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Francis Anthony Aylmer Maude (born 4 July 1953) is a Britishmarker politician. He is a Conservative Party Member of Parliament, representing the constituency of Horsham. He is currently the Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office.

He is the son of the former Conservative Cabinet minister Angus Maude.

Early life

Francis was educated at Abingdon Schoolmarker, Corpus Christi College, Cambridgemarker, and the College of Law, and practised criminal law. He was a councillor for the City of Westminstermarker from 1978-84.

Political career

In government

Maude was first elected to the House of Commonsmarker in the Conservative Party's landslide victory in the 1983 general election in the constituency of North Warwickshiremarker. In 1984, he became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Employment Peter Morrison. Maude then became an assistant government whip (1985-7), and then Minister for Corporate and Consumer Affairs (1987-9). In 1989, he became the Minister of State for Europe in the Foreign and Commonwealth Officemarker.

Maude was one of the first "men in grey suits" to meet with Margaret Thatcher in November 1990 after she failed to win the first round of a leadership contest. He told her that he would support her as long as she went on, but he did not believe she could win the leadership contest.

After John Major became Prime Minister, Maude was made the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. However, in the 1992 general election he lost his seat to the Labour Party candidate, Mike O'Brien, and was thus forced to vacate his ministerial roles. That same year, he was sworn of the Privy Council.

In a 2006 interview, Maude admitted that the introduction of Section 28 legislation whilst he was in government (which banned councils from promoting homosexuality and led to the closure of gay support groups) was "a mistake", saying it could have contributed to the death from HIV of his homosexual brother, Charles, and many others.

Out of Parliament

Out of Parliament after the 1992 general election, Maude began a series of business roles. He worked in banking as Managing Director at Morgan Stanley from 1993-7. He was also appointed a non-executive director of ASDA Group Plc in July 1992, and served as a director of Salomon Brothers from 1992-3. He also chaired the government's Deregulation Task Force from 1994-7.

Shadow Cabinet

In the 1997 general election Maude was elected MP for Horsham. Almost immediately he was re-appointed to the Conservative front bench, now the Opposition in Parliament. He served as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Shadow Foreign Secretary until 2001.

Maude managed Michael Portillo's unsuccessful bid for the Conservative leadership in 2001, after which he declined a front bench role under the new leader Iain Duncan Smith. He was considered to be a 'moderniser' and on the left of the party, writing in the The Daily Telegraph (24 June 2002), he stated that the Conservative Party's electoral problems had been caused by their failure to "look and sound like modern Britain". Norman Tebbit's secretary, Beryl Goldsmith, criticised Maude after this, asking: "How many male, white, straight Conservative MPs currently passionately campaigning for the selection of more women, and more men and women from ethnic minorities, would voluntarily relinquish their own seats in order to encourage local associations to follow the policy line they preach from their own smug, safe base? Precious few I would guess — including Mr Francis Maude."

After the 2005 general election, Maude returned to the Shadow Cabinet as Chairman of the Conservative Party. During his tenure, alongside newly elected leader David Cameron, the Conservatives adopted the A List of parliamentary candidates, with priority being given to women and ethnic minorities. However, he was accused of hyprocrisy by promoting a "family-friendly" image whilst being the non-executive chairman of the Jubilee Trust, which held 21% of American pornographic actress Jill Kelly's adult DVD business, and chairman of the Mission Marketing Group, which has advertised for WKD drinks and Playboy. A charge of hypocrisy has also been levelled at Maude, 'who has railed against irresponsible lending by banks and mortgage companies', for his receipt of more than £100,000 as a director of a company that has profited from sub-prime mortgages. His annual salary was £25,000 from 2002 to 2005, for attending around six meetings a year of the company , and £12000 a year 2006 to 2008. The company went into liquidation in April 2009.

In July 2007, Maude was made Shadow Cabinet Office Minister and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with responsibility for preparing the Conservatives for Government, with some dubbing him as the Party's 'enforcer'.

At the Conservative Party Conference in October 2007 he said: "David (Cameron) has asked me to lead an implementation team that will ensure that we are as well-prepared as any incoming government has ever been. Our priorities rigorously sorted. Our teams armed with the knowledge and capabilities that will enable new ministers to start making a difference from day one."

Maude supported Republican John McCain in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. He led the Conservative Party delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Expenses Claims

Francis Maude allegedly had a claim for mortgage interest rejected by the Fees Office. It is also suggested that Maude purchased a flat in London, close to a house he already owned, before claiming on the flat and renting out the house.

Personal life

Maude is father of five: Julia, Cecily, Harry, Alastair and Lydia.

Maude's wealth is estimated at £3m.

See also


External links

Offices held

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