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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK
John Bercow

Date of birth

19 January 1963

Political profile

In November 2002, John Bercow resigned from the shadow cabinet over the issue of allowing unmarried and gay couples the right to adopt children.

Under Michael Howard's leadership, however, he returned to the front benches, covering international development.

But he is now on the back benches again after being dropped in the September 2004 reshuffle - he reportedly refused an alternative job.

Mr Bercow is one of the Conservatives' star orators. First elected in 1997, he was appointed frontbench spokesman for education & employment, and then for home affairs.

He then joined the shadow cabinet as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury in 2001, before being moved to shadow spokesman for work & pensions.

A former special adviser to Jonathan Aitken, he is on the Eurosceptic right of the party and cites Norman Tebbit as a key political hero.

He has been a member of some controversial organisations, such as the Federation of Conservative Students and the Monday Club.

In recent years, however, he has undergone a reinvention to become something of a social liberal.

He was one of few Tories to support the reduction of the age of consent for gay men after publicly recanting his previous opposition.

He also led calls for Conservative MPs to disassociate themselves from the Monday Club.

Contact

Constituency office 01296 714240

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