Julian Huppert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dr Julian Huppert
Julian Huppert MP.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Cambridge
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by David Howarth
Majority 6,792 (13.5%)
Personal details
Born (1978-07-21) 21 July 1978 (age 36)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Political party Liberal Democrats
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Politician
Profession Academic, Scientist
Religion None

Julian Leon Huppert[1] (born 21 July 1978) is a Liberal Democrat politician in the United Kingdom and Member of Parliament for Cambridge since 2010.[2] He succeeded the previously elected David Howarth, who stood down after one term.[3]

Early life and academia[edit]

Trinity College, Cambridge
from the BBC programme Week in Westminster, 21 Dec 2013[4]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The son of two academics (Australian-born geophysicist Herbert Huppert and psychologist Felicia Huppert), Huppert has lived in Cambridge since he was a small child. Having attended The Perse School in the city, Huppert went on to study at Cambridge University, completing a BA (2000) and then a PhD (2005) in Biological Chemistry at Trinity College. He was elected a Junior Research Fellow of Trinity in 2004, and became a fellow of Clare College in 2009 (the College at which the previous Liberal Democrat MP for the city, David Howarth, was a member). He is also a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and the Institute of Physics (MInstP). He worked as a research scientist studying the structures of DNA as well as tutoring students.[5]


During his eight years serving as a County Councillor on Cambridgeshire County Council for Cambridge's East Chesterton area,[6] Huppert helped open Brown's Field Community Centre, chaired the Cambridge Traffic Management Committee and served on the Regional Assembly. His interests in internationalism, the UN and human rights have led him to his position on the National Council of Liberty, formerly the National Council for Civil Liberties, from which he has since stood down.[7]

Political career[edit]

Huppert has stated that he wanted to get involved in politics because he believes in ""a free, fair and open society, where nobody should be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity."[8] In an interview with the BBC's 'Today programme' shortly after his election as an MP', Huppert stated, regarding negotiations with the Conservative party on possible deals to form a coalition, that whilst he found it "very hard to see how a deal could leave out electoral reform [...] if we got all the rest of our manifesto I'd probably live with that".[9]

Huppert's attendance at votes in the House of Commons over the 2010-15 Parliament was 77.4%.[10] He voted with the Conservative - Liberal Democrat Coalition Government on 96.5% of these occasions.[10] Julian Huppert voted to increase VAT to 20%,[11] voted against Government subsidies for renewable electricity generation,[12] voted to abolish the Education Maintenance Allowance [13] and voted in favour of the Bedroom Tax.[14]

Huppert is involved in a number of All-party parliamentary groups, being joint chair of the Cycling Group,[15] and a vice chair of the Humanist Group,[16] the Refugees group,[17] and the Local Government group.[18] He has campaigned in Parliament on many issues, including scrapping Britain’s nuclear weapons. He also sits on the Home Affairs Select Committee.[19]

Huppert, who has expressed disappointment at scientific understanding amongst MPs, has sometimes been described as "the only scientist" in the House of Commons [20] However, back in November 2012, Julian Huppert acknowledged other scientists in the house saying "Although it has been said that I am the only scientist in the House, that is sadly not true. I am one of two Members with a science PhD and I went on to do research, but there are other scientists in the House and it always a great pleasure to have them here."[21]

Huppert voted for the second but against the third reading of the Health and Social Care Bill. He voted in favour of an unsuccessful Liberal Democrat amendment which called for the details of healthcare reform to be decided by a summit of healthcare professionals[22] but voted against an amendment calling for the bill to be dropped in favour of cross party talks on NHS reform.[23] Public Whip describe his voting record on the Health and Social Care Bill as ambiguous.[24]

In June 2013 he told the BBC that he has complained of bullying in the Commons after being greeted by collective groans and shouts of "Oh No" when he rises to his feet in the house.[25]

When the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader stepped down to take a ministerial post, Huppert was talked about as a possible contender for the post.[26]

In 2015 Huppert proposed an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill to protect journalistic sources from police investigation [27]


