Tim Loughton

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Tim Loughton
Official portrait of Tim Loughton crop 2.jpg
Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee
In office
6 September 2016 – 19 October 2016
Preceded by Keith Vaz
Succeeded by Yvette Cooper
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families
In office
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Succeeded by Edward Timpson[1]
Member of Parliament
for East Worthing and Shoreham
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Constituency created
Majority 5,106 (9.6%)
Personal details
Born (1962-05-30) 30 May 1962 (age 55)
Eastbourne, Sussex, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Juliet MacLauchlan
Children 3
Alma mater University of Warwick
Clare College, Cambridge

Timothy Paul Loughton, FSA (born 30 May 1962) is a British Conservative Party politician, and has been Member of Parliament (MP) for East Worthing and Shoreham since the 1997 general election. Loughton was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families from 2010-2012. In September 2016, Loughton was confirmed as the Acting Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee following the resignation of Keith Vaz until being replaced by Yvette Cooper.

Early life and education[edit]

Loughton was born on 30 May 1962 in Eastbourne, East Sussex, England. From 1973 to 1980, he was educated at Priory School, a state comprehensive school in Lewes, East Sussex. From 1980 to 1983, he studied classical civilisation at the University of Warwick.[3] There, he was secretary of the University of Warwick Conservative Association. He graduated with a first class honours Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) degree 1983. He then joined Clare College, University of Cambridge, where he studied Mesopotamian archaeology between 1983 and 1984.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Loughton followed a career in the City of London as a fund manager from 1984 for Fleming Private Asset Management, becoming a director from 1992-2000.

Registrable shareholdings are Classwatch Limited and the Mindful Policy Group Trading Ltd.[4]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Loughton's first attempt at election to the House of Commons was in the 1992 general election, when he stood against David Blunkett in the Sheffield Brightside constituency. In 1995 Loughton was selected as the candidate for the seat of East Worthing and Shoreham, a seat created as a result of boundary changes, replacing the Worthing and Shoreham constituencies.

Loughton entered Parliament at the 1997 general election and was re-elected at the 2001 general election. At the 2005 general election, Loughton polled 43.9% of the vote, with a majority to 8,183. At the 2010 general election, Loughton polled 48.5% of the vote with a majority of 11,105.[5]

From 2000-2001 Loughton was Shadow Minister for Environment and from 2003-2010 he was Shadow Minister of Health and Children, during the Conservative Party's time as the shadow cabinet in opposition to the Labour Party.[6]

In 2001, Loughton referred to then leader of the Conservative Party William Hague as "baldy and he has a funny accent" and compared him to former Labour Leader Neil Kinnock.[7]

In 2010, Loughton appeared in the Channel 4 documentary series, Tower Block of Commons.[8]

Ministerial career[edit]

In May 2010 Loughton was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families,[9] a position commonly known as 'children's minister'.

Andrew Roth in The Guardian said that he was an "assiduous debater, although specialist opponents can consider his viewpoints complete and utter rubbish". During Prime Minister's Questions on 13 July 2011, the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow told Loughton - following considerably loud cheers from the government benches and loud jeers from the opposition benches - that if he couldn't behave like an adult, then he ought to leave the chamber.[10]

In February 2012, Loughton was part of a ministerial working group on how the law should be changed regarding how to amend the Children Act 1989. According to The Guardian newspaper of 3 February 2012 the working group aimed to include in the new Children's Act one "presumption of shared parenting" for children's fathers and mothers after cases of divorce or spousal break up.[11]

In May 2012, he said marriage was a religious institution that should remain between one man and one woman.[12] On 5 February 2013 Loughton voted against the Second Reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.[13]

Loughton was sacked as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families in the government reshuffle of September 2012.[9][14]

Post-ministerial career[edit]

In January 2013 Loughton was involved in a political dispute involving his earlier work as a minister in the Department of Education when he compared the role of Education Secretary Michael Gove to "Young Mr Grace" from the British sitcom Are You Being Served?, suggesting there was little interaction between ministers and staff in the department.[15] The next day Loughton was described in a briefing from the Department of Education to The Spectator as a "lazy, incompetent narcissist obsessed only with self-promotion".[16] The following month Loughton tabled "hostile" parliamentary questions to the Department of Education on the subject of complaints by staff, which the Independent described as "a significant escalation of hostilities" between Loughton and some of his old colleagues.[17]

In September 2013, Loughton was forced to apologise to former children's minister Sarah Teather after he was recorded at an event saying the Department of Education as a result of Teather was a "family free zone" and that Teather "did not believe in family" as "she certainly didn't produce one of her own". The comments made by Loughton were branded "disgusting" by Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat minister for Women and Equalities.[18]

Sussex Police investigation[edit]

In March 2013 it was revealed that Loughton had been investigated by Sussex Police under the Malicious Communications Act following a complaint lodged by a constituent over Loughton's reply to their email.[19] After several months, Loughton was advised by the Sussex Police that they would not be filing any charges.[20] Loughton subsequently gave his account of the affair in a parliamentary privilege protected House of Commons speech and criticised the police response.[20] Loughton then mailed a Hansard copy of the speech to the constituent, an action he believed was covered by parliamentary privilege.[21]

The constituent lodged another complaint about being sent the parliamentary papers, and Loughton was issued with a Police Information Notice (PIN) by Sussex Police. Loughton then arranged an emergency parliamentary debate, during which he accused the police of violating parliamentary privilege by issuing the PIN. A motion for the Standards and Privileges Committee to investigate his claims was granted.[21]

