Politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for The Cotswolds
Organization: Parliament of the United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 23 March 1953
Age: 70 years old
Place of Birth: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Sir Geoffrey Robert Clifton-Brown FRICS (born 23 March 1953) is a British politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for The Cotswolds. He also serves as Vice-President of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists and as Treasurer of the 1922 Committee.
Clifton-Brown, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Clifton-Brown and a descendant of James Clifton Brown, was born in Cambridge. He was educated at Tormore School, in Upper Deal, Kent and then Eton College, before attending the Royal Agricultural College where he qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1975. He began his career as a graduate estate surveyor at the Property Services Agency in Dorchester and, later in 1975, became an investment surveyor with Jones Lang Wootton. He became the vice chairman of the Norfolk North Conservative Association in 1984. He was elected as Constituency Chairman in 1986, a position he held until he resigned in 1991 in order to stand for election as a Conservative candidate.
Conservative parliamentary constituency of Cirencester and Tewkesbury, following the retirement of the former Cabinet minister Nicholas Ridley. He retained the seat at the 1992 general election, with a majority of 16,058, and made his maiden speech on 12 June 1992.
When newly elected he became a member of the Environment Select Committee, where he remained until 1995. Clifton-Brown was then appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Douglas Hogg, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Later his constituency was abolished, but he contested and was elected for the newly drawn constituency of Cotswold at the 1997 general election and returned to Parliament as a backbencher, whilst William Hague was the Leader of the Opposition. After Iain Duncan Smith became leader of the Conservative Party, Clifton-Brown became the Shadow Minister for Local and Devolved Government Affairs in 2002.
Following the 2005 general election, he retained the seat of Cotswold and returned to Westminster as assistant Chief Conservative Whip. On the accession of David Cameron as Leader of the Conservative Party, he was appointed the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment.
Following the 2010 election and the formation of the subsequent Coalition government, Clifton-Brown returned to the back benches, also making overseas visits in his role as Chairman of the Conservative Party's International Office. At this time he became the Parliamentary Chairman of the Conservative Friends of the Chinese. In 2014, he received critical attention in the media following a visit to China paid for by the Chinese authorities. In a 2015 interview with CNN, Clifton-Brown stated that his family has been doing business in China since the 1920s. Clifton-Brown has remained engaged in dialogue with Chinese authorities.
During the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal in 2009 Clifton-Brown switched his main residence from his house in the Cotswolds to a London flat. The Cotswolds Conservative Party Association said that Clifton-Brown had acted within the rules.
In 2018 he was honoured as a Knight Bachelor for political and public service.
In 2019, Clifton-Brown was asked to leave the Conservative Party Conference being held in Manchester, after a dispute with security staff who prevented him from entering a meeting room with a guest who did not have a relevant identification pass. According to a BBC Online report, he later apologised and described the incident as a "minor verbal misunderstanding".
Clifton-Brown is related to seven other previous members of Parliament, including Geoffrey Benedict Clifton-Brown, also Douglas Clifton Brown and Harry Hylton-Foster who both became Speaker of the House of Commons. Howard Clifton Brown was elected as member of Parliament on several occasions.
Clifton-Brown married Alexandra Peto-Shepherd in 1979. They have two sons Edward (35) and Robert (33) and one daughter, Jacqueline (37). They divorced in 2004. He is now married to Kym Erlich. He has an interest in UK-China relations and is chair of the Conservative Friends of the Chinese. He is a Freeman of the City of London.
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