Graham Brady

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Sir Graham Brady

Official portrait of Sir Graham Brady MP crop 2.jpg
Brady in 2020
Chairman of the 1922 Committee
Assumed office
20 January 2020
Acting: 3 September 2019 - 20 January 2020
LeaderBoris Johnson
SecretaryBob Blackman
Nigel Evans
Preceded byDame Cheryl Gillan and
Sir Charles Walker (Acting)
In office
26 May 2010 – 24 May 2019
LeaderDavid Cameron
Theresa May
SecretaryPeter Bone
Christopher Chope
Bob Blackman
Nigel Evans
Preceded bySir Michael Spicer
Succeeded byDame Cheryl Gillan and
Sir Charles Walker (Acting)
Shadow Minister for Europe
In office
14 September 2004 – 29 May 2007
LeaderMichael Howard
David Cameron
Succeeded byMark Francois
Member of Parliament
for Altrincham and Sale West
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded byFergus Montgomery
Majority6,139 (11.2%)
Personal details
Born
Graham Stuart Brady

(1967-05-20) 20 May 1967 (age 53)
Salford, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Victoria Lowther
Alma materSt Aidan's College, Durham University (BA)
WebsiteOfficial website
parliament..graham-brady

Sir Graham Stuart Brady (born 20 May 1967) is a British politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Altrincham and Sale West since 1997. A member of the Conservative Party, Brady has served as Chairman of the 1922 Committee since 2020, and previously from 2010 to 2019.

He served as Shadow Minister for Europe under four Conservative leaders before resigning in 2007 in protest at David Cameron's opposition to grammar schools. He succeeded Sir Michael Spicer as Chairman of the 1922 Committee on 26 May 2010.[1][2] On 1 December 2010, Brady was voted "Backbencher of the Year" by The Spectator at its annual parliamentary awards.

He resigned as 1922 Committee chairman on 24 May 2019 in order to explore launching a bid to become leader of the Conservative Party in the weeks that followed,[3] but ultimately opted not to run for Leader. Brady temporarily returned to the 1922 Committee on 3 September 2019, to serve as its acting Chairman "until a new executive is elected in the next session of Parliament".[4] He was subsequently re-elected as the permanent Chair on 20 January 2020.[5]

Early life[edit]

Brady was born on 20 May 1967 in Salford, Lancashire, England. He was educated at the Altrincham Grammar School for Boys.[6] He read Law at the University of Durham, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1989.[6]

Brady was highly active in politics as a student. He served as Chairman of the Durham University Conservative Association (DUCA) for the 1987–1988 academic year[6] and was one of six students elected to represent Durham at the annual NUS conference.[7] He served additionally as Chairman of Northern Area Conservative Students (1987–1989) and as a Member of the Conservative Party's National Union Executive Committee (1988–1989).[8]

Early career[edit]

Brady was appointed a consultant in public relations with Shandwick plc in 1989.[6] He joined the Centre for Policy Studies in 1990.[6] He was appointed Director of public affairs at the Waterfront Partnership in 1992, where he remained until elected to Westminster in 1997.

Politics[edit]

Member of Parliament[edit]

He was selected to contest the Altrincham and Sale West parliamentary constituency, following the retirement of the veteran Conservative MP Fergus Montgomery. Brady's constituency is considered to be a Conservative safe seat,[9] having returned only Conservative MPs during its existence. The 1997 general election proved to be a close battle in the seat, but Brady was elected with a majority of 1,505 votes. He was the youngest Conservative MP to be elected in 1997, being aged 29.

Brady made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 2 June 1997. In 1998 he made enquiries to John Bourn, at the time Comptroller and Auditor General, on his decision not to publish a National Audit Office report on the controversial Al-Yamamah arms deal.[10] The same year, Brady was one of only 13 Conservative MPs who voted in favour of an equal age of consent.[11] He became a Member of the Education and Employment Select committee, and Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Michael Ancram in 1999. He was made an Opposition Whip by William Hague in 2000. In February 2000, Brady complained about anti-grammar school literature circulated to parents in Altrincham by Michael Evans, then head of Trinity Church of England High School, arguing that this violated rules about public funds being used for campaign material – a complaint subsequently upheld by Secretary of State for Education David Blunkett.[12] That same year Brady would become an Opposition Spokesman on Education and Employment.