At a hearing of the Standards and Privileges committee in January 2014, Loughton said that by issuing the PIN the police had "exacerbated the situation out of all control".[22] Sussex Chief Constable Martin Richards apologised to the committee, claiming he was unaware the Parliamentary Papers Act 1840 gave full legal protection to all parliamentary papers and blamed conflicting legal advice.[22] Former deputy Chief Constable of Sussex Police Robin Merrett claimed he "could understand" the constituent being "alarmed" at receiving the copy of Hansard and "fully supported" the police actions.[22] In March 2014 the Standards and Privileges Committee found Sussex Police in contempt of Parliament, forcing Sussex Police to issue an apology.[23]

Backbench career[edit]

In August 2015, it was revealed that Loughton was amongst a number of supporters of other political parties who had paid £3 to register to join the Labour Party in an attempt to participate in its leadership election.[24] He subsequently said he had registered using his parliamentary email account and wanted to "blow the gaff on what a complete farce the whole thing is. If I’d got a voting paper I was going to tweet myself ripping it up, just to make a point about how ridiculous the whole open exercise is. In the box at the end of the application it asks: 'What are your reasons for wanting to become a supporter of the Labour party?' I put: 'To vote to Jeremy Corbyn and consign Labour to oblivion for a generation' and then I got a 'welcome to the Labour party' email. I wasn’t exactly hiding my intent."[25]

Loughton supported Brexit in the 2016 European Union membership referendum. He campaigned for it through the Vote Leave organisation.[26][27][28]

On 6 September 2016, Loughton acted as Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee following the resignation of Keith Vaz.[29]

On 12 February 2017 Loughton made comments about his attendance at the BAFTAs complaining that Ken Loach during the acceptance speech for outstanding British film spoke "usual predictable drivel".[30]

On 29 June 2017 Loughton came fifth in the ballot of private members bills.[31][32] Loughton introduced the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Loughton married Elizabeth Juliet MacLauchlan in 1992, and they have two daughters and one son.[34] On 16 April 2015, he was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).[35]


  1. ^ "Edward Timpson replaces Tim Loughton as Children’s Minister", Family Law Week, September 2012
  2. ^ Loughton, Tim (17 May 2012). "Tim's thoughts on same sex marriage". timloughton.com. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Biography - About Tim". Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Commons, House of. "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests (30th March 2015) - Part 1: LOUGHTON, Tim". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  5. ^ "Election 2010: Worthing East & Shoreham". BBC News. 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "About Tim". Tim Loughton MP. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  7. ^ "'Baldy' Hague may cost votes, says Tory". BBC News. 27 March 2001. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Tower Block of Commons - Channel 4, Channel 4
  9. ^ a b "Tim Loughton". GOV.UK. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "PMQs: Speaker Bercow tells off 'disgraceful' minister Tim Loughton". BBC News. 13 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Pearse, Damien (3 February 2012). "Divorced fathers to get more contact with their children". The Guardian. London. 
  12. ^ Tory ministers Philip Hammond and Tim Loughton come out against equal marriage for gay couples, Pink News, 13 May 2012
  13. ^ {https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130205/debtext/130205-0004.htm} The House of Commons. 2013. Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012-2013.
  14. ^ "David Cameron faces a fresh revolt as sacked ministers go on the attack". London Evening Standard. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  15. ^ Harrison, Angela (16 January 2013). "Ex-minister Tim Loughton says children's agenda sidelined". BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Michael Gove: I've no idea which of my staff called Tim Loughton a lazy, incompetent narcissist". The Daily Telegraph. London. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  17. ^ Wright, Oliver (26 February 2013). "Tory ex-minister, Tim Loughton, turns his sights on Michael Gove's adviser". The Independent. London. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "Tim Loughton to apologise for Sarah Teather family jibe". BBC News. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Marsden, Sam (3 March 2013). "Police investigate Conservative MP Tim Loughton for calling man 'unkempt'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "MP Tim Loughton 'sacks' constituent after racism row". BBC News. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "Tim Loughton accuses police chief of 'losing the plot'". BBC News. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  22. ^ a b c "No police apology for MP Tim Loughton in harassment row". BBC News. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "Sussex MP gets apology from police". 14 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  24. ^ Piggott, Mark (11 August 2015). "Labour leadership contest: 1,200 banned from voting because they support rival parties". International Business Times. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  25. ^ Perraudin, Frances (5 August 2015). "Tory caught signing up as Labour supporter wanted to expose vote 'farce'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  26. ^ Loughton, Tim (22 February 2016). "Tim Loughton MP: Why I will vote to leave the EU". Conservative Woman. 
  27. ^ "Watch Have I Got News For You's Ian Hislop 'destroy' Tim Loughton MP over Brexit". The Daily Express. 4 November 2016. Staunch Leave campaigner Loughton 
  28. ^ "Tim Loughton MP - Vote Leave - Fresh Start Launch". Tim Loughton (YouTube). 2 June 2016. 
  29. ^ "Keith Vaz quits as Home Affairs Committee Chairman in wake of rent boys scandal". Telegraph. 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  30. ^ "Tory MP sparks Twitter row as he lashes out at Ken Loach's 'drivel'". London: Sky News. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  31. ^ "Private Members' Bill Ballot: 29 June 2017". London: House of Commons Library. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  32. ^ "Private members' bill draw: Chris Bryant comes first". London: BBC News. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  33. ^ "The Bill Ballot: Details of the 2017-19 Private Members' Bill Ballot winners and their proposed legislation" (PDF). London: DeHavilland. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  34. ^ "Tim Loughton". BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  35. ^ "16 Apr Ballot Results". News. Society of Antiquaries of London. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for East Worthing and Shoreham