Stewart Jackson

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Stewart Jackson
Special Adviser and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
In office
26 July 2017 – 9 July 2018[1]
Sec. of StateDavid Davis
Preceded byJames Chapman
Succeeded byNick de Bois
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
In office
22 July 2016 – 8 June 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byGareth Johnson
Member of Parliament
for Peterborough
In office
5 May 2005 – 3 May 2017
Preceded byHelen Clark
Succeeded byFiona Onasanya
Personal details
Born
Stewart James Jackson

(1965-01-31) 31 January 1965 (age 54)
Woolwich, London, UK
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Sarah O'Grady
ChildrenIsabel Jackson
Alma materRoyal Holloway, University of London; University of West London
WebsiteOfficial website

Stewart James Jackson (born 31 January 1965) is a British politician and adviser. Jackson served as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Peterborough from 2005 to 2017. After being ousted by Labour's Fiona Onasanya at the 2017 general election, he served as Chief of Staff, and Special Adviser to David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, until July 2018 when Davis resigned his position.

Early life[edit]

Jackson was born in Woolwich and brought up in south-east London. He was educated at the London Nautical School in Lambeth, and Chatham House Grammar School in Ramsgate, Kent, followed by Royal Holloway, University of London, where he was awarded a BA (Hons) degree in Economics & Public Administration, in 1988.[2] Jackson was elected President of the University of London Union for the 1988–89 academic year. During his tenure as president, he faced a no-confidence motion in January 1989, and resigned before he was required to leave office.[3]

Political career[edit]

Jackson served on Ealing Borough Council in west London from 1990 to 1998, during which time he was Conservative Party spokesman on planning and housing. He is Vice-President of the Local Government Association.[4]

Jackson unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary constituency of Brent South at the 1997 general election. He was then selected as the Conservative candidate for the Peterborough seat in October 2000, and fought the 2001 general election, where he reduced the Labour Party's majority in the constituency from 7,323 votes to 2,854 votes, but lost to the incumbent Labour MP Helen Brinton. Jackson was re-adopted as the Conservative candidate for Peterborough in August 2002, and defeated Brinton at the 2005 general election to become the MP.

In the 2010 general election, held on 6 May, Jackson increased his majority to 4,861 votes over the Labour candidate, Ed Murphy; he was appointed the following month as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, but resigned as PPS on 24 October 2011, after voting against a three-line whip on an EU referendum.[5]

After Theresa May's selection as the new Conservative Prime Minister, following David Cameron's resignation, Stewart Jackson was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, in July 2016.[6]

Following the loss of his seat at the 2017 general election, Jackson was appointed Special Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union.[7]

Conservative Voice[edit]

Together with other MPs on the Conservative right wing, such as Nadine Dorries, Jackson assisted in establishing the Conservative Voice parliamentary grouping led by David Davis (David Cameron's principal opponent in the contest to win the leadership of the Conservative Party) and Liam Fox (former Secretary of State for Defence). In explaining his decision to join the new right-wing grouping, Jackson said that he hoped it could "get Cameron back on election-winning ground" and away from the "current social liberal mush". He stated that he would vote against the government's legislation to introduce same-sex marriage, and accused his party leader of being "arrogant" for pressing ahead with it.[8]

Policy positions[edit]

In 2014, Jackson, along with six other Conservative Party MPs, voted against the Equal Pay (Transparency) Bill, which would have required all companies with more than 250 employees to declare the gap in pay between the average male and average female salaries.[9]

Jackson opposed the 2013 bill to allow gay marriage. In March 2015, he told a constituent: "The feeling's fully mutual. Please feel free to never bother me again" after she requested to be removed from his campaign mailing list because she disagreed with his position on the act.[10][11]

Use of social media[edit]

In March 2015, Jackson attracted media attention for his response to a constituent which was subsequently circulated on social media. Jackson’s email told the constituent “The feeling’s fully mutual. Please feel free to never bother me again” after she requested to be removed from his campaign mailing list because she disagreed with his opposition to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.[12]

On 26 June 2016, Rupert Myers, a political correspondent for The Times, tweeted about the outcome of the Referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union "I can't get over the fact that the winning side lied about a whole bunch of stuff & yet expect us to live cheerfully with the result". Stewart Jackson replied from his verified Twitter account "Suck it up whiner...".[13]

Jackson attracted attention in October 2016, when he used Twitter to state that patriots should not subscribe to The Economist, a liberal, free-market magazine, because of its arguments about the problems leaving the EU would entail.[14]

After losing his seat in 2017, Jackson contacted a former constituent who had been critical of him on Facebook to call him a "thick chav", and also wrote: "If you print any shit about me on Facebook in the future you will regret it."[15]

In October 2018, Jackson, who is known for his pro-Brexit views, was again criticised after tweeting: "What a pathetic cretin" in response to a picture of an ill child with a duvet depicting the European Union flag. The child was recovering from an operation at the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Jackson subsequently said, after deleting the initial tweet, that he was referring to the child's stepfather rather than the child himself.[16] The Science Minister, Sam Gyimah, criticised the tweet, saying: "No one can take credibly or seriously people who use that language."[17] Heidi Allen, another Conservative MP, responded by describing Jackson as "a pathetic, unkind and nasty man."[18]

