Chris Grayling: Wikis


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Chris Grayling MP

Assumed office 
19 January 2009
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Dominic Grieve

In office
2 July 2007 – 19 January 2009
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Philip Hammond
Succeeded by Theresa May

In office
6 December 2005 – 2 July 2007
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Tim Yeo
Succeeded by Theresa Villiers

In office
10 May 2005 – 6 December 2005
Leader Michael Howard
Preceded by Oliver Heald
Succeeded by Theresa May

Member of Parliament
for Epsom and Ewell
Assumed office 
7 June 2001
Preceded by Archie Hamilton
Majority 16,447 (33.0%)

Born 1 April 1962 (1962-04-01) (age 47)
Marylebone, London
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Susan Clare Dillistone
Alma mater Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Religion Roman Catholic

Christopher Stephen "Chris" Grayling (born 1 April 1962) is a British politician. He is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Epsom and Ewell and the Shadow Home Secretary.


Early life

Chris Grayling was born in London and grew up in Buckinghamshire. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1984. He joined BBC News in 1985 as a trainee, becoming a producer in 1986, he left the BBC in 1988 to join Channel 4 as an editor on its Business Daily programme. He rejoined the BBC in 1991 as a business development manager on BBC Select. On leaving the BBC in 1993, he ran some television production companies, including managing the corporate communications division of Workhouse Ltd from 1992-5 and SSVC Group in Gerrards Cross from 1995-7. He became a management consultant in 1997 with Burson Marsteller, where he remained until his election to Westminster.

Prior to joining the Conservative Party, Grayling was a member of the Social Democratic Party, along with a number of other Cameron frontbenchers.[1]



Grayling was selected to contest the Labour-held marginal seat of Warrington South at the 1997 General Election, but was defeated by Labour candidate Helen Southworth by 10,807 votes. He was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Merton in 1998 and remained on the council until 2002.

Member of Parliament

He was elected to the House of Commons for the Surrey seat of Epsom and Ewell at the 2001 General Election following the retirement of the veteran Tory MP Archie Hamilton. Grayling held the seat with a majority of 10,080 and has remained the MP there since. He made his maiden speech on 25 June 2001.[1] In the constituency, he is praised for his long-running campaign to retain the local Epsom Hospital's emergency department.

Shadow Cabinet

He served as a member of the environment, transport and the regions select committee from 2001 until he was promoted to the Opposition Whips' Office by Iain Duncan Smith in 2002, moving to become a spokesman on health later in the year. He became a spokesman on education and skills by Michael Howard in 2003, and following the 2005 General Election he became a member of Howard's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, and since the election of David Cameron as the leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005 he has served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. In June 2007, he was made Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a post he held until January 2009 when he became Shadow Home Secretary.

Expenses claims

Betwwen 2001 and 2009,[2] Grayling claimed for a flat in Pimlico, close to the House of Commons, despite having a constituency home less than 17 miles away[3] and owning two buy to let properties in Wimbledon.[4] Grayling claimed over £100,000 for the flat between 2001 and 2007.[5] The Daily Mirror reported that Grayling would benefit from the increase in the price of the flat, at least £100,000.[5] Grayling says he uses the flat when "working very late" because he needs to "work very erratic and late hours most days when the House of Commons is sitting."[6]

During the Parliamentary expenses scandal, The Daily Telegraph reported that Grayling refitted and redecorated the flat in 2005 at a cost of thousands of pounds. The newspaper alleged Grayling "spread the cost over two years" by submitting receipts in both 2005-06 and 2006-07, avoiding the upper limit for expense claims.[3] Grayling said that both the water and electrical systems failed "leaving the place needing a major overhaul".[4]

Comparing Moss Side to 'The Wire'

Chris Grayling's comments in August 2009, comparing Moss Side to the Baltimore set TV series The Wire met with an angry response in Manchester, from locals and the police.[7] Having been out on patrol for a day with the police, observing the results of a shooting at a house, he described himself as having witnessed an "urban war" and said, "It’s the world of the drama series The Wire".[8] Police responded that gang related shootings in Greater Manchester had fallen by 82 percent on the previous year, and that to speak of "urban war" was "sensationalistic".[7] They said that he had not taken account of, or appeared to want to learn from, their widely admired success in reducing gun crime in the area through pursuing a multi agency approach to the problem.[8][7] Local councillor Roy Walters complained of the Moss Side unfairly being a "negative target" due to historical associations[7] Sticking by his comments, he said, "I didn't say Moss Side equals Baltimore. What I said is that we have in Moss Side symptoms of a gang conflict in this country which I find profoundly disturbing".[9] Baltimore, with a population of about 600,000, was noted as having 191 gun related murders in the past year, in comparison to Moss Side, population 11,000, which had none[7].

