Teddy Taylor: Wikis


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Sir Teddy Taylor

Teddy Taylor in 2009

In office
15th October 1964 – 3rd May 1979
Preceded by John Henderson
Succeeded by John Maxton

Member of the UK Parliament
for Southend East
In office
13th March 1980 – 1st May 1997
Preceded by Sir Stephen McAdden
Succeeded by constituency abolished

In office
1st May 1997 – 5th May 2005
Preceded by constituency created
Succeeded by James Duddridge

Born April 18, 1937 (1937-04-18) (age 72)
Birth name Edward MacMillan Taylor
Political party Conservative

Sir Edward MacMillan Taylor, usually Teddy Taylor (born 18 April 1937) is a British politician, and was a Conservative Member of Parliament 1964-1979 and 1980-2005. He was a leading member and sometime Vice-President of the Conservative Monday Club.


Early career

After having been a pupil at the High School of Glasgow, Taylor was a journalist on the Glasgow Herald and a Glasgow City Councillor from 1960. He first entered Parliament in the 1964 election as MP for Glasgow Cathcart, at the time being the youngest MP. He became a Scottish Office minister in Edward Heath's government. He resigned from this position in protest at the British signup to the EEC. Thanks to his strong personal following he held onto what was basically a working-class constituency in Cathcart, one of only two Conservative seats in Glasgow in the 1970s.

Early controversy

He was a controversial figure in his time in Scottish politics, known as Teddy "dial-a-quote" and "bring back the birch" Taylor. Brian Wilson, journalist and later Labour MP, memorably wrote that calling him by a nice cuddly name like "Teddy" was "like calling the hound of the Baskervilles 'Rover'".

The Monday Club

He joined the Conservative Monday Club at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Rome (which he opposed) and remained one of its staunchest supporters well into the 1990s. On behalf of the Club, in June 1974, he launched an attack on vandalism, saying in the House of Commons that those who defaced public buildings with aerosol paint should be made to clean the buildings themselves. He sought leave to introduce a Bill in parliament in October 1974 to restore capital punishment. The following January, referring to the murder of a London policeman by an IRA gunman, he said that "the answer was return of capital punishment, and added that "if the police want arms, no government could now refuse". He was on the editorial board which prepared the Club's October 1985 Conservative Party Conference issue of their newspaper, Right Ahead, to which he contributed a lengthy article entitled How Tories are Subsidising the Soviet War Machine. On 30 March 1990 he was the guest speaker at the Club's Surrey branch 21st Anniversary Dinner. He was an Honorary Vice-President of the Club until at least 1992.

Scottish issues

As Opposition Front Bench Spokesman on Scottish Affairs, Taylor said in November 1974 that a general directive to the National Coal Board should follow the guidelines of the Social Contract in any wage settlement. He said that the Labour government were being "thoroughly cowardly and hypocritical over the Social Contract" and asked the government spokesman in the House of Commons whether it was "just a sick joke".

In Margaret Thatcher's Shadow Cabinet

He was close to Margaret Thatcher, served as her Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, and it is expected that he would have become her Secretary of State for Scotland if he had held his seat at the 1979 election. However Glasgow bucked the British trend by showing a slight swing from Conservative to Labour: Taylor had the dubious distinction of being the only Conservative MP at that election (other than by-election victors) to lose his seat, to John Maxton.

Rejection by the electorate and a new seat

Taylor re-entered Parliament at a 1980 by-election for Southend East following the death of Sir Stephen McAdden, then, since 1997, representing Rochford and Southend East.

Eurorebel and resignation from Parliament

Policies of his included withdrawal from the European Union, the re-introduction of capital punishment, and of judicial corporal punishment of young offenders (birching, abolished in 1947). During John Major's government he was one of the Maastricht Rebels, and was expelled from the parliamentary party. Taylor stood down at the May 2005 general election.

Have I Got News For You

In 1994, Taylor made a memorably idiosyncratic appearance on the BBC panel show Have I Got News For You where he didn't seem to understand the light-hearted nature of the programme and used its forum for serious political debate. However, he redeemed himself with the revelation that he was a big fan of Bob Marley, an announcement which led to an invitation to present the prizes at the British Reggae Awards a week later, which he accepted.


Taylor is also a supporter of Unite Against Fascism. [1]


  • Copping, Robert, The Monday Club - Crisis and After, Current Affairs Information Service, Ilford, Essex, May, 1975, (P/B), pps: 17, 20, 22.
  • Taylor, Teddy, MP, and David Storey, The Conservative Party & The Common Market, published by the Conservative Monday Club, July 1982, (P/B).
  • Taylor, Teddy, MP, Proposals to Rescue the British Fishing Industry, Monday Club Policy Paper, December 1982.
  • Taylor, Teddy, MP, How Tories are Subsidising the Soviet War Machine, in Right Ahead newspaper published by the Conservative Monday Club, October 1985 Conservative Party Conference issue.
  • Taylor, Teddy, MP, The EEC - The Other Side of the Coin, in Right Ahead newspaper published by the Conservative Monday Club, October 1989 Conservative Party Conference issue.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Henderson
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Cathcart
Succeeded by
John Maxton
Preceded by
Sir Stephen McAdden
Member of Parliament for Southend East
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East
Succeeded by
James Duddridge
Preceded by
Paul Channon
Baby of the House
1964 – 1965
Succeeded by
David Steel

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