|Member of Parliament
for St Albans
5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Kerry Pollard|
17 May 1957 |
Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
|Alma mater||University of Sheffield, Swansea University|
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.
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 Sheffield University. She moved to the London area and taught English and drama at an inner London comprehensive school.
Main's political career began in 1999 when she became a town councillor in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. 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) 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.
In the 2010 general election she held on to her seat with an increased majority, despite a 3.75% swing to the Liberal Democrats. She increased her majority in May 2015 to 12,732, picking up some votes from the Liberal Democrats as part of the collapse of that party's national support.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
- St Albans & Harpenden Review – St Albans MP Anne Main's full interview with John Lyon, November 2009, in which she states that "My family are based in our main home [in Beaconsfield] and I like to get home and see my husband in the evening."
- Conservative Home Blogs – Anne Main MP faces deselection vote ... and survives
- The Daily Telegraph – Anne Main: expenses de-selection battle descends into dirty tricks row
- BBC News – Tory MP faces deselection battle
- The Daily Telegraph – Tory MP Anne Main wins fight against deselection
- BBC News – Tory MP survives deselection bid
- BBC Election 2010 – St Albans constituency result
- Register Of All-Party Groups
- The Daily Telegraph – Anne Main and a rent-free flat
- The Daily Telegraph – MPs' expenses: Anne Main facing inquiry
- The Independent – Tory MP Anne Main ordered to repay £7,100 after flat probe
- St Albans & Harpenden Review – St Albans MP Anne Main's expenses payback: the full story
- House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee – Eighth Report: Mrs Anne Main, February 2010)
- Sawyer, Patrick (12 July 2008). "MPs claim expenses for unnecessary homes". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for St Albans