Anne Main

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Anne Main
Member of Parliament
for St Albans
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Kerry Pollard
Majority 12,732 (23.4%)
Personal details
Born (1957-05-17) 17 May 1957 (age 60)
Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Andrew
Children 4
Alma mater Swansea University
University of Sheffield

Anne Margaret Main (born 17 May 1957) is a Conservative Party politician in Britain. She was elected at the 2005 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for St Albans, defeating the Labour incumbent Kerry Pollard, and was re-elected in 2010 and 2015.

Early life[edit]

Main was born in Cardiff, Wales. She went to the Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School in Rookwood Close in Llandaff, Cardiff. She read English at Swansea University obtaining a BA Hons, where she met her first husband, Stephen. She then obtained a PGCE from the University of Sheffield. She moved to the London area and taught English and drama at an inner London comprehensive school.

Political career[edit]

Main's political career began in 1999 when she became a town councillor in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.[1] She also served on South Bucks Council from 2001. In May 2005, she was elected as the Member of Parliament for St Albans.

On 13 August 2009, the local St Albans conservative association voted by a large margin (140 to 20 according to some sources[2]) to keep her as its candidate for the forthcoming general election, which had to be held before 3 June 2010. The local party vote was the consequence of a deselection bid, led by the association's chairwoman, in connection with public criticism over her parliamentary expenses.[3][4][5][6]

In the 2010 general election she yet again held on to her seat with an increased majority, despite a 3.75% swing to the Liberal Democrats.[7] She then massively increased her majority in May 2015 to 12,732, picking up some votes from the Liberal Democrats as part of the continuing collapse of that party's national support. Following the 2015 election, the Labour Party are again her main challengers with the Lib Dems slumping to third place in the Parliamentary constituency of St Albans.[8]

As of 29 April 2013, she is the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bangladesh.[9]

In 2013, she voted against numerous bills to legalise gay marriage.[10]

In the 2016 EU Referendum, Main campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union.[11] 62.7% of her constituency voted to remain.[12] As a result, some of Main's constituents have signed a petition calling for her resignation but the number was so few that they failed to reach even their own self-imposed target for the number of signatories.[13]


Main was investigated by The Daily Telegraph in May 2009 for claiming a second home allowance and a council tax discount for an apartment for a constituency home which was also lived in full-time and rent-free by her daughter.[14] On 26 June it became apparent that she would be facing a Parliamentary inquiry into these allegations under John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, following a formal complaint thought to be from a constituent.[15]

In February 2010 Lyon concluded that the public should not have been expected to meet living costs for Main's daughter and Main was ordered to repay £7,100 (being £2,100 wrongly claimed for food, along with an additional £5,000 to reflect the daughter's use of the flat), and to provide a written apology to the committee.[16][17][18] Main had argued the Fees Office had told her it was permissible for her daughter to share the second home.

Main claimed £22,000 a year for a second home, despite being able to commute both from her taxpayer-funded flat in St Albans, 26 miles from Westminster, or from her family house in Beaconsfield, 31 miles from Westminster.[19]

Main has privately apologised to the House of Commons for her expenses claims but is yet to apologise to her constituents in St Albans. [20]

Personal life[edit]

Main married Stephen Tonks in 1978, and they had a son and two daughters: Nick, Claire, and Jennifer. Stephen died of cancer, aged 34. In 1995, she married Andrew Jonathan Main, an IT director, with whom she had a fourth child, Alexander.[21]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Kerry Pollard
Member of Parliament for St Albans