Peter Bone

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Peter Bone
Official portrait of Mr Peter Bone crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Wellingborough
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Paul Stinchcombe
Majority 12,460
Personal details
Born Peter William Bone
(1952-10-19) 19 October 1952 (age 65)
Billericay, Essex, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Jeanette Sweeney (m. 1981)
Children 3
Residence Rushden, Northamptonshire, England
Education Westcliff High School for Boys
Occupation Politician
Profession Accountant

Peter William Bone FCA (born 19 October 1952)[1] is a British Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament for Wellingborough. He is known to be on the "Rebellious Right" of the Party, and is an outspoken critic of the European Union. He campaigned for Brexit in the EU Referendum and is part of the political advisory board of Leave Means Leave.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Bone was born in 1952 in Billericay and educated at Westcliff High School for Boys until 1971 then Chart Tutors – now part of Kaplan – till 1974.

Business career[edit]

Bone qualified as a chartered accountant in 1976.[1] According to Conservative Home Bone has "run both a public company and a family business."[3]

In 1995, according to The Guardian, Bone was described as Britain's "meanest boss" by the Daily Mirror when he defended paying a 17-year-old trainee at Palm Travel (West) 87p an hour.[4] By way of context, the average wage was over £8 per hour in 1995.[5] While appearing on the British satirical television programme Have I Got News for You Bone, to laughter, said the Mirror's claim was "wholly correct" but pointed out that the wage in question was part of a "government training scheme", paying "£30 a week". Host Jennifer Saunders disagreed saying that Bone was not mean as he paid his wife £45,000 per year.[6]

Political career[edit]

In 1977 Bone was elected as a councillor to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, where he served for eight years until 1986.[citation needed] He was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Southend West Conservative Association in 1977 and continued in the position until 1984.[7] In 1982, he became press secretary to Paul Channon MP.

He contested the parliamentary seat of Islwyn in the South Wales valleys at the 1992 general election against the then Leader of the Opposition Neil Kinnock. He subsequently fought the European Parliament election in 1994 for Mid and West Wales coming third.

Bone was a member of the National Union Executive Committee between 1993 until 1996.[7] He was chosen for the seemingly safe Conservative seat of Pudsey following the retirement of the veteran MP Giles Shaw at the 1997 general election but lost following a swing of 13.20% to the Labour's Paul Truswell, compared to a national swing of 10% from Conservative to Labour.

In the 2001 general election he fought the ultra-marginal seat of Wellingborough, where the sitting Labour MP Paul Stinchcombe was holding on with a majority of just 187, having defeated the veteran Tory MP Peter Fry in 1997. Stinchcombe held on to his seat by 2,355, a swing of 2.1% to Labour compared with a national swing of 1.75% to the Conservatives. However, four years later, in the 2005 general election, Bone ousted Stinchcombe in Wellingborough with a majority of 687 votes, a swing of 2.9% compared to a national swing of 3.1% to the Conservatives. He made his maiden speech on 7 June 2005.[8]

Bone has been described as "too old to hope for any extended career on the Conservative front-bench",[9]. Early on in his career he was described as one of the most active MPs in Parliament, in terms of Questions asked and other contributions.[10] However, the quality of those interventions was questioned in a 2006 Times article about the Theyworkforyou website.[10] Bone was one of three MPs specifically alleged to have "boosted their ratings on the internet by saying very little, very often."[10] Among his 109 speeches was one which ran to three short sentences (standing up for Royal Mail in that a sub-postmaster in Little Irchester had the only business in the village).[10]. He regularly referenced his then wife "Mrs Bone" in question's to the Prime Minister's Questions [11].

Bone is a member of the 1922 Committee and was an executive member from 2007 to 2012.[7] In April 2012, the Telegraph reported that the modernising "301 Group" was planning a coup to replace Bone and others. The reformers argued that the 1922 Committee was "run by a group of mostly cantankerous old farts who do little to further right-wing ideas" and needed to campaign on issues other than EU membership and their objections to House of Lords reform because it made the party appear out of touch.[12] Bone was voted off the executive in May 2012.[13]

In March 2009 Bone was one of the key speakers opposing the use of the House of Commons by the UK Youth Parliament, having been appointed one of the Tellers.[14]

Bone was a member of the Trade and Industry Select Committee from 2005 to 2007 and was a member the Health Select Committee from 2007 to 2010. He has been a member of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments and the Commons Committee on Statutory Instruments since 2005.[7]

In 2010, having unsuccessfully contested the chairmanship of the Health Select Committee,[citation needed] he was elected to Speaker's Chairman Panel and the Backbench Business Committee.[15] Further to this, Bone has served as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, Treasurer of the APPG on Human Trafficking of Women and Children and APPG on Road Trafficking.[16]

Bone was frequently critical of the coalition and the Liberal Democrats[17] and is rated as one of the Conservatives' most rebellious MPs.[18]

In February 2014 The Times newspaper revealed that Bone had been under investigation by the Police for the previous 12 months relating to an alleged £100,000 fraud concerning benefit payments of care home fees for his mother-in-law.[19] Bone issued a lengthy statement denying fraud allegations.[20] In March 2014 the Crown Prosecution Service said it had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.[21]

In the 2015 general election, he increased his majority by 1347 achieving 52.1% of the votes cast. And was re-elected again in the 2017 general election.

