Freedom of Information Commissioner

The Rt Hon Jack Straw

The Rt Hon Jack  Straw

Contents

Biography

Rt Hon Jack Straw was appointed in July 2015 as a Member of the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information. He was Foreign Secretary 2001 to 2006, Home Secretary 1997 to 2001, and Leader of the Commons 2006 to 2007 under Prime Minister Tony Blair. He was Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary 2007 to 2010 under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He served from 1979 to 2015 as Member of Parliament for Blackburn.

After having been called to the Bar and practiced there, he worked as a Special Advisor. In the Commons Jack was appointed to the Front Bench in 1980 and in 1987 he he became the Opposition spokesman on Education, then on the Environment, and from 1994 to 1997 he was Shadow Home Secretary.

As Home Secretary Jack oversaw the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act and the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into British law. As Foreign Secretary he played a leading role in the foreign policy problems arising from the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and the resulting interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was also closely involved with many major European decisions such as the negotiation of the EU Budget deal in 2005.

He is a Visiting Professor at the University College London School of Public Policy and Vice President of Blackburn Rovers Football Club. He is a Governor of Blackburn College, and from May 2015 has been Chairman of the Blackburn Youth Zone. He is co-Chairman of the government-sponsored British-Turkish Forum, and the Tatlidil conference that takes place annually between the UK and Turkey. He was given the Order of the Republic of Turkey by President Abdullah Gül in 2012.

Freedom of Information Commissioner

Commissioners support the Chair in meeting the terms of reference for the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information.