Stephen Crabb

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The Right Honourable
Stephen Crabb
MP
Stephen Crabb MP.jpg
Secretary of State for Wales
Incumbent
Assumed office
15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Jones
Minister of State for Wales
In office
4 September 2012 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Jones
Succeeded by Alun Cairns
Member of Parliament
for Preseli Pembrokeshire
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Jackie Lawrence
Majority 4,605 (11.6%)
Personal details
Born (1973-01-20) 20 January 1973 (age 41)
Inverness, Scotland
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Béatrice Monnier
Alma mater University of Bristol
University of London
Website Official website

Stephen Crabb (born 20 January 1973) is a Welsh Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for Preseli Pembrokeshire since 2005 and Secretary of State for Wales since July 2014.[1] He had previously been a Government Whip and Wales Minister.[2] The BBC described his then-dual role as both a whip and a minister as unusual.[3][4]

Background[edit]

Crabb was born in Inverness, Scotland [5] to Scottish and Welsh parents. He and his two brothers were raised by a single mother in council housing in Pembrokeshire.[5] He was educated at local state schools the Fenton Infants School, Barn Street Junior School (now both called Fenton Community Primary School) on Portfield[citation needed] and Tasker Milward V.C. School in Haverfordwest[6][7] from 1984-91.

Crabb went to the University of Bristol, graduating in 1995 with a BSc in Politics.[6][7] As a student Crabb spent his summers working on building sites in different locations in England and Wales. For one job at a site on Newport Docks he lived in a tent during the week, returning to Pembrokeshire at weekends.[citation needed]

At Bristol, Crabb met his wife Béatrice through the EU Erasmus exchange programme.[citation needed]

Crabb holds a Master of Business Administration from the London Business School[6][7] and learnt French through the Open University.

Professional career[edit]

Crabb started his career in the youth and charity sector with the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services while working part-time as a youth worker in inner city south London. In 1998, Crabb started work at the London Chamber of Commerce and in 2002 he went on to become a marketing consultant.[7]

In 2004 he returned to Pembrokeshire and in 2005 he was elected as the local Member of Parliament. He was the youngest member of the 2005 Conservative intake.[7]

In December 2012, Crabb was named ITV Wales 'Member to Watch' in the Welsh Political Awards 2012.[8]

Crabb was trustee of Pembrokeshire foodbank charity, Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship, based in his parliamentary constituency.[9] In early 2014 This connection to PATCH caused some controversy and raised questions over Crabb's sincerity towards foodbank users when on 18 December 2013, at a parliamentary debate he voted against the publication of a 2013 investigation into foodbanks use and UK hunger and in the same motion voted against the call for the government to implement measures to reduce UK foodbank dependency.[10]

Political career[edit]

From 1995 to 1996 he was a Christian Action Research and Education parliamentary intern.[11][12]

In 1998, he was elected as the chairman of the Southwark North and Bermondsey Conservative Association for two years and in the same year was an election monitor in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 2004, Crabb returned to Pembrokeshire and in 2005 he was elected as the MP for the seat where he grew up – Preseli Pembrokeshire. He took the seat from Labour as one of only three Welsh Conservative MPs to end the ‘Tory free zone’ that had existed in Wales since 1997. He made his maiden speech on 25 May 2005.[13]

In the House of Commons Crabb served on the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, International Development Select Committee and Treasury Select Committee. In 2009 he was appointed to the Conservative frontbench as Junior Whip (a post which only exists in the Conservative Party). In 2010, Crabb became Assistant Government Whip in the Coalition Government.

Crabb takes an interest in international development, believing in the importance of UK aid.[14] In 2006 he chaired the Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission and from 2007-2009 he sat on the International Development Committee. In July 2008, he was the only MP to break ranks with the Committee over its calls for direct talks with the terrorist group Hamas.[citation needed] From 2010 to 2012 he led Project Umubano, the Conservative Party’s project which works in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.[14] He took a team of over 100 Party volunteers to Africa each year.

