Mark Garnier

Mark Robert Timothy Garnier[2] MP (born 26 February 1963) is a British Conservative Party politician and former banker, who was investigated by the Cabinet Office in October 2017 for asking his parliamentary assistant to buy sex toys, and was subsequently sacked from his role as minister of International Trade.[3] He was first elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Wyre Forest at the 2010 general election. Garnier was re-elected at the 2015, 2017 and 2019 general elections.

Mark Garnier

Official portrait of Mark Garnier MP crop 2.jpg
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Trade
In office
15 July 2016 – 9 January 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGraham Stuart
Member of Parliament
for Wyre Forest
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byRichard Taylor
Majority21,413 (42.4%)
Personal details
Mark Robert Timothy Garnier

(1963-02-26) 26 February 1963 (age 57)[1]
London, England
Political partyConservative

He was a minister of International Trade from July 2016 to January 2018.[4]

Early life and careerEdit

Mark Garnier was born in London to Peter and Patricia Garnier on 26 February 1963.[5] He was privately educated at the independent Dulwich College Preparatory School, London, and Charterhouse.[6] In 1981, he joined the London Stock Exchange as a junior clerk on the Gilts Markets. In 1986, he left to join a succession of investment banks, working in the Far East Equity markets. Between 1989–1995 he worked as managing director for South China Securities, he followed this with a directorship for a year at the Japanese investment company Daiwa Securities Group.[5]

Garnier subsequently worked as an associate director at Edmond de Rothschild Group and US investment bank Bear Stearns. Between 1999–2005, he worked as an independent hedge fund manager before becoming a partner at US equities company CGR Capital. After working for CGR Capital for three years, he became a partner at both Severn Capital and Augmentor.[5][7]

Garnier was a district councillor of the Forest of Dean District Council from 2003–2007.[8]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Garnier first contested the Wyre Forest seat for the Conservative Party at the 2005 general election but finished in second place behind the sitting independent MP Richard Taylor.[9][10] At the next general election in 2010, Garnier was elected as MP for the constituency with 18,793 (36.9%) votes and a majority of 2,643 (5.2%).[11] He retained the seat at the 2015 general election with 22,394 (45.3%) votes and an increased majority of 12,871 (26%).[12] Garnier also retained the seat at the 2017 snap general election with 29,859 (58.4%) votes and an increased majority of 13,334 (26.1%).[13]

Much of Garnier's work in Parliament is focused on his constituency of Wyre Forest, including: education, healthcare and economic development.[14] In the latter category, Garnier is an enthusiastic supporter of HS2. He believes that Birmingham Airport will be an increasingly significant hub for the region that will help to ease pressure on Heathrow.[15] Garnier has also taken a centralist business approach to EU membership, choosing to eschew scepticism, but focus on the economic and trading gains to be had from trading relationships.[16] Developing the theme of deregulation, Garnier perceives the right environment for business to be essential. This can be achieved for young people through vocational courses in higher education that offer practical skills to become entrepreneurial.[17]

Garnier previously served on the Treasury Select Committee and raised a debate in the House on Commons on 29 November 2010 (with several other Conservative MPs) on the regulation of independent financial advisers.[18] Garnier also serves on several All-Party Parliamentary Groups and was previously Deputy Chairman of the APPG concerning Space.[19]

In a speech on 19 January 2012, Garnier criticised a Labour proposal to set a minimum age for owning a shotgun certificate, arguing that shooting was a major competitive sport and that based on Countryside Alliance statistics there was "no reason" to feel uncomfortable with under-10s having licensed access to shotguns.[20]

Throughout his time in Parliament, Garnier, himself a smoker; has campaigned strongly to end tobacco smuggling.[21] In 2012 it was reported he had accepted tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show from Japan Tobacco International (JTI), costing £1,100. Commenting on this he said: "All of us who are MPs in Worcestershire have taken pay cuts of some form or other from coming out of the private sector... If we wanted to have our nose in the trough I could go back to being an investment banker. The reason I'm an MP is the complete opposite to having my nose in the trough. Two years of hundred hour weeks. To pick on this one thing is really irritating."[22]

Garner was named by the ConservativeHome website as one of a minority of loyal Conservative backbench MPs not to have voted against the government in any significant rebellions in September 2012.[23] Garner was subsequently one of 80 Conservative MPs to oppose the Coalition's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

