Andrew Rosindell

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Andrew Rosindell
MP
AndrewRosindell-Wiki.JPG
Member of Parliament
for Romford
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Eileen Gordon
Majority 16,954 (36.5%)
Personal details
Born (1966-03-17) 17 March 1966 (age 48)
Romford, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Residence Romford
Occupation Parliamentarian
Profession Politician
Religion Christian
Website www.rosindell.com

Andrew Richard Rosindell /ˈrɒzɨnˌdɛl/ (born 17 March 1966) is a British Conservative politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Romford constituency in Greater London. He is also the international director of the European Foundation,[1] chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee,[2] UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on the British Overseas Territories[3] and member of the Flag Institute.

Early life[edit]

Rosindell was born in Romford as the son of a school dinner lady.[4] He attended Rise Park School, where Rosindell was allegedly bullied,[4] and then Marshalls Park School on Pettits Lane.[5] Before entering politics on a full-time basis he was a freelance journalist, PR Consultant and researcher for another MP.[citation needed]

He was chairman of the Young Conservatives from 1993 to 1994. He was chairman of the International Young Democrat Union from 1998 to 2002. From 1997–2001, he was Director of the European Foundation think tank.

Before becoming an MP he was a local councillor in Romford on Havering Council, winning the Chase Cross and Havering-atte-Bower ward from the Liberal Democrats in 1990. In 1998 he took an 88% share of the vote, a record for a Conservative in a London borough.[6]

Parliamentary career[edit]

After unsuccessful attempts to win seats in Glasgow and Thurrock, Rosindell finally reached Parliament in the 2001 general election, defeating the former teacher and Labour MP, Eileen Gordon. Rosindell won 18,931 votes (53% share) – a swing of 9.2% from Labour to Conservative. It was one of the few seats the Conservatives managed to regain after the Labour landslide at the 1997 election. During the election, a crucial aspect of his election campaign involved canvassing with his Staffordshire Bull Terrier Spike, who wore a union flag waistcoat.[7] This was a tactic Rosindell had employed in previous elections, such as his unsuccessful campaign in Glasgow Govan in 1992 [4]

At the 2005 election Rosindell increased his majority to 11,589, winning 21,560 votes on a 59.1% share. This was the second highest Conservative share of the vote anywhere in the UK.[8] During the election campaign a clash between Labour and Conservative activists distributing leaflets at Romford railway station resulted in the police being called.[9]

Blogger Paul Staines has said Rosindell is "becoming a left-wing hate figure", as well as calling him a future Mayor of London.[10] He has also been called a "local champion who defied the trend in 2001 winning Romford from Labour. He is 'Mr Romford' in tune with his voters and viewed as a local son and 'our MP'".[11]

In 2003 Rosindell stirred up controversy in Canada, having been invited to speak at a Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario election readiness organising session near Toronto.[12]

Rosindell's political views are firmly right-wing: he is a Eurosceptic and supports the re-introduction of the death penalty and the detention of asylum seekers.[7] He is a member of the Freedom Association, and was a member of the Monday Club, until he was compelled to resign in 2001 by the then Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Rosindell was elected a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party in 2004, and in December 2005, he became an Opposition Whip. In July 2007, he was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Home Affairs. On 5 February 2008 Rosindell became founding chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Flag Group (APPFG)[13][14] on which day he also introduced The Union Flag Bill[15] (under the Ten Minute Rule, SO No 23). In April 2010 the APPFG changed its name to the Flags & Heraldry Committee.

At the 2010 election Rosindell increased his majority to 16,594, winning 26,031 votes on a 56.0% share. He has since been elected onto the Foreign Affairs Select Committee as well as taking the Chairmanship of various all-party parliamentary group's. In July 2010 Rosindell was appointed by the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Sayeeda Warsi, onto the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

In September 2010 Rosindell again courted controversy when he sponsored the first Erotica event to be held in the Houses of Parliament. Rosindell maintained that he was promoting the hosts, a Romford based business, as is his constituency duty.[16]

On 23 June 2011 Rosindell opposed the ban on animals in circuses, saying that "these animals are born in captivity and know no different". The ban was introduced by fellow MPs without the need for a vote.

In January 2012, he proposed that Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories should be represented in the UK parliament like dependencies of Australia, Denmark, France and the Netherlands have been.[3]

On 11 July 2012, Rosindell unsuccessfully attempted to introduce the United Kingdom Borders Bill,[17] a private member's bill "to allow subjects of Her Majesty's realms to enter the United Kingdom through a dedicated channel at international terminals, to ensure that all points of entry to the United Kingdom at airports, ports and terminals display prominently a portrait of Her Majesty as Head of State, the Union Flag and other national symbols; to rename and re-establish the UK Border Agency as 'Her Majesty's Border Police'; and to enhance the Agency's powers to protect and defend the borders of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland."[18]

In 2012, Rosindell became chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Zoos and Aquariums Group, whose purpose is conservation through education and understanding.[19]

Parliamentary expenses[edit]

At the beginning of the parliamentary expenses scandal The Daily Telegraph reported that Rosindell "claimed more than £125,000 in second home expenses for a flat in London, while designating his childhood home 17 miles away – where his mother lived – as his main address" and between "2006 and 2008 claimed the maximum £400 a month for food".[20]

