Sir George Young, 6th Baronet


Sir George Young, 6th Baronet

Infobox Politician
honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable

name = Sir George Young
honorific-suffix = Bt MP


office = Secretary of State for Transport
term_start = 5 July 1995
term_end = 4 May 1997
primeminister = John Major
predecessor = Brian Mawhinney
successor = John Prescott "(As Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions)"
office2 = Financial Secretary to the Treasury
term_start2 = 11 July 1994
term_end2 = 5 July 1995
primeminister2 = John Major
predecessor2 = Stephen Dorrell
successor2 = Michael Jack
constituency_MP3 = North West Hampshire
parliament3 =
term_start3 = 1 May 1997
term_end3 =
majority3 = 13,264 (25.9%)
predecessor3 = David Mitchell
successor3 =
constituency_MP4 = Ealing Acton
Acton (1974-1983)
parliament4 =
term_start4 = 28 February 1974
term_end4 = 1 May 1997
majority4 =
predecessor4 = Nigel Spearing
successor4 = "Constituency abolished"
birth_date = Birth date and age|1941|07|16|df=yes
birth_place = London
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
spouse = Aurelia Nemon-Stuart
party = Conservative
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = University of Surrey
occupation =
profession =
religion =


website =
footnotes =

Sir George Samuel Knatchbull Young, 6th Baronet (born 16 July 1941) is an English politician, and Conservative Member of Parliament for North West Hampshire. He is a patron of the Tory Reform Group.

Early life

He went to Eton then Christ Church, Oxford, where he received a BA in PPE in 1963. At the University of Surrey, he did an MPhil.

From 1969-74, he was an economic adviser to the Post Office. Young was elected as a Councillor on the London Borough of Lambeth from 1968 to 1971, alongside his wife and John Major. He represented Clapham Town ward, and served on the Housing Committee. He and other councillors worked as refuse collectors at week-ends, during a strike. He lost his council seat in 1971. In 1970, Young had been elected to the Greater London Council as one of four Members for the London Borough of Ealing, and served on the GLC from 1970 and 1973, where he was vice-chairman of the Strategic Planning Authority. He was later to be one of the local Government Ministers who abolished the GLC. He did not contest his seat on the GLC in 1973, having been selected as a candidate for Parliament.

Short History

Sir George was first elected Member of Parliament for North West Hampshire on 1st May 1997 with a majority of 11,551 votes. He was re-elected on 7th June 2001 with an increased majority (12,009 votes) but on a reduced turnout, giving him an increased share of the total votes (50.1%). In the June 2005 General Election he was returned with a further increased majority and again an increased share of the vote.

First elected to Parliament in 1974, he had previously served as MP for Ealing Acton, a constituency that disappeared as a result of boundary changes in 1997, which reduced by 10 the numbers of MP's in London.

As Member for North West Hampshire, he became Shadow Leader of the House of Commons in William Hague's Shadow Cabinet, having been Shadow Defence Secretary from May 1997 until June 1998. In the June 1999 reshuffle, Sir George was given additional responsibilities as Spokesman on Constitutional Affairs. His earlier Ministerial career under Margaret Thatcher and John Major included spells at Health, Environment and Housing. He served as Financial Secretary to HM Treasury, 1994-1995 and as Secretary of State for Transport, 1995-1997. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in the June 1993 Birthday Honours.

In September 2000, Sir George resigned from the Shadow Cabinet to allow his name to go forward as a candidate for Speaker. In the new Parliament following the General Election of 2001, he was elected Chairman of the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges, a post to which he was again returned following the 2005 Election.

Born in 1941, Sir George was educated at Eton; at Christ Church, Oxford, where he won an Open Exhibition; and at the University of Surrey where he got a postgraduate degree. He is married and has two sons and two daughters. His elder daughter, Sophia, is married with three children and lives in Cookham, next to her brother Gerry, an accountant. Gerry's wife Marianne had a baby boy in December 2003 - another George and potentially the 8th Baronet. Son Hugo is in films and lives in Shepherds Bush. He is married to Annabel and they have a son Oscar and a Daughter Isabel. Daughter Camilla has worked full-time at Westminster for her father for some years

For some family photographs see 'The Young Family'. Sir George was a Non Executive Director of McCarthy and Stone, builders of retirement flats, from April 1999 to October 2006.

His wife Aurelia is active in the constituency. Previously, she was on Lambeth Borough Council, the Inner London Education Authority and Windsor and Maidenhead District Council. She has been on the Governing Bodies of a number of schools.

Sir George and Aurelia live in the constituency at Penton Mewsey.

Member of Parliament

He entered Parliament in the February 1974 election, as the MP for Ealing Acton and retained the position until 1997, when the constituency ceased to exist due to boundary changes. He was then parachuted into the safe Tory seat for North West Hampshire where he still serves.

