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Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 11:58 GMT
Michael Colvin MP: Tory squire

Michael Colvin spent more than 20 years in Parliament

Backbench MP Michael Colvin was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and became the Conservative member for Romsey, a new seat, in 1997. He held it with a healthy majority of 8,585 over the Liberal Democrats.

Married with one son and two daughters, Mr Colvin was first elected to Parliament in 1979, but never advanced beyond junior roles in government.

Mr Colvin was on the executive of the influential group of Tory backbenchers, the 1922 Committee.

Up until 1997 he had been the chairman of the Commons Defence Committee. He served on the Council for Country Sports and spent eight years as vice-chairman of the British Field Sports Society.

His most recent activities included becoming a patron of the Country Alliance.

Grenadier Guard

Born in London in 1932, the wealthy landowner was a former Grenadier Guards who served in Berlin, the Suez campaign and in Cyprus.

The president of the Westminster Shooting Club and captain of the House of Commons team, he fought attempts to have the club closed down in the aftermath of the Dunblane massacre. He was also an unpaid member of the National Rifle Association Council.

In 1994 Mr Colvin failed to register a consultancy with a firm linked to South Africa, Strategy Network International.

The press reported it as being part of the cash-for-questions row as the firm had employed former Tory minister Neil Hamilton. But at the time Mr Colvin told the BBC: "It was not registered. It is an oversight which I regret".

Mr Colvin's first seat was Bristol North West, but in 1983 he moved to Romsey and Waterside in Hampshire.

Firm Thatcherite

Mr Colvin was on the Thatcherite Euro-sceptic wing of the party and voted for Peter Lilley in the 1997 Tory leadership contest.

He was also a close friend of the Prince of the Wales, and owned farms in Hampshire, woodland in Scotland and the village pub in Tangley.

In March 1998 he and his farm foreman were fined 1,000 with heavy costs for polluting a village water supply with 200,000 gallons of farm effluent.

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See also:
24 Feb 00 |  UK
Two missing in fire at MP's home
15 Jul 98 |  UK Politics
Tory 'off-message' over defence spending

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