||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
|Solicitor General for England and Wales|
4 September 2012
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Edward Garnier|
|Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs|
15 March 2004 – 8 May 2007
|Preceded by||Alan Duncan|
|Succeeded by||Post Abolished|
|Shadow Leader of the House of Commons|
11 November 2003 – 10 May 2005
|Preceded by||Eric Forth|
|Succeeded by||Chris Grayling|
|Member of Parliament
for North East Hertfordshire
North Hertfordshire (1992-1997)
9 April 1992
|Preceded by||Ian Stewart|
15 December 1954 |
Reading, Berkshire, England
|Alma mater||Pembroke College, Cambridge|
|Religion||Church of England|
Heald was born in Reading, Berkshire, and was educated at the Reading School and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he studied law. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1977 and was a practising barrister in London and East Anglia from 1979 until he became a government minister in 1995.
He became the chairman of the North Hertfordshire Conservative Association for two years from 1984. He unsuccessfully contested the London Borough of Southwark seat of Southwark and Bermondsey at the 1987 general election but finished in third place some 12,550 behind the sitting Liberal MP Simon Hughes. He became the vice president of the Southwark and Bermondsey Conservative Association in 1988 for five years, becoming the president for five years from 1993.
He was elected to the House of Commons for North Hertfordshire at the 1992 general election following the retirement of the Conservative MP Ian Stewart. He held the seat with a majority of 16,531 and has remained an MP since. He made his maiden speech on 9 June 1992 in which he spoke of his political beginnings on a soapbox at Speaker's Corner.
In Parliament he served on the Education Select Committee for two years from 1992. He was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister of State at the Home Office Peter Lloyd in 1994. Later in the year he became the PPS to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food William Waldegrave. He was promoted to serve in the government of John Major in 1995 when he was appointed as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Social Security, where he remained until the fall of the Conservative government in 1997. In 1995 he introduced the Insurance Companies (Reserves) Act.
His seat was abolished in 1997 and since that general election he has represented the new seat of North East Hertfordshire. After the election he became an Opposition Whip under the new leadership of William Hague, before moving on to become a spokesman on home affairs with responsibility for police matters. He was made a spokesman on health by Iain Duncan Smith for a year in 2001, until he joined his shadow cabinet as the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in 2002. He was appointed Shadow Leader of the House of Commons by Michael Howard in 2003. In 2004 he was then appointed to serve as Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and in 2005 was appointed by David Cameron as the Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
In July 2007 he became a backbencher following 13 years' continuous service on the Conservative Front Bench. From November 2007 to September 2012 he was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, and from March 2008-September 2012 he was a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. From July 2010 until September 2012 he was appointed to the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee and he has also been a member of the UK Delegation to the Council of Europe.
Return to government
In 2012, he returned to Government as Solicitor-General even though he had previously helped to lead the rebellion against the House of Lords Reform Bill which he vociferously opposed. However, he did not actually vote for or against the Bill which is probably related to his promotion.
Oliver became the executive Chairman of the Society of Conservative Lawyers in July 2008. He takes a particular interest in healthcare. He is married to Christine (née Whittle) and they have a son and two daughters. They live in the constituency, in the market town of Royston. He cites Willie Whitelaw as a mentor.
- Oliver Heald MP official site
- Oliver Heald's Blog official blog
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Oliver Heald MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Oliver Heald MP
- Open Rights Group - Oliver Heald MP
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for North Hertfordshire
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for North East Hertfordshire