Anne McIntosh

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Anne McIntosh
Anne McIntosh.jpg
McIntosh, 2011
Member of Parliament
for Thirsk and Malton
Vale of York (1997-2010)
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Constituency Created
Majority 11,281 (29.6%)
Personal details
Born (1954-09-20) 20 September 1954 (age 60)
Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) John Harvey
Alma mater University of Edinburgh

Anne Caroline Ballingall McIntosh (born 20 September 1954) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. She is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Thirsk and Malton constituency, having previously been MP for Vale of York from 1997 to 2010, and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1989 to 1999. McIntosh was not reselected by her Thirsk and Malton constituency association on 31 January 2014, but remains the Member of Parliament (MP) until the next general election in May 2015.

Early life[edit]

Born in Edinburgh, the daughter of a Scottish doctor father and Danish mother, Anne McIntosh was educated at the Harrogate Ladies College in North Yorkshire and at the University of Edinburgh where she was a law graduate in 1977, gaining an LLB. She also studied at the University of Aarhus in the Jutland region of Denmark.

In 1978, she became a trainee at the European Community (EEC) Competition Directorate, before joining Didier and Associates in Brussels in 1979 as a legal advisor. She trained for the Scottish Bar in Edinburgh from 1980, being admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in June 1982. She worked as an advocate with the Community Law Office in Brussels, before becoming a political advisor to the European Democrats group in the European Parliament in 1983 until 1989.

European Parliament[edit]

After an unsuccessful attempt at a UK Parliamentary seat (1987 general election at Workington), where she was defeated by the sitting Labour MP Dale Campbell-Savours, McIntosh was elected for Essex North East at the 1989 European Parliament election. Then, for its successor seat of Essex North and Suffolk South at the 1994 election. She remained a Member of the European Parliament until she stood down at the 1999 contest.

UK Parliamentary career[edit]

Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee Reports[edit]

Winter Floods Severe winds and storms affected the United Kingdom throughout last winter. The extreme weather, in combination with high spring tides, led to widespread flooding and devastated communities. The sudden and sustained nature of the winter floods underlined the serious need for coherent policies and sufficient funding to protect homes, businesses and farmland. It was found that overall, Defra needs to recognise the importance of regular and sustained maintenance work in the prevention and management of flood risk and take steps to reflect the equal importance of maintenance alongside capital. The avoidance of flood events that devastate communities should, as far as is possible, take priority over cost-cutting.[1]

Food Security The UK currently enjoys a high level of food security, but this situation will not last unless the Government plans now for future changes in our weather patterns and the changing global demand for food. This report focuses on food production, supply and the systems necessary to ensure our food security in the future. It highlights some examples of good practice and how Government and food producers could plan for projected changes better to make our food production, and supply systems more secure.[2]

The Implementation of the Common Agricultural Reform In June 2013 EU leaders agreed the shape of the Common Agricultural Policy for 2014-2020. The final agreement leaves a great deal of flexibility for Member States to implement many aspects of the CAP in a way which suits them. On 31 October 2013 the Government launched consultation on Implementation of CAP Reform in England. [3]

Rural Communities In this inquiry we set out to assess how successful Defra and its Rural Communities Policy Unit have been at championing rural issues across Government to achieve the RCPU's target of "fair, practical and affordable outcomes for rural residents, businesses and communities". The RCPU faces a difficult task if it is to meet this ambition. Too often Government policy has failed to take account of the challenges that exist in providing services to a rural population that is often sparsely distributed and lacks access to basic infrastructure. [4]

Food Contamination Extensive testing of processed and frozen beef products sold in the UK since January has revealed that the horse meat contamination was limited to a relatively small number of products with more than 99% of those tested found free of horse DNA. Consumer confidence in the frozen and processed meat sector has fallen, and the Government should work with industry and farmers to rectify this. The evidence suggests that the contamination was a result of fraud by elements of the food industry seeking to make a profit and able to do so despite food traceability requirements. We support an EU proposal that penalties imposed for food fraud should be higher than the expected gains from this.[5]

