Ed Vaizey bigraphy, stories - British Conservative commentator, politician and columnist.

Ed Vaizey : biography

5 June 1968 -

Edward Henry Butler Vaizey (born 5 June 1968) is the UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State post with responsibilities in both the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Vaizey was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Wantage at the 2005 General Election, and was re-elected in the 2010 General Election.

A qualified barrister, he is a regular media columnist and commentator.

Early life

Vaizey is the son of the late Lord Vaizey, a Life Peer, and Marina Vaizey, the well-known art historian. His family hails from Essex. As the son of a Peer he is entitled to be styled "The Honourable Edward Vaizey".

Vaizey spent part of his childhood growing up in Berkshire. He was educated at St Paul's School and Merton College, Oxford, where he rose to the rank of Librarian (Vice President) of the Oxford Union and took a BA in History, achieving a 2.1. After leaving Oxford, Vaizey worked for the Conservative politicians Kenneth Clarke and Michael Howard as an adviser on employment and education issues. He practised as a barrister for several years, specialising in Family Law and Child Care.


Vaizey first stood for Parliament at the 1997 General Election, when he was the candidate for Bristol East. In the 2001 UK General Election, he acted as an election aide to Iain Duncan Smith. He stood at the 2002 local elections in the safe Labour Ward of Harrow Road in the City of Westminster.

He is regarded as a moderniser in the Conservative Party, contributing in both policy and image terms. He was a speechwriter for Michael Howard, Leader of the Conservative Party until December 2005, and the editor of the Blue Books series, which looked at new approaches to Conservative policy in areas such as health and transport.

Vaizey was one of Michael Howard's inner circle of advisers and a member of a group of Young Conservatives sometimes disparagingly referred to as the "Notting Hill set", along with David Cameron — elected leader of the Party in December 2005 — George Osborne, Michael Gove, Nicholas Boles and Rachel Whetstone. Like Gove and Boles, he is a signatory of the Henry Jackson Society. He is also a Vice-Chairman of Conservative Friends of Poland.

Member of Parliament

In 2002, Vaizey was selected by Wantage Conservative Association to be its candidate for the 2005 General Election, to succeed the sitting MP, Robert Jackson, who subsequently crossed the floor to Labour. Vaizey won a two-thirds majority on the final ballot of members. He was elected as Member of Parliament in that election, with 22,394 votes. His majority was 8,017 over the Liberal Democrats. This represented 43% of the voters and a 1.9% swing from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives.

When first elected to Parliament, Vaizey was a member of the Standing Committee on the Consumer Credit Bill. Before being appointed to the front bench he was a member of the Modernisation and Environmental Audit Select Committees and was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative's Globalisation and Global Poverty Policy Group.

In November 2006, Vaizey was appointed to the Conservative front bench as a Shadow Minister for Culture, looking after Arts and Broadcasting policy.

In the 2010 General Election he received a vote of 29,284, which was 52% of the votes cast, gaining him an increased majority. While many senior members of the Conservative Party were in negotiations with the Lib Dems in the days after 6 May 2010, Vaizey appeared regularly on television to be interviewed as a representative of Conservative Party views at that time.

Expense claims

On 18 May 2009 the Daily Telegraph reported that receipts submitted by Vaizey show that he ordered a £467 sofa, a £544 chair, a £280.50 low table and a £671 table in February 2007 from Oka, an upmarket furniture shop. The Commons Fees Office initially rejected the claim as the receipt said that the furniture was due to be delivered to Vaizey's home address in West London, but was later paid when Vaizey advised the Fees Office that the furniture was intended for his second home at his Wantage constituency. Vaizey told the Daily Telegraph that we (he and his wife) "had it delivered to London because we would be in to collect it and we were driving down with it."

When these claims became public, Vaizey said that he had repaid the cost of the Oka furniture and the antique chair which he had bought with taxpayers' money: "I accept that the £300 armchair was an antique item and therefore that claim should not have been made. I also accept that the Oka items could be deemed as being of higher quality than necessary. I have paid back both these claims. I have not claimed for any other furniture bought for my constituency home at any time before or since." Vaizey has described himself to be "relatively affluent".http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/default.asp?pageRef=188

In November 2011, it was further reported that Vaizey had submitted expenses claims of 8p for a 350 yard car journey and 16p for a 700 yard journey.'The Oxford Times', November 10, 2011

Media career

Vaizey has been a regular commentator for the Conservative Party in the news media. He has written regular comment pieces for The Guardian since 1998, and contributes articles to the Sunday Times news review. He has also written for The Times and the Daily Telegraph and written editorials for the Evening Standard. Vaizey is also a regular broadcaster, appearing on Fi Glover's and Edwina Currie's shows on BBC Radio Five Live, as a regular panellist on five’s The Wright Stuff with Matthew Wright, BBC Radio 4's Despatch Box and Westminster Hour, and occasionally as a presenter of People and Politics on the BBC World Service.

On 24 September 2010, Vaizey was named Number 10 in The 2010 Guardian Film Power 100 list. He enjoyed a cameo role as an Oxfordshire MP in the feature film Tortoise in Love (2012).

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine