Tom Brake

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The Right Honourable
Tom Brake
Rt Hon Tom Brake MP.jpg
Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesman
Assumed office
29 July 2015
Leader Tim Farron
Preceded by Tim Farron
Liberal Democrat Chief Whip
Assumed office
29 July 2015
Leader Tim Farron
Preceded by Don Foster
Lib Dem Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
Assumed office
7 January 2015
Leader Nick Clegg
Tim Farron
Preceded by David Heath[1]
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
In office
4 September 2012 – 8 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Heath
Succeeded by Therese Coffey
Member of Parliament
for Carshalton and Wallington
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Nigel Forman
Majority 1,510 (3.2%)
Personal details
Born Thomas Anthony Brake
(1962-05-06) 6 May 1962 (age 54)
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England
Political party Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s) Candida Goulden
Alma mater Imperial College London
Website Official website

Thomas Anthony Brake (born 6 May 1962) is a British Liberal Democrat politician and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Carshalton and Wallington in southwest London.

Early life[edit]

Brake was born in Melton Mowbray and moved to France when he was eight. He was educated at the Lycée International school in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in the western suburbs of Paris, and Imperial College London, where he obtained a BSc in Physics in 1983. He was a computer software consultant with Hoskyns (Capgemini) from 1983 until his election to the UK Parliament in 1997.

Political career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Brake was actively involved in human rights issues as a student. He was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Hackney in 1988, leaving the council in 1990. In 1994 Brake was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Sutton and sat on the council until 1998.

Brake stood for election to Parliament at the 1992 general election in Carshalton and Wallington, but was defeated by Conservative Nigel Forman.

Parliamentary career[edit]

In what proved to be a close contest, Brake was elected at the 1997 general election as the Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, beating Nigel Forman with a majority of 2,267, and has remained the MP since. He made his maiden speech on 10 June 1997. Brake defeated Conservative Ken Andrew in 2001, 2005 and again in 2010 with an increased majority. In 2015 his majority was lessened to 1,510, narrowly ahead of Conservative Matthew Maxwell-Scott.

After the 1997 election, party leader Paddy Ashdown placed Brake on the frontbench as a spokesman on the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Following the 2001 General Election, then party leader Charles Kennedy appointed him a spokesman on Transport, Local Government and the Regions. In 2002 he became a Transport spokesman. He joined the Liberal Democrat frontbench team in 2003 as the lead International Development spokesman. After the 2005 General Election he became the Transport spokesman. He was relieved of this position under the new leadership of Sir Menzies Campbell in March 2006, and later that year became spokesperson for local government. In 2007 Brake became Shadow Minister for London and the Olympics. In 2008 he was also appointed as a Home Affairs Shadow Minister.

In June 2010 Brake was named Co-Chair of the new Liberal Democrat Backbench Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities. Brake will Co-Chair the committee alongside Baroness Hamwee and Lord Thomas of Gresford OBE QC.[2]

In September 2010 Brake attempted to introduce a bill "to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to remove provisions permitting Ministers to overrule decisions of the Information Commissioner and Information Tribunal; to limit the time allowed for public authorities to respond to requests involving consideration of the public interest; to amend the definition of public authorities; and for connected purposes."[3]

On 11 June 2011, it was announced Brake would be appointed a Privy Counsellor in the Queen's 2011 Birthday Honours list.[4]

On 4 September 2012 he was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, replacing Liberal Democrat David Heath MP who was promoted to Minister of State in DEFRA. Before he was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Brake was the Secretary of the All-Party Group for World Government, Treasurer of the All-Party Human Rights group, a member of the Franco British Parliamentary Relations group.[5]

Between 2014 and 2015, Brake was an Assistant Whip for HM's Treasury. In January 2015, Brake was appointed to the Liberal Democrat General Election Cabinet as the party's Leader of the House of Commons and London spokesperson.

On 29 July 2015, Brake was named as foreign affairs spokesperson and party chief whip.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Brake spent ten years living in France during his childhood and speaks fluent French, with some Portuguese and Russian. He married Candida Goulden in 1998, and they have two children: Ben and Amy.[2] In his spare time, Brake enjoys running, swimming and cycling. These pursuits have enabled him to compete in competitions such as the ‘Grim Challenge,’ which helped him raise £2500 for a local charity, Cricket for Change.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nigel Forman
Member of Parliament
for Carshalton and Wallington

Party political offices
Preceded by
Don Foster
Liberal Democrat Chief Whip of the House of Commons