Michael Mates

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The Right Honourable
Michael Mates
Member of Parliament
for East Hampshire
Petersfield (1974-1983)
In office
10 October 1974 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Joan Quennell
Succeeded by Damian Hinds
Personal details
Born (1934-06-09) 9 June 1934 (age 80)
Brentford, Middlesex, England
Nationality English
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) (1) Mary Rosamund Paton (married 1959, divorced 1980)
(2) Rosellen Bett (married 1982, divorced 1995)
(3) Christine Robinson-Moltke (married 1998)
Military service
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1954-1974
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

Michael John Mates (born 9 June 1934) is a Conservative Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of East Hampshire from 1974 to 2010.


Michael Mates was educated at Salisbury Cathedral School, Blundell's School and King's College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar.

Army service[edit]

Prior to his election to the House of Commons, he served for twenty years in the British Army leaving in 1974 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Michael Mates was first elected to Parliament in October 1974 general election for Petersfield in Hampshire, following the retirement of Joan Quennell.

Between 1983 and 2010 he represented East Hampshire.

From 1992 to 1993, Mates was Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office. He resigned after a scandal involving his links to fugitive businessman Asil Nadir.[1]

He also served as the Chairman of the Defence (1987–1992) and Northern Ireland (2001–2005) select committees and chaired the All-Party Anglo-Irish Parliamentary Group. He has been a member of the Privy Council since February 2004.

Mates announced on 24 November 2006 that he would stand down effective at the 2010 general election.[2] His replacement as Conservative Party candidate was Damian Hinds.

Police Commissioner candidacy[edit]

In July 2012 Mates was selected as the Conservative candidate in the election for Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, notwithstanding his links to Asil Nadir.[3] Senior members of his own Hampshire Conservative Party have called for him to step down.[4] When confronted by Michael Crick of Channel 4 News, Mates has repeatedly refused to answer questions about a windfall he received having vacated a sitting tenancy at Dolphin Square, central London, when an MP.[5]

Mates is also known for his affiliation to disgraced former business tycoon Asil Nadir and the Polly Peck Empire.[6] In the 1990s, when a junior minister in the Northern Ireland Office, Mates expressed his support for Nadir by infamously sending him a watch inscribed with the words "don't let the buggers get you down" - a reference to an ongoing investigation into Nadir's fraudulent financial activities by British authorities.[7] Mates was forced to resign as a result of his support and links with Nadir.[8]

Ultimately, in August 2012 Nadir would be found guilty at the Old Bailey of fraud, and convicted of stealing nearly £29 million. Despite this Mates has maintained his support for Nadir, even testifying in his defence at the Old Bailey.[9][10] Nadir has donated over £400,000 to the Tory party.

Michael Mates has been reported to Hampshire Constabulary for Electoral Fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 by competitor Don Jerrard who is standing for the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party.[11] The former lawyer wrote to the county’s Chief Constable claiming that Mates breached the 2006 Fraud Act by giving his address as a house where he rents rooms in Winchester. Parallel to this, Hampshire police confirmed two complaints of alleged racist language in Michael Mates' Election Statement[12] were passed to the Thames Valley Police for investigation.[13]

Thames Valley Police were said to be getting ready to interview Mates, but it was not known whether this would be done under caution. Michael Mates denied the allegations, claiming to be the victim of a smear campaign.[14]

Personal life[edit]

He married Mary Rosamund Paton in 1959, whom he divorced in 1980. They had two sons (James, a senior reporter and presenter for ITN, and Rory) and two daughters (Caroline and Emily). In 1982, he married Rosellen Bett in Lambeth, whom he divorced in 1995. They had one daughter (Arabella, born July 1986).

He then married Christine Robinson-Moltke (widow of Petersfield's Lt Cdr Glen Robinson-Moltke who was killed in the Falklands War) in October 1998 in Chichester, having two stepchildren (Michael and Helene). He has eleven grandchildren (Ben, Joe, Maddie, Leo, Jet, Flora, Phoebe, Charlie, Kobi, James and Meetu) and a great-grandson (Aidan).

See also[edit]



  1. ^ On this Day: 24 June 1993, BBC News.
  2. ^ "Veteran MP announces retirement". BBC News Online. 24 November 2006. 
  3. ^ "Crick on Politics - Michael Mates Flies the Oldie Flag". Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Hampshire police candidate Michael Mates 'should withdraw'". BBC News website. 7 September 2012. 
  5. ^ http://blogs.channel4.com/michael-crick-on-politics/mates-set-to-make-over-100000-from-dolphin-square-windfall/1529.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Asil Nadir convicted of £29m Polly Peck thefts". BBC News. 22 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Bowers, Simon; Syal, Rajeev (22 August 2012). "Asil Nadir,Serious Fraud Office,Crime - UK (News),UK news,Cyprus (News),Law". The Guardian (London). 
  8. ^ "1993: Minister resigns over business links". BBC News. 24 June 1993. 
  9. ^ http://m.dailyecho.co.uk/search/9917386.Mates__conscience_is_clear_over_Nadir/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Bowers, Simon; Syal, Rajeev (22 August 2012). "Asil Nadir,Serious Fraud Office,Crime - UK (News),UK news,Cyprus (News),Law". The Guardian (London). 
  11. ^ http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/michael-mates-police-poll-fraud-1424253/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Michael Mates Election statement". Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Mulholland, Helene (16 November 2012). "Police and crime commissioners,Conservatives tories tory party,UK news,Politics". The Guardian (London). 
  14. ^ Milmo, Cahal (14 November 2012). "Hampshire police commissioner voters unlikely to find out if Conservative candidate Michael Mates committed electoral fraud until after election". The Independent (London). 

External links[edit]

Audio clips[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joan Quennell
Member of Parliament for Petersfield
Oct 19741983
Constituency abolished
See East Hampshire
New constituency
before: Petersfield
Member of Parliament for East Hampshire
1983 - 2010
Succeeded by
Damian Hinds