Jon Hedley Trickett (born 2 July 1950) is a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hemsworth in West Yorkshire since a 1996 by-election. He served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Prime Minister Gordon Brown from 2008 to 2010 and was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet by Ed Miliband in 2011 as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office.
Trickett was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under new Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015, before being appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in July 2016. He held this position until the cabinet reshuffle in October 2016.
He studied at Roundhay Grammar School (now called Roundhay School) in Leeds. Formed politically by the anti-Vietnam war movement, Trickett joined the Labour Party in 1969 and was active on the Labour Left in Leeds from the late 1960s. During the campaigns relating to the Common Market referendum in 1975, he was the secretary of the ‘Vote No’ campaign in Leeds. Later, he was the election agent for Michael McGowan who became the MEP for Leeds in 1984.
During the 1970s, Trickett was a member of the ILP (the successor body of the Independent Labour Party) and contributed to their newspaper—the Labour Leader—and was elected for a number of years to the ruling body, the National Administrative Council. Trickett was also active in anti-fascist and anti-war movements. He was a delegate to the Leeds Trades Council.
Trickett became leader of Leeds City Council in 1989 and was first elected to the Leeds City Council in 1984 for the Beeston ward. He had gained a BA in Politics from the University of Hull, and later an MA in Political Sociology from the University of Leeds. From 1974 to 1986 he also worked as a builder and plumber.
Elected on 1 February 1996 in a by-election brought about by the death of the previous MP, Labour’s Derek Enright soccer long socks, Trickett was made PPS to Peter Mandelson after Labour was elected to power and worked in the Cabinet office and subsequently the DTI. After leaving the government at the time of Mandelson’s fall from grace, Trickett was chair of the Compass pressure group.
He played a significant role in rebelling against the Iraq War and participated in demonstrations against the War in London, Wakefield and Leeds. He rebelled on a number of occasions against Tony Blair’s reforms to public services. He led the demands for a recall of Parliament at the time of the Israeli attacks on the Lebanon. He led the campaign inside the Commons to amend the Companies Bill to secure public listed companies reporting on ‘supply chain issues’ in line with the suggestions of a range of non governmental organisations. He was a leading figure in the campaign to prevent a decision to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system in 2007. He was Jon Cruddas’ campaign manager during the 2007 Labour Party deputy leadership election. He had previously voted against the Blair Government’s 90-day detention proposals in the Terrorism Act 2006, that had been publicly advocated by the police service, and was joined by both Labour and Conservative MPs in the vote—the only time Blair was defeated in the Commons.
He and Cruddas voted in favour of the subsequent 28-day detention proposal and Trickett then resigned from his position in Compass after voting in favour of the legislation despite opposition from some members of Compass to the Bill.
Trickett was appointed by the trades unions as acting Chair of the Tribune newspaper Board in 2007, but ceased in this role when the paper was taken over by a private proprietor.
In June 2007 he was asked by Gordon Brown to chair the party’s manifesto group on housing, a position which he declined to take up. Following the cabinet reshuffle of 3 October 2008, Trickett became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
On 7 October 2011, Trickett was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office by Labour Leader Ed Miliband.
He was re-elected at the 2015 general election with a majority of 12,078. In 2016 a man necklaces for women, a former British National Party candidate, was convicted of making an anti-semitic verbal attack upon Trickett.
Trickett was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015.
On 27 June 2016 Trickett was appointed as Shadow Lord President of the Council and Campaigns and Elections Director.
Following the mass resignations of the Opposition front bench following the EU referendum result, Trickett was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
In July 2016, Trickett apologised for comments on Twitter which appeared to liken an attempted coup in Turkey to attempts to oust Jeremy Corbyn. Labour MP Michael Dugher said: “As death toll rises to 90, I’m sure Jon Trickett will reflect and realise this comparison is not clever and not funny.” Trickett deleted the tweet and apologised, saying: “Okay okay. Tweet deleted and withdrawn. Shouldn’t tweet when feeling ill. I apologise sincerely”.
Trickett maintains that to win elections Labour needs to put forward policies in the interest of the majority, not the “establishment insiders” whom he sees as the top 5% water bottle storage.
Trickett married Sarah Balfour on 31 October 1993. They have 3 children.