Keith Best

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Keith Best
Member of the United Kingdom Parliament
for Ynys Môn
In office
Preceded by Cledwyn Hughes
Succeeded by Ieuan Wyn Jones
Personal details
Born Keith Lander Best
(1949-06-10) 10 June 1949 (age 67)
Nationality British

Keith Lander Best (born 10 June 1949) is a former Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Anglesey from 1979 (when he gained the seat from Labour) to 1983, and for (the renamed) Ynys Môn from 1983 to 1987. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Wales from 1981 to 1984.

He was forced to resign his seat in 1987 following a conviction for fraud. He he has since led the organisations Prisoners Abroad (1989–1993), the Immigration Advisory Service (1993–2009) and Freedom from Torture (2010–2014).


Keith Best was born in Brighton, and was educated at Brighton College and Keble College, Oxford, before becoming a barrister in 1973. He served in the Territorial Army Royal Artillery 1967–89, reaching the rank of Major, and as a Brighton Borough councillor 1976–80.

After his election to Parliament Best was driving when his car was involved in an accident resulting in the death of his personal assistant; the incident affected his reputation, even though he was cleared of responsibility.[1]

During the privatisation of British Telecom, individuals were limited to a single allocation of shares. Best submitted many applications by using minor variations of his name. On 30 September 1987, he was sentenced to four months' imprisonment for this fraud, and was fined £3,000. On 5 October 1987, the Court of Appeal ruled that his jail sentence was too harsh, and Best was released, but his fine was increased to £4,500.[2]

In 1987 his successor as MP for Ynys Mon was Plaid Cymru candidate Ieuan Wyn Jones. In 2000 Best failed in a bid for reselection by the Conservative Party in Ynys Môn.

In 1987 he was the chairman of the executive committee of the World Federalist Movement. He was director of Prisoners Abroad 1989–93. He was chief executive of the Immigration Advisory Service 1993–2009. He was Chairman of the Council of the Electoral Reform Society 1998–2003, and is Chairman of Conservative Action for Electoral Reform. In 2003, he was named by The Guardian as one of the 100 most influential people in public services in the UK.

In April 2010 he took up the post of Chief Executive Officer of Freedom from Torture (formerly Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture),[3] where he remained until 2014.

He is married to Elizabeth Gibson, Chief Executive of the charity the Evelina Trust; and they have two daughters.


  1. ^ "Keith Best Papers". National Library of Wales. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  2. ^ The World Book Encyclopedia Yearbook, 1988, p. 523
  3. ^ Dudman, Jane (2011-06-21). "Leading questions: Keith Best, Freedom from Torture". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-26. 


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Cledwyn Hughes
Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn
Succeeded by
Ieuan Wyn Jones