Wild Animals in Circuses The Government invited us to scrutinise the draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill when it was published on 15 April 2013. The Bill would ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England from December 2015. Only two circuses possess a licence to use wild animals in travelling shows in England, and the number of animals covered is 21. Discussions are under way with Ministers in the Devolved Administrations about extending a ban beyond England. Questions arise whether a ban might be challenged under European law. [6]

Managing Flood Risk Record-breaking rainfall this year and last has led to a series of flood events which have had major impacts on many communities across the UK. The frequency and severity of such flood events are predicted to increase in future years. In December 2012, we announced an inquiry into the effectiveness of the Government's flood risk management policies. We received 18 written submissions and held five oral evidence sessions in February and March 2013. We are grateful to all who contributed to this inquiry. [7]

Vaccination against Bovine Tuberculosis Tuberculosis in cattle is one of the biggest challenges facing UK farming. The aim of our inquiry was to explore the extent to which vaccination can contribute to the control and eradication of bovine TB. While cattle to cattle is the primary means of transmission of the disease, where wildlife populations constitute a reservoir of TB, wildlife to cattle can also be a route of infection. The role of the badger in the spread of bovine TB is an emotive issue but the Government is clear that in order to control the disease in cattle it must also be tackled in badgers. [8]

Dangerous Dogs Act On 9 April 2013, the Government published the Draft Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill and invited us to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny. We welcome Defra's swift response to our Dog Control and Welfare report, in which we called for legislation to be introduced urgently to tackle the growing problem of irresponsible dog ownership. We also welcome the introduction of new measures, given wide concern about the adequacy of the Government's proposals to tackle out-of-control dogs set out in our report in February, and we discuss below points which remain to be clarified in the Bill. [9]

Primates as Pets On 6 April 2010, Defra's Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-Human Primates (Primate Code) came into operation. The Primate Code was developed in response to MPs' and peers' concerns about the welfare of primates being kept as pets by those who lacked the ability to care for them properly. Many of our witnesses argued that the keeping and trading of primates as pets should be banned completely. While we support the adoption of a ban in principle, this is a draconian step that must be based on solid evidence and only after attempts to improve the operation and implementation of the existing regulatory framework have been exhausted. [10]

Member of Parliament for Vale of York[edit]

She was elected to the House of Commons in the 1997 general election for the Vale of York which she won by a comfortable 9,721 majority and has held the seat easily until it was abolished in 2010. She was promoted to the Opposition frontbench in 2001 as a spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport and has held a number of front bench positions since (Transport (2003–2005), Foreign Affairs (2005), Work and Pensions (2005–2007), and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2007–2010), though never at shadow cabinet level. McIntosh was voted in to be Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee in 2010. In 2014 she was applauded for her "robust chairmanship" and "tackling the establishment head on".[11]

In boundary changes agreed in 2006, the Vale of York constituency was divided up leaving no obvious successor; the seat with the closest identity to it was Thirsk and Malton which was the successor to Ryedale, held since 1987 by John Greenway. McIntosh and Greenway went head-to-head for the newly created seat. On 18 November 2006, the newly formed Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association chose McIntosh as their candidate for the next general election.[12]


Following an inquiry by Sir Thomas Legg into parliamentary expenses, Anne McIntosh was asked to repay £948.[13] In her statement, she welcomed the lead in expenses reform from David Cameron, despite being one of only 21 Conservative MPs to vote against expenses reform on 4 July 2008.[14] She had not provided "proof" to support her claims for £621 rent/mortgage from 2000 to 2006.[15] Her expenses claim for May 2009 included a telephone bill in the name of her husband,[16] the same file showing receipts for claims on 8 and 12 April 2008 for cleaning fluid close to properties which are shown under her entry in the Register of Members' Interests, and 90 minutes from her "second" home for expenses purposes. Previous claims included car repairs, claimed for July 2007 and hire cars, use of which was specifically prohibited by the Green Book[17] which might be expected to be covered by her mileage allowance of £3,677 claimed in that year[18] whilst enjoying free RAC breakdown cover.[19] During the previous financial year she also claimed for car insurance and MOT.[20]

