|Minister for Wales|
15 July 2014
|Preceded by||Stephen Crabb|
|Member of Parliament
for Vale of Glamorgan
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||John Smith|
|Member of the Welsh Assembly
for South Wales West
6 May 1999 – 6 May 2011
|Preceded by||New Assembly|
30 July 1970 |
Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
Alun Hugh Cairns (born 30 July 1970) is a Welsh Conservative Party politician. A member of the National Assembly for Wales for the in the South Wales West region since 1999, he was elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Vale of Glamorgan.
Brought up in Clydach near Swansea, he attended Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pontardawe and Ysgol Ddwyeithog Ystalyfera and is a fluent Welsh speaker. Gained a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA), specialising in corporate location and inward investment.
Cairns has experience in the business sector, having worked for the Lloyds Bank Group as a Business Development Consultant before being elected to the National Assembly.
His political interests include economic development and transport, and considerable experience within the Welsh Conservative Party. As a member of the assembly's economic development and audit committees, he criticized the Welsh Government over a range of issues from transport infrastructure, European regional aid, public spending, and the Welsh economy.
Cairns has also been a vocal opponent of the Scarweather Sands offshore wind farm development near Porthcawl and has long been an active member of the Conservative Party in South West Wales.
Cairns stood for Parliament in Gower in 1997 and was the Conservative Party's candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan at the 2005 General Election. He was re-selected as Parliamentary candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan in July 2007.
National Assembly for Wales
First elected to the assembly as AM for South Wales West in 1999, he was re-elected in 2003 and 2007 and served as the party's spokesman on economic development and transport for eight years. In the Third Assembly he held the education and lifelong learning portfolio and also chaired the Assembly's Finance Committee. On 11 July 2007 he became the Shadow Minister for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills in the National Assembly for Wales.
On 14 June 2008 he resigned from his Shadow Cabinet position after making controversial remarks on BBC Radio Cymru. He was re-appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Local Government on 22 October 2008 after completion of a party investigation.
Controversy, resignation and reinstatement
In March 2003, Alun Cairns faced an investigation by the National Assembly's standards committee following a complaint that he tried to alter his home address in order to add value to his property.This was untrue, and the Royal Mail confirmed they had made a mistake with the postcode. Cairns was cleared by National Assembly's standards committee.
In September 2008, Cairns admitted that he asked for a National Assembly rule to be "clarified" to determine whether he could claim expenses for a second home in Cardiff. A rule change introduced in late 2006 by the Assembly's House Committee allowed him to claim expenses related to a flat in Cardiff even though his main home was reclassified as being situated in the Vale of Glamorgan through no fault of his own.
While taking part in BBC Radio Cymru's weekly radio show, Dau o'r Bae, on 13 June 2008, Cairns was asked to apologise on air, and immediately did so, for referring to Italians as 'greasy wops'. He subsequently resigned from his post in the Shadow Cabinet. On 14 June 2008 Cairns was suspended as the parliamentary candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan while the party carried out an investigation. Cairns was reinstated as the parliamentary candidate and to the Shadow Cabinet on 22 October 2008 upon completion of the investigation.
House of Commons
Alun Cairns was elected as the MP for the Vale of Glamorgan in May 2010, taking the seat from Labour with a majority of more than 4,300. He is a supporter of the Free Enterprise Group.
- Alun Cairns "BBC News AMs profile". BBC. 12 May 1998. Retrieved 1 September 1999.
- "Greasy wops slur Tory is general election candidate". Wales Online. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
- "Tory candidate apologises for 'greasy wops' comment". The Guardian (London). 14 June 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- "Tory suspended as party candidate". BBC Online. 15 June 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
- Free Enterprise Group
- Alun Cairns AM official website
- Alun Cairns National Assembly for Wales profile
- Alun Carins MP, AM Conservative Party profile
- Alun Carins MP Welsh Conservative Party profile
- Alun Cairns AM Welsh Conservative Party profile
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Vale of Glamorgan
2010 – present
|National Assembly for Wales|
||Assembly Member for South Wales West
1999 – 2011
|Shadow Minister for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills
11 July 2007 to 14 June 2008
Andrew R. T. Davies
|Shadow Minister for Local Government
from 22 October 2008