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Richard Taylor (British politician)

Sqn Ldr Richard Thomas Taylor, MBE, FRCP (born 7 July 1934)[citation needed] is an English medical doctor, politician and former Royal Air Force officer. He served as an independent Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest between 2001 and 2010.[2] He is Co-Leader of the National Health Action Party.

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor MP.JPG
Taylor in 2007
Member of Parliament
for Wyre Forest
In office
7 June 2001 – 5 May 2010
Preceded byDavid Lock
Succeeded byMark Garnier
Personal details
Born (1934-07-07) 7 July 1934 (age 85)
Political partyHealth Concern (2001–)
National Health Action Party (2012–present)[1]
Alma materClare College, Cambridge
ProfessionMedical Doctor
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service Royal Air Force
Years of service1960 to 1964
RankSquadron leader
UnitMedical Branch
Battles/warsCold War

Background and educationEdit

The son of Thomas Taylor and his wife Mabel Hickley, Taylor was educated at The Leys School, the same school as the former independent MP Martin Bell, who was two years below him[citation needed]. Taylor went to Clare College Cambridge, and the former Westminster Medical School, now part of the Imperial College School of Medicine.


Medical careerEdit

Military serviceEdit

On 1 October 1960, he was commissioned as a flying officer in the Medical Branch of the Royal Air Force.[3] He was granted seniority in that rank from 9 September 1960.[4] He was promoted to flight lieutenant on 9 September 1961.[5] On 1 April 1964, he was transferred to the reserve; this signalled the end of his full-time service.[6] He was promoted to squadron leader on 9 September 1965.[7]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Before entering politics, Taylor was a member of his local health authority, chairman of Kidderminster Hospital League of Friends (1996–2001), and a committee member of the Save Kidderminster Hospital Campaign (1997–2001).

Standing for Parliament as an Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern candidate at the 2001 general election, Taylor campaigned largely on a single issue, that of restoring the Accident & Emergency department of Kidderminster Hospital,[8] which had been closed in 2000 due to cuts in the NHS. Taylor won with a majority of 18,000, defeating the incumbent Labour MP and junior minister, David Lock. The Liberal Democrats decided not to put up a candidate against him. The Liberal Democrats had previously stood down when faced with another independent candidate - Martin Bell in Tatton in 1997.

Taylor was re-elected at the 2005 election with a reduced majority of 5,250. Conservative candidate Mark Garnier took second place and Labour were pushed into third in the constituency. This made Taylor the first independent MP to retain a seat in the House of Commons in a second election since Frank Maguire in 1979.[9]

He was a member of the Health Select Committee (2001-2010) and also became co-chair of the All Party Local Hospital Group, Vice Chairman of the All Party Group on Cancer, Vice Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Flood Prevention Group, and Secretary of the All Party Group on Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

While his speeches in the Commons were mostly confined to the health service, Taylor also laid out an atypical collection of political views. These non-health policies included support for the renationalisation of the British railway system, and the availability of cannabis as a controlled drug.[10] He also opposed the Iraq war [11] and student top up fees.

Taylor lost his seat in the 2010 general election to the Conservative candidate, Mark Garnier,[12] by a margin of 2,643 votes. The Liberal Democrats elected to field a candidate, who received 6,040 votes.

In 2013, Taylor announced his intention to stand for election in the 2015 general election, representing the National Health Action Party.[12] At the election, Taylor finished fourth with 7,221 votes. He did not stand in the 2017 general election.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1962, Taylor married Ann Brett and they had one son and two daughters. After this marriage was dissolved, in 1990 he married Christine Miller and with her had a further daughter, Georgie.

He currently resides in Kidderminster.[14]


In the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours, Taylor was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) 'for services to the community in Worcestershire especially to Kidderminster Hospital'.[14][15]

Electoral performanceEdit

Taylor contested the constituency of Wyre Forest at four general elections, the first three times for Independent Community and Health Concern (previously Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern), and in the last general election for the National Health Action Party.

Date of election Constituency Party Votes % of votes Result
2001 general election Wyre Forest Health Concern 28,487 58.1 Elected
2005 general election Wyre Forest Health Concern 18,739 39.9 Elected
2010 general election Wyre Forest Health Concern 16,150 31.7 Not elected
2015 general election Wyre Forest National Health Action Party 7,221 14.6 Not elected


  1. ^ "Former MP to lead new political party opposed to NHS changes". BBC News. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  2. ^ Wyre Forest - Election Results 2010, BBC.
  3. ^ "No. 42182". The London Gazette. 28 October 1960. p. 7388.
  4. ^ "No. 42425". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 July 1961. p. 5675.
  5. ^ "No. 42559". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1961. p. 73.
  6. ^ "No. 43290". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 April 1964. p. 3000.
  7. ^ "No. 43863". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1965. pp. 81–82.
  8. ^ "Wyre Forest candidates back return of Kidderminster A&E - 30th April 2010". BBC News. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  9. ^ "United Kingdom Election Results".
  10. ^ Profile page, BBC News
  11. ^ Theyworkforyou
  12. ^ a b "Dr Richard Taylor to stand again for parliament on NHS ticket". BBC News. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Mark Garnier pays tribute to Dr Richard Taylor following election announcement".
  14. ^ a b "Queen's birthday honours list 2014: MBE". The Guardian. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  15. ^ "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. pp. b16–b25.


  • Who's Who (A & C. Black, London, 2003) page 2125

External linksEdit