Alan Duncan

From Academic Kids

Alan James Carter Duncan MP (born March 31, 1957) is a British Conservative politician, and Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton. Educated at Merchant Taylors School, where he was head boy, and St John's College, Oxford, he was elected President of the Oxford Union and coxed the college first eight rowing team. He went on to win a Kennedy Scholarship to study at Harvard.

Before beginning his political career he worked as a trader of oil and refined products first with Shell and then with an independent commodity company, but he remained involved in politics as an active member of Battersea Conservative Association. Between the years of 1984 and 1986 he lived in Singapore.

Contents

Member of Parliament

He first stood for Parliament in the 1987 general election as the Conservative candidate for Barnsley West and Penistone, unsurprisingly he did not win this Labour Party stronghold. In the 1992 general election though he was selected to be the Conservative candidate for Rutland and Melton, a safe seat in rural Leicestershire, which he duly won with 59% of the vote. In the Labour landslide of 1997 his share of the vote was cut back to 45.8% but he has since built it back up to 48.1% in 2001 and 51.2% in 2005.

In Government

From 1993 to 1995 he sat on the Social Security Select Committee, his first governmental position was as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Health, a position he obtained in December 1993 and resigned from in January 1994. In July of 1995 he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Dr Brian Mawhinney.

Shadow Cabinet

In June 1997 he was entrusted with the positions of Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party and Parliamentary Political Secretary to the Party Leader. In June 1999 he was made Shadow Trade and Industry Spokesman. In September 2001, he was appointed a Frontbench Spokesman for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs. In November 2003, he became Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. In September 2004, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.

He now sits on the front bench as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, a position he has held since May 2005.

Ideology

He is a libertarian, wishing to minimise the role of the state and abolish laws against drugs. He is on the council of the Conservative Way Forward group. He was the first sitting Conservative MP to openly and voluntarily acknowledge being gay; he did this in an interview with The Times on the 29th of July 2002, although in private he is said to have been open about the matter.

Bid for the Party leadership

On June 10 2005, Duncan became the first Conservative to publicy declare that they wished to win the 2005 leadership election. [1] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4078868.stm)

See also

Works

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