Stephen McPartland

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Stephen McPartland
Stephen McPartland MP.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Stevenage
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byBarbara Follett
Majority3,384 (6.9%)
Personal details
Born (1976-08-09) 9 August 1976 (age 42)
Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Emma McPartland

Stephen Anthony McPartland[1] (born 9 August 1976)[2] is a British Conservative Party politician and business consultant. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stevenage at the 2010 general election.

Early life[edit]

Born in Liverpool on 9 August 1976, McPartland read History at the University of Liverpool, graduating in 1997. He studied for an MSc in Technology Management at Liverpool John Moores University in 1998. After graduating in 1999, he worked for the Conservative Party in Warrington, where he managed a range of local council, parliamentary and European election campaigns, before he moved to Hertfordshire in 2001 to work as a Campaign Manager. Prior to being elected as an MP, McPartland was the Director of Membership for British American Business (the US Chamber of Commerce), based in London.[3] [4]

Parliamentary career[edit]

McPartland replaced George Freeman as the Conservative Party candidate for the marginal parliamentary seat of Stevenage after he had failed to take it at the 2005 general election. McPartland won the seat at the 2010 general election, with a swing of 8% after the sitting Labour MP did not re-stand. He was re-elected at the 2015 general election and 2017 general election.

McPartland's political interests include health care, with a particular focus on cancer treatment and respiratory diseases; education, science and technology, including satellite technology; international trade; policing; addiction treatment; urban regeneration and government procurement of IT projects.[2]

He served on the Science and Technology Select Committee between 2011 and 2012. In 2017 he joined the Finance Select Committee (Commons), was elected Chair of the Regulatory Reform Select Committee and also became a member of the Liaison Select Committee.[2]

He sat on the 2011 Education Bill Committee and participated in all stages of the Bill's passage through Parliament[5], and has been on the Board of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology since 2015.[6]

Up until his election as a Select Committee Chairman, McPartland was involved with the running of several All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs).[7] He was Chair of the Allergy APPG, Child and Youth Crime APPG, Child Health and Vaccine Preventable Diseases APPG, Furniture Industry APPG and Respiratory Health APPG, and Vice Chair of the Disability APPG. As Chair of the Respiratory Health APPG, McPartland led an inquiry into respiratory deaths and noted that the UK has the worst death rate of OECD countries and that most deaths of children from asthma are preventable.[8] He also successfully campaigned to change the law from 1 October 2014 to allow emergency inhalers for asthma attacks to be kept in schools.[9]

From 2014, McPartland was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Livingston.[10]

McPartland initiated a parliamentary inquiry into electronic invoicing in the public sector; it delivered its findings in June 2014.[11] He is also pushing for greater interoperability, with the launch of an Interoperability Charter in April 2013, to encourage and recognise best practice in delivering the Digital Economy.[12]

McPartland campaigned against corporate tax avoidance in 2015,[13] including writing to all of the FTSE100 CEOs to ask whether they would be willing to support greater tax transparency.[14][15]

McPartland has worked closely with Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald to campaign for Finn's Law, to provide emergency service animals with greater protection after Police Dog Finn was stabbed in Stevenage in 2016. [16]

McPartland has been outspoken on welfare issues and has garnered respect for his knowledge of the technical changes involved [17] [18], leading the successful campaigns against changes to Tax Credits [19], improvements to Universal Credit [20] and protecting the self-employed against changes to Employers National Insurance Contributions. [21] He has been an outspoken critic of his own party in Government at times, with particular focus on the benefits system. In November 2015, he refused to meet the Treasury Minister David Gauke, in oppostion to his own Government's cuts to tax credits.[22] However, he has never rebelled against the Government in the current Parliament.[23]

McPartland supported Brexit in the 2016 EU membership referendum.[24]

In the House of Commons he sits on the Finance Committee, the Regulatory Reform Committee and the Liaison Committee. He has previously sat on the Science and Technology Committee.[25]

As of 8 October 2018, in Parliament, the number of votes he has attended, the number of debates he has spoken in and the number of answers he has received to written questions are all below average amongst MPs.[26]


In May 2015, he was criticised by his political rivals for earning over £80,000 per year for consultancy work and as non-executive director of a furniture company. He had pledged at an election debate in 2010 that he believed it was important to have an MP for Stevenage who treats it as a full-time job. However, his outside work was perfectly legal and he retained his seat at the subsequent general election.[27]

