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James Clappison MP

Member of Parliament
for Hertsmere
Assumed office 
9 April 1992
Preceded by Cecil Parkinson
Majority 11,093 (26.1%)

Born 14 September 1956 (1956-09-14) (age 53)
Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Helen Margherita Carter
Alma mater Queen's College, Oxford

William James Clappison, commonly known as James Clappison, (born 14 September 1956) British politician and barrister. He is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hertsmere.


Personal life

The son of a Yorkshire farmer, James Clappison was born in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire and educated at the independent St Peter's School, York, before attending The Queen's College, Oxford where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1978. While at Queen's, he was elected to the presidency of the Junior Common Room as a Conservative.[citation needed] He was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1981 and has been a practising barrister since. He married Helen Margherita Carter in July 1984 in Leeds and they have a son (born March 1987) and three daughters (born April 1985, August 1989 and April 1995).

Parliamentary career

He contested the safe Labour parliamentary seat of Barnsley East at the 1987 General Election where he came second, some 23,511 votes behind Terry Patchett. He also contested the Yorkshire South European Parliament seat at the Euro elections of 1989. He was selected to fight the May 1990 Bootle by-election following the death of Allan Roberts. He was defeated by Mike Carr by 23,517 votes. Carr served as the Labour MP for Bootle for just 57 days before he died of a heart attack on 20 July 1990. Clappison contested Bootle again at the November by-election where he was defeated heavily once more by the new Labour candidate Joe Benton to the tune of 19,465 votes. He was rewarded for his efforts by securing the nomination for the safe Conservative seat of Hertsmere, which became vacant on the retirement of Cecil Parkinson. James Clappison was safely elected at the 1992 General Election with a majority of 18,735. He made his maiden speech on 19 May 1992,[1] during which he spoke of the organised crimes and anti-Semitism against his Jewish constituents.

On his election he became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Emily Blatch at the Department of Education, and from 1994 at the Home Office. He was promoted to government by John Major in 1995 as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment until the defeat of the Major government at the 1997 General Election. Since the 1997 general election, Clappison has been a Shadow Home Office Minister, before being moved to Education and Employment by William Hague in 1999 and then to be a Shadow Treasury Minister in 2000. Under the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith he was a Shadow Work and Pensions Minister until he left the frontbench in 2002, and has been a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee since. He is currently a Shadow Work and Pensions Minister again.[2]

In 2009, Mr Clappison was involved in the Parliamentary expenses scandal.[3]


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External links


News items

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Cecil Parkinson
Member of Parliament for Hertsmere


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