Mark Reckless

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Mark Reckless
Mark Reckless.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Rochester and Strood
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Bob Marshall-Andrews (Medway)
Majority 9,953 (20.7%)
Personal details
Born (1970-12-06) 6 December 1970 (age 43)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Catriona Brown
Alma mater Marlborough College
Christ Church, Oxford (MA),
College of Law (LLB),
Columbia Business School (MBA)
Occupation Politician, barrister, economist

Mark John Reckless MP[1] (born 6 December 1970) is a British Conservative Party politician who is the Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood, elected at the 2010 general election.

Reckless is rated as one of the Conservatives' most rebellious MPs,[2] and is noted for being a member (Since November 2010) of the Home Affairs Select Committee while leading a rebellion of 53 Tory MPs on the EU Budget, which inflicted the first House of Commons defeat on the Coalition government.[3]


Marlborough College

Reckless was educated at Marlborough College, an independent school in the market town of Marlborough in Wiltshire, followed by Christ Church at the University of Oxford, where he graduated in PPE. He then received an MBA from Columbia Business School in the United States. He trained as a barrister at the College of Law, gaining an LLB, and was called to the Bar in 2007.

Life and career[edit]

In the mid-1990s, Reckless worked for UBS Warburg and was rated as one of the top three UK Economists in the City in 1996 and 1997 by Extel & Institutional Investor client surveys[4] In the late 1990s he worked as a strategy consultant and associate in Financial Services Group at Booz, Allen & Hamilton.[5]

Between 2002 and 2004, Reckless was a member of the policy unit at Conservative Central Office where he published a book on deregulation policy[6] as well as overseeing the development of the policy on directly elected police commissioners.[7] The first PCC elections took place on 15 November 2012.

Until his election in May 2010, Reckless was a solicitor at Herbert Smith[8] and had worked on legal matters that have had dealings with private investigators.[9] He was a member of the Kent Police Authority from 2007 - 2011.

Election History[edit]

Reckless was elected the member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood in 2010 with a 9,953 majority having previously stood in the Medway constituency in 2001 and 2005, reducing the majority of the serving Labour MP to 3,780 in 2001 and 213 in 2005. He was a Medway Councillor between 2007-2011.[10]

Rochester and Strood 2010[edit]

The Rochester and Strood seat was fought for the first time at the 2010 general election. Following their boundary review of parliamentary representation in Kent, the Boundary Commission for England renamed the Medway seat to Rochester and Strood. This is because the Commission agreed that the term "Medway" is now primarily used for the larger unitary authority.[11]

General Election 2010: Rochester and Strood[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Mark Reckless 23,604 49.2 +6.6
Labour Teresa Murray 13,651 28.5 −13.1
Liberal Democrat Geoff Juby 7,800 16.3 +3.9
English Democrats Ron Sands 2,182 4.5 N/A
Green Simon Marchant 734 1.5 N/A
Majority 9,953 20.7
Turnout 47,971 64.9 +2.5
Conservative hold Swing +9.8

Medway 2005[edit]

General Election 2005: Medway[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Bob Marshall-Andrews 17,333 42.2 -6.8
Conservative Mark Reckless 17,120 41.7 +2.5
Liberal Democrat Geoffrey Juby 5,152 12.5 +3.2
UKIP Bob Oakley 1,488 3.6 +1.1
Majority 213 0.5
Turnout 41,093 61.1 1.6
Labour hold Swing -4.6

Medway 2001[edit]

General Election 2001: Medway[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Bob Marshall-Andrews 18,914 49.0 +0.1
Conservative Mark Reckless 15,134 39.2 +2.3
Liberal Democrat Geoffrey Juby 3,604 9.3 -0.8
UKIP Nikki Sinclaire 958 2.5 +1.6
Majority 3,780 9.8
Turnout 38,610 59.5 -12.8
Labour hold Swing

Parliamentary career[edit]

Reckless was elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2010[15] and has been one of its most visible members often appearing on Newsnight and other political programmes, recently arguing for the deportation of clerics Abu Hamza[16] and Abu Qatada.[17] He is rated as one of Parliament's most rebellious MPs,[18] He was one of only six Conservative MPs to vote against the increase of University tuition fees.[19][20] and has been a vocal critic of the governments energy policy, arguing that the governments energy bill introduced in December 2012 was 'a sad retreat for Conservatives'.[21]

Reckless is a noted critic of the European Court of Human Rights seeing it as 'eroding British freedom and democracy'.[22]

A vociferous Eurosceptic,[23] Reckless is an advocate of Britain leaving the European Union and is signed up to the Better Off Out campaign of MPs that want to leave the EU. He believes Britain's entry to the Common Market in 1973 was an historical blip. 'We joined in the Seventies when we were at our lowest ebb as a nation, at no other point in our history would we have joined. He believes Britain could emulate the success of Switzerland outside the EU.[24]He is chair of the All-party parliamentary group on Georgia.[25] The groups aims are 'to facilitate greater parliamentary awareness of developments in Georgia'.

