Richard Taylor (UK politician)

Richard Taylor (UK politician)
Dr Richard Taylor
Member of Parliament
for Wyre Forest
In office
7 June 2001 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by David Lock
Succeeded by Mark Garnier
Personal details
Born 7 July 1934 (1934-07-07) (age 77)
Political party Health Concern
Alma mater Clare College, Cambridge
Profession Medical Doctor

Richard Thomas Taylor FRCP (born 7 July 1934) is an English doctor and former politician. He served as an Independent Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest between 2001 and 2010.[1] He is also a supporter of the Independent Network.


Background and education

The son of Thomas Taylor and his wife Mabel Hickley, Taylor was educated at The Leys School, the same school as the former Independent MP Martin Bell, who was two years below him. Taylor went to Clare College Cambridge, and the former Westminster Medical School, now part of the Imperial College School of Medicine.

Medical career

  • 1959-1961: Registrar at Westminster Hospital, London
  • 1961-1964: Medical Officer, Royal Air Force
  • 1964-1972: Hospital doctor in London hospitals
  • 1972-1995: Consultant physician, Kidderminster General Hospital

Parliamentary career

Before entering politics, Taylor was a member of his local Health Authority, chairman of Kidderminster Hospital League of Friends (1996–2001), and a committee member of the Save Kidderminster Hospital Campaign (1997–2001).

Standing for Parliament as an Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern candidate at the 2001 general election, Taylor campaigned largely on a single issue, that of restoring the Accident & Emergency department of Kidderminster Hospital,[2] which had been closed in 2000 due to cuts in the NHS. Taylor won with a majority of 18,000, defeating the incumbent Labour MP and junior minister, David Lock. The Liberal Democrats decided not to put up a candidate against him. The Liberal Democrats had previously stood down when faced with another independent candidate - Martin Bell in Tatton in 1997.

Taylor was re-elected at the 2005 election with a reduced majority of 5,250; again the Liberal Democrats stood aside. Conservative candidate Mark Garnier took second place and Labour were pushed into third in the constituency. This made Taylor the first independent MP to retain a seat in the House of Commons in a second election since Frank Maguire in 1979.[3]

He became secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Patient and Public Involvement in Health.[4] However, he did not manage to persuade the Labour Government to restore A&E services to Kidderminster Hospital.

While his speeches in the Commons were mostly confined to the health service, Taylor also laid out an atypical collection of political views. These non-health policies included support for Section 28, the renationalisation of the British railway system, and the availability of cannabis as a controlled drug.[5] He also opposed the Iraq war.[6]

The Liberal Democrats decided to oppose Taylor during the 2010 general election, and Taylor was defeated by the Conservative candidate, Mark Garnier.

Personal life

In 1962, Taylor married Ann Brett and they had one son and two daughters. After this marriage was dissolved, in 1990 he married secondly Christine Miller and with her had a further daughter. He currently resides in Kidderminster.



  • Who's Who (A & C. Black, London, 2003) page 2125

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Lock
Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest
Succeeded by
Mark Garnier

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