Alan Mak (politician)

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Alan Mak
Official portrait of Alan Mak crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2017
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
Assumed office
21 April 2021
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byDavid Duguid
Member of Parliament
for Havant
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byDavid Willetts
Majority21,792 (47.4%)
Personal details
Born (1983-11-19) 19 November 1983 (age 38)
York, England
Political partyConservative
Alma materPeterhouse, Cambridge
WebsiteOfficial website

Alan Mak (born 19 November 1983) is a British Conservative Party politician who was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Havant in Hampshire in 2015.

Early life[edit]

Mak was born in York[1] to Chinese parents born in Guangdong[2][3][4][5] who settled in Hong Kong before moving to England, where they owned a Chinese food take-away.[6] He attended Queen Anne Comprehensive School, York until the age of 13, before gaining an assisted place to attend St Peter's School, York.[7] He read Law at Peterhouse, Cambridge, winning the ECS Wade Prize for Administrative Law, before completing a post-graduate law & business diploma in Oxford, where he was a runner-up for the Oxford Leadership Prize.[8] He subsequently practised as a solicitor with Clifford Chance.[4][7][9]

Mak was named Graduate of the Year by Realworld in 2005. In 2010, he was recognised with the award for Young City Lawyer of the year in Square Mile magazine's 30 under 30 awards in 2010.[10]

Parliamentary career[edit]

2015 general election[edit]

During the election campaign it was alleged by the rival UKIP candidate that Mak had falsified his CV, presented to the local Conservative Association during the open primary in which he was selected as the Conservative candidate for Havant.[11] The allegations were that Mak had falsified endorsements from The Daily Telegraph and Conservative Home, exaggerated his business success, and misrepresenting his electoral performance in the 2014 Tower Hamlets London Borough Council election.[11] In the week following allegations about Mak's CV, the local press reported that a claim in his campaign literature—that he regularly attends St Faith's Church, Havant—had been repudiated by the church rector; a spokesman for the Diocese of Portsmouth confirmed that Mak had only been seen in the congregation for the installation of Fr Tom Kennar, in February 2015, over two months prior to the leaflet's publication.[12]

Mak was elected as Member of Parliament for Havant at the 2015 general election. He is the first East Asian to be elected to the House of Commons.[13][14][15] However, he is uncomfortable with being defined solely by his ethnic identity and has dismissed the notion that his election as MP would raise the profile of British East Asians. In an interview with the South China Morning Post's Post Magazine, he said "If the CFC and Chinese for Labour think I am going to be representing every Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean—and there are many in my constituency—they are mistaken. It's a stupid story. I am not standing for the Chinese population of Britain. I am standing for the people of Havant and my country".[7] Following his election he expressed concern about the attention his ethnicity, and subsequent political breakthrough, was receiving from both international media and British Chinese groups.[16]


In June 2015, Patrick Kidd wrote in The Times that Mak had gained a reputation for "self-promotion" amongst his parliamentary colleagues and "is getting up people’s noses".[17]

Despite positioning himself as a eurosceptic during Havant Conservative Association's process to select their prospective parliamentary candidate, and writing before the 2015 election that, "we shouldn’t be afraid to leave [the EU]",[18] Mak announced in February 2016 that he would campaign to remain in the EU in the June 2016 EU membership referendum.[19] This decision was criticised by local party members as a political "U-turn"[20] and received speculation in The Huffington Post as being affected by "careerism."[21]

Every year since 2016, Mak has run two annual constituency fairs, the Community Information Fair and the Jobs, Apprenticeships, and Careers Fair.[22][23] The same year he also started the Small Business Awards for recognising the best local businesses in the constituency.[24]

In June 2017, following the result of the 2017 general election, Mak was mocked by BBC presenter Simon McCoy due to his repetition of soundbites defending Theresa May. McCoy asked: "Is this a speech you have all been given to read out?" in response to Mak stating: "Our job is to make sure we form a strong and stable government" and to "provide certainty".[25]

Mak is recognised in Parliament for his work on future technology and founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.[26]

In 2018, Mak authored with the Centre for Policy studies a report on modernising the NHS on its 70th birthday which included 10 proposals and was backed by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.[27] Mak introduced two Private Members Bills focused on modernising the NHS. The first calling for the banning of fax machines and pagers[28] and the second proposing the NHS Reserves System Bill, which would create a volunteer reservist system in the NHS similar to the military reserve systems.[29]

