40 Facts About Alan Duncan


Sir Alan James Carter Duncan was born on 31 March 1957 and is a British former Conservative Party politician who served as Minister of State for International Development from 2010 to 2014 and as Minister of State for Europe and the Americas from 2016 to 2019.


Alan Duncan was the Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton from 1992 to 2019.


Alan Duncan began his career in the oil industry with Royal Dutch Shell, and was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1992 general election.


Alan Duncan stood for the Conservative leadership in 2005, but withdrew early on because of a lack of support.


Alan Duncan resigned as Minister of State on 22 July 2019 citing Johnson's election to the Tory leadership and, hence, the UK's premiership.


Alan Duncan became the first openly gay Conservative Member of Parliament, publicly coming out in 2002.


Alan Duncan was educated at two independent schools: Beechwood Park School in Markyate, and Merchant Taylors' School in Northwood, at both of which he was 'Head Monitor'.


Alan Duncan had two brothers, who attended Beechwood Park School.


Alan Duncan then attended St John's College, Oxford, where he coxed the college first eight, and was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1979.


Alan Duncan gained a Kennedy Scholarship to study at Harvard University between 1981 and 1982.


Alan Duncan used the connections he had built up to be self-employed from 1988 to 1992, acting as a consultant and adviser to foreign governments on oil supplies, shipping and refining.


In 1989, Alan Duncan set up the independent Harcourt Consultants, which advises on oil and gas matters.


Alan Duncan was an active member of the Battersea Conservative Association from 1979 until 1984, when he moved to live in Singapore, from which he returned in 1986.


Alan Duncan first stood for Parliament as a Conservative candidate in the 1987 general election, unsuccessfully contesting the safe Labour seat of Barnsley West and Penistone.


From 1993 to 1995, Alan Duncan was a member of the Social Security Select Committee.


Alan Duncan resigned from the position within a month, after it emerged that he had used the Right to Buy programme to make profits on property deals.


Alan Duncan returned to government in July 1995, when he was again appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary, this time to the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Brian Mawhinney.


In November 1995, Alan Duncan performed a citizen's arrest on an Asylum Bill protester who threw paint and flour at Mawhinney on College Green.


Alan Duncan was involved in the 1997 leadership contest, being the right-hand man of William Hague, the eventual winner.


When Michael Howard became Conservative Party leader in November 2003, Alan Duncan became Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, but as Howard had significantly reduced the size of the Shadow Cabinet, Alan Duncan was not promoted to the top table.


However, following the 2005 general election, the Shadow Cabinet was expanded to its original size once more, and Alan Duncan joined it as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.


Alan Duncan held this position for just seven months, becoming Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 7 December 2005, after David Cameron's election to the party leadership the previous day.


In January 2009, Alan Duncan became Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.


On 10 June 2005, Alan Duncan publicly declared his intention of standing in the 2005 leadership election.


On 15 May 2009, the satirical BBC programme Have I Got News for You showed footage of Alan Duncan's previous appearance on the show in which he boasted about his second home allowance, denied that he should pay any of the money back and stated it was "a great system".


Alan Duncan apologised once more, and Cameron, though critical of Alan Duncan's comments, denied that he would sack him from the Shadow Cabinet.


Alan Duncan has received corporate donations from The Biz Club, Midland Software Holdings, and ABM Holdings.


Alan Duncan has had tens of thousands of pounds from private individual donors.


Alan Duncan has been described as the 'liberal, urbane face of the Conservative Party'.


Alan Duncan believes in minimising the size of government, and in Saturn's Children advocated limiting government responsibility to essential services such as defence, policing and health.


In 2002, Alan Duncan was described by the BBC as a "staunch" Eurosceptic.


On 2 October 2017, Alan Duncan spoke at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs.


Alan Duncan is on the council of the Conservative Way Forward group.


Alan Duncan is one of the leading British members of Le Cercle, a secretive foreign policy discussion forum.


Alan Duncan urged Cameron's critics, especially MPs, to "admit that their real point is that they hate anyone who has got a hint of wealth in them" from whose viewpoint it followed that "we risk seeing a House of Commons which is stuffed full of low-achievers".


Alan Duncan was the first sitting Conservative MP voluntarily to acknowledge that he is gay; he did this in an interview with The Times on 29 July 2002, although he has said that this came as no surprise to friends.


Alan Duncan has a committed following in the gay community and is active in speaking up for gay rights.


Alan Duncan was responsible for formulating the Conservatives' policy response to the introduction of civil partnership legislation in 2004, which he considered his proudest achievement of the Parliament between 2001 and 2005.


Alan Duncan was among those who rebelled against his party by voting for an equal age of consent between heterosexuals and homosexuals on numerous occasions between 1998 and 2000.


Alan Duncan has appeared four times on the satirical news quiz Have I Got News for You: first appearing on 28 October 2005, then 20 October 2006, and again on 2 May 2008 and 24 April 2009.