George Eustice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George Eustice
Official portrait of George Eustice crop 2.jpg
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food
Assumed office
7 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Theresa May
Sec. of State Owen Paterson
Elizabeth Truss
Andrea Leadsom
Michael Gove
Preceded by Richard Benyon
Member of Parliament
for Camborne and Redruth
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Constituency created
Majority 1,577 (3.3%)
Personal details
Born (1971-09-28) 28 September 1971 (age 46)
Penzance, Cornwall, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservatives
Spouse(s) Katy Eustice[1]

Charles George Eustice (born 28 September 1971), known as George Eustice, is a British Conservative Party politician, who was first elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament for Camborne and Redruth, winning by just 66 votes. He was re-elected in 2015, achieving 18,452 votes, an increase on his 2010 total of 2.6%.[2]

In October 2013, as part of Prime Minister David Cameron's Cabinet reshuffle, Eustice was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Born to Adele (née Olds) and Paul Eustice in Penzance, Eustice and grew up at Trevaskis Fruit Farm, near Hayle in his constituency.[5][6][7] Before entering politics, he worked in the family business for nine years. He married his girlfriend of five years, Katy Taylor-Richards on 20 May 2013 in the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft at the Palace of Westminster.[8]

He was educated at Truro Cathedral School[9] then Truro School, followed by Cornwall College at Pool. He was a member of Cornwall Athletic Club based at Carn Brea, Camborne and ran for Cornwall's Cross-Country Team.

At the 1999 European Parliament Elections Eustice stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for UKIP in the South West of England.

In 2000, Eustice was appointed as Campaign Director for "No"[10] the campaign group to ensure that the UK did not adopt the Euro as the national currency.[11] Whilst the campaign was accused of links to Conservative Party, it aimed to be cross-party and Labour MPs, such as Kate Hoey, also joined the campaign.

Eustice became Head of Press under Conservative Party leader Michael Howard during the 2005 general election. Following the election, he was part of David Cameron's Leadership campaign team and between 2005-08, served as David Cameron's Press Secretary during his tenure as Leader of the Opposition. On leaving Cameron's office, George Eustice worked for Portland Communications, a public relations company.[12]

On 6 September 2008, Eustice was selected as the official Conservative Party candidate for the Camborne & Redruth Constituency by the Camborne & Redruth Conservative Association.[13]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Eustice was elected as Member of Parliament for Camborne & Redruth on Thursday 6 May 2010 with a majority of 66 votes over the Liberal Democrat incumbent Julia Goldsworthy.[14] He made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 24 June 2010[15] when he paid tribute to his predecessor and his constituency: “It is a special honour for me to represent my home town. I was brought up between Camborne and Hayle, in Cornwall, and my family have lived and worked in the area for more than 400 years. When one has such deep roots in a constituency, one feels a special responsibility for its long-term future.” He also said that as the MP for some of the most deprived households in Europe: “My No. 1 priority for the area will be economic regeneration.”

George Eustice served as a Member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee from Monday 12 July 2010.[16]

In September 2011, he argued that Cornwall's heritage should be administered by a Cornish organisation rather than English Heritage.[17]

On 17 May 2012, Eustice was elected to the influential 1922 Committee of Backbench Conservative MPs[18] as part of the "301 Group"[19] of newer MPs (301 is the number of MPs needed by any party to win an overall majority at the next election) who are broadly supportive of the Prime Minister and expressed the view that the Committee required modernisation. According to the BBC, this “caused friction in the run-up to the ballot by fielding a "slate" of candidates in an attempt replace the "old guard".[18] Besides Eustice, new MPs elected from this group included: Guto Bebb, Graham Evans, George Hollingbery, Simon Kirby, Penny Mordaunt, fellow Cornish MP Sheryll Murray and Priti Patel.

In April 2013, Downing Street announced George Eustice's appointment to the Prime Minister's "Number 10 Policy Board", to advise David Cameron on Energy and Environment issues.[20] Eustice was appointed to work on Conservative rather than Coalition policies, alongside other influential backbenchers such as Jo Johnson, Jesse Norman, and former Cabinet Minister, Peter Lilley.[21]

On 7 October 2013 Eustice was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,[22] with responsibility for farming and food, marine and fisheries, and animal health.[23]

AV referendum[edit]

Eustice was asked, along with Conservative Peer, Lord Leach of Fairford, to take a leading role[24] in the 2011 “No to AV Referendum” reportedly as a result of his work for Business for Sterling and the "No" Group, which campaigned to keep the pound and against the adoption of the Euro as currency in the UK.[25] In the referendum held on 5 May 2011, 32.1% voted to change the British electoral system to the Alternative Vote, while 67.9% voted against.

