Mark Field

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For the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats rugby league player, see Mark Field (rugby league).
Mark Field
MP
Mark Field.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Cities of London and Westminster
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Peter Brooke
Majority 11,076 (30%)
Personal details
Born (1964-10-06) 6 October 1964 (age 49)
Hanover, Niedersachsen, West Germany
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Victoria Elphicke
Children Frederick
Arabella
Residence London
Alma mater St Edmund Hall, Oxford
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer
Religion Church of England
Website Mark Field - Home Page

Mark Christopher Field (born 6 October 1964), is a German-born British Conservative Party politician and MP for the Cities of London and Westminster constituency.

Early life and education[edit]

Born at the British Military Hospital in Hanover, Germany, his late father (Peter, d. 1991) was a Major in the British Army whose wife (Ulrike, née Peipe, d. 2010), Field's mother, was of German birth. Mark Field was educated at state-funded grammar school, Reading School and St Edmund Hall, Oxford[1] and graduated with a B.A. degree in Law in 1987. He was Secretary and National Political Officer of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1985-86; JCR President of St Edmund Hall, Oxford in 1986; and News Editor of student newspaper, Cherwell while it was under the editorships of Christina Lamb and Anne McElvoy. During his student days, Field also set up a small publishing business after spotting a gap in the market for careers handbooks in the legal field. He completed his education at The College of Law, Chester, qualifying as a solicitor in 1990.

Career before Parliament[edit]

Whilst an undergraduate he became a personal assistant to the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, John (now Lord) Patten, before training as a solicitor, practising as a corporate lawyer for Freshfields between 1990 and 1992. He then became a director of his own employment agency, Kellyfield Consulting from 1994 until 2001. The company employed a dozen staff and turned over almost £2 million per annum. After being elected to Parliament he sold his share of that business to a consortium led by his former business partner.

He became the Vice Chairman of the Islington North Conservative Association for two years from 1989, and was elected as a Councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 1994 before standing down in 2002 after his election to the House of Commons. He contested the Conservative held seat of Enfield North at the 1997 General Election following the retirement of the sitting MP Tim Eggar. However, 1997 was the year of Labour's Parliamentary landslide and he was defeated at the election by Labour's Joan Ryan by 6,822 votes.

Parliamentary career[edit]

In December 1999 he was selected to contest the safe Conservative seat of the Cities of London and Westminster following the retirement of the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Brooke at the 2001 General Election. Field won the seat with a majority of 4,499 and has been returned to Parliament with an increased majority twice since (2005 - 8095; 2010 - 11076). His constituency includes many of London's famous and iconic sights, such as St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Bank of England, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, the Royal Courts of Justice, as well as the Houses of Parliament.

Field made his maiden speech on 27 June 2001, when he announced his great political hero was the former Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law.[2]

In Parliament, Mark Field was a member of the Lord Chancellor's Department and the renamed Constitutional Affairs Select Committee for a year from 2003. He was made an Opposition Whip by Iain Duncan Smith in 2003, becoming the Shadow Minister for London later that year. Between May and December 2005 he was Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury. In the eleven months to November 2006 he was the Conservative Party's spokesman on Culture, Media and Sport under the new leadership of David Cameron in 2005. During his tenure he led for the Opposition on the National Lottery Act 2006 and promoted the policy of safeguarding lottery funds for the four original causes of the arts, heritage, charities and sport. He also led debates and opposition to the lack of leadership and vision in Britain's declining public library service. His other responsibilities included the Arts, Heritage, Architecture and Design, Museums and Galleries, the Royal Parks, Regional Policy and Local Government as well as aspects of broadcasting.

In September 2010, Field was appointed by the Prime Minister to the prestigious Intelligence & Security Committee, chaired by former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind. He is the youngest MP on this Committee, which reports directly to 10 Downing Street and oversees the UK’s intelligence and security services.

He takes a special interest in economic matters, financial services, foreign trade and international development and is currently Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Venture Capital & Private Equity as well as Vice Chairman of the Groups on Football and Bangladesh. He previously served as Chairman of the APPGs for Azerbaijan and Business Services. He has served on the Standing Committees of several important pieces of legislation, including the Business Rates Supplements Act and the Finance Acts in 2008 and 2009.

