Steve Baker (politician)
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|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union|
13 June 2017
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||The Lord Bridges of Headley|
|Member of Parliament
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Paul Goodman|
|Born||Steven John Baker
6 June 1971
St Austell, Cornwall, England
|Alma mater||University of Southampton
St Cross College, Oxford
|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 sat on the Treasury Select Committee.
Born in St Austell, Baker was educated at Poltair School in St Austell and St Austell Sixth Form College 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.
On 3 September 1989 Baker was commissioned as an Acting Pilot Officer into the Engineering Branch of the Royal Air Force, having previously held the rank of Corporal, before being regraded as a Pilot Officer on 15 July 1992. Baker retired from the RAF on 1 August 1999 at his own request having attained the rank of Flight lieutenant. He later worked 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 has been 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.
In March 2011, Baker initiated an adjournment debate on the malicious prosecution of an operator of an independent mental health unit. Eventually, the Solicitor General Edward Garnier issued 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'. He has spoken about the free trade opportunities for the U.K. post-Brexit, but has warned of the need to protect against the trade policies of other countries, including China.
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.
He 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.
Baker was in favour of Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum. He stated at a meeting of the Libertarian Alliance taking place in 2010 that he "think[s] the European Union needs to be wholly torn down", considering it "an obstacle to" "free trade and peace among all the nations of Europe as well as the world".
|Liberal Democrat||Steve Guy||4,147||7.8||-1.1|
|Liberal Democrat||Steve Guy||4,546||8.8%||-20.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Steve Guy||13,863||28.8||+9.0|
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- "War and nuclear weapons". 14 November 2010.
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- 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.
- Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn’t and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- "Brexit: Minister appointed to negotiate Britain's withdrawal wants European Union 'wholly torn down'", the Independent
- "Wycombe parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
- "Election results for Wycombe, 7 May 2015". 7 May 2015.
- "Wycombe". BBC News Online. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- Steven Baker MP Conservative Party profile
- Wycombe Conservatives
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament