Greg Barker, Baron Barker of Battle

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The Lord Barker of Battle

Gregory Barker, Minister of State of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.jpg
Barker in 2011
Minister of State for Climate Change
In office
12 May 2010 – 14 July 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
Succeeded byAmber Rudd
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
12 October 2015
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Bexhill and Battle
In office
7 June 2001 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byCharles Wardle
Succeeded byHuw Merriman
Personal details
Born (1966-03-08) 8 March 1966 (age 54)
Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Celeste Harrison (1992–2006)
Domestic partnerGeorge Prassas[1] (2008-Present)
Alma materRoyal Holloway College, London

Gregory Leonard George Barker, Baron Barker of Battle, PC (born 8 March 1966) is a British Conservative Party politician and life peer. In May 2010 he was appointed Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change serving until 2015, when he stood down as MP for Bexhill and Battle. He now sits in the House of Lords.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Sussex, Barker attended Upper Beeding Primary School, Steyning Grammar School and Lancing College. In 1987, he earned a bachelor's degree in history and politics from Royal Holloway College, London.[2] In 1990–91, he attended a corporate finance programme at London Business School.[citation needed]

Early career[edit]

Barker was a researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies in 1987, before joining Gerard Vivian Gray[3] as an equity analyst in 1988, and was a member of the Honourable Artillery Company between 1989 and 1994. In 1990, he became the director for International Pacific Securities. He was the deputy chairman of Hammersmith Conservative Association in 1993. From 1998, he was a director of Daric plc, an advertising company.

Barker also developed strong links to the Russian oil companies, being head of communications at the Anglo-Siberian Oil Company from 1998 to 2000 and also worked in London and Moscow for the Sibneft Oil Group, owned by Roman Abramovich.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Barker was at first unsuccessful in his attempts to be elected to Parliament when he contested the safe Labour seat of Eccles, where he was defeated by Ian Stewart. Barker then became the deputy chairman of Tooting Conservative Association and an advisor to Conservative MP David Willetts.

Barker (right) at the 2011 Conservative Party Conference

In 2001, Barker became the MP for Bexhill and Battle after the retirement of the sitting Conservative MP, Charles Wardle. Barker's nomination by the Conservative Party was hotly debated when sitting MP and former Home Office minister Charles Wardle accused Barker of being disingenuous about his business career and formally requesting Conservative Party Leader Iain Duncan Smith to investigate possible links between Barker and the infamous Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky.[4] Wardle supported Nigel Farage (who later became the Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party), but Barker won the safe seat securing over 10,500 votes ahead of the Liberal Democrat candidate, Stephen Hardy. Close to Conservative leader David Cameron, Barker, in his capacity as Shadow Environment Secretary, accompanied Cameron on his trip to the Arctic Circle in April 2006 for a fact-finding mission about global warming.

In April 2011, Barker was filmed addressing an audience at the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, during which he said of the Conservative-led British government: "We are making cuts that Margaret Thatcher, back in the 1980s, could only have dreamed of."[5]

Barker was implicated in the 2009 MPs' expenses scandal for his purchase and sale of London flats; this led to widespread outrage from tax payers.[6][7] On 5 February 2013 MP Gregory Barker voted in favour in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on marriage equality in Britain.[8] On 14 July 2014, he announced he would not be standing at the 2015 general election.[9]

House of Lords[edit]

In August 2015, Barker was nominated for a life peerage in the Dissolution Peerages List.[10] On 12 October 2015, he was created Baron Barker of Battle, of Battle in the County of East Sussex.[11] He now sits in the House of Lords as a life peer. On 10 November, he was introduced to the Lords. He was supported during the ceremony by John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley, and Guy Black, Baron Black of Brentwood.[12]

In February 2019, Barker took a leave of absence from the House of Lords upon accepting an executive chairmanship position within En+ Group, a Russian company linked to the Russian oligarch on the U.S. sanctions list Oleg Deripaska.[13] Barker was credited with having helped the Russian company to have the US sanctions lifted earlier that year, for which he was awarded a bonus of about £3-4 million (US$3.9-$5.2 million) that he described as "relatively modest".[14][13]

Personal life[edit]

Barker married Celeste Harrison, an heiress to the Charles Wells brewery fortune, in 1992. Following a diary report in The Observer,[15] Barker confirmed he and his wife had separated, and on 26 October 2006 the British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mirror revealed that he had left his wife and children for vintage fashion expert William Banks-Blaney. The paper backed the story by quoting his mother-in-law.[16] The Independent on Sunday later reported that Barker has confirmed that he is gay.[17]

Barker's wealth is estimated at £3.9m.[18]

In May 2012, Barker attracted media attention, after it was reported he had used a staff microwave at the Department of Energy and Climate Change to warm a cushion for his pet dachshund, Otto.[19]


  1. ^ "Tory summer party 2013: setting the scene". Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  2. ^ Election highs for Royal Holloway alumni Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Royal Holloway University of London, 19 October 2007
  3. ^ "Gerrard Investment Management". Gerrard. Barclays Wealth. Archived from the original on 12 August 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  4. ^ Anne Perkins (13 April 2001). "Row over Tory candidate threatens safe seat". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Video: Minister claims Thatcher could "only have dreamed" of Coalition cuts". Political Scrapbook. 5 April 2011. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  6. ^ Watt, Holly (9 May 2009). "Greg Barker: The £320,000 profit on flat bought with taxpayer help". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  7. ^ "MP will pay thousands to taxman". Brighton Argus. 16 May 2009. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 — UK Parliament". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Out Tory MP Greg Barker steps down as minister and won't stand again in 2015". 14 July 2014. Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Dissolution Peerages 2015". Government of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  11. ^ "notice 2417523". The London Gazette. Archived from the original on 1 December 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Introduction: Lord Barker of Battle". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Lords. 10 November 2015. col. 1925. Archived from the original on 9 March 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Greg Barker leaves Lords to run oligarch Oleg Deripaska's metals empire". The Times (UK). 24 February 2019. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  14. ^ "British Lord Barker Got $4 Million Bonus on Deripaska Sanctions Deal". Bloomberg. 2 May 2019. Archived from the original on 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Can Dave really get his eco policies to fly?". The Observer. 3 February 2010. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  16. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: TOP TORY DUMPS WIFE FOR MAN". Daily Mirror. 26 October 2006. Archived from the original on 16 November 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  17. ^ "The pink list 2007: The IoS annual celebration of the great and the gay". The Independent. 6 May 2007. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  18. ^ Samira Shackle, Stephanie Hegarty and George Eaton The new ruling class Archived 4 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine New Statesman, 1 October 2009
  19. ^ "Energy minister used department microwave to warm sausage dog's cushion". The Telegraph. 17 May 2012. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Wardle
Member of Parliament for Bexhill and Battle
Succeeded by
Huw Merriman
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Hague of Richmond
Baron Barker of Battle
Followed by
The Lord Robathan