Famous People from Essex – Jack Straw



Jack Straw was born on 3rd August, 1964 in Buckhurst Hill, Essex – just to the north of London . His father was Walter Whitaker Straw, an insurance salesman. His maternal grandmother was jewish although Jack is christian. He was brought up in Loughton, Essex.


He had his early education at Staples Road School in Loughton and then boarded at Brentwood School. He read law at the University of Leeds and qualified as a barrister, practising in criminal law in the early 1970s.


Jack Straw has been a member of parliament since 1979. He has held the office of Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons under the rule of Tony Blair. After the Labour Party lost power in 2010, Jack Straw became the Shadow Prime Minister, Shadow Secretary of State of Justice and Shadow Lord high Chancellor of Great Britain for some time before he stood down from all the posts himself.

Jack Straw was chosen to stand for Parliament in Blackburn after Barbara Castle decided not to go for the re-election in 1977. After winning the seat in 1970 he has held it since then, later on he became an honorary president of Blackburn Rovers Football Club.


It was in 1987 that he got his first post in the Shadow cabinet, he was appointed as an Education spokesman where he declared that Muslim and Jewish schools should have the right to opt out of the state system while not being effected with the funding received from the state. His work regarding Muslim schools was at a crucial time when controversies surrounded the Muslim population in England and especially the women rights in Islam. He went on to record a statement where he said that controversy surrounding women’s right in Islam is just out of ignorance, he further said that women acquired holding property rights centuries before modern European women did. He played a vital role in neutralizing and controlling the whole issue. During the government of Tony Blair, Jack Straw held important positions in the shadow cabinet. He and Tony Blair shared similar views regarding all the major policies governing the state. he also incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into British law,

Jack Straw is a man of great wisdom and courage. Some of his policies won praise from Margaret Thatcher who once declared “I would trust Jack Straw’s judgement. In the year 2000 a man applied for an asylum against Saddam Hussein’s rule in Iraq, his application was respectfully turned down by Jack Straw saying that we believe in the judiciary system of Iraq of its sovereignty. The courts of Iraq should support and protect you if you have not done anything illegal or wrong.


Jack Straw

A depressed Jack Straw

Straw has spoken publicly about his battles with depression. Depression can be reactive to the circumstance of life but in others it occurs for no particularly good reason. Relaxation can help but there are times when a good psychiatrist is required.


In October 2006 Straw attracted controversy by suggesting to a local newspaper, that Muslim women who wear veils that cover their faces (the niqab) can inhibit inter-community relations, though he denied the issue was raised for political gain.


In April 2011, Straw was appointed as a consultant to a British company based in London specialising in the production and trading of commodities.