Political views[edit]

Bone is regarded as being on the right wing of the Conservative Party, and is a member of the socially conservative Cornerstone Group. He has suggested major constitutional changes such as abolition of the Whips office and confirmation of new Cabinet appointees.[22] His criticisms of the NHS include a 2007 report in which he argued that it "would not be out of place in Stalin's Russia".[23] He has voted to lower the abortion time limit to twelve weeks and voted against abolishing the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. He has urged the Charity Commission to award the tax breaks of registration to any legal faith group.[24] The abortion time limit vote failed, the blasphemy vote passed, and tax breaks were not awarded.[25][26]

Bone opposed the introduction of the National Minimum Wage, which he claimed would "condemn hundreds of thousands to the dole queue", and later backed a private member's bill tabled by his colleague Christopher Chope proposing to enable employees to opt out of the minimum wage.[4]

Bone described government proposals to introduce same-sex marriage rights as "completely nuts".[27] He subsequently voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.[28]

In 2013 Bone was one of four MPs who camped outside Parliament in a move to facilitate parliamentary debate on what they called an "Alternative Queen's Speech" – an attempt to show what a future Conservative government might deliver.[17][29] Some 42 policies were listed including reintroduction of the death penalty and conscription, privatizing the BBC, banning the burka in public places and preparation to leave the European Union.[29] The Daily Telegraph believes the whips sent Edward Leigh to try to persuade the group not to table the amendments.[29] Bone blamed the Liberal Democrats for tying David Cameron's hands.[17]

A prominent Eurosceptic, Bone has often been named as a potential defector to the United Kingdom Independence Party. Bone described UKIP's emergence as a "good thing for British politics", and criticised his own party for "neglecting" the views of traditional Conservatives on other issues such as immigration, but said he intended to campaign for withdrawal from the EU from within the Conservative Party[30]

Peter Bone advocates the privatisation of the NHS, having stated that the service would not look out of place in Stalinist Russia.[31]

Bone is a director of Grassroots Out and was a director of the now dissolved Go Movement Limited with Nigel Farage and Tom Pursglove.

Margaret Thatcher Day Bill[edit]

Bone proposed a bill in July 2013, arguing that the August Bank Holiday should be renamed to Margaret Thatcher Day to commemorate her premiership.[32] The bill ran out of time, due to filibustering by Labour MPs[33] and formally ended its passage through Parliament in 2014.[34]

Political funding[edit]

Wellingborough Conservative Association has received funding from the Midlands Industrial Council – £35,000 in 2004-5 –[35] according to The group is chaired by Robert Edmiston, founder of Christian Vision.[36] Midlands Industrial Council only lists one Midlands industrial company member, among other individuals with an interest in importing products to the UK rather than in Midlands industry.[37][38] The Portcullis Club and private individuals have also contributed[39] Lord Ashcroft's[40] company, Bearwood Corporate Services Ltd (now Impellam Ventures),[41] contributed in 2005-6.[40][42]


Bone employed his wife, Jennie, as his executive secretary.[43] In 2007–2008 he paid her "in the top bracket of up to £40,000" per annum.[44] He was also one of 32 MPs who claimed the maximum allowance of £4,800 a year for food.[45] His expenses for 2007–2008 were ranked 115 out of 645 MPs.[46]

His expenses for 2008–2009 were ranked 84th.[46] He was not mentioned in the 2009 Legg Report and therefore was not one of the 343 MPs required to pay back any money.[47]

Personal life[edit]

Bone primarily lives in London, but also owns a house in Rushden. He married Jeanette Sweeney in 1981; together they had two sons and a daughter.[1] Bone separated from his wife, who is a Conservative Councillor in the Borough of Wellingborough and his Executive Secretary, in 2016 and is now in a relationship with physiotherapist Helen Harrison.[48]

Bone has regularly played cricket as a left-arm bowler for Cambridge Methodists Cricket Club in Leeds,[49][50] and tweets regularly of his matches playing with Wellingborough Old Grammarians 3rd XI,[51][52] despite not actually being a member of the club.

