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Vernon Coaker: Wikis


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The Right Honourable
 Vernon Coaker 

Assumed office 
8 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Jim Knight

Member of Parliament
for Gedling
Assumed office 
1 May 1997
Preceded by Andrew Mitchell
Majority 3,811 (8.6%)

Born 17 June 1953 (1953-06-17) (age 56)
City of Westminster, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Heaton
Children 1 son, 1 daughter
Residence Cotgrave
Alma mater University of Warwick, Trent Polytechnic
Profession Teacher

Vernon Rodney Coaker (born 17 June 1953) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Gedling since 1997; Coaker is currently the newly-appointed Minister of State for Schools and Learners.


Early life

Coaker went to Drayton Manor Grammar School in London. He studied for an Economics and Politics BA (Hons) at the University of Warwick, then obtained a PGCE at Trent Polytechnic (Clifton College of Education).

Coaker worked as a teacher, becoming a History teacher at Manvers Pierrepont School (now the Carlton Road Centre of Castle College Nottingham) from 1976–1982, then Head of Department at Arnold Hill School from 1982–1988. From 1989–1995 he was a Senior Teacher at Bramcote Park School. From 1995–1997 he was deputy headmaster at Big Wood School in Bestwood, Nottingham. He is a member of the Socialist Education Association and NUT.

Political career

Coaker served as a district councillor for the Cotgrave Ward in Rushcliffe from 1983–1997, contesting the Rushcliffe constituency seat in 1983. He contested Gedling in 1987 and 1992, before defeating Andrew Mitchell in the 1997 election, becoming the first Labour MP to win the Gedling seat.

He is the new Minister of State for Schools and Learners at the DCSF, having previously been a Minister of State at the Home Office. He became a government whip, serving as Lord Commissioner in the House of Commons, in May 2005 having been as assistant whip since June 2003 playing an active role in education debates. He is also keen on environmental and animal welfare issues. Prior to joining the government he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell.

Shortly after being appointed Minister for Drugs & Crime Reduction in the May 2006 reshuffle, he revealed to the Coventry Evening Telegraph that, as a student, he had smoked cannabis. This provoked some controversy owing to his new responsibilities.

He supports people taking part in shooting sports and angling.

In January, 2010, Mr Coaker apologised for remarks that misled MPs. Mr Coaker had earlier told MPs that 70 police officers were hurt as a result of a Climate Change protest at Kingsnorth power station. In fact, only four [1] injuries involved contact with another person. The 66 others included "wasp sting", "injuries sitting in a car", and "succumbed to sun and heat" etc. The whole operation had involved more than 1000 officers.

Personal life

He married Jacqueline Heaton on 23 December 1978 in Basford and they have a daughter and a son. He supports Tottenham Hotspur. His wife, who is a teacher, is a town councillor in Cotgrave.[2]


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Andrew Mitchell
Member of Parliament for Gedling
Preceded by
Jim Knight
Minister of State for Schools and Learners

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