WORK and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb has announced he will stand in the Conservative Party leadership election. Here’s everything you need to know about him.
In a nutshell....
This Welsh 43-year-old father-of-two has been in Parliament for 11 years as MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire and was promoted to Welsh Secretary and then Work and Pensions secretary earlier this year. A rising star with youth just about on his side, he breaks the typical Tory mold having been brought up on a council estate by a mother who claimed benefits. He voted Remain at the EU referendum, is a One Nation Tory and a committed Christian.
Where was he born?
In Inverness, Scotland, to Scottish mother. The family then moved to Wales but his parents split up when he was eight and he was raised in Haverfordwest and attended Baptist church. His mother was on benefits during his childhood and he often talks of how she eventually managed to get off the benefits cycle and into work. which gave her more independence.
Where was he educated?
At a local primary school then a grammar school. He went on to study politics at the University of Bristol and graduated in 1995. He also has an MBA from the London Business School.
His first jobs...
After university he joined the Conservative Party and began working for Christian Action Research and Education parliamentary intern and in 1996, he became the Parliamentary Affairs Officer for the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services. He was an election monitor in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1998 and started work as a policy manager at the London Chamber of Commerce, then a marketing consultant.
Standing for Parliament...
In 1998, while living in London, Crabb was elected as the chairman of the Southwark North and Bermondsey Conservative Association, a position he held until 2000. In 2001, he stood for Parliament in the seat where he grew up – Preseli Pembrokeshire and came second, but in 2005 he took the seat from Labour and was at the time the youngest of the Conservative intake. He had a majority of 607 votes, this increased to 4,605 and 42.79% of the vote in 2010 and made another small increase in 2015 to 4,969.
Why do the party like him...
He earnt respect straight away by being one of the three Welsh Conservative MPs who ended Labour’s domination in Wales that had existed since 1997. He was ultra loyal to David Cameron, always backing welfare cut-backs and austerity budget proposals. He was a natural choice for promotion when Iain Duncan Smith resigned.
Where are his weak spots...
He voted against same sex marriage.
He is married to Beatrice Monnier, who is French, and they have two children Ioan and Isabelle.
He likes to play the guitar and rugby and is in the House of Commons and House of Lords rugby teams. He has also run three London marathons.
In his own words...
“Every party should want to see welfare spending come down. That should be an aspiration for all of us because what you’re saying is we are working towards a society where there are fewer people caught in dependency, fewer people who are out of work and need that intervention from the state”.
When delivering the Conservative Christian Fellowship’s Wilberforce lecture he said we live in an age when “it is easier for a politician to admit to smoking weed or watching porn than it is to admit that they might take prayer seriously in their daily life”.
“In old industrial communities like the South Wales valleys, which have seen billions of pounds of EU funding, a sense of political estrangement and abandonment drove voters even harder towards Brexit.”
“Even in places with low levels of immigration, this issue trumped all others on the doorsteps.”