The Lord Deben
|Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions|
2 May 1997 - 11 June 1997
|John Prescott (Environment)|
|Secretary of State for the Environment|
27 May 1993 - 2 May 1997
|John Prescott (Environment, Transport and the Regions)|
|Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food|
24 July 1989 - 27 May 1993
11 September 1984 - 1 September 1985
|Chairman of the Conservative Party|
11 June 1983 - 2 September 1985
|Member of the House of Lords|
21 June 2010
|Member of Parliament |
for Suffolk Coastal
4 May 1979 - 12 April 2010
|Member of Parliament |
for Lewisham West
18 June 1970 - 28 February 1974
|Born||26 November 1939|
Stockport, Cheshire, England
|Alma mater||Selwyn College, Cambridge|
John Selwyn Gummer, Baron Deben (born 26 November 1939 in Stockport, Cheshire) is a British Conservative Party politician, formerly Member of Parliament (MP) for Suffolk Coastal and now a member of the House of Lords. He was Conservative Party Chairman from 1983 to 1985 and held various government posts including Secretary of State for the Environment from 1993 to 1997.
Lord Deben is Chairman of the UK's independent Committee on Climate Change. He also chairs the sustainability consultancy Sancroft International, recycler Valpak, and PIMFA (Personal Investment & Financial Advice Association). He is a director of The Catholic Herald and the Castle Trust - a mortgage and investment firm. He is a trustee of climate change charity Cool Earth, alongside the ocean conservation charity, Blue Marine Foundation.
Gummer attended King's School, Rochester, before going to Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he read History. Whilst there, as chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association and later President of the Cambridge Union Society, he was a member of what became known as the Cambridge Mafia - a group of future Conservative Cabinet ministers, including Leon Brittan, Michael Howard, Kenneth Clarke, Norman Lamont, and Norman Fowler.
First elected to Parliament at the 1970 general election, where he defeated sitting MP James Dickens in Lewisham West, Gummer had previously contested Greenwich in 1964 and 1966. He was unseated in February 1974 by Labour's Christopher Price who achieved a 3.4% swing compared with a 1.3% swing to Labour nationally, deciding not to stand for the seat in the second election that year.
In 1979, he returned to the House of Commons, securing Eye in Suffolk, following the retirement of veteran Tory MP Harwood Harrison. He held the constituency and its successor Suffolk Coastal until his retirement from the Commons in 2010.
Gummer was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture in Edward Heath's government, before being appointed Conservative Party Vice-Chairman - a position he held until the government's fall in 1974. Following his return to the House in the 1979 election, he held various government posts and was Conservative Party Chairman from 1983 to 1985 - an office he held at the time of the Brighton hotel bombing during the 1984 Conservative Party conference. He joined the Cabinet in 1989 as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, moving to become Secretary of State for the Environment under John Major in 1993.
As Environment Secretary he introduced the Environment Act 1995 and the Landfill Tax, which was the first such environmental tax in the UK. The BBC Wildlife magazine described Gummer as the "Environment Secretary against which all others are judged", placing him as one of its top ten environmental heroes. In 1997, he was also awarded the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Medal, and was described by Friends of the Earth as "the best Environment Secretary we've ever had".
He had responsibility for food safety during the mad cow disease epidemic in 1989-90 which eventually claimed 178 British lives. At the height of the crisis in May 1990, he attempted to refute the growing evidence for BSE/Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease by feeding his four-year-old daughter a burger before press cameras.
Following the 1997 Labour election victory he became a backbencher and chairman of the All-Party Group on Architecture and Planning. During this time he pursued environmental causes, introducing an Early Day Motion on global warming to Parliament along with Michael Meacher and Norman Baker. He was also instrumental in the passing of the Climate Change Act of 2008.
In 2009, Gummer was involved in the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal, after claiming £36,000 for gardening over four years, as a parliamentary expense. Although the claims were encouraged and initially approved by the Parliamentary Fees Office, rules state claims should only be made on expenses essential to parliamentary duties. He repaid £11,538 for gardening and household bills and donated £11,500 to charity, saying that he was paying above the minimum required in order to demonstrate "corporate social responsibility" for the expenses system. Subsequently, the Legg Report showed that 343 MPs had been asked to repay some money with Gummer paying the seventh highest figure.
It was announced that Gummer would be awarded a peerage in the 2010 Dissolution Honours List. On 21 June he was created a Life Peer as Baron Deben, of Winston in the County of Suffolk. He takes his title from the River Deben. He was introduced in the House of Lords the same day, supported by his brother, Lord Chadlington, and the composer Lord Lloyd-Webber.
In September 2012, Lord Deben was confirmed as Chairman of the UK's independent Committee on Climate Change, succeeding Adair, Lord Turner. The committee advises the UK Government on setting and meeting carbon budgets and on preparing for the impacts of climate change.
He converted to the Catholic Church in 1992, having previously been a practising Anglican and a member of the General Synod of the Church of England. He has supported the creation of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham for former Anglicans who have, like him, joined the Catholic Church, including serving as an Honorary Vice-President of the Friends of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. In July 2018 he was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc) from the University of East Anglia.
JOHN SELWYN GUMMER was born into a church family in Stockport in 1939. His father, Canon Selwyn Gummer (the sons were given his Christian name), was a vicar there, later becoming Canon of Rochester Cathedral. They remain close: Canon Gummer lives with the Gummers and invariably appears in the Commons to hear environment questions. A younger brother, Peter, is now chairman of Shandwick, one of the world's largest public relations firms and a paid-up member of the Tory great and good.
Since then we have expanded our services to cover wider areas of sustainability including waste management and recycling, carbon management, energy management and international compliance. ... Board Member Position The Rt Hon John Gummer Lord Deben
Non-Executive Directors ... The Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Lewisham West
| Member of Parliament for Eye
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for Suffolk Coastal
| Chairman of the Conservative Party
| Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
| Secretary of State for the Environment
as Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions