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David Spicer

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  1. Skipton and Ripon - and can I also get a name change to "David Spicer" please?
  2. Name: David Spicer Avatar: Anders Fogh Rasmussen Age: 65 Sex: Male Ethnicity: White Marital Status: Married Spouse: Jenny Spicer [m. 1980] Children: Robert [b. 1981], Claire [b. 1984] Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual Party: Conservative Subgroup: Maybot Political Outlook: Maybot by technicality, verging on the Cameroon. Socially moderate (broadly liberal but had a religious upbringing), economically open to some intervention in the name of equality. Constituency: Skipton and Ripon Year Elected: 2015 Education: Attended local Grammar school B.A. History 1973 PGCE Teaching Certificate 1974 M.Ed. 1992 Career: 1975 - 1986 - Teacher, Grammar and comprehensive schools 1986 - 1992 - Deputy Head 1993 - 2001 - Headteacher 2001 - 2011 - Headteacher, City Academy, later Multi-Academy Trust 2012 - 2014 - Consultant, Free Schools Programme Political Career: 1978 - 1982 - Labour Councillor 2002 - 2006 - Conservative Councillor 2015 - Present - Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon David Samuel Spicer was born in 1952 in Edinburgh. His parents, GP Doctor Robert Spicer and his wife Irene, secured him a place at a local private school but moved him to a comprehensive after one term; Dr Spicer's social democratic persuasion being a barrier to the use of private funds for education. The family moved to Harrogate in 1961. David had a happy childhood. His parents were both studious and political and encouraged him to read and learn. He had a passion for History in particular but also enjoyed Mathematics and Literature. David sat the 11 plus examinations and was enrolled at his local Grammar school. This had a lasting impact on him and his belief that education can be a mechanism for success. He continued on at school through to Sixth form where he studied History, Mathematics and Literature. Spicer attended the University of Southampton between 1970 and 1973 where he read History. Spicer was a member of the Labour Society and was actively involved in his local Labour Party. Following graduation, he attended King Alfred's College in Winchester to complete his teacher education. He returned to Harrogate following this and taught in local grammar schools. David met future wife, Jennifer Laird, a fellow teacher, while on a conference in 1976. The couple married quickly after and started their family. David continued to be interested in Labour politics during this period and became a member of the City Council. During his teaching career, David specialised in History but took an interest in other branches of teaching and learning and particularly the widening gap between the early developments in cognitive psychology and modern "trendy" teaching methods. After Michael Foot's election as Labour leader and the infiltration of the party by a militant and increasingly strident left, Spicer left the party. Over time, he became disillusioned with left-wing politics as he witnessed the control the Unions had over his profession and the lack of faith his colleagues had in tried and tested traditional pedagogy. Both David and Jenny went on to become headteachers at neighbouring schools, Jenny at a Grammar and David at the local comprehensive. David fought off attempts by parents at his school to force changes to the curriculum and gained a reputation locally. Throughout the 1990s, David continued to build a reputation as a successful Headteacher. The new Ofsted regime created in 1992 favoured him and his style. He was interested in politics and was somewhat cheered by the move to the right of the Labour Party but it wasn’t enough to bring him back into the fold. While working as a Head in Knaresborough, he had gained contacts within the DfE and local authority. David volunteered to coordinate the creation of a new "City Academy". Embracing the idea of freedom and flexibility for schools, he became one of the UK's first heads of an Academy Trust. As CEO, Spicer would steer the Academy away from the prescriptive national curriculum of the Labour Government and innovated his own style of teaching and learning. His success gained the notice of new Conservative Party leader David Cameron and his colleagues. Interested in developing education policy further, he left the Academy and worked as a private consultant. One of his clients was Education Secretary Michael Gove. He was particularly involved in the development of the Conservative's proposals for a new type of "Free School" along a Scandinavian model. He advocated for further freedoms to be given to school leadership and for limitations to be placed on powers of the teaching unions. As he became involved in this element of political life, Spicer was a late convert to the Cameron project. He signed up to the Party and was almost immediately selected as their candidate for Skipton and Ripon. In the 2015 election, he was elected for the first time, making his maiden speech later that year. He was mostly associated with the Cameroon group of MPs for his involvement in education policy. However, his former Labour roots put him in good stead with the Red Tory "Maybot" group. As the Cameroon era drew to a close, it was to this group that Spicer stuck during Theresa May's premiership. He was re-elected at the 2017 election for Skipton and Ripon.
