Department of Political Science


Jack Straw

Visiting Professor

Jack Straw
  • Name: Jack Straw
  • Position: Visiting Professor
  • Fax: 020 7679 4969


Rt Hon Jack Straw has been Member of Parliament for Blackburn since May 1979. He was last re-elected at the General Election in May 2010, where unusually he saw a swing to Labour of 1.1%, contrary to the national trend. His majority is now 9,856.

Mr Straw served continuously on the Labour front-bench for 30 years- from November 1980 until October 2010.

He was a senior member of the Labour Cabinet for the whole period of the 1997-2000 Labour Government. He served successively as Home Secretary (1997-2001), Foreign Secretary (2001-2006), Leader of the Commons (2006-7), and then Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary (2007-2010).

During his periods as Home Secretary, and as Lord Chancellor, he was responsible for a number of major constitutional changes, including the Human Rights Act 1998, Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection Act 1998, Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, and for two White Papers on reform of the House of Lords.

Parliamentary career 

Member of Parliament for Blackburn May 1979- Present
Acting Shadow Deputy Prime Minister May 2010- Sep 2010
Shadow Lord Chancellor and Secretary for Justice May 2010- Sep 2010
Lord Chancellor & Secretary of State for Justice Jun 2007– May 2010
Leader of the House of Commons May 2006– June 2007
Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Jun 2001– May 2006
Secretary of State for the Home Department Jul 1997- May 2001
Shadow Home Secretary Jul 1994– May 1997
Shadow Environment Secretary Jul 1992- Jul 1994
Shadow Education Secretary Jun 1987- Jul 1992
Opposition Spokesman for Local Government 1983- 1987
Opposition Spokesman for the Treasury and Economic Affairs 1980- 1983

Recent publications

  • European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 6 (2010): The Human Rights Act- Ten Years On.
  • Chatham House Annual Whitehead Lecture: Special or Merely Close? Britain’s Relationship with the US in the 2010. (7/12/2010).
  • Making Prisons Work: Prison Reform Trust Annual Lecture (1998).
  • Future of Policing and Criminal Justice (Institute of Police & Criminological Studies Occasional Paper) (1996).
  • Policy and Ideology (1993).

Honours and awards

  • House Magazine Minister of the Year: 2005
  • Privy Counsellor: 1997