Francis Maude

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The Right Honourable
Francis Maude
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office.jpg
Minister for the Cabinet Office
Paymaster General
Assumed office
12 May 2010
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Tessa Jowell
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
2 July 2007 – 11 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Oliver Heald
Succeeded by Tessa Jowell
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In office
6 May 2005 – 2 July 2007
Leader Michael Howard
David Cameron
Preceded by Liam Fox and the Lord Saatchi
Succeeded by Caroline Spelman
Shadow Foreign Secretary
In office
2 February 2000 – 18 September 2001
Leader William Hague
Preceded by John Maples
Succeeded by Michael Ancram
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
2 June 1998 – 1 February 2000
Leader William Hague
Preceded by Peter Lilley
Succeeded by Michael Portillo
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
In office
4 May 1997 – 2 June 1998
Leader William Hague
Preceded by Chris Smith
Succeeded by Peter Ainsworth
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
28 November 1990 – 11 April 1992
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by Peter Lilley
Succeeded by Stephen Dorrell
Minister of State for Europe
In office
25 July 1989 – 28 November 1990
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Lynda Chalker
Succeeded by Tristan Garel-Jones
Member of Parliament
for Horsham
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Peter Hordern
Majority 11,460 (20.5%)
Member of Parliament
for North Warwickshire
In office
9 June 1983 – 9 April 1992
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Mike O'Brien
Personal details
Born (1953-07-04) 4 July 1953 (age 60)
Abingdon, Berkshire, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Christina Jane (m.1984)
Children 5
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Profession Lawyer

Francis Anthony Aylmer Maude (born 4 July 1953) is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he currently serves as the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, and as a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the constituency of Horsham. He is the son of the former Conservative cabinet minister Angus Maude.

Early life[edit]

Maude spent part of his childhood in Sydney, Australia while his father edited the Sydney Morning Herald. On the family's return to the UK, he was educated at Abingdon School, at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and at the College of Law. He was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1977, and practised criminal law.

Maude served as a councillor for the City of Westminster from 1978 to 1984.

Political career[edit]

In government[edit]

Maude was first elected to the House of Commons to represent the constituency of North Warwickshire in the Conservative Party's landslide victory at the 1983 general election. In 1984, he became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Employment Peter Morrison. Maude then became an assistant government whip (1985–87) and Minister for Corporate and Consumer Affairs (1987–89). In 1989, he became the Minister for Europe in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Maude was one of the first "men in grey suits" to hold discussions with Margaret Thatcher in November 1990 after she failed to win the first round of a leadership election. He told her that he would support her as long as she went on, but he did not believe she could win the leadership contest.[1]

After John Major became Prime Minister, Maude was made the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. However, in the 1992 general election he lost his seat to the Labour Party candidate, Mike O'Brien, and was thus forced to vacate his ministerial roles. According to Daniel Finkelstein of The Times the loss came as a 'terrible blow' to Maude; all his peers had managed to cling on and were together forming a government. That same year, he was "sworn of the Privy Council," i.e. became a member of it.

In a 2006 interview, Maude stated that the introduction of Section 28 legislation whilst he was in government (which banned councils from promoting homosexuality and led to the closure of gay support groups) was "a mistake", adding it might have even contributed to the AIDS death of his brother Charles, who was homosexual, among others.[2] In a more recent interview he expanded further on his views on Section 28, saying "in hindsight, it was very wrong — very wrong. It was a legislative provision that came out of honourable motives. It took me some time to realise what an emblem of intolerance Section 28 had become for gay people. It was the tip of a deep iceberg — the iceberg below the surface being a host of anti-gay social attitudes"

Out of Parliament[edit]

Out of parliament after the 1992 general election, Maude began a series of business roles. He worked in banking as managing director at Morgan Stanley from 1993 to 1997. He was also appointed a non-executive director of ASDA Group Plc in July 1992, and served as a director of Salomon Brothers from 1992 to 1993. He also chaired the government's deregulation task force from 1994 to 1997.

Shadow cabinet[edit]

In the 1997 general election Maude was elected MP for Horsham. Almost immediately he was re-appointed to the Conservative front bench, now the opposition in Parliament. He served as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Shadow Foreign Secretary until 2001.

Maude managed Michael Portillo's unsuccessful bid for the Conservative leadership in 2001, after which he declined a front bench role under the new leader Iain Duncan Smith. He was considered to be a 'moderniser' and on the left of the party, writing in The Daily Telegraph (24 June 2002), he said that the Conservative Party's electoral problems had been caused by its failure to "look and sound like modern Britain". Norman Tebbit's secretary, Beryl Goldsmith, criticised Maude after this, asking: "How many male, white, straight Conservative MPs currently passionately campaigning for the selection of more women, and more men and women from ethnic minorities, would voluntarily relinquish their own seats in order to encourage local associations to follow the policy line they preach from their own smug, safe base? Precious few I would guess — including Mr Francis Maude."[citation needed]

Outside of the Shadow Cabinet, Maude founded Conservatives for Change, CChange, becoming its first chair. CChange was designed to promote the modernisation of the Conservative Party. Around the same point he also founded Policy Exchange.