In 2012, he was appointed as a Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales. At the Wales Office, Crabb has led the work on maintaining the competitiveness of Wales’ energy intensive industries. Crabb is a passionate supporter of welfare reform and social mobility.[citation needed]

Crabb is a former patron of the Burma Campaign UK, the London based group campaigning for human rights and democracy in Burma.

In May 2009 it was revealed that Crabb claimed £8,049 on his second home expenses in order to refurbish a flat in London. After selling the flat for a profit, he "flipped" his expenses to cover a house that was being purchased for his family in Pembrokeshire. A room in another flat was then designated as his main home.[15] At the time he said, “I haven’t claimed for things like plasma TVs, even though the rules allow it. My claims were always within the letter and the spirit of the rules.”

In the 2010 elections on 6 May Crabb retained his seat with a majority of 4,605 and 42.79% of the vote.[16]

In the government cabinet reshuffle in July 2014 he was appointed Secretary of State for Wales[16] He became the first bearded Conservative cabinet minister since 1905.[17]

Work on Energy Intensive Industries[edit]

Since becoming a Wales Office minister in 2012, Crabb has led the work calling for relief for Wales' energy intensive industries. In December 2013 he brought together some of Wales' biggest high energy use companies including Tata Steel, Celsa and Valero to focus on the impact of energy costs on the competitiveness of Welsh businesses and agree a course of action.[citation needed] In the 2014 Spring Budget, The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would compensate energy intensive industries being hit hard by high energy costs. This was described as a 'feather in the cap' for Crabb.[18] Reportedly, one of his first acts as Welsh Secretary was to abandon his taxpayer subidised car, in favour of public transport. [19]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Béatrice Monnier and they have two children.[14] He is vice-captain of the Commons and Lords RFC rugby team,[14] and has run the London Marathon three times. Stephen learnt to play the guitar as a teenager, practising with his band on the housing estate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MP Stephen Crabb wins Wales Office promotion". BBC News. 5 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "The reshuffle: twist in the tail". BBC News. 5 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "The unexpected Wales Office call for Baroness Randerson". BBC News. 5 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Stephen Crabb MP on his new job in Wales Office". BBC News. 6 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Stephen Crabb to be Welsh secretary". The Guardian. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "About Stephen". stephencrabb.com. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Stephen Crabb MP appointed Secretary of State for Wales". www.gov.uk. UK Government. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Education Minister named Politician of the Year". ITV News. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Comdevelopment Ltd. "Stephen Crabb". Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Crabb's Foodbank Hypocrisy". Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Modell, David (18 May 2008). "Christian fundamentalists fighting spiritual battle in Parliament". Telegraph.co.uk (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "CARE Leadership Programme 2010–11" (PDF). www.care.org.uk. CARE. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  13. ^ "Oral Answers to Questions (25 May 2005)". Hansard 434 (79). [dead link]
  14. ^ a b c d "Stephen Crabb". http://www.conservatives.com. The Conservative Party. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  15. ^ Swaine, Jon (14 May 2009). "Stephen Crabb nominates fellow MP's flat as main home: MPs' expenses". Telegraph.co.uk (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  16. ^ a b "Stephen Crabb MP". http://www.parliament.uk/. UK Parliment. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  17. ^ Mason, Rowena (15 July 2014). "Stephen Crabb to be Welsh secretary". theguardian.com (London: Guardian News and Media Ltd). Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Graham Henry (19 March 2014). "Budget 2014: What will George Osborne's Budget statement mean for Wales?". Wales Online. 
  19. ^ Steffan Rhys (20 July 2014). "No Jags: New Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb scraps Jaguar on first day". Wales Online. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jackie Lawrence
Member of Parliament
for Preseli Pembrokeshire

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
David Jones
Secretary of State for Wales
2014–present
Incumbent