Martin Horwood

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Martin Horwood
Martin Horwood MP in 2006.jpg
Horwood in 2006
Member of Parliament
for Cheltenham
In office
5 May 2005 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byNigel Jones
Succeeded byAlex Chalk
Personal details
Martin Charles Horwood

(1962-10-12) 12 October 1962 (age 56)
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Shona Arora (m. 1995)
Alma materThe Queen's College, Oxford

Martin Charles Horwood (born 12 October 1962) is a British Liberal Democrat politician who was the Member of Parliament for Cheltenham from 2005 to 2015.

During his tenure, he founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples. Horwood now serves as Director of Engagement and Impact at Development Initiatives.

Early life[edit]

Cheltenham College

Horwood was born in St. Paul's, Cheltenham. He attended Pate's Junior School. His parents lived first in St. Mark's and then in Leckhampton, where his mother still lives.[citation needed]

He joined the Cheltenham Young Liberals while still at Cheltenham College in 1979. In 1981, he went on to read Modern History at The Queen's College, Oxford, and was elected president of the Oxford Student Liberal Society and then chair of the party's national student wing, the Union of Liberal Students.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Horwood speaking in the Houses of Parliament, 2009

Horwood stood twice unsuccessfully before gaining election. In 1992, he was defeated by Labour's Andrew Smith in the seat of Oxford East, he came third with 13% share of the vote. In 2001, he came third in Cities of London and Westminster, with 15.4% share of the vote.

Horwood was adopted as parliamentary candidate for Cheltenham following the decision by sitting Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones to stand down. Horwood was elected at the 2005 general election, winning the seat with a majority of 2,303 over the Conservatives, although the Liberal Democrats' share of the vote fell by 6.2%.[1]

He was appointed by his party to the select committee scrutinising the work of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister – now the Department for Communities and Local Government.[2]

In July 2005, then party leader Charles Kennedy appointed Horwood to the Shadow Home Affairs team, before he was promoted by Menzies Campbell to be Shadow Environment Minister, under Chris Huhne, whom Horwood had backed in the party's leadership election.[2]

Horwood was the chairman and founder of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples. Created in 2007, the APPG for Tribal Peoples is composed of over 30 cross-party MPs and peers with the aim of raising parliamentary and public awareness of tribal peoples. Its secretariat is the international indigenous rights organisation, Survival International. The Group meets two or three times a year and one of its main objectives is to press for ratification of ILO Convention 169 on the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples.[3]

Horwood was also the Secretary of the APPG on corporate responsibility.[4]

In March 2009, Horwood was one of several MPs used as examples by the BBC looking at the reliability of Wikipedia. He urged Wikipedia to crack down upon abuses of the open editing facility and "acts of political vandalism".[5]

In December 2010, Horwood attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancún, Mexico with fellow Liberal Democrat, then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne.[6]

Despite having secured over 50% of the vote in the 2010 general election, with a 9.3% swing and a 3,920-vote majority, Horwood lost his seat during the national Liberal Democrat collapse in the 2015 general election, losing to the Conservative candidate Alex Chalk.[7][8] He unsuccessfully attempted to regain his seat during the 2017 general election, although he reduced Chalk's majority by 7.6%.[9]

Life after Parliament[edit]

Since 2015, Horwood has been director of engagement and impact at Development Initiatives.[10] In 2018 he also won an election to Cheltenham Borough Council, becoming councillor for the Leckhampton ward.


  1. ^ "BBC NEWS – Election 2005 – Results – Cheltenham".
  2. ^ a b Biography on Liberal Democrat party website
  3. ^ All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples website Archived 29 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "BBC NEWS – UK – UK Politics – UK politicians' Wikipedia worries".
  6. ^ "Tuition fees: How Liberal Democrat MPs voted"
  7. ^ "BBC News | Election 2010 | Constituency | Cheltenham". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Cheltenham parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Cheltenham parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Home". Development Initiatives. Retrieved 2017-04-25.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nigel Jones
Member of Parliament for Cheltenham
Succeeded by
Alex Chalk