Ann Winterton

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Ann, Lady Winterton
Photo of smartly dressed dinner guests at a long table watch standing man talk. Near camera sits a middle-aged woman with chesnut hair cut short.
Lady Winterton (right) in 1990 with Ian Smith (seen standing).
Member of Parliament
for Congleton
In office
9 June 1983 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Fiona Bruce
Personal details
Born (1941-03-06) 6 March 1941 (age 73)
Sutton Coldfield, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Sir Nicholas Winterton

Jane Ann, Lady Winterton (née Hodgson) (born 6 March 1941 in Sutton Coldfield) is a British Conservative Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Congleton from 1983 to 2010. She is married to Sir Nicholas Winterton, who also served as a Conservative MP representing the neighbouring constituency of Macclesfield.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Winterton was educated at Erdington Grammar School for Girls. Following her election to represent Congleton in 1983, she was a member of several select committees, including Agriculture (1987–1997), the Chairman's Panel (1992–1998) and the National Drug Strategy (1998–2001), Social Security (2000–2001) and the Unopposed Bills Panel since 1997. She is a representative of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and a Patron of Cheshire National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She is also President of the Congleton Pantomime Society.

Along with her husband, she managed to ask questions at Tony Blair's last Prime minister's questions in 2007.

Allegations of racist comments[edit]

Pakistani joke[edit]

Winterton became Shadow Rural Affairs Minister in 2001,[1] and was sacked the next year for telling the following joke at a rugby club dinner:

An Englishman, a Cuban, a Japanese man and a Pakistani were all on a train.
The Cuban threw a fine Havana cigar out the window. When he was asked why, he replied: "They are ten a penny in my country."
The Japanese man threw an expensive Nikon camera out of the carriage, adding: "These are ten a penny in my country."
The Englishman then picked up the Pakistani and threw him out of the train window.
When the other travellers asked him to account for his actions, he said: "They are ten a penny in my country."'[2]

Joke about the 2004 Morecambe Bay cockling disaster[edit]

In February 2004 she had the Conservative whip removed for telling the following joke (which alluded to the recent death of twenty-three illegal immigrant Chinese cockle-pickers in Morecambe Bay) at a Whitehall private dinner party to improve Denmark–United Kingdom relations and refusing to apologise:

One shark turned to the other to say he was fed up chasing tuna and the other said, 'Why don't we go to Morecambe Bay and get some Chinese?'[3]

A month later, Winterton apologised for the joke, and had the whip restored.[4] Lord Taylor of Warwick, the only black Conservative peer in the House of Lords, condemned her being restored and said she was not fit to be an MP.[5]

Nick Palmer, Labour MP for Broxtowe, who was at the dinner, told BBC Radio 4's Today: "People were a bit stunned really. It was a very low-key friendly dinner. I was very sorry for the host — it was just a group of people discussing Danish issues. Most people make a bad joke now and then, but to make a joke about people who have just died in particularly horrible circumstances — the contrast between standing on the beach in the dark being drowned and sitting round a comfortable table making jokes about them is just, just horrible."[6]

Michael Howard, leader of the Conservatives, said in a statement: "Ann Winterton's remarks about the tragic deaths in Morecambe Bay were completely unacceptable. Such sentiments have no place in the Conservative Party. I deplore them and I apologise for them on behalf of my party."[6]

Comment in 2005[edit]

In September 2005 (following the May general election) Winterton said she felt that Britain is a country where:[7][8]

"Crime is out of control ... and where thousands of illegal immigrants are waved in with no checks on whether they are criminals or potential terrorists. [...] We live in times of tremendous change, but the United Kingdom is still, thankfully, a predominantly white, Christian country. [...] Some might say we are now paying the price for the so-called ‘benefits’ of the multicultural society, the product of almost uncontrolled immigration and the abuse of asylum."[this quote needs a citation]

MPs' Use of Expenses[edit]

Together with Nicholas Winterton, Ann has been investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, who has concluded that they misused their MPs' expenses to pay rent for a flat that they had already bought outright. The Wintertons transferred the ownership of the flat into a family trust to avoid the inheritance tax threshold. Since 2002 they had paid the rent for living in the flat from their MPs' expenditure. The Wintertons had declared their intentions to the Commons' Fees Office.[9] On 25 May 2009 it was announced that both the Wintertons would stand down as MPs at the next General Election.[10] Winterton was one of 98 MPs who voted in favour of legislation which would have kept MPs expense details secret.[11]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Politics". The Guardian (London). 
  2. ^ Beattie, Jason (6 May 2002). "No laughing matter as Tories kick out high-flyer". Scotsman. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  3. ^ France, Anthony (26 February 2004). "Howard sacks MP for cockle tragedy joke". Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  4. ^ "Cockler joke MP returns to Tories". BBC News. 31 March 2004. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  5. ^ "Black peer and Tory grandee in race row". Birmingham Post. 24 April 2004. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  6. ^ a b "Tories disown cockler joke". BBC News. 26 February 2004. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  7. ^ "MP's article 'highly offensive'". BBC News. 26 September 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  8. ^ http://internalarchive.thisischeshire.co.uk/2005/9/16/258280.html
  9. ^ Porter, Andrew (18 June 2008). "Conservative MPs Sir Nicholas and Ann Winterton broke Commons expenses rules". Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  10. ^ "MP pair to step down at election". BBC News. 25 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  11. ^ "How your MP voted on the FOI Bill". The Times (London). 20 May 2007. 

External links[edit]

Profiles[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Congleton
19832010
Succeeded by
Fiona Bruce