Public Affairs: Lobbying Target - Vernon Coaker, schools minister

The former councillor has taken over from Jim Knight at the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Ten-second biography

Elected as MP for Gedling in 1997, Coaker spent three years in the whips' office before being made a junior minister at the Home Office in 2006. He became a minister of state at the Home Office in 2008 and was moved across to his current post in last month's reshuffle.

Background

Educated at grammar school in London and at Warwick University. Before Parliament, he worked as a teacher, becoming deputy head of Big Wood School in Nottingham.

Where does he sit politically?

Coaker is a member of the Socialist Education Association, which campaigns for, among other things, 'the Government to end the setting up of academies'.

Is he one to watch?

Coaker is seen as a safe pair of hands and a competent media operator who is not afraid to take a tough interview. However, with a majority of just 3,811 he may have to fight hard to hang on to his seat in the next election.

Something I might not have known

Coaker has spoken out in favour of shooting sports.

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