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{{Infobox MP
 
{{Infobox MP
|name=Michael Attwell MP, BA
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|name=The Rt. Hon The Lord Attwell PC
|title =Member of Parliament
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|title =
 
|image = [[Image:Portillo.jpg]]
 
|image = [[Image:Portillo.jpg]]
 
|date of birth=16th April 1934
 
|date of birth=16th April 1934
 
|constituency=Mid Bedfordshire
 
|constituency=Mid Bedfordshire
|political party=[[Conservative Party]]
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|political party=Conservative Party
 
|religion=Christian
 
|religion=Christian
|spouse=Alexandra Attwell
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|spouse=Alexandra Phillips (m. 1962-1990) <br> Penelope Smythe (m. 1992-present)
|office=Member of Parliament}}
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|office=}}
   
'''Michael Attwell MP''' is the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire who was elected in February 1974. He was first made a junior Transport Spokesman in 1976 and served until 1977 when he was promoted to Shadow Industry Spokesman. When the party was returned to power in 1979, Attwell was again promoted to become Minister of State for Policing and Security at the Home Office.
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'''Michael Attwell '''was a British Conservative politician who served as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire from 1974 to 1992. He served in the government of Milly Calvert as Secretary of State for Energy from 1985 to 1987 and as Secretary of State for Defence from 1987 to 1990.
   
 
==Career==
 
==Career==
Mr Attwell was placed in charge of his portfolio barely a few weeks after a major riot. He has been instrumental in working with police officers to ensure a safer country and an effective and stronger police force to tackle civil disturbance. In the reshuffle of January 1981, he was sacked from the government.
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After being elected as MP for Mid Bedfordshire in February 1974, Attwell was first given a frontbench role in April 1976 within the Shadow Transport team as Shadow Minister for Rail. He served until June 1977 when he was moved to the Shadow Industry team as Shadow Minister for Industrial Harmony.
   
Attwell so far has been out of Government since Robert George Grosvenor came to power, however with Grosvenor's resignation in June 1981, he was tipped to return to Cabinet under the new Prime Minister. However, after refused Cabinet promotion once more by the new PM Robert Noble-Gordon, Attwell became a prominent backbench critic of the new government and was a key organiser in the backbench coup that removed Noble-Gordon from power in 1985. With the ascension of Michael Heseltine to the office of Prime Minister, Attwell finally achieved Cabinet rank as Secretary of State for Energy in 1985, then becoming Defence Secretary in 1987 at the start of the Conservative's third term in office. Despite being tipped as a potential successor of Heseltine, Attwell was sacked from the Cabinet in 1990. He remained in Parliament through the 1991 general election, running for Leader of the Conservative Party after Heseltine resigned, having had time to court backbench support in the year since his sacking. Attwell ended up winning the leadership, making a second dramatic political comeback.
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Upon the Conservative election victory in May 1979, Attwell was moved out of Industry and instead became Minister of State for Policing and Security at the Home Office. Attwell was placed in charge of his portfolio barely a few weeks after a major riot, in which he dealt with the aftermath. He worked with senior police officers to curb civil disturbance and was an advocate within the government to protect the police from expenditure cuts. After Thatcher's resignation in January 1981 and the election of Robert George Grosvenor to succeed her, Attwell was removed from the government despite having supported Grosvenor for the leadership.
   
Attwell would later win the 1996 general election against Neil Kinnock's beleaguered government, serving as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2002.
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When Grosvenor was forced to resign due to ill health in July 1981, Attwell supported Robert Noble-Gordon for the leadership but he was not asked to return to ministerial office. Over time, Attwell became a prominent backbench critic of the Noble-Gordon government and was re-elected despite a de-selection attempt at the 1983 general election. From the backbenches, Attwell was a key organiser in the backbench coup that forced Noble-Gordon's resignation in 1985 and the ascension of Milly Calvert as Prime Minister.
   
* MP for Mid Bedfordshire - February 1974 to May 2005
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Attwell was rewarded for his role in Calvert's ascension by being appointed as Secretary of State for Energy. He served for two years, during which time he oversaw the closures of coal mines and mass expansion of oil drilling in the North Sea. Following the 1987 general election, Attwell was appointed Secretary of State for Defence. As Defence Secretary, Attwell was notable for securing investment in new military technologies and playing a leading role in signing defence pacts and agreements with countries newly freed from the Soviet bloc.
* Shadow Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport - 1976 to 1977
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* Shadow Minister of State for Industry - 1977 to 1979
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In May 1990, the newspapers revealed that Attwell had been having an affair with Penelope Smythe, his secretary. The resulting scandal called into question whether he had breached security measures or made himself open to compromise. Attwell subsequently resigned as Defence Secretary at Calvert's request whilst his wife, Alexandra, ended their marriage and sold her story to the papers.
* Minister of State for Policing - 1979 to 1981
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* Secretary of State for Energy - 1985 to 1987
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Attwell remained as MP for Mid Bedfordshire until standing down at the 1992 general election, which saw the Calvert government defeated by Labour.
* Secretary of State for Defence - 1987 to 1990
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* Leader of the Opposition - 1991 to 1996
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Attwell was created Baron Attwell of Ampthill in the county of Bedfordshire in 1992.
* Leader of the Conservative Party - 1991 to 2002
 
