Richard Taylor (British politician)

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Dr Richard Taylor
File:Richard Taylor MP.JPG
Taylor in 2007
Member of the United Kingdom Parliament
for Wyre Forest
In office
7 June 2001 – 5 May 2010
Preceded by David Lock
Succeeded by Mark Garnier
Personal details
Born (1934-07-07) 7 July 1934 (age 84)
Political party Health Concern (2001–)
National Health Action Party (2012–present)[1]
Alma mater Clare College, Cambridge
Profession Medical Doctor
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1960 to 1964
Rank Squadron leader
Unit Medical Branch
Battles/wars Cold War

Richard Thomas Taylor, MBE, FRCP (born 7 July 1934) is an English doctor, politician and former Royal Air Force officer. He served as an Independent Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest between 2001 and 2010.[2] He is Co-Leader of the National Health Action Party.

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

Military service

On 1 October 1960, he was commissioned as a flying officer in the Medical Branch of the Royal Air Force.[3] He was granted seniority in that rank from 9 September 1960.[4] He was promoted to flight lieutenant on 9 September 1961.[5] On 1 April 1964, he was transferred to the reserve; this signalled the end of his full time service.[6] He was promoted to squadron leader on 9 September 1965.[7]

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,[8] 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.[9]

He was a member of the Health Select Committee (2001-2010) and also became co-chair of the All Party Local Hospital Group, Vice Chairman of the All Party Group on Cancer, Vice Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Flood Prevention Group, and Secretary of the All Party Group on Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

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 the renationalisation of the British railway system, and the availability of cannabis as a controlled drug.[10] He also opposed the Iraq war [11] and student top up fees.

The Liberal Democrats decided to oppose Taylor during the 2010 general election, and Taylor was defeated by the Conservative candidate, Mark Garnier.[12]

In 2013, Taylor announced his intention to stand for election in the 2015 General Election, representing the National Health Action Party.[12] At the election, Taylor finished fourth with 7,221 votes.

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 Christine Miller and with her had a further daughter, Georgie.

He currently resides in Kidderminster.[13]


In the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours, Taylor was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) 'for services to the community in Worcestershire especially to Kidderminster Hospital'.[13][14]

Electoral performance

Taylor has contested the constituency of Wyre Forest at the last four general elections, the first three times for Independent Community and Health Concern (previously Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern), and in the last general election for the National Health Action Party.

Date of election Constituency Party Votes  % of votes Result
2001 general election Wyre Forest Health Concern 28,487 58.1 Elected
2005 general election Wyre Forest Health Concern 18,739 39.9 Elected
2010 general election Wyre Forest Health Concern 16,150 31.7 Not elected
2015 general election Wyre Forest National Health Action Party 7,221 14.6 Not elected


  1. "Former MP to lead new political party opposed to NHS changes". BBC News. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Wyre Forest - Election Results 2010, BBC.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 42182. p. 7388. 28 October 1960. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  4. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42425. p. 5675. 28 July 1961. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42559. p. 73. 29 December 1961. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43290. p. 3000. 3 April 1964. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43863. pp. 81–82. 31 December 1965. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  8. "Wyre Forest candidates back return of Kidderminster A&E - 30th April 2010". BBC News. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Profile page, BBC News
  11. Theyworkforyou
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Dr Richard Taylor to stand again for parliament on NHS ticket". BBC News. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Queen's birthday honours list 2014: MBE". The Guardian. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. pp. b16–b25. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015.


  • 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