|Shadow Secretary of State for Wales|
|Preceded by||Nigel Evans|
|Succeeded by||Cheryl Gillan|
|Member of Parliament
for North Herefordshire
7 June 2001
|Preceded by||Peter Temple-Morris|
4 June 1966 |
City of Westminster, London
|Alma mater||Bangor University|
William David Wiggin (born 4 June 1966) is a British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament and a former Shadow Minister for Agriculture & Fisheries. He held the seat of Leominster from the 2001 election until the 2010 election, when the seat of Leominster was abolished. Wiggin now holds the seat of North Herefordshire having been elected in 2010.
He was uncovered by the Daily Telegraph to be the most senior MP to have claimed interest payments for a property which had no mortgage; a total of £11,000.
Wiggin was born in London in 1966. He attended Eton and later read Economics at the Bangor University, gaining a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in 1988.[dead link] He also served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers in the TA, being a platoon commander for Holyhead, Bangor and Caernarfon.
Following this, Wiggin worked as a Trader in Foreign Exchange Options for UBS from 1991–3, then was an Associate Director of Kleinwort Benson from 1994–8, then as a manager in the Foreign Exchange department of Commerzbank from 1998.
Wiggin was selected as the Conservative candidate for Burnley for the 1997 election. He came second to Peter Pike, who recorded a 17,062 majority over him. Returning to his roots, he was selected as the Conservative Party candidate in the safe seat of Leominster in April 1999, replacing Peter Temple-Morris, who had defected to the Labour Party. He won his seat in 2001 with a 10,367 majority over his Liberal Democrat opponent.
Initially a backbencher, he became a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee in 2002. During 2003, Michael Howard appointed him to the position of Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.
In January 2009, Wiggin became a whip.
He was re-elected at the 2005 general election with a 2.4% swing in his favour. In the reshuffle following the election, he was moved to Shadow Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries, where he remained until the 2010 general election.
Wiggin has voted against a blanket ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants, the 2004 Hunting Bill, and some sections of the Prevention of Terrorism bills.
Within his constituency, Wiggin successfully campaigned for improved broadband to rural areas, and helped to secure funding for a new swimming pool.
During parish council elections in Leominster during September 2009, Wiggin complained to the Returning Officer about the leaflets of a candidate who was standing to protest at Wiggin's parliamentary expenses. The candidate, Jim Miller, was disqualified by the returning officer, who was also the chief executive of the Tory-run Herefordshire County Council. This left the Conservative candidate unopposed. According to The Telegraph, the candidate was disqualified "over a technicality that previously had been resolved."
In June 2013, Wiggin spoke in an Opposition Day debate in favour of the badger cull.
Expense claims Investigations
During the parliamentary expenses scandal the Daily Telegraph reported that Wiggin had wrongly claimed more than £11,000 mortgage payments on his Herefordshire property. This property had no mortgage and Wiggin who had made 23 declarations that it was his main home said the expenses were claimed in error. His claims for household bills were also investigated following a complaint by Mr Miller. Wiggin had routinely claimed £240 a month for household bills and whilst the Standards and Privileges Committee confirmed that he could claim up to £250 a month without a receipt, this was to cover costs actually incurred.
Wiggin "chose not to" take up the Committee's invitation to check his expenses with his bank and service providers and, on balance of probability they found he overclaimed expenses for council tax, telephone and workmen's bills, a serious breach.
The Committee found that Wiggin's mortgage claims were the result of "an unfortunate and unintended muddle" which should have been picked up much more quickly, though no cost to the public purse resulted. The committee expressed disappointment that Wiggin had not been cooperative with the enquiry as required by the Code of Conduct. In October 2010, Wiggin apologised to the House and was ordered to repay £4009 utility expenses.
Register of Members' Interests
In addition to being an MP, Wiggin works for Apex Fund Services Holdings, seeking new clients for the firm. For this work, he is paid approx £3,268 per month. He is also a non-executive director of Philip T English International Financial Services Ltd, for which he works approx 60 hours and is paid £5,000 per year. In 2008, he was paid up to £5,000 for Parliamentary Advice, by the Green Lane Association, which promotes off-road driving in the countryside. He has acted as consultant for the Trail Riders Fellowship, for which he was paid between £5,001 and £10,000. He was also paid up to £5,000 for provision of advice on parliamentary affairs to Commerzbank in 2002.
Wiggin has accepted donations and donations in kind from a number of sources, including the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (two days' shooting and two nights' accommodation in 2011 and 2012 at Catton Hall, Derbyshire; total value £1,527) and one day of shooting with Cubitt Consulting in 2004.
In 2008, Wiggin accepted an expenses-paid trip to Malaysia, by palm oil conglomerate Sime Darby.
- A Better Agenda for the Environment published by Exposure Publishing, an imprint of Diggory Press ISBN 1-84685-067-3
- General Register Office Births 1966 April–June vol 5D page 1460
- Robertson, David. "General Election 2005". The Times. Retrieved 18 October 2006.
- "Bill Wiggin MP profile". Conservative Party. Archived from the original on 5 October 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2006.
- "Burnley Constituency". Manchester: The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- Swaine, Jon (14 September 2009). "Bill Wiggin steps in to silence campaigning council candidate". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- Robert Winnett, Martin Beckford and Nick Allen (20 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: Bill Wiggin claimed £11,000 in phantom mortgage payments". Telegraph (London). Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Swaine, Jon (17 November 2009). "MPs' expenses: Bill Wiggin questioned by parliamentary sleaze watchdog – Telegraph". London: www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- "Bill Wiggin - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents". Retrieved 12 October 2010.
- "MP Bill Wiggin investigated over expenses claim". BBC News. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- About Bill
- "About Bill". Bill Wiggin. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- Bill Wiggin MP homepage
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Leominster
|Member of Parliament for North Herefordshire