Andrew Richard Rosindell MP (//; born 17 March 1966) is a British Conservative politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Romford constituency in Greater London since 2001. He is the international director of the European Foundation, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee and the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on the British Overseas Territories. He is known for his controversial outspoken views on a range of issues, including supporting the reintroduction of the death penalty.
|Shadow Minister for Home Affairs|
3 July 2007 – 6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Edward Garnier|
|Succeeded by||David Hanson|
|Member of Parliament |
|Assumed office |
7 June 2001
|Preceded by||Eileen Gordon|
17 March 1966
Romford, London, England
Early life and career
He was chairman of the Young Conservatives from 1993 to 1994, chairman of the International Young Democrat Union from 1998 to 2002, and from 1997 to 2001, he was director of the European Foundation think tank.
Before becoming an MP, he was a local councillor in Romford on Havering Council, winning the Chase Cross and Havering-atte-Bower ward from the Liberal Democrats in 1990. In 1998, he took an 88% share of the vote. This was a record for a Conservative in a London borough, and earned him a reputation as a 'formidable campaigner'.
After unsuccessful attempts to win seats in Glasgow Provan in 1992 and Thurrock in 1997, Rosindell was elected to the House of Commons in the 2001 general election in Romford, defeating the former teacher and Labour MP, Eileen Gordon. Rosindell won 18,931 votes (53% share) – a swing of 9.2% from Labour to Conservative. It was one of just nine seats the Conservatives managed to regain after the 1997 Labour landslide at the 2001 election. Former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited the constituency during the campaign, in which Rosindell also canvassed with his Staffordshire Bull Terrier 'Spike', who wore a union flag waistcoat. This was a tactic Rosindell had employed in previous elections, such as his unsuccessful campaign in Glasgow Provan in 1992.
At the 2005 election, Rosindell increased his majority to 11,589, winning 21,560 votes on a 59.1% share. This was the second highest Conservative share of the vote anywhere in the UK. During the election campaign, a clash between Labour and Conservative activists distributing leaflets at Romford railway station resulted in the police being called.
Rosindell was appointed by Michael Howard to be vice-chairman for Campaigning of the Conservative Party in 2004, and in December 2005 he became an Opposition Whip. In July 2007, he was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, with particular responsibility for animal welfare.
At the 2010 election, Rosindell increased his majority to 16,594, winning 26,031 votes on a reduced 56.0% share. In September of that year, Rosindell sponsored the first Erotica event to be held in the Houses of Parliament. Rosindell maintained that he was promoting the hosts, a Romford-based business, as was his duty as the constituency MP.
In June 2012, Rosindell was criticised for expressing "huge admiration" for former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet. The comments were condemned by Labour Leader Ed Miliband MP and neighbouring Labour MP Jon Cruddas, who stated in an interview with the Romford Recorder that "Augusto Pinochet assumed power in a coup d'état and overthrew a democratically elected government. According to various reports and investigations thousands of people were killed in this process, and tens of thousands were interned and tortured by his regime". Rosindell made the comments whilst defending a local colleague who had been criticised for apparently endorsing Pinochet, and stated that Pinochet had overthrown a "far worse" communist regime and that "we should be grateful" for the assistance Pinochet's Chile provided to the British forces retaking the Falkland Islands.
In February 2015, Rosindell cast doubt on the ability of Rachel Reeves (then Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) to handle that ministerial responsibility in a putative post-election Labour cabinet, as she would be taking maternity leave soon after the election and would then have a young child to care for following her return to the post in September. He was criticised for the remarks by Labour MPs, whilst Conservative leader and Prime Minister David Cameron labelled his comments "outrageous".
At the 2015 election Rosindell was re-elected with 25,067 votes, on a 51% share, and also gained re-election to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. Since the start of 2016, Rosindell has also been a member of the Advisory Board of the UK-based 'Polar Regions' think-tank Polar Research and Policy Initiative. At the 2017 election Rosindell was re-elected with 29,671 votes, on a 59.4% share. In 2017, Rosindell co-sponsored a Bill with Lord Empey to use Libyan funds frozen under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, to compensate victims of IRA terrorism supported by the Gaddafi regime.
