- Patrick Cormack
name = Patrick Cormack
constituency_MP = South Staffordshire
South West Staffordshire (1974–1983)
28 February 1974
majority = 8,847 (34.5%)
predecessor = "new constituency"
constituency_MP2 = Cannock
18 June 1970
28 February 1974
predecessor2 = Jennie Lee
birth_date = Birth date and age|1939|05|18|df=yes
nationality = British
spouse = Kathleen Mary MacDonald
party = Conservative
University of Hull
Sir Patrick Thomas Cormack FSA (born
18 May 1939) is a British politician, historian, journalistand author. He is the Conservative Member of Parliamentfor South Staffordshire. Prior to 1970 he was a member of the Bow Groupand the Conservative Monday Club, resigning from them both the end of 1971 [ Copping, Robert, "The Story of The Monday Club - The First Decade", Current Affairs Information Unit, London, April 1972: 21 & 28] .
Patrick Cormack was born in
Grimsbyjust before the outbreak of World War II, he was educated locally at the St James's ChoirSchool and the Havelock School before attending the University of Hullwhere he was awarded a Bachelor of Artsin 1961. He taught at his former alma mata St James's Choir School in 1961, before becoming a training and education officer with Ross Ltd in 1966. The following year, 1967, he was appointed an assistant house master at the Wrekin Collegein Wellington for two years, after which he became the head of historyat the Brewood Grammar Schoolin 1969.
He has been married to Kathleen Mary MacDonald since 1967 and they have two sons.
He had contested the safe Labour parliamentary seat of Bolsover at the 1964 general election where he was soundly beaten by the sitting MP Harold Neal who won with a majority of 23,103 votes. At the 1966 general election he contested the seat of his home town, Grimsby, but again he was defeated, this time by the
Secretary of State for Education and Science Anthony Croslandwho gained a majority of 8,126. It proved third time lucky for Patrick Cormack when he contested the parliamentary seat of Cannock at the 1970 general election where he narrowly ended the Commons career of Jennie Lee, the wife of the founder of the National Health Service Aneurin Bevan. Cormack won with a majority of 1,529 and has remained an MP since, and he is now one of the most senior members of parliament in terms of service. Jennie Lee, on the other hand, was made a life peer.
Now in parliament, in 1970 Patrick Cormack was appointed as a
Parliamentary Private Secretaryto the Department of Health and Social Securityuntil 1973. He moved constituencies at the February 1974 general election, fleeing marginal Cannock for the newly drawn seat of South West Staffordshire which he won comfortably with a majority of 9,758. He was a member of the EducationSelect Committee for the duration of the 1979 Parliament. In 1983, his constituency changed to its present incarnation, Staffordshire South, and after the 1983 general election he became a member of the Chairman's Panel and he is still a member today. He was knighted in 1995 for his service to parliament, and in 1997, after 27 years as an MP on the backbenches, he was finally promoted by the Leader of the Opposition William Hagueto become the opposition's Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, a position he resigned from in 2000, following the retirement of Betty Boothroyd, in order to run for the position of Speaker of the House of Commons(which instead went to Michael Martin). Since 2005 he has been the chairman of the Northern Ireland Select Committee.
He is seen as a One Nation Tory and has written many books ranging from the history of parliament, British castles, English cathedrals and a book on
William Wilberforcein 1984. He was a Heathite and was a frequent rebel under Margaret Thatcher. He is the second longest current serving Conservative MP after Peter Tapsell. He also speaks French.
The 2005 general election was postponed in Staffordshire South due to the death of the Liberal Democrat candidate, Jo Harrison, but when the election did take place on
26 June 2005, he won comfortably. In February 2007, it was announced that he had failed to win the readoption of his constituency party for the next general election. This vote was later declared invalid as more people voted than were present at the meeting. [cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6356975.stm | title=MP Cormack fails to get readopted | work=BBC News | date=13 February 2007 | accessdate=2007-02-13] [cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6389807.stm | title=Cormack ousting vote is invalid | work=BBC News | date=23 February 2007 | accessdate=2007-02-13] In July 2007, the South Staffordshire Conservatives' executive council voted on the matter, but this resulted in a tie. Consequently, a vote of all local party members was held to decide whether he would be their candidate. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6897806.stm "Tories fail to decide on Cormack"] , BBC News, 13 July 2007.] In the vote, held on 14 September, Cormack was readopted as the Conservative candidate, receiving the backing of over 75% of participating party members. Cormack expressed his gratitude and called the victory a "great relief". [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/coventry_warwickshire/6995788.stm "Cormack 'resoundingly readopted'"] , BBC News, 14 September 2007.]
He takes a very active interest in many issues but largely on
English Heritageissues and he is a very knowledgeable parliamentary historian. He has sat on many bodies since becoming an MP over 35 years ago, he has been a trustee of the Churches Preservation Trustsince 1972 and is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. A committed Christian, in 1978 he became a rector's warden at Parliament's parish church, St Margaret's, Westminster, a position he held until 1990. He has been a council member of British Archaeologysince 1979 and also a member of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glassfor the same length of time. He was made a Freeman of the City of Londonin 1980. For ten years from 1983 he was trustee on the Winston ChurchillMemorial Trust.
* [http://www.epolitix.com/EN/MPWebsites/Patrick+Cormack/ ePolitix - Sir Patrick Cormack FSA] official site
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-1121,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Patrick Cormack MP]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/patrick_cormack/south_staffordshire TheyWorkForYou.com - Patrick Cormack MP]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1497197,00.html The Guardian - "Election begins in the seat time forgot"] June 2, 2005
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