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Andrew MacKay
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
23 June 1997 – 14 September 2001
LeaderWilliam Hague
Preceded byMo Mowlam
Succeeded byQuentin Davies
Treasurer of the Household
In office
23 July 1996 – 2 May 1997
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byGreg Knight
Succeeded byGeorge Mudie
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
18 October 1995 – 23 July 1996
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byTimothy Kirkhope
Succeeded byDerek Conway
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
27 May 1993 – 17 October 1995
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byGreg Knight
Succeeded byMichael Bates
Member of Parliament
for Bracknell
East Berkshire (1983-1997)
In office
9 June 1983 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byPhillip Lee
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Stechford
In office
31 March 1977 – 7 April 1979
Preceded byRoy Jenkins
Succeeded byTerry Davis
Personal details
Born (1949-08-27) 27 August 1949 (age 72)
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Political partyConservative
(m. 1997)

Diana Joy Kinchin
(m. 1974; div. 1996)

Andrew James MacKay (born 27 August 1949) is a British Conservative Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Stechford from 1977 to 1979, East Berkshire from 1983 to 1997 and for Bracknell in Berkshire from 1997 to 2010.

Early life

MacKay attended Solihull School, an independent school in Solihull, West Midlands. After leaving school he chaired the Solihull Young Conservatives. He has worked as an estate agent and company director.[citation needed]

Parliamentary career

MacKay first entered parliament in 1977, after taking Birmingham Stechford from Labour at the Birmingham Stechford by-election. He lost the seat at the 1979 general election, but re-entered parliament in 1983 as MP for East Berkshire. He was deputy Chief Whip under John Major, and was Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1997 to September 2001 during the leadership of William Hague. He was on the backbenches subsequently, but was appointed a Conservative Deputy Chairman in September 2004 with responsibility for candidates, and, after David Cameron's election in November 2005 as Leader of the Conservative Party, MacKay became a Senior Parliamentary/Political Adviser to the new Conservative leader.[citation needed]

Expenses claims

Main article: United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal

MacKay and Kirkbride own two homes: one in her constituency; and a flat close to Parliament in Westminster. In a case of so-called "double-dipping," according to The Daily Telegraph, MacKay had used his Additional Costs Allowance to claim more than £1,000 a month in mortgage interest payments on their joint Westminster flat. His wife used her Additional Costs Allowance to claim over £900 a month on paying off the mortgage for their family home near her constituency. This means they effectively had no main home but two second homes – and were using public funds to pay for both of them. During 2008–9, MacKay claimed a total of £23,083 under Additional Costs Allowance, while Kirkbride claimed £22,575. They also claimed for each other's travel costs, with Kirkbride claiming £1,392 to meet spouse travel, while MacKay claimed £408.[1] On 14 May 2009, he resigned from his position as parliamentary aide to Cameron in the wake of the furore over Parliamentary expenses after what was described as an "unacceptable" expenses claim.[2]

At a public meeting in his constituency on 22 May he had been heckled, and called a "thieving toad" according to The Independent.[3]

In an interview with Matthew Amroliwala on BBC News the following morning, MacKay apologised for his error of judgement. In what he claimed was an agreed procedure with the Parliamentary Claims office, he had designated their Westminster home as his secondary home, while Kirkbride has designated the Bromsgrove house as her second home. MacKay announced that the procedure had been ongoing for eight or nine years, and that he would be repaying the monies after taking advice from the Conservatives scrutiny committee.[citation needed]

On 23 May 2009, after a telephone call from Cameron, it was announced that MacKay would stand down at the 2010 general election.[4]

Personal life

In 1974 MacKay married Diana Joy Kinchin; they had two children, but divorced in 1996. The following year, MacKay married Julie Kirkbride, a fellow Conservative MP; the couple have a son who attended Westminster School.[5]


  1. ^ Beckford, Martin; Porter, Andrew (14 May 2009). "Andrew Mackay resigns over 'unacceptable' claims: MPs' expenses". London: Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Tory MP quits post over expenses". BBC News. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  3. ^ Crossley, Lucy; Peck, Tom (23 May 2009). "I have no wish to be represented by a thief". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009. During the 90-minute discussion, few questions were asked by those present. One constituent told him to resign while another commented: "I've no wish to be represented in the next parliament by a thief." One constituent simply called him a "thieving toad".
  4. ^ "David Cameron forces MP out as grassroots anger mounts". The Guardian. 23 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Julie Kirkbride profile". Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2009.

Audio clips

Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byRoy Jenkins Member of Parliament for Birmingham Stechford 19771979 Succeeded byTerry Davis New constituency Member of Parliament for East Berkshire 19831997 Constituency abolished Preceded byNew constituency Member of Parliament for Bracknell 19972010 Succeeded byPhillip Lee Preceded byHelene Hayman Baby of the House 1977–1979 Succeeded byDavid Alton Political offices Preceded byTimothy Kirkhope Vice-Chamberlain of the Household(Government whip) 1995–1996 Succeeded byDerek Conway Preceded byGreg Knight Treasurer of the Household 1996–1997 Succeeded byGeorge Mudie Preceded byMo Mowlam Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 1997–2001 Succeeded byQuentin Davies