Parliamentary expenses[edit]

Articles in the Daily Telegraph reported that Jackson had claimed more than £66,000 in three financial years for housing costs in his constituency: on 11 May 2009 the newspaper reported that he had claimed £11,000 in professional, legal and mortgage fees on buying a new constituency home. However, Jackson argued that there were legitimate 'one-off costs' relating to the purchasing of a home base in the constituency after his election as an MP, and claimed that until the house was purchased, he, his wife and infant daughter were renting one bedroomed accommodation in the constituency.[19][failed verification]

On 12 May 2009, both BBC Newsnight, and a second article published by The Daily Telegraph reported that Jackson had claimed £55,000 on housing costs for the constituency house, bringing the total sum to over £66,000.[20] When asked about how MPs should be housed in their constituencies, Jackson was quoted in The Daily Telegraph as saying that any ban on the second home allowance would be "draconian and unfair".[21]

In May 2013, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) issued a High Court action in an attempt to recover £54,000 in alleged notional Capital Gains arising from Jackson's Peterborough home.[22] The case was settled when a Tomlin Order was sealed in the High Court in February 2014, permanently staying the civil proceedings which had allegedly cost IPSA over £20,000 in legal fees.[citation needed]

Wikipedia biography[edit]

IP addresses from inside the Houses of Parliament have often edited the Wikipedia biographies of politicians including Jackson in an attempt to remove details on the parliamentary expenses scandal,[23] and attempts have been made to remove details of Jackson's interaction with a lesbian constituent.[24] Ben Riley-Smith, a correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, argues that it is impossible to prove that changes are made by staff of any particular MP.[23]

Citizen's arrest attempt[edit]

In July 2012, Jackson attempted to tackle a vandal in Peterborough. Jackson, who was shopping with his wife and daughter, tried to perform a citizen's arrest after seeing a bus shelter being vandalised. The vandal got away, but only after kicking the MP. Cambridgeshire Constabulary subsequently arrested a twenty-year-old man in connection with the incident who was later found guilty of assault and criminal damage at Peterborough Magistrates Court.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Former Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson loses government adviser role after Brexit Secretary quits". Peterborough Today. 9 July 2018.
  2. ^ Election highs for Royal Holloway alumni Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, www.rhul.ac.uk
  3. ^ "ULU President goes". Felix, the newspaper of Imperial College Union (824). London: Felix Imperial. 20 January 1989. p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  4. ^ "LGA vice-presidents". Local Government Association. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012.
  5. ^ Kirkup, James (20 October 2011). "Tories threaten resignation over EU vote ban". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  6. ^ "Peterborough MP to work with new Brexit Minister". ITV news. ITV. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Ex-MP Jackson hired as Brexit adviser". BBC News. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  8. ^ Mason, Rowena; Bingham, John (7 December 2012). "David Cameron warned Lords will 'massacre' gay marriage laws". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  9. ^ "Equal Pay: Seven male Tory MPs vote against bill to make big companies reveal gender pay gap". independent.co.uk. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Peterborough candidate Stewart Jackson criticised over 'stupid' email exchange". BBC News. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Anti-gay marriage MP tells lesbian voter: 'Don't bother me again". Pinknews. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Peterborough candidate Stewart Jackson criticised over 'stupid' email exchange". BBC News. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Pro-Leave MP tells journalist to 'suck it up whiner' over Brexit concerns". The Independent. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Tory Councillor Christian Holliday Holds Petition To Make Supporting UK Membership Of EU Treason". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Tory MP who lost seat messages former constituent on Facebook to call him a 'thick chav'". The Independent. 14 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Ex-Tory MP And Brexit Adviser Calls Stepdad Of Sick Child 'A Pathetic Cretin' On Twitter". HuffPost. 23 October 2018.
  17. ^ Elgot, Jessica (23 October 2018). "Stepfather of boy with EU flag tells ex-Tory MP to apologise for 'cretin' jibe". The Guardian.
  18. ^ "Stewart Jackson 'unkind and nasty' for child tweet says Heidi Allen". BBC News. 23 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Welcome to my new website!". Stewart Jackson UK. 6 February 2009. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011.
  20. ^ Swaine, Jon (12 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: Stewart Jackson admits claim for pool work was 'excessive'". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  21. ^ Sawer, Patrick (29 August 2009). "MPs' expenses: MPs who milked the expenses system now complain about attempts to reform it". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  22. ^ Swinford, Stephen (9 May 2013). "Expenses watchdog sues Tory MP over second home". Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  23. ^ a b "Expenses and sex scandal deleted from MPs' Wikipedia pages by computers inside Parliament". Telegraph.co.uk. 26 May 2015.
  24. ^ Nick Duffy (25 July 2015). "Exclusive: Tory MP's Wikipedia entry 'edited from Parliament' to remove gay rights criticism". PinkNews. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  25. ^ "Peterborough MP attacked by bus shelter vandal". BBC News. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  26. ^ "Tory MP Stewart Jackson 'kicked' as he tries to be have-a-go-hero". Metro. Associated Newspapers Limited. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Helen Clark
Member of Parliament for Peterborough
20052017
Succeeded by
Fiona Onasanya