|Current Positions:||Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2001- present)|
Member of Parliament for Birmingham East (1987-present)
|Term of Office:||7 June 2001 to present|
|Birthdate:||18 June, 1952|
|Place of Birth:||Manchester, England, United Kingdom|
|Marital Status||Married to Anne Hacker|
|Political party||Conservative Party|
|Languages spoken|| English|
Christopher William Marshall (born 18 June, 1952) is the fifty second Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He took office on 7 June 2001 after winning the 2001 General Election in a landslide against the Labour government of Tony Blair. Prior to entering Number 10, Marshall had been Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Secretary of State for Administrative Affairs.
As Prime Minister, Marshall holds the positions of First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service.
Chris Marshall was born on 18 June, 1952 in Manchester. His father was an architect, and Marshall was educated in a Grammar School. Marshall managed to gain entry into the London School of Economics in 1970. He gratuated with a degree in economics, and took up a teaching position at Birmingham City University Business School.
Marshall was a firm believer in free markets, and this enabled him to become close to the government of Enoch Powell, writing several papers to advise them on economic policy. Marshall remained with the university until 1982. After that, he became the economics editor of the magazine Reform. In this time, Marshall became more involved in Conservative politics, joining the party in the constituency of Birmingham East. In 1987, he gained preselection for Birmingham East, and won the seat in the 1987 General Election.
Politics and GovernmentEdit
After two years in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Thatcher appointed Marshall Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of Transport. During 1991, he was rumoured to have been important in ensuring that the Ministry of Transport did not get the responsibility for developing an Integrated National Transport Policy. After the political ramifications of the policy became clear, Marshall was rewarded by being appointed Economic Secretary to the Treasury. In this post, Marshall pushed for further free-trade, and deregulation of the British economy, and was partially successful. Marshall became popular with the party, however he was not favoured by the new Prime Minister, John Major. Marshall did not aid matters by writing articles criticising Major's policy of negotiating with the Provisional IRA. Marshall however had a good following in the party, and was appointed Secretary of State for Industry (to appease his supporters, who felt that Marshall should have a Cabinet post). This appointment is an irony as Marshall had advocated the abolition of this department before entering Parliament. Marshall as Secretary of State for Industry set about reducing the Department's activities. The Daily Mail called him "Mr. Cuts" as both of the budget submissions he made for his Department were smaller than the previous (the trend in all other departments was for increasing requests to the Exchequer). Major, in another attempt to marginalise Marshall shunted him off to a lesser Ministry, and another one that Marshall wanted abolished, the Department of Administrative Affairs. In the DAA, Marshall met the two civil servants who he would come to value highly, Sir Humphrey Appleby, and Bernard Woolley.
The defeat of the Major Government by the Labour Party (lead by Tony Blair) in 1997 put Marshall on to the Opposition benches. A month after losing the Premiership, Major resigned the leadership in favour of William Hague. Hague, a Thatcherite appointed Marshall has his deputy and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. In that position, Marshall did his best to highlight the fact that government spending was growning more quickly than the economy and the "the situation could not long continue".
Marshall also spoke out often on the issue of terrorism in Northern Ireland, from both Nationalists and Unionists. Hague was viewed as unprepared to lead the Opposition, and not fit to go into Number 10. In 2000, fearing attack, Hague reshuffled the Shadow Cabinet, bringing in Michael Portillo as Shadow Chancellor. Michael Portillo was further to the left than most Tories, and his elevation was seen as an attempt to drive the Conservatives to the left to attract Labour voters (who, according to Marshall "wouldn't vote Tory if we put up Karl Marx, and Ho Chi Minh"). Marshall was to be relegated to the Opposition Back Bench. Marshall responded by challenging Hague for the leadership, promising a shift back to real classical liberal-conservativism, and most importantly, victory in the 2001 General Election. Marshall was successful in the leadership challenge, and in 2001, Marshall led the Tories to victory in the General Election, with a majority government of 379 seats.
When Marshall entered Number 10, he found Sir Humphrey waiting for him as Cabinet Secretary. Marshall also brought Bernard Woolley in as his Principal Private Secretary. Marshall kept the same Chief Political Advisor he had as Opposition Leader, Dorothy Wainwright (who was also William Hague's Chief Political Advisor). Unlike many Tory Prime Ministers, Marshall has always been loathe to appoint Members of the House of Lords to the Cabinet. There are currently no Lords in the Cabinet, and the only member of the House of Lords in the Tory leadership is The Rt Hon. The Lord Strathclyde, who is the Leader of the House of Lords.
While in office, Marshall has achieved the following:
- Liberalisation of gun laws including:
- Legalisation of semi-automatic rifles, and shotguns
- Massive increases in penalties for using a firearm (or airgun or imitation firearm) in the commission of a crime)
- Concealed carry permits in England, Wales, and Scotland
- Firearms licensing changed to a 'shall issue', meaning the Crown must show grounds to deny an application including:
- Severe mental illness
- Conviction of a felony
- Drug use convictions
- Tax reforms as follows
- Income tax rates as follows:
- £0-£6999: 0%
- £7000-£12,999: 3/- per Pound over £7,000
- £13,000- : 4/6 per Pound over £13,000
- Dividend income made the same as other forms of income (i.e. the amounts above refer to all income including wages, salaries, interest, rent (charged), and dividends)
- Company tax reduced to 25% on all profits not reinvested or paid as dividends
- Death tax abolished
- Capital gains tax computed in constant pounds
- Income tax rates as follows:
- Immigration conditions tightened
- Removal of economic protections
- Repeal of the Race Relations Act
- Removal of tax-deductible status for unions that engage in political donations
- Pickets forbidden to block access in any way (i.e. they are required to leave a gap in a picket line which is to be no less than 20 feet wide and which must be adjacent to an entrance/exit of a work site. Any deviation will result in an injunction against the strike, and fines to the union. Pickets may assemble only on public space, and not on the property of an employer unless the union has the employer's consent.
- A new Data Protection Act, with real safeguards, and an active Data Protection Commission.
- The beginning of a program to replace Trident, and the UK's other nuclear weapons
- An extensive upgrade of the SA80 weapon system
- A major rebuild of the CVR(T) series of vehicles
- The strengthening on Habeus Corpus (repealing Blair government legislation undermining it)
- Total ban on unwarranted search, warrants to be signed by a judge (not a clerk)
- Jury trial for all indictable offences
- Abolition (in which the organisation is dissolved, all staff made redundant, all property sold, and all records destroyed) of a series of QUANGOs including
- All self-financing regulating agencies
- The Commission for Racial Equality
- The Equal Opportunities Commission
- Arts Council (and all related bodies)
- All Regional Development Agencies
- Introduction of paid advertising to the BBC, with reductions in the license fee (finally abolished in 2008)
- University grants changed to a government scholarship scheme in which government departments fund certain scholarships in exchange for a term in the Civil Service
- Schooling control returned to Local Education Authorities, Whitehall funding moved to a model in which the amount of funding is determined by the number of students
Marshall has been married to Annie since 1975. Annie was born and raised in Aldershot (home of the Parachute Regiment). They have a daughter Lucy who was born in 1986. Lucy Marshall is an honours student at Oxford University. She has on occasion been politically active, taking positions contrary to those of her father. Politics aside, Lucy and Chris Marshall are extremely close.
Marshall is a keen shooter. He is mainly a target shooter, but occasionally hunts. He collects military firearms, and still appears at Bisley.