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David Philip Heathcoat-Amory[n 1] (born 21 March 1949) is a British politician, accountant and farmer. He was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wells from 1983 until he lost the seat in the 2010 general election. He became a member of the British Privy Council in 1996. Heathcoat-Amory was previously Chair of the European Research Group.
|Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry|
26 September 2000 – 14 September 2001
|Preceded by||Angela Browning|
|Succeeded by||John Whittingdale|
|Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury|
19 June 1997 – 26 September 2000
|Preceded by||Alistair Darling|
|Succeeded by||Oliver Letwin|
20 July 1994 – 20 July 1996
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Sir John Cope|
|Succeeded by||David Willetts|
|Minister of State for Europe|
27 May 1993 – 20 July 1994
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Tristan Garel-Jones|
|Succeeded by||David Davis|
|Treasurer of the Household|
15 April 1992 – 27 May 1993
|Prime Minister||John Major|
|Preceded by||Alastair Goodlad|
|Succeeded by||Greg Knight|
|Member of Parliament |
9 June 1983 – 12 April 2010
|Preceded by||Robert Boscawen|
|Succeeded by||Tessa Munt|
|Born||21 March 1949|
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford|
Education and professional lifeEdit
David Heathcoat-Amory is the son of British Army Brigadier Roderick Heathcoat-Amory, MC (son of Sir Ian Heathcoat-Amory, 2nd Baronet) and the nephew of Harold Macmillan's Chancellor of the Exchequer Derick Heathcoat-Amory. He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, University of Oxford, where he received an MA in PPE. He was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association and was a contemporary of John Redwood, Robert Jackson, William Waldegrave, Edwina Currie, Stephen Milligan and Gyles Brandreth.
Heathcoat-Amory qualified as an accountant in 1974 and joined Price Waterhouse as a chartered accountant. In 1980, he was appointed as the assistant finance director of the British Technology Group (BTG) where he remained until he was elected to Parliament in 1983.
Heathcoat-Amory contested the London Borough of Brent seat at Brent South at the 1979 general election but was defeated by the sitting Labour MP Laurence Pavitt by 11,616 votes. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1983 general election for the Somerset seat of Wells, whose sitting MP Robert Boscawen had decided to move to Somerton and Frome following boundary changes. He held the seat with a majority of 6,575.
In Parliament, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury John Moore in 1985, and was also the PPS to his successor from 1986 Norman Lamont. Following the 1987 general election he became the PPS to the Home Secretary Douglas Hurd until he was promoted to the government of Margaret Thatcher as an Assistant Government Whip in 1988. He was promoted to become a Lord Commissioner to the Treasury and Government Whip in 1989. Later in the year he became the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, until moved by the new prime minister John Major in the same position at the Department of Energy in 1990. He was appointed as the Treasurer of the Household (Deputy Chief Whip) following the 1992 general election and was the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1993. He was appointed as the Paymaster General in 1994 where he served until resigning from the government in 1996 over the single European currency. He became a member of the Privy Council in 1996.
In 1997 Heathcoat-Amory joined the shadow cabinet of William Hague as the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and was the Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry from 2000. He left the frontbench on the election of Iain Duncan Smith as the leader of the Conservative Party in 2001. He was a member of the Treasury Select Committee from 2004 until he was briefly, in 2005, a spokesman on work and pensions under the leadership of Michael Howard, but returned to the backbenches later in the year when David Cameron became Conservative leader. He served as the chairman of the all party group on the British Museum; the vice chair of the group on astronomy and space environment; and the secretary of the group on boxing.
From late 2001 until July 2003, Heathcoat-Amory was one of the two British parliamentary delegates to the Convention on the Future of Europe, which drafted the European Constitution. He is well known for his strong euroscepticism and was, through the work of the Convention, a fierce opponent of the official drafts being prepared by the presidium of the Convention, criticising them as being too federalist.