Following a second Conservative defeat at the 2001 general election, Brady continued as an Opposition Spokesman on Education and Skills under the leadership of both Hague and Duncan Smith. He became the PPS to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael Howard in 2003, and an Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Shadow Europe Minister in 2004.

Shadow Ministerial resignation[edit]

On 29 May 2007, Brady resigned his post as Shadow Minister for Europe in protest at Conservative leader David Cameron's opposition to grammar schools. He told the BBC that: "faced with a choice between a front bench position that I have loved and doing what I believe to be right for my constituents and for the many hundreds of thousands of families who are ill-served by state education in this country, there is in conscience only one option open to me", and argued that "grammar schools in selective areas are exactly the motor that does drive social mobility more effectively than comprehensive areas."[13] Brady's own constituency has retained a selective rather than comprehensive education system.

In 2013, he opposed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, raising concerns that the measure had not been in the Conservative manifesto and that religious freedom could be compromised.[11]

In the 2016 EU referendum, he was a supporter of Brexit.[14]

In July 2018, it was reported that Brady served as editor of The House, the in-house Parliamentary magazine, earning a salary of £26,000 for the role.[15]

Committee memberships and posts[edit]

Brady at the Conservative Party conference in 2011

Commons Select Committees[edit]

Member: Education and Employment 1997–2001, Education and Employment (Employment Sub-Committee) 1997–2001, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister 2004–05, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Urban Affairs Sub-Committee) 2004–05, Treasury from 2007

Commons Backbench committees[edit]

Joint Secretary, Conservative Party Committee for Education and Employment 1997–2000 All-party groups (office-holding) Vice-chair Advertising Group from 2001; Secretary Cayman Islands Group from 2001; Treasurer Egypt Group from 2001; Vice-chair Montserrat Group from 2006; Secretary: Fluoridation Group from 2008, Infrastructure Group from 2008; Treasurer Thailand Group from 2009; Vice-chair Cannabis and Children Group from 2009. Since 2010, he has served as Chairman of the 1922 Committee.

Party posts[edit]

Chair Durham University Conservative Association 1987–88; National Union Executive Committee 1988; Chair Northern Area Conservative Collegiate Forum 1987–89; Vice-chair East Berkshire Conservative Association 1993–95; Member Executive 1922 Committee 1998–2000, from 2007

Current posts[edit]

Vice-chair All-Party Advertising Group from 2001; Secretary All-Party Cayman Islands Group from 2001; Treasurer All-Party Egypt Group from 2001; Vice-chair All-Party Montserrat Group from 2006; Member Select Committee on Treasury from 2007; Chairman 1922 Committee from 2010; Secretary All-Party: Fluoridation Group from 2008, Infrastructure Group from 2008; Treasurer All-Party Thailand Group from 2009; Vice-chair All-Party Cannabis and Children Group from 2009

Legislation[edit]

Brexit: Anti-Northern Ireland backstop amendment[edit]

On 29 January 2019, the House of Commons voted 317 to 301 to approve Sir Graham Brady's Amendment (n) to the Brexit Next Steps motion,[16] which called for "the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border, supports leaving the European Union with a deal and would therefore support the Withdrawal Agreement subject to this change."

