Anne Main

Anne Main
MP
Member of Parliament
for St Albans
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Kerry Pollard
Majority 6,109 (10.7%)
Personal details
Born (1957-05-17) 17 May 1957
Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Andrew
Children 4
Alma mater Swansea University
University of Sheffield

Anne Margaret Main (born 17 May 1957) is a Conservative Party politician. She was elected at the 2005 general election as the Member of Parliament for St Albans in Hertfordshire, and was re-elected in 2010, 2015 and 2017.

Early life

Main was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1957. She was state educated at the Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School in Rookwood Close in Llandaff, Cardiff. She read English at Swansea University obtaining a BA Hons, where she met her first husband, Stephen. She then obtained a PGCE from the University of Sheffield. She moved to the London area, and taught English and drama at an inner London comprehensive school.

Political career

Main's political career began in 1999, when was elected as a town councillor in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.[1] She served as councillor for Beaconsfield South Ward on South Bucks District Council from 2001-2005. In May 2005, she was first elected as the Member of Parliament for St Albans; she defeated the sitting Labour MP Kerry Pollard, achieving a 6.6% swing.

At the 2010 general election she retained her seat with an increased majority, despite a 3.75% swing to the Liberal Democrats.[2] She then increased her majority in 2015 to 12,732 votes, picking up some votes from the Liberal Democrats as part of the continuing collapse of that party's support natiomwide.[3]

At the snap 2017 general election, Main got 43% of the vote, Daisy Cooper (Liberal Democrat) got 32%, Kerry Pollard (Labour) got 23% and Jack Easton (Green Party) got 2%. UKIP declined to stand a candidate in recognition of Main's eurosceptic views.[4]

She is the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bangladesh[5] and has served on a number of Select Committees. She is currently a member of the Panel of Chairs. At the 2016 EU Referendum, Main campaigned for a "Leave" vote. [6] while 62.7% of her constituency voted to remain.[7] An unsuccessful petition calling for her resignation followed.[8]

Main largely votes in accordance with her party, but has rebelled over Brexit (which she supports), high-speed rail (which she opposes) and equal rights for gay marriage (which she opposes).[9] [10]

Expenses

Main was investigated by The Daily Telegraph in May 2009 for claiming a second home allowance and a council tax discount for an apartment for a constituency home, which was also lived in full time and rent free by her daughter.[11] On 26 June, it became apparent that she would be facing a Parliamentary inquiry into these allegations under John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, following a formal complaint thought to be from a constituent.[12]

In February 2010, Lyon concluded that the public should not have been expected to meet living costs for Main's daughter, and Main was ordered to repay £7,100 (being £2,100 wrongly claimed for food, along with an additional £5,000 to reflect the daughter's use of the flat), and to provide a written apology to the committee.[13][14][15] Main had argued the Fees Office had told her it was permissible for her daughter to share the second home.

Main claimed £22,000 a year for a second home, despite being able to commute both from her taxpayer funded flat in St Albans, 26 miles from Westminster, or from her family house in Beaconsfield, 31 miles from Westminster.[16]

Main has privately apologised to the House of Commons for her expenses claims, but is yet to apologise to her constituents in St Albans. [17]

Concerns raised in connection with her parliamentary expenses resulted in an attempted deselection by the local St Albans Conservative Association, with a local party vote led by the association's chairwoman.[18][19][20][21] However, on 13 August 2009, the local association voted by a large margin (140 to 20 according to some sources[22]) to keep her as its candidate for the forthcoming general election, which had to be held before 3 June 2010.

Personal life

Main lives with her family in Beaconsfield. She married her first husband Stephen Tonks in 1978, and they had a son and two daughters: Nick, Claire, and Jennifer. Stephen died of cancer, aged 34. In 1995, she married Andrew Jonathan Main, an IT director, with whom she had a fourth child, Alexander.[23]

References

  1. St Albans & Harpenden Review – St Albans MP Anne Main's full interview with John Lyon, November 2009, in which she states that "My family are based in our main home [in Beaconsfield] and I like to get home and see my husband in the evening."
  2. BBC Election 2010 – St Albans constituency result
  3. Election results 2015
  4. BBC website, at https://www.bbc.com/news/politics/constituencies/E14000960 .
  5. Register Of All-Party Groups
  6. Herts Advertiser - St Albans MP Anne Main backing Britain
  7. Sky News - EU Referendum Result - St Albans
  8. The Spectator - Tories who voted against gay marriage
  9. "They Work For You". GOV.UK. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  10. The Daily Telegraph – Anne Main and a rent-free flat
  11. The Daily Telegraph – MPs' expenses: Anne Main facing inquiry
  12. The Independent – Tory MP Anne Main ordered to repay £7,100 after flat probe
  13. St Albans & Harpenden Review – St Albans MP Anne Main's expenses payback: the full story
  14. House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee – Eighth Report: Mrs Anne Main, February 2010)
  15. Sawyer, Patrick (12 July 2008). "MPs claim expenses for unnecessary homes". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  16. The Daily Telegraph – Anne Main: expenses de-selection battle descends into dirty tricks row
  17. BBC News – Tory MP faces deselection battle
  18. The Daily Telegraph – Tory MP Anne Main wins fight against deselection
  19. BBC News – Tory MP survives deselection bid
  20. Conservative Home Blogs – Anne Main MP faces deselection vote ... and survives
  21. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4651681.stm
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Kerry Pollard
Member of Parliament for St Albans
2005–present
Incumbent
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