Henry Smith (British politician)

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Henry Smith
Henry Smith, MP for Crawley (cropped).jpg
Member of Parliament
for Crawley
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Laura Moffatt
Majority 2,459 (4.9%)
Leader of West Sussex County Council
In office
2003 – 28 May 2010
Preceded by Harold Hall
Succeeded by Louise Goldsmith
West Sussex County Councillor for Maidenbower
In office
Personal details
Born (1969-05-14) 14 May 1969 (age 48)[1]
Epsom, Surrey, England[2]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Jennifer Millar-Smith[3]
Residence Sussex
Alma mater University College London
Occupation Member of Parliament
Committees European Scrutiny Select Committee
Website http://www.henrysmith.info/

Henry Edward Millar Smith (born 14 May 1969) is a Conservative Party politician in the UK who was Leader of West Sussex County Council from 2003 to 2010. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Crawley, having been elected in the 2010 general election.[4]


Smith was educated at Frensham Heights School, a co-educational independent school in Farnham in Surrey, followed by University College London, where he obtained a B.A. in Philosophy.[5]

Early career[edit]

Smith was elected as a West Sussex County Councillor in 1997, where he served full-time, with a property investment business based in Crawley in West Sussex.[5] He became Leader of the Council in 2003 at the age of 34, becoming the youngest county council leader in the country. He was a Crawley Borough Councillor from 2002 to 2004. In 2001 and 2005 he stood against Laura Moffatt, the second time achieving the highest national swing from Labour to the Conservatives, reducing the majority to 37, the smallest in the country. [6]

Smith was the Chairman of the South East Counties Leaders Group (latterly South East Strategic Leaders) from 2007 to 2010, and has previously served as a Governor at The Oaks, The Brook, and Oriel High schools in Crawley. He co-authored the 2005 publication Direct Democracy.

Political career[edit]

He was elected to Parliament at the 2010 general election. Following his election as Crawley MP he resigned as a West Sussex County Councillor on 1 September 2010. [7]

Smith serves on the European Scrutiny Committee and is Vice-Chair of the Trans Atlantic & International Security APPG.

Smith is a Eurosceptic who supported backbench calls for an early referendum on exiting the EU. He has repeatedly denied rumours linking him to a possible defection to UKIP in 2014, insisting he supported the Conservatives other policies and felt they were the best option for a referendum on the EU.[8]

Smith said that getting a new hospital in the Pease Pottage area remained his "top issue" and was something he had raised in Parliament after constituents had criticised a lack of progress on the issue.[9] His parliamentary candidacy at the 2015 general election was personally endorsed by Queen guitarist Brian May on the grounds of his animal welfare record. May had worked with him in opposing the government's badger culling.[10]

Putin comments[edit]

On 6 September 2013, while the St. Petersburg G20 Summit was ongoing, Smith referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a tosser on Twitter, following reports of an unnamed Russian official calling Britain "small and unimportant."[11] Smith subsequently said he stood by his comments, arguing that although it was "difficult to get a serious point across in 140 characters" the serious point was that Putin was an "absurd character who is responsible for some serious breaches of human rights".[12]

Personal life[edit]

In the UK Parliament Register of Members' Financial Interests 24 January 2011 Smith declared he employed his wife Jennifer Millar-Smith as a secretary.[3]


  1. ^ "Henry Smith MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Who's Who". www.ukwhoswho.com. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Commons, House of. "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests - Part 2: Part 2". www.publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  4. ^ BBC Election 2010 "Crawley"
  5. ^ a b MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT IN MAIDENBOWER, CRAWLEY, WEST SUSSEX. Publisher: TheArgus.co.uk Retrieved: 11 April 2014.
  6. ^ Henry Smith "About Henry"
  7. ^ henrysmith.info "Henry Smith, Member of Parliament for Crawley"
  8. ^ Hardman, Isabel (4 November 2014). "Who will be the next Tory defector to Ukip". Spectator. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Chris Ballinger (7 February 2014). "MP Henry Smith defends his efforts to get Crawley a new hospital". Crawleynews.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Queen legend Brian May urges Crawley residents to vote Conservative at General Election". Crawley News. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  11. ^ MP, Henry Smith (6 September 2013). "Putin really is a tosser.". Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  12. ^ Williams, Rob (6 September 2013). "Conservative backbencher Henry Smith brands Vladimir Putin a 'tosser' amid 'small island' row". Independent. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Laura Moffatt
Member of Parliament for Crawley