In government and Backbenches

He served as a minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major and was Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1994-5 and Secretary of State for Transport from 1995 to 1997, where he oversaw the privatisation of British Rail. He is a One Nation Tory, and was in William Hague's shadow cabinet until 2000.

Councillor Young

After Oxford, George's first experience in politics was as a Councillor on the London Borough of Lambeth from 1968 to 1971 - along with Councillor John Major and Councillor Lady Young. In a landslide result, the Conservatibes won 57 out of the 60 seats on the council. George represented Clapham Town ward, and served on the Housing Committee. The previous policy of wide-scale clearance and subsequent construction of tower blocks was stopped, and the emphasis placed on rehabilitation. George also served on the Council for Community Relations.

While serving on that Council, the refuse collectors went on strike. Sir George and other Councillors worked as refuse collectors at week-ends, clearing the backlog, until the strikers went back to work on the terms on offer at the beginning of the strike and gave up the unhygienic practice of "totting". He and John Major lost their seats on the Council in 1971, when the newly elected Conservative Government was going through a difficult time. They were to meet again over the river at Westminster.

By 1971, George had been elected to the Greater London Council as one of four Members for the London Borough of Ealing, and served on the GLC from 1970 and 1973. During that time he was Vice-Chairman of the Strategic Planning Authority, under Sir Desomnd Plummer's leadership, and worked on the Greater London Development Plan. He was later to become one of the local Government Ministers who abolished the GLC.

He did not contest his seat on the GLC in 1973, having been selected in October 1971 as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the newly created constituency of Ealing Acton - comprising all the then Labour held seat of Acton, and part of the Conservative seat of Ealing South, which was abolished.

First and Last MPs for Acton

In 1972, George visited Acton's first Memberof Parliament, Sir Harry Brittain, whorepresented the seat from 1918 to 1929.Born in 1873, Sir Harry was 99 years old and was sitting for a bust by Oscar Nemon.A distinguished promoter of Anglo-Americanfriendship, Sir Harry died in 1974.

Into Parliament'The Bicycling Baronet'

The Member for Acton

Sir George was elected to Parliament in February 1974 with a majority of 1300, defeating the sitting Labour MP, Nigel Spearing. Nigel returned in a by-election a few weeks later in Newham, and the two remained good friends until Nigel retired in 1992. Sir George held the seat against the swing in the following election in October 1974 with a majority of 808. He was the sixth MP for Acton - then a key marginal - in 15 years, but held the seat for 23 years until it was abolished.

On 1982, along with Jimmy Saville, the Youngs featured ona British Rail poster promoting the transport of bicycles by rail.Sir George had made a critical speech in the House, havingfound British Rail restrictive and at times unhelpful to cyclists.Putting his bicycle in the guards van felt like invading someone's private space.When they responded with some improvements, BR invitedSir George to help with their publicity.(Some of these posters were still up at stations in Ealing during the 1983 General Election campaign. Ingeniously, Sir George's opponents argued that British Rail's publicity programme should be added to Sir George's election expenses.

On - And Off - The Front Bench

Two years after becoming an MP, George joined Margaret Thatcher's Front Bench team, becoming an Opposition Whip between 1976 and 1979. He was in the Whips Office the night the Callaghan Government lost a Vote of Confidence by just one vote, precipitating the 1979 General Election.

George founded the Parliamentary Bicycle Pool, and captained the House of Commons squash team for five years. He was undefeated by any other MP until 1984, when he lost - twice in a day - to Ron Davies MP and his wife Christine, a Welsh international squash player.

When the Conservatives won the 1979 General Election, Margaret Thatcher appointed George as a Junior Health Minister. In that role he adopted an aggressive approach to the tobacco industry in a campaign to reduce the number of premature deaths from smoking -see Peter Taylor's book The Smoke Ring: Tobacco, Money and International Politics, Bodley Head. In 1981, he was moved to Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment, working with Michael Heseltine on inner city policy following the riots in Brixton and Toxteth. He worked on New Towns, urban regeneration and local government reform until 1986, when Margaret Thatcher removed him from her Government. (She had tried earlier, but he had been protected by his Secretaries of State!)

Poll tax rebel

On the backbenches from 1986 to 1990, Sir George led the rebellion within the Conservative Party against the Poll Tax. The Spectator recognised his campaign by nominating him Backbencher of the Year in 1988. Shortly before she fell in 1990 and when she was trying to re-unite the Party, Margaret Thatcher brought Sir George back into her Government as a Whip (Comptroller of the Household)

Housing

When John Major replaced Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in November 1990, he promoted Sir George to Minister for Housing and Planning. In this role George pioneered the Rough Sleepers Initiative - which reduced the numbers sleeping rough in London by two-thirds - and the programme of large scale voluntary transfers of housing stock from local authorities to Housing Associations. He also piloted the Leasehold Reform Bill through the House of Commons as well as the 1991 Planning Bill.

