Sir John Redwood

Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987

John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of  All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of  a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired  a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He has been the MP for Wokingham since 1987.

John was an Oxfordshire County Councillor in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s he was Chief Policy Advisor to Margaret Thatcher. He urged her to begin a great privatisation programme, and then took privatisation around the world as one of its first advocates before being elected to Parliament for Wokingham. He was soon made a minister, joining the front bench in 1989 as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Trade and Industry. He supervised the liberalisation of the telecoms industry in the early 1990s and became Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities after the 1992 General Election.

Shortly afterwards, John joined the Cabinet and served as Secretary of State for Wales from 1993 to 1995. In opposition he  acted as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1997-1999), Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1999-2000) and Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation (2004-2005). In the 1990s he campaigned widely to keep the pound, and wrote several books and articles explaining why the Euro would be wrong for the UK. (Our Currency, our country; Just Say No).

John subsequently served as Chairman of the Economic Policy Review (2005-2010) undertaken by the Opposition. A copy of the report is available here. He has been Chairman of the Conservative  Economic Affairs Committee since 2010. John stood for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1995 and again in 1997.

John was a fellow of All Souls from 1972 to 1987 , again from 2003 to 2005, and since 2007. He is currently a Visiting Professor for Middlesex University Business School and has published a number of books including ‘Superpower Struggles‘, on the European Union, China and the United States, ‘Just Say No‘ on why the UK should reject further European integration, and ‘Singing the Blues‘, his personal history of the Conservative Party throughout the last thirty years. His most recent publications are ‘I Want to Make a Difference, But I Don’t Like Politics‘, which examines the reason for the decline in membership of political parties and those voting in local and General Elections, and After the Credit Crunch: No More Boom and Bust, which considers the reasons behind the global recession and why Britain has been hit especially hard.

John is a frequent commentator in the media and is a keen cricketer and water sports enthusiast, and supports a number of different charities. He is an Ambassador for the Variety Club of Great Britain.

News

Tackling the virus

Many want there to be an easy answer to quelling the virus. The medics and scientists search for a vaccine but have to warn it could take a long time or even prove a fruitless quest. Some seek better treatments to lessen the death rate from severe cases of the disease.

Jobs scheme needs improvement

The latest proposals do not help businesses stopped from trading by law. Many of these businesses have a future once they are allowed to trade again. They have no income whilst they are shut. Surely the government should offer them some compensation.

Getting the deficit down

I want lower tax rates to boost revenues and encourage enterprise. The best way to cut the deficit is to have more growth which will generate more tax revenues and cut government costs on welfare. There are some in government, however, who want ideas to narrow the deficit.

Questions to the government CV 19 advisers

Monday’s slide show was short and not very informative. They did present a worrying increase in hospital admissions. The rest of the numbers were curiously selected.

Negotiating with the EU

The only past UK Prime Minister to have conducted a successful UK negotiation with the EU was Margaret Thatcher. I wish the current PM every success in pursuing a Free Trade Deal and a full assertion of UK powers over borders, trade, money and laws.

The public sector and derivatives

I have highlighted before Network Rail’s use of derivatives. In their last annual accounts to end March 2020 they report progress with winding down foreign currency futures, as they gradually eliminate the foreign currency borrowings previous managements had taken out.

Growing more at home

One of the big wins from current changes should be more home grown food. There is a big opportunity for farmers as we leave the EU and as people respond to environmental and pandemic concerns.

Saving lives and livelihoods – the policy dilemma

The government is accused of mixed messages and shifts of policy in response to the pandemic. It is in practice trying to achieve a precarious balance between bearing down on the virus and allowing the resumption of more normal economic life.