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|The Right Honourable
Sir Alan Haselhurst
|Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association|
27 July 2011 – October 2014
|Preceded by||Shafie Apdal|
|Succeeded by||Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury|
|Chairman of the Administration Committee|
27 July 2010 – 30 March 2015
|Preceded by||Frank Doran|
|Succeeded by||Sir Paul Beresford|
|Chairman of Ways and Means|
14 May 1997 – 14 June 2010
|Preceded by||Michael Morris|
|Succeeded by||Lindsay Hoyle|
|Member of Parliament
for Saffron Walden
7 July 1977 – 3 May 2017
|Preceded by||Peter Kirk|
|Member of Parliament
for Middleton and Prestwich
18 June 1970 – 28 February 1974
|Preceded by||Denis Coe|
|Succeeded by||Jim Callaghan|
23 June 1937 |
South Elmsall, Yorkshire, England
|Spouse(s)||Angela, née Bailey|
|Children||2 sons, 1 daughter|
|Alma mater||Oriel College, Oxford|
|Religion||Church of England|
Sir Alan Gordon Barraclough Haselhurst PC (born 23 June 1937) is a British Conservative politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden from 1977 to 2017, having represented Middleton and Prestwich as MP from 1970-74. He was Chairman of Ways and Means from 14 May 1997 to 8 June 2010, and later Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association between 2011-14. He was the oldest Conservative MP during his last Parliament, but is standing down at the 2017 general election.
Alan Gordon Barraclough Haselhurst was born in South Elmsall, near Hemsworth, Yorkshire and was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Cheltenham College in Gloucestershire before going up to Oriel College, Oxford.
He was elected President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1958 and, for two years, served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Oxford Union from 1959. Before his election to Parliament, he worked in management in the chemicals industry and became an unremunerated director when his father's pharmacy was incorporated.
Haselhurst worked as an election agent for Robin Balniel, Conservative MP for Hertford, at both the 1964 and 1966 general elections. Being elected in 1964, he served for two years as the Chairman of the National Young Conservatives. He was Chair of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council (1978-1981).
He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1970 general election for the Lancashire seat of Middleton and Prestwich, defeating the sitting Labour MP Denis Coe by 1,042 votes. In parliament, he briefly served from 1973 as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Home Secretary Robert Carr, prior to losing his seat at the February 1974 general election. Haselhurst lost the seat to Labour by only 517 votes, and served as the Chairman of the Manchester Youth and Community Service from 1974 until he returned to Parliament. The Conservative MP for the Essex seat of Saffron Walden, Sir Peter Kirk, died on 17 April 1977. Haselhurst was selected to contest the resultant by-election on 7 July. Haselhurst retained the seat with a majority of 12,437 and has been returned as the constituency's MP since then.
Following the Conservatives return to power at the 1979 general election, Haselhurst was appointed as PPS to the Secretary of State for Education and Science Mark Carlisle and served for two years from 1979. He served on the European Legislation Select Committee for fifteen years from 1982, and was a member of the Transport Select Committee from 1992 to 1997. He was invited to ask the first question in Margaret Thatcher's final Prime Minister's Questions on 27 November 1990.
Following the 1997 general election, he was elected Chairman of Ways and Means (Deputy Speaker), remaining in that post under successive Speakers Betty Boothroyd, Michael Martin, and John Bercow until May 2010. Haselhurst was a nominated candidate to succeed Michael Martin after Martin's resignation as Commons Speaker on 19 May 2009. However, Haselhurst was among those who became embroiled in the MPs' expenses controversy being highlighted by The Daily Telegraph for claiming £12,000 in gardening expenses over 4 years, in the sum of £249 every month, despite receiving advice from the Fees Office to simplify the submission of his expenses in this way; he made endeavours to wipe the slate clean by refunding his gardening expenses "out of respect to his constituents", withdrawing from the Commons Speakership election having received 66 votes in the first round of voting, and 57 in the second.
Haselhurst chose not to seek re-election as a Commons Deputy Speaker after the 2010 general election, since, by convention, the Chairman of Ways and Means should come from a different party affiliation than that of the Speaker, he would only have been eligible to stand for First Deputy Chairman, junior to his previous office. Nevertheless, his fellow parliamentarians entrusted him to continue as Interim Deputy Speaker chairing debates in the House of Commons during the period between the State Opening of Parliament and its election of new Deputy Speakers. On 27 July 2010, Haselhurst was elected Chairman of the House of Commons Administration Committee, having been defeated in the election for Chair of the Backbench Business Committee by Natascha Engel.
In July 2010, Haselhurst became Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Branch before in the following year at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference at London in July 2011 being elected Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's Executive committee, serving until October 2014, and overseeing parliamentary procedure throughout the Commonwealth. He succeeded the Malaysian Datuk Seri Haji Shafie Apdal; the previous British parliamentarian to be elected to this post was Sir Colin Shepherd in 1996.
Haselhurst was re-adopted as the Conservative candidate for the next election at a meeting of the local party association on 13 February 2014 was returned as MP for Saffron Walden at the 2015 general election. Haselhurst was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.
In April 2017, Haselhurst announced that he would not be contesting the 2017 general election, after initially announcing his attention to stand. Commenting on the reasons for changing his mind he stated, "I feel now that my initial instinctive response was premature... I have begun to recognize that it might test the friendship and goodwill of so many people whose support I have enjoyed if I sought to do so for a further five years."
Alan Haselhurst married Angela Margaret Bailey on 16 April 1977; the couple have two sons and a daughter. He is a supporter of community-based projects and was for a time a Director of Turning Point, a charity working with socially excluded young people, for five years from 1981. A Europhile, he is regarded as a one-nation Conservative and an ally of Kenneth Clarke.
He was knighted in 1995 and sworn of the Privy Council in 1999. He is the Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cricket, was a Council Member of Essex County Cricket Club from 1996 to 2008, and is a member of Marylebone Cricket Club, and writes cricketing stories.
The expense claims I made over recent years have been strictly in accordance with Parliamentary rules. The designation of my constituency home as my second home instead of my rented flat in London was obligatory on my becoming Deputy Speaker. In terms of total expense claims I currently rank 582nd out of 646 MPs. However, my claim for gardening help has caused concern. Out of respect to my constituents I am this week repaying the sum of £12,000.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for
Middleton and Prestwich
1970 – February 1974
Sir Peter Kirk
|Member of Parliament for
|Chairman of Ways and Means
Hon Lindsay Hoyle