On 4 July 2018, Rosindell announced his bid to become the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London. He failed to make the final shortlist.
In January 2019, The Times discovered that Rosindell's Facebook account was a member of a group supporting far-right activist Tommy Robinson. The group was specifically concerned with supporting Robinson's attempts to collapse a court case regarding sexual abuse of minors. Rosindell claimed that he had been added to the group without his knowledge; however, it would be necessary for a Facebook user to confirm acceptance before being added to a group.
On 21 October 2020 it has been reported that Andrew Rosindell has been removed as trade envoy to Tanzania, a position to which he had been appointed to by Theresa May in 2018, because of his highly critical views against Boris Johnson's three-tier lockdown plan to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.
Rosindell's political views are firmly Thatcherite: he is a Eurosceptic, who supports the re-introduction of the death penalty and the detention of asylum seekers. He is also a member of right-wing group The Freedom Association, and was a member of the Monday Club, a Conservative-aligned organisation on the right of the party, until he was compelled to resign in 2001 by the party's then-leader Iain Duncan Smith.
Rosindell has consistently voted against bills furthering LGBT rights, including equalising the age of consent, civil partnerships and scrapping the controversial Section 28 act, which banned teachers from "promoting homosexuality" or "teaching ... the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship". He opposed the legalisation of same-sex marriage, saying "Where would it end? You could finish up at a stage where the monarchy in this country is in a same-sex marriage and that would have constitutional implications".
Following an interim report on the connections between colonialism and properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with historic slavery, Rosindell was among the signatories of a letter to The Telegraph from the "Common Sense Group" of Conservative Parliamentarians. The letter accused the National Trust of being "coloured by cultural Marxist dogma, colloquially known as the 'woke agenda'".
Euroscepticism and border control
In 2012, he unsuccessfully attempted to introduce the United Kingdom Borders Bill in 2012, a private member's bill aiming to create a dedicated entry queue for citizens of countries where the British Queen is head of state, as well as introducing pictures of the Queen and more royal symbols at UK borders. He reiterated calls for preferential treatment of "Her Majesty's subjects" visiting Britain in 2015, whilst also calling for the immigration system to favour Commonwealth citizens, as opposed to those from the EU. This measure was then adopted by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his October 2018 budget.
Rosindell has spoken in favour of a federal UK and proposed a bill calling for a separate English Parliament, whilst declaring himself opposed to the idea of imposing English votes for English Laws restrictions on the Westminster Parliament.
In September 2015, Rosindell presented a Ten Minute Rule Bill to Parliament entitled the United Kingdom Borders (Control and Sovereignty) Bill. In his speech presenting the Bill, he argued that Britain must take back control of its borders from the European Union, asserting that "A nation that does not retain sovereignty over its national borders will ultimately be powerless to determine its own destiny". The speech also advocated a policy of controlled immigration, arguing that public services were unable to keep up with the number of people entering the country every year.
In an Early day motion of 3 November 2016, as a celebration of the Brexit vote and Britain withdrawing from the European Union, Rosindell argued for a return to the broadcasting of "God Save the Queen" at the end of BBC One transmissions each day. The practice was dropped in 1997 (ostensibly due to BBC One adopting 24-hour broadcasting by simulcasting BBC News 24 overnight, rendering closedown obsolete). That evening, BBC Two's Newsnight programme ended its nightly broadcast with host Kirsty Wark saying that they were "incredibly happy to oblige" Rosindell's request, before ending with a clip of the Sex Pistols performing the punk song of the same name (an anti-monarchist song), much to Rosindell's discontent.
In 2017, Rosindell said: "The humiliation of having a pink European Union passport will now soon be over and the United Kingdom nationals can once again feel pride and self-confidence in their own nationality when travelling, just as the Swiss and Americans can do. National identity matters and there is no better way of demonstrating this today than by bringing back this much-loved national symbol when travelling overseas." It was subsequently revealed that the colour of passports was not a matter controlled by the European Union, while the more general design standards related to the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the United Nations.
In July 2010, Rosindell was appointed by the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Sayeeda Warsi, onto the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Since 2015, Rosindell has served on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
Rosindell proposed in 2012 that Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories should be represented in the UK parliament, like dependencies of Australia, Denmark, France and the Netherlands have been.
As Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary group on the Chagos Islands since 2015, Rosindell is a strong supporter of the Chagossians' right to self-determination, and condemns their forced relocation in the 1960s, repeatedly calling on Parliament not only to restore the Chagossians to their homeland, but also to assist with the provision of essential services and facilities, which have not been modernised since the forced relocation took place.
Rosindell supports a broad range of nature conservation projects based in the British Overseas Territories, and has spoken in favour of the Great British Oceans Coalition's initiative to support the reclassification of the South Sandwich Islands as a fully protected nature reserve, specifying that in such a case the UK would be the only country in the world to create fully protected nature reserves in the Indian, Pacific, Atlantic, and Southern Oceans.
During the police action surrounding the 2017 Catalan independence referendum, Rosindell spoke out in his capacity as the vice-chairman of the APPG on Catalonia to say the UK should have sent a 'much stronger' message about condemning the Spanish government's reaction, saying the violence 'brought shame on Spain and shame on the European Union.'
Rosindell joined Philip Davies and Christopher Chope in repeatedly blocking a backbench bill banning the use of wild animals in circuses from progressing through Parliament, finally blocking it by lodging an objection in March 2015. Rosindell had earlier argued the circus is a "Great British institution…[that] deserves to be defended against the propaganda and exaggerations". He also said that during his time as Shadow Minister for Animal Welfare he had investigated the question of the welfare of circus animals, and argued that no animals currently in British circuses were captured in the wild, with most having been bred from generations of circus animals. Furthermore, Rosindell highlighted that circuses were inspected up to seven times a year, compared to zoos, which were mostly only inspected once a year, and that the welfare of circus animals fell under the provision of both the 2006 Animal Welfare Act and the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012, making further legislation largely redundant. However, the bill had the support of the Coalition government, the Labour opposition and public opinion, which made its non-passage a headline item.
Rosindell is an enthusiastic supporter of black cabs in London, and has spoken in favour of 'levelling the playing field' between black cabs and providers of other transport services, which require less time-intensive and specialised training. Rosindell has criticised the lack of regulation of alternative ride-sharing services, saying 'it would be a deep shame to see an honest and historic trade disappear from our streets due to a predatory corporation. There are deep issues with cross border licensing, safety standards and tax arrangements, which has rapidly affected the black cab industry.'
Flags and heraldry
Rosindell is well known for his interest in flags, being described in national media as a "flag fanatic" He is a member of the Flag Institute, an educational organisation that offers advice and guidance about flags and their usage.
On 5 February 2008, Rosindell became founding chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Flag Group (APPFG) and proposed a Union Flag Bill under the Ten Minute Rule. The APPFG changed its name to the Flags & Heraldry Committee in April 2010.
At the beginning of the MPs' expenses scandal, The Daily Telegraph reported that Rosindell "claimed more than £125,000 in second home expenses for a flat in London, while designating his childhood home 17 miles away – where his mother lived – as his main address" and between "2006 and 2008 claimed the maximum £400 a month for food".
In 2010, the BBC accused Rosindell of breaching Parliamentary rules by accepting subsidised overseas trips to Gibraltar and subsequently raising multiple Gibraltar-related issues in Parliament without disclosing the trips in the Register of Members' Interests.
- "No. 61961". The London Gazette. 19 June 2017. p. 11776.
- "European Foundation – Personnel". Archived from the original on 21 October 2008.
- "Page cannot be found". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 19 November 2007.
- "MP proposes British Overseas Territories be represented in Westminster". MercoPress. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- Four Conservative hardliners who could win seats at the election, The Guardian, 2 May 2001
- Ramzy Alwakeel (26 September 2012). "Romford MP Andrew Rosindell visits his old school, Marshalls Park". Romford Recorder. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "About Andrew". Andrew Rosindell. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "UK | Politics | Andrew Rosindell". BBC News. 16 October 2002. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "UK Election 2005 – Size of winning vote". University of Keele – Political Science Resources. 8 June 2017. Archived from the original on 23 February 2006. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "Evening Standard – Tory KO'd in Labour scrap". Archived from the original on 16 November 2005.
