Andrew Bridgen MP

18 Aug 2010 06:05:56

Andrew Bridgen MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

Here is the latest in our series of Twenty Questions with members of the Class of 2010...

Picture 5 Andrew Bridgen was elected MP for North West Leicestershire with a majority of 7,511.

1. What is your earliest political memory? I was about seven years old during the fuel crisis of the early 1970s and I can vividly remember my mother getting upset about the price of petrol at the pumps and hearing her say that “if it gets to over £1 a gallon I will stop buying it!”

2. Complete the sentence: “I’m a Conservative because… history will judge that Conservative policies are the ones that work.”

3. Who is your political hero and why? Winston Churchill - great statesman, great orator, great writer.

4. When did you decide you wanted to become an MP? I had always been interested, but the Conservative defeat in 2005 galvanised my resolve to make a real difference.

5. What is your reading material of choice? It depends on how much time I have got: in the week it tends to be online information (ConservativeHome, broadsheet newspaper websites, various blog sites) and at weekends I enjoy reading newspapers (the Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday). On holiday and when I have more time I love to read books.

6. Who is your favourite political interviewer/presenter on TV or radio? Andrew Neil is a most jovial assassin.

7. If you could run any government department, which would it be and why? Business, Innovation and Skills - I find this attractive as a former entrepreneur and going for growth is far more satisfying than cutting budgets, but both are unfortunately essential.

8. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? Frank Field MP.

9. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? John Prescott (now known as the Red Baron) - his visage looks very similar to that of a bulldog chewing a wasp.

10. If you were in the US, would you be a Republican or a Democrat? Republican on most issues.

11. What do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax? Spending time with the children, I enjoy the company you meet in the great British pub, dinner with friends. I also enjoy driving my sports car.

12. What is your favourite book? Whatever I am reading at the moment.

13. What is your favourite film? The Italian Job (the original version).

14. What is your favourite music? All sorts depending on my mood, however with regards to lots of the contemporary pop I believe my tastes have become those I remember my father espousing in the early 1980s (he was wrong then and I am probably wrong now).

15. What would be your ideal meal and where would you eat it? Sunday lunch with friends and family in our dining room at home in the constituency.

16. What is your favourite holiday destination? The Island of Menorca where my mother and father have lived for the past two decades.

17. What do you most want to achieve during your first term in Parliament? A reputation as a hardworking and diligent constituency MP.

18. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about yourself. I won my first election when I was 15 when I was elected head boy of Pingle Comprehensive School in Swadlincote by my peers.

19. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency. North West Leicestershire had the highest turnout in the country at the 1992 General Election when 85.2% of the electorate turned out to vote and the seat remained Conservative, despite the Labour candidate polling over 27,000 votes. Also, Appleby Parva in my constituency was calculated to be the centre of population of Great Britain in 2000.

20. Share with us your most amusing story or favourite anecdote from the campaign trail. I spoke at an event in a “safe” Conservative seat before the General Election. I gave an account of the campaigning methods, techniques and tools we were using to win the next election for the Conservatives in North West Leicestershire. At the end of the talk a member of their association came up to me, thanked me for the talk and told me that it was reassuring to discover that the Conservatives did this as well, as it was exactly what the Liberals had been doing in their constituency for years!

> Previously: Brandon Lewis MP

30 Jun 2010 10:32:37

Banning the burka and introducing daylight saving time are among the measures proposed in Tory MPs' Private Member's Bills

Thirteen Conservative MPs - including nine of the new intake - were successful in the Private Member's Bill ballot earlier in the month.

Today sees them formally presenting their Bills for the first time (there won't be any debate at this stage), which are summarised as follows on the parliamentary website:

"Bill to require the Secretary of State and local authorities to publish strategies in connection with promoting social enterprise; to enable communities to participate in the formulation and implementation of those strategies; to require that public sector contracts include provisions relating to social outcomes and social value."

DAYLIGHT SAVING BILL - Rebecca Harris MP (Castle Point)
"Bill to require the Secretary of State to conduct a cross-departmental analysis of the potential costs and benefits of advancing time by one hour for all, or part of, the year; to require the Secretary of State to take certain action in the light of that analysis."

"Bill to amend the law relating to the distribution of the estates of deceased persons."

