Karl McCartney

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Karl McCartney
Member of Parliament
for Lincoln
In office
6 May 2010 – 9 June 2017
Preceded byGillian Merron
Succeeded byKaren Lee
Personal details
Born (1968-10-25) 25 October 1968 (age 50)[1]
Birkenhead, Cheshire, England[2]
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Cordelia McCartney[3]
Children2 sons
Alma materUniversity of Wales, Lampeter

Karl Ian McCartney (born 25 October 1968, Birkenhead) was Conservative Member of Parliament for Lincoln from the 2010 general election until he was defeated by Labour's Karen Lee in the 2017 general election.[1][4]


McCartney attended Birkenhead School from 1980–1986 and studied Geography at St David's University College in Lampeter (now University of Wales, Lampeter) from 1988 to 1992. At Lampeter he was student union president from 1991–1992 and captained the Welsh Universities First XI football team from 1990–1991.[2][4] He later worked in the City of London. He has been a school governor since 1995. In 1999 he completed an MBA from Kingston Business School and became a magistrate.[2]

Parliamentary career[edit]

McCartney was elected to parliament as MP for Lincoln in the 2010 general election, ousting Gillian Merron.[4][5] He made his maiden speech on 12 July during the debate on Corporation Tax.[6] McCartney spoke in 11 debates in 2014 – "well below average amongst MPs" – but took part in an above average 79% of votes.[7] In 2012 he was elected by Conservative MP colleagues to the Executive of the influential 1922 Committee and the Transport Select Committee and then after the 2015 General Election, he was re-elected to the same positions. As a prominent Leave Campaigner he was elected by his colleagues as a member of the Exiting the European Select Committee (known colloquially as the 'Brexit Committee') and led the successful[8] across Greater Lincolnshire during the EU Referendum.

Electoral Commission and police investigation[edit]

In March 2017, the Electoral Commission fined the Conservative party £70,000 following the United Kingdom general election, 2015 party spending investigation.[9] During the 2015 general election coaches of activists were transported to marginal constituencies including Lincoln to campaign alongside or in close proximity to local campaigners. The inclusion in the Party national return of what in the commission's view should have been reported as candidate spending meant that there was a realistic prospect that this enabled its candidates to gain a financial advantage over opponents. In consequence, Karl McCartney was investigated by Lincolnshire Police over whether he breached election spending rules.[10] Lincolnshire Police subsequently passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on whether Mr McCartney should be prosecuted for electoral fraud in relation to the 2015 general election.[11][12] In May 2017, the CPS announced that no further action would be taken in respect of the allegations.[13] In advance of the 2017 general election, McCartney issued a letter to all other candidates for the Lincoln seat, warning of legal action against false, misleading or defamatory statements in the wake of investigations into the party's spending.[14] One of the other candidates provided a "musical response" to the letter. [15]


McCartney is opposed to the idea of same-sex marriage arguing in a 2012 reply to a constituent's letter on the matter that he felt it would next lead to "multi-partnership marriages... [and] a reduction in the age of permitted marriage".[16][17][18]


McCartney was a leading advocate[19][20][21] in Parliament for tackling the educational underperformance for boys/gender education gap. In April 2012 McCartney said that publication of the results of the Department for Education's investigation into allegations of misuse of funds at Lincoln's Priory Federation of Academies Trust should be delayed.[22]

Rail transport[edit]

By late November 2014 work had commenced on the pedestrian footbridge over the level crossing on High Street with a further footbridge over the railway due to be constructed in 2015 following years of campaigning by McCartney (and his predecessor) and Lincoln City Council to Network Rail. It was announced in the same month that InterCity Railways, the new operator of the East Coast Rail Franchise, would increase the number of direct trains to London from Lincoln to six per day during their operating timeframe, thereby finally providing a service originally planned for the 2011 "Eureka" timetable, but dropped shortly after McCartney was elected in May 2010, when it was announced that the services would be cut back to just one, after DOR took over operations from National Express.[23]

Road transport[edit]

McCartney campaigned to ensure there are curbs on false whiplash car injury claims.[24] There is now a current Government consultation[25] on the latter.

On Thursday 4 December McCartney was able to confirm that the £49.5m of funding for the Eastern Bypass was secure and that the Government would support in principle a future bid for the bypass to be a dual carriageway.[26] This funding comes nearly 5 years after the original plan for a dual carriageway bypass was cancelled by the Conservative led coalition for being too costly. As of April 2015 work has not commenced and it is unclear when or if it will as it does not feature in the Coalition's Road Investment Strategy. McCartney claimed however to have received verbal assurances from Government Ministers that the funding was secure and the project would go ahead.

