Paul Maynard

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Paul Maynard
Official portrait of Paul Maynard crop 2.jpg
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Transport
Assumed office
17 July 2016
Prime Minister Theresa May
Sec. of State Chris Grayling
Preceded by Claire Perry
Member of Parliament
for Blackpool North and Cleveleys
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Constituency Created
Majority 2,023 (4.9%)
Personal details
Born Paul Christopher Maynard
(1975-12-16) 16 December 1975 (age 41)[1]
Crewe, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom[2]
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater University College, Oxford

Paul Christopher Maynard[3] (born 16 December 1975) is a British Conservative Party politician. He was elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Blackpool North and Cleveleys. In July 2016, he became rail minister after new PM Theresa May entered office.

Early life[edit]

Born in Crewe, Cheshire, Maynard was left with cerebral palsy when he was strangled by the umbilical cord at birth, and he was also left with a speech defect. At the age of 22 he developed epilepsy, meaning he needs to be teetotal to avoid having seizures.[4][5] He attended a special needs school between the ages of three and five before transferring to mainstream education.[6] He attended St. Ambrose College, in Altrincham, and obtained a first class history degree at University College, Oxford. Maynard was a reader at his local church and was also a governor at his local Catholic primary school.[7] He has said, "I would far rather be seen as the individual I am, that I have the responsibility to do the best I can for myself and not rely on other people to do it for me."[6]

Political career[edit]

Maynard worked as an adviser to Liam Fox and as a speechwriter for William Hague, and stood as the Conservative candidate for Twickenham in the 2005 general election, finishing second with 32.4% of the vote.[8]

Maynard was selected for Blackpool North and Cleveleys in December 2006, having been on the Conservative's "A-List".[9] He moved to Blackpool before being elected and has remained living in the constituency since. Maynard was elected to the House of Commons in the 2010 general election with a majority of 2,150.[10] He is the second person who has cerebral palsy to become a British MP; Conservative Terry Dicks was the first.[11]

Maynard, who identifies as a Catholic,[12] voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in 2013.[13]

Taunting controversy[edit]

In February 2011, Maynard told The Times about the abuse he suffered from Labour MPs, who had mocked his disability during a Commons debate on the abolition of the Child Trust Fund on 26 October 2010.[14] "They were pulling faces at me", he said, "really exaggerated gesticulations — really exaggerated faces".[4] "Only they know for certain whether they were taking the mick out of my disability", he said, "but it felt like it".[15] Maynard did not want the issue to investigated further.

Other MPs, however, confirmed the incident had taken place.[5][15] Then Scottish Labour member Tom Harris, who was not present in the chamber during the incident, when interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live, said that "if anyone did know about" Maynard's disability "and still made fun of him that is absolutely appalling and unforgivable".[5] Rosie Winterton, the Labour chief whip, and her deputy Alan Campbell were reported to have spoken to MPs about the incident shortly afterwards.[16] The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported a Labour Party source as describing the MPs as behaving in a "disgusting" way like a "pack of hyenas".[17]

A few days after Maynard's Times interview, John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, issued a written statement warning MPs that such abuse was unacceptable. It was reported he had known about the incident for more than three months before speaking to Maynard.[18][19]

Fuel Prices[edit]

Maynard has been an active campaigner on keeping fuel prices low. Although he has voted in favour of many budgets which called for a rise in fuel (duty?). He regularly pressed the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to freeze the level of fuel duty on petrol. Contrary to this, he voted on 12 November 2012 in favour of increasing taxes on fuel by 3% as of January 2013.


A donation, not thought to break parliamentary rules was made to Maynard's constituency party before his appointment as an advisor to then Energy secretary Amber Rudd following the 2015 general election. He declared a £5,000 donation to his constituency party in the register of members' interests from Addison Projects in March 2015. Addison PLC is an engineering company based in his constituency near to an intended drill site of the Cuadrilla company.[20]

In October 2015, in place of a normal debate in the Commons, it emerged that Maynard was a member of a committee of MPs to vote and debate on proposals to allow drilling for shale gas (or fracking) under protected areas, such as national parks, to the disapproval of the Labour opposition and anti-fracking activists.[21]

Apprenticeships Taskforce[edit]

He has long been an advocate for disabilities, with active links to the RAD [22] Scope and Trailblazers.[23] In May 2016, Paul Maynard played an active role in improving accessibility of apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities. Engaging with a task force he produced a list of recommendations to be reviewed by the BIS and DWP for future consideration.[24]

Rail Minister[edit]

In July 2016, new Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Maynard to replace Claire Perry as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport. He has responsibility for major rail projects, rail safety and security, passenger services, transport funding, accessibility, and rail fares and ticketing.[25] During this period, he has faced criticism [26] due to unresolved industrial action, and consequent major service disruption, on the Southern (Govia Thameslink Railway) line.


  1. ^ "Paul Maynard MP". Democracy Live. BBC News. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed 12 May 2015.
  3. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8743. 
  4. ^ a b "'MPs pulled faces at me. Quite clearly, I needed roughing up". The Times. London. 5 February 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2017.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b c Mulholland, Hélène (8 February 2011). "Charity voices anger after MPs 'mocked Tory with disability'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Dunning, Jeremy (1 July 2010). "Paul Maynard MP: life with cerebral palsy and epilepsy". Community Care. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Paul Maynard". Conservative Party. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Twickenham". London, UK: Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "David Cameron's A list MPs". Channel 4 News. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Election 2010 – Blackpool North & Cleveleys". BBC News. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Rentoul, John (6 June 2010). "Unaccustomed as they are....". London, UK: Independent. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  12. ^ Lee, Ceridwen (27 August 2015). "Fall in Number of Catholic MPs in the House of Commons Ahead of Landmark Debate on Assisted Dying". The Tablet. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "More Conservative MPs voted against same-sex marriage than for it". Pink News. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  14. ^ Asthana, Anushka; Bloch, Sarah (6 February 2011). "Labour treatment of disabled MP 'made me feel sick', says Equalities chief". The Times. Retrieved 27 April 2017.  (subscription required)
  15. ^ a b Asthana, Anushka; Savage, Michael (5 February 2011). "Disabled MP: I was jeered in the House of Commons". The Times. Retrieved 27 April 2017.  (subscription required)
  16. ^ "Speaker takes no action over mocking of disabled MP". The Times. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2017.  (subscription required)
  17. ^ Asthana, Anushka (6 February 2011). "Labour treatment of disabled MP ‘made me feel sick’, says Equalities chief". The Times. Retrieved 27 April 2017.  (subscription required)
  18. ^ "Speaker urged to act over disabled MP abuse". The Times. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  19. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (7 February 2011). "Politics live blog – Monday 7 February". London: Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  20. ^ Milmo, Cahal; McSmith, Andy (28 June 2015). "Fracking: Energy Secretary's advisor received £5,000 election donation from company set to benefit from controversial technique". The Independent. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  21. ^ Mason, Rowena (27 October 2015). "Ministers accused of trying to sneak through new fracking rules". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  22. ^ [1] Archived 10 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ "Paul Maynard MP wins award for work with Trailblazers". Muscular Dystrophy UK. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  24. ^ "Paul Maynard taskforce recommendations". GOV.UK. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  25. ^ "Blackpool MP given top government job". Blackpool Gazette. 17 July 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  26. ^ Francis, Paul (5 December 2016). "Southern Rail: Minister Paul Maynard criticised after months of strike action on line". Retrieved 19 May 2017. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Blackpool North and Cleveleys
Preceded by
Claire Perry
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport