Andrew James Bridgen was born on 28 October 1964 and is a British politician and businessman who has served as Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire since 2010.
61 Facts About Andrew Bridgen
Andrew Bridgen was a member of the Conservative Party until his expulsion in April 2023, having had the whip suspended in January after criticising the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and comparing their implementation to the Holocaust.
In January 2023, Bridgen was suspended from the House of Commons for five days after the house voted in favour of the recommendations of the Commons Select Committee on Standards which found that he had repeatedly breached rules over paid lobbying and declaring interests and that he attempted to pressure the commissioner investigating his lobbying breaches.
Andrew Bridgen was born in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, on 28 October 1964.
Andrew Bridgen attended Netherseal Junior School, then The Pingle School - a Comprehensive school in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
Andrew Bridgen graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in biological sciences.
Andrew Bridgen then began work in his family's agricultural business.
Andrew Bridgen served as the East Midlands chairman of the Institute of Directors and on the East Midlands Regional Assembly as a business representative.
Andrew Bridgen blamed "intransigence of certain unelected individuals at the very top of the county council" rather than the individual councillors involved.
Andrew Bridgen was elected as the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire at the 2010 general election, becoming the first Conservative MP for the area in thirteen years.
Andrew Bridgen was re-elected at the 2015 and 2017 general elections.
In July 2010, Andrew Bridgen first became a member of the Regulatory Reform Select Committee, continuing to be a member throughout his parliamentary career.
Andrew Bridgen was a member of the Advisory Panel to Professor Ragnar Lofstedt's report on Health and Safety and served on the Draft Deregulation Bill and Liaison Committee.
In January 2013, Andrew Bridgen, interviewed on BBC Radio's PM programme, stated that good MPs were being put off by poor pay and were having to ask their families to make sacrifices.
Andrew Bridgen stated he was one of the few MPs willing to speak publicly on the issue of MPs' low pay.
Andrew Bridgen was criticised by local campaigners for selling at the early stage under an "exceptional hardship scheme", but Bridgen argued he had lost more money than anyone else.
In March 2017, Andrew Bridgen apologised for failing to declare during an HS2 debate that his home was being bought by the high-speed rail link.
Andrew Bridgen made the apology in the House of Commons after being found to have breached the rules governing MPs' interests following an investigation by the Commons standards watchdog.
However, Andrew Bridgen argued that he had been a consistent critic of High Speed 2, casting doubt on the economic benefits associated with the proposals, and the costs of the programme regardless of his property interests.
Andrew Bridgen stated that his use of hotels was cheaper than having a flat and was a short walk from Parliament when it finished late at night.
In March 2018, Andrew Bridgen stated in Parliament that there were 'no rough sleepers' in North West Leicestershire.
Andrew Bridgen has been accused by Pink News of making homophobic statements.
Andrew Bridgen has been accused of anti-semitic statements at various points in his Parliamentary career.
On 7 August 2018, Andrew Bridgen supported comments made by Boris Johnson, regarding the wearing of burkas by some Muslim women in Britain.
Andrew Bridgen endorsed Boris Johnson during the 2019 Conservative leadership election.
In November 2019, Andrew Bridgen apologised after defending Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg's comments suggesting that Grenfell Tower fire victims should have concluded that the 'stay put' advice given by the London Fire Brigade was incorrect.
Andrew Bridgen suggested on BBC Radio 4 that Rees-Mogg would have made a better decision than the authority figures who gave the flawed advice.
Andrew Bridgen was found by a High Court judge to have lied under oath in relation to claims that he made in court about his family business, AB Produce.
Andrew Bridgen made false allegations about the reasons why he had left the company.
Andrew Bridgen sought to highlight the risks of head injuries associated with sporting injuries.
Andrew Bridgen is a supporter of reform of the pub industry, supporting moves to introduce a Market Rent Option for tied tenant publicans.
Andrew Bridgen is a supporter of the "Fair Deal For Your Local" campaign.
