Matthew Taylor, Baron Taylor of Goss Moor

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Taylor of Goss Moor
Chair of the Liberal Democrats
In office
12 June 2003 – 5 May 2005
Leader Charles Kennedy
Preceded by Mark Oaten
Succeeded by Paul Holmes
Liberal Democrats Treasury Spokesman
In office
9 August 1999 – 12 June 2003
Leader Charles Kennedy
Preceded by Malcolm Bruce
Succeeded by Vince Cable
Member of Parliament
for Truro and St Austell
Truro (1987–1997)
In office
13 March 1987 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by David Penhaligon
Succeeded by Seat Abolished
Personal details
Born (1963-01-03) 3 January 1963 (age 54)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrats

Matthew Owen John Taylor, Baron Taylor of Goss Moor (born 3 January 1963) is a Liberal Democrat politician in the United Kingdom. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Truro and St Austell in Cornwall from 1987 until he stood down at the 2010 general election. He was granted a life peerage and so became a member of the House of Lords in July 2010.

Early life[edit]

Matthew Taylor is the adopted son of Kenneth Taylor, a television script writer best known for The Jewel in the Crown and The Camomile Lawn.

In 2008 he traced his birth mother and learnt that his great-grandfather had been another Liberal MP Sir Percy Harris who served later as an allied-Progressive MP.[1]


Taylor was educated at two independent schools: at Treliske Preparatory School (now known as Truro School Prep)[2] on Highertown (A390) in Truro, and University College School in Hampstead, north London, followed by Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Politically active from a young age, Taylor campaigned in his first general election in 1979 at the age of sixteen and joined the Cornwall anti-nuclear alliance a year later. After winning a scholarship, he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. While there, he was elected as President of the Oxford University Student Union for the year 1985–86 on the Liberal/SDP Alliance ticket.

In December 2015 Taylor was appointed President of the National Association of Local Councils.[4]

Member of Parliament[edit]

In 1986 he was assigned to the then Truro MP David Penhaligon as an economics researcher, but after Penhaligon died in a car crash at the end of that year, Taylor was selected to run as the Liberal candidate in the subsequent by-election, which he won in early 1987. Three months later he retained the seat at the 1987 general election. Aged 24, he was the youngest sitting MP at the time and took the title "Baby of the House" from fellow Alliance MP Charles Kennedy, holding the title for 10 years until 1997. His celebrity status gave him early access to political media and television programmes including the BBC's Question Time, while being an MP in a small party brought quick promotion to the front bench as local government spokesman.

Taylor has had a successful track record in backing leaders of his party, including Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy, whose successful leadership campaign Taylor led in 1999 after Ashdown stepped down. His reward was to be made the party's Treasury spokesman, in which role he attacked Labour over its decision to shed a penny from the basic rate of income tax and announced the policy of raising the upper rate to 50% for people earning over £100,000. He has also been the party's spokesperson on environmental issues.

Departure from parliament[edit]

Taylor announced in 2007 that he would not be seeking re-election to parliament and did not stand in the 2010 general election.[5] The Truro and St Austell constituency he represented was then abolished after a boundary review.


It was announced that Taylor would receive a life peerage in the 2010 Dissolution Honours and his title was gazetted as Baron Taylor of Goss Moor, of Truro in the County of Cornwall on 16 July 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Taylor married Vicky Garner (born 1973), a former director of pressure group Surfers Against Sewage, in 2007. The couple have two sons; Arthur Simon Rowan Taylor, born on 18 November 2006 at St Thomas' Hospital, London[6] and Jacob Oscar Heywood Taylor born on 12 February 2008 at home in Cornwall. Taylor & Garner Ltd provides business consultancy services, based in Roche, Cornwall.[7]


  1. ^ Adopted Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor reunited with his mother The Sunday Times, 16 March 2008
  2. ^ "Truro Prep and Pre Prep". Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "LMH, Oxford – Prominent Alumni". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Lib Dem MP MP Taylor to step down". BBC News. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2007. 
  6. ^ "MP and fiancee celebrate baby boy". BBC News. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2007. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Penhaligon
Member of Parliament for Truro
Constituency renamed
New constituency Member of Parliament for Truro & St Austell
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Charles Kennedy
Baby of the House
Succeeded by
Chris Leslie
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mark Oaten
Chair of the Liberal Democrats
Succeeded by
Paul Holmes