Jeff Rooker
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Jeff Rooker

The Lord Rooker

Official portrait of Lord Rooker crop 2.jpg
Chair of the Food Standards Agency

July 2009 - July 2013
Hilary Benn
Dame Deirdre Hutton
Heather Hancock
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

June 2005 - October 2008
MonarchElizabeth II
Tony Blair
Gordon Brown
LeaderThe Baroness Amos
The Baroness Ashton of Upholland
The Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
The Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
Minister of State for Sustainable Food, Farming and Animal Health

6 May 2006 - 3 October 2008
MonarchElizabeth II
Tony Blair
Gordon Brown
The Lord Bach (as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sustainable Farming and Food)
The Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (as Minister of State for Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality)
Minister of State for Children in Northern Ireland

9 May 2005 - 6 May 2006
MonarchElizabeth II
Tony Blair
Barry Gardiner (as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Education)
Maria Eagle (as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Education)
Minister of State for Regeneration and Regional Development

13 June 2003 - 9 May 2005
MonarchElizabeth II
Tony Blair
position established
Yvette Cooper
Minister of State for Housing and Planning

29 May 2002 - 13 June 2003
MonarchElizabeth II
Tony Blair
The Lord Falconer of Thoroton
Keith Hill
Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration

11 June 2001 - 29 May 2002
MonarchElizabeth II
Tony Blair
Barbara Roche
Beverley Hughes (Immigration, Citizenship and Counter-Terrorism)
Minister of State for Pensions

29 July 1999 - 7 June 2001
MonarchElizabeth II
Tony Blair
Stephen Timms
Ian McCartney
Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

6 May 1997 - 29 July 1999
MonarchElizabeth II
Tony Blair
Tony Baldry
Joyce Quin
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal

16 June 2001
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Perry Barr

28 February 1974 - 14 May 2001
Joseph Kinsey
Khalid Mahmood
Personal details
Jeffrey William Rooker

(1941-07-05) 5 July 1941 (age 78)
Political partyLabour (Commons); Independent (Lords 2009-2013); Labour (Lords 2013-)
Alma materAston University

Jeffrey William Rooker, Baron Rooker, PC (born 5 June 1941) is a British politician, who served as the Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Perry Barr from 1974 until 2001. He was later appointed to the House of Lords, being created a life peer on 16 June 2001 with the title Baron Rooker, of Perry Barr in the County of the West Midlands,[1] where he was appointed to the Government for a year as the Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration. He resigned the Labour whip in 2009 after being appointed Chairman of the Food Standards Agency and sat as an Independent member in the House of Lords until 2013 when, standing down as FSA Chairman, he took up the Labour whip once again.[2]

Early life

The son of a factory worker, Jeff Rooker attended Aldridge Road Secondary Modern Boys School (now called Great Barr School), Aldridge Road, Great Barr. He later attended Handsworth Technical School and College (later known as City College Handsworth), Goldshill Road, Handsworth. He initially trained as a production engineer, working in various factories in and around Birmingham for 14 years and then became a lecturer on the subject at Lanchester Polytechnic.

Lord Rooker is an alumnus of Aston University in the city of Birmingham, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2001, he served as Editor of the Birmingham Student Union News (SUN) 1963/64.[3] He also has a post-graduate degree from Warwick University in Industrial Relations. In 1966 he was an unsuccessful candidate for membership of Birmingham City Council.

Parliamentary career

Rooker was selected as a parliamentary candidate in October 1971 for his home constituency of Birmingham Perry Barr, which he won in the General Election in February 1974. He achieved a measure of national prominence in June 1977 while still a backbencher. With fellow MP Audrey Wise, he introduced the so-called Rooker-Wise Amendment to the Budget. This linked personal tax allowances to the rate of inflation, thereby preventing the erosion of non-taxable income. The BBC has described the amendment as "a rare example of direct backbench influence on the Budget".[4] He led an unsuccessful attempt to prosecute World War II German General Wilhelm Mohnke for his alleged role in war crimes inflicted on British troops at Wormhoudt in 1940.[]

Rooker served in a number of junior ministerial posts after 1997, both as an MP and as a member of the House of Lords in areas as diverse as agriculture, social security, immigration, local government and Northern Ireland. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1999. In August 2005 he was named the first Minister for Children in Northern Ireland. He was later appointed Minister of State for Sustainable Food and Farming and Animal Health at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 6 May 2006, as well as being responsible for animal welfare. He later served as deputy leader of the House of Lords, but stood down in October 2008.[]

Rooker is a vice president of The Birmingham Civic Society. As of January 2008, he is a lay governor of Aston University. Rooker was a controversial choice as Minister for Animal Welfare due to his well-known pro-hunting views. In 2007, following Rooker's appointment, numerous complaints from animal welfare campaigners were sent to the Labour Party. In July 2009 he was appointed as chair of the Food Standards Agency and resigned the Labour party whip for the duration until he ceased to be chair in 2013.[]


Jeff Rooker has shown himself to be outspokenly in favour of genetically modified (GM) foods. In September 2008, at the Labour Party Conference, he accused people opposed to GM foods of "ignorance".[5] In December 2015, Rooker called for Jeremy Corbyn to be removed as Labour Party leader before 2020.[6] He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.[7]

Personal life

He married Angela Edwards in 1972 in Paddington. He was widowed in January 2003. He married second wife Helen Hughes on 5 February 2010 in a private ceremony in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has two stepchildren, Alexander and Morwenna.


  1. ^ "No. 56252". The London Gazette. 21 June 2001. p. 7343.
  2. ^ "Jeff Rooker resigns Labour whip to chair Food Standards Agency". The Times. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ "Aston announces this year's honorary graduates" (Press release). Aston University. 10 July 2001. Retrieved 2008.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Budget rebellions remain scarce". BBC. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^ Driver, Alistair (22 September 2008). "Rooker accuses 'messianic' anti-GM lobby of ignorance". Farmers Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 May 2010.
  6. ^ (3 December 2015). "Labour peer: We need to get rid of Corbyn".
  7. ^ "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 2019.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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