Jack Lopresti

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Jack Lopresti

Official portrait of Jack Lopresti crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Filton and Bradley Stoke
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byConstituency Created
Majority4,190 (8.3%)
Personal details
Born
Giacomo Lopresti

(1969-08-23) 23 August 1969 (age 49)
Southmead, Bristol, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
Children4
Websitewww.jacklopresti.com
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army

Giacomo "Jack" Lopresti[1] (born 23 August 1969)[2] is a British Conservative Party politician. At the 2010 general election, he was first elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Filton and Bradley Stoke, a constituency in Bristol newly created after boundary changes.[3] He is an advocate of the Eurosceptic campaign Leave Means Leave.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Lopresti was born on 23 August 1969 in Southmead in Bristol. After leaving school, Lopresti worked in his family ice cream business for over ten years.[5] A former estate agent and mortgage broker,[6] he worked for the Conservative Party as a Regional Development Officer and in the Conservative Party Treasurer's Department.

Lopresti served in the Territorial Army as a gunner with 266 Commando Battery, Royal Artillery from 2007. He served, as a mobilised reservist, with 29 Commando RA for a year and was deployed in Helmand Province, in Afghanistan, on Operation Herrick 9 for five months over Christmas and New Year 2008/9. Whilst in Afghanistan, Lopresti ran the Camp Bastion Half Marathon, for Help for Heroes, on New Years Day 2009.[7][8] From 2011-2013, Lopresti served as a trooper in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, an army reserve cavalry unit.

Political career[edit]

Lopresti unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate in the Bedminster ward of Bristol City Council in 1995. He was again unsuccessful when he stood in Hartcliffe ward in 1997 and Redland ward in 1998, but was subsequently elected in the Stockwood Ward in 1999. He worked as councillor in that ward until May 2007, when he stood down and a new Conservative candidate won the seat.[9]

He stood unsuccessfully as the Conservative Party candidate for the Bristol East constituency in 2001, and for the South West at the European Parliament elections in 2004. Although the Conservative Party did win three seats in the region, Lopresti was the sixth candidate for the seven seats that were available.

Lopresti was a member of the Conservative Party's A-List in 2006.[10][11] At the 2010 general election, he was first elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Filton and Bradley Stoke, a constituency newly created after boundary changes.[3]

In 2011, he was a member of the special Select Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill that became the Armed Forces Act 2011.[12] He also served on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee[13]

Lopresti is a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel group,[14] and has attended delegations of that group[15] including during the Operation Defensive Shield conflict when he visited in 2014 for an Israeli military briefing on the Iron Dome air defence system.[16]

At the 2015 UK general election, he retained his seat with an increased majority of almost 10,000 votes.[17]

Lopresti supported Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum.[18]

In July 2016, Lopresti was criticised for sponsoring and hosting a parliamentary event at which Bahrain's relationship with the UK was to be celebrated, after the MP had received several thousand pounds' worth of funding for foreign trips to the country. Opposition MPs objected to him taking gifts from a country whose human rights record had been criticised. Lopresti had faced further questions over one of the trips to Bahrain, which was paid for by the state's foreign affairs ministry, when it was reported he had attended it with fellow MP Andrea Jenkyns a month after their affair had been revealed. Neither of them were members of The Conservative Middle East Council (who had organised the trip from the UK side). Lopresti responded that the trip centred around the Bahraini Airshow, which was relevant to his defence brief, while he argued more generally that Bahrain is one of the country's key strategic allies in the Gulf and that the Bahrainis were in the process of building the UK's first naval base east of Suez since the 1970s.[19][20]

Lopresti was subject to a failed attempt before the 2017 general election by some members of his local party to deselect him as the Conservative Candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke. This followed reports in the press that he had been having an extramarital affair with a fellow MP.[21] There was, he said, a "vicious smear campaign" in the constituency and an "attempt to destroy my character and reputation" after revelations about his private life.[22] Lopresti said he had made a complaint to the Police over a letter urging Lopresti's deselection, which had been circulated by a "former very bitter party member and possibly a disgruntled employee", and appeared to have broken data protection laws. He was re-selected.[23]

At the 2017 UK general election, he retained his seat, but with a decreased majority.