Bone has also played cricket as a member of a Parliamentarians team, alongside the likes of Crispin Blunt and Hugh Robertson.[53] He states that he is a keen follower of American Football and had a question read out live on Sky Sports in January 2012. He is an active member of the Church of England and attends St Mary's Church in Rushden, as well as holding constituency surgeries in the church hall.[54]


  1. ^ a b c "Bone, Peter William, (born 19 Oct. 1952), MP (C) Wellingborough, since 2005". Who's Who. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.45719. 
  2. ^ "Co-Chairmen - Political Advisory Board - Supporters". Leave Means Leave. 
  3. ^ "His office also told the Oxford Mail that he is a "Successful businessman with a dynamism which has led to numerous achievements"". 
  4. ^ a b "Tory bill attempts to water down minimum wage". London: Guardian newspapers. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Average earnings in UK table". BBC. 7 January 2000. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Markos, Andrew. "Nepotistic, greedy Tory MP Peter Bone". BBC One – Have I Got News for You, Series 48, Episode 1. YouTube. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Peter Bone". Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "House of Commons debates:Orders of the Day — Finance Bill". 7 June 2005. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Oxford Mail". 
  10. ^ a b c d "The MPs who can't stop talking". Times Newspapers. 27 February 2006. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  11. ^ "Why every MP needs a Mrs Bone". BBC News. 
  12. ^ Donata Huggins (30 April 2012). "The 1922 Committee is threatened by a modernisers' coup". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "New faces elected on to influential Conservative 1922 committee". BBC News. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "MPs decide (eventually) to allow UK Youth Parliament to meet in Commons". Liberal Democrat Voice. 17 March 2009. 
  15. ^ "Backbench Business Committee – membership". 29 June 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  17. ^ a b c "Cameron's hand tied by Lib Dems – Tory MP Peter Bone". BBC News. 23 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Philip Hollobone continues to top the league table of backbench rebels". 
  19. ^ Andrew Norfolk (25 February 2014). "Tory MP is quizzed over £100,00 benefits fraud". The Times. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "In full: Wellingborough and Rushden MP Peter Bone’s statement denying fraud allegations" Northants Telegraph
  21. ^ Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent (25 March 2014). "MP Peter Bone will not face charges over care home fees". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "Peter Bone suggests confirmation hearings for newly appointed Cabinet ministers". 
  23. ^ Savage, Michael (17 August 2009). "Cameron woe deepens over NHS dissent". London: The Independent. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  24. ^ "Peter Bone MP: Religious institutions should not be under attack from the Charity Commission". 
  25. ^ Commons, The Committee Office, House of. "House of Commons - Science and Technology - Twelfth Report". 
  26. ^ "Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill: Blasphemy — 6 May 2008 at 21:45 — The Public Whip". 
  27. ^ "Gay wedding plans 'completely nuts' – Peter Bone MP". BBC News. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  28. ^ "The full list of MPs voting for or against the government's same-sex marriage legislation". BBC News. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  29. ^ a b c Robert Watts (20 June 2013). "Conservative MPs launch attempt to bring back death penalty, privatise the BBC, rename the August bank holiday "Margaret Thatcher Day" and ban burka". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  30. ^ Bone, Peter (20 November 2014). "I remain a Tory, but Ukip is a good thing". Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  31. ^ "Cameron woe deepens over NHS dissent". 17 August 2009. 
  32. ^ "Margaret Thatcher Day Bill". Hansard Online. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  33. ^ "MPs scupper Margaret Thatcher Day". BBC News. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  34. ^ "Margaret Thatcher Day Bill 2013-14". UK Parliament. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  35. ^ "Microsoft Word - Document1" (PDF). Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  36. ^ "National Secular Society - More evangelists appointed to Lords". 
  37. ^ Robert Edmiston
  38. ^ "Group identifies Tory cash donors". BBC News. 14 October 2006. 
  39. ^ "". 
  40. ^ a b Parry, Tom (26 September 2008). "Exclusive: The peer who bankrolls the Tories is 'the boss' of a poor tax haven". 
  41. ^ "DueDil". 
  42. ^ "The blue Baron: how the Tories rely on Ashcroft". The Independent. London. 31 October 2009. 
  43. ^ "REGISTER OF MEMBERS' INTERESTS (prepared pursuant to Resolution of the House of 27 March 2008)". Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  44. ^ "Tory MPs' use of staff budgets to pay for PR advice 'against rules'". Times Newspapers. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  45. ^ Hope, Christopher (18 June 2009). "MPs' expenses: more than 30 MPs charged the taxpayer £4,800 annually for food". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  46. ^ a b "Peter Bone Conservative MP for Wellingborough". Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  47. ^ "Review of past ACA payments" (PDF). House of Commons Members Estimate Committee. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2018. 
  48. ^ Rayner, Gordon (12 January 2018). "Why the legendary Mrs Bone will no longer be a fixture in Parliamentary debates". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 May 2018. 
  49. ^ "Cambridge Methodists CC - Weekend XI Vs Leeds Doctors - 1st XI". Cambridge Methodists. 5 September 2010. 
  50. ^ "Almondbury Casuals Cricket Club Match Report" (PDF). Almondbury Casuals Cricket Club. 8 July 2007. 
  51. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  52. ^ "His player stats for Wellingborough OGs CC". Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. 
  53. ^ "Parliamentarians narrowly beat Lichfield Diocese". Jeremy Lefroy. 11 June 2011. 
  54. ^ "Peter Bone MP on". Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. 

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Paul Stinchcombe
Member of Parliament for Wellingborough