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Andrew Robert Lange was born on the 29th April 1954 in Belfast, Northern Ireland to accountant Nicholas Lange and his wife, homemaker Frances Lange (nee Walker). The second of three children born into the Anglican Protestant family, Lange from an early age had an interest in history, literature and the arts in general, being particularly skilled at the piano. His love in early life has been professed to be the cinema, which he would go to every Friday after school. Lange would attend a local grammar school before studying History & English at Queen's University Belfast. While at University Lange would get involved with student & local politics, joining the soft Unionist Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), which he would remain a member of while he continued to live in the province. Lange would first come to prominence when after writing an angry letter to the Belfast Telegraph to express his displeasure & disagreement at a review given by the paper's outgoing film critic, he was surprisingly offered the post. As film critic for the regional newspaper, Lange quickly gained a reputation as a witty and stinging critic, with some particularly vicious appraisals of actors & actresses, occasionally based on their appearances. He would continue this after becoming the film critic for The Times in 1981 after Rupert Murdoch acquired the paper that year.
Lange would continued his controversial column, now with a larger audience. While the column would prove to be popular with many, some, particularly those who were critiqued or attacked in them would occasionally vent their anger out of Lange himself. In one instance Lange was happened upon by an actress who he had lambasted in a film several weeks earlier; in a London restaurant, who after arguing with Lange for several minutes went away and returned with her dish, which she promptly poured over his head. Other instances include a director punching Lange and breaking his glasses during a discussion panel in the mid-1980s. Lange during the 1980s would begin to get involved in politics, taking over various opinion columns in the Times due to the sickness of other columnists. By the late 1980s he would gain his own weekend column, which he would write in tandem with his role as a critic. Lange's politics had veered right-ward over the decade. He was a supporter of the Labour right during the time of James Callaghan's leadership, and would support the SDP during its existence during the 1980s. After its merger into what would become the Liberal Democrats, Lange would join the Conservative Party. With his increasingly conservative beliefs being popular with right-leaning individuals, he was asked to run for parliament. Initially opposed to the idea, he was won over and put his name forward for the seat of Monmouth (a Tory seat that had been lost in a 1991 by-election to Labour), where he had lived for a period of time.
Lange would win the seat with a majority of over 3,000 and was the new Member of Parliament for the Welsh seat. Lange would proceed to act as a thorn in the side of the government as was seen with him being one of the Maastricht Rebels, who lost the Conservative Whip for a period of time after their vote against the Maastricht Treaty. While in the Commons he would marry French journalist Manon Guibault, with whom he would have four children, Marie (b. 1994), Nathalie (b. 1998) , France (b. 2001), and Florence (b. 2003). During the 1992-7 parliament Lange would continue his career as a film critic & maintaining his newspaper column. This proved to be useful when he lost his seat in the 1997 landslide defeat. Lange would attempt to re-enter parliament, failing by less than 400 votes. While out of parliament Lange would become a regular on the BBC Radio 4 programme 'The Moral Maze', on which he would routinely attack the Blair government with blunt & pointed attacks on ministers. Among Lange's usual antics was to try and push to boundary with regards to swear words on the air, to see how far he could go before having his microphone cut. Lange would eventually regain his seat in parliament at the 2005 general election, and has held it ever since. Much like his time in parliament a decade earlier, Lange was (and remains) a stubborn backbencher refusing to support the party leadership, especially under David Cameron, who Lange considered 'thoroughly un-conservative'.
Politically Lange prides himself as a maverick who holds a variety of opinions from across the spectrum. On economic matters Lange generally has supported the economic policies of the now former Coalition government, while on social issues Lange takes a comparatively conservative stance. Lange has notably defended the role of Christianity as the foundation of British culture and social cohesion, despite personally styling himself as a 'agnostic-theist' (while at other times calling himself a devout Anglo-Catholic). Lange considers himself to be 'anti-establishment' and generally favours a limited government across the board, likewise he is generally not supportive of foreign intervention by the UK. Lange is known for his tendency to make controversial remarks, often intentionally to annoy people. For instance he was criticised for his description of the Yugoslav Wars as being "the unpronounceables killing the unspeakables". Lange lives in his mainly rural constituency with his wife and four children. His interests include watching films (unsurprisingly), reading, the piano, and playing the organ at church.
Andrew Lange MP
Conservative and Unionist Party
Member of Parliament for Monmouth
Parliamentary Experience: (7)
Media Experience: (14)
Policy Experience: (7)