  3. Name: Gryffydd "Griff" Rhys Morrison Avatar: Ralph Fiennes Age: 65 (b. 05.02.1957) Sex: Male Ethnicity: White British Marital Status: Married Sexuality: Heterosexual Party: Labour and Cooperative Political Outlook: A blur of Brownite and Open Labour with some Blue Labour policies included Constituency: Easington Year elected: 1997 Education: PPE, Durham Career: 1979 - 1985 | Officer, Royal Navy (Sub-Lieutenant) 1985 - 1993 | Writer and journalist, New Statesman 1993 - 1997 | Researcher, Labour Party Political Career: 1997 - Pres. | Member of Parliament for Easington 2001 - 2007 | Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Reid 2007 - 2010 | Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Northern Ireland Office 2010 - 2015 | Member, Defence Select Committee 2015 - 2019 | Member, Security and Intelligence Committee Biography Gruffydd "Griff" Owain Rhys Morrison, also known as Griff Rhys Morrison or GRM, was born in Caernarfon, Wales, in 1957. The son of Owain Rhys Morrison, a coalminer and his North East-born wife Enid, Rhys Morrison was brought up in a relatively stable family home. His father left his job at the mine in 1950 and joined the British Army. He served in the Mayalsian Emergency and was killed in 1964, Enid moved the family back to her home village of Seaham, County Durham. Rhys Morrison was fortunate enough to obtain a scholarship to attend Durham University as a member of St Cuthbert's Society where his uncle was a rector. Upon graduating, Rhys Morrison describes having lost his sense of purpose and coming to terms with his father's death. He joined the Royal Navy and served for six years including combat in the Falklands War, for which he received promotion. Rhys Morrison left the Navy in 1985 and joined the New Statesman as a journalist and writer. He wrote pieces on defence and foreign policy as well as domestic questions such as the situation in Northern Ireland. He was dismayed at what he saw as a breakdown of social and moral order in the 1980s. He unsuccessfully ran for Parliament in the 1989 and 1992 General Elections. He was a supporter of John Smith and later Tony Blair's modernisation agenda within the Labour Party, which he viewed as an opportunity to resolve the polarisation he had witnessed. He was elected for Easington in 1997. He associated himself with the Brownite and Open Labour wings of the Labour Party. From 2001 to 2007, he served as a PPS to John Reid, then Defence Secretary and Home Secretary. Upon Gordon Brown's premiership, Rhys Morrison served as a junior member of the Northern Ireland Office. In Opposition, Rhys Morrison served on the Defence Select Committee during the leadership of Ed Miliband, though was a keen supporter from the backbenches. Being broadly to the right of the Corbynite majority, Rhys Morrison served from 2015 to 2019 as a member of the Security and Intelligence Committee. He did not seek re-election to committee following the 2019 General Election.
  4. Basic Information Name: Astrid Goldman Avatar: Anne Hidalgo Age: 64 Sex: Female Ethnicity: White British Marital Status: Married [Second marriage] Sexual Orientation: Straight Party: Labour and Co-Operative Political Outlook: New Labour, progressive, socialised in Brownite circles Constituency: North Tyneside Year Elected: 1997 Education: State comp, BA & M.Ed (Leeds) Career: 1964-1974: Teacher 1974-1985: Headteacher 1985-1996: School Improvement Advisor to the LEA and Ofsted Inspector Political Career: Member of Parliament, North Tyneside 1997-Present Parliamentary Undersecretary of State (Education) 1998-1999 Minister of State (Schools) 1999-2004 Key sponsor of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, Learning and Skills Act 2000, Children's Act 2004 Biography Astrid Margaret Goldman, née Thomas, was born to a middle class family in Tynemouth. She grew up largely in the city, her father being a solicitor. Astrid was educated at state schools and had a particular passion for mathematics. After completing Sixth Form, attaining a HND in Mathematics, she attended Leeds University where she studied to become a teacher. While at University, Astrid met future husband Antonio Ardovini. Ardovini, a vintner from Italy, was considerably older and became infatuated by the younger, bright Astrid. The pair married shortly after Astrid began teaching and children quickly followed. However, the marriage was short-lived and after a series of rows, the couple divorced in 1967. The fall-out was calamitous and after several years of legal battles, Astrid walked away with a considerable sum, shares in the family vineyards and a large collection of luxury produce. At work, Astrid was flying and after several years focussing her efforts working with disadvantaged communities, Astrid landed her first headship. A hard-worker, Astrid was astounded by the sometimes underachievement of her male counterparts. Her frustrations led to her reputation as a Head as someone who could quickly get to grips with a school and turn their fortunes around. For a decade, Astrid followed this pattern; taking a school in dire-straights, correcting their course, making fast improvements and moving on. During this time, she met her second husband Sir James Goldman. The pair married in 1979 and while the marriage allowed her to use the style ‘Lady Goldman’ she opted not to in her working life. The Local Education Authority approached Astrid and asked her to target several local schools. She took-up a job opportunity as an Improvement Advisor, working with many schools across the North east and North Yorkshire. Upon the creation of Ofsted in 1992, Astrid become one of it’s first inspectors, focusing on assessing mathematics, teaching and learning standards and school leadership. A lifetime member of the Labour Party in the Old Right tradition, a fierce believer in the power of the teaching unions, Astrid was swayed by the politics of the 1980s and the failure of the left to make electoral ground and moved rightward in her thinking. The politics of John Smith and Tony Blair appealed to her gut for improvement and she campaigned with the local party, eventually being selected as their candidate for North Tyneside in 1997. A key supporter of new Prime Minister Blair’s education promises, Astrid supported for the first year from the backbenches but was offered the opportunity to work as a Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at the DfE. There, Astrid worked on the School Standards and Framework Act and helped guide it through the House of Commons. Her background in school improvement was an asset. Upon the successful completion of the Act, she was promoted to Minister of State for Schools and sponsored the Learning and Skills Act through the House of Commons. Astrid formed close bonds with the "Brownite" clique of MPs and advisors. Astrid's career in Government was cut suddenly short in 2004. Astrid had a series of very public spats with fellow Minister Margaret Hodge over the necessity for a Children's Commissioner. Astrid was adamantly in favour of its creation, whereas Hodge had resisted. Following the Laming report into failures of public services in the death of Victoria Climbe, Astrid was instrumental in pushing through the Children's Act 2004. Despite this success, her very public criticism of fellow Government Ministers during the passage, including her allegation that the Prime Minister's reaction had been "cold and sluggish", cost her her role. Astrid resigned the day after the bill passed. She remained loyal to the party from the backbenches and close to the Brown administration during his eventual Premiership, though without a formal role.
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