Dominic Grieve

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Dominic Grieve

Official portrait of Mr Dominic Grieve crop 3.jpg
Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee
Assumed office
15 September 2015
Preceded byMalcolm Rifkind
Attorney General for England and Wales
Advocate General for Northern Ireland
In office
12 May 2010 – 15 July 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Scotland of Asthal
Succeeded byJeremy Wright
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
Shadow Lord Chancellor
In office
19 January 2009 – 11 May 2010
LeaderDavid Cameron
Preceded byNick Herbert
Succeeded byJack Straw
Shadow Home Secretary
In office
12 June 2008 – 19 January 2009
LeaderDavid Cameron
Preceded byDavid Davis
Succeeded byChris Grayling
Shadow Attorney General
In office
6 November 2003 – 7 September 2009
LeaderMichael Howard
David Cameron
Preceded byBill Cash
Succeeded byEdward Garnier
Member of Parliament
for Beaconsfield
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded byTim Smith
Majority24,543 (43.9%)
Personal details
Born (1956-05-24) 24 May 1956 (age 63)
London, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Caroline Hutton
Alma mater
WebsiteOfficial website

Dominic Charles Roberts Grieve QC PC (born 24 May 1956)[1] is a British Conservative politician, barrister, Queen's Counsel[2] and a Member of the Privy Council. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Beaconsfield since 1997, and served as Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland from May 2010 to July 2014, attending Cabinet.[3] He left the office of Attorney General as part of the Cabinet reshuffle of 14 July 2014, and was replaced by Jeremy Wright.

Grieve has been described as a liberal conservative[4] as a result of his criticism of Brexit and his role in proposing amendments aimed at ensuring greater scrutiny of the Conservative government's proposed arrangement to leave the EU.

Grieve is president of the Franco-British Society.[5] He was awarded the Legion of Honour in 2016.[5] He broadcasts in French on French radio and television.[6]

Early life[edit]

Grieve was born in Lambeth, London, the son of Percy Grieve, QC (the MP for Solihull 1964–83), and of an Anglo-French mother, Evelyn Raymonde Louise Mijouain.[7] He was educated at the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle on Cromwell Road in South Kensington, Colet Court , an all-boys' preparatory school in Barnes and Westminster School.[8] He went up to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern History[2] in 1978. He was the President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1977.[9]

He continued his studies at the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster), where he received a Diploma in Law[2] in 1979.

Legal career[edit]

He was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1980[10] and is a specialist in occupational safety and health law. He was made a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2005 and appointed a Queen's Counsel in 2008.[11][12]

Political career[edit]

Local council[edit]

He was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for the Avonmore ward in 1982, but did not stand for re-election in 1986.[2][13] He contested the Norwood constituency in the London Borough of Lambeth at the 1987 general election[2] but finished in second place behind the veteran Labour MP John Fraser.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Grieve speaking in the House of Commons

He was elected to the House of Commons for the Buckinghamshire seat of Beaconsfield at the 1997 general election[2] following the resignation of Tim Smith in the cash-for-questions affair. Grieve was elected with a majority of 13,987 votes and has remained the MP there ever since, increasing his share of the vote at each successive election.

He made his maiden speech on 21 May 1997.[14]

He was a member of both the Environmental Audit and the Statutory Instruments select committees from 1997 to 1999.[15] In 1999, he was promoted to the frontbench by William Hague as a spokesman on Scottish affairs, moving to speak on home affairs as the spokesman on criminal justice following the election of Iain Duncan Smith as the new leader of the Conservative Party in 2001, and was then promoted to be shadow Attorney General by Michael Howard in 2003.[2] Grieve also had responsibility for community cohesion on behalf of the Conservative Party. He was retained as Shadow Attorney General by the new Conservative Leader David Cameron, and was appointed Shadow Home Secretary on 12 June 2008, following the resignation of David Davis.[16]

In early 2006, Grieve was instrumental in the defeat of the Labour government on its proposal that the Home Secretary should have power to detain suspected terrorists for periods up to 90 days without charge.[17]

