Julian Brazier

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Julian Brazier

Julian Brazier solo.jpg
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Reserves[1]
In office
14 July 2014 – 16 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Member of Parliament
for Canterbury
In office
11 June 1987 – 8 June 2017
Preceded byDavid Crouch
Succeeded byRosie Duffield
Personal details
Born (1953-07-24) 24 July 1953 (age 65)
Dartford, Kent, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Katharine Elizabeth Blagden
Alma materBrasenose College, Oxford
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
Years of service1972–1985
UnitSpecial Air Service
Parachute Regiment
AwardsEfficiency Decoration

Sir Julian William Hendy Brazier TD (born 24 July 1953) is a British Conservative Party politician. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Canterbury from 1987 to 2017.

He was a shadow transport minister until May 2010, with responsibility for aviation and shipping, and is a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship. He was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence in the reshuffle on 15 July 2014, and retained the position after holding his seat in the 2015 general election. Following the formation of Theresa May's government in July 2016 he returned to the backbenches but, in what was possibly the most shocking result of the night, Brazier lost his seat to Labour by 187 votes in 2017.

Early life and career[edit]

Born into a military family, his father being a lieutenant colonel, Brazier was educated at two independent schools: the Dragon School in Oxford and Wellington College in the village of Crowthorne in Berkshire. He then went to Brasenose College, Oxford, graduating with a BA in mathematics and philosophy, later promoted to an Oxford MA. He was the President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1973.

Brazier joined the Territorial Army aged 19 in 1972 and served for 13 years, five of which were with 21 SAS(R). He was awarded the Efficiency Decoration in 1993. He was employed by Charter Consolidated Ltd between 1975 and 1984, being involved in economic research from 1975 to 1977 and corporate finance from 1977 to 1981, and was on the executive committee of the board from 1981 to 1984, when he became a management consultant with HB Maynard International,[2] now owned by Accenture.

Brazier contested the 1983 general election in Berwick-upon-Tweed, but was defeated by the Liberal MP Alan Beith by 8,215 votes. He contested the Conservative safe seat of Canterbury at the 1987 general election following the retirement of the sitting MP, Sir David Crouch. He held the seat with a majority of 14,891.[3]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Brazier became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Gillian Shephard, the Minister of State at the Treasury. He remained Shephard's PPS following the 1992 general election in her new capacity as the Secretary of State for Employment, but he resigned in 1993 as a protest against defence cuts. He was awarded the 'Backbencher of the Year' at the annual Spectator magazine awards in 1996. Following the 1997 general election, he became a member of the Defence Select Committee.[4]

It was not until after the 2001 general election that Brazier was given a job by Iain Duncan Smith, then Leader of the Opposition, initially as an Opposition Whip in 2001, he became a spokesman on Work and Pensions in 2002.[5]

He was briefly Home Affairs spokesman in 2003, before being moved later in the year by Michael Howard, who had succeeded Duncan Smith, to be a spokesman on International Affairs. Brazier remained on the frontbench after the 2005 general election as a spokesman on Transport (Shipping & Aviation).[6]

Brazier was a member of the Cornerstone Group of Conservative MPs.[7] This group is considered to be on the right of the Conservative Party, and away from the more centrist direction of the leadership. As a practising Roman Catholic,[8] He is a social conservative. Brazier supported a bill put forth by Laurence Robertson in June 2005 that would have put heavy restraints on abortion.[9]

In 2008, he proposed a law that would allow parliament to ban seriously violent films and games, even if the BBFC had approved them.[10] Unlike many Cornerstone members, Brazier does not belong to Better Off Out, which advocates EU withdrawal. However, in the run up to the 2016 EU membership referendum, Julian Brazier was in favour of leaving the EU.

Towards the end of the Lebanese Civil War, Brazier visited Beirut and Lebanese president Michel Aoun, while the city was besieged by Syrian occupation forces[11]. In 1996 he returned, organising the British delegation to an Anglo-Lebanese conference on Freedom and Democracy held in defiance of the Syrian-backed regime but attended by the UK and US ambassadors[12]. He would later return in 2006 as UK representative at an international protest against the treatment of Lebanese lawyer, Dr Muhamad Mugraby, who had exposed the arrest and illegal detentions during the Syrian-dominated era[13].

