Bob Neill


Bob Neill

Infobox MP
honorific-prefix =
name = Bob Neill
honorific-suffix = MP


caption =
constituency_MP = Bromley and Chislehurst
parliament =
term_start = 29 June 2006
term_end =
majority = 633 (2.2%)
predecessor = Eric Forth
successor =
constituency_AM2 = Bexley and Bromley
assembly2 = London
term_start2 = 4 May 2000
term_end2 = 3 May 2008
majority2 =
predecessor2 = New creation
successor2 = James Cleverly
birth_date = Birth date and age|1952|06|24|df=yes
birth_place = Ilford, London Borough of Redbridge
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
spouse =
party = Conservative Party
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = London School of Economics
occupation =
profession =
religion =


website =
footnotes =

Robert James MacGillivray "Bob" Neill (born 24 June 1952) is a British politician and barrister. He was Conservative Party member of the London Assembly for Bexley and Bromley from 2000 until 2008, and was elected as Member of Parliament for Bromley and Chislehurst in a by-election on 29 June 2006, following the death of incumbent MP Eric Forth. He was appointed shadow Minister for London in July 2007 after only a year in parliament.

History

Neill attended Abbs Cross Technical High School, Abbs Cross Lane, Hornchurch, and took at degree at the London School of Economics. He was later a councillor in the London Borough of Havering, served as Greater London Council member for Romford 1985-86. He previously stood for the Dagenham parliamentary constituency in 1983, at the age of 30, coming within 2,997 votes of winning the historically Labour seat from Bryan Gould MP. He also stood for election in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 1994 and 1998.

Neill was first elected to the London Assembly in the 2000 assembly election. He served as Leader of the Conservative Group on the Assembly from 2000 to 2002 and again from 2004.

He is also a member of the EU's Committee of the Regions, [http://cormembers.cor.eu.int/cormembers.aspx?critId=2013974] and a member of the European People's Party - European Democrats. A pro-European, he supported former Conservative Chancellor Kenneth Clarke in both of his bids for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

A Freemason, he is a member of the Greater London Lodge. [ [http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/members/int_reg/robert_neill.jsp London Assembly - Register of Members' Interests ] ] His partner is Southend Conservative Councillor Daphne White. [ [http://www.echo-news.co.uk/search/display.var.782419.0.senior_tory_selected_to_fight_byelection.php Senior Tory Selected To Fight Byelection (from Echo) ] ]

Bromley and Chislehurst by-election

On 3 June 2006 he was adopted as the Conservative candidate for the Bromley and Chislehurst by-election which took place on 29 June 2006. His selection by the local Conservative Association raised eyebrows, as new leader David Cameron had pressed for an "A-List" candidate, to help present Cameron's vision of the new Conservative Party. The Parliamentary constituency forms a part of Neill's London Assembly constituency. He stated at his selection that he would not resign his London Assembly seat as the resultant by-election, which would see around 400,000 voters go to the polls, would be unduly expensive.

A few questions were raised about Neill's position as a non-executive director of the North East London Strategic Health Authority, which fell foul of the House of Commons Disqualification Act of 1975. His response was that, because the body was due to be abolished before he would have had the chance to take his seat in Westminster, any such arguments were immaterial. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/06/26/ntory226.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/06/26/ixuknews.html Tory candidate accused of breaking by-election law - Telegraph ] ]

Neill won the by-election by just 633 votes, compared to the 13,342 majority achieved by his predecessor at the 2005 general election. Factors contributing to this were assumed by commentators to include a substantial drop in the turnout (down from 64.8 to 40.18%), with the drop disproportionally hitting the Conservative vote; the presence of a high-profile UKIP candidate, Nigel Farage - Labour ended up coming fourth, after UKIP; and a campaign by the Liberal Democrats that heavily focused on Neill personally. In his acceptance speech Neill criticised "a minority of candidates" (which was assumed to be specifically criticising the Liberal Democrat candidate) for their "ad hominem" attacks on him. These included statements regarding Neill's occupations outside his future parliamentary role (including the nickname "Three Jobs Bob" [ [http://borrowman.org.uk/news/000019/lib_dem_says_three_jobs_bob_should_quit_the_london_assembly.html Lib Dem says: "Three jobs Bob" should quit the London Assembly] ] ) and that fact that, at that time, he did not have a home in the borough.In July 2008 [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/2298640/MPs-claim-expenses-for-unnecessary-homes.html the Sunday Telegraph newspaper revealed] that while Mr Neill had a constituency home in Chislehurst, he had claimed the maximum Additional Costs Allowance available to an MP of £22,110 in 2006/7 towards his "family home" in Southend, even though this is further from the Houses of Parliament than his constituency home.

References

External links

* [http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/members/neillb.jsp Biography from the London Assembly]


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