In the last Conservative Shadow Cabinet reshuffle before the general election of 2010, carried out on 19 January 2009, Grieve was moved to become Shadow Justice Secretary, opposite Jack Straw. According to the BBC, Grieve was said to be "very happy with the move" which would suit his talents better.[18]

On 28 May 2010, he was appointed to the Privy Council as part of the 2010 Dissolution of Parliament Honours List.[19][20]

After the 2010 general election, Grieve was appointed as Attorney General. He was one of four members of the cabinet who abstained in the May 2013 same-sex marriage vote. He said that he believed that the Bill had been "badly conceived".[21]

On 22 November 2013, Grieve was reported as stating politicians need to "wake up" to the issue of corruption in some minority communities[22] and that "corruption in parts of the Pakistani community is 'endemic'".[23] Two days later he apologised and said he had not meant to suggest there was a "particular problem in the Pakistani community". He was sacked by David Cameron in July 2014, and replaced by Jeremy Wright.

In October 2016, speaking at a fringe meeting of the Conservative party's annual conference, Grieve warned that electoral fraud is found "where there are high levels of inhabitants from a community in which there is a tradition of electoral corruption in their home countries." Although in the past he apologised for singling out the British Pakistani community, Grieve said it was not about any one group.[24]


Grieve was opposed to Brexit before the 2016 referendum.[25]

In May 2017, prior to the general election and in support of the Conservative manifesto, Grieve stated on his website that "the decision of the electorate in the Referendum must be respected and that I should support a reasoned process to give effect to it".[26]

During the Brexit negotiation process, Grieve made a number of amendments against the Government's plans to leave the EU. The first was to give Parliament a "meaningful vote" over the Brexit agreement – i.e. to force a motion by Parliament to approve the Brexit agreement which would have a binding effect on the government. In December 2017, he tabled an amendment (Amendment 7) to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill requiring any Brexit deal to be enacted by statute, rather than implemented by government order. The amendment was opposed by the government, but was passed in Parliament.[27] Another proposed amendment tabled on 12 June 2018 (Amendment 19), and again on 20 June, was designed to strengthen the binding effect of the meaningful vote, by requiring that the government follow the directions of a Parliamentary motion in the event that Parliament does not approve the withdrawal agreement put by the government. Grieve threatened to rebel but ultimately voted with the government against the amendment[28] after verbal assurances from Prime Minister Theresa May,[29] presented as a compromise;[30] the outcome was summarised by The Guardian as "Technically, MPs can still have a vote on the final deal – or no deal – but unless it is a vote of confidence, the government can ignore it."[31] Grieve's 3rd amendment in December 2018 would mean Parliament would replace the Government in deciding the outcome of Brexit following a vote against the Government's proposed deal with the EU.[32]

On 24 July 2018, Grieve wrote a column for The Independent[33] backing the online paper's final say petition, which calls for the British electorate to have a "final say on the Brexit deal".[34] The petition was also backed by the leader of the People's Vote campaign, Labour's Chuka Umunna.[35] Grieve stated that Brexit puts the Conservative Party's reputation for "economic competence" at risk.[36]

Grieve wrote that Theresa May risked a "polite rebellion" from pro-EU MPs and a "significant" number would support another referendum if there was no deal.[37] This followed a claim that Tory rebels are prepared to "collapse the government" to block a "catastrophic" Brexit deal.[38]

Grieve was one of the signatories of a December 2018 statement by a group of senior Conservatives calling for a second referendum over Brexit.[39] On 11 January 2019, during his speech to the convention for a second referendum, Grieve described Brexit as "national suicide".[40] Shortly afterwards, he co-founded the group Right to Vote.[41] He also declared that he would resign the whip if the Conservative Party elected Boris Johnson as a successor to Theresa May or if the government took Britain out of the EU without a deal[42].

