Graham Riddick

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Graham Edward Galloway Riddick (born 26 August 1955, Long Preston, North Yorkshire) was the Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Colne Valley in West Yorkshire, England from 1987 to 1997.

Family and early life[edit]

His father ran the family's cotton mill in Nelson until its closure in the early 1960s. Riddick's maternal grandfather, Sir Edward Ruggles-Brise was MP for Maldon, Essex from 1922 - 1942. Graham Riddick was educated at Stowe School and University of Warwick; he is married with three children. He won his seat in Parliament at the 1987 election becoming the first ever Conservative MP in Colne Valley's 102 year-history. He retained it at the 1992 election increasing his majority from 1,677 in 1987 to 7,224 in 1992.

Sunday Times allegations[edit]

In July 1994, a "sting operation" by The Sunday Times implicated Riddick in the "Cash for Questions" affair.

Two reporters from the newspaper posed as people wishing to have questions asked in the House of Commons. Both Riddick and fellow Conservative MP David Tredinnick were accused of accepting cash for asking questions. Riddick initially agreed to work for the journalist but on receiving a cheque from the reporter, he returned it immediately, before he knew that the reporter was working for a newspaper.

When The Sunday Times reported the story Riddick immediately apologised to Parliament but was subsequently found to be in breach of Parliamentary rules and was suspended for 10 days.[1] Riddick then lodged a formal complaint with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). Basing its decisions on the information compiled by the House of Commons' Privileges Committee the PCC found in Mr Riddick's favour. The Commission judged that The Sunday Times failed to make clear to its readers that its approach to Riddick had been on the basis of a legitimate consultancy, not on the basis of a one-off payment in return for asking a question and that there was no justification for the newspaper’s resort to subterfuge. This overturned a ruling two years earlier by the PCC in favour of The Sunday Times when Riddick had been unaware that the PCC was investigating the matter.

The PCC apologized to Mr Riddick for ‘this serious breach of our procedures.’[2][3]

Later career[edit]

He contested his seat again at the 1997 general election, but lost to the Labour Party's Kali Mountford who had a majority of 4,840.

Graham Riddick was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Francis Maude, Financial Secretary to the Treasury between 1990-92. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to John MacGregor, Secretary of State for Transport from 1992 until July 1994 when Macgregor left the Cabinet. Riddick served on the Education and Employment Select Committee between 1994-97. He was also a member of the Broadcasting Select Committee and the Deregulation Select Committee between 1995-97.

Following his defeat in 1997 Riddick worked for the French-owned waste management company, Onyx Environmental Group Plc as its Marketing and Communications Director. Since 2000 Riddick has been the Business Development Director for DeHavilland Information Services Plc and its successor company, Adfero Ltd. Before he became an MP, Riddick worked for 10 years in various sales management roles with Procter and Gamble (1977–82) and Coca Cola Schweppes Beverages (1982–87).

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Wainwright
Member of Parliament for Colne Valley
19871997
Succeeded by
Kali Mountford

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cash-for-questions MPs suspended by Commons
  2. ^ Huddersfield Examiner, 27 March 1996
  3. ^ Hansard, 20 April 1995