Anne Main

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Anne Main

Member of Parliament
for St Albans
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byKerry Pollard
Majority6,109 (10.7%)
Personal details
Born (1957-05-17) 17 May 1957 (age 62)
Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Andrew
Children4
Alma materSwansea University
University of Sheffield

Anne Margaret Main (born 17 May 1957) is a Conservative Party politician. She was elected at the 2005 general election as the Member of Parliament for St Albans in Hertfordshire, and was re-elected in 2010, 2015 and 2017.

Early life[edit]

Main was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1957. She was state educated at 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 was elected as a town councillor in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.[1] She served as councillor for Beaconsfield South Ward on South Bucks District Council from 2001-2005. In May 2005, she was first elected as the Member of Parliament for St Albans; she defeated the sitting Labour MP Kerry Pollard, achieving a 6.6% swing.

At the 2010 general election she retained her seat with an increased majority, despite a 3.75% swing to the Liberal Democrats.[2] She then increased her majority in 2015 to 12,732 votes, picking up some votes from the Liberal Democrats as part of the continuing collapse of that party's support nationwide.[3]

At the snap 2017 general election, Main got 43% of the vote, Daisy Cooper (Liberal Democrat) got 32%, Kerry Pollard (Labour) got 23% and Jack Easton (Green Party) got 2%. UKIP declined to stand a candidate in recognition of Main's eurosceptic views.[4]

She is the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bangladesh[5] and has served on a number of Select Committees. She is currently a member of the Panel of Chairs. At the 2016 EU Referendum, Main campaigned for a "Leave" vote.[6]

Main largely votes in accordance with her party, but has rebelled over Brexit (which she supports), high-speed rail (which she opposes) and equal rights for gay marriage (which she opposes).[7][8]

Expenses[edit]

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.[9] On 26 June 2009, it was reported 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.[10]

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.[11][12][13] 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.[14]

Concerns raised in connection with her parliamentary expenses resulted in an attempted deselection by the local St Albans Conservative Association, with a local party vote led by the association's chairwoman.[15][16][17][18] On 13 August 2009, the local association voted by a large margin (140 to 20 according to some sources[19]) to keep her as its candidate for the forthcoming general election, which had to be held before 3 June 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Main lives with her family in Beaconsfield. She married her first husband Stephen Tonks in 1978, and they had a son and two daughters: Nick, Claire, and Jennifer. Stephen Tonks died of cancer, aged 34. In 1995, she married Andrew Jonathan Main, an IT director, with whom she had a fourth child, Alexander.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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."
  2. ^ "Election 2010 - Constituency - St Albans". BBC News.
  3. ^ "St Albans City & District Council: Election Results 2015". www.stalbans.gov.uk.
  4. ^ "St Albans parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  5. ^ "House of Commons - Register Of All-Party Groups as at 30 July 2015 : Bangladesh". publications.parliament.uk.
  6. ^ White, Debbie. "EU Referendum: St Albans MP Anne Main "backing Britain"". Herts Advertiser.
  7. ^ "MPs who voted against gay marriage: full list - Coffee House". 5 February 2013.
  8. ^ "They Work For You". GOV.UK. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  9. ^ "MPs' expenses: Anne Main and a rent-free flat for her daughter 25 miles from home". The Daily Telegraph. 22 May 2009.
  10. ^ Prince, Rosa (26 June 2009). "MPs' expenses: Anne Main facing inquiry". The Daily Telegraph.
  11. ^ "Tory MP Anne Main ordered to repay £7,100 after flat probe". The Independent.
  12. ^ "St Albans MP Anne Main's expenses payback: the full story". St Albans and Harpenden Review.
  13. ^ "House of Commons - Mrs Anne Main - Standards and Privileges Committee". publications.parliament.uk.
  14. ^ Sawyer, Patrick (12 July 2008). "MPs claim expenses for unnecessary homes". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  15. ^ Prince, Rosa (31 July 2009). "Anne Main: expenses de-selection battle descends into dirty tricks row". The Daily Telegraph.
  16. ^ Watson, Iain (13 August 2009). "Tory MP faces deselection battle". BBC News. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  17. ^ Bloxham, Andy (13 August 2009). "Tory MP Anne Main wins fight against deselection". The Daily Telegraph.
  18. ^ "Tory MP survives deselection bid". BBC News. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  19. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Anne Main MP faces deselection vote this evening... and survives". conservativehome.blogs.com.
  20. ^ "Meet the MP: Anne Main". BBC News. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Kerry Pollard
Member of Parliament for St Albans
2005–present
Incumbent