On 9 January 2019, Grieve made a successful amendment to a government business motion; The amendment was controversial due to unusual means it was permitted by Speaker John Bercow[43]. "Conservatives are furious that Mr Bercow accepted the Grieve amendment, as parliamentary rules usually only allow a government minister to amend motions of this kind."[44] "The new Grieve amendment, now passed by MPs, means that in the event the PM loses next week, the Commons will then have a chance to vote on alternative policies - everything from a "managed no-deal" to a further referendum, via a "Norway option" or a reheated version of the current deal, could be on the table... MPs claim Mr Bercow broke Commons rules and ignored the advice of his own clerks." [45]

Ultimately May's withdrawal deal was rejected and on 29 January 2019, Grieve's resulting amendment was defeated by the Government, supported by Labour rebels. The amendment would have "Forced the government to make time for MPs to discuss a range of alternatives to the prime minister's Brexit plan on six full days in the Commons before 26 March.... which could have included alternative Brexit options such as Labour's plan, a second referendum, no deal and the Norway-style relationship".[46]

On 29 March 2019 (the original planned date of Brexit), a Motion of no confidence against Grieve was carried by his local party 182 votes to 131.[47][48] At this, Grieve said he'll carry on 'exactly as before'.[49] The motion triggers the first stage in the process of deselection.[50] Grieve has accused ex-UKIP opponent, Jon Conway, of 'insurgency' after it was revealed that Conway was behind the motion.[51]


The Conservative Friends of Pakistan have given in excess of £500,000 to the central party, mostly through the Beaconsfield Constituency, making them Grieve's largest backer.[52][53]

Personal life[edit]

Grieve in 2007

He is a practising Anglican and was a member of the London diocesan synod of the Church of England[15] for six years from 1994. He married barrister Caroline Hutton[15] in October 1990 in the City of London. They have two sons.[54]

He lists his hobbies as "canoeing, boating on the Thames at weekends, mountain climbing, skiing and fell walking, architecture, art and travel".[55][15] He was a police station lay visitor[15] for six years from 1990, and worked in Brixton on various bodies set up to reconcile the different communities after the riots.

In 2009, Grieve's wealth was estimated at £3.1 million.[56] Grieve was criticised in 2008 for investments in multinational companies with significant projects in Zimbabwe and Pakistan.[57] It was revealed in 2012 that he has Jewish heritage.[58]


  • Mr Dominic Grieve (1956–1997)
  • Mr Dominic Grieve MP (1997–2008)
  • Mr Dominic Grieve QC MP (2008–2010)
  • Rt Hon. Dominic Grieve QC MP (2010–)