In June 2014, he was criticised by political rivals after Furniture Village, which employed McPartland as a non-executive director, stated in an advert that its latest sale "should help towards the bedroom tax". The advert was described as 'being in the worst possible taste' and it was suggested McPartland should 'apologise to anyone who has found this to have added to the difficulties they have had with what is already a serious financial issue.' The company responded that the advert would not be used again and that, though no offence was ever intended, they accepted that the wording was misjudged. McPartland declined to comment.[28]

In December 2017, a BBC investigation, following the Grenfell Tower fire, revealed that McPartland had lobbied against tighter regulation on limiting use of flammable material in furniture through his role as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group. The investigation argued the group was seen by the furniture industry as a way of lobbying government and that the British Furniture Confederation funded a secretariat to help McPartland run the APPG. It revealed that two months after intervening he had been given a place on the board of Furniture Village on a salary of £42,000 a year. He responded that he did not lobby Ministers and was an MP, not a lobbyist. He further argued that Furniture Village was a retailer, not a manufacturer and imported products globally.[29]

Work for charities[edit]

McPartland served as chairman of The Furniture Ombudsman, a not-for-profit, industry-wide customer disputes resolution body.[30] McPartland was a Trustee of The Living Room Charity, which offers a wide range of free addiction treatment services and a Patron of the Turn the Tide project. He was a Patron of Trailblazers, a national charity that reduces re-offending among young people through providing volunteer mentors.[31]

Personal life[edit]

McPartland lives in Stevenage with his wife, Emma, a teacher at a local primary school.[32]


  1. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8742.
  2. ^ a b c "MP Biographies". UK Parliament Website. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  3. ^ "About Stephen". Personal website. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Stephen McPartland LinkedIn". Linkedin. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Committee Membership". Education Bill. Parliament UK. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Post Board". Parliament UK. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Register of All-Party Groups". Parliament UK. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  8. ^ "MPs warn on respiratory diseases | RCPCH". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  9. ^ Comet, Stevenage. "Schoolchildren and parents can breathe a little easier after Stevenage MP's asthma campaign ends in victory". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  10. ^ "Dods Politics". 22 July 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Parliamentary Inquiry on e-Invoicing – Findings Released | BASDA". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  12. ^ "BASDA Launch Interoperability Charter at the House of Commons | BASDA". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  13. ^ McGurran, Deborah (13 February 2013). "Right and left united over tax avoidance". BBC. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  14. ^ Goodall, Andrew (23 November 2012). "Tory MP asks FTSE 100 companies to back country-by-country reporting". Tax Journal. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  15. ^ Hope, Christopher (24 January 2013). "Thumbs down from FTSE100 businesses to David Cameron's call for more tax disclosure". Telegraph. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Finn's Law: Ministers agree to meet Hertfordshire MPs campaigning for better protection for service animals". Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  17. ^ "Rebel Tory MPs prepare to challenge the Government's plans to axe disability benefits". Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  18. ^ "Conservative MPs rebel over the roll out of universal credit". Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  19. ^ "Why I'm a Tory rebel on tax credit cuts". Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  20. ^ "The Two Major Issues Undermining Universal Credit". Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  21. ^ "Philip Hammond told to ditch National Insurance tax grab on self-employed or face revolt". Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  22. ^ "Conservative MP 'boycotts' meeting with government minister over tax credit cuts". Telegraph. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  23. ^ "They Work For You". GOV.UK. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence? - Coffee House". 16 February 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Stephen McPartland". Parliament UK. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  26. ^ "They Work For You". GOV.UK. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  27. ^ "'Part time MP' accused of breaking election pledge". Hertfordshire Mercury. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  28. ^ "Local MP faces criticism for 'misjudged' adverting campaign by furniture firm". Hertfordshire Mercury. 14 June 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  29. ^ "How fire-safe is British furniture?". BBC. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  30. ^ "The Furniture Ombudsman, The Board of Directors". The Furniture Ombudsman. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  31. ^ "Trailblazers website". Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  32. ^ "About Stephen". Personal website. Retrieved 8 October 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Barbara Follett
Member of Parliament for Stevenage