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John Butterfill: Wikis


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Sir John Butterfill MP

Member of Parliament
for Bournemouth West
Assumed office 
9 June 1983
Preceded by John Eden
Majority 4,031 (11.9%)

Born 14 February 1941 (1941-02-14) (age 68)
Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Pamela Ross-Symons

Sir John Valentine Butterfill FRICS (born 14 February 1941, Surrey) is a British politician. He is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Bournemouth West.


Early life

Butterfill was educated at Caterham School and the College of Estate Management in London. In 1962 he began his career as a valuer with Jones Laing Wootton, before becoming a senior executive with the Hammerson Group in 1964. He was a director at the Audley Properties Group (now the Bovis Homes Group) from 1969 until he became the Managing Director of the St Paul's Securities Group. He became a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1974. He was elected as the Chairman of the Guildford Conservative Association from 1976-1982. In 1977 he became a senior partner in Curchod & Co Chartered Surveyors, where he remained until 1992. He was Director of ISLEF Building and Construction Ltd from 1985–91, and of the Pavilion Services Group from 1992-4

Parliamentary career

In 1979 Butterfill unsuccessfully contested London South East Inner at the European Parliamentary election but was defeated comfortably by Labour's Richard Balfe. He was selected to contest the Croydon North West by-election in 1981 which was caused by the death of Conservative MP Robert Taylor. It came as a great surprise when Bill Pitt won the seat for the Liberal Party, on a 24% swing and with a majority of 3,254. He was subsequently chosen to contest the south coast seat of Bournemouth West on the retirement of the veteran MP John Eden. Butterfill won the seat at the 1983 General Election with a majority of 13,331, and has remained the MP there since.

Butterfill has remained a backbencher for the entirety of his parliamentary career, he was however the Parliamentary Private Secretary PPS to the Secretary of State for Energy Cecil Parkinson in 1988, he remained Parkinson's PPS when he became the Secretary of State for Transport in 1989. His job ended when Parkinson resigned from the Cabinet at the election of John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher in 1990.

Butterfill has served on many select committees during his more than 20 year Westminster career. He has been responsible for introducing many Acts of Parliament including the Registered Homes (Amendment) Act 1991;[1] the Insolvency (Amendment) Act 1994;[2] and the Policy Holders Protection Act 1997.[3] He has recently been noted for campaigning for an increase in parliamentary pay and been quoted in the press as saying that "there are a lot of unhappy bunnies" in relation to MP's remuneration."

In 1995, he entered a bill to place the UK in the Central European Time. It was opposed by many Scottish MPs.[4]

He introduced the Financial Mutuals Arrangements Bill which was renamed and became the Building Societies (Funding) and Mutual Societies (Transfers) Act 2007.

On 17 March 2008, Butterfill announced that he will stand down at the 2010 general election.[5]



In May 2009, as part of the Daily Telegraph's publication of details, the newspaper revealed that for five years, Butterfill owned a six-bedroom country house in Woking, Surrey, 80 miles from his constituency. At the time, he designated a small flat in his Bournemouth constituency, bought for £56,000, as his “main home.” Said by Butterfill to have been bought as a wreck, he submitted regular claims under the second home allowance for the cost of running the Woking house, which had a swimming pool and extensive grounds. This included £17,000 on servants’ quarters alone, contributing up to £1,778 a month towards the mortgage interest, and was also reimbursed for council tax bills for the “staff annex”, where his housekeeper and odd job man lived.[6]

When Butterfill sold the Woking property for £1.2 million in 2005, he informed HM Revenue & Customs that it was his “primary residence”, meaning he was exempt from capital gains tax. In conversation with the Telegraph before publication of the story, Butterfill confirmed that he used part of the proceeds from the sale to pay for a £880,000 London town house, now worth an estimated £1 million.

According to the Telegraph, Butterfill now expected to pay at least £40,000 in capital gains tax, the appropriate payment for a profit of £100,000. He has also agreed to refund more than £20,000 for the claims he made for his staff annex and repairs on the Bournemouth flat, making his total repayments the highest of any MP to date.

Butterfill is one of the 98 MPs who voted to keep their expense details secret.[7]

Personal life

He married Pamela Ross-Symons in 1965 in Surrey and they have a son and three daughters. He was awarded a knighthood in 2003 for 'services to Parliament'. He is also a businessman and is a director and advisor to many companies, and is council member of the PDSA. His constituency includes the centre of Bournemouth. He speaks Spanish, Danish and French.


External links


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