|The Right Honourable
|Minister of State for Care and Support|
11 May 2015
|Preceded by||Norman Lamb|
|Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs|
13 May 2010 – 7 October 2013
|Preceded by||Ivan Lewis|
|Succeeded by||Hugh Robertson|
|Deputy Chairman of the
January 2008 – 13 May 2010
|Minister of State for Social Security (Minister for the Disabled)|
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
7 June 2001
|Preceded by||Nicholas Lyell|
|Member of Parliament
for Bury North
9 June 1983 – 1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Constituency Created|
|Succeeded by||David Chaytor|
25 May 1955 |
Bury, Lancashire, England
|Spouse(s)||Eve Alexandra Twite|
|Alma mater||St John's College, Oxford|
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. 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 Burt was born in Bury then in Lancashire its historic county, and was educated at the Bury Grammar School, 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
He was elected as a councillor to the Haringey Borough Council in 1982 and left the council in 1984. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. After the 2005 general election he rejoined the front bench and was a spokesman on Local Government Affairs and Communities. 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 Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit. He is a member of the Political Council of the Henry Jackson Society. He is also a founder and was the 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. He is a Vice-President of the Tory Reform Group.
Burt was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on 14 May 2010. His roles there included overseeing British-Syria policy for three years that included the start of the Syrian Civil War, and leading on Israeli issues for the government at the United Nations. 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. He stepped down on 7 October 2013. Burt had been delegated under William Hague specific responsibilities for advancing FCO policy on:
- 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, and in December that year, was appointed a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons.
Critic of Syria policy
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". In June 2014 Burt called the lack of intervention in Syria "a disaster".
Funding and expenses
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.
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.
Burt married Eve Alexandra Twite in 1983 in Haringey, and they have two children. Eve works as the MP office manager for Alistair Burt. He is an active Christian. 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.
- "Alistair Burt MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- "Alistair Burt MP". The Enterprise Forum. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012.
- "Campaigns". Conservative Friends of Israel. February 2007. Archived from the original on 28 June 2007.
- "Advisory Council". Henry Jackson Society. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- "Alistair Burt profile". BBC News. 21 October 2002.
- "TRG People". Tory Reform Group. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- Patrick Wintour and Nicholas Watt (30 December 2013). "Alistair Burt reveals anger over Syria vote at Westminster". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- 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.
- Martin Bright (8 September 2011). "Alistair Burt to take charge of Britain's position at the UN". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- Robert Winnett (29 August 2013). "Syria crisis: No to war, blow to Cameron". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- "Alistair Burt MP". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013.
- Rupert Marquand (16 October 2013). "MP Alistair Burt appointed as Privy Councillor". Bedfordshire on Sunday. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- telegraph.co.uk: "Twenty years on, we're still digging up the dead of the Srebrenica massacre", 10 July 2015
- 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."
- "Alistair Burt was permitted to keep rent overcame". Daily Telegraph. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- Matt Chorley (13 September 2013). "'I shouldn't have to defend working for my MP husband': Minister's wife insists she is 'legally allowed' to be paid by the taxpayer". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Debate: Human Fertilisation And Embryology Bill". Hansard. UK Parliament. 12 May 2008. 12 May 2008 : Column 1143. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alistair Burt.|
- Alistair Burt MP official site
- North East Bedfordshire Conservatives
- Biggleswade Athletics Club, official site
- BBC Politics page
- Alistair Burt Profile at New Statesman Your democracy
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Bury North
Sir Nicholas Lyell
|Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire
|Minister of State for Social Security (Minister for the Disabled)