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Biography

North East Economic ForumNick Brown is the Member of Parliament for Newcastle East. He was first elected to Parliament in 1983 and he has held the seat ever since.

Nick was born in Hawkhurst, Kent, and educated at Tunbridge Wells Technical High School. He studied at the University of Manchester. After graduation he worked in the advertising department of Proctor and Gamble in Newcastle upon Tyne (1974-75). He then worked for a Newcastle-based dry-cleaning company (1976-78), and in the Northern Region of the General and Municipal Worker’s Union (as it then was) from 1978 to 1983, as the region’s research officer, and later the legal officer. He was elected to Newcastle City Council in 1980-84 for the Walker Ward of Newcastle East.

In 1985-87 he was opposition spokesman on legal affairs. From 1987 to 1994 he was a member of the opposition Treasury Team, first under John Smith, then under Gordon Brown. He also deputised for Margaret Beckett in her role as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.

Following the death of John Smith, and the election of Tony Blair as leader of the Labour Party, Nick served as Shadow Minister for Health under Margaret Beckett. In 1995 he was appointed Deputy Chief Whip under Donald Dewar.

After Labour’s election victory in 1997 he was appointed Government Chief Whip. In 1998 he was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In 2001 he was appointed the Minister for Work at the Department for Work and Pensions, under Secretaries of State Alistair Darling, and then Andrew Smith. From June 2003 to June 2007 he was a back-bench MP.

Following the election of Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party Nick returned to Government as Deputy Chief Whip, Minister for the North East and Treasurer of the Household. In October 2008 Nick was again made Government Chief Whip, and returned to the Cabinet.

You can find further details of Nick’s work for the North East during his time as Regional Minister here.

In 1997 he was made a Privy Councillor.

In 2001 he was very proud to be awarded the freedom of the city of Newcastle.

Nick is governor of Walker Technology College and a patron of Leeds Youth Opera – the only youth opera in the country run by volunteers.