Richard Tracey

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Richard Tracey

Member of the London Assembly
for Merton and Wandsworth
In office
1 May 2008 – 6 May 2016
Preceded byElizabeth Howlett
Succeeded byLeonie Cooper
Member of Parliament
for Surbiton
In office
9 June 1983 – 1 May 1997
Preceded byNigel Fisher
Succeeded byEd Davey (Kingston and Surbiton)
Personal details
Richard Patrick Tracey

(1943-02-08)8 February 1943
Died19 March 2020(2020-03-19) (aged 77)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Katharine Gardner
ChildrenSimon, Nicola, Emma, Polly
EducationKing Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham

Richard Patrick Tracey JP (8 February 1943 – 19 March 2020) was a British Conservative politician, journalist, presenter, and reporter.[1] He was the MP for Surbiton from 1983 to 1997, and was Minister for Sport between 1985 and 1987. From 2008 to 2016, when he retired, he was a Member of the London Assembly, in which he represented Merton and Wandsworth. He was the Deputy Leader of the Conservative group.


Tracey was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Stratford-upon-Avon, and studied law at the University of Birmingham, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons) degree.[1]

From 1964 to 1966, Tracey was a leader writer for the Daily Express.[1] From 1966 to 1978, he worked as a presenter and reporter for the BBC, involved in major TV and radio current affairs programmes and documentaries.[1] He was a public affairs consultant between 1978 and 1983, and between 1997 and 2008. He is the author of 'World of Motor Sport' (with Richard Hudson-Evans) published in 1971 and 'Hickstead – The First Twelve Years' (with Michael Clayton) published in 1972.[1]

After unsuccessfully contesting Northampton North in October 1974, he became chairman of Putney Conservative Association, then Deputy Chairman of the Greater London Area of the Conservative Party. He was President of Tooting Conservative Association.

His wife Katharine Tracey, formerly Katharine Gardner, became a senior councillor on Wandsworth London Borough Council for 29 years, and received the OBE for services to education. They have four children and eight grandchildren.

Tracey died peacefully at home on 19 March 2020, aged 77.[2][3]

Political career[edit]


Tracey was Member of Parliament (MP) for Surbiton from 1983 until 1997, when the constituency was abolished owing to boundary changes. He served as Environment and Sports Minister combatting football hooliganism from 1985 to 1987, opposing sports sponsorship by tobacco companies, and was a main supporter of the National Lottery in 1991–2; as a member of the Select Committee for Televising the House from 1987 to 1989; and on the Public Accounts Committee from 1993 to 1997. He was Chairman of the London Conservative MPs Group from 1990 to 1997. At the 1997 general election, he unsuccessfully contested Kingston and Surbiton. He was on the Executive Committee of the Association of Former Members of Parliament.[1]

London Assembly[edit]

In 2008 Tracey was elected a Member of the London Assembly representing Merton and Wandsworth, and later became Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group and Conservative lead on transport when he campaigned to tighten the law on London transport strikes and celebrated the completion of the Overground rail line to Clapham Junction as well as striving to reduce pollution from buses and HGVs in Putney High Street and elsewhere, and to extending the Wimbledon Tramlink to Morden and St Helier. He was Vice-Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (2010–2012), and Member of the Metropolitan Police Authority (2008–10). In 2008, he was appointed Mayor's Ambassador for the River by Mayor Boris Johnson where he pushed successfully to extend the fast river transport service upstream to Putney in 2013 and got new piers at Vauxhall, Battersea Reach, and Battersea Power Station; and was Chairman of the London Waste and Recycling Board from 2012–16 with strategies to increase London recycling.[1] He retired in 2016, and his former Merton and Wandsworth seat was then won by Labour's Leonie Cooper.

He has been a Freeman of the City of London since 1984; a Freeman of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen; President of Kingston Regatta, and of Kingston RFC; a Justice of the Peace; and a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust since 1985.


The role and extent of non-party organisations in social media advertising during the UK General Election of 2019 was examined by journalist Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC. Richard Patrick Tracey was identified as the sponsor of a Facebook advert, which opposed the Labour Party's 2019 pledge to remove charitable status and tax exemptions from private schools in the United Kingdom.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Richard Patrick Tracey". People of Today. Debrett's. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Matthew Maxwell Scott: A tribute to Richard Tracey". Conservative Home.
  3. ^ "TRACEY- – Deaths Announcements – Telegraph Announcements".
  4. ^ Cellan-Jones, Rory. "Online election ads – who is targeting whom?". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Ad Library".

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nigel Fisher
Member of Parliament for Surbiton
Constituency abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
Neil Macfarlane
Minister for Sport
Succeeded by
Colin Moynihan