Brazier consistently voted against bills furthering LGBT rights, including equaling the age of consent, civil partnerships and scrapping the controversial Section 28 act, which banned teachers from "promoting homosexuality" or "teaching ... the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship".[citation needed] He opposed the legalisation of same-sex marriage, saying that it would "undermine a treasured institution and could have unforeseen consequences". Brazier was also quoted as saying, "We shouldn’t allow an institution of this importance to be re-defined simply to meet a rights agenda".[14]

Because of his earlier career, Brazier has a special interest in the armed forces and was an advocate of military issues in the House of Commons. He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014.[15] In 2010, Brazier was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a member of a three person commission to plan the future of Britain's reserve armed forces. This reported in July 2011, providing a blueprint which was subsequent largely adopted by the government in its 2013 white paper.[16][17] In May 2014, he was one of eight candidates for the chairmanship of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee. Although unsuccessful, he came third on the first round, and was only eliminated after six rounds of voting.[18][19] He served as a member of the committee from 2010 to 2014, when he was appointed Minister for Reserves at the Ministry of Defence.[20][21]

As co-chairman of the All Party Group for Adventure & Recreation in Society, Brazier campaigned against the impact of so called compensation culture and excessive health and safety legislation on adventure opportunities for young people.[22][23] For this, he was shortlisted for the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award in 2015, and he remains in the directory of the Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who publication.[24]

Brazier was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours.[25] At the general election 2017, he narrowly lost his Canterbury seat to Labour's Rosie Duffield.[26]

Subsequent career[edit]

Following his defeat in the 2017 general election, Brazier became non-executive chairman of a 'counter terrorism' security company,[27] and non-executive director of a virtual reality startup,[28] as well as a member of the Council of the Air League.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Julian Brazier married Katharine Elizabeth Blagden on 21 July 1984 in Hampshire. The couple have three sons (twins born July 1990, and another son born December 1992). His youngest son, John, was elected councillor for Westgate ward at the Canterbury City Council election, 2015, and resigned in 2017.[30] He is the son-in-law of Brigadier Paddy Blagden, a United Nations de-mining expert.[31]

In February 2002, he was given a four-month suspended sentence after he crashed into and killed a motorcyclist in Italy on 29 August 2001.[32][33] Brazier had been driving on the wrong side of the road approaching a sharp bend when he hit a motorcyclist, 42-year-old Carlo Civitelli, near Siena. He used his TA training to give Civitelli first aid at the scene, but the man died three days later. Italian police found that Mr Civitelli's helmet was not properly fitted and that he was probably speeding. After the verdict, Brazier said in a statement: "I am still deeply saddened by the tragic consequences of my lapse of attention. My thoughts are with the Civitelli family whose reaction to the whole terrible business has been so generous". He also said "as a parent, I shall carry the memory of this man's death with me for the rest of my life."[32]


  1. ^ "Julian Brazier". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Accenture and H.B. Maynard Join Forces: Improving Workforce Performance for High Performers". Hbmaynard.com. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  3. ^ "UK General Election results: June 1987 [Archive]". www.politicsresources.net. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  4. ^ Commons, The Committee Office, House of. "House of Commons - Defence - Seventh Report". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Julian Brazier". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  6. ^ Oliver, Mark (31 January 2006). "Tanker crew rescued after collision". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  7. ^ "About Us". The Cornerstone Group. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  8. ^ Greaves, Mark (14 May 2010). "Election ushers in new Catholic MPs". London, UK: Catholic Herald. Archived from the original on 19 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  9. ^ "HCB33.book" (PDF). Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  10. ^ "Why I want to legislate against video nasties". cornerstonegroup.wordpress.com. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  11. ^ Bruce George, The Sunday Telegraph, 28th October 1990
  12. ^ "About Sir Julian | Julian Brazier". web.archive.org. 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  13. ^ Julian Brazier, Parliament's House Magazine, 24th April 2006
  14. ^ "MP rejects gay 'marriage'". Kent Online. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  15. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013-14". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  16. ^ "Future Reserves 2020 Study (FR20): final report". GOV.UK. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Future Reserves 2020 (FR20)". GOV.UK. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Defence Committee Chair election: Rory Stewart MP elected" (PDF). parliament.uk. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  19. ^ "MP expenses: Who employs family members". The Telegraph. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  20. ^ Commons, The Committee Office, House of. "House of Commons - Securing the Future of Afghanistan - Defence Committee". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  21. ^ "New Minister for Reserves visits commando engineer reservists". GOV.UK. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Cub scouts banned from entering Parliament due to age". 8 July 2009. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Julian Brazier MP: Rolling back excessive health and safety legislation will ensure youngsters don't miss out on sporting and adventurous activities | Conservative Home". Conservative Home. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  25. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N2.
  26. ^ "Canterbury parliamentary constituency - Election 2017 - BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  27. ^ "HOME". Pathway Risk Management. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  28. ^ "Venture Firm". Venture Firm. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Key People – The Air League". www.airleague.co.uk. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  30. ^ "City councillor steps down after two years due to career demands". Kent Online. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  31. ^ "PressReader.com - Connecting People Through News". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  32. ^ a b "Tory MP tells of crash horror". BBC News. 7 September 2001. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  33. ^ "Tory MP guilty over road death". BBC News. 2 February 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2010.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Crouch
Member of Parliament for Canterbury
Succeeded by
Rosie Duffield