Halfon elected Chair of the Education Select Committee

Former Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon has beaten five other Conservatives to be elected to the influential post.

Halfon was sacked by Theresa May in the cabinet reshuffle that followed June’s snap general election and has been critical of the Prime Minister and the way in which the Conservative campaign was fought.

In the election yesterday, he beat five other Conservative candidates including a fellow ex-DfE minister, Tim Loughton. The results were as follows:


Halfon is originally from North London, where he attended the independent Highgate School before studying for a politics degree at Exeter University and a Master’s in Russian and Eastern European politics.

After graduating, Halfon worked for Conservative MP Oliver Letwin and the Conservative Friends of Israel. He contested the Essex seat of Harlow unsuccessfully in both 2001 and 2005 before entering parliament in 2010. In 2014 he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to George Osborne, who is seen as a close ally.

Unusually for a Conservative, Halfon is a strong supporter of trade unions and is a member of Prospect. He describes his brand of politics as “White Van Conservatism”, aimed at aspirational working class voters.

Now that Halfon is in place as Chair, the rest of the committee will be appointed shortly. During the last Parliament, two North East Labour MPs – Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle North) and Ian Mearns (Gateshead) were members.


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