Desmond Swayne

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The Right Honourable Sir
Desmond Swayne
Desmond Swayne July 2014.jpg
Minister of State for International Development
In office
14 July 2014 – 17 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Alan Duncan
Succeeded by Rory Stewart
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
7 October 2013 – 14 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Greg Knight
Succeeded by Anne Milton
Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
In office
4 September 2012 – 7 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Michael Fabricant
Succeeded by Sam Gyimah
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
In office
12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Jon Trickett
Anne Snelgrove
Succeeded by Sam Gyimah
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition
In office
8 September 2004 – 12 May 2010
Alongside Alistair Burt to May 2005
Leader Michael Howard
David Cameron
Preceded by Graham Brady
& Alistair Burt
Succeeded by Chuka Umunna
Member of Parliament
for New Forest West
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Constituency Created
Majority 23,431 (47.2%)
Personal details
Born (1956-08-20) 20 August 1956 (age 60)[1]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Moira Cecily Teek
Children 3
Alma mater University of St Andrews
Occupation Bank manager
Awards Territorial Decoration
Iraq Medal
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
Volunteer Reserve Service Medal
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry
Years of service 1978–
Rank Major

Sir Desmond Angus Swayne TD VR (born 20 August 1956)[2] is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He is a parliamentary candidate for the constituency of New Forest West in Hampshire, and was formerly also Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, having been his PPS during his time as Leader of the Opposition, 2005–10, prior to his appointment in September 2012 to the office of Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury. In June 2016, it was announced Swayne would receive a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours for political service.

Early life[edit]

He was educated at Drumley House Preparatory School at Mossblown in South Ayrshire and Bedford School. He studied Theology at St Marys College at the University of St Andrews.[3]


From 1980 to 1981 he was a school teacher in Economics at Charterhouse, then Wrekin College from 1982 to 1987. From 1988 to 1996, he was Manager of Risk Management Systems at the Royal Bank of Scotland.[3]

On top of his salary as an MP, Swayne earns £12,000 a year as a director of property development firm Lewis Charles Sofia Property Fund, which specialises predominantly in holiday developments in Bulgaria; and around £5,000 in his role as a major in the Territorial Army.[4]

Military career[edit]

Swayne was commissioned into Group B of the Territorial Army (TA) on 3 October 1984 as a second lieutenant (on probation). As a non-deployable officer, he served as an adult staff member of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) contingent of Wrekin College, where he was also a teacher.[5] His commission was confirmed and he was promoted to lieutenant on 10 December 1984.[6] On 15 September 1987, he resigned his commission in the CCF, having joined the TA properly in August of that year.[7]

On 2 August 1987, he transferred from Group B to the Royal Armoured Corps, Territorial Army in the rank of second lieutenant (on probation).[8] He served with the Queen's Own Mercian Yeomanry.[9] He was promoted to lieutenant on 2 August 1989,[10] and to captain on 1 August 1992.[11] On 1 November 1992, he transferred to the newly formed Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry.[12] He was promoted to major on 14 December 1996 with seniority from 1 January 1996.[13]

In 2003, he was called up and posted to Iraq as part of the Iraq War.[14] He served for six months before returning to the House of Commons.[15]

Parliamentary career[edit]

He contested Pontypridd in 1987 and West Bromwich West in 1992 (where he failed to defeat the Labour incumbent Betty Boothroyd, who was shortly to become the Speaker), before being elected to his present seat in 1997. He held the seat to serve his fourth consecutive term in the 2010 general election.[16]

From 1997 to 2001, he held shadow ministerial portfolios for Northern Ireland, health and defence and as a senior opposition whip. From 2001 to 2005, Swayne was Parliamentary Private Secretary to both Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard in their role as Leader of the Opposition.[3]

Following the election of David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005, he was appointed as his PPS.[3] This position involved being the eyes and ears of Cameron in the House of Commons and reporting back on observations and requests from colleagues. In 2006, a series of Swayne's e-mails to Cameron with unflattering descriptions of fellow Conservatives were leaked to the media:[17]

  • One colleague was a "mincehead", another "Mr Angry”
  • A group of backbenchers "boring”
  • A forum of grassroots members "stooges”
  • Francis Maude, the party chairman, "not yet trusted by the parliamentary party”
  • Theresa May, the shadow Commons leader, "neither liked nor trusted across the party”

He maintained his role as a PPS in government.[18] On 11 June 2011, it was announced Swayne would be appointed a Privy Counsellor in the Queen's 2011 Birthday Honours List.[19] On 13 July 2011, Swayne was duly sworn of Council.[20]

In 2014 he was appointed as a minister for international development[21]

Swayne was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for political and parliamentary service.[22]

Swayne voted for Brexiter Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative Party Leadership Election of 2016.

