|Member of Parliament
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Peggy Fenner|
|Succeeded by||Constituency Abolished|
10 April 1944 |
|Alma mater||University of Bristol|
Marshall Andrews attended Mill Hill School before attending Bristol University where he read Law. Barrister (called 1970), Crown Court Recorder (1982), Queen's Counsel (1987), Bencher, Gray's Inn (1996). He has prosecuted and defended most forms of serious crime and serious criminals, and specialises in commercial fraud.
Marshall-Andrews joined the Labour Party in 1971 and contested the constituency of Richmond, Surrey in October 1974. He was asked to stand for the Medway Constituency in 1992 which he lost to the incumbent Conservative, Dame Peggy Fenner. He is a Member of Association of Labour Lawyers, Greenpeace, and the Woodland Trust.
Marshall-Andrews entered Parliament in the 1997 general election. He is perceived as being on the libertarian-left wing of the Labour Party, and was a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, but unlike other members of this group is not a trade-unionist by background. In spite of this, however, he nominated Gordon Brown (rather than John McDonnell) for the Labour Party leadership and Peter Hain as deputy leader in 2007. After a period of bedding down as a new MP, where he aided in the drafting of the banning of handguns, he became an irritant to the government front bench. He rebelled against the government on multiple occasions (20 of those rebellions being in the 2005 parliament), mainly on legal issues. He was often mentioned as a candidate for backbencher of the year and is widely respected in the Westminster media circuit.
During the night of the 2005 general election, he appeared on national television commenting on his predicted defeat before it had been officially declared, as the only good news Tony Blair would get that night, and launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister. But he managed to hold on to the seat, with a narrow majority of 213 votes.
His penchant for rebellion, combined with his friendliness towards many Conservative MPs, led him to become unpopular within parts of his own party. According to The Times, senior Labour MPs demanded that the whip be withdrawn from him as an example to the 49 Labour MPs who rebelled against the government's plans to detain terror suspects for 90 days.
On 15 June 2008, with former Labour Cabinet Minister Tony Benn, Marshall-Andrews again rebelled in his support for Conservative MP David Davis' campaign to step down as an MP and force a by-election in his constituency over the bill for a maximum 42-day detention without charge for arrested suspects. Such an action would normally be against party rules, although he believed his withdrawal from the Labour Party whip was improbable because the party was unlikely to put up a candidate against Davis in the by-election. He felt through his action that "the voice of a substantial part of the Labour party may be heard" over a measure which gained strong resistance among Labour MPs and supporters.
On 17 July 2007, he said he would stand down as a Labour MP at the next election.
During a break in the Terror Bill debate on 9 November 2005, Marshall-Andrews was seen talking to Conservative MPs Andrew Mitchell, Greg Knight and Damian Green in the Commons lobby. Labour MP Barry Sheerman remonstrated with him. Fellow Labour MP Jim Dowd intervened and at one stage grabbed Marshall-Andrews by the lapels. Dowd and several observers believed they heard him saying of Dowd, "Here's another faggot". The near-scuffle was broken up by government whip Tom Watson, but was widely reported. Marshall-Andrews subsequently insisted that he had actually shouted "faccio", an Italian word meaning a menial assistant, from which the public school slang 'fag' is thought to derive. The incident was mentioned by Marshall-Andrews on the satirical news quiz Have I Got News For You.
Social views and outside interests
He is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association. He is also Founder and Trustee of the George Adamson Wildlife Trust, currently running Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania. Trustee and Chair of Development Committee, Geffrye Museum, London. Chair of Governors, Grey Court School 1987–1994.
He is also an occasional novelist, having written Palace of Wisdom (published by Hamish Hamilton and Penguin 1989, also published in the USA, France and a best-seller in Germany) and A Man Without Guilt (published by Methuen 2002). He has written regular articles in the national newspapers (The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Sunday Times) and periodicals (New Statesman, House Magazine, Tribune).
Mr Marshall-Andrews has made five memorable appearances on the BBC programme Have I Got News For You, most recently on 18 April 2008. In his appearances, he has frequently attacked the government, and once memorably misheard the host mentioning Ant and Dec as Anton du Beke, and proceeded to tell an anecdote about du Beke.
- Bob Marshall-Andrews QC, ePolitix
- UK General Election results October 1974
- Webster, Philip (12 November 2005). "Chief Whip gets ready to punish dissenters". The Times (London). Retrieved 2008-04-25.
- Hinsliff, Gaby (15 June 2008). "Labour MP backs Davis's challenge". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-06-15.
- "Blair critic to stand down as MP". BBC News. 17 July 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- Isabel Oakeshott, "MPs in Terror Law Punch-up", Evening Standard, 9 November 2005, p. 1: "Witnesses say they heard Mr Marshall-Andrews, a practising barrister and part-time judge, call Mr Dowd a 'faggot'."; Toby Helm, George Jones, "Panic and a punch-up as Blair tumbles to defeat at the hands of his own party", Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2005, p. 4: "Witnesses said Mr Marshall-Andrews called Mr Dowd a 'faggot'."
- "MPs pulled apart at Commons", Financial Times Europe Information Wire, 9 November 2005
- "Labour MPs who rebelled on Iraq". BBC News. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-31.
- "Labour MP urges Speaker to resign". BBC News Online. 6 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
- "More homes should be like Malator". Western Telegraph. 11 August 2004. Retrieved 2006-11-13.
- Bob Marshall-Andrews QC
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Bob Marshall-Andrews
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Robert Marshall-Andrews
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Robert Marshall-Andrews MP
- The Public Whip - Robert Marshall-Andrews MP voting record
- BBC News - Bob Marshall-Andrews profile 10 February 2005
- Future Systems "Teletubby House"
- Strood Labour Party
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Medway