Ian Taylor (British politician)

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Ian Taylor
Member of Parliament
for Esher and Walton
Esher (1987-1997)
In office
12 June 1987 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Carol Mather
Succeeded by Dominic Raab
Personal details
Born (1945-04-18) 18 April 1945 (age 72)
Coventry, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Carole Alport
Alma mater Keele University

Ian Colin Taylor MBE (born 18 April 1945[1]) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Esher from 1987 to 1997, and then for Esher and Walton from 1997 to 2010.

Early life[edit]

He went to Whitley Abbey School, Abbey Road, Coventry. He studied at Keele University, receiving a BA (Hons) in Economics, Politics and Modern History in 1967. He then did research at the London School of Economics. In 1969, he joined Hill Samuel & Co. In 1971, he became the manager of the European Department at Stirling & Co. From 1975–8, he lived in Paris. He worked as a Director for Mathercourt Securities Ltd from 1980-91. He is an Associate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

Political career[edit]

Before being elected for Esher in 1987, Taylor had fought Coventry South East in February 1974, being beaten by Labour's Bill Wilson.

In the period in which he served Esher the make-up of the seat was classified by economists as a 'natural home' for Taylor's party,[citation needed] and by historians as a safe seat including its main successor which he served from 1997 to 2010. This is part of the London Commuter Belt, and quite apart from this, has seen strong Conservative majorities since the 1930s, Taylor won five elections before deciding to stand down at the 2010 General Election to resume a business career.[2]

He was during his first two terms appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) at the Foreign Office, Department of Health and Cabinet Office. He served as Minister for Science and Technology for most of the Second Major ministry: from 1994 to 1997. He became a Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland in 1997, tracking the peace process.

He supported bids for leadership and main policies of Kenneth ('Ken') Clarke except in the 2005 Conservative leadership contest he backed David Davis.

Taylor was the Chairman of the European Movement (2000–2005) and a member of the Britain in Europe Council[clarification needed] until 2005. He chaired the Conservative Europe Group, formerly Conservative Group for Europe 2007-11. His views became increasingly challenged by the Conservative Party. In December 2000 he comfortably overcame an attempted de-selection campaign by eurosceptics in his constituency.

He specialised in science and technology issues. He was Minister for Science, Technology & Space at the DTI during 1994 - 1997 in a Conservative Government. During this time he dealt with a wide variety of issues, including providing support for the next phase of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, increasing awareness of the importance of access to the early internet revolution and coordinating Government support for the Roslin Institute which led to the Cloning of Dolly the Sheep and the creation of the Human Genetics Advisory Commission in February 1997.

He was Chairman of the Conservative Policy Task-force on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics 2005–2009. He chaired the all-Party Parliamentary and Scientific Committee (the oldest all-party committee), which includes the Parliamentary Engineering Group. He was also an officer of several all-party Parliamentary committees, including the Office of Science & Technology, the Information Society Alliance (EURIM), PITCOM (Information Technology Committee) and the Corporate Social Responsibility Group.

He was a member of the ippr Commission on National Security 2007–09. He was a Visiting Parliamentary Fellow at St. Antony's College Oxford in the Hilary Term 2007, lecturing on energy security. He chaired the European Movement 2000–05 and the Conservative Europe Group 2007-11 and also in 1985–88. He also chaired the Cuba Initiative 2006–2011.

In 2003, he was one of only 15 Conservative MPs who voted against the Iraq War.[citation needed]

Among his minority political viewpoints were a support of shooting and smoking cigars.[citation needed]

From 1997 until 2010, he was a non-executive director of or adviser to various companies (see Register of Members' Interests).[citation needed]

Space industry and research contributions[edit]

In 2008, Ian Taylor gained the (Sir) Arthur C. Clarke Award for Individual Achievement in Promoting Space and Science. He was co-chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee and in 2009 he chaired the European Inter-Parliamentary Space Conference.


In 2009, Ian Taylor was not accused of wrongdoing in the expenses scandal that called on MPs to make reimbursements, apologies or resign. Outside of the relatively narrow ring set of commuting time, which has since been changed he claimed the maximum allowed for a second home allowance for a London home for the four years between 2003 and 2008 - his main residence was near Guildford. All such information became public in 2005.

Career after leaving Parliament[edit]

Ian Taylor has become chairman of two companies, on the board or advisory board of others, is on the Government's Science & Technology Facilities Council, on an ESA (European Space Agency) Advisory Board, chairs the National Space Academy steering group and is a Trustee of the Centre of the Cell.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Taylor married Carole Alport in 1974 and they have two sons.[1]


In 2008, he was the winner of the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Best Individual Achievement. This was for his work in promoting UK space activity, including his position as co-chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee, and also for his efforts to promote the uptake of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in UK education.


  1. ^ a b "Biography". Ian Taylor. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Standing Down Conservative Home

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Carol Mather
Member of Parliament for Esher
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton
Succeeded by
Dominic Raab
Political offices
Preceded by
Patrick McLoughlin
as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Technology
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Trade and Technology
1994 – 1997
Succeeded by
The Lord Sainsbury of Turville