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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Michael Mates
Michael Mates

Date of birth

9 June 1934

Political profile

Michael Mates has been a Conservative MP for many years, having first been elected in 1974.

A classic old-school Tory and a former army officer, he is now a senior back-bencher.

He chairs the Northern Ireland Select Committee, and is also a member of the Intelligence and Security committee.

He had a brief ministerial career in the early 1990s, as a Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office, which was cut short when he resigned after presenting a watch to fugitive businessman Asil Nadir.

A "one Nation", pro-European Conservative, he did not thrive under Margaret Thatcher's leadership, and led the Conservative opposition to the poll tax, which he proposed should be banded.

He has as unfortunate 100% record of being on the losing side in Conservative leadership contests, having supported Willie Whitelaw, Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke (twice).

More recently, he was a member of the Butler review which investigated the accuracy of intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war.

Despite the fact that the Conservatives had withdrawn their support from the inquiry, he decided to remain on the committee in a personal capacity.

Contact

020 7219 5166

matesm@parliament.uk

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