The Rt Hon John Redwood MP

John Redwood won a free place at  Kent College, Canterbury, and  graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of  All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of   a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired  a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He has been MP for Wokingham since 1987.

John was an Oxfordshire County Councillor in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s he was Chief Policy Advisor to Margaret Thatcher. He urged her to begin a great privatisation programme, and then took privatisation around the world as one of its first advocates before being elected to Parliament for Wokingham. He was soon made a minister, joining the front bench in 1989 as Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Trade and Industry. He supervised the liberalisation of the telecoms industry in the early 1990s and became Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities after the 1992 General Election.

Shortly afterwards, John joined the Cabinet and served as Secretary of State for Wales from 1993 to 1995. In opposition he  acted as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1997-1999), Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1999-2000) and Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation (2004-2005). In the 1990s he campaigned widely to keep the pound, and wrote several books and articles explaining why the Euro would be wrong for the UK. (Our Currency, our country; Just Say No).

John subsequently served as Chairman of the Economic Policy Review (2005-2010) undertaken by the Opposition. A copy of the report is available here. He has been Chairman of the Conservative  Economic Affairs Committee since 2010. John stood for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1995 and again in 1997.

John was a fellow of All Souls from 1972 to 1987 , again from 2003 to 2005, and since 2007. He is currently a Visiting Professor for Middlesex University Business School and has published a number of books including ‘Superpower Struggles‘, on the European Union, China and the United States, ‘Just Say No‘ on why the UK should reject further European integration, and ‘Singing the Blues‘, his personal history of the Conservative Party throughout the last thirty years. His most recent publications are ‘I Want to Make a Difference, But I Don’t Like Politics‘, which examines the reason for the decline in membership of political parties and those voting in local and General Elections, and After the Credit Crunch: No More Boom and Bust, which considers the reasons behind the global recession and why Britain has been hit especially hard.

John is a frequent commentator in the media and is a keen cricketer and water sports enthusiast, and supports a number of different charities. He is an Ambassador for the Variety Club of Great Britain.


  1. Sheila Bailey
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Heard you on the radio this am. Thank you for voicing what so many feel. What influence can one voice have in such a medley of disparate interests? I remember when we stood alone in 1939, and thank goodness we did!

    I was reminded of “Dare to be a Daniel! Dare to stand alone! I think it was a temperance hymn which went on “Dare to stand outside a pub and take your wages home!” Perhaps not totally inappropriate. It would be good for the UK not to have to fund the European machinery.
    Kind regards

    Sheila Bailey

    • Heather Pfeiffer
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Dear John Redwood
      Oh dear! I see you chose to publish the above email with its inappropriate reference to 1939 when we stood up to Nazi Germany when Germany was controlled by a brutal dictator. As you said yourself Germany is now a modern democracy and we stand shoulder to shoulder to preserve the values of western Europe and our shared economies. References to 1939 are appropriate only to the speeches of popular demagogues and those who breed hatred.
      Heather Pfeiffer

      Reply: I refer to Germany and German as a modern democracy. I try not to censor too much on this site when others have differing v iews.

    • david
      Posted January 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      ‘It would be good for the UK not to have to fund the European machinery.’



  2. Patrick Foreman
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Durihg a long working life, I was careful to create a pension that would serve me in addition to the state pension once I had retired.
    Due to the latest revisions in G.A.D. etc., upon the standard 5-year review, the amount I get monthly has been reduced by some 40%. !!
    This is my money – I still pay tax on it – and yet the Pensions Minister (Steve Webb) decided – against the will of the whole pensions industry to reduce this by a crippling amount. This is entirely unfair, mostly to Conservative voters i.e.those who bother to save!!!
    This must be something that your core voters need our M.P. to take up the cudgels for.

    reply: Are you saying your pension in payment has been cut by 40% gross? If so, which scheme and why?

  3. Posted January 18, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood

    With regards to your recent e-mail with regards to the English Passport Blog.

    Please note that the orginal article was taken from:-

    Here >>


    If this is NOT what you said then please forward the correct words to MyStory@EnglishPassport.org and the original article will be amended.

    Many thanks

    English Passport
    Reply: The place to take my view from is this website, which contains exactly what I wrote. Anyone can see my view has been doctored, and I have written a formal letter requiring that it be corrected with an apology.

  4. andrew Paton
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    you are amazing a true english gent with a great sense of humour

    • Gordon
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

  5. Maggie Heath
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Can you please explain why the Conservatives think we will all rush out and build conservatories when people are struggling with lack of jobs and income coming in ? I know this is over simplyfing it but personally I feel somewhat let down by this government – they just do not seem to “get it” – people will not spend if they feel they wont have a job next week – it is not simplified planning that is required or big new shopping centres. They seem not to have run out of ideas but not to have had any in the first place – very disappointing.

