Neil Carmichael (Conservative politician)

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Neil Carmichael
Chair of the Education Select Committee
Assumed office
18 June 2015
Preceded by Graham Stuart
Member of Parliament
for Stroud
Assumed office
7 May 2010
Preceded by David Drew
Majority 4,866 (8.0%)[1]
Personal details
Born (1961-04-15) 15 April 1961 (age 56)[2]
Hexham, Northumberland, England
Nationality English
Political party Conservative
Alma mater University of Nottingham

William Neil Carmichael[3] (born 15 April 1961[4] in Hexham) is an English Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Stroud constituency in Gloucestershire since the 2010 general election.


Carmichael began his political career after being elected to Northumberland County Council in 1989 on which he served four years,[5] during this time he was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate in the 1992 General Election in the seat of Leeds East.[6]

In 1999 he moved to Gloucestershire where he was selected to stand for the Conservatives in the parliamentary seat of Stroud, losing to Labour in 2001 and in 2005.[7]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Neil Carmichael won the seat of Stroud in the 2010 General Election, with a 2% swing to the Conservatives from Labour and a majority of 1,299.[8]

On entering Parliament he made his maiden speech on 2 June 2010[9] and became a member of the Environmental Audit Committee,[10] the task of whom is to monitor the worthiness of all government department activity from the perspective of cutting carbon emissions.

He has had a consistent interest in education; he had been a member of the Education Select Committee of the House of Commons[11] with the duty to scrutinise the Department for Education and provide oversight on behalf of Parliament, before being elected as its chair in June 2015.[12] Earlier, in 2011 he founded the All Party Group on Education, Governance and Leadership[13] after coauthoring a report seeking to influence the reform of school governing boards.[14] He proposed a bill on the issue under the Ten Minute Rule in late 2014 but it made no further progress.[15]

In 2012, he founded the All Party Parliamentary Group on Vascular disease to raise awareness and encourages further research into vascular disease.[16] As Chair of the group he co-authored reports which highlighted the regional differences in amputation rates throughout England and which found there could be over 5,000 unnecessary leg amputations a year .[17][18][19] He also served as the Secretary of the Associate Parliamentary Health Group.[20]

Neil Carmichael is recognised to be one of the most active debaters in the House of Commons; the BBC reported in July 2011 that he ranks fourth amongst more than 200 MPs who were first elected in 2010 in the number of debates that they have attended.[21] As of 14 September 2011 he has voted in over 88% of divisions since becoming an MP, far above the average.[22] Though being an active debater, he has always voted exactly in line with the Conservative whip,[23] and on just one occasion he has voted in the opposite direction to the majority of voting Conservatives in a motion to bring a bill for a ban on smoking in private vehicles where there are children present.[24]

He was re-elected in 2015 with his majority increased to 4,886

Carmichael was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[25]


In May 2016 it emerged that Carmichael was one of a number of Conservative MPs being investigated by police in the United Kingdom general election, 2015 party spending investigation, for allegedly spending more than the legal limit for his constituency in his election campaign.[26][27][28] As of 16 March 2017, it was clear that the Gloucester police force had passed files to the Crown Prosecution Service for a possible prosecution, but not whether those pertained to Carmichael, to Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, or to both.[29] The CPS have confirmed that no further action will be taken.

In 2010 Carmichael was accused of hypocrisy over wind farms[30][31] by locals in Northumberland unhappy over his support for a wind farm development on land that he owns at Bavington Hill Head Farm in Northumberland, while as a Conservative candidate describing a single turbine proposed at Nympsfield as a “monstrosity”, and pledging to work to protect Gloucestershire’s rural landscapes from “excessive” developments. Carmichael's argument is that many proposed schemes in Gloucestershire border on, or are in, the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty whereas the proposed scheme in Northumberland has no such concerns.

He was also criticised by CAMRA for voting with the Government against an amendment to allow licensees to choose a non-tied pub lease after reportedly promising them that he would support the amendment in a photoshoot the day before.[32]

He has publicly opposed Grammar schools and selective education, yet was accused of hypocrisy after it was revealed that he sent his children to selective grammar schools.[33]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8742. 
  4. ^ "UK Political Database – Neil Carmichael". London: Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Leeds East
  7. ^ Stroud
  8. ^ Stroud
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Winning candidates for select committee Chairs announced". UK Parliament. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "School Governors (Appointment) Bill 2014-15School Governors (Appointment) Bill 2014–15". Parliament UK. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Diabetic people 'having unnecessary amputations'". Guardian. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  18. ^ Tackling peripheral arterial disease more effectively: Saving limbs, Saving Lives”
  19. ^ "Putting Vascular Disease at the Centre of Government Thinking”
  20. ^
  21. ^ "MPs' Class of 2010: End of term report". BBC News. 11 July 2011. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  26. ^ Jamie Wiseman, 'Tory election expenses: Neil Carmichael could be among MPs investigated by police for alleged election fraud', Stroud News & Journal, 11 May 2016.
  27. ^ Rowena Mason and Holly Watt, 'Two Tory MPs reveal CPS is reviewing their election spending', The Guardian (16 March 2017).
  28. ^ Rajeev Syal, 'Theresa May backs MPs investigated over 2015 election spending' (19 April 2017).
  29. ^ Rowena Mason and Holly Watt, 'Two Tory MPs reveal CPS is reviewing their election spending', The Guardian (16 March 2017).
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Drew
Member of Parliament for Stroud
2010 – present