Nigel Adams

Nigel Adams (born 30 November 1966) is a British Conservative politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Selby and Ainsty since 2010. Adams was appointed as the Minister for Asia at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development in February 2020.

Nigel Adams

Official portrait of Nigel Adams MP crop 2.jpg
Adams in 2020
Minister of State for Asia
Assumed office
13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byHeather Wheeler (Asia and the Pacific)
Minister of State for Sport, Media and Creative Industries[1]
In office
24 July 2019 – 13 February 2020
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byMargot James
Succeeded byCaroline Dinenage
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales
In office
5 November 2018 – 3 April 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byMims Davies
Succeeded byKevin Foster
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
9 January 2018 – 5 November 2018
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byAndrew Griffiths
Succeeded byJeremy Quin
Member of Parliament
for Selby and Ainsty
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byConstituency Created
Majority20,137 (35.7%)
Personal details
Born (1966-11-30) 30 November 1966 (age 53)[2]
Goole, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Claire Robson
Alma materSelby High School

He had previous held various government ministerial posts. These have included as an Assistant Government Whip on two occasions (June 2017 to January 2018, November 2018 to April 2019), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales and most recently Minister for Sport, Media and Creative Industries.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Born in Goole,[4] and raised in Selby, he is the son of a school caretaker and school cleaner. Adams attended Camblesforth Primary School (1974-1978) and won a place at Selby Grammar School (later Selby High School) in 1978, Adams left school in 1984, aged 17 and did not attend University.

Business careerEdit

Having left school with few formal qualifications, Adams started his career with a number of sales roles in the advertising industry and latterly in the telecommunications sector. He started his first business in 1993, Advanced Digital Telecom Limited, aged 26 with a £20 a week grant via the Enterprise Allowance Scheme under the John Major Conservative Government. The company grew successfully until it was acquired by York-based JWE Telecom PLC in [5] In 2006, Adams acquired NGC Networks Limited [6] a telecommunications equipment and services provider, of which he continues to be a shareholder.[citation needed]

Family historyEdit

In 2016, genealogy research[7] reaching as far back as the 1600s by the Selby branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discovered that Adams is descended from the well known Staffordshire industrialist William Adams (potter) Other ancestors uncovered include Members of Parliament including Sir Thomas Adams, 1st Baronet a close ally of Charles I of England a former Lord Mayor of the City of London and MP for London (1654–1655 and 1656–1658), William Adams (haberdasher) a wealthy 17th-century businessman who founded Adams Grammar School in 1656.[citation needed] Former pupils of the selective grammar school include Labour Party (UK) leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Political careerEdit

Adams joined the Conservative Party (UK) in 1992.

He was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in May 2018. Following the Government reshuffle in January 2018, Adams was promoted to Lord Commissioner to HM Treasury in the Government Whips Office, a role he undertakes alongside his ministerial duties. Adams was first appointed to the Government following his successful re-election in June 2017 where he became Assistant Government Whip.[8] His departmental responsibilities included Department for Environment, Food and rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Northern Ireland Office (NIO)

In 2016, Adams was one of the key figures in the unsuccessful Conservative Party leadership bid by Boris Johnson.[citation needed] Adams appeared in the 2017 BBC docudrama Theresa vs Boris, How May became PM

He contested the marginal Rossendale and Darwen seat at the 2005 general election, coming second with a swing to the Conservatives of 1.9% compared to the 3.1% average they achieved nationally. Adams was then selected as the candidate for the Conservative Party in the newly created seat of Selby and Ainsty in 2006. Four years later at the 2010 general election, Adams was elected with a 23.71% majority.[9]

Adams' Parliament portrait

Following his election to Parliament, Adams was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, The Lord Strathclyde,[10] and subsequently to his successor, The Lord Hill of Oareford until his resignation in August 2014. In September 2014 Adams was appointed to the Number 10 Policy Board[11] with responsibility for economic affairs.

