Anne Marie Morris

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Anne Marie Morris
Official portrait of Anne Marie Morris crop 2.jpg
Official Parliamentary portrait, June 2017
Member of Parliament
for Newton Abbot
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Constituency established
Majority 17,160 (33.3%)
Personal details
Born (1957-07-05) 5 July 1957 (age 60)
London, England,[1] United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Hertford College, Oxford

Anne Marie Morris (born 5 July 1957)[2] is a British politician who was elected at the 2010 general election as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Newton Abbot.

She had the Conservative whip suspended from July to December 2017, following the emergence of a recording of her using the phrase "nigger in the woodpile".[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Morris was elected as a councillor on West Sussex County Council for the division of Cuckfield & Lucastes in 2005. She chaired the council's Health Scrutiny Committee.[4][5] In March 2007 Morris resigned after she was selected as the Conservative candidate for Newton Abbot.

Parliamentary career[edit]

In 2006 Morris was selected by the local Conservative association to contest the Newton Abbot parliamentary constituency.[6]

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, by 523 votes.[7]

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.[8] Morris said she cared about the issue raised and would "always speak passionately about issues in my constituency."[8]

In 2013 she was one of 30 Conservative rebels whose votes helped defeat the government's plans for military action in Syria.[9] 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.[10]

In the 2015 general election, she increased her majority to 11,288 and again in the 2017 election to 17,160.[11][12]

Morris is interested in small businesses, and co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Micro Businesses.[13] In Newton Abbot she has established Teignbridge Business Buddies, a scheme that offers support to small businesses.[14]


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.[15][16][17] Morris later stated that the comment was "totally unintentional" and gave her unreserved apology.[17][3] The suspension came after Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the Chief Whip to suspend the party whip after Morris' comments were published on the HuffPost website.[18] The term had been used previously in the House of Lords by Conservative peer Lord Dixon-Smith in 2008.[3][19]

During the 2017 general election campaign a few weeks earlier, Morris had distanced herself from an alleged "racist remark" made by her partner and election agent, Roger Kendrick, at a hustings, in which he blamed the "high birth rates" of immigrants for problems in the education system.[20]

The whip was restored to Morris on 12 December 2017.[21]


  1. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Newton Abbot Academy Trust". Dellam Corporate Information. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "MP Anne Marie Morris suspended for racist remark". BBC News. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  4. ^ Kendrick, Roger. "About Anne Marie". Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Committee examines health changes". BBC News. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  6. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Anne-Marie Morris adopted for Newton Abbot". 2 December 2006. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "BBC: Election Results 2010". 
  8. ^ a b 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. 
  9. ^ "MPs who voted against the Syria motion: the full list". New Statesman. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Ann Marie Supports Air Strikes". Anne Marie Morris. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Osborn, Matt; Franklin, Will; Clarke, Seán; Straumann, Ralph. "2015 UK general election results in full". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "2017 General Election candidates in Devon". Devon Live. 11 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "House of Commons – Register of All-Party Groups as at 15 June 2012: Micro Businesses". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Business buddy scheme launched by MP". Western Morning News. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ (10 July 2017). "Tories urged to sack MP who said no-deal Brexit was 'nigger in the woodpile'". 
  17. ^ a b "MP Anne Marie Morris apologises for racist remark". BBC. 10 July 2017. 
  18. ^ "Theresa May's majority is reduced further after she suspends MP for using phrase 'n-r in the woodpile'". The Daily Telegraph. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  19. ^ Mason, Rowena (11 July 2017). "May orders Anne Marie Morris MP to be suspended after using N-word". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2017. 
  20. ^ Clark, Daniel (1 June 2017). "Tory candidate distances herself from 'racist remark' made by her agent and partner at hustings". Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  21. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Younger-Ross
as MP for Teignbridge
Member of Parliament for Newton Abbot