European Union Budget Rebellion[edit]

On 31 October 2012, Reckless led a rebellion of 53 Tory MPs which inflicted the first House of Commons defeat [307 votes to 294] on the Coalition government when the Tory rebels voted (with Labour) to pass an amendment calling for a real-terms cut in the 2014-2020 EU budget multi-annual financial framework. The coalition government supported only a realterms freeze in the EU budget as a minimum. The amendment was not binding on the government, but damaged Prime Minister David Cameron's authority on Europe before key EU Budget negotiations in November 2012.[26] The rebellion was described by Simon Walters of the Daily Mail as 'one of the most lethal parliamentary ambushes in decades and that in a single, brilliantly executed parliamentary coup, this soft-spoken, unassuming and thoughtful man may have achieved more than many other politicians do in a lifetime.[24]

As a result of leading the successful rebellion, Reckless was voted 'pin up of the year' by the TaxPayers' Alliance[27] (a low tax advocacy group) and finished 3rd in a ConservativeHome poll of 'backbencher of the year', though the site's editor Tim Montgomerie announced that 'if UKIP voters had been included in the poll Mark Reckless would have topped the vote'.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Reckless is the grandson of Henry McDevitt, a Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal East in Dáil Éireann, the Irish Parliament, from 1938 until 1943.[29] On 1 October 2011 he married Catriona Brown at Westminster Cathedral, with a reception held at the Palace of Westminster.[30] His best man was Daniel Hannan MEP.[31] He was best man to Hannan at his wedding.[32]


  2. ^ The league table of backbench rebel Tory MPs. (2010-12-15). Retrieved on 2012-02-06.
  3. ^ Cameron Commons Defeat on EU Budget 31/10/2012
  4. ^ Mark Reckless: Government borrowing is preventing private lending ConservativeHome 28/11/2008.
  5. ^ Mark Reckless MP Your Local Guardian 26/09/2012.
  6. ^ The Drivers of Regulation Google Books 2004.
  7. ^ Mark Reckless MP: Police and Crime Commissioners are one of the great reforms of this Conservative-led government ConservativeHome 27/05/2012.
  8. ^ Solicitors stand as MP The Law Society Gazette 29/04/2012.
  9. ^ Home-Affairs-Committee-Formal-Minutes Tuesday 15 May 2012
  10. ^ Mark Reckless Cllr, Medway Council, 2001
  11. ^ Fifth Periodical Report, Volume I: Report, Cm 7032-i. London: The Stationery Office. 2007. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-10-170322-2. Retrieved 13 April 2009. 
  12. ^ "Rochester & Strood". BBC News. 7 May 2010. 
  13. ^ "UK General Election results May 2005". Political Science Resources. University of Keele. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  14. ^ "Medway". Political Science Resources. University of Keele. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  15. ^ Members of the Home Affairs Select Committee, November 2010
  16. ^ Mark Reckless welcomes Abu Hamza Deportation, BBC Newsnight, 5 October 2012.
  17. ^ Deport Abu Qatada, BBC Newsnight, 18 April 2012.
  18. ^ Order Order: Why the newest Tories are a major headache for Cameron, The Independent, 30 December 2011.
  19. ^ The Tories Who Rebelled Over Tuition Fees, Financial Times, 9 December 2010.
  20. ^ Voting Record Tuition Fees, Public Whip, 9 December 2010.
  21. ^ The Energy Bill is a sad retreat for Conservatives, ConservativeHome, 19 December 2012
  22. ^ European Court of Human Rights gets out begging bowl, The Telegraph, 21 June 2012
  23. ^ Patrick Wintour, political editor (2011-10-30). "Conservative Eurosceptics turn fire on UK negotiator". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  24. ^ a b Daily Mail Interview, The Daily Mail, 3 November 2012.
  25. ^ All Party Parliamentary Group on Georgia, House of Commons Register, December 2012.
  26. ^ Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent (2012-10-31). "David Cameron suffers Commons defeat on EU budget". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  27. ^ Mark Reckless Named Pin Up of the Year, Rochester People, 27 December 2012
  28. ^ Backbencher of the year, ConservativeHome, 27 December 2012
  29. ^ Over A Third Of Irish Want To Leave Euro For Pound | Mark Reckless MP. Retrieved on 2012-02-06.
  30. ^ Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless weds Catriona Brown at Westminster Cathedral 3 October 2011
  31. ^ Mark Reckless MP Wedding, Kent Online, 3 October 2011
  32. ^ Mark Reckless the best kind of MP Dan Hannan, Telegraph Blog, 28 July 2008.

External links[edit]