Robert Syms

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Sir Robert Syms
MP
Official portrait of Mr Robert Syms crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Poole
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by John Devereux Ward
Majority 14,209 (28.5%)
Personal details
Born (1956-08-15) 15 August 1956 (age 61)
Chippenham, Wiltshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Nicola Guy
(m. 1991; div. 1999)

Fiona Mellersh
(m. 2000; div. 2016)
Children 2

Sir Robert Andrew Raymond Syms (born 15 August 1956) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Poole in Dorset since 1997. He was granted a knighthood on 12 October 2017.[1]

Early life[edit]

Syms was born in Chippenham in 1956 and educated at Colston's School.[2][3] He was leader of North Wiltshire District Council from 1984-7 and a Wiltshire County Councillor from 1985-97.[2] He was managing director of his family's plant hire firm in Bristol Road in Chippenham and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building.[2][3]

Business interests[edit]

He retains a directorship and shareholding in Marden Holdings Ltd headquartered in Bristol Road, Chippenham.[4]

Parliamentary career[edit]

He contested Walsall North in 1992, but was first elected to the House of Commons as MP for Poole in the 1997 general election.[5]

Syms served on opposition front bench from 1998 to 2007.[5] He was shadow spokesman for environment, transport and the regions between 1999 and 2001, an opposition whip for a few months in 2003, and shadow minister in the office of the deputy Prime Minister and for communities and local government between 2003 and 2007.[3][5] He was also vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party between 2001 and 2002.[3]

Syms was an Assistant Whip for the Coalition government between 2012 and 2013.[5] He has served on a variety of Select Committees, acting as Chair of the Regulatory Reform select committee from July 2010 to September 2012 and the High Speed Rail select committee from April 2014 to February 2016.[5]

Syms organised a letter signed by more than 80 fellow Eurosceptic Tory MPs urging David Cameron to continue as Prime Minister regardless of the result of the EU referendum in 2016.[6] He backed Theresa May's leadership bid following Cameron's resignation,[7] and was appointed as a Government Whip and Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury upon May's succession.[8]

In 2009, Syms was at the centre of an expenses scandal after he claimed more than £2,000 for furniture to be moved to his parents’ address in Wiltshire.[9] He was also forced to defend using his expense account to employ his wife and ex-wife.[10]

In 2015, Syms was widely criticised for failing to attend hustings for the 2015 general election and spending more time campaigning in Mid Dorset and North Poole with Michael Tomlinson than Poole due to Poole’s status as a safe seat.[11]

In 2017 he was criticised for name calling on Twitter with his wife also announcing on Twitter that he had been fired from his job as a whip over the phone.[12]

Personal life[edit]

He has been married twice:
1. Nicola Guy (1991-1999) (marriage dissolved)
2. Fiona Mellersh (2000-2016) (marriage dissolved); 1d, 1s.[13][3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Knighthoods: Michael Penning and Robert Syms". Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Robert Syms". Politics.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Robert Syms bio". Conservatives. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests 5 Mar 2012". UK Parliament website. UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Robert Syms". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  6. ^ Dominiczak, Peter; Swinford, Steven (24 June 2016). "Eurosceptic Tory MPs and ministers sign letter urging David Cameron to continue as Prime Minister". The Telegraph. 
  7. ^ "Conservative Party leadership: Who's backing who?". BBC News. 8 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "Robert Syms". GOV.UK. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  9. ^ Gammell, By Caroline. "Robert Syms had furniture delivered to 'wrong home': MPs' expenses". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-03. 
  10. ^ Morton, James. "MP defends hiring of his wife and ex-wife". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  11. ^ "Robert Syms "too busy" to attend hustings in Poole". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2017-05-03. 
  12. ^ Grassby, Jade. ""It's not a coalition, you d**k": Poole MP Robert Syms criticised for response to Corbyn supporter". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2017-05-03. 
  13. ^ "Tory MP's ex-wife rages at David Cameron over whip's sacking". Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Ward
Member of Parliament for Poole
1997–present
Incumbent