Craig Mackinlay

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This article is about the British politician. For similarly named people, see Craig McKinley.
Craig Mackinlay
Craig Mackinlay, during the 2015 general election campaign.jpg
Member of Parliament
for South Thanet
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded by Laura Sandys
Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party
In office
September 1997 – 22 January 2000
Leader Alan Sked
Michael Holmes
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Graham Booth
Leader of the UK Independence Party
In office
6 August 1997 – September 1997
Preceded by Alan Sked
Succeeded by Michael Holmes
Treasurer of the UK Independence Party
In office
3 September 1993 – 6 August 1997
Leader Michael Holmes
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Andrew Smith
Personal details
Born (1966-10-07) 7 October 1966 (age 50)
Chatham, England
Political party UK Independence Party (Before 2005)
Conservative (2005–present)
Spouse(s) Kati Mackinlay
Alma mater University of Birmingham

Craig Mackinlay JP (born 1966) is a British businessman and politician.[1]

Initially a member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Mackinlay served as deputy leader of UKIP in 1997,[2] before joining the Conservative Party in 2005. Mackinley stood as the Conservative candidate in Kent at the inaugural police and crime commissioner elections in 2012 and was selected in July 2014 as the Conservative candidate for South Thanet at the 2015 general election.[3]

In May 2015, he was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for South Thanet, defeating UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

Early life[edit]

Of Scottish heritage, Mackinlay was born in Chatham and raised in Kent. After attending Rainham Mark Grammar School, he went up to the University of Birmingham, where he read zoology and comparative physiology. After graduating with the degree of BSc, he qualified as a chartered accountant (FCA) and as a chartered tax adviser (CTA) and is now partner in a Kent firm.[4]

Mackinlay now mainly lives in Ramsgate.[4]

Political background[edit]

Mackinlay first became engaged in politics after observing the impact of Britain's membership of the European exchange rate mechanism on clients and friends who were going bankrupt as a result of soaring interest rates.[5] After hearing Alan Sked, a professor at the London School of Economics, speak on a BBC politics programme,[6] he was persuaded to stand at the 1992 general election as an independent in support of the Anti-Federalist League, receiving 248 votes in Gillingham.[7]


When the Anti-Federalist League evolved into the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Mackinlay was appointed its founding treasurer[8] and Vice-Chairman. He stood again in Gillingham at the 1997 general election, receiving 590 votes.[9]

In July 1997, Sked resigned as UKIP leader, nominating Mackinlay as his successor.[10] Mackinlay decided that the only way to keep the party going was to rework its constitution and hold a leadership election. Mackinlay stood in the election against Michael Holmes[11] and Gerald Roberts. Holmes, with the backing of Nigel Farage, easily won and appointed Mackinlay as his deputy.[10]

After the European Parliament election in 1999, Holmes dismissed Mackinlay and Party Secretary Tony Scholefield at an NEC meeting, which prompted an immediate vote of no confidence in Holmes, who agreed to resign the following month. After extensive wrangling, Jeffrey Titford was elected as the new party leader; Mackinlay stepped down as deputy, but remained on its NEC.[10]

Mackinlay remained active in UKIP, standing in Totnes at the 2001 general election, at which he received 6.1% of the vote,[12] then back again in Gillingham in 2005, where he polled 2.6%.[9] He also stood unsuccessfully in the 1994, 1999 and 2004 European elections.[13]

Conservative Party[edit]

In July 2005, Mackinlay defected from UKIP to the Conservative Party.[2] He was elected as a Conservative councillor on Medway Council in 2007 and re-elected in May 2011 with an increased majority.[14][15]

In 2010 he fell out with Kent Police over Special Constable David Craggs, who was advised that there would be no conflict with him standing for election to Medway Council but, after being elected as a councillor, was informed that he could not hold both roles.[16] In May 2011 Mackinlay was appointed a member of Kent Police Authority.[17]

In June 2012 Mackinlay was selected as the Conservative candidate in Kent for the office of Police and Crime Commissioner. In the November 2012 county-wide poll, he was defeated by the former Kent Police Authority chair Ann Barnes. Ann Barnes: 114,137 Craig Mackinlay: 60,248 on a turnout of just under 16%,[18]

In 2015 he was elected as Member of Parliament for South Thanet at the general election, where he ran against UKIP leader Nigel Farage and comedian Al Murray among others.[3][19] Laura Sandys had represented the constituency in the House of Commons. In July 2015, he was elected as a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.[20]

