Richard Drax

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Richard Drax
Member of Parliament
for South Dorset
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Jim Knight
Majority 7,443 (14.8%)
Personal details
Born Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax
(1958-01-29) 29 January 1958 (age 57)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Elsebet Bødtker
Relations See below
Children 4
Residence Charborough House
Alma mater Royal Agricultural College
Profession Journalist, Soldier
Religion Anglican
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1978-1987
Rank Captain
Unit Coldstream Guards

Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax (born 29 January 1958), known as Richard Drax, is a former army officer and journalist, now Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dorset.


Drax was educated at Harrow School, an independent school in Middlesex. He attended the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester from which he graduated with a Diploma in Rural Land Management in 1990. He earned a Diploma in Journalism in 1995.[1]


Military service[edit]

Having graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Drax was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards, British Army, on 9 December 1978 as a second lieutenant. He was given the service number 506831.[2] He was promoted to lieutenant on 9 December 1980.[3] He was transferred to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers on 9 December 1983, ending his first period of full time, active service.[4]

He was reinstated on the Active List on 10 September 1984, beginning his second and final period of full time service. He retained the rank of lieutenant and was given seniority in that rank from 10 September 1981 to reflect the three years of seniority he previously held.[5] He was promoted to captain on 10 March 1986.[6]

He relinquished his commission on 9 September 1987, thereby retiring from the British Army after nine years service in the Coldstream Guards.[7]


Drax became a reporter for the Evening Press, York in 1991.[1] He later joined BBC South, appearing on both radio and television media in the region, including the daily television news programme South Today.[8]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Drax was selected as a prospective parliamentary candidate by the Conservative Party in July 2006.

In the general election in May 2010, Drax defeated the incumbent for South Dorset, Labour MP Jim Knight.[9]

On 5 February 2013, he voted in the House of Commons against a second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 which would legalise marriage for same-sex couples.[10]


Drax is the son of Walter Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax and The Hon. Pamela Weeks and a grandson of Admiral The Hon. Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax , younger son of the 17th Baron of Dunsany, and thus in remainder to the Barony of Dunsany, the second-oldest title in the Peerage of Ireland, and the great-nephew of the writer and playwright Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany, better known as Lord Dunsany. He is also the grandson of Lieutenant-General The Lord Weeks.[better source needed]

His first wife was Zara Legge-Bourke, younger sister of the royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke. Drax has married twice more and has four children.

At least six of his ancestors, including John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge Erle-Drax and John Plunkett, 17th Baron of Dunsany, were members of parliament in Dorset and Gloucestershire between the 1680s and 1880s.

His home is the family seat, Charborough House, Dorset.[11]


  1. ^ a b "DRAX, Richard Grosvenor". Who's Who 2013. A & C Black. November 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47757. p. 1300. 29 January 1979. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48460. p. 17809. 22 December 1980. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49574. p. 16793. 19 December 1983. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49904. p. 14268. 22 October 1984. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50461. p. 3836. 17 March 1986. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51067. p. 11736. 21 September 1987. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Dorset South Tories choose Drax". BBC News. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Laura Kitching and Catherine Bolado (7 May 2010). "Election 2010: Sweeping victory for Tory Richard Drax". Dorset Echo. 
  10. ^ {} The House of Commons.2013.Marriage (Same Sex Couples)Bill 2012-2013.
  11. ^ 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
Member of Parliament for South Dorset
2010 – present