Anne Marie Morris
Anne Marie Morris
Official portrait of Anne Marie Morris MP
|Member of Parliament |
for Newton Abbot
|Assumed office |
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Richard Younger-Ross (Teignbridge)|
|Born||5 July 1957|
|Alma mater||Hertford College, Oxford|
Anne Marie Morris (born 5 July 1957) is a British Conservative Party politician and former lawyer. She has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Newton Abbot since 2010. Morris was briefly suspended by the Conservative Party in 2017 for using the racially charged and offensive expression "nigger in the woodpile" during a public meeting.
Early life and career
Morris was born in London on 5 July 1957. She was privately educated at Bryanston School in Dorset and the University of Oxford, where she studied law. After a career working as a corporate lawyer, she became a marketing director for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Ernst and Young. She was elected as a councillor on West Sussex County Council for the division of Cuckfield & Lucastes in 2005 and went on to chair the council's Health Scrutiny Committee.
Following unsuccessful attempts to be selected as the Conservative candidate for the parliamentary seats of Lewes and Arundel and South Downs, in December 2006 Morris was selected by the local Conservative Association to contest the Newton Abbot constituency. In March 2007, Morris resigned as a councillor in West Sussex.
In the 2010 general election Morris was elected to the seat of Newton Abbot on a 5% swing from the Liberal Democrats. In a close contest, she defeated the incumbent, Richard Younger-Ross, who had been MP for the former constituency of Teignbridge, by 523 votes.
Morris attracted attention during Prime Minister's Questions in July 2012 as she shouted a long question on technical colleges in Devon over a noisy and increasingly amused Commons chamber, whilst waving a left arm held in a sling. Video of her "high-pitched outburst" was widely circulated on social media. Morris said she cared about the issue raised and would "always speak passionately about issues in my constituency."
In 2012, Morris was featured in an investigation by the BBC into MPs who owned property in London but claimed expenses for renting a separate property in the city. She was listed as one of 22 MPs who were undertaking the practice, which was legal, following a cap on the amount MPs could claim for mortgage costs.
In 2013 she was one of 30 Conservative rebels whose votes helped defeat the government's plans for military action in Syria. She later said she made the decision because the military action plans "felt ill-thought through and smacked of regime change", but supported plans for air strikes against ISIL.
Morris is interested in small businesses, and co-chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Micro Businesses until 2016. In 2014 she led the UK's first ever policy review to consider entrepreneurial education for all levels of education, 'An Education System for an Entrepreneur'. She served for three years on the Work and Pensions Committee until March 2015. She served for 6 months on the Public Accounts Committee until May 2017, before rejoining the committee in February 2018. In Newton Abbot she has established Teignbridge Business Buddies, a scheme that offers support to small businesses.
After she was compared unfavourably with her neighbouring MP Sarah Wollaston for failing to respond to messages by WriteToThem.com in November 2016, where she was ranked 627 out of 641 MPs, Morris criticised the methodology of the survey and stated: "Along with all MPs I do my level best to respond to all enquiries as soon as possible but in a number of different ways."
On 15 November 2018 she submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May's leadership.
In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Morris was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative Government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.
Conservative whip suspension and subsequent events
In July 2017, Morris faced calls for the Conservative whip to be withdrawn from her after being recorded on a parliamentary panel using the racist idiom "nigger in the woodpile" to describe the threat of leaving the EU without a deal, at the launch of a report into the future for the UK's financial sector after Brexit. Morris later stated that the comment was "totally unintentional" and gave an unreserved apology. Prime Minister Theresa May had ordered the Chief Whip to suspend the party whip after Morris' comments were published on the HuffPost website. The term had been used previously in the House of Lords by Conservative peer Lord Dixon-Smith in 2008.
This incident took place a few weeks after the 2017 general election campaign during which, Morris had to distance herself from an alleged "racist remark" made by her partner and election agent, Roger Kendrick, at a hustings, in which he claimed problems in the British education system were "due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates".
During the period of the whip being withdrawn, the local Conservative constituency party took no action at all and stood behind Ms Morris over the issue. She was present at several local events including one alongside Alison Hernandez the Devon and Cornwall, Police and Crime Commissioner. The whip was restored to Morris on 12 December 2017, one day before a crucial vote on the Brexit process. Although Morris voted with the Conservative Government, the Government was defeated by four votes.
Morris lives in Newton Abbot and London. Her former partner was the financier Roger Kendrick, who also formerly served as her election agent. The couple were featured in an article in The Sunday Times in March 2013 on how high earners could limit their tax bills.
- "Newton Abbot Academy Trust". Dellam Corporate Information. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
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- "Anne Marie Morris". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
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- "Committee examines health changes". BBC News. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Anne-Marie Morris adopted for Newton Abbot". conservativehome.blogs.com. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "BBC: Election Results 2010".
- Prince, Rosa (11 July 2012). "PMQs: Anne Marie Morris has MPs in stitches with her high-pitched Commons outburst". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "MPs expenses: 22 MPs get 'dual income' from London homes". BBC News. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- Eaton, George (30 August 2013). "MPs who voted against the Syria motion: the full list". New Statesman. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "Ann Marie Supports Air Strikes". Anne Marie Morris. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Osborn, Matt; Franklin, Will; Clarke, Seán; Straumann, Ralph. "2015 UK general election results in full". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "2017 General Election candidates in Devon". Devon Live. 11 May 2017. Archived from the original on 11 May 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- "House of Commons – Register of All-Party Groups as at 15 June 2012: Micro Businesses". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "New report calls for better integration of entrepreneur skills at all levels of education". enterprise.ac.uk. Enterprise Education. 2014. Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
- "Parliament Profile". GOV.UK. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Business buddy scheme launched by MP". Western Morning News. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
- Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- "MP 'among worst' for responding to messages". Mid Devon Advertiser. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Factbox: Who has submitted letters of no confidence in PM May?". Reuters UK. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- Stone, Jon (13 January 2016). "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". The Independent. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
- Bennett, Owen (10 July 2017). "Tory MP Anne Marie Morris Recorded Saying Brexit No Deal Is A 'N***** In A Woodpile'". HuffPost. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- PoliticsHome.com (10 July 2017). "Tories urged to sack MP who said no-deal Brexit was 'nigger in the woodpile'".
- "MP Anne Marie Morris suspended for racist remark". BBC News. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- Hope, Christopher (10 July 2017). "Theresa May's majority is reduced further after she suspends MP for using phrase 'n-r in the woodpile'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- Mason, Rowena (11 July 2017). "May orders Anne Marie Morris MP to be suspended after using N-word". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
- "Anne Marie Morris: Tory MP has whip restored after racist remark". BBC News. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Hussain, Ali (3 March 2013). "How high earners can cut tax by backing start ups". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
- "How did your MP vote on the successful Brexit amendment?". The Guardian. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Hansard – Oral and Written questions raised
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
as MP for Teignbridge
| Member of Parliament for Newton Abbot