Steve Baker (politician)
|Member of Parliament
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Paul Goodman|
6 June 1971 |
St Austell, Cornwall, England
|Alma mater||University of Southampton (BEng)
University of Oxford (MSc)
|Service/branch||Royal Air Force|
|Years of service||1989–1999|
Steven John Baker (born 6 June 1971) is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wycombe, having been elected in the 2010 general election. He has been a member of the executive of the 1922 Committee since May 2012.
Baker served in the Royal Air Force as an aerospace engineer from 1989–99. After leaving the RAF, he studied for a postgraduate degree in Computer Science at the University of Oxford, later becoming a software engineer and consultant. He chose to enter politics after witnessing the financial crisis in 2008, having worked in the IT department at Lehman Brothers in Canary Wharf. He was elected MP for Wycombe in 2010. Since entering Parliament, he has campaigned against bail-outs for the financial sector and central banking, against the construction of High Speed 2, and against British membership of the European Union. In June 2015, he became co-chairman of Conservatives for Britain, a campaigning organisation formed of eurosceptic MPs, alongside Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman.
He co-founded The Cobden Centre, on which he sits on the advisory board. He established and chairs the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Economics, Money and Banking and is vice-chair of the APPG for Aerospace. He sits on the Treasury Select Committee.
Born in St Austell, Baker was educated at Poltair School, a state comprehensive school in St Austell in Cornwall, and St Austell Sixth Form College (also in Cornwall), followed by the University of Southampton, where he gained a BEng in Aerospace Engineering. He later studied at St Cross College, Oxford, where he earned an MSc in Computation.
From 1989, Baker served ten years as an engineering officer in the Royal Air Force. He retired from the Air Force in 1999 as a flight lieutenant. Later working as a consulting software engineer and manager. He was head of consulting and product manager with DecisionSoft Ltd (now named CoreFiling) in Oxford, 2000–01. He was appointed as Chief Technical Officer at BASDA Ltd, Great Missenden in 2002, a position he held until 2007. For a year from 2005 he was director of product development at CoreFiling Ltd, Oxford. He was the chief architect of global financing and asset service platforms at Lehman Brothers, 2006–08. He has been principal of Ambriel Consulting Ltd since 2001. He is a founding member of The Cobden Centre, an educational charity promoting Austrian economics. He is an associate consultant with the Centre for Social Justice since 2008.
Baker was selected as the Conservative candidate for Wycombe on 31 October 2009, after former Conservative MP Paul Goodman stood down; it was the first seat for which Baker had sought selection. Baker held the seat for the Conservative Party. He received 23,423 votes – a vote share of 48.6%, higher than Goodman's 42.4% and 45.8% in the 2001 and 2005 general elections respectively. In 2010, he was appointed to the Transport Select Committee.
Baker is rated as one of the Conservatives' top 10 most rebellious MPs of the 2010 intake. He has also been nominated as a 'Newcomer of the Year' on ConservativeHome. He was named as the most authoritative Member of Parliament on Twitter in January 2011.
In March 2011, Baker initiated an adjournment debate on the malicious prosecution of an operator of an independent mental health unit that pressured the Solicitor General Edward Garnier into issuing an apology.
Baker has campaigned for banking reform, calling for banks to re-adopt Generally Accepted Accounting Practice to account for devalued loans, as well as failed ones; in May 2011, he calculated that the use of IFRS instead of GAAP over-stated the strength of Royal Bank of Scotland's balance sheet by £25bn.
Baker rejects war as a policy, stating, "While clearly it has been breached repeatedly, the Kellogg–Briand Pact of 1929 renounced war for the settlement of international disputes. It remains in force.". Coupled with this, Baker is in favour of nuclear deterrents, on the grounds of "Van Creveld's argument that nuclear weapons make total war impossible".
Regarding parliamentary procedures, Baker wants to reform Early day motions (EDMs), possibly replacing them with 'Members' Motions' on the grounds that EDMs 'are used to publicise the views of individual MPs', whereas a system such as 'Members' Motions' could be 'debated by the House'.
Baker describes his political inspiration as being the Liberal Richard Cobden, founding the Cobden Centre under the motto: 'Peace will come to earth when the people have more to do with each other and governments less'.
Despite being MP for a constituency through which High Speed 2 is not planned to run, Baker opposes the construction of the line against the party Whip. He argues that the plan does not 'make sense for the whole country', and, while believing that the route should not run through Buckinghamshire, campaigns to scrap the plans altogether, rather than re-routing them outside the county.
Baker opposes quantitative easing, saying it creates a worse crisis as an inevitable consequence. Baker also voted in opposition to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, and called for the denationalisation of marriage. He argued that the current situation risks infringing both the freedoms of the religious and LGBT communities, and that private individuals should define the term marriage, rather than the state.
|General Election 2015: Wycombe|
|Liberal Democrat||Steve Guy||4,546||8.8%||-20.0|
|General Election 2010: Wycombe|
|Liberal Democrat||Steve Guy||13,863||28.8||+9.0|
- The London Gazette: . 13 May 2010.
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- Profile, ukwhoswho.com; accessed 12 May 2015.
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- The London Gazette: . 7 September 1999.
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<ref>tag; name "hold" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- "Labour hold Luton South against Esther challenge". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Evans, Oliver (7 May 2010). [Tories at Wycombe "Tories increase grip on Wycombe as Lib Dems move into second"] Check
|url=value (help). Bucks Free Press.
- backbench rebellion
- "Newcomer of 2010". ConservativeHome. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- [Top 20 Twitter MPs "Twitter: The top 20 Members of Parliament"] Check
|url=value (help). The Daily Telegraph. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Williams, Christopher (25 January 2011). [Politicians on Twitter "Politicians 'have less authority' than comedians on Twitter"] Check
|url=value (help). The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Lakhani, Nina (3 April 2011). "'Shocking demise' of hospital threatens NHS reform". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Armistead, Louise (2 June 2011). "Royal Bank of Scotland told by MPs to explain £25bn accounting 'distortion'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Hosking, Patrick (17 May 2011). "RBS 'more exposed to toxic loans than it admits'". The Times. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Treanor, Jill (14 December 2011). "Banks use accounting loopholes to inflate profits and bolster bonuses". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Huggins, Donata (10 May 2012). "Bloodlust at the 1922 Committee". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
- "War and nuclear weapons". 14 November 2010.
- "EDMs: Motions for "an early day"". 14 November 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "International Affairs". 14 November 2010.
- "Cobden Centre". 14 November 2010.
- Milmo, Dan (19 December 2010). "Backlash from Conservative heartlands expected over high speed rail". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- Nadal, James (23 November 2010). "Wycombe MP Steve Baker: HS2 case 'not proven'". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
- McSmith, Andy (8 October 2011). "Village People: Tories ill at ease with the wheeze that is quantitative easing". The Independent. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Baker, Steve. "Where I stand " Gay Marriage". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Steven Baker MP Conservative Party profile
- Wycombe Conservatives
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Wycombe