Andrew George (politician)

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For other people named Andrew George, see Andrew George (disambiguation).
Andrew George
MP
Andrew George at Sheffield 2011.jpg
Member of Parliament
for St Ives
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by David Harris
Majority 1,719 (3.7%)
Personal details
Born (1958-12-02) 2 December 1958 (age 55)
Mullion, Cornwall, England
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrat
Spouse(s) Jill Elizabeth Marshall
Alma mater University of Sussex

University College, Oxford

Andrew Henry George (born 2 December 1958[citation needed]) is a British Liberal Democrat politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of St Ives in Cornwall since 1997. He is the current Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Housing and Planning Group.[1] and a qualifying member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers.[2]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Mullion near The Lizard, Cornwall, one of eight children born to a horticulturist father and music teacher mother, and was educated locally at the Helston School, before attending the University of Sussex where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in cultural and community studies in 1980. He finished his education at the University College, Oxford where he was awarded a master's degree in agricultural economics in 1981.

He worked as a charity worker, initially, as a rural officer with the Nottinghamshire Rural Community Council in 1981, and held a number of appointments in charity, business and research, until he became the deputy director of the Cornwall Rural Community Council in 1987, where he remained until his election to the House of Commons. He contested the seat of St Ives at the 1992 general election where he finished second, just 1,645 votes behind the sitting Conservative MP David Harris. Harris stood down at the 1997 general election and George won the seat with a majority of 7,170 and has remained as the MP there since. He made his maiden speech on 22 May 1997.[3]

In Parliament[edit]

In the House of Commons, he currently leads the Liberal Democrats DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Change) and DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) policy team.[4]

He was made shadow Fisheries Minister by Paddy Ashdown in 1997, a role he undertook until 2007.[5] Under the new leadership of Charles Kennedy in 1999 he also became Shadow Disability Minister as part of the Department of Social Security team.[5] Following the 2001 General Election he joined the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet team as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Liberal Democrats Kennedy.[5] He became Shadow Rural Affairs and Food Secretary in 2002, a role he held until 2005.[5] He was Shadow Secretary of State for International Development from the 2005 general election until 2006,[5] when he stood down from the Liberal Democrat front bench.

From his election victory in 1997 he has campaigned in Parliament on many issues key to Cornwall. An early success was the campaign to win millions of pounds of European economic aid for Cornwall from the Objective One funding programme, for which he chaired the All Party Parliamentary Objective One Group.[6]

On 12 May 2005, George became the first MP to swear his oath of allegiance to the Queen in Cornish.[7] Before joining the Liberal Democrats he was a member of Mebyon Kernow, and was one of the founder members of the Cornish Constitutional Convention, campaigning for a Cornish Assembly. He has been married to Jill Elizabeth Marshall, a nurse, since 1987 and they have a son (Davy) and a daughter (Morvah, born 1987) and live in Hayle.[citation needed]

On 6 January 2006 he was one of the first members of the Liberal Democrat frontbench team to threaten to resign his post if Charles Kennedy had not stood down as leader by 9 January 2006. He was sacked from the frontbench on 8 March by Kennedy's successor, Sir Menzies Campbell.[citation needed]

Andrew George voted in Parliament against Cornwall becoming a Unitary Authority. Local polls commissioned by the District Councils indicated that approximately 80% of the public were opposed to the formation of the Cornish Unitary Authority.[8]

On 29 October 2007 Andrew George issued a press statement which said:- "Just because the Government has approached the whole Regional Devolution agenda in entirely the wrong way, does not mean to say that the project itself should be ditched. If Scotland is benefiting from devolution then Cornwall should learn from this and increase the intensity of its own campaign for devolution to a Cornish Assembly."[9]

George suffers from the autoimmune disease Ankylosing spondylitis and has campaigned for a TNF inhibitor drug treatment to be made available to all patients. He is a member of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society's experts panel.[10]

In the 2010 general election, Andrew George's majority was substantially reduced from 11,609 to 1,719. This followed boundary changes to his constituency. He repeated his parliamentary oath in Cornish, as he has done after every election since 1997.[11] He has rebelled against the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government more than any other Liberal Democrat MP[12]

Publications[edit]

  • The Natives are Revolting Down in the Cornwall Theme Park by Andrew George, 1986
  • Cornwall at the Crossroads by Bernard Deacon, Andrew George et al., 1989 CoSERG, Redruth ISBN 0-9513918-0-1
  • A Vision of Cornwall by Andrew George, 1995
  • A View from the Bottom Left-Hand Corner by Andrew George, 2002, Patten Press, Penzance ISBN 1-872229-40-9

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Committee Office, House of Commons. "House of Commons website". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  2. ^ The Committee Office, House of Commons. "House of Commons website". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  3. ^ "Hansard 22 May 1997 : Column 880-883". House of Commons. 22 May 1997. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  4. ^ "Andrew George MP website". Andrewgeorge.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Andrew George MP website". Andrewgeorge.org.uk. Archived from the original on 17 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  6. ^ "Liberal Democrats website". Libdems.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  7. ^ "Local MP swears oath in Cornish". BBC News online. 12 May 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  8. ^ "Cornish council shake up approved". BBC News online. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  9. ^ "Andrew George press statement 29 October 2007". Andrewgeorge.org.uk. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  10. ^ Elliott, Jane (14 December 2009). "MP Andrew George exercises to keep condition at bay". BBC News. Archived from the original on 17 December 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "MPs swear Oath of Allegiance in Cornish". Maga Kernow. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  12. ^ From David Laws to Andrew George: The Lib Dem rebellion league table- Mark Pack; Left Foot Forward; 16 December 2011

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Harris
Member of Parliament for St Ives
1997–present
Incumbent