Pope was born and raised in Great Harwood, the only son of Sam and Sheila Pope. He went to St Marys College R.C. Grammar School on Shear Brow in Blackburn, now St Mary's Sixth Form College, Blackburn. He studied Politics at the University of Hull, graduating in 1981.
Pope was elected to serve on Hyndburn Borough Council in 1984 until 1988, and he also served briefly on Blackburn Borough Council from 1989 to 1990.
Pope unsuccessfully fought Ribble Valley at the 1987 Election, placing third, before gaining Hyndburn from the Conservative Ken Hargreaves in 1992. Considered a Blairite, Pope is a signatory of the Henry Jackson Society. He was a member of the backbench committee on Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2001.
In April 2000, as a whip, Pope inadvertently approved a Liberal Democrat clause in the government's utilities bill, committing the government to meet 10% of electricity requirements from green sources by 2010. Pope said: “We were doing a series of government amendments. I realised I'd shouted aye too many times. I'm not overjoyed about it.” The error led the government to instruct its MPs to vote against the clause.
In July 2003, Pope admitted leaking confidential Foreign Affairs Select Committee evidence, to The Guardian chief political correspondent Patrick Wintour. The move was described as an attempt to “bounce” MPs on the committee into clearing Alastair Campbell of “sexing up” the so called Dodgy Dossier. This was of evidence into the threat, posed by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
On 11 June 2009, Pope announced that he would stand down at the 2010 Election. In November 2009, Graham Jones, who later became his successor, was chosen as an candidate to succeed him by Labour. In April 2010, he revealed he nearly didn't stand in 2005, as the country was two years into the Iraq War and he felt very low. However, quite a few of his friends and family talked to him and persuaded him to have one more term, which he did have.
In December 2009, Greg Pope claimed £21,613 in expenses in a single year (2008–2009) and £7,295 of Additional Cost Allowance , which included household furnishings and mortgage payments. This was over a two-year period.
On 19 April 2010, Pope was appointed as the deputy director of the Catholic Education Service (CES). He stood down in January 2017.
In July 2006, in a survey of MPs, Pope somewhat controversially chose Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols as his favourite album. “It changed music forever and meant we never had to listen to Boney M again.”
He married Catherine Fallon on 2 August 1985; they have three children. His son, Conor, is deputy editor of New Labour pressure group, Progress.