Ben Bradshaw Biography
Sun Sign: Virgo
Also Known As: Benjamin Peter James Bradshaw
Born in: City of Westminster
Famous as: Politician
political ideology: Political party - Labour
City: London, England
education: University of Sussex, University of Freiburg
Ben Bradshaw is a British politician who has been a Member of Parliament for Exeter since 1997. A Labour Party politician, he has also served as the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and as Minister of State for Health. Before entering politics Bradshaw worked as a journalist and had been with BBC Radio Devon for a few years before being appointed the BBC's Berlin correspondent. His journalistic career kindled a deep interest in politics and soon he ventured into politics by contesting the marginal parliamentary seat of Exeter at the 1997 general election as a Labour Party contestant. He successfully won the election following a bitter campaign against the Conservatives candidate Adrian Rogers. He proved to be a popular politician and within a few years entered Prime Minister Tony Blair's government as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. His prominence within the Labour Party increased over time and he was eventually made the Minister of State in the Department of Health and, in addition, was given the Minister for the South West portfolio. He is openly gay and is actively involved in the work to support equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
- Ben Bradshaw was born on 30 August 1960, in London, England, as the son of a former Anglican vicar of Norwich Cathedral, Peter Bradshaw and his wife Daphne Bradshaw.
- He received his primary education from Thorpe Grammar School and after his graduation, enrolled at the University of Sussex for a degree in German. As an undergraduate he also attended the University of Freiburg in Germany.
- After completing his studies he embarked on a career as a teacher and taught English at the Technikum, a school of technology in Winterthur in the Zurich canton of Switzerland between 1982 and 1983.
- His teaching career did not last long as he soon accepted a job as a reporter with the ‘Exeter Express and Echo’ in 1984. The very next year he moved on to the ‘Eastern Daily Press in Norwich’ as a reporter.
- His career received a big boost when he joined the staff of BBC Radio Devon in 1986. After three years he was selected to be the Berlin correspondent for BBC Radio in 1989. In this role he witnessed one of the biggest incidents in the history of the city—the falling of the Berlin Wall.
- He found considerable success in his career with the BBC and gained a reputation as a high-profile journalist. He became a reporter with BBC Radio's ‘The World At One’ in 1991. By the early 1990s he had become deeply interested in politics and was giving serious thoughts to joining politics.
- He contested the marginal parliamentary seat of Exeter at the 1997 general election as a Labour Party candidate. He faced the Conservative candidate Adrian Rogers, a leading member of the religious right. Since Bradshaw is openly gay, the election battle between the two men turned out to be very vitriolic with Rogers accusing Bradshaw of “sin”.
- Bradshaw won the election with a majority of 11,705 and was made the Labour MP for Exeter. He made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 4 July 1997.
- In 2000, he became a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Department of Health John Denham. The next year, he became the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office under Prime Minister Tony Blair’s administration.
- In 2002, Bradshaw became the Deputy to the Leader of the House of Commons Robin Cook and served as an Under Secretary of State at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2003 until 2006.
- In 2007, he was made a Minister of State in the Department of Health and, in addition, was given the Minister for the South West portfolio. Even though a popular politician, he has had his share of controversies too while serving as the Minister for Health. His comment suggesting that people should consult a General Practitioner in case of unavailability of dentists sparked off furious debates.
- He was appointed Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport in 2009, a position he held until the United Kingdom general election, 2010. After that he served as Shadow Culture Secretary until the Labour Party (UK) Shadow Cabinet election, 2010.
- He contested the Labour Party deputy leadership election in 2015 but came in last.
- As an openly gay politician, he is much respected for his stance on equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. He voted in favour in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on same-sex marriage in Britain in 2013.
- Ben Bradshaw won the Sony News Reporter Award in 1993.
- He won the Stonewall Politician of the Year Award in 2009 for his work to support equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. The same year, he was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.
- He is a member of the Henry Jackson Society Advisory Council.
- He and his partner Neal Dalgleish, a BBC producer, registered a civil partnership in June 2006, becoming one of the first MPs to do so.
- Ben Bradshaw is very family oriented. He is close to his nephews, nieces, and godchildren.
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