Iain Stewart (politician)

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Iain Stewart

Official portrait of Iain Stewart crop 2.jpg
Assistant Government Whip
Assumed office
9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Chief WhipJulian Smith
Member of Parliament
for Milton Keynes South
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byPhyllis Starkey
Majority1,725 (2.6%)
Personal details
Born (1972-09-18) 18 September 1972 (age 46)
Scotland
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
ResidenceTattenhoe
Alma materExeter University
Websitehttp://www.iainstewartmp.co.uk

Iain Aitken Stewart (born 18 September 1972) is a British Conservative Party politician and former accountant. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South at the 2010 general election.[1]

Early life[edit]

Stewart was born on 18 September 1972 in Scotland and grew up in Hamilton. He was privately educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School and studied politics at the University of Exeter before training as an accountant with Coopers & Lybrand in Milton Keynes between 1993 and 1994.[2]

Stewart then worked for the Scottish Conservative Party between 1994 and 2006, first as Head of Research, then Deputy Director and finally as Director between 2001 and 2006.[2] He then worked as an associate for executive recruitment company Odgers Berndtson until his election in 2010.[2]

Political career[edit]

Stewart stood unsuccessfully as the Conservative Party candidate in the Scottish Parliament election, 1999, for the Glasgow Rutherglen constituency, finishing fourth. Returning to Milton Keynes, he was selected to fight Milton Keynes South West at the 2001 general election, losing to incumbent Phyllis Starkey by 6,978 votes. Running again at the 2005 election, he lost to Starkey by 4,010 votes.

In the redrawn Milton Keynes South constituency, successfully stood against Starkey in the 2010 general election, winning by 5,201 votes.[2][3] In the 2015 general election, he was re-elected with an increased vote of 27,601 and majority of 8,672.[4] Stewart was a member of Shenley Brook End parish council between 2005 and 2011.

In 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported that Stewart was renting a flat from his constituency caseworker on expenses. Stewart responded that there was no conflict of interest in renting from his staff member as the flat is let "on a proper legal contract" and fully approved by the expenses watchdog.[5]

Transport (especially rail transport), constitutional affairs and education are listed amongst his main political interests.[6] He was a member of the Transport Select Committee of the House of Commons from 2010 to 2013, and was the longest-serving Conservative Member of that Committee.[3] In 2011 he travelled, with various members of the transport committee, around Europe studying various rail links and rail systems.[6] In the October 2013 Ministerial reshuffle, he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport.

Following the 2015 election, he moved to become PPS to David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, to assist with the Scotland Bill. He was also re-elected to the Transport Select Committee.[7]

In July 2016 he was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Liam Fox, Secretary of State for the Department for International Trade. He held this post until the 2017 general election.

In June 2017, Stewart was returned as the MP for Milton Keynes South with a majority of 1,725 over Labour candidate Hannah O'Neill.[8] He retained his place on the Transport Committee in September 2017.[9]

In December 2017, following the publication of the National Insfrastucture Commission's report on the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor, he was appointed as the Government's official champion for the project.

In July 2018, he was asked by the Prime Minister to join the Government and he became an Assistant Whip in the Government Whips Office.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

He is openly gay and was formerly Deputy chairman (Political) of LGBTory, the Conservative LGBT Group.[10] He is now a Patron of the group.[11] In his maiden speech to the house, on 25 June 2010, he paid tribute to Alan Turing, and Gordon Brown's official apology for the state's persecution of Turing.[12][13] He has spoken about how he was bullied at school for being gay and on the impact of homophobic bullying in schools.[10] He was shortlisted for the Stonewall 'Politician of the Year' 2012.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iain Stewart MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d 'STEWART, Iain Aitken', Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, December 2012 ; online edn, November 2012 accessed 16 June 2013
  3. ^ a b Iain Stewart, www.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Milton Keynes South Parliamentary constituency". BBC Election 2015. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Conservative MP rents flat from staff member on expenses". Daily Telegraph. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b Iain Stewart's Official Biography, Iain Stewart's Campaign Website. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Iain Stewart MP re-elected to transport committee". Milton Keynes Citizen. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Milton Keynes South: Results 2017". BBC - Election 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Parliament Profile". Parliament. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  10. ^ a b MP Iain Stewart on how he was bullied for being gay, BBC news website, 12 June 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  11. ^ Geen, Jessica (7 May 2010). "Updated: Out gay Tory shadow ministers retain seats". Pink News.
  12. ^ MP calls for pardon for computer pioneer Alan Turing, BBC news website, 24 May 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  13. ^ Lloyd, Peter (25 June 2010). "New gay Tory MP pays tribute to Gordon Brown on Alan Turing". Pink Paper. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  14. ^ Stonewall Press Release of Shortlisted Candidates, Stonewall, 28 September 2012

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Phyllis Starkey
Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South
2010–present
Incumbent