Jake Berry

Berry in 2019
Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth[1]
In office
14 June 2017 – 13 February 2020
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Boris Johnson
Preceded byAndrew Percy
Succeeded bySimon Clarke
Member of Parliament
for Rossendale and Darwen
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byJanet Anderson
Majority9,522 (19.5%)
Personal details
James Jacob Gilchrist Berry

(1978-12-29) 29 December 1978 (age 42)[2]
Liverpool, England
Political partyConservative
Charlotte Alexa
(m. 2009; div. 2016)

Alice Robinson
(m. 2018)
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield and College of Law
WebsiteOfficial website

James Jacob Gilchrist Berry[2] (born 29 December 1978) is a British Conservative Party politician and former solicitor who served as Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, from 2017 to 2020, in the governments of Theresa May and Boris Johnson.[3]

He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rossendale and Darwen, having won the seat at the 2010 general election, defeating the sitting Labour Party MP Janet Anderson by a majority of 4,493 votes.[4][5]

Early life

Berry was born on 29 December 1978 in Liverpool and educated at Liverpool College, before studying for a Law degree at Sheffield University.[2] He trained to be a lawyer in Chester[6] and in the City of London, before becoming a solicitor in 2003.[2][7] He worked for a number of legal practices,[2] specialising in housing and development law.[7]

Parliamentary career

Berry was elected in the general election of 2010 as MP for Rossendale and Darwen. He won against incumbent MP Janet Anderson, who held the position for eighteen years, in an 8.9% swing to the Conservatives. Berry overturned a Labour majority of 3,616 to win by 4,493 votes.[5][8]

In 2010, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Grant Shapps, the Minister for Housing and Local Government at the Department of Communities and Local Government, following Shapps to the Cabinet Office in 2012.[5][7]

In April 2013, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, asked Berry to join the Number 10 Policy Unit, headed by Jo Johnson. His roles in this position include advising the Prime Minister on housing, regional growth and local government.[9]

Berry sponsored legislation, the Local Government (Religious etc. Observances) Bill, which gave councils the right to hold religious prayers at the start of meetings.[10]

In the general election of 2015, Berry was returned as MP for Rossendale and Darwen, with an increased majority of 5,654.[11] From July 2015 until January 2017, Berry served on the Parliamentary Finance Committee.[12]

In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Berry was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative government responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.[13]

In May 2016, it emerged that Berry was one of a number of Conservative MPs being investigated by police in the United Kingdom general election, 2015 party spending investigation, for allegedly spending more than the legal limit on constituency election campaign expenses.[14] However, in April 2017, Lancashire Police confirmed that no further action would be taken.[15]

Berry was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 Referendum.[16] Berry was again returned as MP in June 2017, but with a reduced majority of 3,216.

Following the election, Berry was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, making him the third Northern Powerhouse minister in the space of two years.[17] In March 2018, he described campaigners who forced the aerospace firm BAE Systems to withdraw as a sponsor of a flagship arts festival in North East England as "subsidy addicted artists" and "snowflakes".[18]

Upon the accession of Boris Johnson to the premiership, Berry was promoted to Minister of State, with attendance at cabinet meetings. He was appointed to the Privy Council the next day.[19]

Personal life

Berry lives in Rossendale and London.[20][21] He married Charlotte Alexa in 2009, but they divorced in September 2016.[22][23] He has been married to Alice Robinson since May 2018.[22] She was previously Boris Johnson's parliamentary office manager. The couple have three children.[24]


  1. ^ Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (2017–19)
  2. ^ a b c d e Berry, James Jacob Gilchrist, (Jake)', Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2011 ; online edn, Nov 2011 accessed 30 November 2012
  3. ^ "Jake Berry MP". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  4. ^ Jake Berry MP Archived 5 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Westminster Parliamentary Record. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Jake Berry Archived 2 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine, www.parliament.uk. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  6. ^ Thorp, Liam (9 August 2020). "The surprising number of Tory MPs from Liverpool and who they all are". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Jake Berry Archived 27 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Conservative Party website. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Conservative gains in Lancashire". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  9. ^ Winnett, Robert (24 April 2013). "David Cameron recruits Boris's brother for Number 10". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Local Government (Religious etc. Observances) Bill 2014–15". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  11. ^ "VIDEO: Jake Berry retains Rossendale and Darwen seat for Conservatives". Lancashire Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Jake Berry MP". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 13 January 2016. Archived from the original on 6 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Election Expenses Exposed". Channel 4 News. 23 June 2016. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Rossendale MP Jake Berry in the cleared in election expenses investigation". Rossendale Free Press. 27 April 2017. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  16. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  17. ^ Lucy Roue (7 July 2017). "I went to interview the Northern Powerhouse minister - but ended up in a room with secret documents". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  18. ^ Perraudin, Frances (9 March 2018). "Minister criticises 'snowflake' artists who opposed arms firm sponsorship". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  19. ^ "ORDERS APPROVED AND BUSINESS TRANSACTED AT THE PRIVY COUNCIL HELD BY THE QUEEN AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE ON 25TH JULY 2019" (PDF). Privy Council Office. 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated". Rossendale Borough Council. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  21. ^ "About Jake". Jake Berry. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  22. ^ a b Jacobs, Bill (30 October 2018). "Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake thrilled with second baby son". Lancashire Telegraph.
  23. ^ Robinson, Jon (20 September 2016). "Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry in divorce from wife". Lancashire Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  24. ^ Thomson, Alice; Swinford, Steven (1 November 2020). "Jake Berry: 'I have one political job left in me . . . and it's to help the north rise again'". The Times.(subscription required)
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byJanet Anderson Member of Parliamentfor Rossendale and Darwen2010–present Incumbent Political offices Preceded byAndrew Percy Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth2017–2019 Succeeded byHimselfas Minister of State Preceded byHimselfas Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth2019–2020 Succeeded bySimon Clarke