Richard Younger-Ross

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Richard Younger-Ross
Richard Younger-Ross MP at Bournemouth.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Teignbridge
In office
7 June 2001 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Patrick Nicholls
Succeeded by Anne-Marie Morris
Personal details
Born (1953-01-29) 29 January 1953 (age 61)
Surrey
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrat
Spouse(s) Susan Younger (married 1982)
Alma mater Oxford Brookes
Religion Roman Catholicism

Richard Alan Younger-Ross (born Richard Alan Ross, 29 January 1953, Surrey) is a politician in England. He was the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Teignbridge from 2001 to 2010, having contested the seat in 1992 and 1997, finally winning in the 2001 election. He was defeated in the redefined Newton Abbot constituency in 2010 election.

Early life[edit]

Richard Younger-Ross was born in Surrey in 1953. He attended Walton County Secondary School for Boys (a secondary modern, which became Ambleside Junior School, then Walton Oak primary school) on Ambleside Avenue in Walton on Thames, Brooklands Technical College on Heath Road in Weybridge, then Ewell Technical College (now called North East Surrey College Of Technology - NESCOT) in Ewell. He studied at Oxford Polytechnic, now Oxford Brookes University. Before becoming a politician, he was an architectural consultant.

Parliamentary career[edit]

He was a member of the Defence Select Committee and was the Lib Dem Spokesperson for Heritage.

He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee between 2005-2008.

In 2005 he proposed amendments to the Water Bill to create a water charge equalisation scheme to reduce the very high costs of water in the South West. This proposal is being considered by the Government following the Walker Report.

In 2006, Younger-Ross proposed a Ten Minute Rule Bill restricting Sunday trading hours in the UK for shops, arguing that without such legislation the British people would lose "rhythm of life" (House of Commons Debate, 24 May 2006). He is a member of the Beveridge Group.[1]

In 2008 he proposed that Park Home Site owners should be "fit and proper people", a proposal currently being consulted on by the Government.

Personal life[edit]

Younger-Ross moved to Teignmouth, Devon in 1989, with his wife, Susan Younger, whom he married in 1982 in Oxford. He is a Roman Catholic, attending a church in Teignmouth.

Expenses controversy[edit]

On 16 May 2009, The Daily Telegraph released details of several of Younger-Ross's parliamentary expense claims.[2] The disclosures were part of the newspaper's wider disclosure of expenses of British Members of Parliament.

Younger-Ross was reported to have claimed more than £1200 for 5 mirrors to furnish his London flat, on which the rent was £1566 per month. A further £1475 was claimed for a single chest of drawers. These claims were submitted and approved by the Fees Office despite the fact that it was in excess of the so-called 'John Lewis List' . It was not issued to MPs but states that MPs should not spend more than £500 on chests of drawers or more than £300 on a mirror.[3]

The Telegraph interpreted the claims as excessive, stating that they were "in clear breach of guidelines that state members must not use public funds" for "antique or luxury" goods.[2] When questioned on Sky TV he apologised saying that perceptions of what was luxury depended on your background and income, "clearly we have got it wrong".

On 21 March 2010 Mr Younger-Ross was forced to apologise and pay £4,000 to Parliament after breaching commons rules over a payment he accepted relating to his second home. Mr Younger-Ross had accepted £8,000 windfall money from the new landlord of his second home in Dolphin Square, London. In a letter to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee, Mr Younger-Ross said: "I wholly accept the report and its conclusions and unreservedly apologise." MPs had been told they could accept this payment by the fees office. Many MPs profited from using the allowance to assist them buying a home, the House of Commons considered this to be acceptable although they may profit by tens of thousands of pounds on the sale of the property.[4]

Subsequent to this, the Telegraph reported that a number of MPs had secretly requested refunds of their initially repaid expense claims after demands received from the House of Commons were lower than expected. Mr Younger-Ross received the fourth largest refund, an amount of £3,170.92, thereby effectively negating the entirety of his initial payment. [5]

Hunting[edit]

Younger-Ross has a controversially mixed voting record on Hunting, rebelling against his party whips and voting against the ban during the amendment stage of the bill and earlier abstaining on the key vote. He argued that although he disliked hunting he would not vote for a ban which did not compensate those who had legitimately made a living from it. Two wrongs do not make a right he said.[6]

Penal Reform[edit]

Younger-Ross is a member of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

References[edit]

  1. ^ About us - The Beveridge Group 2007-10-28
  2. ^ a b Beckford, Martin (16 May 2009). "Richard Younger-Ross spent £1,235 on four mirrors and bought 'Don Juan’ bookcase : MPs' expenses". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-07-10. 
  3. ^ "In full: MPs' 'John Lewis list'". BBC News. 13 March 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-10. 
  4. ^ Bell, John L (1 April 2010). "Teign MP in apology over expenses scandal". This is Exeter. Retrieved 2011-07-10. 
  5. ^ Prince, Rosa (15 August 2010). "MPs’ expenses: disgraced MPs obtain secret refunds". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  6. ^ "Richard Younger-Ross MP, Teignbridge". Publicwhip.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-10. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Patrick Nicholls
Member of Parliament for Teignbridge
2001 - 2010
Succeeded by
Anne-Marie Morris