Member of Parliament for Thirsk and Malton[edit]

Following the death of UKIP candidate John Boakes, the 2010 election in Thirsk and Malton was delayed until 27 May, some three weeks after the rest of the country. McIntosh won, returning to Parliament, with a majority of 11,281.[21][22]

After the 2010 election, McIntosh was not created a Minister from her shadow portfolio, but was elected Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. She was also elected Chair of the all-party parliamentary groups on Denmark, South Africa, Water, Floods and Environmental Quality.[23]

As Chairman of the EFRA Committee, McIntosh has worked on; the EU Council Directive on the Welfare of Laying Hens, EU Common Fisheries Policy, the Farming in the Uplands Report and the CAP after 2013 report.

During 2010/11, McIntosh had been campaigning for the reopening of Ryedale Ward at Malton Hospital following its temporary closure as part of a pilot scheme. McIntosh secured an Adjournment debate in the House of Commons on 17 November 2010 on the decision-making processes for closing hospital wards. In the run up to the budget, McIntosh tried to campaign for both a fair fuel stabilizer and a remote rural fuel duty rebate for North Yorkshire. Although McIntosh secured a debate, which took place on Tuesday 15 February, on introducing a potential fuel duty stabilizer and rebate for remote rural areas, it did not make the budget. McIntosh had campaigned for the safety of some constituents living along the A64. She had been campaigning for better road safety and road speed measures in some the local villages of Rillington, East Heslerton and West Heslerton.[24]

Views on female doctors[edit]

On 5 June 2013 in a Westminster Hall debate, Anne McIntosh stated that as women doctors would "marry and have children", this would put a "huge burden on the health service".[25][26][27] These comments were initially supported by the Under Secretary of State Anna Soubry, however Anna Soubry later retracted her remarks, saying she "supported female GPs".[28] Anne McIntosh refused to back down from her remark, defending her remarks the following day in an interview with Sky News.[29] The comments were criticised, including by the British Medical Association, who stated that "this is a very outdated view of women in the modern workplace";[30] the chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Clare Gerada, commented "I cannot believe women doctors are being blamed for problems in the NHS";[30][31] Shadow Secretary of State for Health Jamie Reed said the comments were "insulting to women and the NHS";[31] Sharon Bennett, wife of Conservative former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, said the comments were "not just insulting, but a display of sexism that is simply not acceptable in this day and age".[32] The comments were supported by Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips who commented that "part-time women doctors ARE a real problem".[33] The comments were also supported by a study by the Royal College of Physicians, which found that 'the numbers of women applying for medical school increase, there will be pressure on the sector to find jobs where they can work part-time of set hours so they can have children'.[34][35]

Issues with Local Party and Deselection[edit]

In August 2009, the local Conservative Party attempted to deselect McIntosh as their Parliamentary Candidate.[36] McIntosh survived the vote, which was held in Malton.[37] Following this, she was elected as the new MP for Thirsk and Malton.

In January 2013, it was reported that the Conservative local party 'Executive Committee' had voted not to reselect McIntosh automatically as the Parliamentary Candidate for the next general election.[38][39] The reasons for this decision only became clear in December 2013 when McIntosh was described in a BBC TV interview as "very divisive" among the local party.[40] On the programme, supporters of McIntosh said she had simply fallen out with the local party Executive over personal differences. These accusations came after a Daily Telegraph article suggested that there had been a year-long campaign of "dirty tricks, snide comments and hostile letters" against McIntosh.[41] However, an article in The Spectator by a local Conservative Party member states that even when McIntosh had been the Member of Parliament for the Vale of York, she had "been a divisive figure, crossing swords with many people", and that process had not been "much of a dirty trick".[42] After a three-month inquiry, it was first decided that the vote be taken again. The Spectator article stated that "McIntosh refused to accept the outcome of a second restructuring of the executive approved by the party’s chief legal officer, so it never took a second vote on her, and party chairman Lord Feldman imposed a ballot of all 560 members of the association instead."[43][44][45] The ballot took place in January 2014.[42][46] The Spectator article, written by a party member who applied and failed to become the candidate in the 1995 Vale of York election, was dismissed in the Guardian as mere "sour grapes" [47] [48]