Huppert is a cycling safety campaigner and organised[28] and spoke[29] at a parliamentary debate on the subject, as well as passing a motion at the 2013 Liberal Democrat Conference on the subject.[30] His support of the principle of "Proportionate liability" has led to debate in his Cambridge Constituency [31][32] and nationally [33] with the Daily Mail incorrectly stating that the principle would result in motorists being to blame even if the cyclist(s) are breaking the law.[34] Huppert was named one of the most influential people in UK cycling by magazine Bikebiz.[35] and was awarded road safety organisation Brake's Road Safety award in March 2013 for his campaign on 20 mph speed limits[36]


In January 2011, there were protests outside Cambridge Railway Station after Julian Huppert voted to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance.[37]

In April 2014, Cambridge Liberal Democrats received a £2000 donation from controversial donor Lord Strasburger.[38][39]


Huppert was called the most impressive new Liberal Democrat MP elected in the 2010 election by a party website.[40] Huppert's performance has also been highlighted in a number of publications[41][42][43] and he was named as the top backbencher in the Telegraph's recent list of "Most influential Lib Dems".[44]

Huppert was awarded the "Internet Hero of the year award" by the Internet Service Provider's Association for his involvement in the campaign against the Communications Data Bill, also known as the "Snooper's Charter".[45]

Campaigns specific to Cambridge[edit]

Aside from his work on cycling (Cambridge has one of the highest rates of cycle use in the UK[46]) Huppert has been involved in a number of local campaigns/projects.

His "Discovering Cambridge" competition, launched at the start of 2013, awarded a winner for best independent shop/business in a different category each month.[47]

He has actively supported cross party campaigns for the protection of pubs, Cambridge having lost a number in recent years. He attempted to introduce legislation in parliament[48] to do this.

He has criticised the decision[49] of the competition commission to force Cineworld[50] to sell the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse.[51] He has taken up the issue in Parliament, claiming the competition commissions should be looking into other monopolies in Cambridge: "To be frank, I start to wonder what the value of the Competition Commission is. In Cambridge we have two big problems with monopoly – Stagecoach’s control of the buses, and Tesco’s control of the supermarkets."[52] and has gained the support of the leader of the house, Andrew Lansley.[53]

In November he launched a campaign[54] to persuade the County Council to invest more in Cambridge's pavements, highlighting the effect even minor damage has on disabled people. The campaign has a website[55] with a reporting tool,[56] but has received criticism for being the MP interfering in issues County Councillors should be taking up.[57]

Cambridgeshire schools are severely underfunded nationally, and Huppert was one of many who pushed the Government to correct this and review the funding formula.[58] This campaign resulted in the Coalition Government announcing new funding for Cambridgeshire.[59]


