|Minister of State for Disabled People|
7 October 2013
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Esther McVey(as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Disabled People)|
|Minister of State for Northern Ireland|
4 September 2012 – 7 October 2013
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Hugo Swire|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Robathan|
of State for Transport
15 May 2010 – 6 September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Chris Mole;
|Succeeded by||Stephen Hammond|
|Member of Parliament
for Hemel Hempstead
5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Tony McWalter|
28 September 1957 |
Hendon, Middlesex, England
|Spouse(s)||Angela née Smith|
|Alma mater||University of Reading|
|Occupation||Politician; Govt Minister|
|Profession||Military; Fire service|
|Years of service||1974–1980|
|Commands||Northern Ireland, Kenya and Germany|
He served as a junior minister in the Transport Department (2010-2012) in Prime Minister Cameron's Coalition Government, and on 4 September 2012, he became Minister of State for Northern Ireland, a position he held for just over a year.
Early life and career
Penning was born at Hendon, Middlesex and raised in the neighbouring county of Essex. He went to Appleton School, South Benfleet before attending King Edmund School, Rochford, Essex. In 1985, Penning graduated from Reading University with the degree of BSc.
He enlisted in the British Army as a Grenadier Guardsman and served in Northern Ireland, Kenya and Germany. During his time in the Grenadiers (1974–80) one of his officers, Captain Robert Nairac, was abducted and assassinated by the IRA.
Penning subsequently worked as a firefighter for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service before joining his family business and prior to embarking upon his career in public service through political journalism.
Penning was Sir Teddy Taylor's election agent during the 1997 General Election. He stood for election in the safe Labour seat of Thurrock at the 2001 General Election, coming second to Andrew MacKinlay MP (Labour).
Following this he became chief adviser to William Hague (when Leader of HM Opposition) and later became the Conservative Party's Deputy Head of Media under the brief and unpopular party leadership of Iain Duncan Smith.
2005 general election
At the 2005 General Election Penning stood for Hemel Hempstead, narrowly defeating the Labour Co-operative sitting Member of Parliament Tony McWalter. Penning overturned McWalter's 2001 majority of 3,742 votes and won the seat (after a partial recount) by 499 votes.
According to Theyworkforyou.com, Penning spoke in an "above average" number of debates last year and replied to a "very high number" of messages. He also received replies to an "above average" number of written questions.
His 624 questions in 10 months at an average cost of £138 each, included one on sales of lost property in Royal Parks since records began. The newspaper suggested the objective was to increase ratings on the website, an allegation refuted by Penning and which The Times then dropped.
Penning "occasionally rebelled" with two percent of his votes being against the whip and was "very strongly" in favour of a smoking ban. Penning's parliamentary expenses details have been published as part of a general publication of all MPs' expenses. In 2008/2009, he claimed a total of £135,078 (502nd of all MPs). The Legg Report found no problem with his expenses. Penning, however, repaid £2.99 (for a dog bowl), which is the lowest recorded repayment by any MP.
2010 general election
Penning's majority increased to 13,406 votes at the 2010 General Election when he achieved 50% of the vote share. This result relegated Labour's Ayfer Orhan to third place behind the Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Grayson. It represented the largest swing from Labour to Conservative (14.4%) in the country.
Following that election, David Cameron appointed him a Junior Transport Minister (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State), roads and shipping being among his responsibilities. In his capacity as Minister for Shipping, Penning presented Efthimios Mitropoulos (immediate past-IMO Secretary-General) with the insignia of Hon KCMG in Greece on behalf of The Queen.
In his role as road safety minister, he suggested that the Dutch could learn about cyclist safety from the British. However Roelof Wittink of the Dutch Cycling Embassy explained that although the UK had a lower death toll per head of population, the Dutch use cycles far more and have one third of the fatalities per mile cycled. The Guardian also criticised "ministers who don't understand statistics."
In the Government reshuffle of September 2012, Penning vacated his Transport brief and took up a new position as a full Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office, a position he held for just over a year.
The Buncefield fire occurred on 11 December 2005 and led to some 2700 claims for compensation. In the words of neighbouring MP, Rt Hon Peter Lilley, "There is something providential about the fact that the worst fire in western Europe since the Second World War should occur in a constituency represented by a fireman. It was undoubtedly in the interests of all his constituents and mine to have someone so knowledgeable, as well as so vigorous in their response, to represent their interests."
Penning who arrived on the scene within half an hour of the explosion had himself been trained to deal with much smaller petroleum fires, i.e. the scenario was that one tank not twenty was affected.
Dexion pensions scheme
Dexion workers, 700 of whom worked in the constituency, lost their pensions when the company went into receivership in 2003. Dexion played a prominent part in Dr Ros Altmann's Pensionstheft campaign. Penning, whose support for Dexion preceded his election, offered compensation from unclaimed assets in his 2005 Manifesto and has spoken on the issue 26 times in Parliament.
Penning received the following military medals:
- "Her Majesty’s Government" (in English). United Kingdom: Prime Minister's Office. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- "Democracy Live Mike Penning MP". BBC. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "Michael Moore axed as Scottish secretary in coalition reshuffle.....on other notable government changes:... Mike Penning is promoted to minister of state for Work and Pensions from Northern Ireland brief". BBC. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Mike Penning Personal website". Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- Wegg-Prosser, Benjamin (13 September 2001). "Guardian 7/9/2001, - What's cooking in the Tory kitchen cabinet". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 April 2010.
- "Michael Penning". Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Hurst, Greg (27 February 2006). "The MPs who can't stop talking". London: Times Newspapers. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- "Review of past ACA payments" (PDF). House of Commons Members Estimate Committee. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- "MPs' expenses in detail". BBC. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "MPs' expenses in detail (repayments)". BBC. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "BBC News Election 2010 Constituency Hemel Hempstead". Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- Amie Mulderrig (11 May 2010). "Re-elected Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning achieves largest swing from Labour to Conservative in the country". WatfordObserver. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
- "How Britain voted". Guardian Supplement. 8 May 2010. p. 8.
- Roelof Wittink Executive Director, Dutch Cycling Embassy (April 24, 2012). "Sorry minister, it is the Brits who must learn from the Dutch on #cyclesafe". The Times. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- Peter Walker (25 May 2012). "When it comes to cycling, we're governed by dimwits". the Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- MP Penning promoted to head Northern Ireland security, Hemel Today
- "Buncefield victims in court move". BBC News. 17 March 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- "Buncefield Debate Westminster Hall,Speaker=Peter Lilly". TheyWorkForYou.com. 9 January 2008.
- "Buncefield Debate Westminster Hall,Speaker=Mike Penning". TheyWorkForYou.com. 9 January 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- "HC Deb, 22 July 2008". theyworkforyou. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- Limbajee, Khevyn (28 October 2005). "London: Pension crisis". BBC. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "HC Deb, 18 April 2007, c361". theyworkforyou. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "dexion speaker:Michael Penning". theyworkforyou. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- Cowie, Ian (21 February 2007). "Pensioners win victory in High Court". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Penning.|
- Conservative Party - Mike Penning biography
- www.mikepenning.com official site
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Mike Penning MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Mike Penning MP
- Department for Transport
- BBC Democracy Live
- Debrett's People of Today
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Hemel Hempstead