Sir Patrick Allen McLoughlin (born 30 November 1957) is a British Conservative politician. He first became a Member of Parliament (MP) at the 1986 by-election in West Derbyshire. The constituency became the Derbyshire Dales for the 2010 general election; McLoughlin has remained the seat's MP. As a former miner, he is one of the few Conservative MPs to have been a manual worker before being elected to Parliament. On 4 September 2012, he was appointed Secretary of State for Transport. On 14 July 2016, he became Chairman of the Conservative Party and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, under the new administration of Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May. He resigned as Chairman on 8 January 2018.
Early life and career
McLoughlin was born in Stafford on 30 November 1957, the son and grandson of coal miners. He was educated at the Cardinal Griffin Roman Catholic School in Cannock, Staffordshire, and Staffordshire College of Agriculture at Rodbaston College. From 1974, he worked for five years as a farm worker and, after 1979, worked underground at the Littleton Colliery in Cannock. He was a member of the National Union of Mineworkers, and became an industrial representative for the National Coal Board's Western Area Marketing Department.
As with the majority of the Staffordshire miners, McLoughlin did not observe the NUM's strike in 1984–85 and later came to national attention when he stood up at the 1984 Conservative Party Conference to announce that he was a working miner. He moved from underground belt attendant to Area Marketing representative in September 1985, five months after the end of the strike.
McLoughlin was elected as a councillor on the Cannock Chase District Council, serving for seven years from 1980, and was a councillor on Staffordshire County Council from 1981–87. In 1982, McLoughlin served as the Chairman of the National Young Conservatives.
Matthew Parris, then Conservative MP for West Derbyshire, had resigned from the House of Commons to pursue a media career and McLoughlin was chosen to contest the 1986 by-election. He held the seat, albeit very narrowly, with a 100 majority.
In Parliament, McLoughlin served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary, initially to Angela Rumbold (Minister of State at the Department for Education and Science (1987–88) and then to David Young, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1988–89). McLoughlin was made a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1989, and served in the Department for Transport until 1992, when he was moved by Prime Minister John Major to serve in the same position at the Department of Employment. A year later, McLoughlin was moved to the Department of Trade and Industry.
He joined the government as Assistant Whip in 1995, becoming a Lord Commissioner in 1996. After the Conservative Party's defeat at the 1997 general election, he remained in the whips' office in opposition, becoming the Deputy Chief Whip in 1998. He was then promoted to Chief Whip by David Cameron in 2005. McLoughlin has also served on many select committees. As Opposition Chief Whip, he was sworn of the Privy Council in June 2005.
Following boundary changes, the West Derbyshire constituency was abolished at the 2010 general election, and McLoughlin was elected to the successor seat of Derbyshire Dales, achieving exactly the same number of votes. Prime Minister David Cameron appointed McLoughlin as the government's Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. During his tenure as Chief Whip, he was reprimanded by the Speaker John Bercow for inappropriate behaviour within the House of Commons.
In a government reshuffle in September 2012, McLoughlin was appointed Secretary of State for Transport. Soon after his appointment he had to cancel the award of the InterCity West Coast franchise due to major technical flaws in the bidding process.
As Transport Secretary, McLoughlin oversaw large-scale government investment in rail in the wake of increasing passenger numbers in the years following rail privatisation. From 2014–19, £38 billion of improvement works are planned, including Crossrail, the Thameslink Programme, electrification of the Great Western Main Line and the Northern Powerhouse scheme to boost transport links in the North of England.
In 2017, construction began on HS2, a high-speed link between major cities that will "triple the long-distance capacity to the North of England" as well as freeing up the West Coast Main Line for freight and commuter trains. In 2015, McLoughlin said "So the argument has been won. HS2 will be built, the full ‘Y’ network, from London to Birmingham and Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. HS2 will change the transport architecture of the north. But it will also change the economic architecture."
In November 2013, he made a speech praising the impact of the privatisation of British Rail, saying that "Privatisation sparked a railway renaissance. Since 1993, passenger journeys have doubled in the UK to a level not seen since the 1920s. On a network roughly the same size as 15 years ago, today our railway is running 4,000 more services a day. And rail freight has grown by 60%. Revenue is up more than £3 billion since privatisation, almost all of it due to higher passenger numbers rather than fare rises. Safety levels are at an all time high. Punctuality is at near record levels. And passenger satisfaction is up by 10% over the past decade." However, a number of academics and journalists disputed this and subsequently argued that the evidence suggested the privatisation had largely failed, creating new inefficiencies, failing to create genuine competition and seeing steep rises in costs to passengers.
In December 2015, he announced the winners of the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises which include new trains, services and free wifi, saying "Arriva Rail North and First TransPennine Express went far beyond our requirements with exciting, ambitious plans that will make a real difference to customers, and – coupled with our commitment to push ahead with electrifying the vital TransPennine route – will help the region realise its full economic potential, ensuring it has a modern 21st century transport system."
McLoughlin's efforts to meet and pacify Cumbrian residents of Pooley Bridge and Soulsby following the 2015 floods were ridiculed in The Independent when the ministerial party arrived on the wrong side of the collapsed bridge. The paper compared the event to a scene from the BBC comedy The Thick of It.
McLoughlin oversaw the beginning of the £15 billion road upgrade package to improve routes and add lanes.
After the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister following the UK's vote to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016, McLoughlin was made Conservative Party Chairman by new Prime Minister Theresa May on 14 July 2016. He was appointed Knight Bachelor in the 2016 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours, by his colleague in the Conservative Party, for political and public service.
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In a 24 July 2016 interview on the Andrew Marr Show, Patrick McLoughlin said "Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will be triggered before the next general election. It's very clear that Brexit means Brexit. Brexit means that we're coming out of the European Union. We want to see our own borders under our own control."
McLoughlin stepped down as Chairman of the Conservative Party on 8 January 2018, saying that he had had "a very good run" and was replaced by Brandon Lewis. He also resigned as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with David Lidington being his successor. Prior to his resignation, McLoughlin had come under increasing pressure to resign from colleagues in the Conservative Party over the disappointing performance of the party in the 2017 general election and various issues with the most recent party conference.
He is married to Lynn McLoughlin, who he employs as a Senior Parliamentary Assistant on a salary up to £40,000. His son James is also employed by the Conservative Party as a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister.
- Mr Patrick McLoughlin (1957–1986)
- Mr Patrick McLoughlin MP (1986–2005)
- The Rt Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP (2005–2016)
- The Rt Hon. Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP (2016–)
- "Mcloughlin, Rt Hon. Sir Patrick (Allen), (born 30 Nov. 1957), PC 2005; MP (C) Derbyshire Dales, since 2010 (West Derbyshire, May 1986–2010); Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, since 2016; Chairman, Conservative Party, since 2016". Who's Who. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.26080.
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- Profile at the Conservative Party
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Contributions in Parliament during 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 at Hansard Archives
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for West Derbyshire
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament
for Derbyshire Dales
| Shadow Chief Whip of the House of Commons
| Chief Whip of the House of Commons
| Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury|
| Secretary of State for Transport
| Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
|Party political offices|
| Conservative Chief Whip of the House of Commons
The Lord Feldman of Elstree
| Chair of the Conservative Party