  1. ^ London Gazette (2010-05-13): List of members returned to serve in Parliament at the general election 2010
  2. ^ "Election candidates to clash at public debate". Cambridge News. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  3. ^ "Lib Dems pick new city candidate". BBC News. 17 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "21/12/2013". Week in Westminster. 21 Dec 2013. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03m3j6y. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  5. ^ University of Cambridge: Dr Julian Huppert: Research Councils UK Academic Fellow in Computational Biology: Biophysics and Bioinformatics of Nucleic Acids
  6. ^ "Cambridgeshire County Council Elections". Cix. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  7. ^ Liberty: Members of the National Council
  8. ^ http://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/interviews/0023488-interview-with-cambridge-mp-julian-huppert.html
  9. ^ "Redwood: Minority government 'easier' for Tories". BBC Today Programme. 2010-05-10. 04.30/05.00 onwards. 
  10. ^ a b "Public Whip". Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "Public Whip". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Public Whip". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Public Whip". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Public Whip". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "About". All-party Parliamentary Cycling Group. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group". British Humanist Association. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Register Of All-Party Groups as at 14 March 2013 - Refugees". Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "Register Of All-Party Groups as at 14 March 2013 - Local Government". Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Home Affairs Committee - membership". UK Parliament. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  20. ^ "Only scientist in Commons 'alarmed' at MPs' ignorance". 3 August 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Hansard. 2 Nov 2012 : Column 508". Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Government sees off rebel challenge to NHS bill". BBC. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "Public Whip". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  24. ^ "Public Whip". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  25. ^ "BBC News - House of Commons 'bullying' towards Julian Huppert MP". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  26. ^ "Lib Dem Deputy Leadership – runners and riders. Who’s your choice?". libdemvoice.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  27. ^ Wintour, Patrick (10 Feb 2015). "Clegg urges May to pass law protecting journalistic sources from police". Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  28. ^ "Debate on Cycling APPG report 'Get Britain Cycling' - News from Parliament - UK Parliament". Parliament.uk. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  29. ^ "Get Britain Cycling Debate - Julian Huppert Winding Up". YouTube. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  30. ^ "LibDem conference votes for cycling motion | Bicycle Business". BikeBiz. 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  31. ^ "Fierce debate over Julian Huppert's call for drivers to be blamed for crashes with cyclists | Cambridge News | Latest News Headlines From Cambridge City & Cambridgeshire | National News By". Cambridge News. 2013-08-10. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  32. ^ "It's 'very silly', says police boss of Cambridge MP Julian Huppert's plan to make drivers liable for crashes with cyclists | Cambridge City News, Cambridge Local News Stories & Latest Headlines". Cambridge-news.co.uk. 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  33. ^ Ray Massey (2013-08-07). "Now Lib Dems want drivers blamed for every crash with a cyclist and fined if a car strays into a bike lane | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  34. ^ "citycycling .legal eagle: strict liability". Citycycling.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  35. ^ Chris Havergal. "Cambridge MP Julian Huppert named one of most influential people in UK cycling". Cambridge News. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  36. ^ Brake. "Julian Huppert awarded parliamentarian of the month". Brake. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  37. ^ "Cambridge News: Cambridge students protest at city railway station". Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  38. ^ "Party Funding". Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  39. ^ "Donations scandal Lord Strasburger gave money to Cambridge MP Julian Huppert". Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  40. ^ "LDV survey: The new Lib Dem MPs who’ve impressed party members the most". Lib Dem Voice. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  41. ^ Stamp, Gavin (2011-07-11). "BBC News - MPs' Class of 2010: End of term report". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  42. ^ "Top 50 New MPs". Total Politics. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  43. ^ "Rising Stars | House Magazine". PoliticsHome. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  44. ^ "Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats: 1-25". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  45. ^ Technology. "Julian Huppert beats Nick Clegg to Internet Hero of the year". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  46. ^ "Cycling Statistics". CTC. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  47. ^ "Discovering Cambridge- Six Months On - Julian Huppert | MP for Cambridge". Julian Huppert. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  48. ^ "Parliament to debate Huppert's shops and pubs bill". Cambridge Network. 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  49. ^ "CC confirms Cineworld findings | Media Centre". Competition Commission. 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  50. ^ this cinema. "Cineworld Cinemas: Latest Movies, 3D Films, Bollywood, Movies for Juniors, Theatre and Opera Performances on our Digital, Dbox and Imax Screens". Cineworld.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  51. ^ "Cinema Listings | Arts Picturehouse | Cambridge". Picturehouses.co.uk. 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  52. ^ "Cambridge Arts Picturehouse: the Competition Commission has got it wrong! - Julian Huppert | MP for Cambridge". julianhuppert.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  53. ^ "Fight to save Cambridge Arts Picturehouse taken to House of Commons | Cambridge City News, Cambridge Local News Stories & Latest Headlines". cambridge-news.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  54. ^ "Cambridge MP takes city tour in a wheelchair | Anglia - ITV News". itv.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  55. ^ "Your browser does not support frames. We recommend upgrading your browser.". fixourpavements.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  56. ^ "Your browser does not support frames. We recommend upgrading your browser.". julianpavements.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  57. ^ "https://twitter.com/CllrRJohnson/status/407218144412172288". twitter.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  58. ^ "The fight for fairer funding for Cambridgeshire Schools". JulianHuppert. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  59. ^ name="Cambs funding result">"Cambridgeshire schools finally get fairer funding deal following years of campaigning by the News and its readers". Cambridge News. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Howarth
Member of Parliament for Cambridge