Laurence Anthony Robertson
29 March 1958, Bolton, Bolton, Greater Manchester, North West England
Laurence Anthony Robertson (born 29 March 1958, Bolton, Lancashire) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire since 1997. In May 2005, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland.
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CareerEarly lifePolitical lifePersonal life
His father was a miner, a postman, a delivery man then a milkman. His mother was an office worker in Manchester. He was educated at St James’s C.E. Secondary Modern School and Farnworth Grammar School, both located in Farnworth, and afterwards at Bolton Institute of Higher Education (now the University of Bolton), gaining a diploma in Management Services. His working life has also included him working as a charity fund-raising (where he claims to have raised over £1 million), public relations consultant, company director, factory owner from 1987–8, industrial management consultant from 1983–9, and work study engineer from 1977–83.
He was an unsuccessful candidate when he stood for Bolton Council in the Derby ward in 1983 and in the Burnden ward in 1986. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Parliament in the Makerfield constituency at the 1987 General Election and again in the Ashfield constituency at the 1992 General Election.
Following his 1997 Election to the House of Commons, he courted controversy in 2001 by offering support for John Townend over his controversial remarks about race; he later apologised for any offence caused by offering this support.
In September 2001, he was appointed an Opposition Whip. In June 2003, was made Shadow Minister for Trade & Industry. In November 2003, he was appointed a Shadow Minister for Economic Affairs. From May 2005, he served as the Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland. He was not given a ministerial position in the 2010 Parliament, but served as chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, and was re-elected unopposed for the same position in June 2015.
In 2005, he advanced a Private Member’s Bill to outlaw abortion altogether, making it an imprisonable offence except where the mother’s life was at risk or where conception was due to rape.
Following widespread flooding in Tewkesbury throughout the 2000s, Robertson spoke out against building on flood plains.
In 2014, Robertson along with six other Conservative Party MPs voted against the Equal Pay (Transparency) Bill which would require all companies with more than 250 employees to declare the gap in pay between the average male and average female salaries.
Politically, he is a confirmed Eurosceptic and active in the EU pressure group Better Off Out and he is interested in the following areas: Law and Order, Education, European Policy, the Constitution, Small Businesses, the Economy and Rural Issues. He is also a member of the right-wing pressure group the Freedom Association.
He married Susan Lees at All Saints Church, Farnworth in May 1989, but they since divorced and in February 2015 he married his long term girlfriend Annie Adams.
He has been actively involved in sports, especially golf, bowling,horses and marathons, of which he has completed 6, including the 1994 New York Marathon.
Between 1988–1991, he was Chairman of Governors of a primary school, a Visitor for Victim Support Scheme, and the Area chairman for the Campaign for Law and Order.