Nick Herbert

Nicholas Le Quesne Herbert, CBE (born 7 April 1963) is a British Conservative Party politician and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Arundel and South Downs from 2005 to 2019. He was Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice, with his time split between the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice from 2010–2012.[1] On 5 November 2019 he announced his decision not to stand for re-election in the December 2019 General Election.[2]

Nick Herbert

Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
In office
13 May 2010  4 September 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byDavid Hanson (Security, Counterterrorism, Crime and Policing)
Succeeded byDamian Green
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
19 January 2009  11 May 2010
LeaderDavid Cameron
Preceded byPeter Ainsworth
Succeeded byHilary Benn
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
In office
2 July 2007  19 January 2009
LeaderDavid Cameron
Preceded byOliver Heald
Succeeded byDominic Grieve
Member of Parliament
for Arundel and South Downs
In office
5 May 2005  6 November 2019
Preceded byHoward Flight
Succeeded byAndrew Griffith
Personal details
Nicholas Le Quesne Herbert

(1963-04-07) 7 April 1963
Cambridge, England
Political partyConservative
Domestic partnerJason Eades
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge
WebsiteOfficial website


Herbert was educated at Haileybury and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read law and land economy. After Cambridge, he worked for the Conservative Research Department on the Rural & Environmental bureau. He went on to be appointed as the director of public affairs at the British Field Sports Society in 1990 and remained in that position for six years, from which he helped to form the Countryside Movement which later became the Countryside Alliance.

He joined Business for Sterling in 1998 as its Chief Executive where he led the launch of the 'no' campaign against adopting the Euro currency, before founding the think tank Reform as its Director in 2001, until his election to parliament in 2005.

Political career

He unsuccessfully contested the Northumberland seat of Berwick-upon-Tweed at the 1997 general election where he finished in third place some 8,951 votes behind the veteran Liberal Democrat MP Alan Beith.

In 2001 he co-founded the Reform think tank which focuses on reforming public services via private sector involvement and de-regulation.

His selection to contest the West Sussex seat of Arundel and South Downs at the 2005 general election did not come about without incident. The sitting Conservative MP, Howard Flight, had been forced to resign as a vice chairman of the party and had the whip removed by Michael Howard in 2005 after he had told a Conservative Way Forward meeting that the Conservatives would have to make more cuts than they were promising.[3] With no whip, he was not considered as an approved candidate and, despite protest and the local association refusing to select a new candidate, he finally resigned just a month before the election.[4] Herbert was selected[5] and elected, holding the seat with a slightly reduced majority of 11,309. He made his maiden speech on 6 June 2005.[6]

Shadow Cabinet

After his election to Parliament, Herbert joined the Home Affairs Select Committee. After David Cameron became leader of the Conservative Party, Herbert was appointed as a Shadow Minister for home affairs on 16 December 2005. This meant he had to leave the Home Affairs Select Committee. In July 2007, he joined the Shadow Cabinet for the new position of Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, shadowing veteran Labour minister Jack Straw.[7] On 19 January 2009 he was made Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


On the Coalition forming between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in May 2010, Herbert was appointed as a Minister of State at the Home Office with responsibility for policing and at the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for criminal justice. To undertake this role, Herbert was appointed a Privy Counsellor on 9 June 2010.[8] He championed the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners to replace police authorities,[9] street level crime mapping, and swifter justice.

Herbert decided to step down from Government at the time of David Cameron's first major reshuffle in September 2012.[10][11][12]


Herbert formed, and co-chairs, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, and in 2014 launched the Global TB Caucus which he co-chairs with South Africa's Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, initiating the Barcelona Declaration with a speech to the World Lung Conference.

In 2014 he launched GovernUp, a cross-party project which aims to promote "the far-reaching reforms needed in Whitehall and beyond to enable more effective and efficient government". He authored Vote Conservative 2015 ahead of the general election that year.

Herbert played a leading role in making the case for equal marriage, launching the Freedom to Marry campaign in 2012 ahead of the successful Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.[13] In June 2015, Herbert helped to launch, and became the first chair, of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT Rights.[14]

In January 2016, Herbert launched Conservatives For Reform In Europe, a campaign to remain in the EU, subject to the Prime Minister's renegotiations. He was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[15]

In October 2019, it was announced that Herbert was rejoining the Countryside Alliance, of which he was a founder, as Chairman.[16]

In November 2019, Herbert announced his resignation as MP in order to focus on his other campaign roles on rural issues, central governance reform, combatting tuberculosis and securing LGBT rights worldwide.[17]

Personal life

Herbert joined his long-term partner, Jason Eades, in civil partnership in early January 2009. They have been in a relationship since 1999.[12]


  1. "Ministers of State – Ministry of Justice". Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  2. "Resignation statement". Nick Herbert MP. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  3. Tory quits in 'hidden cuts' row, BBC News.
  4. Flight to end battle with Howard, BBC News.
  5. Flight replacement sparks new row, BBC News.
  6. House of Commons Hansard Debates for 6 Jun 2005 (pt 30)
  7. "Cameron reshuffles shadow team". BBC News. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  8. "Privy Council appointments, 9 June 2010". Privy Council. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  9. Wesley Johnson (4 September 2012). "Police commissioners champion Nick Herbert quits amid reshuffle". The Independent. London. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  10. Nigel Morris and Oliver Wright (8 September 2012). "Sacked – and angry. New awkward squad is out to get the PM". The Independent. London. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  11. Nicholas Cecil (6 September 2012). "No one blubbed when I sacked them, insists David Cameron". Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  12. Scott Roberts (4 September 2012). "Gay Tory MP Nick Herbert resigns from government". Pink News. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  13. Herbert, Nick (8 December 2012). "Same-sex marriage is a true Tory principle". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  14. Duffy, Nick (29 June 2015). "Nick Herbert: Parliamentary group on global LGBT rights will help tackle 'discrimination and abuses'". PinkNews. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  15. Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Howard Flight
Member of Parliament
for Arundel and South Downs

Succeeded by
Andrew Griffith
Political offices
Preceded by
Oliver Heald
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
Succeeded by
Dominic Grieve
Preceded by
Peter Ainsworth
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Succeeded by
Hilary Benn
Preceded by
David Hanson
as Minister of State for Security, Counterterrorism, Crime and Policing
Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
Succeeded by
Damian Green
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