Richard Drax

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Richard Drax
MP
Member of Parliament
for South Dorset
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Jim Knight
Majority 11,695 (22.5%)
Personal details
Born Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax
(1958-01-29) 29 January 1958 (age 59)
Westminster, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Elsebet née Bødtker
Relations see Family
Children 4
Residence Charborough House, Dorset
Alma mater Royal Agricultural College
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Profession Army officer; journalist
Military career
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1978–1987
Rank British Army OF-2.svg Captain
Service number 506831
Unit Coldstream Guards Badge.jpg Coldstream Guards
Website www.richarddrax.com

Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax (born 29 January 1958), known as Richard Drax, is a Conservative Party politician and a former British Army officer and journalist.

Drax has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dorset since the 2010 general election. He was re-elected in 2017.

Education[edit]

Born in Westminster, Drax was educated at Harrow School before going to the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester where he graduated with a diploma in rural land management in 1990, receiving a further diploma in journalism in 1995.[1][2]

Career[edit]

Military service[edit]

Drax passed out from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned in the British Army joining the Coldstream Guards on 9 December 1978 as a second lieutenant; he was given the service number 506831.[3] Drax was promoted lieutenant on 9 December 1980,[4] before being transferred to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers after active service on 9 December 1983, ending his first period of full-time military service.[5]

Drax was reinstated on the Active List on 10 September 1984, beginning his second and final period of regular service. He retained the rank of lieutenant with seniority from 10 September 1981 to reflect the three years he had served.[6] He was promoted captain on 10 March 1986.[7]

He relinquished his British Army commission on 9 September 1987, thereby retiring after nine years' service as a Coldstreamer.[8]

Journalism[edit]

Drax worked at York's Evening Press as a reporter in 1991,[2] before joining BBC South where he appeared on both radio and television media, including the daily television news programme South Today.[9]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Selected as a Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate in July 2006, at the general election in May 2010 Drax defeated the incumbent Labour Member of Parliament for South Dorset, Jim Knight, later Baron Knight of Weymouth.[10] Drax retained his seat in the 2015 general election with an increased majority.

On 5 February 2013, Drax voted in the House of Commons against a Second Reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 which legalised marriage for same-sex couples.[11]

Family[edit]

Drax is the eldest son of Walter Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax JP DL and The Hon. Pamela Weeks and a grandson of Admiral The Hon. Sir Reginald Drax, younger son of the 17th Lord Dunsany thereby being in remainder to the ancient Barony of Dunsany (cr. 1462): the second oldest title in the Peerage of Ireland. His great-uncle was the celebrated writer and playwright the 18th Lord Dunsany, and his maternal grandfather was General the Lord Weeks.

His first wife (divorced 1997) was Zara Legge-Bourke, younger sister of the royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke, relations of the Earl of Dartmouth. Drax married his second wife; Eliza, daughter of Commander James Dugdale RN (related to David Cameron); Drax has remarried and has four children in total.[12]

At least six of his ancestors, including John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge Erle-Drax and the 17th Lord Dunsany, were Members of Parliament for Dorset and Gloucestershire between the 1680s and 1880s. A cousin is the 19th and present Lord Dunsany.[13]

His home is the ancestral seat, Charborough House, Dorset and Drax holds the lordship of the manor of Longburton.[14]

Drax is an outspoken Eurosceptic, despite personally benefiting from EU subsidies.

Between 2006-09 his family estates received €2,055,941 in farm subsidy payments from the European Union.

In 2016, the Drax estate received £365,509 in direct aid and rural development funding from the EU on top of £384,351 received in 2015.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "DRAX, Richard Grosvenor". Who's Who 2013. A & C Black. November 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "No. 47757". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 January 1979. p. 1300. 
  4. ^ "No. 48460". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 December 1980. p. 17809. 
  5. ^ "No. 49574". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 December 1983. p. 16793. 
  6. ^ "No. 49904". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 October 1984. p. 14268. 
  7. ^ "No. 50461". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 1986. p. 3836. 
  8. ^ "No. 51067". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 September 1987. p. 11736. 
  9. ^ "Dorset South Tories choose Drax". BBC News. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Laura Kitching and Catherine Bolado (7 May 2010). "Election 2010: Sweeping victory for Tory Richard Drax". Dorset Echo. 
  11. ^ www.publications.parliament.uk: The House of Commons 2013 Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012–13.
  12. ^ www.thepeerage.com
  13. ^ Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 1240 (DUNSANY, B). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1. 
  14. ^ Owen, Glen (6 December 2009). "The name's Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax... but 'De-toff' Cameron calls him plain Richard Drax". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jim Knight
Crowned Portcullis.svg
Member of Parliament
for South Dorset

2010 – present
Incumbent