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Mark Robinson (Conservative politician)

Mark Noel Foster Robinson (born 26 December 1946) is a former Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom.

Mark Robinson
Member of Parliament
for Somerton and Frome
In office
Preceded byRobert Boscawen
Succeeded byDavid Heath
Member of Parliament
for Newport West
In office
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byPaul Flynn
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales
In office
1985 – June 1987
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Sec. of StateNicholas Edwards
Personal details
Born (1946-12-26) 26 December 1946 (age 72)
Political partyConservative Party UK

Early life and familyEdit

Born in Bristol to John Foster Robinson, CBE, TD, and Margaret, née Paterson, Robinson’s father was High Sheriff of Avon in 1975. John Robinson's family ran ES&A Robinson, the paper and packaging conglomerate that later became Dickinson Robinson Group. Apart from paper, the Robinsons were famous for cricket: Robinson’s grandfather, Sir Foster Robinson, was captain of Gloucestershire; other members of the family played for, and captained, Gloucestershire. Robinson was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read Modern History.

UN and CommonwealthEdit

Robinson spent six years at the United Nations: at the UN Relief Operation to Bangladesh; in the Office of the Under-Secretary General; and in the Office of the Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim. From 1977–83 he was Assistant Director in the Office of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who was then Sir Shridath Ramphal.

He is currently: Chairman of the Commonwealth Organisations' Committee on Zimbabwe; the UK Chairman of the Commonwealth Consortium for Education; a Council Member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust; Hon. Treasurer of the Commonwealth Round Table: the Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs; and a Trustee of Concordia UK.

Member of ParliamentEdit

Robinson was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for the notionally safe Labour seat of Newport West in 1983. Because of his background at the UN and Commonwealth he was appointed to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, a position he held until in 1985 when he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Welsh Office, by Margaret Thatcher. Despite achieving an increase in his share of the vote, he lost his seat at the 1987 General Election. He was re-elected in 1992 for the Somerset seat of Somerton and Frome. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Overseas Development, Baroness Chalker, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Douglas Hurd, but was defeated at the 1997 General Election by David Heath. He has since served as a Commonwealth election observer.

From 1987–1995 he was a Director of Leopold Joseph, the Merchant Bank, and from 1988–92 he was a Member of the Board of the Commonwealth Development Corporation.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Newport West
Succeeded by
Paul Flynn
Preceded by
Robert Boscawen
Member of Parliament for Somerton and Frome
Succeeded by
David Heath