Rosindell was also featured in one of the top 20 most bizarre claims reported by the The Daily Telegraph for claiming £1.31 for a pot of jellied eels.[21]

In 2013/14, on top of his £77,000 salary, Rosindell claimed over £177,000 in expenses, the highest of any MP in his borough.[22]

Disability benefits[edit]

Rosindell voted against increasing welfare payments for people unable to work due to disability or longterm illness.[23]

Disabled parking controversy[edit]

On 4 September 2014, Rosindell made the national headlines after his campaign vehicle was photographed whilst illegally parked in a disabled parking space outside Pork's BBQ in Bankside, Central London.[24] Rosindell's line of defence was that he was personally unaware of anyone inconvenienced by using up the space.

General Pinochet remarks[edit]

In June 2012, Rosindell was criticised[25] for expressing "huge admiration for former Chilean dictator General Pinochet".[26] The comments were condemned by Labour Leader Ed Miliband MP[27] and Jon Cruddas MP[28] In the same article Rosindell expressed his support for Pinochet on the basis that he overthrew a communist regime and provided assistance to the British forces retaking the Falkland Islands.[26]

Gay marriage[edit]

According to They Work For You, Rosindell is strongly against equal rights for gay people, and also against same sex marriage [29]

Overseas excursions[edit]

Rosindell was recently featured in the Daily Mail [30] and nominated as the 'King of subsidised jaunts' for sitting on 90 groups concerned with overseas locations or causes. In 2013 he also declared £2,500 worth of flights and hospitality for attending national days in Cyprus and Gibraltar.[30]

Social media gaffes[edit]

Rosindell has also made the news because of incidents involving social media. The first time was when he defended an Havering Counsellor for being a member of the Augusto Pinochet Fan Club on Facebook .[31] The second incident was when, after Rolf Harris had been convicted of indecent assault, it was suggested that Rosindell remove a picture of himself and Harris from his Facebook page; a photo which was uploaded four weeks before Harris was first questioned by the police.[31] Rosindell failed to reply when first questioned over the photograph, but eventually he took it down, and responded with: "People better not be photographed with anyone in case they become future criminals.” [31]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ European Foundation – Personnel[dead link]
  2. ^ Register of All Party Groups[dead link]
  3. ^ a b MP proposes British Overseas Territories be represented in Westminster — MercoPress
  4. ^ a b c http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/may/02/uk.conservatives1
  5. ^ Romford MP Andrew Rosindell visits his old school, Marshalls Park - News - Romford Recorder
  6. ^ http://www.rosindell.com/about-andrew
  7. ^ a b "UK | Politics | Andrew Rosindell". BBC News. 16 October 2002. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  8. ^ University of Keele – Political Science Resources: UK Election 2005 – Size of winning vote
  9. ^ Evening Standard – Tory KO'd in Labour scrap
  10. ^ "Who's Who at Tory HQ – Guy Fawkes' blog". Order-order.com. 25 April 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Were you up for Twigg? – Guy Fawkes' blog". Order-order.com. 30 May 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Matlow, Josh (10–17 September 2003). "The scary friends Tories keep". Now Magazine. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  13. ^ British Flags | The Flag InstituteThe Flag Institute
  14. ^ UK Parliament – Register of All Party Groups
  15. ^ Union Flag Bill 2007-08 — UK Parliament
  16. ^ Sinclair, Lulu, Oh La La! House of Commons goes Erotic October 2010, news.sky.com. Retrieved March 2011
  17. ^ "The United Kingdom Borders Bill 2012". www.parliament.uk. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "11 July 2012". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (House of Commons). col. 330.  For a video of this speech in support of the bill see [1]
  19. ^ Fri 09 12 Nov:00:00 BST 2012 (9 November 2012). "Register of All Party Groups – see Page 624". Parliament. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  20. ^ Swaine, Jon; Gammell, Caroline (20 June 2009). "MPs' expenses: Tory MP Andrew Rosindell has childhood home as main address". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  21. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5318810/MPs-expenses-20-most-bizarre-claims.html?image=7
  22. ^ http://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/poll_havering_mps_expenses_exceed_half_a_million_pounds_1_3771321
  23. ^ http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpid=40504&dmp=6673
  24. ^ [2]
  25. ^ New Statesman | Tory MP has "huge admiration" for Augusto Pinochet
  26. ^ a b Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas slams Romford MP Andrew Rosindell over Pinochet comments - Politics - Romford Recorder
  27. ^ Ed Miliband calls on David Cameron to distance himself from Romford MP Andrew Rosindell’s Pinochet comments - News - Romford Recorder
  28. ^ Who in an interview with the Romford Recorder stated that "Augusto Pinochet assumed power in a coup d'état and overthrew a democratically elected government. According to various reports and investigations thousands of people were killed in this process, and tens of thousands were interned and tortured by his regime".[3]
  29. ^ [4]
  30. ^ a b [5]
  31. ^ a b c [6]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Eileen Gordon
Member of Parliament for Romford
2001–present
Incumbent