Adams was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Selby and Ainsty at the 2015 general election with 27,725 votes, a majority of 13,557 votes and 52.5% of the total votes cast, a swing from Labour of 1.0% compared to a negative national swing of 0.4%. He was re-elected again at the snap election on 8 June 2017 with 32,921 votes and an increased majority and vote share of 13,772 and 58.7% respectively.[12]

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, Adams 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.[13]

Until June 2017, Adams was Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Biomass Group and in 2013 he wrote an article describing the benefits of biomass.[14] He regards wind and solar generation as relatively expensive and inflexible methods of renewable energy. Whilst coal is reliable and available, it is not renewable and converts inactive carbon stored underground into carbon dioxide thus increasing CO
levels. Drax and Eggborough power stations are major UK electricity producers in his constituency. Both power stations are capable of burning biomass.[14] In January 2015, Adams introduced the Onshore wind subsidies (abolition) bill to Parliament which passed to the next stage following a close vote. The Conservative government has announced new onshore wind subsidies will end on 1 April 2016. He has however faced criticism for accepting more than £50,000 in political donations and hospitality from companies in the biomass sector.[15]

Adams' constituency office in Tadcaster; the second largest town in his constituency

Until June 2017, Adams was Chairman of the All Party Group for Music and in November 2015 he instigated several Parliamentary debates on the difficulties facing UK musicians accessing visas for touring the US. The group has additionally held a session on the State of Access report aimed at improving access to live music for deaf and disabled people. Adams has campaigned to change the law on Secondary Ticketing and he successfully persuaded the government to outlaw the use of bots for the purpose of purchasing event tickets for resale.[16] He also successfully lobbied to outlaw the use of flares and fireworks at music events and festivals.[17] He was Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Industrial Heritage.[18]

Adams was in favour of Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[19]

In March 2017, Adams was instructed to apologise to the House of Commons after the Commons Committee on Standards ruled that he had breached the MPs' code of conduct by failing to declare his interest in a telecommunications company while taking part in parliamentary inquiries relating to the industry.[20]

In October 2020, Adams defended voting against an opposition day motion to continue directly funding provision of free school meals over the school holidays, until Easter 2021, to prevent over a million children going hungry during the coronavirus pandemic. In response to constituent enquiries he accused the Labour Party of being "keen to increase dependency on the state for as many people as possible" and that the motion would have "passed responsibility for feeding children away from parents to the state"; calling an accusation that MPs who voted against the motion were turning a blind eye to the most vulnerable children "ludicrous" and "inaccurate". [21]

Constituency issuesEdit

  • In November 2013, Adams gained praise from the Chancellor, George Osborne for successfully leading the campaign to restore the concessionary coal allowance[22] to retired coal miners,[23] who had their allowance stopped following the collapse of UK Coal.
  • In December 2014, Adams and Mark Crane, leader of Selby District Council successfully lobbied race organisers for Selby District to host a stage of the international cycle race known as the Tour de Yorkshire.[24]
  • He is Vice Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group[25] as Tadcaster in the Selby and Ainsty constituency is a brewing town with Heineken, Molson Coors and Samuel Smith's Old Brewery.
  • In October 2015, The Daily Telegraph highlighted problems associated with a private company's recycled waste. The company had gone bankrupt and Adams was pictured in Great Heck where a tip with up to 10,000 tons of "stinking" and steaming household waste was said to be making people sick.[26]


Between 2011 and 2012, Adams claimed the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) approved accommodation allowance of £26,144 against a maximum annual allowance of £27,875 based on having four children living with him in London. Critics pointed out the coalition government removed support for other families earning £60,000.[27] Since his election in 2010, his average accommodation costs have been £21,468.36 per year against a maximum annual allowance of £27,875.00.[28] The costs compare favourably to the accommodation claims by the previous MP for Selby (UK Parliament constituency) John Grogan (politician) which were in excess of £24,000 per year in 2008/9 and 2009/10 [29] despite London rents being far less expensive than today.