General Sir Richard Dannatt

On 7 October 2009 he was asked by the BBC about a Conservative Party plan to offer General Sir Richard Dannatt an advisory role. He, thinking it was a Labour appointment, said he hoped it was not a "political gimmick", and said "We've seen too many appointments in this government of external people where it's all been about Gordon Brown's PR.". When he realized he had misheard the question, and that it was a possible appointment of his own party, he said he was "really delighted" with the idea, adding "It's a bit embarrassing really because I would have liked to give General Dannatt a more enthusiastic welcome." [10]

Personal life

In April 1987 Grayling married Susan Clare Dillistone in Surrey and they have a daughter, Laura (born December 1992), and a son, Matthew (born August 1996). He supports Manchester United F.C. despite being born in London and can boast that he once hit a four off the Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee.[11].

Grayling's wealth is estimated at £500,000.[12]


  • The Bridgewater Heritage: The Story of Bridgwater Estates by Chris Grayling, 1983, Bridgewater Estates PLC
  • A Land Fit for Heroes: Life in England After the Great War by Christopher Grayling, 1985, Buchan & Enright ISBN 0-907675-68-9
  • Holt's: The Story of Joseph Holt by Christopher Grayling, 1985, Joseph Holt PLC
  • Just Another Star?: Anglo-American Relations Since 1945 by Christopher Grayling and Christopher Langdon, 1987, Virgin Books ISBN 0-245-54603-0
  • Insight Guide Waterways of Europe contribution by Chris Grayling, 1989, Apa Publications ISBN 0-88729-825-7

See also


  1. ^ Are there more ex-SDP members on the Tory front-bench than the Lib Dem front-bench?
  2. ^ Swaine, Jon (12 May 2009). "Chris Grayling to stop claiming second home allowances: MPs' expenses". Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  3. ^ a b Watt, Holly (2006-02-22). "Daily Telegraph: Chris Grayling (11 May 2009)". Retrieved 2009-05-13.  
  4. ^ a b Grayling, Chris (May 2009). "MPs Expenses - May 2009". Grayling's website. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  5. ^ a b Moss, Vincent (21 February 2009). "Top Tory claims £100,000 for flat he is 'rarely seen in'". Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  6. ^ Grayling, Chris (January 2008). "MPs Expenses - January 2008". Grayling's website. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  7. ^ a b c d e Osuh, Chris (2009-08-26). "Grayling's comments on Moss Side condemned". Manchester Evening News (Manchester Evening News). Retrieved 2009-12-12.  
  8. ^ a b Osuh, Chris (2009-08-25). "Top Tory compares Moss Side to The Wire". Manchester Evening News (Manchester Evening News). Retrieved 2009-12-12.  
  9. ^ No, author (2009-08-25). BBC "Anger at Tory's Wire comparison". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-12-12.  
  10. ^ "Grayling laughs off Dannatt gaffe". 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-10.  
  11. ^ The Daily Politics, BBC show
  12. ^ Samira Shackle, Stephanie Hegarty and George Eaton The new ruling class New Statesman 01 October 2009

External links

Video clips

Offices held

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Archie Hamilton
Member of Parliament for Epsom and Ewell

Simple English

Chris Grayling

Christopher Stephen Grayling (born April 1, 1962) is an English politician and a current Minister of State in the Department for Work and Pensions. He is the Member of Parliament for the Epsom and Ewell constituency in the United Kingdom. He was first elected in the 2001 general election.

He is a member of the Conservative Party.

Privy Council

He was appointed as a Privy Counsellor on 9 June 2010.[1]



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