Toby Perkins

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Toby Perkins
Toby Perkins MP addressing joint NCVO Acevo fringe (6192116652).jpg
Shadow Minister for Small Business
Assumed office
7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Chuka Umunna
Member of Parliament
for Chesterfield
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Paul Holmes
Majority 13,598 (29.8%)
Personal details
Born (1970-08-12) 12 August 1970 (age 45)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Nationality English
Political party Labour
Occupation Politician

Matthew Toby Perkins[1] (born 12 August 1970[2]) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Chesterfield since 2010, winning the seat from Liberal Democrat Paul Holmes.[3]

Early life[edit]

Perkins is son of V.F. Perkins and his wife Teresa. He has a sister, Polly and is the great-grandson of A. P. Herbert, Independent Member of Parliament for Oxford University (1935–1950). He attended Trinity Catholic School, Leamington Spa and Silverdale Comprehensive School in Sheffield.


Perkins worked in the private sector from 1987 til election to parliament in 2010. He was in IT Sales and Consultant and then Regional Manager for the Prime Time Recruitment organisation. He then set up a rugby product business.[4]

Political career[edit]

Perkins was a councillor for Rother Ward on Chesterfield Borough Council from 2003-2011.[5] He was a Director of Families First Co-operative, a social enterprise that ran an early years nursery in Chesterfield, and set up the Chesterfield Flood Victims Appeal.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Perkins' victory over Liberal Democrat Paul Holmes saw him overturn a majority of 3,000 to win by 549 votes despite a national swing against the Labour Party. Results show that the victory was largely due to retention of the existing Labour vote, as there was a 7.5% swing towards the Conservative party in Chesterfield, with Labour making a net gain of 61 votes in comparison to 2005.[6][7]

Following election to Parliament in 2010, he questioned David Cameron in the very first Prime Minister's Questions of the 2010 session. He backed David Miliband for the Labour leadership and was named by the Financial Times as one of the best six newcomers of the first 100 days of the 2010 parliament.[8]

Under Ed Miliband he became the first member of the 2010 intake [9] to speak from the front bench when becoming a Shadow Education Minister in September 2010 under Andy Burnham. He was moved into the Shadow Business team as Shadow Minister for Enterprise and Small Business in 2011, under Chuka Umunna. As Shadow Business Minister he was responsible for Labour's policies on Access to Finance, Small Businesses, Regulation/ de-regulation, Insolvency, Procurement, Pubs and the High Street. He was elected to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.

In July 2014 Douglas Alexander appointed him one of three Labour Party Deputy Chairs for the 2015 General Election campaign alongside Gloria De Piero and Jonathan Ashworth. He had previously run Labour's by election campaign in Wythenshawe and Sale East. He also worked on by election campaigns in Corby, Bradford West and Eastleigh.

In parliament he has led Opposition Day debates for Labour on pub company regulation, Sunday trading laws for the Olympics, on the Deregulation Bill alongside Chi Onwurah. He has secured adjournment debates against Derbyshire Fire Station closures, that led to a u-turn on plans to close 18 Derbyshire fire stations, and against the sale of legal highs.

Personal life[edit]

Perkins is married to Suzie (née Francis), who was born in Boythorpe, Chesterfield, and they have 2 children.

A former Chesterfield, Sheffield Tigers RUFC and Derbyshire Rugby Union player, he qualified as a rugby coach in 2006 and coached a junior team at Sheffield Tigers RUFC. He follows Sheffield United, Chesterfield FC and British Tennis. He is a friend of Jonny Marray, the British Tennis player who won the Wimbledon Men's Doubles title in 2012.[10]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59418. p. 8740. 13 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Toby Perkins MP". BBC Online. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  3. ^ "Recount gives Tories Amber Valley". BBC News Online. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  4. ^ Club Rugby
  5. ^ "Councillor demands inquiry into closure of new park cafe". Yorkshire Post. 2006-07-13. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  6. ^ "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – Chesterfield". BBC News. 
  7. ^ "BBC NEWS – Election 2005 – Chesterfield". BBC News. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 2010
  10. ^ "Securing Britain’s Sporting Chance". Toby Perkins MP. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Paul Holmes
Member of Parliament for Chesterfield