After the 2005 general election, Maude returned to the shadow cabinet as Chairman of the Conservative Party. As the so-called Holy Spirit of Conservative modernisation, Maude set the Tory party on the path to reform which saw David Cameron selected as party leader. In his first speech to the Conservative conference as party Chairman, Maude presented what he calls his "killer slide". The slide revealed that "voters confronted with the party’s immigration policy neutrally supported it by two to one, but when told that it was a Conservative policy the proportions reversed". The point he was making was not that sound conservative ideas damaged the Conservative Party but that 'The Conservative Party, as it was then seen, was damaging good Conservative policies".

During his tenure, alongside newly elected leader David Cameron, the Conservatives adopted the A-List of parliamentary candidates, with priority being given to women and people from ethnic minorities.

In July 2007, Maude was made Shadow Cabinet Office Minister and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with responsibility for preparing the Conservatives for government, with some dubbing him the Party's "enforcer". At the Conservative Party conference in October 2007 he said: "David (Cameron) has asked me to lead an implementation team that will ensure that we are as well-prepared as any incoming government has ever been. Our priorities rigorously sorted. Our teams armed with the knowledge and capabilities that will enable new ministers to start making a difference from day one." Ahead of the 2010 general election, Maude led attempts by the then Conservative opposition to work with Britain's civil service to prepare for government.[3]

Maude supported Republican John McCain in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.[4] He led the Conservative Party delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Return to Government[edit]

Maude in the Cabinet Office in 2013

Maude was appointed Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with the right to attend cabinet, on 12 May 2010, following the formation of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition. As Cabinet Office Minister, Maude is responsible for: public service efficiency and reform groups, civil service issues, industrial relations strategy in the public sector, transparency, civil contingencies, civil society and cyber-security.

Efficiency and Reform[edit]

In 2010 Maude set up the Efficiency and Reform Group, in the Cabinet Office to work with HM Treasury to help make government departments more efficient. This work includes stopping wasteful spending; improving the way government buys goods and services; reducing losses from fraud, error and debt; raising money by selling empty buildings and underused properties; and reviewing and reshaping large scale projects. The work of ERG contributed to £3.75 billion of savings in 2010-11, £5.5 billion in 2011-12 and an "unprecedented" £10 billion in 2012-13. The 2012-13 savings are equivalent to almost £600 for each working household across Britain, and exceed the target set in 2010 by a quarter. They include £3.4 billion by reducing the size of the Civil Service and reforming Civil Service pensions; £3.8 billion by linking together departments to buy goods and services and enforcing sensible controls on recruitment and use of consultants; and £0.6 billion by exiting 500,000 square metres of property. ERG is expected to achieve savings of at least £20 billion in the financial year 2014 to 2015.

Civil Service Reform[edit]

In June 2012 Maude laid out his plans for reforming the Civil Service. The Reform programme was endorsed by leadership of the Civil Service, the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service. The document laid out a series of practical actions including steps to improving the skills, abilities and performance of civil servants; introduce sharper performance management system; create a modern employment offer for staff; improve IT and flexible working across departments; and tighten the delivery of major projects. A year after the publication of the initial plan, Maude updated Parliament with a One Year On document setting out successes and failures. This document included various further steps: establishing the principle of Extended Ministerial Offices, and introducing Functional Leadership across Whitehall. However in November 2013, former Cabinet secretary Lord Butler of Brockwell told the BBC that "Mr Maude and some of his colleagues don't understand leadership."[5] Butler said the relationship between ministers and the Civil Service worked best when there was loyalty on both side and public criticism showed something was wrong. A spokesman for Maude said good leadership required issues to be addressed, not swept under the carpet.[5]


Maude has overseen the Government's transparency policy. This work includes making sure that departments include specific open data commitments in their business plans, regularly publishing open data sets on central and local government spending, senior staff salary details and how the government is performing against objectives. contains over 9,000 datasets including local crime statistics, sentencing rates, hospital infection rates and GP performance. Maude also leads the UK Government's work with the Open Government Partnership.

Digital by default[edit]

Maude drove the introduction of the Government's "digital by default" approach. He was responsible for the creation of the Government Digital Service. Digital by default means the creation of digital services that are so straightforward and convenient that all those who can use them will choose to do so. GDS was intended to improve the way government provides information by moving to a single website, GOV.UK which replaced more than 300 central government websites. The Government digital strategy also committed departments to redesigning all existing government services that serve more than 100,000 users each year. It is estimated that moving services from offline to digital channels will eventually save between £1.7 and £1.8 billion a year.


Maude at the World Economic Forum in 2013

Maude was quoted in Alan Clark's "Diaries" as saying that the view of the Conservative party was that the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson "couldn't be Foreign Secretary as a Jew".[6] He has since praised the Conservative Party for appointing a man "born into a Jewish family" as Prime Minister, referring to Benjamin Disraeli.

