Patrick McLoughlin

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This article is about the British politician. For people with similar names, see Patrick McLaughlin (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
Sir Patrick McLoughlin
Patrick McLoughlin - Secretary of State for Transport.jpg
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Assumed office
14 July 2016
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by Oliver Letwin
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Assumed office
14 July 2016
Leader Theresa May
Preceded by The Lord Feldman of Elstree
Secretary of State for Transport
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2016
Prime Minister David Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded by Justine Greening
Succeeded by Chris Grayling
Chief Whip of the House of Commons
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
In office
12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Nick Brown
Succeeded by Andrew Mitchell
Opposition Chief Whip of the House of Commons
In office
7 December 2005 – 11 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by David Maclean
Succeeded by Nick Brown
Member of Parliament
for Derbyshire Dales
West Derbyshire (1986–2010)
Assumed office
8 May 1986
Preceded by Matthew Parris
Majority 14, 044 (29.7%)
Personal details
Born Patrick Allen McLoughlin
(1957-11-30) 30 November 1957 (age 59)
Stafford, England, UK
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lynn Newman
Children 2
Alma mater South Staffordshire College
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]

Sir Patrick Allen McLoughlin PC MP (born 30 November 1957) is a British Conservative Party 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. On 4 September 2012, he was appointed Secretary of State for Transport.[2] As a former miner, he is one of the few Conservative MPs to have been a manual worker before being elected to Parliament.[3] 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.


McLoughlin was born in Stafford, 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.[4] 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,[5] 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.[6] He moved from underground belt attendant to Area Marketing representative in September 1985, five months after the end of the strike.

Political career[edit]

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.[5] In 1982, McLoughlin served as the Chairman of the National Young Conservatives.

McLoughlin unsuccessfully contested Wolverhampton South East at the 1983 general election, losing to the sitting Labour MP Robert Edwards by 5,000 votes.[7]

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.[8][9] 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 seat 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.[10]

Transport secretary[edit]

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.[11]

Rail Passengers in Great Britain from 1829–2016, showing the early era of small railway companies, the amalgamation into the "Big Four", nationalisation and finally the current era of privatisation

As Transport Secretary, McLoughlin has overseen 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.[12]

In 2017, construction will also start 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.[13] 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."[14]

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."[15]

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."[16]

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.[17]

McLoughlin oversaw the beginning of the £15 billion road upgrade package to improve routes and add lanes.[18]

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.

Chairman of the Conservative Party[edit]

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."[19]

Personal life[edit]

McLoughlin has been married to Lynn Newman since 1984. The couple have one son and one daughter.[5] McLoughlin kept a low profile before becoming Transport Secretary and would rarely give interviews.[20]


  • 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–)


  1. ^ Greaves, Mark (14 May 2010). "Election ushers in new Catholic MPs". London: Catholic Herald. Archived from the original on 19 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "BBC News – LIVE: David Cameron's Cabinet reshuffle: Live". BBC News. 4 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Representatives of society". Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Dalton, Catherine (6 September 2012). "Journey from miner to major ministerial role". Express & Star (41,641). p. 5. ISSN 0959-8588. 
  5. ^ a b c Murphy, Joe (4 September 2012). "Airport expansion 'back on table' as McLoughlin takes over Greening as Transport Secretary". London Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Tory conference: Cash announced for regional road plans". 8 October 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "UK General Election results 1983; Wokingham – York". Richard Kimber's political science resources. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Matthew Parris". Q&A. C-SPAN. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin; biography". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Speaker John Bercow reprimands Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin". BBC News. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Osborne, Alistair (6 October 2012). "West Coast Main Line: scrapped bid reveals chaos at the heart of government". Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Plans for £38 billion investment in railways unveiled". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  13. ^ "HS2 – The story so far". 5 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Transport Secretary confirms government is forging ahead on high-speed rail and a Northern Powerhouse – News stories". GOV.UK. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  15. ^ "Rail growth through competition: the success of the UK model". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  16. ^ "Massive boost to rail services brings Northern Powerhouse to life". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  17. ^ Hall, John (4 January 2016). "Government ministers meet flooded locals 20 minutes late and on the wrong side of a collapsed bridge". The Independent. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  18. ^ "Biggest upgrade to roads in a generation". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  19. ^ Yeung, Peter (24 July 2016). "Brexit: Article 50 will be triggered before next general election, Tory chairman says". The Independent. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  20. ^ Wright, Oliver (9 October 2012). "Patrick McLoughlin: Tory from wrong side of the tracks". The Independent. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Matthew Parris
Member of Parliament
for West Derbyshire

Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Derbyshire Dales

Political offices
Preceded by
David Maclean
Shadow Chief Whip of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Nick Brown
Preceded by
Nick Brown
Chief Whip of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Andrew Mitchell
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
Preceded by
Justine Greening
Secretary of State for Transport
Succeeded by
Chris Grayling
Preceded by
Oliver Letwin
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Party political offices
Preceded by
David Maclean
Conservative Chief Whip of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Andrew Mitchell
Preceded by
The Lord Feldman of Elstree
Chair of the Conservative Party