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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Edward Leigh
Edward Leigh

Date of birth

20 July 1950

Political profile

Edward Leigh has sat on the Conservative benches since 1983.

His brief ministerial career ended badly, but he has established himself as one of the most active backbenchers in the Commons, who attempts to advance his own specific agenda through assiduous questioning.

A Thatcherite and member of the "No Turning Back" group, his Euroscepticism was the downfall in 1993 of his three year old ministerial career.

He had led a group of ministers opposed to the Maastricht treaty, and John Major sacked him from his job as an under-secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Since his return to the backbenches, he has concentrated on issues such as international religious freedom, and the alleviation of poverty.

He is also an opponent of abortion, contraception and genetic research.

These latter traits led Labour and Liberal Democrats on the International Development Committee, which whips had agreed Edward Leigh would chair after the 2001 election, to refuse to elect him to that post.

He instead secured the role of chairing the influential Public Accounts select committee.

Contact

Commons office: 020 7219 3421

leighe@parliament.uk

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