* Prime Minister - June 1996 to September 2002
 
   
 
==Personal Life==
 
==Personal Life==
He is married to Alexandra Attwell and the couple have two children, Henry (Born: 1965) and Leslie (Born: 1967). His interests include Martial Arts, Cars and reading. He describes his political hero as Winston Churchill.
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He was married to Alexandra Phillips (b. 1935) from 1962 until their separation following his affair in 1990. The marriage produced two children, Henry (b. 1965) and Leslie (b. 1967).
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Following his divorce, Attwell married his former secretary and mistress, Penelope Smythe (b. 1959) in 1992. The marriage produced one child, Olivia (b. 1994).
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Olivia Attwell was later elected as MP for Sevenoaks at the 2019 general election.

Latest revision as of 17:29, July 13, 2020

The Rt. Hon The Lord Attwell PC
Portillo
Born 16th April 1934
Constituency Mid Bedfordshire
Political Party Conservative Party
Religion Christian
Spouse Alexandra Phillips (m. 1962-1990)
Penelope Smythe (m. 1992-present)

Michael Attwell was a British Conservative politician who served as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire from 1974 to 1992. He served in the government of Milly Calvert as Secretary of State for Energy from 1985 to 1987 and as Secretary of State for Defence from 1987 to 1990.

CareerEdit

After being elected as MP for Mid Bedfordshire in February 1974, Attwell was first given a frontbench role in April 1976 within the Shadow Transport team as Shadow Minister for Rail. He served until June 1977 when he was moved to the Shadow Industry team as Shadow Minister for Industrial Harmony.

Upon the Conservative election victory in May 1979, Attwell was moved out of Industry and instead became Minister of State for Policing and Security at the Home Office. Attwell was placed in charge of his portfolio barely a few weeks after a major riot, in which he dealt with the aftermath. He worked with senior police officers to curb civil disturbance and was an advocate within the government to protect the police from expenditure cuts. After Thatcher's resignation in January 1981 and the election of Robert George Grosvenor to succeed her, Attwell was removed from the government despite having supported Grosvenor for the leadership.

When Grosvenor was forced to resign due to ill health in July 1981, Attwell supported Robert Noble-Gordon for the leadership but he was not asked to return to ministerial office. Over time, Attwell became a prominent backbench critic of the Noble-Gordon government and was re-elected despite a de-selection attempt at the 1983 general election. From the backbenches, Attwell was a key organiser in the backbench coup that forced Noble-Gordon's resignation in 1985 and the ascension of Milly Calvert as Prime Minister.

Attwell was rewarded for his role in Calvert's ascension by being appointed as Secretary of State for Energy. He served for two years, during which time he oversaw the closures of coal mines and mass expansion of oil drilling in the North Sea. Following the 1987 general election, Attwell was appointed Secretary of State for Defence. As Defence Secretary, Attwell was notable for securing investment in new military technologies and playing a leading role in signing defence pacts and agreements with countries newly freed from the Soviet bloc.

In May 1990, the newspapers revealed that Attwell had been having an affair with Penelope Smythe, his secretary. The resulting scandal called into question whether he had breached security measures or made himself open to compromise. Attwell subsequently resigned as Defence Secretary at Calvert's request whilst his wife, Alexandra, ended their marriage and sold her story to the papers.

Attwell remained as MP for Mid Bedfordshire until standing down at the 1992 general election, which saw the Calvert government defeated by Labour.

Attwell was created Baron Attwell of Ampthill in the county of Bedfordshire in 1992.

Personal LifeEdit

He was married to Alexandra Phillips (b. 1935) from 1962 until their separation following his affair in 1990. The marriage produced two children, Henry (b. 1965) and Leslie (b. 1967).

Following his divorce, Attwell married his former secretary and mistress, Penelope Smythe (b. 1959) in 1992. The marriage produced one child, Olivia (b. 1994).

Olivia Attwell was later elected as MP for Sevenoaks at the 2019 general election.

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