In June 2011, Bridgen attacked critics of Andrew Lansley's proposed NHS reforms, saying that they comprised "Stalinist protectionist elements".
In 2012, Andrew Bridgen campaigned for the electrification of the Midland Mainline.
Andrew Bridgen forced a Government U-turn in 2013 over plans for military intervention in Syria, when he organised a letter to the Prime Minister signed by 81 fellow Conservative MPs, demanding Parliament be given a vote on whether the UK should send military assistance to anti-government Syrian rebels.
Andrew Bridgen later stated his support for air-strikes against ISIS terrorists in Iraq.
Andrew Bridgen successfully lobbied the Government to cut Air Passenger Duty for children in 2014, a move backed by travel operators and supported by a 2013 study report.
In 2014, Andrew Bridgen voted to recognise the State of Palestine.
In 2014, Andrew Bridgen led calls to have non-payment of the TV licence fee made a civil rather than a criminal matter.
Andrew Bridgen stated that the BBC should not claim that Britain enjoyed a special status as David Cameron's EU renegotiations had not changed anything.
Andrew Bridgen supported Leave in the 2016 referendum, going on to back group Leave Means Leave after the Brexit vote, and signing a letter to the Prime Minister in September 2017.
Andrew Bridgen was a critic of the former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.
Andrew Bridgen raised concerns in 2010 to the Conservative whips' office about the behaviour of fellow Conservative MP Dan Poulter with women MPs.
The Sunday Times published these allegations, that Poulter had put his hand up the skirts of at least three female MPs, during the MeToo scandal in late 2017, and in November 2017 Andrew Bridgen reported Poulter to the Conservative Party's newly established disciplinary committee.
Andrew Bridgen has been an outspoken critic of the former Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.
Andrew Bridgen repeatedly called for disciplinary action and the resignation of Labour MP Keith Vaz over a range of different issues.
In March 2019, Andrew Bridgen clashed with Conservative MP Ken Clarke in the House of Commons over the nature of representative democracy.
In November 2022, the Commons Select Committee on Standards confirmed Kathryn Stone's findings that Andrew Bridgen broke the MPs' code of conduct by approaching ministers and officials for a company that had given him a donation, a visit to Ghana and offered him an advisory contract.
The Standards Committee report stated that Andrew Bridgen emailed Stone asking about what he said were rumours that Boris Johnson would give Stone a peerage but this depended on her "arriving at the 'right' outcomes" during the Parliamentary Standard's investigations.
Andrew Bridgen was asked to apologise to Stone for trying to put her under unacceptable pressure.
Stone's investigation found Andrew Bridgen failed to declare the trip, the donation and a contract to advise the company.
Andrew Bridgen did not mention these when approaching ministers on behalf of the firm.
Andrew Bridgen's alleged offences included an "unacceptable attack upon the integrity" of Stone.
The Standards Committee said Andrew Bridgen showed a "very cavalier" approach to the rules and found he broke lobbying rules "on multiple occasions and in multiple ways".
In December 2022, the British Heart Foundation criticised Andrew Bridgen for promoting a conspiracy theory claiming the Foundation covered up evidence of mRNA vaccines increasing inflammation of heart arteries.
Two days later Andrew Bridgen issued a statement saying his tweet was not antisemitic, he apologised "for any offence caused" and was taking legal advice about action against those who had labelled him antisemitic.
Andrew Bridgen further contended that he asked "reasonable questions" about the side-effects of mRNA vaccines, and had "received huge support from ordinary people, medical workers [and] those who have experienced vaccine harms themselves".
In March 2023, Andrew Bridgen posted tweets promoting a conspiracy theory claiming that COVID-19 originated at Fort Detrick.
On 12 April 2023, Andrew Bridgen was expelled from the Conservative Party in further reaction to his January comments that compared COVID-19 vaccinations with the Holocaust.
Andrew Bridgen married his first wife, Jackie, in 2000 and they had two sons.
Andrew Bridgen married the Serbian opera singer Nevena Pavlovic in 2017.