Jeff Rooker graduated from Aston University with a BSc in Production Engineering in 1966. He worked as a production engineer in the Birmingham area for fourteen years before becoming a lecturer on the subject at Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University). Jeff also has a postgraduate degree in Industrial Relations from Warwick University.
In 1974 Jeff began service as the Labour MP for his home constituency, Birmingham Perry Barr, a seat that he kept until 2001. He was Minister for Food Safety between 1997 and 1999, during which time he introduced the Food Standards Bill, which established the Food Standards Agency. In 2001 Jeff was appointed to the House of Lords, becoming a Life Peer with the title "Baron Rooker, of Perry Barr in the County of the West Midlands".
Jeff has also held a number of other prominent Government roles, including Northern Ireland Minister, Minister for Housing, Planning and Regeneration, Home Office Minister and Minister for Pensions. He resigned the Labour whip in 2009 after being appointed Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, a position he still holds today, alongside his seat as an Independent member in the House of Lords. Jeff is also a Trustee of the British Motor Sports Training Trust and the National Benevolent Fund for the Aged.
Jeff, a former Editor of the Aston SUN student newspaper (1963/4), has retained strong links with Aston over the years, serving as a Lay Governor on the University’s Council and hosting alumni events at the House of Lords. The University was proud to award Jeff an honorary degree in 2001 in recognition of his three decades in public life.
Jeff is married to Helen and has two stepchildren, Alexander and Morwenna.