Alistair Burt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
Alistair Burt
Alistair Burt (4606004237).jpg
Burt in 2010
Minister of State for Care and Support
In office
11 May 2015 – 15 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Norman Lamb
Succeeded by Philip Dunne
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
13 May 2010 – 7 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Ivan Lewis
Succeeded by Hugh Robertson
Deputy Chairman of the
Conservative Party
for Development
In office
January 2008 – 13 May 2010
Minister of State for Social Security (Minister for the Disabled)
In office
5 July 1995 – 4 May 1997
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by William Hague
Succeeded by Paul Boateng
Member of Parliament
for North East Bedfordshire
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Nicholas Lyell
Majority 18,942 (34.1%)
Member of Parliament
for Bury North
In office
9 June 1983 – 1 May 1997
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by David Chaytor
Personal details
Born Alistair James Hendrie Burt
(1955-05-25) 25 May 1955 (age 61)
Bury, Lancashire, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Eve Alexandra Twite
Residence Wootton, Bedfordshire
Alma mater St John's College, Oxford
Website Official website

Alistair James Hendrie Burt (born 25 May 1955) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Bedfordshire since 2001 and served as the MP for his native Bury North in Greater Manchester from 1983 until 1997.[1] Burt was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State then Minister of State at the Department of Social Security from 1992 to 1997, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2010 to 2013. Alistair was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health in May 2015.

Early life[edit]

Alistair Burt was born in Bury, then in Lancashire its historic county, and was educated at the Bury Grammar School,[1] where he was appointed Head Boy in 1973, and St John's College, Oxford where he was elected president of the Oxford Law Society in 1976 and graduated with a degree in jurisprudence law in 1977. He became an articled clerk with Slater Heelis & Co. of Manchester in 1978, becoming a solicitor with Watts Vallence & Vallence in 1980 where he remained until 1983.

Early parliamentary career[edit]

He was elected as a councillor to the Haringey Borough Council in 1982 and left the council in 1984.[1] He contested the new seat of Bury North at the 1983 general election at which he was elected as the Conservative MP for Bury North with a majority of 2,792 votes. He represented the seat until 1997 and returned to parliament again in 2001.[1]

In Parliament Alistair Burt became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for the Environment Kenneth Baker in 1985, he remained as PPS to Baker in his role as Secretary of State for Education and Science from 1986 and in his role as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1989 until 1990.[1] After the 1992 general election Burt was promoted to the government of John Major and became the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Social Security where he remained until 1995 when he was promoted further with the rank of Minister of State at the same department.[1] He was one of many ministers who lost their seats at the 1997 general election when Bury North fell to Labour's David Chaytor by 7,866 votes. From 1997-2001 he worked at executive search firm Whitehead Mann GKR.[2]

Opposition years[edit]

Alistair Burt re-entered parliament at the 2001 general election for the very safe Conservative seat of Bedfordshire North East which had been represented in parliament by the former Attorney General Nicholas Lyell who had retired. Burt was elected with a majority of 8,577, and has remained as an MP since. He was made an opposition spokesman on Education and Skills under William Hague in 2001, before he became the PPS to the Leader of the Opposition Iain Duncan Smith in 2002 and carried on as PPS to the new leader Michael Howard.[1] After the 2005 general election he rejoined the front bench and was a spokesman on Local Government Affairs and Communities.[1] However, in January 2008, Burt was promoted to Assistant Chief Whip and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for Internal Development.