In Government[edit]

On 21 April 2021, Mak was appointed a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (Government Whip).[30][31][32] Mak is the designated whip for the Ministry of Defence Ministers.[33] The appointment makes Mak the first British government minister of an ethnic Chinese origin.[34]


  1. ^ "Meet the First Ethnic Chinese Elected to the U.K. Parliament". Time. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  2. ^ Tsang, Mike; Mak, Alan (2012). "Abridged Interview". Between East and West. Archived from the original on 11 August 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Britain gains first ethnic Chinese MP". BBC News. 8 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b Cole, Harry (28 March 2015). "David Cameron's secret A-list". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 21 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Alan Mak to be UK's first ethnic Chinese lawmaker". Taipei Times. 9 May 2015.
  6. ^ McSpadden, Kevin (8 May 2015). "Meet the First Ever Ethnic Chinese Lawmaker Elected to the U.K. Parliament". Time. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "The British Chinese politician set to be first elected to Parliament". South China Morning Post. 3 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Alan Mak MP". Havant Conservatives. Archived from the original on 21 July 2020.
  9. ^ Simmons, Richard, Meet the lawyers standing for Parliament Archived 26 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Lawyer 2B, 10 April 2015
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ a b Elise Brewerton (24 April 2015). "Accusations fly as Havant election rivals go on the attack". Portsmouth News. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Questions raised on church attendance statement in election leaflet for Havant Tory candidate Alan Mak". Portsmouth News. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  13. ^ "General Election: Alan Mak holds Havant for Tories". Portsmouth News. 8 May 2015.
  14. ^ McSpadden, Kevin (8 May 2015). "Meet the First Ever Ethnic Chinese Lawmaker Elected to the U.K. Parliament". Time.
  15. ^ Lee, Danny (8 May 2015). "Politician Alan Mak makes history as first Chinese elected to British parliament". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 8 July 2016.
  16. ^ Katwala, Sunder (8 May 2015). "The Class of 2015 Enter Britain's Most Diverse Ever Parliament". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015.
  17. ^ Patrick Kidd (17 June 2015). "The Times Diary (TMS): Pope to rock Madison Square Garden and Theresa May tells a joke". The Times.
  18. ^ Paul Staines (23 February 2016). "Mak Backs 'In' After Telling Selectors He'd Back 'Out'". Guido Fawkes.
  19. ^ "Havant MP Alan Mak Statement on EU Re-Negotiation & EU Referendum". Alan Mak website. 23 February 2016.
  20. ^ Miles O'Leary (24 February 2016). "Havant MP accused of EU U-turn after he pledges to support referendum 'in campaign'". Portsmouth News.
  21. ^ Paul Waugh (24 February 2016). "The Waugh Zone February 24, 2016". Huffington Post.
  22. ^ "Jobs, Apprenticeships and Careers Fair 2020". Alan Mak MP. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  23. ^ "5th Annual Community Information Fair 2020". Alan Mak MP. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Havant MP Alan Mak launches first ever Small Business Awards". Alan Mak MP. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  25. ^ "BBC Presenter Laughs in Tory MP Alan Mak's Face For Repeating 'Strong And Stable' Slogan". HuffPost UK. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  26. ^ Hancock, Matt (16 October 2017). "The Fourth Industrial Revolution". GOV.UK. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  27. ^ "Purging the bleeping pager is key to digitising the NHS - Alan Mak MP". Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  28. ^ Mak, Alan (26 February 2019). "Purging the bleeping pager is key to digitising the NHS". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  29. ^ Roberts, Matt (23 November 2020). "MP proposes NHS reservists bill to strengthen health service". National Health Executive. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  30. ^ "Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury Alan Mak MP". British Government. 21 April 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  31. ^ "Ministers". UK government. 8 June 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021. Alan Mak MP Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury Unpaid
  32. ^ "Crown Office". Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  33. ^ "Defence Jobs". UK Hansard. 24 May 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021. I have been delighted to welcome to the Government Front Bench my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Leo Docherty) as our Veterans Minister and my hon. Friend the Member for Havant (Alan Mak) as our Defence Whip.
  34. ^ Bush, Stephen (23 April 2021). "The promotion of Alan Mak is meaningful in more ways than one". New Statesman. NS Media Group. Retrieved 23 July 2021.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Havant