Fresh Start Group[edit]

In September 2011, Eustice, with two other Conservative MPs Andrea Leadsom and Chris Heaton-Harris[26] launched the Fresh Start Group; a pressure group to examine the options for a new UK-EU relationship.[27] He wrote an article in The Guardian on Sunday 10 June 2012, which argued for the UK to remain within the EU, but to seek reform from within. He wrote: “We are the only large country in Europe that is not preoccupied by the euro, so it falls to us to take a lead. We should argue for a new model for Europe where there is an inner core – the single market in goods and services that all member states sign up to because they benefit from it. Then there should be a broader sphere of policy areas – such as employment and social policy, the euro, the common agricultural policy, justice and home affairs – that are far more optional. This would allow the EU to adapt and to give up powers where the rationale for taking decisions at the EU level had ended.”[28]

On 10 July 2012 the Fresh Start Group released a research paper, which according to the Financial Times, called for "reducing the overall size of the EU budget, overhauling the Common Agricultural Policy to which the UK contributes about £1bn a year and repatriating structural funds."[28]

Leveson Review[edit]

Eustice has supported statuary underpinning of independent press regulation which arose from the Leveson proposals on 21 June 2012, George Eustice made a submission to the Leveson Inquiry and wrote an article in the Guardian[29] urging both journalists and politicians to back a Royal Charter.

On 8 November 2012 he also led a group of 44 Conservative MPs and Lords in a letter to the Guardian, which argued: “To protect both robust journalism and the public, it is now essential to establish a single standard for assessing the public interest test which can be applied independently and consistently. The prime minister was right to set up the Leveson Inquiry. While it has been uncomfortable for both politicians and the press, it also represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put things right. Parliament must not duck the challenge."[30]

Reacting to the letter, influential Conservative writer Tim Montgomerie commented that "Tonight's intervention changes the balance of parliamentary debate and arithmetic in a potentially dramatic way. A combination of LibDem and Labour MPs plus 42 Tories means the door is now wide open to a new era of press regulation in Britain." He added that: “I understand that George Eustice and Nadhim Zahawi were driving forces behind the letter."[31]

Regeneration of Hayle[edit]

In August 2010, Eustice welcomed the Government’s decision to invest £5 million into the regeneration of Hayle Harbour after two months of discussions.[32]

According to the West Briton newspaper: “George Eustice, who has lobbied ministers over the issue, says he wants local social enterprises and community trusts to play an active role in the proposals and he has called on the community to work together to get the detail right. Eustice said: "The investment is a crucial component in the plans to regenerate Hayle and to make the town an international centre of excellence in wave power technology alongside the Wave Hub project. I want to see the successful regeneration of Hayle and this is an important step forward but now we need to get the next steps right.I am a big supporter of community trusts and social enterprises and I have said from the very start that I want them to play a role in these plans. We need to stop talking about a community trust as a plan B and start working out what role they might play alongside ING as an integral part of plan A. Finally, we need to make sure that the design of any retail development on South Quay is in keeping with the excellent heritage work started at Harvey's Foundry.”[33]

Water bills[edit]

Eustice pledged in his election campaign to work to reduce the burden of water charges on Cornish homes; on October 2010 George Eustice raised the issue of higher water rates paid by South West England consumers at a meeting of the Environmental, Farming and Rural Affairs Select Committee.[34]

At the meeting, Eustice challenged Regina Finn, Chief Executive of Ofwat[35] to implement the recommendations of the Walker Review[36] which could lead to a decrease in water rates for South West consumers. According to local newspaper, the West Briton, Consumers in the South West face water bills often as much as 200 per cent higher than the rest of the country due to the area's extensive coastline. Mr Eustice said: "It is unfair that only per cent of the population are responsible for looking after 30 per cent of the coastline. I want to see Ofwat address this issue before the publication of the Government's White Paper on water next spring."[37]

In June 2013, Eustice welcomed the third annual taxpayer-funded subsidy of £50 for all South West Water customers which the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review on 26 June.[38] In November 2013, he welcomed[39] South West Water’s price freeze until 2015.[40]

Redruth Archive[edit]

In March 2013, George Eustice called for the Cornwall Centre,[41] the new facility to house the county’s store of historic manuscripts and Cornish materials, to be based in Redruth.[42] Eustice based his call for the local to be Redruth because of the strong mining tradition in the town, which led to widespread migration across the world. He said: “Redruth was always the natural place because it is at the heart of the worldwide Cornish diaspora with around a quarter of all those living overseas with Cornish ancestry coming from our town. The new archive can also build on the great work already being done in Redruth by organisations like the Cornish Migration Project and the Cornish Studies Library.”[43] The decision to base the facility in Redruth was announced in September 2013, which Eustice welcomed.[44]

Tuckingmill Link Road[edit]

Before his election, Eustice campaigned for government funding to build a £27m east–west link road at Tuckingmill, linking Camborne, Pool and Redruth. The road would run from Wilson Way to Dolcoath Road. Cornwall Council also supported the bid, claiming the new road would provide access to "proposed development areas" and remove traffic from the A3047 and the East Hill junction, reduce congestion, noise and improve air quality, "whilst allowing regeneration projects in the area to proceed over the coming years, supporting economic growth".

