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Template:Infobox Politician

Benjamin Peter James Bradshaw (born 30 August 1960) British politician and is the Labour Member of Parliament for Exeter

The Minister for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare with the rank of Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, he was one of the first openly gay MPs.


Ben Bradshaw was born in London, the son of a Church of England vicar and was educated at the Thorpe St Andrew School, the University of Sussex where he was awarded a degree in German, he also attended the University of Fribourg. He became a reporter with the Exeter Express and Echo in 1984, he was appointed as a reporter with the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich in 1985. He joined the BBC in 1986 as reporter with BBC Radio Devon. In 1989 he became the award winning Berlin correspondent with BBC Radio and was serving in the city at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He became a reporter in 1991 with BBC Radio's The World At One programme, where he stayed until his election to Westminster. He won the Sony News Reporter Award in 1993.

Ben Bradshaw was selected to contest the marginal parliamentary seat of Exeter at the 1997 General Election after the first choice candidate, John Lloyd, was deselected by the local Labour party on instructions from Labour HQ. The sitting Conservative MP, John Hannam had retired and the Conservatives chose Adrian Rogers to be their candidate. This created a very interesting election campaign, Bradshaw an openly gay man, and Rogers a Christian and leading member of the religious right. The campaign was vitriolic and bitter with allegations of homophobia and sin. The result, however was not close, and Ben Bradshaw was elected as the Labour MP for Exeter with a majority of 11,705. He made his maiden speech on 4 July 1997.

In Parliament Ben Bradshaw introduced the Pesticides Act in 1998 [1], which gave more powers to inspectors. He became a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Department of Health John Denham in 2000. After the 2001 General Election Bradshaw entered Tony Blair's government as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Only days after being appointed to the Foreign Office he had to answer questions following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Bradshaw became the Deputy to the Leader of the House of Commons Robin Cook in 2002, and was an Under Secretary of State at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2003 until 2006, when he was made a Minister of State at the same department.

His support for the Iraq War proved unpopular amongst many in a seat with a high student population.

Personal life

When first elected in 1997, Ben Bradshaw was one of the first gay MPs to be out at the time he was initially elected, along with Stephen Twigg. He lives with his partner, Neal Dalgleish, who is a BBC producer [2] On 24 June 2006, Bradshaw and his partner undertook a civil partnership ceremony, the first MP to do so [3] . He does not own a car; instead he frequently cycles. His brother is Jonathan Bradshaw, CBE, Professor of Social Policy at the University of York.

External links

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