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Sir Nick Harvey
Nick Harvey, Minister of State for Armed Forces.jpg
Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats
Assumed office
August 2017
Leader Vince Cable
Preceded by Tim Gordon
Minister of State for the Armed Forces

In office
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Bill Rammell
Succeeded by Andrew Robathan
Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesman

In office
7 January 2015 – 11 May 2015
Leader Nick Clegg
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by Baroness Jolly

In office
2 March 2006 – 13 May 2010
Leader Sir Menzies Campbell
Vince Cable (Acting)
Nick Clegg
Preceded by Michael Moore
Succeeded by Vacant
Member of Parliament
for North Devon

In office
9 April 1992 – 7 May 2015
Preceded by Antony Speller
Succeeded by Peter Heaton-Jones
Personal details
Born 3 August 1961(1961-08-03) (age 59)
Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Democrat
Spouse(s) Kathryn Fox (m. 2003)
Children 2
Alma mater Middlesex Polytechnic

Sir Nicholas Barton Harvey (born 3 August 1961) is a British Liberal Democrat politician.

He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Devon from 1992 until 2015, losing his seat to the Conservative Party. He was the Minister of State for the Armed Forces from 2010 to 2012.

Early life and educationEdit

Nick Harvey was born in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire and was educated at Queen's College, an independent school in the county town of Taunton in Somerset. He then attended the Middlesex Polytechnic at Enfield where he was awarded a BA degree in Business studies in 1983. He also served as the President of the students' union from 1981–2.

Early careerEdit

He joined Profil PR Ltd in 1984 as a communications and marketing executive, before being appointed by public relations firm Dewe Rogerson (now known as Citigate Dewe Rogerson[1]) as a marketing executive in 1986. He worked as a communications consultant from 1991 until his election to Parliament.

Parliamentary careerEdit

He was elected as the vice-chairman of the Union of Liberal Students for a year in 1981. He unsuccessfully contested the London Borough of Enfield seat of Enfield Southgate at the 1987 general election. He finished in second place some 18,345 votes behind the then Government Whip Michael Portillo. He was elected to the House of Commons for North Devon at the 1992 general election by defeating the Conservative MP Antony Speller who had ended the parliamentary career of former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe in the same seat at the 1979 general election. Harvey won the seat with a majority of just 794, but has remained the MP there until 2015. He made his maiden speech on 11 May 1992.[2]

He was made a spokesman on transport in 1992 by Paddy Ashdown, before being moved to speak on trade and industry in 1994. He became the spokesman of constitutional affairs following the 1997 general election. He became a member the front bench team under Charles Kennedy in 1999 when he became the party's Health spokesperson. After the 2001 general election he became the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport until he stood down in 2003 to spend more time with his young family. He has been a member of both the Home Affairs Select Committee and the standards and privileges committee since the 2005 general election. He is the vice-chairman of the all party group on beer. Until 2009, Nick Harvey, in addition to his career as an MP, devoted time to advising a commercial public relations agency, Harrison Cowley, for which he declared an annual income of up to £10,000.

After the 2010 general election, as part of the Liberal Democrat – Conservative coalition, he was made Minister for the Armed Forces. After the September 2012 reshuffle he was knighted as a Knight Bachelor.[3]

He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014.[4]

He lost his seat in the General Election 2015 by 6,936 votes. He contested the seat unsuccessfully in the General Election 2017, increasing his vote by 8.6%, but falling 4,332 votes short.

After ParliamentEdit

After leaving Parliament he served as chair of the trustees of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and worked for Global Partners, where he was an adviser on Egypt and Jordan.[5]

In August 2017 he was appointed interim Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats, following the resignation of Tim Gordon.[6]

Political viewsEdit

He was the only Liberal Democrat MP to vote against the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and was a critic of Liberal Democratic leader Charles Kennedy, having called into question his "political direction" and "leadership skills".[7] He returned to the front bench as Defence spokesperson under Kennedy's successor, Sir Menzies Campbell. He voted against the Iraq War and called repeatedly for troops to be withdrawn under a phased timetable. He also voted against the Government's decision to renew Britain's nuclear deterrent, Trident.

Personal lifeEdit

He married Kathryn Fox in May 2003 in North Devon. They have a daughter, Olivia (born 2002) and a son, Freddie (born 2004).[8]

Styles of AddressEdit

  • 1961–1992: Nick Harvey, Esq
  • 1992–2012: Nick Harvey MP
  • 2012–2015: Sir Nick Harvey MP
  • 2015–present: Sir Nick Harvey


External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Antony Speller
Member of Parliament for North Devon
1992 – 2015
Succeeded by
Peter Heaton-Jones

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