On 31 January 2014, it was announced that McIntosh had lost a vote of confidence, and therefore was not reselected and would not be the Conservative candidate in Thirsk and Malton at the next election.[49] Martin Vander Weyer of The Spectator reported that "the details of such votes are secret; only ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ is announced. But Conservative Home says the turnout was 88 per cent, McIntosh supporters say the margin was ‘a small percentage’, and her opponents say it was ‘clear’. It’s a fair guess that about half the membership voted against her — more than ever voted to adopt her."[42] Opposition parties have been quick to point out the obvious that "David Cameron has done nothing while his party has kicked out one of his most senior MPs. No wonder people think that the Tories have a problem with women." [50]

Following the result, Conservative Home rumoured that McIntosh might stand as an Independent candidate in 2015.[51]

Personal life[edit]

Anne McIntosh married John Harvey in September 1992 in County Durham, and they have a house in the constituency near to Thirsk. She speaks five foreign languages: Danish, French, German, Italian and Spanish.[52]


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  14. ^ "UK | UK Politics | MPs who rejected expenses reform". BBC News. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "MPs' expenses: Full list of Conservative MPs investigated by The Telegraph". The Telegraph. 19 May 2009. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
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  23. ^ "The Conservative Party". Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  24. ^ "Minister Anna Soubry backtracks on women GPs 'burden'". BBC News. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Women GPs a huge burden, says senior Tory MP Anne McIntosh". London Evening Standard. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Female doctors put NHS under 'tremendous burden' because they get married, have children and want to work part-time". Daily Mail. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  27. ^ Dominiczak, Peter (5 June 2013). "Female doctors who work part-time after having children put NHS under strain". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  28. ^ "Health minister forced to clarify remarks on female doctors". The Guardian. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "Women GPs Row: Tory MP Defends Comments". Sky News. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Health minister Anna Soubry criticised for suggesting female doctors who work part-time after having children are a drain on NHS". Independent. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  31. ^ a b Lyons, Tim (5 June 2013). "Anna Soubry: Health Minister says female medical staff put "tremendous burden" on NHS by having children". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  32. ^ Ross, Tim (8 June 2013). "Anna Soubry accused of 'insulting' female doctors". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  33. ^ Phillips, Melanie (9 June 2013). "Part-time women doctors ARE a real problem. Why is it sexist to say so?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
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  36. ^ "Anne McIntosh ‘facing de-selection by supporters’". York Press. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  37. ^ "North MP survives deselection bid". The Northern Echo. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  38. ^ "MP Anne McIntosh facing an uncertain future". Gazette & Herald. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  39. ^ "Tory MP Anne McIntosh’s career on the line, again | Andy McSmith". The Independent. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  40. ^ "BBC iPlayer - Sunday Politics Yorkshire and Lincolnshire: 08/12/2013". BBC. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  41. ^ "Dirty tricks, snide comments and hostile letters: how Tory MP Anne McIntosh was ousted". Daily Telegraph. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  42. ^ a b c "How we fired Anne McIntosh MP". The Spectator. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  43. ^ McSmith, Andy (4 December 2013). "Andy McSmith's Diary: An MP revealing his depression? It hardly seems like news any more - UK Politics - UK". The Independent. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  44. ^ "Constituency row MP denies issuing misleading statement". Darlington and Stockton Times. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  45. ^ Tingle, Len (20 March 2012). "BBC News - Tory MP Anne McIntosh faces de-selection vote". BBC. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  46. ^ "Anne McIntosh faces second deselection battle after spectacular falling out with local party". Daily Telegraph. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
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  49. ^ "Conservative MP Anne McIntosh loses de-selection vote" BBC News, 29 January 2014
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  51. ^ Anne McIntosh MP deselected by Thirsk and Malton Conservatives
  52. ^ "The Conservative Party | Your team | Members of Parliament | Anne McIntosh MP". 27 May 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Vale of York
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Thirsk and Malton