  6. Remington Norman
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink


    It would be interesting to have your views on the news that HMRC is to write off £950m in ‘uncollectable’ PAYE. It has seemed to me for some time that government is incapable of handling public projects wisely or cost-effectively. For example: Home Office, unfit for purpose; border agency, unfit for purpose; rail infrastructure costs – grossly underestimated; defence procurement – massively over budget (Eurofighter etc) yet front line forces ill-equipped; IT projects – many abandoned after hundreds of millions spent; fire-stations: new build to consolidate services – now unrentable white elephants. Now the NHS, for which Mr Cameron has (ill-advisedly, in my view) ring-fenced expenditure, is seen to be sub-standard in many critical areas.

    Why is no one accountable for mis-application of funds, or prosecuted where injury or death results from incompetence? In the private sector, as you are well aware, such defalcation would be heavpunished.

  7. Chris
    Posted February 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Why is there no mention on this page of the royal SPANKING you got from the other John… you know…. John Major, seriously his political carreer was almost dead, the country would pick anyone but him… yet still your party would rather have him than you… LOL

  8. Raymond Parrott
    Posted November 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    To my mind, it is an indictment of the Conservative Party members and leadership that you have not been given more power and influence. Since having discovered your website many months ago now, I have been an assiduous reader…

    Redwood for Leader and Prime Minister!

    How about then enlisting Lord Tebbit as Chief Policy Advisor?

    Well, one can but dream…

  9. Doug Hope
    Posted March 15, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Sir, I’ve just watched you’re recent speech outlining your concerns about the ever increasing influence of the EU in our lives. I welcome the measured , succinct and irrefutable arguments you put forward. What an asset you would be to us UKIP supporters who have left our traditional parties for precisely the reasons you so eloquently outline. Please consider joining us before your worst fears are realised.

  10. Posted June 13, 2015 at 11:10 pm | Permalink


    Since more than 80% of UK law is made in Brussels why does parliament still employ 650 wasteful troughers at vast expense? They have no more power than the average parish council.

    Reply The last Parliament declined to cut the number of MPs when we proposed it. This Parliament has the task of restoring powers to Parliament to make the jobs more worthwhile. Parliament still has a lot more power than the average parish council!

  11. Sophie Martin
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    I heard you for the first time on Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’ on Saturday and it was thoroughly absorbing listening to your erudite and thoughtful comments on our reasons for leaving the EU and I very much hope you play a pivotal role and your voice is heard through the coming months on why it is time for the United Kingdom need to leave the European Union.
    Very best regards,
    Sophie Martin.

  12. John H Webb
    Posted March 15, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi John
    Just reading through your site for the first time having previously had the pleasure of listening to you at first hand.
    Although the first item above is friendly, it is dated 2011. The latest at the top would produce a more modern appearance.

  13. Jo Marsh
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but under The Education Act 1996, Article 406, “Political Indoctrination” is unlawful in schools.

    My point here is the suggestion by the prime minister who urges youngsters to tell their parents and grandparents to back EU membership. This is wrong and he should not say such things. Whatever the case, our youngsters must not be ‘indoctrinated’.

    Mr Cameron further stated “think about your children, about your grandchildren, think about the country and the world you want them to grow up in”. I personally find his remarks offensive as I don’t need the prime minister suggesting how I should vote.

    While the prime minister is entitled to hold and express his PERSONAL views on the EU, he should not at the same time be directly, or indirectly, aiming remarks at children who don’t have a vote in the first place.

    Personally, I want my children and grandchildren to grow up in a self governing island nation, as it once was, that is free to make its own laws and to trade with whomever we wish on a GLOBAL basis, and where the UK parliament and our court structures are supreme, and the unelected EU and its courts are not.

    I do NOT want them growing up in a federalist union where the UK is simply a zone of an unaccountable, undemocratic political union with continental Europe, which has been forced upon UK citizens over decades at ever increasing costs, and without any mandate whatsoever.

    For these and MANY more reasons, WE MUST BREXIT to take back control of our own country. We have the right as free citizens to point OUR country in the direction WE want, in our national interest as a free nation. NO UK prime minister has the right to give away our national heritage or sovereignty, yet Mr Cameron and those before him seek to do exactly that.

    Some may call this ‘inward looking’, but the reverse is true. The EU is ‘protectionist’, but the majority UK opinion is to reach out on a global basis, and re-establish our strong links with The Commonwealth (hardly inward looking). We cannot achieve our preferred desire of self governance, and so on, whilst the UK stays shackled in political union with continental Europe.

