Bill Wiggin

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Bill Wiggin

Official portrait of Bill Wiggin MP crop 2.jpg
Chair of the Committee of Selection
Assumed office
24 June 2015
Preceded byGeoffrey Clifton-Brown
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
In office
11 November 2003 – 8 December 2005
LeaderMichael Howard
Preceded byNigel Evans
Succeeded byCheryl Gillan
Member of Parliament
for North Herefordshire
Leominster (2001–2010)
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded byPeter Temple-Morris
Majority24,856 (48.7%)
Personal details
Born (1966-06-04) 4 June 1966 (age 54)
London, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Milly Wiggin
Alma materBangor University
WebsiteOfficial website
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Welch Fusiliers

William David Wiggin (born 4 June 1966) is a British Conservative Party politician, and a former Shadow Minister for Agriculture & Fisheries. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Herefordshire since the 2010 general election, having previously represented the Leominster constituency from 2001 general election until it was abolished in 2010. The two constituencies cover much of the same area. In December 2019, Wiggin won 63% of the vote and a majority of 24,856. [1]

Early life[edit]

Wiggin was born in London in 1966.[2] He attended Eton College, where he was an older contemporary of David Cameron,[3] and later read Economics at the Bangor University, gaining a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in 1988.[4] He also served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers in the TA, being a platoon commander for Holyhead, Bangor and Caernarfon.

Following this, Wiggin worked as a Trader in Foreign Exchange Options for UBS from 1991–3, then was an Associate Director of Kleinwort Benson from 1994–8, then as a manager in the Foreign Exchange department of Commerzbank from 1998.[5]

Political career[edit]

Wiggin was selected as the official Conservative Party candidate for Burnley at the 1997 general election. He finished in second place behind Peter Pike of the Labour Party, who defeated him with a majority of 17,062 votes.[6] He was selected as the Conservative Party candidate for the Conservative safe seat of Leominster in April 1999, replacing Peter Temple-Morris, who had defected to the Labour Party. He was elected in 2001 with a majority of 10,367 votes over his Liberal Democrat opponent.

Initially a backbencher, he became a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee in 2002. During 2003, Michael Howard appointed him to the position of Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.

In January 2009, Wiggin became a whip.

He was re-elected at the 2005 general election with a 2.4% swing in his favour. In the reshuffle following the election, he was moved to Shadow Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries, where he remained until the 2010 general election.

Wiggin has voted against a blanket ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants, the 2004 Hunting Bill which outlawed fox hunting, and some sections of the Prevention of Terrorism bills.

During parish council elections in Leominster during September 2009, Wiggin complained to the returning officer about the leaflets of a candidate who was standing to protest at Wiggin's parliamentary expenses. The candidate, Jim Miller, was disqualified by the returning officer, who was also the chief executive of the Conservative-run Herefordshire County Council. This left the Conservative candidate unopposed. According to The Telegraph, Miller was disqualified over a technicality that the council previously told him had been resolved.[7] The Mayor of Leominster expressed his astonishment at Wiggin's intervention. "I was just stunned that Wiggin contacted the returning officer,” “It’s not totally blatant, but what in god’s name is an MP doing poking his nose into a little parish election? I can’t understand what he thinks he’s up to."[7]

Wiggin was re-elected at the 2010 general election for the new constituency of North Herefordshire (UK Parliament constituency) with a reduced majority, after Parliament had accepted the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which slightly altered his former Leominster constituency to exclude those areas of the former county of Hereford and Worcester which are now in Worcestershire.

In June 2013, Wiggin spoke in debate in favour of the badger cull, saying he supported the Government policy to "combat" bovine tuburculosis.[8]

In May 2015, Wiggin was re-elected once again increasing his vote share by 3.9% and more than doubling his majority from 9,887 to 19,996 votes.[9]

Following the election, Wiggin was initially set to contest the Chairmanship of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Select Committee against eventual chair Neil Parish MP.[10] Instead Wiggin was subsequently appointed as Chair of the Committee of Selection.[11] As Chair of this Select Committee, Wiggin will also sit on the Liaison Committee [12] which takes evidence from the Prime Minister and did so on four occasions during the 2014/15 Parliamentary session.

