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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 08:54 GMT 09:54 UK
David Maclean
David MacLean

Date of birth

16 May 1953

Political profile

David Maclean, first elected to the Commons in a 1983 by-election, was a minister for eight years under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, most notably at the Home Office.

He gained a reputation as a dogmatic Thatcherite, with strong views on law and order - hitting the headlines with claim that the only thing he would give a beggar "is a piece of my mind".

After the 1997 election, he left the frontbench.

His constituency was ravaged by the foot and mouth disease, with over 40% of UK cases occurring within its boundaries.

In the 2001 Tory leadership election, he initially managed David Davis' campaign, before being called in to rescue Iain Duncan Smith's.

He was rewarded with the influential role of Opposition chief whip, and has since been described as "one of the best since 1945."

In 2003, he announced that, since 1996, he had been suffering from multiple sclerosis.

When Iain Duncan Smith was deposed, Maclean resigned as Opposition Chief Whip to allow the next leader "a completely free hand."

Michael Howard, however, offered him the same position just two weeks later.

Contact

Commons office: 020 7219 6494

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