    There are many things we’re not part of, like the Euro and Schengen, to name but two examples, and we never will be. But there are many more things the UK is part of, and these don’t require EU membership.

    Make no mistake, the ONLY direction of travel so far as the EU elite are concerned, is to achieve a federalist community called EUROPE, and I believe they wont stop THEIR agenda to reach their goal.

    Mr Cameron is on record as saying he will NEVER allow the UK to slide into a federal Europe, yet that is exactly what he and others seek to keep us attached to – AT HUGE COST TO THE UK. At present the UK is the second highest net contributor to the EU. Is it not time we had our money back to do our own thing? We don’t need another very expensive tier of unaccountable bureaucracy to be successful. EU ‘red tape’ costs UK business £billions every year, yet around 95% of UK business does not export to the EU.

    The ONLY way to put the brakes on is by voting BREXIT.

    We MUST, if we are to take Mr Cameron seriously, remember what he set out to achieve. If we are now to believe he achieved substantial “renegotiation” that everyone knows he never achieved, then he is, with respect, deceiving the British people into thinking otherwise, and deluding himself.

    One may then query, rightly in my opinion, as to WHY Mr Cameron and others are attempting to surrender our country ‘down the river’ without a shot being fired, with ‘surrender’ being the operative word.

    Indeed, why would the prime minister of ANY country seek to sell out their own citizens.

    Reply I moderate this site and find these very long contributions are very time consuming. If you wish to remove a past post then let me know and I will delete it up I can locate it. You can always post a replacement

  14. Jo Marsh
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you John. I appreciate and understand your response. Would you please delete my post dated March 29, 2016 at 7:19pm (and this reply). Keep up the great push for brexit. It is much appreciated. Thank you

  15. Posted April 7, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    thanks for the truth, I am with you on out,bring the pm down here , whats he frighten of.

  16. Margaret
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    How many steps will it take before the remainians have orders put on them as they take us into a downward futile spiral.

  17. RJO
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Whatever concessions your friend Mr. Cameron claims to have secured from the EU, what guarantee is there that they will not be reversed within time? And if we stayed and the concessions were reverse, how long before there’s another vote to leave?

    As much as I like European nations and cultures, I totally reject the EU dictatorship and its corrupt culture. It’s time to get out.

  18. Tracy
    Posted May 25, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Dear John
    Thank you for the speech you made in parliament yesterday, a great many no doubt agree with you about the lack of patriotism of the leaders of government….not something I ever expected to say about DC and GO.

    The desperation of those in the remain campaign seems to be increasing. I only hope that it results in an enormous ‘backlash’ from the electorate. Here’s hoping that everybody that can, makes an effort to vote in the referendem. If Denmark can achieve a 74% turnout, so should we!



  19. Tad
    Posted June 25, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Chancellor John Redwood ?
    Gonna need a lot of clear thinking and steady neves to negotiate trade deals and formulate some new rules now, or we could get ourselves in a worse position.
    Come on John… you’re the man for this.

  20. Martin Stokoe
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    A sound political agenda should deliver a sound economy followed by a ‘fair’ social agenda. Without the former the Government is not in a position to do anything on a ‘foundation’ of rock, without the latter it makes it difficult for it to deliver the former to deliver the latter.

    No one should underestimate the complexities and challenges of running the country. Aims and objectives are everything.

    Whether of the right or of the left the motivators for most voters are those of self interest rather than overall good from which we individually benefit. Here then is the nub. To motivate and reward on the basis of self interest (including reward for hard work and effort) whilst maintaining an equitably fair society.

    As a lifelong Conservative voter (apart from the last election when I voted Liberal as a reward for its contribution towards the coalition which in effect, at least to my mind, helped rescued the economy) I would be interested to understand where Mr Redwood stands on the issue of personal borrowing and debt. It being one thing to borrow to achieve a beneficial aim (buying a house, building a business) as opposed to ‘jam tomorrow’ as my father would say. I ask this because as far as I can see a country that runs on tick is one that is setting itself up to fail (again accepting the fundamental principles of some borrowing).

    To my mind money is lent to those with little in the form of credit. They pay heavily for the privelage and use the money to purchase goods and services, those benefiting from the sale of which then lend money in the form of credit, all the while backing each way through hedge funds, that is saying one thing whilst praying for the opposite.

  21. Posted July 18, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I keep wanting to send your diary posts to colleagues. Have you an aversion to Twitter? It would be good to be able to click on a Twitter button on each post, which in my case would bring it to the attention of 1964 readers, many of them academics.

    Reply Yes, these are tweeted each time

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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