He is a member of the European Research Group and signed a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May on 16 February 2018 regarding Brexit negotiations.[13][14]

Wiggin has described the trend away from eating meat as “a disaster for British agriculture.” He has also advised MPs “not to be fooled” by arguments against chlorinated chicken.[15]

In December 2019, Bill Wiggin held his Conservative seat of North Herefordshire with 63% of the vote and a majority of 24,856. [1]

Local Campaigns[edit]

Within his constituency, Wiggin successfully campaigned for improved broadband to rural areas, and helped to secure funding for a new swimming pool.[5]

Wiggin has also campaigned for improved flood defences in Herefordshire, and frequently raises the issue in the House of Commons [16]

In 2007, he took Environment Secretary Hilary Benn on a tour including some of the areas affected by the summer 2007 floods, and in 2009 he took representatives from the Environment Agency on a series of visits to some of the villages and towns worst affected.

In 2014, Wiggin met with Dafydd Evans, Environment Agency Area Manager for the West Midlands, to press for action to enhance local flood defences.[17] It was then announced that £150,000 of work would take place in North Herefordshire over the following year.[citation needed]

One of Wiggin's longest-standing campaigns has been the improvement of rail services in North Herefordshire. In the past, he has helped to secure disabled access at Leominster Station and in 2012 he held a consultation on the new Rail Franchise at Ledbury Station. He regularly petitions the Government for improved services in North Herefordshire and in 2014 he contributed to the Great Western Franchise consultation with his constituents' views.[18]

Agricultural Accidents Bill[edit]

Wiggin has also campaigned for better recording of agricultural accidents, namely those involving cattle. In April 2014, he presented a 10 Minute Rule Bill in Parliament to require the Health and Safety Executive to record certain details of such accidents and to report these details annually.[citation needed]

Following Wiggin's meeting with Rick Brunt, Head of Agriculture at the HSE, Minister Mike Penning MP announced that the HSE would start to collect and publish the data.[19] This included TB testing, presence of a dog, breed of cattle and the proper circumstances and ages of cattle, details of those injured; whether a right of way was involved, whether the person was trespassing, and any other relevant and useful information.

Hereford County Hospital beds campaign[edit]

Wiggin renewed his call for more beds at Hereford County Hospital following a visit in September 2014, during which he toured one of the Canadian hutted units.[20]

In December 2014, Wiggin questioned the Prime Minister during PMQs about Hereford County Hospital and sought his support for increasing the Hospital's capacity.[21] Following Wiggin's PMQ, the Prime Minister informed Wiggin he would send a Minister to look at the Hospital and in February 2015 Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt paid a visit.[22]

In June 2015, Wiggin welcomed the contract awarded to Kier Group to deliver a programme of reconfiguration at Hereford County Hospital for the Wye Valley NHS Trust. The planned work includes increasing capacity at the hospital and replacing the 75-year-old 'Canadian Huts' currently used as inpatient wards and relocating both the endoscopy and day surgery facilities.[23]

Expense claims[edit]

During the parliamentary expenses scandal the Daily Telegraph reported that Wiggin had wrongly claimed more than £11,000 mortgage payments on his Herefordshire property.[24] This property had no mortgage and Wiggin who had made 23 declarations that it was his main home said the expenses were claimed in error.[24] The Committee found that Wiggin's mortgage claims were the result of "an unfortunate and unintended muddle" which should have been picked up much more quickly, though no cost to the public purse resulted because Wiggin was entitled to claim for the mortgage payments on his London home. The committee expressed disappointment that Wiggin had not been cooperative with the enquiry as required by the Code of Conduct.[25]

His claims for household bills were also investigated following a complaint by Mr Miller.[26] Wiggin had routinely claimed £240 a month for household bills and whilst the Standards and Privileges Committee confirmed that he could claim up to £250 a month without a receipt, this was to cover costs actually incurred.[25]

Wiggin "chose not to" take up the Committee's invitation to check his expenses with his bank and service providers and, on balance of probability they found he overclaimed expenses for council tax, telephone and workmen's bills.[25]

In October 2010, Wiggin apologised to the House and was ordered to repay £4,009 utility expenses.[27]

