|The Right Honourable
The Lord Risby
|Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Algeria|
November 2012 – present
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||New position|
|Member of Parliament
for West Suffolk
2 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
|Preceded by||new constituency|
|Succeeded by||Matthew Hancock|
|Member of Parliament
for Bury St Edmunds
9 April 1992 – 1 May 1997
|Preceded by||Eldon Griffiths|
|Succeeded by||David Ruffley|
24 September 1946 |
Cape Town, South Africa
|Relations||Kenneth Spring, Dick Spring|
|Alma mater||University of Cape Town, Magdalene College, Cambridge|
|Religion||Church of England|
Richard John Grenville Spring, Baron Risby (born 24 September 1946) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bury St Edmunds from 1992 to 1997, and for West Suffolk from 1997 to 2010. He joined the House of Lords in 2010 and is currently the British Trade Envoy to Algeria.
Spring contested Ashton-under-Lyne at the 1983 general election. He was first elected as an MP at the 1992 General Election, representing Bury St Edmunds. Spring served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sir Patrick Mayhew as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1994–95).
On 9 April 1995, Spring resigned from this position after a News of the World sting caught him in a "three in a bed sex romp" with a male acquaintance and the acquaintance's girlfriend. It subsequently emerged that the woman had captured audio of the liaison on a hidden tape recorder. The publication of the story was attacked as an example of entrapment, and on the grounds that it served no public interest. News of the World columnist Woodrow Wyatt, writing in The Times, stated that "[t]hat anyone is entitled to privacy in their homes, in their cups or in their beds is a wholly alien concept to the News of the World. The News of the World has as good as asked for a privacy law. The Government and Opposition should no longer hesitate to produce it". Even the News of the World's proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, privately criticized the story as "over the top". The scandal was linked in the media to John Major's ill-fated "Back to Basics" campaign.
Spring subsequently served as PPS to Tim Eggar as Minister for Trade and Industry (1995–96) and to Nicholas Soames and James Arbuthnot as Ministers of State at the Ministry of Defence (1996–97). In 1997, Spring was elected as MP for West Suffolk. He was Opposition Spokesman for Foreign Affairs between 2000 and 2004 and Shadow Minister for the Treasury between 2004 and 2005. On 23 November 2009, Spring announced that he would stand down at the 2010 general election. Between 2005 and 2010 he was a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party, responsible for business links in the City of London. He was also Director of the British Syrian Society between 2003 and 2011, and featured on a 2012 Dispatches program on the Assad regime.
In September 2011, Risby was elected as the Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for East Asian Business. In November 2012, Lord Risby was announced as one of nine prime ministerial trade envoys, with responsibility for Algeria.
Lord Risby is currently the Chairman of the British Ukrainian Society, a post that he has held since 2007. He is also one of two patrons of the business organisation City Future, along with Sir John Major. Risby is a director of several businesses and organisations, including Hawkley Oil and Gas Ltd and Minexco Petroleum Inc, and is the president of the Combined Heat and Power Association. He is also the Deputy Chairman of the Small Business Bureau.
Spring was born in 1946 in Cape Town, South Africa where he attended Rondebosch Boys' High School and Cape Town University. As a child he lived in the picturesque suburb of Fresnaye. He subsequently studied at the University of Cambridge. Spring then entered the City, and was a vice-president of Merrill Lynch. He married Hon. Jane Henniker-Major, daughter of John Henniker-Major, 8th Baron Henniker, in 1979 in Westminster. They divorced in 1993, having had two children.
He is a descendant of the Suffolk merchant Thomas Spring and a relation of Kenneth Spring. In 1992 he became the sixth member of the Spring family to represent a Suffolk constituency in the House of Commons, although the first for over 300 years. Spring is also a descendant of George Grenville, the Whig statesman who served as British Prime Minister in the eighteenth century.
- "Tory MP, The Tycoon and the Sunday School Teacher", News of the World, 9 April 1995
- Morgan, Piers (2012). The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade. Random House. p. 73.
- Herbert, Emily (2012). Piers Morgan: The Biography. John Blake. p. 56. ISBN 1843589400.
- Morgan (2012), p. 74
- Glauber, Bill (1995-04-11). "Tories Getting A's In School For Scandal". Baltimore Sun.
- "Newmarket MP Richard Spring to stand down". Newmarket Journal. 23 November 2009.
- The London Gazette: . 30 December 2010.
- "Richard Spring: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian (London).
- Hansard, 11 May 1992, Richard Spring MP's maiden speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1992/may/11/privatisation#S6CV0207P0_19920511_HOC_237
- ePolitix.com - Richard Spring MP
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Richard Spring MP
- Conservative Business Relations
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Richard Spring MP
- The Public Whip - Richard Spring MP voting record
- BBC News - Richard Spring - Profile
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Richard Spring
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Eldon Griffiths
|Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds
1992 – 1997
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for West Suffolk
1997 – 2010