Charles Clarke was Member of Parliament for Norwich South from 1997 to 2010. He served as Education Minister from 1998 and then in the Home Office from 1999 to 2001. He then joined the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio and Labour Party Chair. From 2002 to 2004 he was Secretary of State for Education and Skills and then Home Secretary until 2006.
Charles was previously Chief of Staff to Neil Kinnock, Leader of the Labour Opposition and a councillor in the London Borough of Hackney, chairing the housing committee.
He now holds Visiting Professorships at Lancaster University and King's College London and works with educational organisations internationally. He is a consultant on international education reform for Cambridge Assessment International and Cambridge University Press.
In 2011 the Centre for European Reform published his ‘The EU and Migration: A Call for Action’. In 2014 he published ‘The Too Difficult Box’, an analysis of the problems which need to be overcome in promoting change, and in September 2015 two studies in political leadership, ‘British Labour Leaders’ and ‘British Conservative Leaders’; in 2015 he wrote, with Professor Linda Woodhead, “A New Settlement, Religion and Belief in Schools”; in 2020 he wrote, with Professor Ed Byrne, “The University Challenge”.
Mr Clarke read mathematics and economics at Kings College Cambridge and was then President of the National Union of Students. Born in 1950, Mr Clarke married in 1984. He and his wife Carol have two sons.