John Stevenson (British politician)

Andrew John Stevenson (born 4 July 1963) is a British Conservative Party politician and active solicitor and director for the firms Bendles and Tiffen Estate Agents, who was first elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Carlisle.

John Stevenson

Member of Parliament
for Carlisle
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byEric Martlew
Majority8,319 (19.4%)
Personal details
Born (1963-07-04) 4 July 1963 (age 57)
Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
Political partyConservative
ResidenceGreat Corby
Alma materUniversity of Dundee

Early life

Stevenson was state educated at Aberdeen Grammar School[1] and graduated from the University of Dundee with Honours in History and Politics. He then studied law at Chester College before qualifying as a solicitor. He went on to become a partner in the law firm Bendles based in the centre of Carlisle.

Political career

Stevenson unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative candidate in the Denton Holme ward of Carlisle City Council in May 1998, before he was elected in another ward just one year later.[2] Stevenson was first elected as a Conservative Councillor on Carlisle City Council in May 1999, for Stanwix Urban – a suburban ward on the northern edge of the city with the joint lowest levels of deprivation in the district.[3][4] He resigned as a councillor on the 2 August 2010, shortly after his election as Member of Parliament and his party won the subsequent by-election.[5] He has been chairman of the Carlisle Constituency Association as well as Penrith and the Border. He is the chairman of the North Cumbria Conservatives which is a federation of the four North Cumbria Constituencies.

He was first elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Carlisle, winning the seat from Labour after the sitting MP Eric Martlew stood down. He was subsequently re-elected in 2015 and 2017. Aside from his duties as a constituency MP, he is the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Food and Drink[6] which advises the direction of national policy on British food and drink manufacture.[7]

In Parliament, Stevenson currently serves on the Standards and Privileges Committees, having previously served on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, the Scottish Affairs Committee and the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill (Joint Committee).[8]

In January 2013, Stevenson faced accusations[by whom?] of nepotism for employing his fiancée as a Senior Secretary. Although Stevenson said that no other applicants had been considered for the role, he argued that she was a qualified legal secretary, and still does that work when not working for him.[9] Although MPs who were first elected in 2017 have been banned from employing family members, the restriction is not retrospective – meaning that Stevenson's employment of his wife is lawful.[10]

In January 2014 it was reported that Stevenson was one of a group of MPs who had been charging the taxpayer to help them fill in tax forms. Part of his expenses claim was rejected, although he was not the only MP to be the subject to such action.[11]

In January 2016, the Labour Party unsuccessfully proposed an amendment in Parliament that would have required private landlords to make their homes "fit for human habitation". According to Parliament's register of interests, Stevenson was one of 72 Conservative MPs who voted against the amendment who personally derived an income from renting out property. The Conservative Government had responded to the amendment that they believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it.[12]

In May 2016, it was reported that Stevenson was one of a number of Conservative MPs being investigated by police in the United Kingdom general election, 2015 party spending investigation, for allegedly spending more than the legal limit on constituency election campaign expenses.[13] In May 2017, the Crown Prosecution Service said that while there was evidence of inaccurate spending returns, it did not "meet the test" for further action.[14]

Stevenson was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.[15] Stevenson contributed to the Conservative Government's first defeat over key Brexit legislation in December 2017 when he declined to vote against Dominic Grieve's amendment requiring Parliament to have a vote on the final deal relating to the UK departing the European Union.[16][17] Following the election of Boris Johnson as Conservative leader, Stevenson later shifted his views on the possibility of a No Deal exit from the EU saying "it may well come to being the only solution".[18]

Personal life

Stevenson lives in the village of Great Corby, which is close to the edge of Carlisle.[19][20] He is married to Tracy Nixon and they were wedded at a Church of Scotland ceremony in Carlisle in 2013.[21]


  1. "About John". Personal website. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  2. "Carlisle City Council Election Results 1973-2012" (PDF). Plymouth University. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  3. John Stevenson MP Archived 3 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine Conservative Party
  4. "Deprivation Analysis" (PDF). Cumbria County Council. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  5. "Carlisle City Council Councillors". Carlisle City Council. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "John Stevenson MP". GOV.UK. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  9. "MP Ronnie Campbell: If they change the rules, I'll sack my wife". Newcastle Chronicle. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  10. "MPs banned from employing spouses after election in expenses crackdown". London Evening Standard. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  11. "MPs claim tens of thousands of pounds in accountants' fees to help them fill in tax forms". The Daily Telegraph. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  12. "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  13. "Election Expenses Exposed". Channel 4 News. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  14. "Carlisle Conservative candidate 'not surprised' by expenses decision". ITV. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  15. Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  16. "Carlisle MP plays part in key Commons Brexit vote". Newcastle Chronicle. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  17. "Theresa May: We're on course to deliver Brexit despite vote". BBC News. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  18. "No-deal Brexit may be only option for new Prime Minister, says Carlisle MP". 24 July 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  19. "IPSA". GOV.UK. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  20. John Stevenson MP Archived 3 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine Conservative Party
  21. "Ballet star shows off charity portraits". Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2015.