In December 2014, he was criticised for comments he made during a speech at the Institute of Economic Affairs, arguing that his party shouldn't worry about attracting "dog-end voters" who live in "the outlying regions" of Britain.[24]

Garnier expressed disappointment at the decision of the regulator not to investigate incentives, pay and culture of the banks and their potential association with misconduct including the Libor scandal.[25]

In the lead-up to the 2016 EU membership referendum Garnier supported the unsuccessful "Remain" campaign.[26] In October 2017, he said that 'doom-mongers like himself' had been proved wrong since the Brexit vote.[27]

On 17 July 2016, he was appointed to the newly-created position of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Trade, but was sacked on 9 January 2018.[citation needed]

In October 2017, the Cabinet Office began an investigation into a potential breach of the ministerial code after The Mail on Sunday revealed he had sent an aide, whom he called "sugar tits", to buy two vibrators from a sex shop while he waited outside, allegedly one for his wife and one for a colleague who worked at his constituency office.[28] The investigation, which reported on 21 December 2017, concluded that Garnier did not break the ministerial code (the incidents having occurred before he was appointed) and had not acted inappropriately since becoming a minister.[29]

Personal lifeEdit

Garnier is married to Caroline (née Joyce); the couple have three children.[5] His wife works as a manager in his parliamentary office, earning £35,000.[30][31] They live near Abberley, Worcestershire, England.[32]

His cousin, Sir Edward Garnier QC, MP was Solicitor General from 2010 until 2012 and was the Member of Parliament for Harborough from 1992 until 2017.


  1. ^ "Mark Garnier MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8746.
  3. ^ Stewart, Heather; Siddique, Haroon (29 October 2017). "Cabinet Office to investigate after minister admits asking assistant to buy sex toys". the Guardian.
  4. ^ Agerholm, Harriet (9 January 2018). "-Mark Garnier sacked: Tory minister who admitted asking secretary to buy sex toys loses job". The Independent. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Hume, Lucy (5 October 2017). People of Today 2017. Debrett's. p. 2373. ISBN 978-1-9997670-3-7.
  6. ^ Mikhailova, Anna (20 March 2016). "Mark Garnier: the political village beats a City salary". The Times.
  7. ^ "Garnier vows to keep up fight against advice gap". Citywire. 9 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Wyre Forest". UK Polling Report. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Result: Wyre Forest". BBC News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Wyre Forest". UK Polling Report. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Wyre Forest". BBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Wyre Forest". BBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Wyre Forest". BBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  14. ^ Mark Garnier's work in Wyre Forest Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Mark Garnier, Simon Kirby, Julian Sturdy and Gareth Johnson all set out their scepticism about further European integration in their maiden speeches". Conservative Home. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Richard Harrington MP and Mark Garnier MP: The economy needs a new generation of new entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses". Conservative Home. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  18. ^ "IFA Debate, House of Commons, part 1". Mark Garnier. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  19. ^ Mark Garnier's work in Westminster Archived 24 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Mark Garnier MP: Young people should not be denied the opportunity to take part in shooting as a sport". Conservative Home. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Tobacco: Smuggling:Written question – 215878 – UK Parliament". Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  22. ^ Cadisha Brown (13 January 2012). "Garnier defends tickets 'gifts' (From Kidderminster Shuttle)". Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  23. ^ Barrett, Matthew. "The 24 Conservative MPs who are still on the backbenches and have never rebelled". Conservative Home. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  24. ^ Mason, Rowena (2 December 2014). "Tory MP: we have no need to attract 'dog-end voters in the outlying regions'". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  25. ^ "Banking culture inquiry shelved by regulator FCA". BBC News. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  26. ^ Tom Goodenough (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  27. ^ "Doom-mongers like me have been proved wrong". BBC News. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  28. ^ Farand, Chloe (29 October 2017). "Tory MP 'admits making aide buy sex toys'". The Independent. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  29. ^ Jackson, Russell (21 December 2017). "Mark Garnier cleared over Westminster sleaze allegations". The Scotsman. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  30. ^ "IPSA". Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  31. ^ Hope, Christopher; Wilkinson, Michael (29 June 2015). "One in five MPs employs a family member: the full list revealed". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  32. ^ "Mark Garnier". Retrieved 30 October 2017.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Taylor
Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest