Sir Desmond Angus Swayne TD VR (born 20 August 1956) is a Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of New Forest West in Hampshire. He was formerly also Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, having been his PPS during his time as Leader of the Opposition, 2005–10, prior to his appointment in September 2012 to the office of Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury. In June 2016, it was announced Swayne would receive a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours for political service. He is a supporter of the Eurosceptic pressure group Leave Means Leave. Prior to his political career, he was a schoolteacher, and manager at Royal Bank of Scotland.
Early life and careerEdit
Desmond Angus Swayne was born on 20 August 1956 to George Joseph and Elizabeth McAlister Swayne (née Gibson). He was privately educated at Drumley House Preparatory School at Mossblown in South Ayrshire and Bedford School. He studied Theology at St Mary’s College at the University of St Andrews.
He taught economics at the Charterhouse School for one year followed by seven years at Wrekin College (both independent boarding schools). From 1987 to 1997, he was a computer systems manager at Royal Bank of Scotland.
On 2 August 1987, he was commissioned into the Royal Armoured Corps, Territorial Army in the rank of second lieutenant (on probation). He served with the Queen's Own Mercian Yeomanry. He was promoted to lieutenant on 2 August 1989, and to captain on 1 August 1992. On 1 November 1992, he transferred to the newly formed Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry. He was promoted to major on 14 December 1996 with seniority from 1 January 1996.
On 28 September 2019, he remarked that "blackface" was an "entirely acceptable bit of fun". On 30 September, it was reported that he wore blackface while attending a Blues Brothers themed party, where he was pictured posing as James Brown. Swayne later said he "went to some trouble to be as authentic as possible" in creating the costume, before refusing to apologise.
Swayne unsuccessfully contested the constituency of Pontypridd for the Conservative Party in the 1987 general election, before seeking office in the constituency of West Bromwich West in the 1992 general election, where he was defeated by the Labour incumbent Betty Boothroyd. However, he was successfully elected to the seat of New Forest West at the 1997 general election. In the 1997 Conservative Party leadership election, Swayne supported Michael Howard, and later John Redwood. He held the seat to serve his sixth consecutive term in the 2017 General Election.
From 1997 to 2001, he held shadow ministerial portfolios for Northern Ireland, health and defence and as a senior opposition whip. From 2001 to 2005, Swayne was Parliamentary Private Secretary to both Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard in their role as Leader of the Opposition.
Following the election of David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005, he was appointed as his PPS. This position involved being the eyes and ears of Cameron in the House of Commons and reporting back on observations and requests from colleagues. In 2006, a series of Swayne's e-mails to Cameron with unflattering descriptions of fellow Conservatives were leaked to the media.
He maintained his role as a PPS in government. On 11 June 2011, it was announced Swayne would be appointed a Privy Counsellor in the Queen's 2011 Birthday Honours List. On 13 July 2011, Swayne was duly sworn of Council. In 2014, he was appointed as a minister for international development.
In addition to his salary as an MP, Swayne earns £12,000 a year as a director of property development firm Lewis Charles Sofia Property Fund, which predominantly specialises in holiday developments in Bulgaria; and around £5,000 in his role as a major in the Army Reserve.
In the House of Commons he sits on the Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee). He has previously sat on the International Trade Committee, the Administration Committee, the Defence Committee, the Procedure Committee, the Social Security Committee and Scottish Affairs Committee.
As a result of the expenses scandal, Swayne repaid £6,131 he claimed for a new kitchen in 2006 on his second-home flat in North Kensington, and £60.66 over claimed for a water bill. Swayne employs his wife Moira as part-time Executive Secretary/Office Manager. Swayne provided a full breakdown of his expenses on his website, and was found by local media in New Forest/South Dorset to be the lowest claiming of the local MP expenses' league table, after claiming £94,754 expenses in 2007/08, compared with £91,737 in 2006/07.
In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Swayne was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative Government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.
Honours and decorationsEdit
Swayne is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Iraq Medal, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has also received the Territorial Decoration for 12 years' service in the Territorial Army. In June 2009, he was awarded the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.
|Knight Bachelor (Kt)||
|Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal||
|Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal||
|Territorial Decoration (TD)||
|Volunteer Reserves Service Medal||
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- ""Politicians should rely on taxpayer" says New Forest West MP Desmond Swayne". This is Hampshire. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
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- "What is the cost of our MPs?". Dorset Echo. 15 May 2009. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Desmond Swayne.|
- Desmond Swayne MP Official site
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Desmond Swayne MP Biography Conservative Party
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for New Forest West