"Bill to prohibit the publication of certain information regarding persons who have been arrested until they have been charged with an offence; to set out the circumstances where such information can be published without committing an offence."

LEGISLATION (TERRITORIAL EXTENT) BILL - Harriett Baldwin MP (Worcestershire West)
"Bill to require the Secretary of State, when preparing draft legislation for publication, to do so in such a way that the effect of that legislation on England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is separately and clearly identified; to require the Secretary of State to issue a statement to the effect that in his or her view the provisions of the draft legislation are in accordance with certain principles relating to territorial extent."

PLANNING (OPENCAST MINING SEPARATION ZONES) BILL - Andrew Bridgen MP (Leicestershire North West)
"Bill to require planning authorities to impose a minimum distance between opencast mining developments and residential properties."

COINAGE (MEASUREMENT) BILL - Mark Lancaster MP (Milton Keynes North)
"Bill to make provision about the arrangements for measuring the standard weight of coins."

"Bill to confer further powers on the Football Licensing Authority and to amend its name."

WRECK REMOVAL CONVENTION BILL - Thérèse Coffey MP (Suffolk Coastal)
"Bill to implement the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007."

FACE COVERINGS (REGULATION) BILL - Philip Hollobone MP (Kettering)
"Bill to regulate the wearing of certain face coverings."

"Bill to enable local planning authorities to require planning permission prior to the demolition or change of use of premises or land used or formerly used to provide a local service."

"Bill to amend section 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 to include serious harm to a child or vulnerable adult; to make consequential amendments to the Act."

SECURED LENDING REFORM BILL - George Eustice MP (Camborne and Redruth)
"Bill to make provision regarding the rights of secured debtors; to reform the rights of certain creditors to enforce their security; to make other provision regarding secured lending."

I have invited them all to write for ConHome explaining why the have chosen to introduce their particular Bill, so I hope to be able to publish some pieces from them in the not too distant future.

Jonathan Isaby

7 Jun 2010 16:33:34

Andrew Bridgen uses his maiden speech to explain why he loves he Europe (up to a point)

Andrew Bridgen Commons Andrew Bridgen won the Leicestershire North West constituency at the general election – a seat which he claimed in his maiden speech during a debate on European affairs last Thursday was the embodiment of “middle England”.

Deploying humour to good effect, he made a fluent case against giving further powers to Brussels:

“We are here to debate Europe, and I am delighted to be speaking on that subject because I love Europe. I have travelled extensively through it, at my own expense. Indeed, East Midlands airport in my constituency is our border with Europe and the world. I adore much European cuisine. I admire much of its culture, and I revel in its diversity, but I am not a supporter of economic union. I was an active member of Business for Sterling in the no campaigns. I strongly support the Government's policy of placing a referendum lock on new European treaties, and indeed on anything that would give more powers away to Brussels.

“The events in Greece, which spread quickly to Spain and elsewhere, demonstrate the danger inherent in trying to pull together a disparate group of economies and cultures. We need to learn from their misfortunes and hold on to our triple A rating at all costs. I am particularly pleased that all hon. Members on this side of the House, our Liberal allies included, now appreciate that we need early deficit reduction to protect our credit rating. In my first three weeks in politics I believe that I have seen something I never thought I would see-a miracle. I think that we should call it "The Conversion of St. Vince on the Road to Whitehall".

“The consequences of not holding on to our credit rating are extremely frightening. Our economy has been run on to the rocks. Had we joined the euro, we would not just be holed below the waterline, we would also be without lifeboats. We have a huge task ahead to rescue our economy and solve the problems of 21st-century Britain. Sadly, we Members of this House, with a few notable exceptions-or should I say exemptions; I am thinking of my hon. Friend the Father of the House-are merely "here today, gone tomorrow" politicians. As a result, we must not consider ourselves to be the owners of sovereign powers. We are merely the custodians of power and sovereignty for future generations. Sovereignty is not ours to give away; it belongs to the people who elected us, and to their heirs and successors.

“On that basis, I am very pleased to be one of the many Members of this House who fought and argued over many years to prevent the UK from joining the euro. We Eurosceptics have often suffered the disdain of the Europhiles: at times-heaven help us-we have been called "little Englanders". As an Englishman of below average height, representing a constituency in the centre of our great country, that is an accusation that I personally find difficult to refute.”

Jonathan Isaby