Andrew MacKay

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The Right Honourable
Andrew MacKay
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
23 June 1997 – 14 September 2001
Leader William Hague
Preceded by Mo Mowlam
Succeeded by Quentin Davies
Member of Parliament
for Bracknell
East Berkshire (1983-1997)
In office
9 June 1983 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by new constituency.
Succeeded by Phillip Lee
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Stechford
In office
31 March 1977 – 3 May 1979
Preceded by Roy Jenkins
Succeeded by Terry Davis
Personal details
Born (1949-08-27) 27 August 1949 (age 64)
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Julie Kirkbride (1997–present); 1 child
Diana Joy Kinchin (1974–1996; divorced); 2 children

Andrew James MacKay (born 27 August 1949, Birmingham) is a British Conservative Party politician, and was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bracknell, Berkshire from 1997 to 2010.

Early life[edit]

MacKay attended Solihull School, an independent school in Solihull, West Midlands. After leaving school he chaired the Solihull Young Conservatives. He has worked as an estate agent and company director.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career[edit]

MacKay first entered parliament in 1977, after winning the Birmingham Stechford by-election. He lost the seat at the 1979 general election, but re-entered parliament in 1983 as MP for East Berkshire. He was deputy Chief Whip under John Major, and was shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1997 to September 2001 during the leadership of William Hague. He remained on the backbenches since but was appointed a Conservative Deputy Chairman in September 2004 with responsibility for candidates, and, upon David Cameron's election in November 2005 as Leader of the Conservative Party, MacKay became a Senior Parliamentary/Political Adviser to the new Conservative leader.[citation needed]

On 23 May 2009, after a telephone call from Cameron, it was announced that MacKay would stand down at the 2010 general election. At a public meeting in his constituency on 22 May he had been heckled, and called a "thieving toad" according to The Independent.[1] It was later reported the same day that he would receive £105,000 as "a golden goodbye".[2][3]

Expenses claims[edit]

On 14 May 2009, he resigned from his position as parliamentary aide to Cameron in the wake of the furore over Parliamentary expenses after what was described as an "unacceptable" expenses claim.[4]

A hastily called meeting had been arranged on 10 May 2009 with his constituents in Bracknell to explain the claims. The meeting was described as a disaster[citation needed] and MacKay was shouted down, jeered and called a "thieving toad" by members of the public. Members of MacKay's local association were also furious to discover he had never lived locally and yet he was claiming a second-home allowance on the London home he shared with his wife and fellow Tory MP, Julie Kirkbride.[5]

MacKay and Kirkbride, Conservative MP for the constituency of Bromsgrove, own two homes: one in her constituency; and a flat close to Parliament in Westminster. In a case of so-called "double-dipping," according to the Daily Telegraph, MacKay had used his Additional Costs Allowance to claim more than £1,000 a month in mortgage interest payments on their joint Westminster flat. His wife used her Additional Costs Allowance to claim over £900 a month on paying off the mortgage for their family home near her constituency. This means they effectively had no main home but two second homes – and were using public funds to pay for both of them. In 2008/9, MacKay claimed a total of £23,083 under Additional Costs Allowance, while Kirkbride claimed £22,575. They also claimed for each other's travel costs, with Kirkbride claiming £1,392 to meet spouse travel, while MacKay claimed £408.[6]

In an interview with Matthew Amroliwala on BBC News the following morning, MacKay apologised for his error of judgement. In what he claimed was an agreed procedure with the Parliamentary Claims office, he had designated their Westminster home as his secondary home, while Kirkbride has designated the Bromsgrove house as her second home. MacKay announced that the procedure had been ongoing for eight or nine years, and that he would be repaying the monies after taking advice from the Conservatives scrutiny committee.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

In 1974 MacKay married Diana Joy Kinchin; they had two children, but divorced in 1996. The following year, MacKay married Julie Kirkbride, a fellow Conservative MP; the couple has a son.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Crossley, Lucy; Peck, Tom (23 May 2009). "'I have no wish to be represented by a thief'". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009. "During the 90-minute discussion, few questions were asked by those present. One constituent told him to resign while another commented: "I've no wish to be represented in the next parliament by a thief." One constituent simply called him a "thieving toad"." 
  2. ^ Radio Five Live 23 May 2009 reporting Sunday Mirror 24 May 2009 story
  3. ^ Moss, Vincent (24 May 2009). "MPs shamed over expenses will receive up to £105,000 in 'golden goodbye'". The Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009. "Andrew MacKay (59) £64,766 pay-off plus £40,799 winding up allowance..................£105,565" 
  4. ^ "Tory MP quits post over expenses". BBC News. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Owen, Glen (24 May 2009). "Cameron orders thieving toad mckay to resign". London: mailonline. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Beckford, Martin; Porter, Andrew (14 May 2009). "Andrew Mackay resigns over 'unacceptable' claims: MPs' expenses". London: Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "Julie Kirkbride profile". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 

External links[edit]

Audio clips[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Roy Jenkins
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Stechford
19771979
Succeeded by
Terry Davis
New constituency Member of Parliament for East Berkshire
19831997
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
New constituency
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
19972010
Succeeded by
Phillip Lee
Preceded by
Helene Hayman
Baby of the House
1977–1979
Succeeded by
David Alton
Political offices
Preceded by
Timothy Kirkhope
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
(Government whip)

1996
Succeeded by
Derek Conway
Preceded by
Greg Knight
Treasurer of the Household
1996-1997
Succeeded by
George Mudie
Preceded by
Mo Mowlam
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1997–2001
Succeeded by
Quentin Davies