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Christopher Chope

Member of Parliament for Christchurch

Tel: 01202 474949 / Fax: 01202 475548 / 18a Bargates , Christchurch , Dorset BH23 1QL
Email: office@christchurchconservatives.com / Web: www.christchurchconservatives.com

Chope Christopher

Christopher was born in Putney in 1947.  He and his wife, Christo, have two children.  Chris was educated at Marlborough College, the University of St Andrew's and the Inns of Court School of Law.  He was called to the Bar in 1972 and practised as a Barrister until his election as Member of Parliament for Southampton Itchen in 1983.  At that election Chris overturned a Labour majority and became the first Conservative MP for that constituency since the Second World War.  After a short period as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Peter Brooke when he was a Treasury Minister, Chris was appointed to the Government in 1986 at the Department of Environment.  He specialised in local government, planning, housing and construction until he was appointed Minister for Roads and Traffic at the Department of Transport in 1990.

Following the loss of Southampton Itchen in 1992 he worked for Ernst & Young as a consultant.  He also served on the Health & Safety Commission and the Local Government Commission for England and was a member of the DTI De-Regulation Task Force on Transport and Communications.

In May 1997, Chris was elected as Member of Parliament for Christchurch recording the only 'Conservative gain' of that Election, over turning a substantial Liberal Democrat majority.  He was appointed a Vice Chairman of the Party with responsibility for local government and oversaw the establishment of the Conservative Councillors' Association and the recognition of local government in the new Party Constitution.  He also served as a Frontbench Spokesman for the Environment and Transport.  After a spell as a member of the DTI Select Committee, he was an Opposition Treasury Spokesman in 2001 and served as Shadow Minister for Transport and Environment up to May 2005.  Following the 2005 General Election, Chris joined the Speaker's Panel of Chairmen and is serving on the Procedure and Administration Committees.  He was Chairman of Conservative Way Forward from 2001-2009 and is now an Hon Vice President.  He is a member of the Council of The Freedom Association and Joint Secretary of the 1922 Committee of Conservative Backbenchers.  Chris is Vice Chairman of the Human Rights and Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Prior to entering Parliament, Chris was Leader of Wandsworth Council between 1979 and 1983 where he pioneered local government privatisation and achieved substantial expenditure reductions.  He received an OBE for services to local government in 1982.

In the present Parliament, Chris has successfully campaigned against the loss of Green Belt, the waste treatment plants in Ferndown and Hurn, and against the proposed concert venue in Ringwood Forest.  He is currently campaigning for the future of Christchurch Hospital.