Donations ControversyEdit

In 2015, Adams voted against plain cigarette packaging in the Tobacco Products Regulation motion. He had previously accepted £1,188 in hospitality from Japan Tobacco International during the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show.[30] He was criticised by Greenpeace for promoting biomass as an energy source after accepting more than £50,000 in political donations and hospitality from companies in the biomass sector.[31]

In 2020, Adams was accused of editing his own Wikipedia page to make himself appear in a positive light.[32]

Personal lifeEdit

Adams is married to Claire (née Robson) who works part-time as his office manager on a salary just under £20,000.[33][34] The couple have four children and live in Yorkshire.[35]

A keen sportsman, he played competitive cricket in the York Senior League and is a former member of the Yorkshire Cricket Club's members committee. Adams is currently Secretary of the Lords and Commons Cricket Club and whilst captaining the side against MCC in June 2013 at Lord's Cricket Ground he scored his career best innings of 125 not out.[36]

He is a patron of the Selby Hands of Hope charity.[37] He is active on the Yorkshire committee of the Lord's Taverners. He has served as a governor at two of his former schools, Camblesforth Primary school[38] (2002–04) and Selby High School (2007–11).[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Minister of State (Minister for Sport, Media and Creative Industries)". UK Government. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Nigel Adams MP". BBC News. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Election 2010: Selby and Ainsty". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Acquisitions - JWE Telecom PLC (CVG) - RNS Company Announcements - Equities - FE Trustnet".
  6. ^ "Business Telephone Systems - Leeds UK Based VoIP Telephony".
  7. ^ "The Family Tree of a Yorkshire MP". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 6 November 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Full list of new ministerial and government appointments: June 2017 - GOV.UK".
  9. ^ "Nigel Adams MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  10. ^ "UK Parliament Biographies".
  11. ^ "The Number 10 Policy Board – names in full". Conservative Home.
  12. ^ "Selby & Ainsty parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News – via
  13. ^ "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  14. ^ a b Nigel Adams (18 July 2013). "Comment: There's right and wrong ways to develop the UK's biomass". Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  15. ^ "A Conservative MP Has Been Criticised After Accepting £50,000 In Donations And Trips From Biomass Industry".
  16. ^ Davies, Rob. "Touts using bots to buy tickets could face jail". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  17. ^ Savage, Mark (12 April 2016). "MPs urged to ban flares from concerts". BBC News.
  18. ^ "Register Of All-Party Parliamentary Groups [as at 29 March 2017]". Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  19. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  20. ^ "MP told to apologise over failure to declare interest in telecom firm - News & Star".
  21. ^ Email response from Nigel Adams to constituents
  22. ^ "Guarantee of free coal to 1,500 former miners". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Coal concession for ex-miners to be reinstated". York Press. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  24. ^ "Selby lobbying to be part of the Tour of Yorkshire". York Press. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  25. ^ "House of Commons – Register Of All-Party Groups as at 18 August 2014: Beer". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  26. ^ Sophie Jamieson (6 October 2015). "Stinking 10,000 tonne pile of rubbish in Great Heck, Yorkshire investigated by Environment Agency". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  27. ^ Holly Watt; Claire Newell; Charles Young; Ben Bryant (4 July 2013). "MPs use children to claim more expenses". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  28. ^ "Nigel Adams - IPSA". IPSA.
  29. ^ "UK Parliament - Allowances by MP - John Grogan".
  30. ^ "Tickets to Glyndebourne or the Oval? Big tobacco's bid to woo parliamentarians". 20 May 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  31. ^ "A Conservative MP Has Been Criticised After Accepting £50,000 In Donations And Trips From Biomass Industry". Buzzfeed.
  32. ^ WikiEdits, Parliament (4 February 2020). "Nigel Adams Wikipedia article edited anonymously from Houses of Parliament …". @parliamentedits. Retrieved 22 April 2020. External link in |title= (help)
  33. ^ Michael Wilkinson, Christopher Hope (29 June 2015). "One in five MPs employs a family member: the full list revealed". Daily Telegraph.
  34. ^ "IPSA". GOV.UK. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  35. ^ "Meet Nigel". Personal website. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  36. ^ "Lords & Commons CC v MCC at Lords Cricket Ground, 16 June". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  37. ^ "Home - Selby Hands of Hope". Selby Hands of Hope. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  38. ^ "About Us – Camblesforth Community Primary School". Retrieved 29 September 2014.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Selby and Ainsty
Political offices
Preceded by
Andrew Griffiths
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
Succeeded by
Jeremy Quin
Preceded by
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales
Succeeded by
Kevin Foster
Preceded by
Margot James
Minister of State for Sport, Media and Creative Industries
Succeeded by
Nigel Huddleston
John Whittingdale
Preceded by
Heather Wheeler
as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Asia and the Pacific
Minister of State for Asia