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 49)
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 Provan 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 Provan 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]

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 with particular responsibility for animal welfare.

On 5 February 2008 Rosindell became founding chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Flag Group (APPFG)[10][11] and proposed a Union Flag Bill[12] under the Ten Minute Rule. The APPFG changed its name to the Flags & Heraldry Committee in April 2010

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 groups. 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 2012, Rosindell became chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Zoos and Aquariums Group.[13]

Political views[edit]

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. The Times described him as a "flag fanatic and super patriot"[14]

In 2012 he unsuccessfully attempted to introduce the United Kingdom Borders Bill in 2012, a private member's bill aiming to create a dedicated entry queue for citizens of countries where the British Queen is head of state and introduce pictures of the queen and more royal symbols at UK borders,[15][16] He reiterated calls for preferential treatment of "Her Majesty's subjects" visiting Britain in 2015, whilst also calling for the immigration system to favour Commonwealth citizens[17][18]

Rosindell has spoken in favour of a federal UK[19] and proposed a bill calling for a separate English Parliament, whilst declaring himself opposed to the idea of imposing English votes for English Laws restrictions on the Westminster Parliament.[20] He also proposed back in 2012 Rosindell 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]

Rosindell joined Philip Davies and Christopher Chope in repeatedly blocking a popular backbench Bill banning the use of wild animals in circuses from progressing through Parliament, finally blocking it by lodging an objection in 2015.[21] Rosindell had earlier argued the circus is a “Great British institution…[that] deserves to be defended against the propaganda and exaggerations”.[21]

Parliamentary expenses[edit]

At the beginning of the MPs expenses scandal 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".[22]

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.[23]

The following year the BBC accused Rosindell of breaching Parliamentary rules for accepting subsidised overseas trips to Gibraltar and subsequently raising multiple Gibraltar-related issues in Parliament without disclosing the trips in the Register of Member's Interests[24] Simon Heffer dubbed him the 'King of subsidised jaunts' for sitting on "90 groups concerned with overseas locations or causes."[25]

Controversy[edit]

In September 2010 Rosindell 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.[26]

In June 2012, Rosindell was criticised for expressing "huge admiration" for former Chilean dictator General Pinochet[27][28] The comments were condemned by Labour Leader Ed Miliband MP[29] and neighbouring Labour MP Jon Cruddas[30] Rosindell made the comments whilst defending a local colleague who had been criticised for apparently endorsing Pinochet, and claimed that Pinochet had overthrown a "far worse" communist regime and that "we should be grateful" for assistance Pinochet's Chile provided to the British forces retaking the Falkland Islands.

He made the national headlines in September 2014 when his campaign vehicle was photographed whilst illegally parked in a disabled parking space in Central London.[31]

In February 2015 he cast doubt on the ability of Rachel Reeves (the current Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) to handle that ministerial responsibility in a putative post-election Labour cabinet, as she would be taking maternity leave soon after the election and would then have a young child to care for following her return to the post in September. He was criticised for the remarks by Labour MPs whilst David Cameron chose to distance himself from the comments[32]

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. ^ British Flags | The Flag InstituteThe Flag Institute
  11. ^ UK Parliament – Register of All Party Groups
  12. ^ Union Flag Bill 2007-08 — UK Parliament
  13. ^ Fri 09 12 Nov:00:00 BST 2012 (9 November 2012). "Register of All Party Groups – see Page 624" (PDF). Parliament. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Treneman, Anne (14 December 2011). "Eurosceptic bulldogs go barking mad, with a fanfare". The Times. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "The United Kingdom Borders Bill 2012". www.parliament.uk. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Ten Minute Rule Motion". BBC. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "British MPs want more Aussies in UK". SBS. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  18. ^ Fitzgibbon, Liam (30 January 2015). "British MPs propose 'better immigration' for Kiwis, Aussies". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  19. ^ Dickie, Mure (September 17, 2014). "The Battle for Britain". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "Bill calls for England Parliament". Belfast Telegraph. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Bawden, Tom (7 March 2015). "Ban on wild animals in circus blocked by Tory backbenchers". Independent. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  22. ^ Swaine, Jon; Gammell, Caroline (20 June 2009). "MPs' expenses: Tory MP Andrew Rosindell has childhood home as main address". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  23. ^ http://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/poll_havering_mps_expenses_exceed_half_a_million_pounds_1_3771321
  24. ^ Rosindell, Andrew. "Andrew Rosindell MP: Foreign trips and rule breaches". BBC. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ Sinclair, Lulu, Oh La La! House of Commons goes Erotic October 2010, news.sky.com. Retrieved March 2011
  27. ^ New Statesman | Tory MP has "huge admiration" for Augusto Pinochet
  28. ^ Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas slams Romford MP Andrew Rosindell over Pinochet comments - Politics - Romford Recorder
  29. ^ Ed Miliband calls on David Cameron to distance himself from Romford MP Andrew Rosindell’s Pinochet comments - News - Romford Recorder
  30. ^ 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".[2]
  31. ^ [3]
  32. ^ Perraudin, Francis (23 February 2015). "Cameron hits back at Tory MP's 'outrageous' maternity leave comments". Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

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