Crispin Blunt

Crispin Blunt
Crispin Blunt MP
Member of Parliament
for Reigate
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Sir George Gardiner
Majority 13,591 (27.2%)
Personal details
Born 15 July 1960 (1960-07-15) (age 51)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Victoria Jenkins (m. 1990, separated 2010)
Relations Emily Blunt (niece)
Children Claudia Blunt (born 1992), Frederick "Freddie" Blunt (born 1994)
Military service
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1979–1990
Rank Captain
Unit 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own)

Crispin Jeremy Rupert Blunt (born 15 July 1960) is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Reigate constituency in Surrey, and since May 2010 he has been the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prisons and Youth Justice within the Ministry of Justice.

He first entered the House of Commons at the 1997 general election, when he replaced rebel Eurosceptic MP George Gardiner.


Early life and career

Blunt was born in Germany, one of three sons of English parents Adrienne (née Richardson) and Major-General Peter Blunt (18 August 1923 - 8 August 2003).[1] He was educated at Wellington College, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he won the Queen's Medal, gaining a Regular Commission, before reading Politics at University College, Durham, the University of Durham between 1981 and 1984, where he was elected President of the Durham Union in 1983 and graduated with a 2:1 degree.[citation needed] In 1991, he gained an MBA at the Cranfield University School of Management.[citation needed]

Blunt was commissioned as an Army Officer into the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) and served until 1990.[citation needed] During the 1980s, he was stationed in Cyprus, Germany and the UK, serving as a Troop Leader, Regimental Operations Officer and Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron Commander.[citation needed] He resigned his commission as a Captain in 1990.[citation needed]

He contested his first Parliamentary seat at the 1992 general election, as the Conservative Party candidate in West Bromwich East.[2] From 1991 to 1992, Blunt was a representative of the Forum of Private Business.[3] In 1993, he was appointed as Special Adviser to Malcolm Rifkind the then-Secretary of State for Defence, and worked in the same capacity when Rifkind became Foreign Secretary between 1995 and 1997.

Member of Parliament

At the 1997 general election, Blunt was elected to Parliament as Member for Reigate in Surrey, replacing the long-serving euro-sceptic MP George Gardiner, who had been deselected by the local Conservative Party. Blunt and was subsequently appointed to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee. In July 1997, he was elected as Secretary of the Conservative Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Committee and the Conservative Middle East Council. In May 2000, he joined the House of Commons Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Select Committee and in July 2003 he was elected Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council, a position he still occupies.[4]

The new Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith appointed him to the Opposition front bench as Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland in September 2001. In July 2002, he was appointed as deputy to Tim Yeo, Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. On 1 May 2003 he resigned his position on the front bench saying that Duncan Smith was a "handicap" to the Conservatives. His decision to resign at this time, was taken in the expectation that the Conservative Party would make over 500 gains in local government seats, but that these were gained in spite of, rather than because of Iain Duncan Smith's leadership. Blunt timed his resignation so that it did not become public until after the polls closed but before the results were declared. The following day he was unanimously reselected by his local party as their prospective parliamentary candidate but he failed to persuade 25 of his fellow conservative MPs to call for a vote of confidence in May 2003 and he accepted that no challenge for the party leadership would be immediately forthcoming and retired to the back benches. In November 2003 the challenge came and Michael Howard replaced Duncan Smith after a vote of no confidence.

He subsequently became a party whip under Howard, but on 9 June 2005 took leave of absence to support the expected leadership bid of Sir Malcolm Rifkind. However, when Rifkind was knocked out of the leadership race of the Conservatives, Blunt returned to the whips' office and wrote to all Party members in his constituency asking for them to rank the remaining contenders in order of preference so he could best represent his constituents.

Blunt is a former joint chair of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding.[5] The election of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition into Government in 2010 saw Blunt gain a position as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice. His responsibilities include: Prisons and probation, Youth justice, Criminal law and sentencing policy and Criminal justice. He is also a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.[6]

Personal life

He married Victoria Jenkins in September 1990 in Kensington and they have a daughter (born March 1992) and son (born August 1994). His niece is Golden Globe-award winning actress Emily Blunt.[7] In August 2010, he announced that he was leaving his wife, in order "to come to terms with his homosexuality".[8][9] Blunt's voting record in Parliament had previously been broadly unsympathetic towards gay rights,[10] though slightly more favourable when compared to most other Conservative, and several Labour, MPs.[11]


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Gardiner
Member of Parliament for Reigate

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