Inappropriate comments[edit]

On 28 February 2013 McCartney apologised to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for the content of notes he had sent to staff. The notes were described by IPSA Chief Executive, Andrew McDonald as 'abusive', 'offensive' and 'condescending'. McCartney's apology stated, "I apologise unreservedly to IPSA for my comments which were inappropriate, and which I regret having made. I accept that such comments have given cause for offence. You will not see me making similar remarks in the future in respect of IPSA, which has a difficult and important job to do."[27] The following month he claimed that IPSA's incompetence had forced MPs from all parties to borrow money and that he had had to ask his parents for financial assistance.[28] McCartney also said that he had been told by a "senior IPSA official" that the organisation intended to "damage MPs as much as possible," a claim that IPSA said was "wild ..simply untrue."[28]

Women in politics and 'Twitter' incident[edit]

McCartney's attitude to women was criticised after a councillor sent him a tweet comparing the 2015 election all female Labour Party shortlist in his constituency to women modelling underwear.[29] After a hostile response, the councillor, a Conservative chairman in Margaret Thatcher's home town of Grantham deleted the remark and apologised. Selected Labour party candidate Lucy Rigby, noting that only 1 in 5 Tory MPs were women, retweeted 'Here's Karl McCartney MP & Tory Cllr discussing my selection to stand as a MP. & ppl q why aren't more women in politics.' McCartney replied that those with a sense of humour would appreciate the remark though he said the comment was addressed to another Twitter user joining the debate.[29]

In a separate incident, McCartney complained to Twitter about its "security changes" after his favourited pictures were observed to contain pornographic bondage images.[30][31]


  1. ^ a b "Karl McCartney MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Karl McCartney". Conservative Party. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  3. ^ "House of Commons Official Report" (PDF), Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 513 (30), 12 July 2010, retrieved 25 May 2012
  4. ^ a b c "Karl McCartney MP". Westminster Parliamentary Record. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Election 2010; UK Highlights". Wales Online. 6 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Finance Bill Corporation tax:Karl McCartney". TheyWorkForYou.com. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Numerology". theyworkforyou.com. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Lincolnshire records UK's highest Brexit vote"., BBC Lincolnshire 24 June 2016
  9. ^ "Electoral Commission – Conservative Party fined £70,000 following investigation into election campaign expenses". www.electoralcommission.org.uk.
  10. ^ "Lincolnshire Police launch official investigation into alleged election fraud". thelincolnite.co.uk.
  11. ^ http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/lincolnshire-police-submits-file-to-cps-amid-general-election-expenses-row/story-30206835-detail/story.html
  12. ^ "Two Tory MPs reveal CPS is reviewing their election spending". Archived from the original on 2017-03-16.
  13. ^ "The Conservative election expenses cases explained". 10 May 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  14. ^ "Karl McCartney issues threatening letter to Lincoln MP candidates". thelincolnite.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Listen to Lincoln MP candidate's musical response to letter from Karl McCartney". thelincolnite.co.uk.
  16. ^ "Lincoln MP Karl McCartney defiant over his views on same-sex marriage". Lincolnshire Echo. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  17. ^ "Tory MP Karl McCartney's Letter To Constituent On Gay Marriage Leaks". The Huffington Post. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  18. ^ Stephen Gray (20 April 2012). "Tory MP tells constituent marriage equality could mean 'polygamy and child marriages'". Pink News. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  19. ^ "House of Commons Parliamentary Debate". Hansard 6 September 2016
  20. ^ "Schools and colleges failing boys". The Guardian 06 September 2016
  21. ^ "In Post Brexit Britain it is time to end the gender education gap". Daily Telegraph 6 September 2016
  22. ^ "Priory Academy: Report should not be released yet, says MP". BBC News. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Extra Lincoln to London rail services plan is scrapped". 17 June 2010 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  24. ^ "House of Commons Parliamentary Debate". House of Commons Hansard, 18 November 2015
  25. ^ "Ministry of Justice Consultation". Ministry of Justice 17 November 2016
  26. ^ "£49.5 million needed for Lincoln Eastern Bypass is secure, says City's MP". Lincolnshire Echo. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  27. ^ Christopher Hope (28 February 2013). "'You're talking s****': Tory MP Karl McCartney rebuked for insulting expenses watchdog in notes". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  28. ^ a b Peter Dominiczak (27 March 2013). "Karl McCartney MP claims expenses watchdog incompetence forced him to borrow money from mum and dad". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  29. ^ a b Keith Perry (26 March 2014). "Tory councillor in sexism row after tweeting glamour photo". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  30. ^ "MP Karl McCartney denies 'favouriting' bondage porn tweet". BBC Lincoln. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Tory MP Karl McCartney favourites NSFW bondage image of naked woman, denies all knowledge". The Independent. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gillian Merron
Member of Parliament for Lincoln
Succeeded by
Karen Lee