Heathcoat-Amory was selected by the Power 2010 democracy and constitutional reform campaign as one of six MPs accused of "failing our democracy" and who "stand in the way of a reforming Parliament". Heathcoat-Amory lost his seat in the 2010 general election to the Liberal Democrat's Tessa Munt who achieved a 6.1% swing.
At the election, UKIP's Jake Baynes was requested by his party to stand down owing to UKIP's policy of not standing a candidate in a constituency where there is already a committed eurosceptic, but he refused to do so. In interviews, Baynes said he was "offering the public a service no other candidate is". Heathcoat-Amory partly blamed the presence of a UKIP candidate on the ballot paper for his defeat during his speech after the result of the ballot was announced. He also admitted that his involvement in the expenses scandal played a part in his defeat.
He was criticised in 2008 after remarking, regarding the presence of a black MP, Dawn Butler, "They're letting anybody in nowadays". Heathcote-Amory denied the accusation that his remarks were racist.
Having lost by a relatively narrow 800 votes in the General Election in June 2010, Heathcoat-Amory announced to the local party members and media that he would not be contesting the next general election.
On 12 May 2009, it was reported in The Daily Telegraph that Heathcoat-Amory had charged the taxpayer for manure costing £380 over 3 years on expenses, under the controversial Additional Costs Allowance. In February 2010 it was revealed that he had been asked to repay a total of £29,691.93. The Times dubbed the scandal 'The Manure Parliament' when singling out Heathcoat-Amory's claim.
He enjoys angling, growing trees, gardening and astronomy. He married Linda Adams on 4 February 1978 in north Hampshire. They have a son and a daughter (born September 1988). His younger son, Matthew, committed suicide at their second home in Perthshire in 2001. Heathcoat-Amory and his wife Linda said the family was "deeply shocked".
Notes and referencesEdit
- (The suffix Amory is pronounced: //)
- Levy, Geoffrey (6 March 2010). "So who were the two Tory ministers who had gay flings with Christopher Hitchens at Oxford?". Daily Mail. London.
- "Row over election poster campaign flares up in Burnham-On-Sea". Burnham-on-Sea News. 29 March 2010.
- Power 2010
- "UKIP candidate for Wells refusing to quit". BBC News Online. 15 April 2010.
- "Liberal Democrats beat Heathcoat-Amory in Wells seat". BBC News. 7 May 2010.
- "Liberal Democrats beat Heathcoat-Amory in Wells seat". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Election winner Tessa Munt: 'The work starts here'". 7 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- Allen, Nick; Rayner, Gordon (12 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: David Heathcoat-Amory dumps 550 sacks of manure on taxpayer". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Black MP Dawn Butler reveals she was victim of racism in Parliament after fellow MP assumed she was a cleaner".
- "Former MP says he will not fight next general election". Wells Journal. 17 June 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Allen, Nick (12 May 2009). "MPs' expenses: David Heathcoat-Amory dumps 550 sacks of manure on taxpayer". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "'Appalled' Cameron leads payback". BBC News Online. 12 May 2009.
- "Wells MP David Heathcoat-Amory pays back almost £30,000". BBC News Online. 4 February 2010.
- Elliott, Francis; Gosden, Emily (16 May 2009). "Manure Parliament fears that the voters will revolt". The Times. London.
- "MP's expenses Tory who claimed for manure puts £1.5m home up for sale". Daily Express. 6 July 2010.
- "Shadow minister 'shocked' by son's death". BBC News Online. 17 August 2001.
- A Single European Currency: Why the United Kingdom Must Say No by David Heathcoat-Amory, 1996, Nelson & Pollard Publishing ISBN 1-874607-11-7
- A Market Under Threat: How the European Union Could Destroy the British Art Market by David Heathcoat-Amory, 1998, Centre for Policy Studies ISBN 1-897969-74-0
- The European Constitution by David Heathcoat-Amory, 2003, CPS
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by David Heathcoat-Amory
- Official Website
- Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: David Heathcoat-Amory MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com – David Heathcoat-Amory MP
- The Public Whip – David Heathcoat-Amory MP voting record
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Wells
| Treasurer of the Household
| Minister for Europe
Sir John Cope