Richard Taylor (British politician)

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Dr Richard Taylor
Richard Taylor MP.JPG
Member of Parliament
for Wyre Forest
In office
7 June 2001 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by David Lock
Succeeded by Mark Garnier
Personal details
Born (1934-07-07) 7 July 1934 (age 80)
Political party Health Concern (2001–)
National Health Action Party (2012–present)
Alma mater Clare College, Cambridge
Profession Medical Doctor

Richard Thomas Taylor FRCP (born 7 July 1934) is an English doctor and politician. He served as an Independent Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest between 2001 and 2010.[2] He is Co-Leader of the National Health Action Party.

Background and education[edit]

The son of Thomas Taylor and his wife Mabel Hickley, Taylor was educated at The Leys School, the same school as the former Independent MP Martin Bell, who was two years below him. Taylor went to Clare College Cambridge, and the former Westminster Medical School, now part of the Imperial College School of Medicine.

Medical career[edit]

  • 1959-1961: House appointments at Westminster, Kingston and London Chest Hospital, London
  • 1961-1964: Medical Officer, Royal Air Force
  • 1964-1972: Registrar and senior registrar appointments in London hospitals
  • 1972-1995: Consultant physician, Kidderminster General Hospital

Parliamentary career[edit]

Before entering politics, Taylor was a member of his local Health Authority, chairman of Kidderminster Hospital League of Friends (1996–2001), and a committee member of the Save Kidderminster Hospital Campaign (1997–2001).

Standing for Parliament as an Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern candidate at the 2001 general election, Taylor campaigned largely on a single issue, that of restoring the Accident & Emergency department of Kidderminster Hospital,[3] which had been closed in 2000 due to cuts in the NHS. Taylor won with a majority of 18,000, defeating the incumbent Labour MP and junior minister, David Lock. The Liberal Democrats decided not to put up a candidate against him. The Liberal Democrats had previously stood down when faced with another independent candidate - Martin Bell in Tatton in 1997.

Taylor was re-elected at the 2005 election with a reduced majority of 5,250; again the Liberal Democrats stood aside. Conservative candidate Mark Garnier took second place and Labour were pushed into third in the constituency. This made Taylor the first independent MP to retain a seat in the House of Commons in a second election since Frank Maguire in 1979.[4]

He became secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Patient and Public Involvement in Health.[5] He was a member of the Health Select Committee 2001-2010 and also became co-chair of All Party Local Hospital Group, Vice Chairman of All Party Group on Cancer, Vice Chairman od Associate Parliamentary Flood Prevention Group, Secretary of All Party Group on Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

While his speeches in the Commons were mostly confined to the health service, Taylor also laid out an atypical collection of political views. These non-health policies included support for the renationalisation of the British railway system, and the availability of cannabis as a controlled drug.[6] He also opposed the Iraq war [7] and student top up fees.

The Liberal Democrats decided to oppose Taylor during the 2010 general election, and Taylor was defeated by the Conservative candidate, Mark Garnier.

Personal life[edit]

In 1962, Taylor married Ann Brett and they had one son and two daughters. After this marriage was dissolved, in 1990 he married Christine Miller and with her had a further daughter, Georgie.

He currently resides in Kidderminster.



  • Who's Who (A & C. Black, London, 2003) page 2125

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Lock
Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest
Succeeded by
Mark Garnier