Alistair Burt

Alistair Burt

Alistair James Hendrie Burt (born 25 May 1955) is a British politician. He is the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire.

Early life

Alistair Burt was born in Bury and was educated at the Bury Grammar School, where he was appointed Head Boy in 1973, and St John's College, Oxford where he was elected president of the Oxford Law Society in 1976 and graduated with a degree in jurisprudence law in 1977. He became an articled clerk with Slater Heelis & Co. of Manchester in 1978, becoming a solicitor with Watts Vallence & Vallence in 1980 where he remained until 1992.

Parliamentary career

He was elected as a councillor to the Haringey Borough Council in 1982 and left the council in 1984. He contested the new seat of Bury North at the 1983 General Election at which he was elected as the Conservative MP for Bury North with a majority of 2,792 votes. He represented the seat until 1997.

In Parliament Alistair Burt became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for the Environment Kenneth Baker in 1985, he remained as PPS to Baker in his role as Secretary of State for Education and Science from 1986 and in his role as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1989 until 1990. After the 1992 General Election Burt was promoted to the government of John Major and became the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Social Security where he remained until 1995 when he was promoted further with the rank of Minister of State at the same department. He was one of many ministers who lost their seats at the 1997 General Election when Bury North fell to Labour's David Chaytor by 7,866 votes.

Alistair Burt re-entered parliament at the 2001 General Election for the very safe Conservative seat of Bedfordshire North East which had been represented in parliament by the former Attorney General Nicholas Lyell who had retired. Burt was re-elected comfortably with a majority of 8,577, and has remained as an MP since. He was made an opposition spokesman on Education and Skills under William Hague in 2001, before he became the PPS to the Leader of the Opposition Iain Duncan Smith in 2002 and carried on as PPS to the new leader Michael Howard. After the 2005 General Election he rejoined the front bench and is a spokesman on Local Government Affairs and Communities. However in January 2008, Burt was promoted to Assistant Chief Whip and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for Internal Development.

Personal life

Burt married Eve Alexandra Twite in 1983 in Haringey, and they have a son (born September 1987) and a daughter (born April 1986). He is an active Christian. He is a member of the Tory Reform Group and enjoys athletics and football. He is a member of Biggleswade Athletics Club

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