- Sinclair, Lulu, Oh La La! House of Commons goes Erotic Archived 5 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine October 2010, Sky News. Retrieved March 2011
- Garnier, Mark (15 June 2012). "Tory MP has "huge admiration" for Augusto Pinochet". New Statesman. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- Ramzy Alwakeel (14 June 2012). "Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas slams Romford MP Andrew Rosindell over Pinochet comments". Romford Recorder. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- Ramzy Alwakeel (19 June 2012). "Ed Miliband calls on David Cameron to distance himself from Romford MP Andrew Rosindell's Pinochet comments". Romford Recorder. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- Alwakeel, Ramzy. "Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas slams Romford MP Andrew Rosindell over Pinochet comments". Romford Recorder.
- Perraudin, Francis (23 February 2015). "Cameron hits back at Tory MP's 'outrageous' maternity leave comments". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- "Andrew Rosindell MP". The Polar Connection. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "Libya rejects use of frozen assets to pay IRA victims". Belfast Telegraph.
- "Romford MP confirms plans to run for Mayor of London – Time 107.5 fm Time 107.5 fm". time1075.net.
- Coleman, Liam. "Romford MP fails in bid to be Mayor of London". Romford Recorder.
- Humphries, Will (5 January 2019). "Tory MP's Facebook account part of Tommy Robinson group". The Times.
- "Boris Johnson sacks Tory MP Andrew Rosindell for voting against new COVID restrictions".
- "They work for you: gay rights". Retrieved 31 October 2019.
- "Havering church leaders: 'Gay marriage would undermine human stability'". Retrieved 31 October 2019.
- "Britain's heroes". Letter to the Daily Telegraph. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2021.CS1 maint: others (link)
- "The United Kingdom Borders Bill 2012". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- "Ten Minute Rule Motion". BBC. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "British MPs want more Aussies in UK". SBS. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Fitzgibbon, Liam (30 January 2015). "British MPs propose 'better immigration' for Kiwis, Aussies". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Dickie, Mure (17 September 2014). "The Battle for Britain". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "Bill calls for England Parliament". Belfast Telegraph. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "United Kingdom Borders (Control and Sovereignty) Bill 2015–16 – UK Parliament". Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- Hughes, Laura (3 November 2016). "Tory MP calls for BBC 1 to mark Brexit with national anthem at the end of each day". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Robb, Simon (4 November 2016). "BBC just trolled a conservative MP brilliantly with God Save the Queen". Metro. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- "UK passport could turn dark blue after Brexit under £490m contract". The Guardian. 2 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- "The blue passport is taking back control? No, it was first imposed on us from abroad". The Guardian. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
- "Chagos Islands". Hansard.
- "Animals in Peril". Hansard.
- "'Spain can't be trusted to deal with this'". BBC News.
- 09 12 Nov:00:00 BST 2012 (9 November 2012). "Register of All Party Groups – see Page 624" (PDF). Parliament. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Bawden, Tom (7 March 2015). "Ban on wild animals in circus blocked by Tory backbenchers". The Independent. London. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- "Animals in Circuses". Andrew Rosindell.
- "[Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair] – London Black Cabs: 15 Sep 2015: Westminster Hall debates – TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou.
- "Andrew Rosindell MP secures meeting with Transport Minister". Andrew Rosindell.
- Treneman, Ann (14 December 2011). "Eurosceptic bulldogs go barking mad, with a fanfare". The Times. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "British Flags". The Flag Institute. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "Register of All Party Groups". UK Parliament. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "Union Flag Bill 2007–08". UK Parliament. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- Andrew Rosindell MP [@AndrewRosindell] (20 April 2021). "I agree, all schools should fly the Union Jack outside their school and a different pupil each morning should be given the honour of raising the flag at the start of the school day. The flag should also be displayed permanently in school assembly halls. 🇬🇧" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 April 2021 – via Twitter.
- Swaine, Jon; Gammell, Caroline (20 June 2009). "MPs' expenses: Tory MP Andrew Rosindell has childhood home as main address". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Rosindell, Andrew. "Andrew Rosindell MP: Foreign trips and rule breaches". BBC News. Retrieved 30 March 2015.