Peter Bottomley

Peter Bottomley

Infobox MP
honorific-prefix =
name = Peter Bottomley
honorific-suffix =

caption =
constituency_MP = Worthing West
parliament =
term_start = 1 May 1997
term_end =
majority = 9,379 (20.9%)
predecessor = "Constituency created"
successor =
constituency_MP2 = Eltham
Woolwich West (1975-1983)
parliament2 =
term_start2 = 26 June 1975
term_end2 = 1 May 1997
majority2 =
predecessor2 = William Hamling
successor2 = Clive Efford
birth_date = Birth date and age|1944|07|30|df=yes
birth_place = Newport, Shropshire
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
spouse = Virginia Garnett
party = Conservative
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = Trinity College, Cambridge
occupation =
profession =
religion =

website =
footnotes =

Peter James Bottomley (born 30 July 1944) is a British politician. He is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Worthing West.

Personal life

Peter Bottomley was born in Newport, Shropshire, the son of Sir James Bottomley and of Barbara, née Vardon, a social worker. He received his schooling in Washington, D.C. and then Westminster School before going on to take an economics degree at Trinity College, Cambridge. He became a lorry driver (hence his membership of the Transport and General Workers Union) before moving on to industrial sales and industrial relations. His last job before Parliament was putting lights outside theatres and cinemas in London's West End. In 1967 he married the well-connected Virginia Garnett, who later became an MP, a Cabinet Minister, a head-hunter and then a life peer. They have a son and two daughters and live in Milford, Surrey.


Peter Bottomley contested the Woolwich West parliamentary seat in the February 1974 General Election and in October failing to defeat the sitting Labour MP William Hamling. William Hamling died on March 20, 1975, and in the space of 18 months, Bottomley faced the electors of Woolwich West for the third time at the June by-election in the last year Harold Wilson led the Labour government. Peter Bottomley was elected as the Conservative MP for Woolwich West on June 26, 1975 with a majority of 2,382, and held this marginal seat and its successor, Eltham, in Parliament for the next 22 years.

In 1978 he became the President of the Conservative Trade Unionists a position he held for two years. Before the 1979 General Election, Peter Bottomley became a trustee with Christian Aid in 1978 until 1984. He was for some years a member of the Conservative Monday Club despite disagreeing with their policies on immigration, race relations, Rhodesia and South Africa. He has been chairman of he Church of England's Children's Society, a trustee of MIND and of NACRO and on the policy committee of One Parent Families. He served on the successor committee to the Archbishop of Canterbury's commission Faith in the City and chaired the churches' review group on the Churches Main Committee. He is a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee.

He became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Cranley Onslow in 1982. Peter Bottomley's seat of Woolwich West was abolished and Bottomley fought the new seat of Eltham which he won by over 7,500 votes. Following the 1983 General Election, Peter Bottomley became the PPS to the Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Security Norman Fowler.

After nine years on the backbenches, Bottomley became a member of Margaret Thatcher's government when he was appointed as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the then Department for Employment in 1984, moving sideways at the Department of Transport in 1986 to become the Minister of Roads and Traffic. In 1989 he moved sideways again to the Northern Ireland Office. He was dropped by Margaret Thatcher in 1990, when he briefly became PPS to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Brooke. He has been a captain of the Parliamentary football team, no longer wins the parliamentary swimming competition and organises the annual dinghy sailing against the House of Lords, claiming never to have done worse than second. He was captain of the Commons eight, winning the Thames rowing race in gigs against the Lords 2007.


Since 1990 he has been a backbencher, described as a "maverick" but not a "rebel". Peter Bottomley decided not to contest Eltham after major boundary change at the 1997 General Election, but sought nomination elsewhere. Following the retirement of the veteran Conservative MP Terence Higgins, Bottomley contested Worthing West and won with a majority of over 9,000. He has held the seat comfortably since. In 2002-2003 he was Master of the Worshipful Company of Drapers and has now been a Member of Parliament for over 30 years and though yet to reach retirement age is one of the 20 longest serving MPs.

Bottomley is the Treasurer of the All-Party Group for World Government. []

His current campaigns include KWASH, Keeping the Worthing and Southlands hospital; clemency for Krishna Maharaj; changing the troublesome system of Modernising Medical Careers for doctors in training.

External links

* [ Peter Bottomley] official site
* [ - Peter Bottomley MP]
* [,9290,-518,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Peter Bottomley MP]
* [ - Peter Bottomley MP]
* [ The Public Whip - Peter Bottomley MP] voting record
* [ BBC News - Peter Bottomley] profile 10 February, 2005

Offices held

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