Parliamentary expenses scandal[edit]

As a result of the expenses scandal, Swayne repaid £6,131 he claimed for a new kitchen in 2006 on his second-home flat in North Kensington, and £60.66 over claimed for a water bill.[4] Swayne employs his wife Moira as part-time Executive Secretary/Office Manager.[23] Swayne provided a full breakdown of his expenses on his website, and was found by local media in New Forest/South Dorset to be the lowest claiming of the local MP expenses' league table, after claiming £94,754 expenses in 2007/8, compared with £91,737 in 2006/7.[24]

Personal life[edit]

He married Moira Cecily Teek in August 1987 in Buckinghamshire. They have a son Albert (born July 1989) and two daughters (born 23 June 1991 and March 1997); the family live in Burley, Hampshire.[25]

Honours and decorations[edit]

He is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Iraq Medal, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has also received the Territorial Decoration for 12 years service in the Territorial Army. In June 2009, he was awarded the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.[26] He was Made a Knight Bachelor in the 2016 Birthday Honours for political and parliamentary service. After this he became known as Sir Desmond Swayne.

Knight-Bachelor.ribbon.png Iraq Medal BAR.svg Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png
Efficiency Decoration (Territorial & Volunteer Reserve).png Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.png

Ribbon Description Notes
Knight-Bachelor.ribbon.png Knight Bachelor (Kt)
  • 10 June 2016
  • For Political and Parliamentary Service
Iraq Medal BAR.svg Iraq Medal
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002
  • UK Version of this Medal
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012
  • UK Version of this Medal
Efficiency Decoration (Territorial & Volunteer Reserve).png Territorial Decoration (TD)
Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.png Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VR)


  1. ^ Mp, Conservative (17 October 2002). "Desmond Swayne". BBC Politics. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Desmond Swayne MP
  3. ^ a b c d "Desmond Swayne". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b ""Politicians should rely on taxpayer" says New Forest West MP Desmond Swayne". This is Hampshire. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "No. 49987". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 January 1985. p. 201. 
  6. ^ "No. 50052". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 March 1985. p. 3108. 
  7. ^ "No. 51194". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 January 1988. p. 307. 
  8. ^ "No. 51115". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 November 1987. p. 13839. 
  9. ^ "No. 51609". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 January 1989. p. 328. 
  10. ^ "No. 51890". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 October 1989. p. 11305. 
  11. ^ "No. 53054". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 September 1992. p. 15840. 
  12. ^ "No. 53192". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 February 1993. p. 1866. 
  13. ^ "No. 54718". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 March 1997. p. 3878. 
  14. ^ "MP to serve in Iraq". BBC News. 19 June 2003. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Bax, Tahmeena; Anyangwe, Eliza (16 July 2014). "Who is Desmond Swayne? Introducing Britain's new development minister". The Guaridan. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "New Forest West: Desmond Swayne holds seat for fourth term". Bournemouth Echo. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  17. ^ Isabel Oakeshott (9 July 2006). "Tories lost in swirl of backbiting". London: The Times. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "No. 59808". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2011. p. 1. 
  20. ^ Privy Council Office — Orders for 13 July 2011
  21. ^ "Who is Desmond Swayne? Introducing Britain's new development minister". Guardian. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B2. 
  23. ^ "Desmond Swayne". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  24. ^ "WHAT IS THE COST OF OUR MPs?". Dorset Echo. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  25. ^ "Desmond Swayne". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  26. ^ "No. 59106". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 June 2009. pp. 10705–10706. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Patrick McNair-Wilson as MP for New Forest
Member of Parliament for New Forest, West
1997– 2017
Succeeded by
Election in progress