As a backbencher, Field has tabled a number of debates on issues of local and national importance such as homelessness, Northern Ireland, Government debt, Heathrow airport, policing in London, social housing, home education and population estimates. He has run local campaigns on business rates, St Bartholomew's Hospital, assisting the creative industries, the control of rickshaws in the West End, social housing rent rises, the independence of the City of London Police and in July 2011 successfully argued in Parliament for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's continuing control of the Royal Parks.[3]

Field was also an outspoken critic of the previous system governing MPs' second home allowances.[4] Field was found not to be making excessive claims[5] by the Daily Telegraph's investigation of MPs’ expenses.

He articulated the thoughts of many following the overwhelming "No to AV" referendum which was held on 5 May 2011, saying: "I’m pretty sure that David Cameron will be very energised by what’s happened. Clearly there will be an effort to try to sure up [sic] Nick Clegg’s position but I think the idea now that there will be a whole lot of policy concessions allowing the Liberals to look good in the months to come is way, way short of the mark." [6]

Field is Patron of the Bishopsgate Institute and St Andrew's Club.[7] He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors.

In October 2011, Field voiced opposition to Occupy London protestors camped in his constituency. He expressed concern that their "tent city" was turning into a "semi-permanent encampment" which was disrupting St Paul's, a "key iconic tourist site" and place of worship. He suggested that police should clear the camp at night[8] and went on record in the Daily Telegraph, stating: "While no one expects anti-capitalism to be a 24-hour activity, I would have hoped the protesters would show a little more respect for the sanctity of St Paul’s."[9] On 28 February 2012, after 137 days of occupation, Field's initial recommendation became reality following a Court order when the site was cleared by the City of London Police in just 137 minutes.[10]

The day after the resignation of Cllr Colin Barrow's resignation as Leader of Westminster City Council in January 2012 on the BBC's inaugural Sunday Politics, Field said about the West End parking charges plan: "Given the furore, given the strength of the campaign by the Evening Standard, I would be very surprised if his successor runs along with this."

In March 2014, he launched Conservatives for Managed Migration in order to spark a 'calm and rational debate about migration both within and beyond the Conservative Party ' before the 2015 General Election. The group believes the coalition government's pledge to get 'annual net migration down to the tens of thousands' is undeliverable, risks harming the economy and will ultimately be electorally damaging to the Conservative Party.

Writer & Commentator[edit]

Since 2007 Mark Field has been a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour. He also appears frequently on various other BBC TV programmes, including Daily Politics, Sunday Politics & Newsnight, ITV’s Late Debate (panellist since 2009) and Sky News as a newspaper reviewer. He makes regular contributions to the influential political blog, ConservativeHome, particularly on economic matters.

He has written for the Daily Telegraph about government stakes in banks,[11] the importance of the City of London to the UK economy,[12] City of London financial regulatory reform,[13] rewards for failure,[14] the need for Britain to be open for business,[15] the continuation of New Labour's rhetoric,[16] expenses,[17] English football,[18] corporation tax,[19] banking regulation,[20] Syria,[21] anti-avoidance powers granted to HMRC, [22] EU rules on wills and property [23] ultra low interest rates [24] and tax competition [25]

He also writes regularly for City AM including articles on MF Global,[26] tech start-ups,[27] the UK's relationship with the EU,[28] and stamp duty.[29] He has written for the Independent on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.[30]

His first book, Between the Crashes, brings together his articles on UK politics and global economics following the aftermath of the financial crisis and was released by Biteback Publishing in April 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Field's wife, Victoria (Vicki) Field, is a celebrity agent. They live in Westminster and Mallorca with their son, Frederick William Crispian Field, born on 19 December 2007, and their daughter, Arabella Matilda Catherine Field, born on 18 June 2011. Field's first marriage to Michèle Acton ended in divorce in 2006, reportedly in difficulties before his affair with Liz Truss which occurred in 2004-05.[31] The affair was a significant factor in causing Truss to face an unsuccessful attempt in November 2009 to remove her as a Conservative parliamentary candidate.[32] Truss is now the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk since 2010.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Brooke
Member of Parliament for the Cities of London and Westminster
2001–present
Incumbent