Julian Brazier

Julian William Hendy Brazier TD (born July 24, 1953) is a British politician. He is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Canterbury. He is a shadow transport minister (with responsibility for Aviation and Shipping) and a prominent member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship.

Early life

Born into a military family, Julian Brazier was educated at the Dragon School, Wellington College, Berkshire, and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he obtained an MA degree in mathematics; he also attended the London Business School. He joined the Territorial Army aged 19 in 1972 and served for twenty years and was awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1993. He was the President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1973. He was employed by Chartered Consolidated Ltd 1975–1984, being involved in economic research from 1975-77, corporate finance from 1977-81, and was on the Executive Committee of the Board from 1981-4.

Julian Brazier contested the 1983 General Election at Berwick-upon-Tweed, but was comfortably defeated by the Liberal MP Alan Beith by 8,215 votes. In 1984, he became a management consultant with HB Maynard International (now owned by Accenture). He contested the safe Conservative seat of Canterbury at the 1987 General Election following the retirement of the sitting MP Sir David Crouch. He held the seat comfortably and Julian Brazier was thus elected as the Conservative MP for Canterbury with a majority of 14,891. He has remained as the MP for Canterbury since.

Parliamentary career

Within parliament, Brazier became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister of State at the Treasury Gillian Shepherd. He remained Shepherd's PPS after the 1992 General Election in her new capacity as the Secretary of State for Employment, he resigned in 1993 as a protest against defence cuts. He was awarded the 'Backbencher of the Year' at the annual Spectator awards in 1996. Following the 1997 General Election, he became a member of the Defence Select Committee.

It was not until after the 2001 General Election that Julian Brazier was given a job by Iain Duncan Smith, initially as an Opposition Whip in 2001, he became a spokesman on Work and Pensions in 2002. He was briefly Home Affairs spokesman in 2003, before being moved later in the year by the new Leader of the Opposition Michael Howard to be a spokesman on International Affairs. Brazier remains on the frontbench after the 2005 General Election as a spokesman on Transport.

Julian Brazier is a member of the Cornerstone Group of Conservative MPs. This group is considered to be on the right of the Conservative Party, and away from the more centrist direction of the leadership. Many Cornerstone members are also within the Better Off Out Group, advocating EU withdrawal, however Julian Brazier has never advocated this position.

Because of his military background, he has a special interest in the armed forces and has long been an advocate of military issues in the House of Commons. As a practising Roman Catholic, Brazier has been a long standing defender of traditional family values. Brazier supported a bill put forth by Laurence Robertson in June 2005 that would almost entirely ban abortion.

Personal life

Julian Brazier married Katherine Elizabeth Blagden on July 21 1984 in north-east Hampshire, and they have three sons (twins born July 1990, and another son born December 1992). He is the son-in-law of Brigadier General Paddy Blagden, a United Nations de-mining expert.

Road Accident

In February 2002, he was given a four-month suspended sentence following the death of a motorcyclist in a traffic accident in Italy on August 29 2001.

He was driving on the wrong side of the road approaching a sharp bend when he hit a motorcyclist, 42-year old Carlo Civitelli, near Siena. He used his TA training to give Mr Civitelli first aid at the scene, but the man died three days later. Italian police found that Mr Civitelli's helmet was not properly fitted and that he was probably speeding.

After the verdict, Julian Brazier said in a statement: "I am still deeply saddened by the tragic consequences of my lapse of attention. My thoughts are with the Civitelli family whose reaction to the whole terrible business has been so generous". He also said "as a parent, I shall carry the memory of this man's death with me for the rest of my life."

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