Ian Colin Taylor

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Ian Colin Taylor MBE (born 18 April 1945[1]) is a politician in the United Kingdom. He was the Conservative Party MP for Esher from 1987 to 1997, and then for Esher and Walton from 1997 to 2010.

Early life

Taylor went to Whitley Abbey School, Abbey Road, Coventry and studied at Keele University, receiving a BA (Hons) in Economics, Politics and Modern History in 1967. He then did research at the London School of Economics. In 1969, he joined Hill Samuel & Co. In 1971, he became the manager of the European Department at Stirling & Co. From 1975-8, he lived in Paris. He worked as a Director for Mathercourt Securities Ltd from 1980-91. He is an Associate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

Political career

He served as Minister for Science and Technology under John Major from 1994 to 1997. He was previously PPS at the Foreign Office, Dept of Health and Cabinet Office. He was Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland in 1997.

He is an ally of Kenneth Clarke, although in the 2005 Conservative leadership contest he backed David Davis.

Taylor is known for his pro-EU views. He was Chairman of the European Movement 2000-2005 and member of Britain in Europe Council until 2005. He chaired the Conservative Europe Group, formerly Conservative Group for Europe 2007-11. These views are at odds now with his generally Eurosceptic Conservative Party. In December 2000 he comfortably overcame an attempted de-selection campaign] by eurosceptics in his constituency.[2]

Ian Taylor was a Member of Parliament for 23 years until deciding to stand down at the 2010 General Election to resume a business career. 

He specialised in science and technology issues. He was Minister for Science, Technology & Space at the DTI during 1994 - 1997 in a Conservative Government. During this time he dealt with a wide variety of issues, including providing support for the next phase of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, increasing awareness of the importance of access to the early internet revolution and co-odinating Government support for the Roslin Institute which led to the cloning of Dolly the Sheep and the creation of the Human Genetics Advisory Commission in February 1997.  

He was Chairman of the Conservative Policy Task-force on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics 2005-2009. [3] He chaired the All-Party Parliamentary and Scientific Committee (the oldest all-party committee), which includes the Parliamentary Engineering Group. He was also an officer of several all-party Parliamentary committees, including the Office of Science & Technology, the Information Society Alliance (EURIM), PITCOM (Information Technology Committee) and the Corporate Social Responsibility Group.  

He was a member of the IPPR Commission on National Security 2007-09. [4] He was a Visiting Parliamentary Fellow at St. Antony's College Oxford in the Hilary Term 2007, lecturing on energy security.  He chaired the European Movement 2000-05 and the Conservative Europe Group 2007-11 and also in 1985-88.  He was chairman of the Conservative Foreign & Commonwealth Council in the early 1990s. He also chaired the Cuba Initiative 2006-2011. 

In 2003, he was one of only 15 Conservative MPs who voted against the Iraq War.

He is a supporter of shooting and smoking cigars.

From 1997 until 2010, he was a non-executive director of or adviser to various companies.


In 2009, Ian Taylor was not accused of wrongdoing in the expenses scandal that hurt several MPs. He had been claiming the maximum allowed for a second home allowance for a London home for four years between 2003 and 2008 - his main residence was near Guildford - but this information had been public since 2005.

Career after leaving Parliament

Ian Taylor has become chairman of two companies, on the board or advisory board of others, is on the Government's Science & Technology Facilities Council, on an ESA (European Space Agency) Advisory Board, chairs the National Space Academy steering group and is a Trustee of the Centre of the Cell.

During the last 12 years, Taylor served at various times as a non-executive director of several companies including: Next Fifteen Communications Group plc (for which he chaired the Audit and Remuneration committees); Avanti Communications Group plc; Petards Group plc (interim chairman, deputy chairman and audit committee chairman); Parkmead Group plc; Radioscape Limited and AXA-Framlington Investment Managers Limited. He was on the UK Advisory Board of Northrop Grumman 2008-10[6]

Personal life

Taylor married Carole Alport in 1974 and they have two sons.[1]


In 2008 he was the winner of the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Best Individual Achievement. This was for his work in promoting UK space activity, including his position as co-chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee, and also for his efforts to promote the uptake of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in UK education.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Biography Ian Taylor
  2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/1053801.stm
  3. An Innovative Society: Capturing the Potential of Science and Engineering Submission to the Shadow Cabinet Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Task Force Chairman, Ian Taylor MP, Autumn 2007
  4. http://www.ippr.org/security/
  5. CaSE (2013), Advisory Council, accessed 18 September 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 Biographical profile, ian-taylor.eu, accessed 18 September 2013