While in the Shadow Cabinet Maude was accused of hypocrisy by promoting a "family-friendly" image while being the non-executive chairman of Jubilee Investment Trust plc, which held 21% of American pornographic actress Jill Kelly's adult DVD business,[7] and chairman of the Mission Marketing Group, which has advertised for WKD drinks and Playboy.[8] Maude, "who has railed against irresponsible lending by banks and mortgage companies", was accused of hypocrisy for receiving more than £100,000 as a director of a company that has profited from sub-prime mortgages. His annual salary was £25,000 from 2002 to 2005, for attending around six meetings a year of the company, and £12,000 a year 2006 to 2008. The company went into liquidation in April 2009.[9]

Along with many members of Parliament, Maude faced criticism during the so-called expenses crisis. However six years of his claims were "exhaustively examined and audited" by the Legg Enquiry. The Enquiry made no complaint against him and found that he has "no issues". The Telegraph had argued that: two years after the Fees Office rejected a claim for mortgage interest on Maude's Sussex home, Maude purchased a flat in London, close to another house he already owned. He rented out the London house and claimed £35,000 mortgage interest on this flat.[10] According to the Legg Report[11] Maude was not asked to repay any money. Maude made an extensive statement on his expenses on his personal website.

During a discussion on Newsnight on 22 October 2010 Maude noted that Ministerial salaries had been cut by 5% by the new Government. He was accused of comparing this cut to the 'pain' suffered by Britain's poor.[12]

Maude supports the "Big Society", but says that his work as an MP is a sufficient contribution to it.[13] Maude argued that like most people he was doing things which could be defined as "volunteering with a capital V" but are part of being "an active citizen in an active community".

Fuel crisis[edit]

On 28 March 2012, during the 2012 United Kingdom fuel crisis, Maude "foolishly" advised people to fill up their vehicles and to store fuel in garages in jerrycans.[14] His remarks were widely criticised, queues up to half a mile long formed outside petrol stations[15] and petrol retailers criticised the government for creating a crisis.[16] Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union pointed out Maude's advice was dangerous and illegal, and could be disastrous in the event of a fire.[17] Brian Madderson, the petrol chairman of the Retail Motor Industry Federation said that the government appeared to be "intent on creating a crisis out of a serious concern and that drivers should ignore "dangerous advice". Maude denied that it would increase the risk of explosions, however the following day transport minister Mike Penning, a former firefighter, confirmed the advice was wrong, saying he didn't think Maude understood how big jerrycans were.[18] On 30 March 2012, the Labour peer Lord Harris called for Maude's resignation,[19] after a woman suffered severe burns during an attempt to decant petrol next to a lit gas cooker. Harris believed that Maude's advice helped cause the incident.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Maude married Christina Jane in 1984, and they have five children. His personal net wealth is estimated at £3M.


  1. ^ "Falling from power: Cabinet overboard (memoirs extract)". Margaret Thatcher Foundation. Retrieved 16 September 2008. 
  2. ^ "Tory Chairman: Gay policies were wrong". Pink News. 9 February 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Baldwin, Tom; Kennedy, Siobhan (22 August 2008). "Convention fever: MPs fly in hoping to find prescription for success". The Times (London). Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Francis Maude criticised over leadership by Lord Butler". BBC News:Politics. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Diaries, Alan Clark, p185
  7. ^ "Tory Chief and the Porn Star". Daily Mirror. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Marre, Oliver (13 May 2007). "Pendennis". The Observer (London). Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  9. ^ The Observer 3 May 2009
  10. ^ Winnett, Robert (10 May 2009). "David Cameron's shadow cabinet drawn into expenses scandal (11 May 2009)". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 13 May 2009. 
  11. ^ "Review of past ACA payments" (PDF). House of Commons Members Estimate Committee. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Samira Shackle, Stephanie Hegarty and George Eaton "The new ruling class" New Statesman, 1 October 2009
  13. ^ [1] Eddie Mair (Radio 4) [42m:52s]: And what volunteering do you do?
  14. ^ IainNartin (31 March 2012). "There's a crisis of competence at the top of the Tory party". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  15. ^ Gordon Rayner (28 March 2012). "David Cameron accused of presiding over 'shambles' on fuel as panic buying gets worse". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  16. ^ Rowena Mason (28 March 2012). "Petrol retailers: Government intent on creating fuel crisis". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  17. ^ Miranda Bryant (28 March 2012). "Fuel strike: Francis Maude fuels crisis with 'jerry can' blunder". Evening Standard. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Fuel strike threat:Maude's jerrycan advice a mistake". BBC News. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  19. ^ Donna Bowater (30 March 2012). "Fuel strike anger over government advice grows as woman is burnt in petrol accident". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "Maude urged to quit over tanker driver strike row as woman suffers burns". The Independent. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire
Succeeded by
Mike O'Brien
Preceded by
Peter Hordern
Member of Parliament for Horsham
Political offices
Preceded by
Lynda Chalker
Minister for Europe
Succeeded by
Tristan Garel-Jones
Preceded by
Peter Lilley
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Stephen Dorrell
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Michael Portillo
Preceded by
John Maples
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by
Michael Ancram
Preceded by
Oliver Heald
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
Succeeded by
Tessa Jowell
Preceded by
Tessa Jowell
Minister for the Cabinet Office
Paymaster General
Party political offices
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Liam Fox
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Succeeded by
Caroline Spelman
Preceded by
The Lord Saatchi