Register of Members' Interests[edit]

Until 10 October 2017, Wiggin was a non-executive director of Philip T English International Financial Services Ltd in Banbury. The position came with remuneration of £5,000 a year with him spending approximately 60 hours a year on the job.[28]

Wiggin has accepted donations and donations in kind from a number of sources, including the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (two days' shooting and two nights' accommodation in 2011 and 2012 at Catton Hall, Derbyshire; total value £1,527) and one day of shooting with Cubitt Consulting in 2004.[28]

In 2008, Wiggin accepted an expenses-paid trip to Malaysia, by palm oil conglomerate Sime Darby.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Wiggin is the son of the late Sir Jerry Wiggin, MP for Weston-super-Mare.

Wiggin lives in Upton Bishop in South Herefordshire, with his wife Milly. She was previously the girlfriend of David Cameron.[3] They have three children, Rosie, Jack and Toby. The family has strong roots in the area and Bill Wiggin owns a farm where he keeps his Hereford cattle and chickens.

In addition to acting as a Trustee of the Eveson Charitable Trust, which assigns funding to support medical research and the disadvantaged, Bill Wiggin is patron to several local charities. His interests include motorbikes, DIY, shooting, fishing and Hereford cattle.[29]


  • A Better Agenda for the Environment published by Exposure Publishing, an imprint of Diggory Press ISBN 1-84685-067-3


  1. ^ a b "UK Election Results 2019: Herefordshire North". BBC.
  2. ^ General Register Office Births 1966 April–June vol 5D page 1460
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Robertson, David. "General Election 2005". The Times. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2006.
  5. ^ a b "Bill Wiggin MP profile". Conservative Party. Archived from the original on 5 October 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2006.
  6. ^ "Burnley Constituency". Manchester: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b Swaine, Jon (14 September 2009). "Bill Wiggin steps in to silence campaigning council candidate". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  8. ^ "Ledbury's MP, Bill Wiggin, is in favour of badger cull". Ledbury Reporter. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Election 2015: Conservatives hold both seats in Herefordshire". Ledbury Reporter. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  10. ^ Alistair Driver (5 June 2015). "Neil Parish and Bill Wiggin contest EFRA chairmanship". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Selection Committee - Membership - UK Parliament". 12 September 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Bill Wiggin to chair Commons committee that puts other MPs onto committees". Hereford Times. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  13. ^ "The European Research Group's Brexit letter, in full". Coffee House. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  14. ^ Chaplain, Chloe (16 November 2018). "What is the ERG and which Tory MPs are members of Jacob Rees-Mogg's Brexit group?". Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Vegetarians are "a disaster for British agriculture."". Daily Telegraph. 21 January 2020.
  16. ^ "MP voices flood worries in Herefordshire". Hereford Times. Hereford. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Prepare for more floods". Hereford Times. Hereford. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  18. ^ "Rail Services in North Herefordshire – BILL WIGGIN MP". 14 September 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Gary Bills-Geddes (29 September 2014). "New Wards and Beds needed at Hospital - MP". Hereford Times. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  21. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 03 Dec 2014 (pt 0001)". 3 December 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Health Secretary uses Hereford hospital visit to take a shot at NHS Wales". Hereford Times. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Bill Wiggin MP welcomes new contract to deliver more beds for Hereford Hospital – BILL WIGGIN MP". 17 June 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  24. ^ a b Robert Winnett, Martin Beckford and Nick Allen (20 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: Bill Wiggin claimed £11,000 in phantom mortgage payments". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 4 December 2009.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  25. ^ a b c "Bill Wiggin - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents". Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  26. ^ Swaine, Jon (17 November 2009). "MPs' expenses: Bill Wiggin questioned by parliamentary sleaze watchdog". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  27. ^ "MP Bill Wiggin investigated over expenses claim". BBC News. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  28. ^ a b c TheyWorkForYou. "TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  29. ^ "About Bill". Bill Wiggin. Archived from the original on 19 September 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2012.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Temple-Morris
Member of Parliament
for Leominster

Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for North Herefordshire

Political offices
Preceded by
Nigel Evans
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Succeeded by
Cheryl Gillan