In Parliament, Lopresti has served on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Armed Forces Bill Committee and Defence Committee.[24]

In December 2017, the BBC reported that Lopresti was facing an investigation after his ex-office manager made a formal complaint about his behaviour, following her resignation. A senior Conservative councillor in Bristol subsequently claimed there was "ample grounds" to believe the bullying allegations surrounding the MP due to his "character flaws" and past behaviour. However, two former staff members said they had had a good relationship with Lopresti, and that he was a good employer.[25][26]

Subsequent to this, the BBC reported on 11th July 2019 that the ex-office manager, Miss Jo Kinsey, had been 'vindicated' following her complaint, having received a letter of apology from Lopresti following an internal Conservative party investigation. [27] "He would shout. He'd be volatile," Miss Kinsey told the BBC. "I explained how it made me feel and unfortunately he banged his hand down on the desk, slammed his Filofax shut, and just shouted at me, saying 'this meeting is over' and just left." After complaining to her local party, Parliamentary HR and a whip, Mrs Kinsey resigned from her job and formally complained to Party HQ. They convened a panel to consider her 240 page dossier, and found her evidence "detailed", "cogent" and in several respects backed up by colleagues. They said Mr Lopresti may have breached the Conservatives' 2017 Code of Conduct, and agreed Mrs Kinsey felt "humiliated, upset, distressed and depressed" by Lopresti's behaviour.


Personal life[edit]

Lopresti, who is of Italian ancestry, is divorced from his former wife Lucy, the daughter of Lord Cope of Berkeley; the couple had three children.[28]

In December 2015, it was revealed that Lopresti was having an extramarital affair[28] with fellow MP Andrea Jenkyns. Following his divorce from Lucy Cope, Lopresti married Jenkyns in St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster on 22 December 2017 and they have a child together, born in March 2017.[29] Lopresti was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. He has received treatment at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.[30]

In May 2019 a five year investigation helped to expose slave-like wages, abuse of tenants and workers, and squalid conditions in both commercial and residential properties at a company owned by Lopresti's family.[31] Those involved were legally restricted under the Modern Slavery Act resulting in the owners no longer being allowed to be employers, with investigations and possible further legal action being considered to deal with the low quality of housing offered by the family.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8745.
  2. ^ "Lopresti, Jack, (born 23 Aug. 1969), MP (C) Filton and Bradley Stoke, since 2010". Who's Who. 2010. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.251250.
  3. ^ a b "Election 2010: Filton and Bradley Stoke result". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 7 May 2010..
  4. ^ "Co-Chairmen - Political Advisory Board - Supporters". Leave Means Leave.
  5. ^ "About Jack". Jack Lopresti. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Filton and Bradley Stoke". UK Polling Report. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Jack Lopresti, Biography". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Biography". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Bristol Council Election Results 1995-2011" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  10. ^ Woolf, Marie (27 May 2006). "Cameron woos 'political virgins'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  11. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Where are the original A-Listers now? The 18 who have been selected for Conservative seats". conservativehome.blogs.com.
  12. ^ "Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill". parliament.uk. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Jack Lopresti". Parliament UK. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  14. ^ "CFI delegation attends UK Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group launch in Knesset". Conservative Friends of Israel. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Recent Delegations".
  16. ^ Rowena Mason (30 July 2014). "Tory MPs' visit to Israel condemned as bad timing". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  17. ^ "FILTON & BRADLEY STOKE". UK Polling Report. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  18. ^ "EU vote: Where the cabinet and other MPs stand". BBC News. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  19. ^ "MP Criticised For Hosting Celebration Of Bahrain In Parliament After Taking Funding From The Kingdom". Buzz Feed. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Atticus: Pub is Bloom's tonic after university bar". The Times. 14 February 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Bristol MP Jack Lopresti having affair with Tory colleague, Conservative party confirms". ITV News. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  22. ^ "Tory MP Jack Lopresti blames 'smear campaign' for deselection call". BBC News. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  23. ^ Ashcroft, Esme (28 April 2017). "Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti contacts police over 'racist smear campaign' to oust him". Bradford Post. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  24. ^ "Jack Lopresti MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  25. ^ "'Ample grounds' to believe MP Jack Lopresti bullying claims says Bristol Tory". Bristol Post. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Conservative MP Jack Lopresti faces investigation over behaviour". BBC News. 1 December 2017.
  27. ^ BBC News. 11 July 2019 https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-48935191. Text "title MP Jack Loresti's ex-employee 'vindicated' by apology" ignored (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ a b "Bristol MP Jack Lopresti having affair with Tory colleague, Conservative party confirms". ITV News. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Brexit baby brings the Commons together in laughter". ITV News. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  30. ^ "Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti has cancer". 6 June 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  31. ^ https://thebristolcable.org/2019/05/finally-exposed-how-lopresti-ice-cream-boss-kept-men-in-slave-like-conditions-tenants-and-families-in-squalor-but-people-spoke-out/
  32. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-48253749

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for
Filton and Bradley Stoke

2010–present
Incumbent