Henry Bellingham

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Sir Henry Bellingham
Official portrait of Sir Henry Bellingham crop 2.jpg
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
10 May 2010 – 5 September 2012
Succeeded by Mark Simmonds
Member of Parliament
for North West Norfolk
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by George Turner
Majority 13,948 (29.4%)
In office
9 June 1983 – 1 May 1997
Preceded by Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler
Succeeded by George Turner
Personal details
Born (1955-03-29) 29 March 1955 (age 63)
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Emma Whiteley
Alma mater Magdalene College, Cambridge
Website henrybellingham.com

Sir Henry Campbell Bellingham (born 29 March 1955) is a British Conservative politician. He was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 14 May 2010,[1] a position he held until 5 September 2012.[2] In Parliament, he represents the constituency of North West Norfolk.

Early life[edit]

He is the son of Arthur Henry Bellingham and his wife June Marion Cloudesley Smith.[3] Bellingham attended Wellesley House School in the town of Broadstairs in Kent, followed by Eton College and then Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he received a law degree in 1977. During his time at Cambridge, he was a member of Cambridge University Liberal Club and served as Joint Master of the Cambridge University Draghounds.[4] He also took a short service commission in the Guards for a year between school and university. He trained at the Inns of Court School of Law, and joined the Middle Temple in 1978 and practised as a barrister for eight years. Bellingham is variously described as a direct descendant of John Bellingham, Spencer Perceval's assassin,[5] or as being from the same family.[6] In 1997 The Independent noted the historical coincidence that the General election candidate for the Referendum Party, Roger Percival claimed to be a descendant of the slain Prime Minister. The paper had correctly predicted that Percival's intervention could hand the seat to Labour.[7]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Bellingham first entered Parliament at the 1983 election after winning the seat for North West Norfolk, having defeated the incumbent MP Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler, who in 1981 was the only Conservative to defect to the newly formed SDP. He held his seat until being defeated during the 1997 election. He contested his former seat at the election in 2001, and won it back. He was re-elected in 2005 with a 9000 vote majority, and again in 2010 with a majority of 14,810.

Henry Bellingham was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry in July 2002, before becoming an Opposition Whip in May 2005. From November 2006 until the 2010 general election he was a Shadow Minister for the Department of Constitutional Affairs. He won the North West Norfolk seat in the 2010 election, and was appointed a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the coalition government within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office covering; 'Overseas Territories, Africa, United Nations, economic issues, conflict resolution and climate change'.

In 2009, whilst debating the Queen's speech, he was described as 'looking uncomfortable' when MPs joked about his distant ancestor John Bellingham, who assassinated Spencer Percival. Bellingham later stated: "I wouldn't bring it up in conversation that I'm a descendant - or a near-descendant - of a murderer of a prime minister. But I don't try to deny it"[8]

On 29 September 2011, while quoting Bellingham, the Antigua Observer described him as the United Kingdom's Minister of Overseas Territories.[9] While in Antigua Bellingham had commented on the surprise decision of former Premier of Bermuda Ewart Brown to provide asylum to four former Uyghur captives in Guantanamo.

“This is something that we weren’t consulted on by the last (Brown) administration. We have spoken to the United States about it — it’s our understanding that the arrangement was not to be permanent and we’re looking to the US State Department to find a permanent solution. We’re working with them to try and achieve that.”

Bellingham became Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Speedway Racing in July 2015.[10]

Business interests[edit]

In 2014, a mining company called Pathfinder Minerals appointed Bellingham as non-executive chairman in order so that he could advise them on a legal case for permission to mine off the coast of Mozambique.[11]

According to the Daily Mail: "Tory MP Bellingham was engulfed in scandal immediately on being appointed after it emerged he had sent letters supporting Pathfinder before being appointed to his position. The North West Norfolk MP earns £4,000 a month for four to seven hours work advising on strategy and corporate governance for Pathfinder.[11]"

A spokesperson for Pathfinder defended Bellingham's involvement: "Bellingham is a non-executive director of Pathfinder and provides valuable strategic counsel to the board and an appropriate level of governance oversight. His interest in developing business opportunities for British companies in Africa and his deep knowledge of the region make him ideally suited to helping steer Pathfinder.[11]'

Bellingham is also a Director of Longborough Capital of Witney, Environmental Polymer Technologies of Shaftesbury, and Arc Fund Management.

Personal life[edit]

Bellingham lives in Congham, which is situated within his constituency. He married Emma Whiteley in August 1993 in Horsham, and they have a son named Jamie.


Bellingham was knighted in the 2016 New Year Honours.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Ministers "Henry Bellingham MP". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Archived from the original on 3 October 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "MP Henry Bellingham loses minister post". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 6 September 2012. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Person Page". www.thepeerage.com. 
  4. ^ "About us". 28 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "Lords Hansard text for 25 Apr 201225 Apr 2012 (pt 0001)". www.publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  6. ^ "Diary: Flowers finally lay to rest memory of assassinated PM". Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  7. ^ "Election '97: Old feuds may give Labour a Norfolk seat". Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  8. ^ "MP recalls a PM-killing ancestor". BBC. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  9. ^ "UK hopes US will settle four ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees". Antigua Observer. 29 September 2011. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011. The US refused to resettle them within its borders, and a deal was struck with Brown, who quit as Premier last October before leaving politics altogether. Brown said he did it as a humanitarian gesture. 
  10. ^ "Register Of All-Party Groups:Motorcycle Speedway". Parliament.uk. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c "UK Miner wins £1.1m legal spat with African general". 
  12. ^ "No. 61450". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N2. 
  13. ^ "New Year's Honours 2016 list" (pdf). GOV.UK. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Video clips[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler
Member of Parliament for North West Norfolk
Succeeded by
George Turner
Preceded by
George Turner
Member of Parliament for North West Norfolk