Public service[edit]

Mackinlay was appointed as a Justice of the Peace on the North Kent Bench in 2006.[17]

A Freeman of the City of London,[21] he serves a trustee of three Kent charities: Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Foord Almshouses in Rochester, and Medway Sculpture Trust.[22][23]

Electoral history[edit]

UK Parliament elections

Date of election Constituency Party Votes  % of votes Result
1992 general election Gillingham Independent 248 0.4 Not elected
1997 general election Gillingham UKIP 590 1.2 Not elected
2001 general election Totnes UKIP 3,010 6.1 Not elected
2005 general election Gillingham UKIP 1,191 2.6 Not elected
2015 general election South Thanet Conservative 18,848 38.13 Elected

Police and Crime Commissioner elections

Date of election Police force Party Votes Percentage of votes Result
2012 PCC elections Kent Conservative 51,671 25.2 Not elected

Local elections

Date of election Ward Party Votes Result
2011 Medway elections River Conservative 1,037 Elected

European Parliament elections

Date of election Constituency Party Votes Percentage of votes Result
1994 European election Kent West UKIP 9,750 5.2 Not elected
1999 European election London UKIP 61,741 5.4 Not elected
2004 European election South East England UKIP 431,111 19.5 Not elected


  1. ^ Lamiat Sabin (21 November 2014). "Ukip timeline: The gradual rise to Westminster". The Independent. 
  2. ^ a b Walden, Celia (15 July 2005). "FROM UKIP TO TORY". The Daily Telegraph. London. onetime deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, Craig Mackinlay, has left the party after 12 years to join the Tories 
  3. ^ a b "Ex-UKIP leader to stand as Tory MP for Thanet South". BBC News. 6 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "About Craig". Craig Mackinlay personal website. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Daniel, Mark (2005). Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP. Oxford: Timewell Press. p. 11. ISBN 1-85-725209-8. he had no interest in politics until he observed at close quarters the effects of Britain's short lived and ill-fated membership of the EU's Exchange Rate Mechanism. 
  6. ^ Daniel, Mark (2005). Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP. Oxford: Timewell Press. p. 11. ISBN 1-85-725209-8. He heard Sked on a BBC politics programme, telephoned and attended a meeting at the LSE. He too was dragooned into standing for the 1992 election. 
  7. ^ "UK General Election results April 1992". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Daniel, Mark (2005). Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP. Oxford: Timewell Press. p. 47. ISBN 1-85-725209-8. Craig Mackinlay, as the Party Treasurer... 
  9. ^ a b "Constituency profile: Gillingham". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Daniel, Mark (2005). Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP. Oxford: Timewell Press. pp. 48–51. ISBN 1-85-725209-8. he resigned the party leadership, naming Craig Mackinlay as his successor... Holmes accepted the leadership and immediately appointed Mackinlay as his deputy 
  11. ^ "Michael John HOLMES". 
  12. ^ "Results & Constituencies: Totnes". BBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  13. ^ CONSERVATIVES:Founding member of the UKIP joins Conservative Party[dead link],, 15 July 2005
  14. ^ "Councillor Craig Mackinlay". Medway Council. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Medway Council, info@medway gov uk (2010-10-06). "Council and democracy". Retrieved 2016-09-14. 
  16. ^ "Medway councillor resigns over conflict of interest". BBC News. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2012. Councillor Craig Mackinlay, who also represents the River Ward, said there were no regulations preventing special constables from serving on the council and said he knew of three who are serving MPs. 
  17. ^ a b "Changes to Medway members who police the police". Kent Police Authority. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Results of the election". Kent Police Area Returning Officer. 16 November 2012. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Nigel Farage fails to win South Thanet seat as he loses to Conservatives". The Daily Telegraph. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Work and Pensions Committee – membership". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  21. ^ "Freemen-FEW – The Freemen of England & Wales –". 
  22. ^ "Sam Holland Sculpture". 
  23. ^ "Notice of Members' Registrable Interests: Craig Mackinlay" (PDF). Kent Police Authority. Retrieved 19 July 2012. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Alan Sked
Leader of the UK Independence Party

Succeeded by
Michael Holmes
New office Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party
Succeeded by
Graham Booth
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Laura Sandys
Member of Parliament
for South Thanet