/05/2003: Calderdale Council". Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council.
  7. ^ Council, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough. "Rastrick: Election of Local Councillors 2007 - 03/05/2007: Calderdale Council".
  8. ^ "BBC News - Election 2010 - Constituency - Calder Valley".
  9. ^ "Craig Whittaker". UK Parliament.
  10. ^ "Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker....: 10 Jun 2010: House of Commons debates - TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou.
  11. ^ "Childrens' Charity in Calderdale, West Yorkshire: TLC Charity - Together for looked after children".
  12. ^ "MPs attack rise of 'ill-equipped' careers advisers in schools". 7 January 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Calder Valley Conservative candidate Craig Whittaker Savile tweet causes row". BBC News. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  14. ^ Whittaker opposition to "same sex marriage",; accessed 10 May 2015.
  15. ^ Robinson, Samantha (5 May 2015). "Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker criticised for sharing joke comparing Labour to Jimmy Savile". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Complete Government PPS List". Guido Fawkes. 23 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  18. ^ "The 81 Conservative MPs who voted for a referendum". Conservative Home. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  19. ^ Shackle, Samira (25 October 2011). "Rebel MPs: the full list". New Statesman. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  20. ^ "The 114 Tory rebels in EU protest vote". The Daily Telegraph. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Voting Record — Craig Whittaker MP, Calder Valley (24944) — The Public Whip".
  22. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  23. ^ "Brexit – Article 50, High Court Decision". Craig Whittaker. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  24. ^ "British Prime Minister receives Personal Family History from Church". 10 February 2015.
  25. ^ "MP's marriage at Westminster". Halifax Courier.
  26. ^ "IPSA". GOV.UK. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  27. ^ "MP arrested for allegedly assaulting son". 2 February 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  28. ^ No charges for Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, BBC News (20 March 2012).

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christine McCafferty
Member of Parliament
for Calder Valley