Treasury & Transport

George was then further promoted to Financial Secretary to HM Treasury (July 1994 to July 1995), working with the then Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, and helping to introduce income tax self-assessment. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in the June 1993 Birthday Honours.

In July 1995 George was appointed Secretary of State for Transport, a post he held until 1997. He completed the privatisation of the railways, built the Newbury Bypass and developed a more sustainable transport policy, making better use of the roads we already have.

Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition

Following the Conservative defeat in the 1997 General Election, George became Defence Spokesman in William Hague's Shadow Cabinet. In June 1998 he became Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. In the June 1999 reshuffle, George was given additional responsibilities as Spokesman on Constitutional Affairs. He was a member of the Modernisation Select Committee and of the House of Commons Commission from 1998 to 2000.

Having resigned his Shadow Cabinet post in September 2000 to stand as Speaker, George is now an active backbencher, as well as Chairman of Standards and Privileges. He is seen here speaking in the House during the key debate on whether to go to war with Iraq.

Vist the Parliamentary News page for reports on Sir George's recent Parliamentary speeches and activities.

Active Backbencher

In September 2000, Sir George resigned from the Shadow Cabinet to allow his name to go forward as a candidate for Speaker, but he was defeated by the successful candidate, Michael Martin. In the new Parliament, following the General Election of 2001, Sir George showed there were no hard feelings, proposing that Michael Martin be re-elected Speaker. Having been on his Party's Front Bench for 20 out of 34 years in the House, he is now enjoying the freedom that goes with being on the backbenches.

Sir George was elected Chairman of the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges in 2001, a post which now has to be held by a senior member of the Opposition. He was re-elected to that position in July 2005. The Committee is responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct that covers all MP's. He also sits on the Liaison Committee, which cross-examines the Prime Minister for two and a half hours twice a year, and speaks regularly on health and social service issues. He was a non-Executive Director of McCarthy & Stone, builder of retirement flats, from April 1999 to October 2006.At the third anniversary of the Disability Rights Commission, May 2003 with Sir Richard Mottram (l), Perm Sec at Work and Pension, and Bert Massie, Chair of DRC.

Sir George speaks regularly in the House of Commons, on a wide range of subjects. As a Select Committee Chairman, he also gets an opportunity to question the Prime Minister directly, when the PM meets the Commons Liaison Committee, a new procedure that started after a decision of the House on 14th May 2002.

Starting in 2001, when most people hadn't yet heard the term "Broadband", Sir George's 'Broadband for Rural Areas' campaign drew considerable media attention and generated excellent results, with BT and the Government becoming much more positive in their policies. All the villages in North West Hampshire have had their exchanges "enabled" by BT, but Sir George continues to campaign with Government, industry and local authorities in support of those people and businesses in rural areas who still cannot get broadband. He also continues to pursue the issue of how rural areas will get the much faster 'broaderband' services that will be needed for some of the most exciting applications, already available in cities.

Personal life

Young married Aurelia Nemon-Stuart, daughter of sculptor Oscar Nemon on 11 July 1964. They have two sons and two daughters. He lives in Penton Mewsey.

Sir George Young: Member for North West Hampshire

At the dissolution of Parliament on April 8th 1997, the Ealing Acton constituency disappeared. This was the result of boundary changes which reduced by 10 the number of MP's in London. Meanwhile, in November 1995, George had been adopted as prospective parliamentary candidate for North West Hampshire, where the sitting Member, Sir David Mitchell, had announced his decision to retire. George was elected Member of Parliament for North West Hampshire on 1st May 1997 with a majority of 11,551 votes.

He was re-elected on 7th June 2001 with an increased majority (12,009 votes) but on areduced turnout, giving him an increased shareof the total votes (50.1%). In the June 2005 General Election he again increased both majority (13,264)and share of the vote (50.7%).

There could hardly be two Conservative seats more different than compact inner-City, multi-cultural Ealing Acton and sprawling, rural and predominantlyprosperous North West Hampshire.

As Member for North West Hampshire, Georgemakes every effort to be available and accessibleto constituents, many of whom now contact himby email, through his online advice bureau, as well as in regular surgeries at his Andover office or elsewhere in the constituency.

External links

* [http://www.sir-george-young.org.uk/ Sir George Young Bt MP] official site
* [http://www.epolitix.com/EN/MPWebsites/George+Young/ ePolitix.com - Rt Hon Sir George Young Bt]
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-5721,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: George Young MP]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/george_young/north_west_hampshire TheyWorkForYou.com - George Young MP]
* [http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=George_Young&mpc=North+West+Hampshire The Public Whip - George Young MP] voting record
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/mpdb/html/297.stm BBC News - George Young] profile 30 March, 2006

Video clips

* [http://www.youtube.com/user/georgeskyoung His YouTube page]


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