The project received Department for Transport approval on 26 November 2012[45] when, according to the West Briton newspaper, Eustice said: "This final go-ahead is fantastic news for the Camborne, Redruth area and will unlock the potential for thousands of jobs and new businesses to be created in the coming decade."[46]

On Thursday 16 May 2013, Patrick McLoughlin the Secretary of State for Transport cut the first turf to formally mark the start of work on the £27m road and the works are expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2014. George Eustice said: “This is a great project because it will unlock the potential of derelict mining land in the area, attract new industries and also clear the way for the proposed Tuckingmill Urban Village. It has been estimated that the road could stimulate the creation of 6,000 jobs over the next twenty years with half of them in the next decade, and these are much needed jobs in our area.”[47]

Pasty tax[edit]

George Eustice led opposition[48] to the Government’s plans to impose VAT on hot food, which was also known as the “pasty tax"[49] which eventually led to what opponents claimed was a “u-turn” in Government policy. He said, when the government announced the reversal in policy, “This is a very good outcome which will mean that most pasties and sausage rolls won’t be taxed.”[48]


In June 2016, George put pressure on the Veterans Minister to speed up the time taken for a veteran's confirmation of service to be released to service charities, arguing that former members of the Armed Forces in need of help could not wait up to ten weeks for assistance. Currently the time taken is between 24 and 72 hours.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "House of Commons – The Register of Members' Financial Interests – Part 2: Part 2". Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Camborne & Redruth parliamentary constituency - Election 2015". BBC News. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs". GOV.UK. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Michael Moore axed as Scottish secretary in coalition reshuffle". BBC NEWS. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 14 December 2017. 
  6. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "About". Trevaskis Farm. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Cornwall MP George Eustice marries his sweetheart". Western Morning News. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Eustice, George (28 March 2011). "George's Online Diary: Who killed Truro Cathedral School?". Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Anti-euro campaign launched". BBC News. 4 September 2000. 
  11. ^ Wheeler, Brian (31 May 2002). "Anti-euro campaign shuns 'political elite'". BBC News. 
  12. ^ James Robinson. "Tory former press secretary George Eustice joins Portland | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: George Eustice selected to oust Julia Goldsworthy". 6 December 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  14. ^ "Election 2010 | Constituency | Camborne & Redruth". BBC News. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  15. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 24 Jun 2010 (pt 0015)". 24 June 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee - membership - UK Parliament". Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  17. ^ Briton, West (29 September 2011). "Heritage is not English; it's ours". West Briton. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "New faces elected on to influential Conservative 1922 committee". BBC News. 17 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Leadership ruffles backbench feathers in 1922 elections - Westminster". 17 May 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "Camborne and Redruth MP George Eustice takes up post on Downing St board". West Briton. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  21. ^ Jessica Shankleman (15 May 2013). "Exclusive: George Eustice to advise Cameron on energy and climate change". Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "Ministerial reshuffle: Cornwall's George Eustice and Dan Rogerson in, Somerset's Jeremy Browne out". Western Morning News. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "George Eustice MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  24. ^ "George Eustice No to AV". West Briton. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  25. ^ Nicholas Watt. "Tories pick anti-euro campaigners to lead 'no to AV' referendum drive | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  26. ^ Sisodia, Jaya (16 January 2013). "Tory MPs demand Cameron claws back powers from EU | UK | News | Daily Express". Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  27. ^ "Tory MPs set out demands for return of powers from EU". BBC News. 10 July 2012. 
  28. ^ a b George Eustice. "Britain can do better than leave the EU. We can change it | George Eustice | Opinion". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  29. ^ "Reforming media regulation : Submission by George Eustice MP to module 4 of the Leveson Inquiry" (PDF). Archived from [http:/ the original] Check |url= value (help) (PDF) on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  30. ^ "Letters: How should the press be regulated? | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  31. ^ [1]
  32. ^ Cornishman, The (27 March 2012). "Minister gives nod to redevelop Hayle harbour". West Briton. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  33. ^ [2][dead link]
  34. ^ (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "The independent review of charging for household water and sewerage services (Walker review) - Publications". GOV.UK. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  37. ^ [3][dead link]
  38. ^ [4][dead link]
  39. ^ [5][dead link]
  40. ^ Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ "The Cornwall Centre - Cornwall Council". Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  42. ^ Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  43. ^ [6][dead link]
  44. ^ Briton, West (27 September 2012). "Redruth chosen to host Cornwall's archives and records". West Briton. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  45. ^ "New Camborne, Pool and Redruth link road helps to create 6,000 jobs". West Briton. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  46. ^ "New Camborne, Pool and Redruth link road helps to create 6,000 jobs". West Briton. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  47. ^ "£16 million to kick-start regeneration in Cornwall - Press releases". GOV.UK. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  48. ^ a b Winnett, Robert (28 May 2012). "George Osborne backs down on pasty tax". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  49. ^ Patrick Wintour; Owen Bowcott; Richard Norton-Taylor. "George Osborne forced into pasty tax U-turn | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Camborne and Redruth