Chris Heaton-Harris

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Chris Heaton-Harris
Mr Christopher Heaton-Harris MP.jpg
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
Assumed office
15 June 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Julian Smith
Assistant Government Whip
In office
17 July 2016 – 15 June 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Member of Parliament
for Daventry
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Tim Boswell
Majority 21,734 (39.0%)
Member of the European Parliament
for East Midlands
In office
1 May 1999 – 4 June 2009
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Emma McClarkin
Personal details
Born (1967-11-28) 28 November 1967 (age 49)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Wolverhampton Polytechnic

Christopher Heaton-Harris (born 28 November 1967) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Daventry since May 2010, and was previously a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East Midlands from 1999 to 2009.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in November 1967, Heaton-Harris attended the Tiffin Grammar School for Boys in Kingston upon Thames, before studying at Wolverhampton Polytechnic (now Wolverhampton University).[1]

He went to work in the family business at New Covent Garden Market, before taking over from his father as Chairman of What4 Ltd, until his election to the European Parliament.

Political career[edit]

In the 1997 general election he stood in Leicester South, a safe seat for Labour. He was the Conservative party's candidate for that seat in the 2004 Leicester South by-election and came third to the Liberal Democrat Parmjit Singh Gill.

European Parliament[edit]

Heaton-Harris was elected to the European Parliament in 1999 as MEP for the East Midlands, and was re-elected in 2004.

Heaton-Harris sat on the Internal Market Committee, responsible for "co-ordination at Community level of national legislation in the sphere of the internal market and of the customs union" as well as the Central America Delegation and the Bulgaria Delegation.

He was a founding member of the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform, a cross-national, cross-party group of MEPs that campaigns for reforms within the parliament. Its manifesto includes creating one seat for the parliament (in Brussels), cleaning up the system for MEPs' expenses, and improving debate within the parliament.

Heaton-Harris was also responsible for bringing the case of Marta Andreasen, the European Commission's Chief Accountant, to public attention back in August 2002 and has been involved in fighting fraud, mismanagement and waste within the European Commission and other European institutions.

He was the Chief Whip for the Conservatives in the European Parliament from 2001 to March 2004.

Immediately prior to his retirement in 2009, Heaton-Harris was the President of the Sports Intergroup, a group of approximately 40 MEPs who have an interest in sport and sporting issues.

From May 2006 he sought support within the EU legislature for a letter to FIFA demanding that the Iranian national football team be thrown out of the 2006 World Cup because of the Iranian President's comments about the Holocaust being a lie.[2]

Chris Heaton-Harris is also a fierce eurosceptic.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Chris Heaton-Harris was a member of the Conservative A-List and was selected to succeed Tim Boswell as candidate for the safe Conservative seat of Daventry in June 2006.[3] He won the seat in the 2010 general election, with a majority of 19,188.

In March 2012, Heaton-Harris was reported as being one of the Conservative MPs to have spoken critically of Party Co-Chairman Sayeeda Warsi at a meeting of the 1922 Committee, following Warsi's handling of Roger Helmer MEP's defection to UKIP.[4]

Climate change controversy[edit]

In November 2012, secretly filmed clips of Chris Heaton-Harris discussing the role of James Delingpole in the Corby by-election were published on the Guardian website. The film, recorded by Greenpeace, appeared to show the MP's support for Delingpole's independent, anti-windfarm candidacy, at a time when Heaton-Harris was engaged by the Conservatives to run the unsuccessful campaign of their own candidate, Christine Emmett.

Heaton-Harris indicated that this was linked to a plan by core members of the Conservative Party to emasculate the Climate Change Act by making its commitments advisory rather than mandatory.[5] After Heaton-Harris apologised for the impression he gave in the video, Home Secretary Theresa May said he was guilty only of silly bragging, while Labour's Michael Dugher MP urged Prime Minister David Cameron to show leadership and punish him.[6] The Corby by-election was subsequently lost by the Conservatives with a swing to Labour of 12 points.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Heaton-Harris is married and has two children. He is a Grade 5 qualified football referee, signed into the profession by his father's friend Ray Lewis. Heaton-Harris is also a regular user of Twitter.[7]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tim Boswell
Member of Parliament for Daventry