Burt is a former officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel, a position which he resigned upon entering government as a Minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In December 2008, he led an all-Party group meeting with the Red Cross to campaign for visiting rights for the Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit.[3] He is a member of the Political Council of the Henry Jackson Society.[4] He is also joint founder and first Chairman of The Enterprise Forum, an organisation set up in 1997 to facilitate discussions on policy between the Business Community and the Conservative Party.[5] He is a Vice-President of the Tory Reform Group.[6]

Cameron-Clegg ministry[edit]

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman meeting with U.K. Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt in Baabda Palace, 14 July 2010

Burt was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for three years, afterwards promoted to a Minister of State from 1995 to 1997, at the Department of Social Security.[1]

Burt was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on 14 May 2010.[1] His roles there included overseeing British-Syria policy for three years that included the start of the Syrian Civil War,[7][8] and leading on Israeli issues for the government at the United Nations.[9] Burt was angered at the failure of MPs in August 2013 to support the British government's plan to participate in military strikes against the Syrian government, in the wake of a chemical-weapons attack at Ghouta.[7][10] He stepped down on 7 October 2013.[11] Burt had been delegated under William Hague specific responsibilities for advancing FCO policy on:[12]

  • Afghanistan and South Asia
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • North America
  • Counter terrorism
  • Counter proliferation
  • FCO finance
  • Human resources and diversity

After standing down from the FCO, Burt was made a Privy Councillor on 16 October 2013,[13] and in December that year, was appointed a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons.[14]

Critic of Syria policy[edit]

As a former minister, he was freed to argue that the parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria was a bad precedent, and it would be better if the government made decisions such as this in future by "executive action".[8] In June 2014 Burt called the lack of intervention in Syria "a disaster".[15]

Cameron ministry[edit]

After the Conservative victory in the United Kingdom general election, 2015 on 11 May, Burt returned to Government as Minister of State for Care and Support in the Department of Health.

Funding and expenses[edit]

The North East Bedfordshire Constituency Association has received £34,911.93 in donations since 2005. Burt has received a variety of corporate donations from conservative groups, the largest of which was £32,071.93 from The Association of Conservative Clubs Ltd in 2005.[16]

In 2009 Burt was found to have over-claimed for rent by £1000, but was not required to return the money as he was not claiming expenses for food.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Burt married Eve Alexandra Twite in 1983 in Haringey. Eve works as the MP office manager for Alistair Burt. He is an active Christian.[18] He enjoys athletics and football, and supports Bury F.C. He is a member of Biggleswade Athletics Club, and has run many London Marathons and Harrold Pit Runs.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Alistair Burt MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Alistair Burt MP". The Enterprise Forum. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Campaigns". Conservative Friends of Israel. February 2007. Archived from the original on 28 June 2007. 
  4. ^ "Advisory Council". Henry Jackson Society. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Alistair Burt profile". BBC News. 21 October 2002. 
  6. ^ "TRG People". Tory Reform Group. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Patrick Wintour and Nicholas Watt (30 December 2013). "Alistair Burt reveals anger over Syria vote at Westminster". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Ian Johnston (31 December 2013). "Former Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt warns of dangerous precedent created by Parliament's Syria vote". The Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Martin Bright (8 September 2011). "Alistair Burt to take charge of Britain's position at the UN". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Robert Winnett (29 August 2013). "Syria crisis: No to war, blow to Cameron". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Alistair Burt MP". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Rupert Marquand (16 October 2013). "MP Alistair Burt appointed as Privy Councillor". Bedfordshire on Sunday. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Twenty years on, we're still digging up the dead of the Srebrenica massacre", 10 July 2015
  15. ^ Patrick Wintour (15 June 2014). "Tony Blair's call for anti-Isis drive criticised". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2014. Alistair Burt, the recent Conservative foreign office minister for the Middle East, also agreed with Blair in part by saying: "In Syria we've now seen an example of non-western intervention, it's a disaster." 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Alistair Burt was permitted to keep rent overcame". Daily Telegraph. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Debate: Human Fertilisation And Embryology Bill". Hansard. UK Parliament. 12 May 2008. 12 May 2008 : Column 1143. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Bury North
Succeeded by
David Chaytor
Preceded by
Sir Nicholas Lyell
Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire
Political offices
Preceded by
William Hague
Minister of State for Social Security (Minister for the Disabled)
Succeeded by
Paul Boateng