Roger Gale

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Sir Roger Gale

Official portrait of Rt Hon Sir Roger Gale MP crop 2.jpg
Gale in 2020
Member of Parliament
for North Thanet
Assumed office
9 June 1983
Preceded byConstituency Created
Majority17,189 (35.7%)
Personal details
Born (1943-08-20) 20 August 1943 (age 77)
Poole, Dorset, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Susan Gabrielle Marks
Alma materGuildhall School of Music and Drama
OccupationBroadcaster, disc jockey, television producer, radio producer and journalist

Sir Roger James Gale (born 20 August 1943) is a British Conservative politician. He was first elected in 1983 as the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Thanet in Kent.

Early life[edit]

Gale was born in Poole, Dorset and was educated at Southbourne Preparatory School and the Hardye's School in Dorchester. He completed his education at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

From August 1964 to January 1965 he worked as a disc-jockey for Radio Caroline North.[1]

Gale joined the Conservative Party in 1964, and was elected as the vice-chairman of the Conservative Association in Holborn and St Pancras in 1971. He was selected to contest Birmingham Northfield at the 1982 by-election caused by the suicide of the sitting Conservative MP Jocelyn Cadbury. He narrowly lost the by-election to Labour's John Spellar by just 289 votes.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Gale was elected to the House of Commons at the 1983 general election for the newly-drawn Kent seat of North Thanet. He gained the seat with a majority of 14,545 and has remained the MP since then. His Labour Party opponent in the 1983 election was Cherie Blair, wife of the future Prime Minister Tony Blair. Gale made his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 30 June 1983.[2]

Gale served as a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee in 1990 and was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the successive ministers of state at the Ministry of Defence Archie Hamilton and Jeremy Hanley following the 1992 general election until 1994. He was a member of the broadcasting select committee from between the general elections of 1997 and 2005. He has been a member of the Speaker's Panel of Chairmen since 1997. He was a vice chairman of the Conservative Party under the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith from 2001–2003 with responsibility for presentation.

In 2008, Gale said that capital punishment was a solution to fatal knife stabbings.[3] He supports the ban on fox hunting. He is also reportedly a eurosceptic,[4] although he opposed Brexit. He has been a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 2010,[5] and currently heads the 18-member British parliamentary delegation to the Assembly.[6]

He is a founding member and current president of Conservative Animal Welfare, a group of Conservative MPs and MEPs. Gale strongly opposed Conservative prime minister David Cameron's introduction of same-sex marriage, stating in the House of Commons: "Marriage is the union between a man and a woman. It is Alice in Wonderland territory, Orwellian almost, for any government of any political persuasion to seek to come along and try to rewrite the lexicon. It will not do."[7]

Gale was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for public and political services.[8] In February 2016, Gale was nominated for a 'Grassroots Diplomat' award for his involvement in the campaign to save and reopen Manston Airport, which is in his constituency.[9] He was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in the 2019 New Years Honours List, giving him the Honorific title "The Right Honourable" for life.

Gale was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 EU membership referendum.[10]

Gale briefly acted as Chairman of Ways and Means at the start of the 58th Parliament.

On 15 September 2020 he was one of two Tory MPs (together with Andrew Percy) who voted against the UK Internal Market Bill at second reading.[11]

Parliamentary voting record[edit]

According to parliamentary monitoring website, TheyWorkForYou, Gale has voted the same way as other Conservative MPs on the vast majority of issues. As of September 2020, his voting record shows the following trends:[12]

  • generally against laws to promote equality and human rights
  • consistently against equal gay rights
  • generally against UK membership of the EU
  • generally against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK
  • generally against UK membership of the EU
  • almost always for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
  • generally for raising the threshold at which people start to pay income tax
  • generally against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000
  • almost always for more restrictive regulation of trade union activity
  • almost always for reforming the NHS so GPs buy services on behalf of their patients
  • generally for a stricter asylum system
  • always for stronger enforcement of immigration rules
  • consistently for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities
  • generally against measures to prevent climate change

Personal life[edit]

Gale has been married three times: firstly to Wendy Dawn Bowman in 1964 (marriage dissolved in 1967), without issue; secondly to Susan Linda Sampson in 1971 (marriage dissolved in 1980), by whom he has a daughter; thirdly to Susan Gabrielle Marks, by whom he has two sons.

He is a member of three trade unions: the National Union of Journalists, Equity and the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU). He has actively supported the Conservative Trade Unionists organisation, being a long serving president of the Greater London branch. He has travelled widely, including to: Norway, United States of America, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Cuba, Cyprus, Zambia, Mongolia, South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana, Kenya, Macedonia, and Botswana.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2017.[better source needed]
  2. ^ Mr. Roger Gale, Member of Parliament for Thanet, North (30 June 1983). "Cable Systems and Services". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Commons. Archived from the original on 2 July 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
  3. ^ Connor, Alan (16 July 2008). "The point of knives". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Roger Gale profile". BBC News Magazine. 16 October 2002. Archived from the original on 10 January 2006. Retrieved 18 March 2008.
  5. ^ "Member file - Sir Roger GALE". PACE website. Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Assembly Members - United Kingdom". PACE website. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Gay marriage: MPs urged to back Bill". BBC News. 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  8. ^ "No. 60009". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2011. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  11. ^ [1] and [2]
  12. ^

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for North Thanet