COVID-19 lockdowns[edit]

In May 2020, Brady called for the removal of "arbitrary rules and limitations on freedom" brought in by the government because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the British public had been "a little too willing to stay at home".[17] Speaking out against a second lockdown, he also spoke about COVID-related mental health issues, such as increased rates of suicide and domestic abuse, as well as excess deaths caused due to reduced access for care.[18] Brady is also a steering committee member of the lockdown-sceptic COVID Recovery Group, a group of Conservative MPs who oppose the UK government's December 2020 lockdown.[19] They have been seen[by whom?] as an "echo" of the Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG) of MPs, and a response by backbench Conservatives to Nigel Farage's anti-lockdown Reform UK party.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Brady met Victoria Lowther at Durham University. The couple married in 1992, and have a daughter and a son. Brady was reported to be among those MPs who paid the highest amount[when?] to family members of between £40–45,000. He employs his wife Victoria as his Senior Parliamentary Assistant.[20] He currently resides in Altrincham in Greater Manchester.[citation needed]

Knighthood[edit]

Graham Brady was appointed a Knight Bachelor for political and public service in the 2018 New Year Honours.[21][22] His investiture by the Duke of Cambridge took place at Buckingham Palace on 6 March 2018.[23][24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forsyth, James (19 December 2009). "What Cameron really needs to think about over Christmas is why he wants to be PM". The Spectator. p. 11. Archived from the original on 20 December 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  2. ^ Elliott, Francis (30 December 2009). "Tories plan to ditch John Bercow as Speaker immediately after election". The Times. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  3. ^ Searles, Michael (24 May 2019). "Sir Graham Brady and Jeremy Hunt join race to replace Theresa May". www.cityam.com. Archived from the original on 24 May 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Sir Graham Brady to return as chairman of the 1922 Committee". ITV News. 3 September 2019. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019. A statement from the committee said he would return as chairman "until a new executive is elected in the next session of Parliament".
  5. ^ Phibbs, Harry (20 January 2020). "Brady re-elected Chairman of the 1922 Committee". Conservative Home. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Brady, Sir Graham (Stuart), (born 20 May 1967), MP (C) Altrincham and Sale West, since 1997". Who's Who (UK). Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  7. ^ "NUS Results". Palatinate (417): 5. 5 November 1987. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Graham Brady, Personal Biography". Conservatives (via Internet Wayback Machine). 13 September 2001. Archived from the original on 13 September 2001. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  9. ^ Abrams, Fran (23 April 1997). "Election '97: Parties scramble to claim the mantle of youth". The Independent. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  10. ^ "Exhibit 1". Cryptome. 29 June 1998. Archived from the original on 5 October 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - Hansard". hansard.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Complaint upheld over grammar campaign". BBC News. 18 February 2000. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Tory quits post over grammars row". BBC News. 29 May 2007. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  14. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  15. ^ Hughes, Solomon (27 July 2018). "Moonlighting MPs bring Parliament into disrepute". morningstaronline.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  16. ^ "House of Commons votes 317 to 301 to approve Sir Graham Brady's Amendment (n) to the #BrexitNextSteps motion. This amendment requires the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with "alternative arrangements" and would support the #WithdrawalAgreement "subject to this change".pic.twitter.com/Tk09LsIpSE". 29 January 2019. Archived from the original on 31 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  17. ^ Mason, Rowena; Stewart, Heather (4 May 2020). "Anger at UK lockdown easing plans 'that could put workers at risk'". The Guardian.
  18. ^ Richardson, Alice (27 October 2020). "Influential Tory MP calls government to 'account for full costs of lockdowns'". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  19. ^ a b Hope, Christopher (10 November 2020). "Tory lockdown rebels unite to form Covid Recovery Group". The Telegraph.
  20. ^ "Despite the expenses scandal, 136 MPs still employ family members" Archived 6 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine, The Independent, 8 September 2011.
  21. ^ "New Year's Honours list 2018". GOV.UK. 29 December 2017. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  22. ^ "New Year Honours 2018: Graham Brady MP knighted". BBC. 29 December 2017. Archived from the original on 5 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  23. ^ "Sir Graham Brady from Altrincham is made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire by the Duke of Cambridge during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London". Alamy. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Tory committee chairman swerves May leadership rumours as he receives knighthood". The Argus. 6 March 2018. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Fergus Montgomery
(for Altrincham and Sale)
Member of Parliament for Altrincham and Sale West
1997–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Michael Spicer
Chairman of the 1922 Committee
2010–present
Incumbent