Steve Double

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Steve Double

Official portrait of Steve Double crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for St Austell and Newquay
Assumed office
8 May 2015
Preceded bySteve Gilbert
Majority11,142 (20.6%)
Personal details
Born (1966-12-19) 19 December 1966 (age 52)
St Austell, Cornwall, England
Political partyConservative
Anne Bird (m. 1986)
WebsiteOfficial website

Stephen Daniel Double[1] (born 19 December 1966) is a British Conservative Party politician. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for St Austell and Newquay at the 2015 general election.[2][3]

Double served on Cornwall Council and as a town councillor and deputy mayor of St Austell before his selection as Conservative candidate for St Austell and Newquay in the general election.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Double was born on the 19 December 1966 in St Austell. The son of the evangelist Don Double, he was educated at Poltair School in the town.[5] He worked in Cornwall across a variety of sectors, including working for a bank, local church and charity.[6] From May 2001, he was Director of Bay Direct Media Ltd, a direct marketing company. In May 2011, he additionally became Director of Phoenix Corporate Ltd, a company selling branded merchandise; he remains as Director and primary shareholder of both companies since becoming an MP.[7]

At its establishment in 2009, Double was one of four candidates elected onto St Austell Town Council for the Poltair Ward; he was re-elected in 2013 and served as deputy mayor of the town. He declined to stand at the following election in 2017, having since become an MP. Double was also elected as the Conservative Party candidate onto the new unitary Cornwall Council in 2009 for the St Austell Poltair Ward, but the seat was subsequently won by the Liberal Democrats candidate at the following election in 2013. Double did not stand for re-election to Cornwall Council in 2013.[8][9][10]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Double was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for St Austell and Newquay at the 2015 general election, when he defeated the incumbent Liberal Democrat Steve Gilbert.[2] He was re-elected at the 2017 general election.

In Parliament, Double has joined twelve All Party Parliamentary Groups. He chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group Ocean Conservation, working with Cornish charity Surfers Against Sewage. The group has campaigned against marine litter and seeks to protect the coastline.[11] He is also co-chair of the Regional Airports APPG which works to lobby government on behalf of small regional airports, such as Cornwall Airport Newquay.[12] Double is also vice-chair of the Parliamentary Beer Group which works to support pubs and breweries. In this role, he has been able to promote the work of St Austell Brewery, who operate from his constituency. He is also a member of the Ceramics All Party Parliamentary Group which represents the ceramics industry which includes China Clay. In this role he has sought to influence government policy on issues effecting the industry, which includes business in his constituency, such as taxation and access for exports. He also sits on the Parliamentary Space Committee where he has promoted Newquay as a frontrunner for the location of the UK's first spaceport.[13] He is the vice-chair of the Parliamentary Group for Fatherhood and has spoken up for the important role dads play in the family and worked for more government support for Fathers.[6]

Double has helped secure Government backing for a new link road between the A30 and St Austell.[14] He has led several debates in Parliament on subjects ranging from school term time holiday rules to the cost of car insurance for young people.[12]

Double supported Brexit in the 2016 EU membership referendum.[15]

Double has served in Parliament as a Member of the Petitions Committee, the European Scrutiny Committee and the Transport Committee.[16]

Double employs his wife as a Senior Caseworker on a salary up to £30,000.[17] He was listed in an article in The Daily Telegraph which criticised the practice of MPs employing family members, on the lines that it promotes nepotism.[18] Although MPs who were first elected in 2017 have been banned from employing family members, the restriction is not retrospective - meaning that Double's employment of his wife is lawful.[19][20]

In June 2016, Double, who is an evangelical Christian, admitted an extra-marital affair with a married 26-year-old aide.[21] Double had reportedly kept this secret from his wife of 30 years.[22] The BBC later reported that Double's constituency party deputy chairman had resigned, suggesting Double, who had claimed to promote family life, should do the same. They also examined the public's changing view of morality and quoted political historian Matt Cole who said that whilst the public was now more tolerant of infidelity, it did object to hypocrisy.[23] In February 2017, Double participated in a Westminster Hall debate about marriage, stating that he was "surprised... to learn that last year the Government spent more money on repairing cathedrals than on supporting marriage and family relationships." He called on the government to "put more resources into supporting marriage".[24]

In September 2017, Double was one of five MPs who backed the Government Departments (Abolition) Bill, which would have resulted in the abolition of the Department for International Development - effectively ending the management of UK aid to foreign countries. He also backed a Bill calling for a new bank holiday to celebrate Brexit.[citation needed]

In December 2018, in the Conservative leadership spill, Double said he would vote against the Prime Minister.[25]

On 12 March 2019, in a Commons debate on Brexit, Double said of May's proposed deal: "This is a turd of a deal, which has now been taken away and polished, and is now a polished turd. But it might be the best turd that we’ve got."[26]

Personal life[edit]

Double has been married to Anne Bird since 1986; they have two sons.[27]


  1. ^ "No. 61230". The London Gazette. 18 May 2015. p. 9120.
  2. ^ a b "St Austell and Newquay Parliamentary constituency". BBC. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Steve Double profile". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Conservative Party selects Steve Double to stand for St Austell and Newquay seat at next election". West Briton. 30 January 2013.
  5. ^ DOUBLE, Stephen Daniel. Who's Who. 2018 (online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b "About Steve". Personal website. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Steve Double Profile". Linkedin. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Cornwall Election Results 2017". Cornwall Council. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Cornwall Election Results 2013". Cornwall Council. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Cornwall Election Results 2009". Cornwall Council. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Protect Our Waves - All Party Parliamentary Group • Surfers Against Sewage". 19 June 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Steve Double MP, St Austell and Newquay - TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou.
  13. ^ "Transport minister visits possible spaceport site - Newquay Voice".
  14. ^ "Roche route confirmed as preferred A30 link - St Austell Voice".
  15. ^ "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence? - Coffee House". 16 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Parliamentary Profile". Parliament. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  17. ^ "IPSA". GOV.UK. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  18. ^ "One in five MPs employs a family member: the full list revealed". The Daily Telegraph. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  19. ^ "MPs banned from employing spouses after election in expenses crackdown". London Evening Standard. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  20. ^ Mason, Rowena (29 June 2015). "Keeping it in the family: new MPs continue to hire relatives as staff". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  21. ^ Harry Yorke and Sophie Jamieson (6 June 2016). "Married Christian Tory MP apologises for behaving 'completely inappropriately' amid reports of 'tryst' with blonde assistant, 26". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 June 2016.|
  22. ^ "Married Christian Tory MP, 49, apologises for behaving 'completely inappropriately' amid reports of 'tryst' with assistant, 26". Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  23. ^ Rachael Thorn (11 June 2016). "Why MP sex scandals no longer shock". BBC News. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Marriage Week - Hansard Online".
  25. ^ "How Tory MPs say they will vote in no confidence vote". BBC News. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  26. ^ Hyde, Marina (13 March 2019). "With Theresa's 'turd' deal flushed away, pray for an EU invasion - Marina Hyde". Retrieved 25 May 2019 – via
  27. ^ "Who's Who". 2015. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.283920. |chapter= ignored (help)

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Steve Gilbert
Member of Parliament
for St Austell and Newquay