  1. ^ "Dominic Grieve". BBC News. 30 March 2006. Archived from the original on 18 February 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Dominic Grieve MP". Conservative Party. Archived from the original on 17 April 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  3. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: David Cameron's new line-up". BBC News. 9 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Keir Starmer, a Lilliputian against a giant". The Economist. 3 December 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Dominic Grieve decorated for work in Franco-British relations". French Embassy in London. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Spéciales élections en Grande-Bretagne - Vidéo Dailymotion". 13 July 2012.
  7. ^ Who's Who. London: A & C Black. 1964.
  8. ^ "Notable OWW – Westminster School". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  9. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Profile, Dominic Grieve". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Dominic Grieve MP". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 28 November 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  11. ^ "Dominic Grieve QC – Temple Garden Chambers". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  12. ^ January 2015, Jonathan Rayner12. "Profile: Dominic Grieve". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "House of Commons Hansard for 21 May 1997 (pt 40)". House of Commons Hansard. Retrieved 14 June 2008.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Dominic Grieve MP". Dominic Grieve official site. Archived from the original on 15 June 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  16. ^ "– David Davis resigns from Commons". BBC News. 13 June 2008.
  17. ^ "Counter-Terrorism Bill - Hansard". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Pickles chairman in Tory shake-up". BBC News. 19 January 2009.
  19. ^ "Peerages, honours and appointments". Prime Minister's Office. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Privy Counsellors". Privy Council Office. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  21. ^ Nadal, James (23 May 2013). "Beaconsfield MP: gay marriage bill 'badly conceived'". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Corruption problem among some UK minorities, says MP". BBC News. 23 November 2013.
  23. ^ Brogan, Benedict (22 November 2013). "Corruption rife in the Pakistani community, says minister". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  24. ^ Ramesh, Randeep (6 October 2015). "Dominic Grieve warns electoral fraud 'growing' in immigrant areas". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  25. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  26. ^ "Dominic Grieve's Election Message to Constituents". Dominic Grieve QC MP,. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  27. ^ Sharman, Jon (14 December 2017). "Amendment 7: What is it and how does it change Brexit?". The Independent. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  28. ^ Walker, Peter (13 June 2018). "How MPs voted on the EU withdrawal bill amendments". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  29. ^ Watts, Joe (12 June 2018). "Brexit: Rebels force Theresa May to give parliament veto over her plans in case of no deal with Brussels". The Independent. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  30. ^ "UK government heads off Brexit rebellion with compromise". Politico. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  31. ^ Perkins, Anne; Elgot, Jessica (20 June 2018). "Brexit 'meaningful vote': May wins after rebels accept compromise". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  32. ^ Stewart, Heather (4 December 2018). "What does Dominic Grieve's amendment mean for Brexit?". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  33. ^ Grieve, Dominic (24 July 2018). "A mature democracy would allow for a vote on the final deal, rather than allow bullying tactics to shut down further debate". The Independent. Voices. Retrieved 3 August 2018. I first raised this issue soon after the first referendum, although at the time I saw it as a rather remote possibility. But the further our political crisis deepens the more it seems to me to offer a sensible way forward.
  34. ^ The Independent Voices (24 July 2018). "The referendum gave sovereignty to the British people, so now they deserve a final say on the Brexit deal". The Independent. Editorial. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  35. ^ Umunna, Chuka (24 July 2018). "If Brexit negotiations have taught us anything, it's that our future should not be left to 650 politicians in London". The Independent. Voices. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  36. ^ Brexit damaging Tory reputation for economic competence, says Dominic Grieve The Scotsman
  37. ^ Buchan, Lizzy (30 September 2018). "Final Say: 'Significant' number of Conservative MPs would back new Brexit referendum, says Dominic Grieve". The Independent. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  38. ^ "Dominic Grieve says Tory rebels are prepared to 'collapse the government' to block a 'catastrophic' Brexit deal". The Independent. 17 June 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  39. ^ Helm, Toby (16 December 2018). "Party activists pile pressure on Corbyn to back second vote". The Observer. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  40. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (11 January 2019). "Brexit would be similar to 'national suicide', says leading Tory pro-European Dominic Grieve - as it happened". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  41. ^ Lee, Phillip (19 March 2019). "Letter to the Prime Minister from Dr Phillip Lee MP" (pdf) (Letter). Letter to Theresa May. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  42. ^
  43. ^ Kettle, Martin (9 January 2019). "This was the great political power struggle of our times – and ministers lost". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  44. ^ "What is the 'Grieve amendment' that could change Brexit?". The Independent. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  45. ^ "Fresh Brexit setback for May in MPs' vote". BBC News. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  46. ^ "Guide: The Brexit amendments and results". 29 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  47. ^ "Dominic Grieve loses confidence vote held by Beaconsfield Tories". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  48. ^ French, Katie (29 March 2019). "Dominic Grieve suffers vote of no confidence by his local Conservative association". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  49. ^ Times, Gabriel Pogrund | Sunday (30 March 2019). "I'll carry on, says Dominic Grieve, as he faces deselection threat". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  50. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  51. ^ Murphy, Simon; Jacobson, Seth (30 March 2019). "Grieve accuses ex-Ukip opponent of insurgency after confidence vote loss". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  52. ^ The Guardian. "The winners". Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  53. ^ The electoral commission records
  54. ^ "Dominic Grieve MP". Dominic Grieve official site. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  55. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Profile, Dominic Grieve". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  56. ^ "The new ruling class". New Statesman. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  57. ^ "Blood money: the MPs cashing in on Zimbabwe's misery". The Independent. London. 29 June 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  58. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tim Smith
Member of Parliament
for Beaconsfield

Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Cash
Shadow Attorney General
Succeeded by
Edward Garnier
Preceded by
David Davis
Shadow Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Chris Grayling
Preceded by
Nick Herbert
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
Succeeded by
Jack Straw
Preceded by
The Baroness Scotland of Asthal
Attorney General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Jeremy Wright
Advocate General for Northern Ireland