Kwasi Kwarteng

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Kwasi Kwarteng
Kwasi Kwarteng MP at Global Growth- Challenge or opportunity for the UK? - 03.02.2014 (12303536486).jpg
Kwarteng in 2014
Member of Parliament
for Spelthorne
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by David Wilshire
Majority 10,019 (21.18%)
Personal details
Born (1975-05-26) 26 May 1975 (age 39)[1]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Harvard University
Trinity College, Cambridge
Eton College
Occupation Member of Parliament

Kwasi Alfred Addo Kwarteng[2] (born 26 May 1975) is a British politician and historian. A member of the Conservative Party, he has served as a Member of Parliament (MP) since 2010 representing the constituency of Spelthorne in Surrey.

Early life[edit]

Chapel of Eton College

Kwarteng was born in London.[3] His parents migrated to the UK from Ghana as students in the 1960s.[4]

Kwarteng attended Eton College as a King's Scholar where he won the Newcastle Scholarship. He then went on to Cambridge University where he read Classics and History at Trinity College.[5] He was a member of the team which won University Challenge in 1995 (in the first series after the programme was revived by the BBC in 1994).[4][6] He attended Harvard University on a Kennedy Scholarship, and then earned a PhD in Economic History at Cambridge University.[5]

Prior to becoming an MP, Kwarteng worked as an analyst in financial services. He has written a book, Ghosts of Empire, about the legacy of the British Empire, published by Bloomsbury in 2011.[4] He has also co-authored (with Jonathan Dupont) the book Gridlock Nation on the causes and solutions to traffic congestion in Britain.[7]

In 2014 he also published War and Gold: A Five-Hundred-Year History of Empires, Adventures and Debt a history of capital and the enduring ability of money - when combined with speculation - to ruin societies.[8]

Political career[edit]

Kwarteng was the Conservative candidate in the constituency of Brent East at the 2005 general election. He finished in third place behind the incumbent Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather (who had won the seat in a 2003 by-election) and Yasmin Qureshi of the Labour Party. Kwarteng was chairman of the Bow Group in 2005-06. In 2006, The Times suggested that he could become the first black Conservative cabinet minister.[9] He was sixth on the Conservative list of candidates for the London Assembly in the 2008 London Assembly election, but was not elected as the Conservatives claimed only three London-wide list seats.

Kwarteng was selected as the Conservative candidate for Spelthorne at an open primary in January 2010 after the incumbent Conservative MP, David Wilshire, became mired in controversy arising from the Parliamentary expenses scandal and announced that he would be retiring from Parliament at the next general election. Kwarteng was described by a local paper as a "black Boris".[3] At the 2010 general election, Kwarteng won the seat with 22,261 votes (claiming a majority of 10,019).[10]

In August 2012, Kwarteng co-authored a book, Britannia Unchained. In it, the authors claim that "Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world".[11]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Wilshire
Member of Parliament for Spelthorne