|Member of Parliament
for Surrey Heath
1 May 1997 – 5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Constituency Established|
|Succeeded by||Michael Gove|
|Member of Parliament
for Blackpool South
9 April 1992 – 1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Peter Blaker|
|Succeeded by||Gordon Marsden|
|Born||27 March 1957|
|Alma mater||Lincoln College, Oxford|
Having stood unsuccessfully in Huddersfield in 1987, Hawkins became a Member of Parliament representing the constituency of Blackpool South in 1992. Prior to the 1997 general election, with polls predicting that the Conservatives had no chance of retaining the Blackpool South seat, Hawkins applied and was selected to contest the newly created constituency of Surrey Heath, which was predicted to be one of the safest Conservative seats in the country. He duly won the seat with a majority 16,287, the second-largest Conservative majority in the country that year (after John Major in Huntingdon). Hawkins was re-elected in 2001 with a reduced majority of 10,819.
Hawkins served in Prime Minister John Major's government in 1995-97, first at the Ministry of Defence and then at the then Department of National Heritage. In opposition he was appointed and promoted in a series of shadow ministerial jobs by four different Conservative Party leaders. Among other roles, he was Shadow Solicitor-General in 2003, a Shadow Home Office Minister on national security issues and drugs policy, Shadow Legal and Constitutional Affairs Minister, and Shadow spokesman on gambling twice (2000–01 and 2003–04).
In April 2004, Hawkins was deselected as the Surrey Heath Conservative Association's parliamentary candidate, following a postal ballot of its 1,200 members in the constituency. His difficulties had begun when he left his wife for a Conservative county councillor in 1999, when a first attempt to deselect him had been defused by Michael Ancram. According to The Times, the decision to drop Hawkins as the Surrey Heath candidate in 2004 was the result of "a breakdown in relations with leading Conservatives in his constituency" and was taken despite appeals on his behalf by Oliver Letwin, William Hague, Ann Widdecombe, and others.
Hawkins was encouraged by the party leader and party chairman to stand again for a different constituency, but he decided instead to return to his legal career. He remained a Member of Parliament until the 2005 general election. Michael Gove, a journalist at The Times, was selected as the new Conservative candidate for Surrey Heath in his place, and won the seat.
After leaving parliament, Hawkins returned to his previous career as a corporate lawyer; he had previously been a barrister on circuit from the late 1970s. He had also worked as in-house corporate counsel in banking, insurance, financial services and credit in the 1980s and early 1990s, was elected chairman of the corporate barristers' national organisation BACFI, and elected to serve on the Bar Council for six years and on its "inner cabinet", the GMC, for two years.
- Results and Constituencies: Surrey Heath, BBC News, retrieved on 26 June 2009
- Election Prediction Project: Surrey Heath, 10 May 2001
- Greg Hurst, 'Frontbench Tory sacked by his Constituency Party' in The Times, issue 68045 dated 9 April 2004, p. 2
- Surrey Heath members believe that their money ought to be able to buy a future prime minister, The Daily Telegraph, 27 June 2004
- Richest local Tory party drops fundraising ploy, The Guardian, 19 October 2004
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Blackpool South
|Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath